Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli claims Kosovo has secured enough votes to join UNESCO as a members.
But, he added, “it is necessary to first pass two laws relating to religious equality.”
Pacolli, who is a member of Pristina’s at the UN General Assembly, told Interaktiv KTV that he “secured new votes for Kosovo’s membership in UNESCO in several days, and in a series of meetings in the US.”
“As you know, Kosovo has to apply for UNESCO, although we’re pretty late. A lot of time has passed and little has been done,” he said, and added:
“I also studied the strategy and the way in which the votes are secured. I am encouraged and I say that we will have the votes for UNESCO.”
“Today we had a very important meeting with a friendly country that has recognized Kosovo and, in talking with it, Kosovo was practically guaranteed between 15 and 20 votes for UNESCO,” Pacolli said, as Tanjug reported, citing the Pristina-based koha.net website.
Belgrade is opposed to the idea of allowing Pristina to join UNESCO, out of concern for Serbia’s cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo.
Pristina’s first bid to join the UN agency failed in 2015.
In the same interview, reported on Thursday, Pacolli said that Pristina had failed to secure enough votes to join Interpol – another bid opposed by Belgrade – and will therefore proceed to carry out “a tactical withdrawal, in agreement with the US, and prepare for next year.”
He accused the hosts of this year’s Interpol General Assembly, China – a country that has not recognized the unilateral declaration of Kosovo’s independence made in 2008 by ethnic Albanians – of putting up “barricades” in front of the Kosovo delegation, which has not yet received travel visas.
Later on Thursday, Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj announced that this year’s application to join Interpol as a member had been withdrawn by Pristina.