Serbia's Fears about Kosovo Joining Interpol 'Unfounded'

Kosovo's bid to join Interpol has caused fears in Serbia that international warrants could be issued for members of its security forces who participated in the 1999 Kosovo war, but watchdog NGOs say that the prosecution of suspected war criminals depends on political will in Serbia itself.

"Even if Kosovo joins Interpol, that doesn't mean that Serbia has to extradite people wanted by Kosovo. Each member state decides what to do about the warrants issued by the [Interpol] General Secretariat," said Sasa Djordjevic from the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy.

Djordjevic said that there is no sanction for not extraditing people who are on Interpol 'red notices', and that extradition mostly depends on mutual trust.

He added that Kosovo's Interpol membership bid was being "politicised" in Serbia, with few expert arguments against its membership.

Kosovo's Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj said on Wednesday that the country was canvassing for support to secure membership at Interpol's General Assembly session in September.

"There are many countries that have not recognised Kosovo but have expressed the will to support its membership," Hoxhaj said.

Kosovo has applied for Interpol membership twice before but was rejected, most recently in November 2016.

However, Serbia's Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said that this time Kosovo's bid might succeed.

"Besides Kosovo, Palestine and the Solomon Islands have also applied. How can you say 'vote for Palestine, but not for Kosovo'," Dacic told daily newspaper Danas last Thursday.

The state secretary at the Serbian Interior Ministry, Biljana Popovic Ivkovic, expressed concern on Wednesday that former "Kosovo Liberation Army terrorists" could produce fake witnesses against...

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