Germany follows US, France, Britain and recognizes Kosovo

Other News Materials 20 February 2008 15:57 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Germany has followed the United States, France and Britain in extending formal recognition to Kosovo as a sovereign state, following the breakaway Serbian province's weekend declaration of independence.

President Horst Koehler would send a diplomatic note to Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu in Pristina during the course of Wednesday following a decision by the cabinet, a spokesman for Koehler's office said.

The last state recognized in this way by Germany was another product of the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, Montenegro, on June 14, 2006.

The formal recognition had been expected. On Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel described Kosovo as "sui generis" - an isolated case not comparable to separatist movements in other countries.

And Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier made clear following a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels the same day that recognition was pending.

Steinmeier was addressing the German parliament on the issue later Wednesday.