Kosovo intends to open 20 embassies in 2008

Kosovo intends to open 20 embassies in 2008

( Xinhua ) - Kosovo's government is planning to open almost 20 embassies all over the world, Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuqi said Wednesday.

"Within this year Kosovo is trying to open its embassies in different countries of the world," said Kuqi in Pristina.

He did not elaborate in which countries Kosovo is seeking to have the first diplomatic missions. It is expected that Washington, Brussels and capitals of some leading European countries would be the first host cities for Kosovo embassies.

Kosovo's declaration of independence is strongly opposed by Serbia, and its ally Russia. Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic asked western countries Tuesday at the UN Security Council meeting to reconsider their recognition of Kosovo independence.

Twenty-seven countries, including 17 EU members, have recognized Kosovo, and six more are in the process of recognition.

Kosovo officials are expecting more countries to recognize it. "The Kosovo government believes that by the end of 2008 the newest country in the world will be recognized by 100 countries," said Kuqi.

Kuqi said the International Monetary Fund and World Bank membership are the top priority for Kosovo.

Kosovo, which unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in February, can not become a UN member state in the near future because of the strong opposition from Serbia and its ally Russia.

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