Kosovo Current Affairs

Hashim Thaci sworn in as new President of Kosovo

Hashim Thaci has sworn in as the President of Kosovo after he was elected by the parliament in March 2016. He succeeds Atifete Jahjaga.

With this, he becomes fourth President of Kosovo after the European country had unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

Prior getting elected as President he was serving as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in the Government led by Isa Mustafa.

About Hashim Thaci

  • Born on April 24, 1968 in the Drenica region of central Kosovo.
  • From the early 1990s as a student, Thaci was involved in passive resistance to the Belgrade authorities.
  • He had rose to prominence as the political leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), a paramilitary organisation that was active during the Kosovo War.
  • He was the first Prime Minister of Kosovo after it had unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008. He was in office from January 2008 to December 2014.

Kosovo

  • It is a disputed territory and partially recognised state in Southeastern Europe after it had unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008.
  • Its independence has been recognised by the US and many EU countries. Since 1999, Kosovo is under UN administration after the NATO intervention had ousted Serbian forces.
  • It is landlocked in the central Balkan Peninsula and is facing long-term severe ethnic tensions between Kosovo’s Albanian and Serb communities.

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EU agrees talk to Serbia for open membership

The leaders of the European Union have agreed to open membership negotiations with Serbia by January at the latest, in acknowledgment of its efforts to improve ties with seceded Kosovo. The step indicates EU inclination toward embracing once-troubled countries in the Balkans.

Presidents and Prime Ministers from the 27 EU nations also welcomed Croatia’s upcoming accession as the bloc’s 28th member. In the two-day summit held in Brussels the EU agreed on seven-year, €960-billion budget. The EU leaders also announced negotiations for closer relations with Kosovo, a possible step on the way to membership talks.

Serbia and Kosovo:

Kosovo, a former province of Serbia, declared independence in 2008. Serbia has never recognized the sovereignty of Kosovo, which is considered by Serbia’s nationalists to be the cradle of the country’s medieval statehood and religion. However, Kosovo has been recognised by over 90 countries including the U.S. and 22 of the EU’s 27 members. In April 2013 a vital agreement was reached b/w Serbia and Kosovo when they decided to normalize relations and end years of acrimony.

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