Czech communists seek ban on recognizing Kosovo

Jakub Antoš
21. 4. 2008 11:40
Draft bill calls for ignoring new Balkan state
Demostration in Beograd against recognition of Kosovo indepedence
Demostration in Beograd against recognition of Kosovo indepedence | Foto: Ondřej Besperát

Prague - On Tuesday, the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia is going to present a draft bill that would prevent Mr Topolánek's Government from recognizing Kosovo independence. The bill is ready and its text is available to Aktuálně.cz.

Among other things, the Communists demand that the Czech officials should accept neither normal nor diplomatic passports issued by authorities in Kosovo.

The Communist Party explains this measure by pointing to the alleged links between Kosovo political representatives and drug trafficking.

The parliament of the former Serbian province of Kosovo declared independence on February 17.

Since then, Kosovo has been recognized by 37 countries including 18 from the EU. At the present, Macedonia, Portugal and the Czech Republic are the only European countries who failed to recognize Kosovo independence.

Czech government is facing difficulties trying to find enough support to make the move even within the coalition, with the People's Party most vociferously in opposition.

Against Kosovo recognition

The Communists are offering a proposal that might get some votes from the mostly Christian People's Party.

On Tuesday, the Communist leader Vojtěch Filip will present the draft bill to the lower House of the Czech Parliament. The proposed bill clearly states the Czech Republic does not accept the unilaterally declaration of independence.

"Independent Kosovo was declared in breach of both international law and the UN Security Council 1244 Resolution. There is also a question whether they did come to terms with the results of that war or not," the Communist deputy speaker of the House said.

We'd recognize you if...

On the other hand, the Communist Party proposes conditions that, if fulfilled, would allow the Czech government to recognize Kosovo. These include a new UN Security Council Resolution governing the issue of Kosovo independence.

They also make the recognition conditional on Kosovo entry into the United Nations General Assembly.

"I'm convinced we should not recognize Kosovo as it was created in breach of International Law," the Communist leader, Mr Filip said.

In the future, leave the recognition to the parliament

The Communists define their fears of Kosovo in their explanatory report.

"It is a well known fact that many of the representatives of the bodies that illegally declared Kosovo independence had been, in the past, involved in to drug trafficking or linked to people involved in such activities.

Therefore, there are reasonable fears that international drug dealers will want to enter the territory of the Czech Republic using diplomatic passports issued by Kosovo authorities," they claim, among other things.

On top of the bill trying to settle the specific case of Czech-Kosovo relationship, Mr Filip is about to present a draft law, proposing the ways to solve future similar situations in general.

"The proposed law should define mechanisms to recognize all the countries in the future. I think such a law should have been passed already in 1993 when Czech constitution became effectual.

It's clear, in a parliamentary system, that recognizing a foreign country is up to the Parliament," the Communist leader claims.

What the Communists propose

A draft bill expressing necessity to follow binding norms of international law by the Czech Republic

Clause 1

(1) The Czech Republic doesn't recognize Kosovo's independence, declared unilaterally on February 17, 2008.

(2) The Czech Republic understands that the unilateral declaration of Kosovo independence from February 17, 2008 constitutes violation of binding norms of international law, especially concerning

a) The United Nations Chart;

b) The Final Act of the Conference on  Security and Cooperation in Europe

c) The UN Security Council resolution 1244 from June 10, 1999.

Clause 2

(1) The Czech Republic could only recognize Kosovo independence:

a) Should it be declared in accordance with international law, especially with the norms as stipulated in Clause 1 Paragraph 2, or with a new resolution of the UN Security Council, or

b) Should Kosovo become a member country of the United Nations Organization.

Clause 3

(1) The Czech Republic does not recognize the validity of diplomatic passports issued by Kosovo authorities who had unilaterally declared Kosovo independence until such moment when status of Kosovo is resolved in accordance with international law, and when the Czech Parliament recognizes Kosovo independence under this bill.

 (2) The Czech Republic does not recognize travel documents issued by Kosovo authorities that declared Kosovo independence unilaterally until such moment when the Czech Republic recognizes independence of Kosovo under the present bill.


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