Czech president stirs anger after asking if he can withdraw recognition of an independent Kosovo
Czech President Milos Zeman has caused outrage after saying he wants to revoke his country’s recognition of Kosovo as an independent state.
The 74-year-old, who is known for his inflammatory remarks, made the comment during his second day of an official visit to Serbia on Wednesday.
“I am not a dictator,” Zeman told Serbian President Alexander Vucic, indicating that he would not act unilaterally.
“But what I can do – and that will be in about a month’s time – is take counsel with high constitutional representatives, where I will ask the question of whether it would be possible [to revoke Kosovo recognition].
He then said he believed Czech Defence Minister Lubmoir Metnar would support his cause, but would wait to see what the others would say in the meeting.
Kosovo was once a part of Serbian territory, but declared itself independent in 2008 following war.
Serbia, along with Russia and China, does not recognise the independence declaration, however, more than 100 countries, including 23 in the European Union, do. The Czech Republic is currently among those countries.
But Zeman’s remarks on Wednesday were not the first of its kind during his trip.
Upon meeting Vucic on Tuesday, the Czech leader announced: “I don’t like Kosovo” as the pair exchanged pleasantries.
“Thanks a lot,” Vucic replied.
The Czech News Agency reported on Wednesday evening that Kosovo had in response withdrawn its planned participation in a Visegrad Four and Western Balkans summit that was scheduled in Prague on Thursday.