The Netherlands recognises independent Kosovo
The Netherlands recognises an independent Kosovo, a spokesman for Dutch foreign minister Maxime Verhagen said Tuesday.4 March 2008
AMSTERDAM - The Netherlands recognises an independent Kosovo, a spokesman for Dutch foreign minister Maxime Verhagen said Tuesday after the Dutch embassy in Pristina had informed the Kosovar government of the decision.
Verhagen, a member of the Christian Democrats party, said the Dutch government decided to recognise Kosovo's independence during the weekly governmental meeting last Friday.
The Netherlands had hesitated before recognising Kosovo's independence declared on 17 February.
Speaking to Dutch media, Verhagen said the government had first wanted to see how Kosovo would treat the Serbs and other minorities, and how they would deal with their cultural and religious heritage.
He added the Dutch also wanted to know whether Kosovo would behave "responsibly" and "calmly".
Verhagen said the Dutch were pleased with their observations so far. The International Civil Representative Pieter Feith, a Dutch national, had said the government in Kosovo was cooperating.
Recognising Kosovo would improve regional stability, he noted.
Last month, only the Netherlands and Belgium voted against admitting Serbia to the EU until it transfers all war crimes suspects to the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.
[Copyright dpa 2008]