"Lobbying for Kosovo independence"

PRIŠTINA -- Representatives of civil society in Kosovo will start lobbying for Kosovo's recognition, write Priština media.

Daily Koha Ditore claims that there is financial support from George Soros and the Kosovo Fund for Open Society: “The lobbying group will include Veton Suroi and Blerim Shala, the coordinator of the former Kosovo negotiating team, Luan Shllaku, the director of the Kosovo Fund for Open Society, and Muhamet Mustafa, the dean of the Reinvest University.”

The group‘s work will be based on the plan and recommendations of former international envoy to Kosovo Martti Ahtisaari, his deputy Albert Rohan, and former EU mediator Wolfgang Ischinger. Kosovo lobby representatives met with them in late June in Vienna.

Koha Ditore writes that during the meeting, Ahtisaari, Roan and Ischinger expressed their interest in helping the lobbying process through an informal strategic group.

Shllaku said that the group’s objective would not be to convince state institutions to recognize Kosovo’s independence, but to conduct specific activities with civil society and influential individuals from countries that had still not recognized the province’s unilateral independence, in order to pave the way for government institutions in those countries to recognize the new state.

At the end of this week, the group will travel to Jordan to meet with representatives of civil society and influential individuals.

Sllaku said that the group would grow rapidly, underlining that it would not be a rival to the government—rather it would be the government’s “partner in the lobbying process to have Kosovo’s independence recognized.”