Saudi Kosovo proposal fails at OIC

BELGRADE -- A draft resolution tabled by Saudi Arabia, calling for recognition of Kosovo, has been rejected at the OIC meeting in Damascus, Syria.

The draft was presented during the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) ministerial gathering.

But Serbian FM Vuk Jeremić stated today that Syria, Egypt, Azerbaijan and some other member states submitted amendments to the resolution, so that the text does not call for Kosovo Albanian unilateral declaration of independence to be recognized, nor does it mention Kosovo's "statehood".

Jeremić pointed out that this is considered "yet another important diplomatic victory for Serbia". Belgrade views the independence proclamation to be illegal.

Earlier today, reports said that the minister stated he hoped that diplomatic means would prevent the adoption of a resolution that would urge Islamic countries to "immediately recognize Kosovo".

Jeremić specified that the conference started with Saudi Arabia's "aggressive address which asked the 57 OIC members to immediately recognize Kosovo in the name of support to their Muslim brothers".

"We expected as much, and for this reason we were very active diplomatically," continued Jeremić. The minister said on Saturday evening that he had spent the previous 48 hours "constantly on the phone with those OIC countries that support Serbia's position".

According to him, Belgrade looked to water down the resolution with amendments in such a way as to remove any call to recognize Kosovo from the document.

Saudi Arabia, a very strong and one of the most influential Islamic countries was on the one side, he said, while on the other are Iran, Syria, Algeria and Egypt.

"It's hard to predict the outcome of the vote, but we hope for the best," stressed Jeremić, and explained that as Serbia is not a member, the country's delegation did not travel to Damascus for the OIC gathering.

However, Jeremić explained, Serbia wishes to become observer in this organization – another item that the conference will look at and decide on.

"But for now, from Belgrade, from afar and via our friends, we are doing everything we can to block the Saudi resolution," the minister concluded.