IOC grants "provisional recognition to Kosovo Committee"

The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) granted provisional recognition to the Kosovo Olympic Committee on Wednesday.

Source: B92, Tanjug
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This cleared the way for Kosovo to take part in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 "as an independent state," Tanjug reported.

The IOC EB proposed that the Kosovo Olympic Committee be granted full recognition at the next IOC Session to be held in December in Monaco.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said on Wednesday that the status of Kosovo would be discussed on Friday during an IOC EB meeting in Montreux, Switzerland.

The Olympic Committee of Serbia (OKS) said in a release on Tuesday that “the OKS has been informed by the International Olympic Committee about an official initiative by the unilaterally recognized Republic of Kosovo for full IOC membership."

The organization said that “for four years now, the Serbian Olympic Committee has successfully blocked attempts by the unilaterally declared Republic of Kosovo to gain IOC membership through various channels, while the Serbian authorities have also been timely informed of these attempts.”

The OKS said they had information that “the IOC is now prepared to support the initiative although we have stated several times, in cooperation with the Serbian government institutions, that such activities are unacceptable” and went on to add that “such course of action would amount to a precedent which has not occurred in recent history, given that no national Olympic Committee has been admitted into the IOC without the country previously being granted United Nations membership."

On Wednesday, the Committee announced on its website that the OKS learned about the IOC decision it was previously notified about, and "all relevant state institutions in the Republic of Serbia were immediately informed."

The Serbian Olympic Committee said it condemned the IOC move in the strongest terms and sent an official protest to this international organization.

The Committee said that further action on this issue will in line with recommendations it will receive from Serbia's state institutions.

Supported by most Western countries, primarily by the United States, ethnic Albanians in the southern Serbian province of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, Tanjug reported.

Serbia rejected the proclamation as a violation of its territorial integrity and sovereignty, and the territory has not been able to join the United Nations.

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