SNP on Kosova Independence Declaration

Mr Smith spent 3 days in Pristina, the Kosovan capital earlier this month meeting Kosovan Albanian and Serb politicians, UN and EU officials and observing the preparations for Independence.

Mr Smith said:

"This is a historic day for the people of Kosova.

"Today's declaration is an opportunity for the people of Kosova to resolve a decade of conflict and diplomatic indecision over their political future.

"Early recognition from the UK, other EU nations and the US is essential to ensure stability in Kosova and the surrounding region.

"The Kosovan Government has promised to respect both democracy and the rights of all minorities within the country.  Early reports, and the efforts I witnessed in Pristina are extremely encouraging.

"Both Kosova and Serbia have a future as European nations. There must be a peaceful transition to Independence."

Mr Robertson said:

"This is an historic moment for Kosova, and for Europe, as this state takes its rightful place as one of the free nations of the world.

"It has been a long road through crisis to celebration, but it has also long been clear that people in Kosova wanted to move towards independence, and this declaration must now be respected.

"It is essential that the UK Government act swiftly to recognise the sovereignty of Kosova. Independence in Europe is the normal state for European nations and there should to be a future for both Kosova and Serbia within the EU."

ENDS

Notes:

Mr Smith's 3 day visit included meetings with the European Commission office in Pristina, the Kosova Assembly, the United Nations, Kosovan political parties, Kosova Civil Society, the Institute for Democracy and Inter-Ethnic relations and the EU planning team for Kosova.

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