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Bangladesh officially recognises Kosovo as an independent state

  • Published at 02:45 pm February 27th, 2017
  • Last updated at 09:39 pm February 27th, 2017
Bangladesh officially recognises Kosovo as an independent state

Cabinet has approved the recognition of The Republic of Kosovo as a sovereign and independent country.

With this approval, Bangladesh has become the 114th country to recognise Kosovo's independence. Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam briefed the reporters after the regular Cabinet meeting at the Secretariat on Monday.

"The cabinet okayed the proposal for recognising Kosovo as an independent and sovereign state," Shafiul said while briefing reporters. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presides over the weekly cabinet meeting at the secretariat on Monday, February 27, 2017 PID Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presides over the weekly cabinet meeting at the secretariat on Monday, February 27, 2017 PID Shafiul said so far 113 countries including the United States, UK, France and 36 OIC countries out of 57 have recognised the republic. Serbia lost control of the Albanian majority country when Nato air strikes forced Belgrade to withdraw its troops in 1999 while the military alliance still has around 5,000 troops stationed in Kosovo to keep the fragile peace. Serbia, its ally Russia and several other countries also refused to recognise the 2008 declaration of independence. Earlier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs placed the proposal to the cabinet for approval.

The history of struggle

In 1945, Yugoslavia became a communist country under the command of Marshal Josip Broz Tito. He dealt with independence-minded residents by creating six republics - Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia. Kosovo was given autonomous status, but kept firmly under control. This was evident when the Yugoslav army was sent into the province to quell a riot staged by Albanian students over poor living conditions in 1981.

Subsequently, in 1989, Kosovo was stripped of its autonomy by the Yugoslav government of Slobodan Milosevic. This did not stop the country's ethnic Albanian leaders from declaring independence the following year. The Milosevic government dissolved the provincial government and fired more than 100,000 ethnic Albanian workers. Soon after, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia declared independence from Yugoslavia, and in 1992, war broke out in the Balkans. Nato launched air strikes against Serbia in 1999, and Albanian refugees poured out of Kosovo relating stories of Serbian atrocities.

[caption id="attachment_49336" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Crowded market place on Ilir Konusheci street in Pristina the capital of Kosovo. Kosovo is a disputed territory and partially recognised state in southeast Europe Bigstock Crowded market place on Ilir Konusheci street in Pristina the capital of Kosovo. Kosovo is a disputed territory and partially recognised state in southeast Europe Bigstock[/caption]

After years of strained relations between its majority Albanian population and Serb inhabitants, the country unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in February 2008. It has been recognised by the United States and major European Union countries, but Serbia, backed by its powerful ally Russia, refused to do so, as did most of the ethnic Serbs in the country.

Until 2008, the province had been administered by the UN. Reconciliation between the Albanian majority, most of whom support independence, and the Serb minority seemed unattainable.

Finally, in 2013, Kosovo and Serbia reached a landmark agreement which granted a high degree of autonomy to Serb-majority areas in the north and both sides agreed not to bar one another from seeking EU membership.