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Greater involvement of Kosovo sought under Albanian chairmanship


Albanian Foreign Minister says regional affairs will figure alongside democracy and diversity in country’s priorities

Edmond Haxhinasto, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Albania, has pledged to work for a stronger role for Kosovo during his country’s six-month chairmanship of the Council of Europe, and launched a raft of priorities focusing on diversity, democracy, and the continued reform of the Court of Human Rights.

Outgoing Committee of Ministers’ chair United Kingdom Foreign Minister William Hague said Britain was the most active country in the world in the protection of human rights and democracy and that he was proud of moves on Court reform made during the country’s presidency. He added that the UK had recognised Kosovo and looked forward to its inclusion in the international arena.

Thirty three of the 47 member states presently recognise Kosovo, with the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers currently examining ways of further enhancing Council of Europe values there.

Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland said he looked forward to closing gaps in human rights in Europe during the Albanian presidency. Corruption and lack of judicial independence and attacks on freedom of expression and minorities were still rife, and the Council of Europe still had no presence in some of Europe’s trouble spots, such as Belarus, leaving a "black hole" in human rights protection.