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Kosovo Withdraws Application To Join Interpol Amid Signs Of Lagging Support

Outgoing Kosovar Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj sent a letter to Interpol as it was about to begin its General Assembly on October 15.

PRISTINA -- Kosovo has again withdrawn its application to join Interpol amid signs the small Balkan nation would not have enough support among members to gain a seat in the international law enforcement organization.

Outgoing Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj sent a letter to the organization as it was about to begin its General Assembly meeting in Santiago, Chile, on October 15.

Haradinaj's office said the letter requested that the application be postponed until next year.

A Kosovo spokeswoman told RFE/RL that the decision was based on the "new circumstances" of the upcoming formation of a new government and the status of Haradinaj, who in July announced plans to resign.

Other government officials also said it was clear Pristina would not garner the needed two-thirds vote among Interpol members to gain a seat.

Interpol, based in the French city of Lyon, acts as a clearinghouse for national police services seeking to hunt down suspects outside their borders.

In November 2018, Kosovo's application failed after Serbia lobbied against its membership.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 -- a move never recognized by Belgrade, its traditional ally Moscow, and five EU member states. It is recognized by more than 110 countries, including its close ally, the United States.

Haradinaj resigned as Kosovo's prime minister in July after war crimes prosecutors at The Hague summoned him for questioning over alleged crimes committed during and immediately after the 1998-99 Kosovo War.

The move led to a snap election on October 6 in which Kosovo’s leftist-nationalist Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) party and the center-right Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) finished on top and began talks on forming a new government.

With reporting by AP and Balkan Insight