Kosovo's bid to join Interpol failed yesterday, dealing a blow to the country's efforts to boost recognition of its statehood. It was the third time since 2015 that Interpol's general assembly, meeting since Sunday in Dubai, had voted against allowing Kosovo to join the international police agency. The body, instead, approved new member countries Kiribati and Vanuatu to join Interpol, brining global membership to 194 countries.
"An application for membership by Kosovo was rejected by the INTERPOL General Assembly," the organization announced from its annual meeting being held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
The bid's failure also marks a significant setback for Kosovo — if it had been approved, Kosovo would have been able to request "red notices" from Interpol for arrests of Serbian officials or figures that authorities in Kosovo consider war criminals. The U.S. embassy in Pristina criticized Serbia's campaign to keep Kosovo out of the organization. "A majority of countries ... supported Kosovo's application to join Interpol in the face of a campaign led by Serbia," it said. "With this outcome, we all lose." The mostly Albanian Kosovo was recognized by the big western powers, all but five EU member states and around 110 countries worldwide. Serbia, however, still claims sovereignty over the territory and is working hard to block it from any international organization it seeks to join.