The Republic of Kosovo aims an active foreign policy, which should be in concordance with the aims of the people of Kosovo for Euro-Atlantic integrations, preservation and strengthening of the relations with allied countries, establishment of good relations with countries of the region, and accomplishment of the status of a trustworthy partner in the fight against the threats to the international security.
The foreign policy of Kosovo is formulated and implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo. The mission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo is to protect the interests of Kosovo in relation with other countries and international organizations, to represent Kosovo in foreign countries, to preserve and protect the immunities and privileges of diplomatic missions and of persons entitled to them in accordance with international covenants and customs, to develop and coordinate the policies in relation to other countries, and to develop good relations with all neighbors. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo promotes and protects national, cultural, and economic policies of Kosovo throughout the world.
After 17 February 2008, when the Assembly of Kosovo declared the independence of the country, Kosovo began the campaign for the recognition of the Republic of Kosovo by all countries and creation of bilateral relations with countries that have recognized Kosovo. Within the scope of these developments is the recognition of Kosovo passports, and visa liberalization or even its removal.
The Strategy of Foreign Policy – The general strategic orientation of the foreign policy of Kosovo is:
- consolidation of the state of Kosovo,
- development of regional cooperation,
- integration in Euro-Atlantic structures,
- further development of the relations with the United States of America,
- continuous strengthening of relations with countries of global or regional importance,
- promotion of economic interests of the Republic of Kosovo in the world.
The foreign policy of the Republic of Kosovo in the first place is oriented towards the continuous advancement of international position of Kosovo and the strengthening of international support for the sovereignty of Kosovo. Moreover, a priority of special importance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo is the full membership of the country in the main international and regional financial organizations and institutions, according to the priorities, such as International Monetary Fund, World Bank, etc. The process and the diplomatic campaign for the membership of Kosovo in UN, OSCE, UE, has begun. Another priority on the continuous focus of the Government of Kosovo will be the membership of Kosovo in NATO.
The Government of Kosovo is aware of the range of laws that should be harmonized with the EU standards, and of the number of reforms that should happen in all fields in order to meet the criteria required by European Union in the Stabilization-Association process.
Diplomatic Missions, Passports, and Visas – In this phase of its consolidation the sole priority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo is to establish the diplomatic network of Kosovo in the world, to establish and consolidate the Diplomatic Missions of Kosovo, respectively. On 18 June 2008, the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Fatmir Sejdiu, decreed the opening of the first nine Diplomatic Missions at embassy level in the world: The United States of America, United Kingdom, Kingdom of Belgium, Republic of France, Federal Republic of Germany, Republic of Italy, Republic of Austria, Confederation of Switzerland and Republic of Albania. On 3 July 2008, the president of the Republic, Fatmir Sejdiu, decreed the opening of the Diplomatic Mission at embassy level in the Republic of Turkey.
The Diplomatic Missions will begin to provide Consular Services of the Republic of Kosovo. The activity of the consular service in the missions outside the country is intended to strengthen the relations and cooperation of Kosovar Diaspora with the Republic of Kosovo.
The ministry of Foreign Affairs and diplomatic and consular missions outside the country are the only institutions to issue diplomatic and official passports. The Republic of Kosovo has put into circulation four passports: travel passport, travel document, official passport, and diplomatic passport. Kosovo citizens can travel without visa to Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro. Turkey has also removed the visa requirement since they are issued at the border for a fee of 10 €. The new Kosovo Passport became official on 18 July 2008. All Kosovo citizens have the right to possess this passport. Kosovo still does not apply visa requirement for foreigners.
To see the full list of countries that until now have recognized the Republic of Kosovo please visit the official webpage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo.