Kosovo has recognised the anti-Gaddafi National Transitional Council (NTC) as the sole governing authority in Libya, according to a letter sent on August 27 2011 by Kosovo foreign minister Enver Hoxhaj to the NTC’s Mahmoud Jibril.
Kosovo, whose 2008 declaration of independence is recognised by 80 countries but opposed by Serbia – with the backing of UN Security Council members Russia and China – never won recognition from Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, who chose to back the Serbian camp.
Hoxhaj’s letter, a copy of which was posted on the Kosovo foreign ministry website, told Jibril: "After a long journey and many efforts of the Libyan people, recognition of your government, as the only legitimate representative of the Libyan people, derives from faith and our understanding that this government can manage the process to build a united Libya, free and democratic, based on the rule of law, in accordance with high standards of human rights and freedoms.
"We are confident that all the Libyan security will be guaranteed in order to open a new chapter of the great freedom and justice and that this moment of commitment to become sustainable progress," Hoxhaj said.
He said that his government proposed the establishment of diplomatic relations with Libya.
On August 22, Kosovo’s foreign ministry said that it was working in co-ordination with its international partners, "so that in the weeks that come co-operation is deepened between the new authorities of Libya and the Republic of Kosovo, in order to speed up the process of recognition of the independent and sovereign state of Kosovo by the new government of Libya".
On a multilateral level, the NTC has been recognised by the Arab League, which restored Libya’s membership, with Jibril representing Libya at an Arab League meeting in Cairo on August 27.
But the African Union, while 20 of its members individually have recognised the NTC, has withheld recognising the NTC, reportedly at the insistence of South Africa. At an August 26 meeting, the AU called for the formation of a fully inclusive government in Libya.
Elsewhere, the United States, Canada, Australia and most European countries, led by France which was the first EU state to do so, recognise the NTC.