Motion submitted on reviewing Maldives' recognition of Kosovo's independence

A motion has been filed at the Maldives Parliament calling for the parliament to investigate allegations that corruption was involved in the Maldives recognising Kosovo as an independent nation in February 2008.

The motion was presented at Monday's parliament sitting by Nolhivaram MP Mohamed Nasheed Abdulla.

Former Foreign Minister Dr. Ahmed Shaheed is alleged to have accepted a bribe of US$ 2 million to recognise Kosovo as a sovereign nation after it declared its unilateral secession from Serbia in 2008. While the former minister was probed following the allegations, the police concluded that there was no evidence of corruption and that the diplomatic process was conducted in accordance to international standards.

The motion submitted on Monday stated that the legality of Kosovo's independence has been disputed since Kosovo declared unilateral independence from Serbia in February 2008. While Maldives' closest neighbours Sri Lanka and India have not recognised Kosovo's independence, the archipelago's longtime trade partner China has also rejected Kosovo's proclaimed independence, said the motion.

The motion said while a United Nations, the European Union and NATO administration have been put in place in the Kosovo region, and as the deliberations on the issue are at an impasse in the United Nations, allegations that link Maldives' sudden recognition of the Kosovo's independence to then foreign minister accepting bribes is a matter of serious concern. The motion further said the allegations were reinforced by certain statements made by the leader of New Kosovo Alliance and Kosovo's current Foreign Minister on October 3, 2019.

"...While he has admitted to spending money out of his own pockets to ensure Kosovo's independence is recognised by the international community, and while it is not known that the Maldives considered the international legal standards on the protection of sovereignty, territorial integrity and constitutional order of Serbia or any other standards in making its decision, and while it is unknown whether the Maldivian government met with top government officials of Serbia and held discussions prior to the decision, it is the duty of the parliament to determine and inform if then foreign minister and other top officials of the government were involved in corruption, for the sake of the country's citizens", it read.

The motion further said while then Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed is alleged to have accepted bribes to recognise Kosovan independence, the allegations prompted then President Mohamed Nasheed to call for a police investigation on March 5, 2009. However, the fact that a full investigation was not carried out and that no known action was taken following investigation must be brought to the attention of the parliament and the country's citizens, it added.

The motion called to review the Maldives' recognition of the Kosovan independence, and called to ensure the decision was made by the government in accordance to international standards.