TIRANA, Albania – An international climate conference in the Western Balkans has been disrupted over tensions between Kosovo and Serbia.
Delegations from Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia gathered Friday in Tirana to appeal to Western ambassadors and donors for more climate project funding.
But Serbia's delegation insisted that Kosovo couldn't be represented with its national flag, and that it needed to participate under the U.N. Mission in Kosovo, or UNMIK, logo.
Kosovo Environment Minister Fatmir Matoshi considered that unacceptable and walked out along with Albania's representative. The conference proceeded, but only with technical experts.
UNMIK governed Kosovo from 1999-2008 following NATO's intervention to stop a bloody Serb crackdown there. The U.N. mission has had a reduced presence after Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a move that Belgrade doesn't recognize.