|Pilot’s quest for independence|
|Tuesday, 22 March 2011 00:00|
A Kosovo man who has flown to 80 countries in the last two months to lobby governments to recognise his homeland's independence last week jetted into Zimbabwe to seek Harare's support for his cause.
Professional pilot James Berisha flies his single engine Cessna across the globe in what he calls "Flying for Kosovo".
He spent three days in Zimbabwe but it was not immediately clear yesterday if he had achieved his objective of meeting Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi. Zimbabwe does not officially recognise Kosovo's independence after it attained sovereignty in February 2009 and is led by Mr Behgjet Pacolli.
Kosovo is not a member of the United Nations.
"As an independent nation, we want to establish economic and political relations with Zimbabwe and the rest of the world. We want to be accepted as a sovereign people like any other nation in the world", he said. Berisha said he expected a positive outcome from his visit, saying he hoped Zimbabwe would be able to engage Russia - a key player in the matter - on the issue.
"Even to this day, the Americans still have military bases in our country something the Russians are not comfortable with. We are a small nation but no one should take advantage of their political and military strength to thwart our aspirations. I hope Zimbabwe will not be swayed by the politics between us, America and Russia," Berisha said.
"In the whole world only 75 countries have recognise our independence. Of the 20 countries in the EU, only five have supported us."