Kosovo gets UN recognition in phone country code of its own

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo has received an important mark of recognition eight years after declaring independence from Serbia: its own telephone country code.

The government announced that the United Nations agency for information and communication technologies had assigned Kosovo the code +383 for landline calls to the country and that it became on active Thursday.

Landlines in Kosovo previously required the +381 code the International Telecommunication Union had granted to the former Yugoslavia and which was later used by Serbia.

Kosovo got the country code of its own as a result of an agreement with Serbia. European Union-brokered talks regulate relations between the two countries since Serbia does not recognize its former province.

"Kosovo won international recognition of its independence in the area of telecom," Edita Tahiri, minister in charge of negotiations with Serbia, said.

Tahiri said that the +381 code and the mobile phone networks in Kosovo using either Monaco's code — +377 — or Slovenia's +386 will cease to exist. As a result, the government will recoup millions it has had to pay for the foreign codes used in the country, she said.

"Kosovo will have only one code, +383," she said, adding that devices from illegal landline and mobile phone providers in Serbia no longer would work in Kosovo because of a new frequency.