Talk:List of states with limited recognition/Archive 4

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Azad Kashmir

Azad Kashmir is recognized by Pakistan as an indipendent state, so I think you have to add in the list ( ). Stanza13 (talk) 16:11, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

That article says that: "Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) is a self-governing state under Pakistani control but is not constitutionally part of Pakistan". The article specifically states that the Pakistan government considers Kashmir to be an area under dispute between India and Pakistan, subject to a plebiscite in which the option of independence would not be on the ballot. While Pakistan does not recognise Azad Kashmir as being part of Pakistan proper, based on that article and the "State Profile" section of the Azad Kashmir government website, I do not believe either that Pakistan recognises Azad Kashmir as being an independent state in the same sense that it recognises Afghanistan as being an independent state, or that the government of Azad Kashmir claims to be an independent state.
If you have a reliable source that disagrees with me, you are (of course) welcome to produce it and prove me wrong. I would suggest that the website of the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the website of the Government of Azad Kashmir would be good places to look. Note that Wikipedia articles are not generally considered reliable sources for other Wikipedia articles. Pfainuk talk 17:40, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
The status of Azad Kashmir, as seen by Pakistan and Azad Kashmir itself, is that of a protectorate (perhaps the only remaining protectorate in the world). Pakistan takes care of defense, foreign affairs and monetary policy of Azad Kashmir, and considers it to be a different state under its protection. India sees it as an integral part of India (but has no control over it). Since its current intended legal personality is not that of a sovereign and independent state, it's not on the same level as the entries on this list, but it definitely should be in a general list of countries. Ladril (talk) 16:18, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

TRNC's supposed recognition by Nakhichevan

Can anyone provide a sourse for this ? I'd by a bit surprised if this were true (i.e. if Nakhichevan has diplomatically recognized the TRNC) given the fact that Nakhichevan itself is not and does not claim to be independent from Azerbaijan, which in turn does not recognize the TRNC. Passportguy (talk) 16:34, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Effect of One-China policy

23 countries recognize the Republic of China and not the PR of China. What effect does this have on the PRC's policy towards those 23 countries ? Does it still recognize them ? And what is the policy of Taiwan on the rest of the countries that do recognize the PRC ?
If indeed the PRC/RC do not recognize any countries that recognize the respective other Chinese entity, then, following the precident set by Czech/Slovak & Cyprus listings (all not recognized by only one other country), all of these would have to be listed as well. To avoid that, I would suggest adding a special note explaining the situation at the top of the table. Passportguy (talk) 16:45, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Based on this and this - PRC foreign ministry documents regarding two states that recognise the ROC - and also the fact that the ROC maintains representative offices in countries throughout the world (as detailed here), I don't think either state refuses to recognise countries that don't recognise their government. If they did, we would have to include them - though we generally consider splitting that list into "UN member state, not recognized by a limited number of UN member states" and "UN member state, not recognized by a limited number of non-UN member states" Pfainuk talk 17:17, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
The fact that the ROC has representative offices doesn't point one way or the other. Many European coutries have representative offices in Taiwan, however none recognize the ROC. Passportguy (talk) 19:35, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
I can see where you're coming from. I would note that we do cite a source at Foreign relations of the Republic of China for the statement "[t]he ROC recognizes Bhutan", and there are equivalent sources available for countries that recognise the PRC and not the ROC (such as South Africa). But that site is in Chinese - a language that I don't speak - and so far as I can tell from a Google Translation, it does not specifically reference diplomatic recognition. Rather, the fact of this page's existence is, presumably, taken to imply recognition. Do we have any evidence that the ROC does not recognise states that recognise the PRC? Pfainuk talk 00:02, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
China's policy is quite clear, whether they have it written down or not. China does not diplomatically recognize any nation that diplomatically recognizes Taiwan. For a country to get diplomatic recognition from China, they have to agree to break ties with Taiwan. A good current example is the stalled negotiations for setting up diplomatic relations with the Vatican - pretty much any newspaper article on the topic will mention either that China is demanding it or that the Vatican has indicated they are willing to drop relations with Taiwan.
Taiwan's policy is less clear. This is partly because Taiwan is a democracy whose foreign policy is subject to change every 4 to 8 years, and partly because Taiwan has fewer chances to pressure other nations to break relations with China.
Some years back during the Chen administration, a country did try to maintain relations with both China and Taiwan. Taiwan did not have a problem with this but China did. I forget how it was resolved.
More recently, if I remember correctly the Ma administration did make a comment about Taiwan's diplomatic allies needing to avoid ties with China. The country in question was, I believe, Pacific.
Sorry I don't have time to look up the references. You might try the references in Foreign relations of Taiwan.
As for the representative offices that Taiwan has around the world, they are not formal diplomatic relations, but simply an effort to avoid offending China while dealing with the fact of Taiwan being an independent country with an important economy and more people than Australia. From the perspective of one who believes in concepts like "international law" and in the importance of the UN as a legitimate ruler of the world, such informal relations count for nothing. From a perspective that ignores formalities and lip service while focusing actions and their practical results, the informal relations are as hard to distinguish as formal relations because they serve the same function. I suppose Wikipedia needs to balance those views.
Just a note of caution (perhaps unneeded): Referring to Taiwan as a "Chinese entity" as was done above is also POV. Yes, Taiwan speaks Chinese and the culture is very similar to China's, but we don't refer to America, Canada and Australia as "English entities". Of course it is also POV to say Taiwan is not a Chinese enitity. We need to be careful in the text to avoid pushing either POV. Readin (talk) 16:54, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
I found the example that occurred during the Chen administration Foreign relations of Taiwan:
On November 7, 2003, ties were established with Kiribati. However, Taipei did not demand that ties be broken with Beijing and ROC Foreign Minister Eugene Chien said that he would not reject having both sides of the Taiwan strait recognized simultaneously.[1] The PRC also broke precedent by not cutting ties until November 29 and spent the interim lobbying for Kiribati President Anote Tong to reverse his decision. The decision to hold off for weeks was possibly due to the strategic importance of the PRC's satellite tracking base on Kiribati, which had been used for Shenzhou V and thought to have been used to spy on a U.S. missile range in the Marshall Islands.
Two follow-up comments : 1) POV. I wasn't planning on using the phrase "Chinese entity" in the article. However I would consider it POV either as both side claim (at least in official policy) to be the sole legitmate representative of the nation of China. So they can certainly both be considered Chinese. The US, while English-speaking, has no such claim to Canada, so the comparison you drew doesn't really fit.
Comparisons are rarely perfect fits. In the case of Taiwan, it is difficult to find a perfect fit because rarely has a nation been so stubborn in irredentist claims and even more rarely has such a stubborn nation had enough power to influence so many other nations to pay lip service to such claims and to put pressure on the victim of such claims.
In any case, the "official" view is still a view and not necessarily the only view. 45% of Taiwan's people see them selves as "Taiwanese" only while another 45% consider themselves "Taiwanese" and "Chinese", with only 4% saying "Chinese". This means less than 50% identify themselves as "Chinese". TVBS poll. The constitution that was written overseas before democracy came to Taiwan does represent a POV, but it is not the only POV nor is it NPOV.Readin (talk)

But back to this article: There is a very fine difference between Diplomatic_recognition and diplomatic relations. Diplomatic recognition is granted or withheld when there are changes in a country's borders, usually when a part of a country proclaims independance. In international law there is no real way to take recognition back unless you switch recognition from one government to another. What governments can do is break of diplomatic ties. Essentially what this means that one country recognizes another country unless it recognizes a different govermment and its claim to a the territory in question.
Within the scope of this article that defintion works for alnmost all of the countries listed, however it doesn't really work for the Czech/Slovak/Liechtenstein problem. To my knowledge neither do the Czech/Slovak governments consider Liechtenstein to be part of another country, nor does Liechtenstein consider Czechoslavakia to still exist. So I'm quite unsure if they really belong on this list. All other countries on the list are either widely considered to be the territory of another (recogized) country, e.g. Kosovo or Abkhazia, or have opposing government with which they compete for recognition as the sole legitimate government, e.g. PRC/ROC, Rep of Cyprus/TRNC.
If you expand the list to include countries with no diplomatic relations, you'll have to add quite a number of countries in the Middle East, plus the afore mentioned world-encompassing list due to the One-China-Policy. Passportguy (talk) 18:46, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

I was about to make exactly the same point. Recognising a country is different from merely maintaining relations with it. If you recognise a country, you accept that it legally exists - which is a Big Deal. If you have relations with a country, you're actually happy to talk to them as well. Pfainuk talk 19:50, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Pfainuk said what I was going to say. Recognition mean that you accept that it legally exists, but this does not require diplomatic relations. The United States, for example, has never had an embassy with the Islamic Republic of Iran, but that doesn't mean that they do not recognise them FOARP (talk) 13:13, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Republic of Macedonia

According to Foreign_relations_of_the_Republic_of_Macedonia#List_of_countries_and_entities_not_yet_formally_recognising_the_country quite a number of countries haven't recognized Macedonia since it declared independance. I.e. shouldn't it be on this list ? Passportguy (talk) 18:46, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

If sourced, yes. But that article also says that [t]he UN's member states all recognise the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia but are divided over what to call it. - which would imply the opposite. Pfainuk talk 19:41, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
True. Maybe somone you double-check this and then revise either this or the other other article as one of the two is clearly wrong/incomplete Passportguy (talk) 20:12, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Galmudug maakhir and Northland State

Should Galmudug maakhir and Northland State be included. they do whant independence. Right? -- (talk) 05:18, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

So far as I can tell, neither has actually claimed independence. Autonomy is different. --Golbez (talk) 01:12, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
As far as I know, they are de facto autonomous, but they have not made a claim to being an independent state. Their current international status is limbo for the time being.Ladril (talk) 15:59, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

According to the UN, X is not independent from XX

How neutral is this ? It is suggesting they aren't supposed to be independent or the independence is illegal. You don't have to be in the UN to be independent so why is the UN's view right on the first sentence ? I suggest something like: X declared independence from XX but it's independence is only recognised by X countries/not by the UN (if necessary) -- CD 12:26, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Good point. Although the word "only" can be dropped. "X declared independence from XX. X is only recognized by N countries. It's independence is not recognized by the UN.".

Czech/Slovakia vs Liechtenstein

The source on the Benes Decrees page is [1], but I see nothing in there about them not recognizing each other; only that they don't have diplomatic relations. Can someone find a more concrete source saying the governments are not recognized as sovereign and/or legitimate? --Golbez (talk) 21:52, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Never mind, I didn't check the reference here, which makes it [slightly] clearer. --Golbez (talk) 21:54, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Tamil Eelam looks like it should be here

It has not declared independence, but it does have control over territory and a population, and a government-like structure, plus becoming an independent state is one of their explicit goals. They don't control their whole claimed territory, but neither does the SADR or the PNA. Any thoughts? They have compared themselves to Kosovo and called themselves a "state", as witnessed here: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:59, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

I figure that to be on this list, you must have either declared independence, or be recognized by another independent state. Tamil Eelam has neither. They may have sovereignty over their area, but if that's the case then we would have to include any rebel or insurgent movement, regardless of if they actually want to be considered an independent state. That link does not appear to be from an official with the LTTE or government of Tamil Eelam, so I don't see how it can be considered an official statement. --Golbez (talk) 03:10, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I can't quite agree with you here. We mention Karabakh and Somaliland in the article as they are de facto independent even though they don't have any recognition.
But regarding Tamil Eelam I have some doubts: first, the source doesn't look neutral as it's apparently a Tamil Canadian site; second, and more important, this article was published about a year ago and recent successes of Sri Lankan forces have changed the situation very significantly as far as I know so that I doubt that the Tigers constantly control any significant territory or population now. Alæxis¿question? 12:39, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I wonder why Tamil Eelam isn't listed there. Alæxis¿question? 13:04, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
As stated in the article, the criterion is that you either must be recognized by another state, OR you must have declared independence and have a control of over your claimed territory. Nagorno-Karabakh and Somaliland have declared independence and control their territory, hence they qualify, irrespective of whether they are recognized by anybody. — Emil J. 13:07, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I have just declared my bedroom a sovereign state. With a functioning government (albeit with a cabinet of one), a defined territory and the capacity to enter into diplomatic relationships my bedroom meets the Montevideo Convention criteria. So using your logic we can add The Bedroom Republic of Kransky. Kransky (talk) 13:17, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
It's not my logic. If you have any problems with it, fix the article. — Emil J. 13:24, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Also, I'm fairly sure that you do not have the control of you bedroom territory in the sense that you could defend it against the forces of whatever is the other state which claims it, in the case that it would take your independence claim seriously. — Emil J. 13:31, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Do some scholarly sources call your bedroom a de facto independent state(let)? Alæxis¿question? 19:09, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Not that I want to push for immediate addition of Tamil Eelam, but in response to some objections raised, I would like to point out that there is no doubt that Tamil Eelam aims for statehood. See —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:17, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

First off, that comment of The Bedroom Republic of Kransky has as much validity as the episode of Family Guy where Peter declared his home as a separate nation. :P

It does seem odd as to why those wanting a Tamil Eelam state isn't officially declaring full independence or recognition. Could it be they are seeking initially some kind of autonomy or "state within a state" status? We'll have to wait and see as the current situation is changing as mentioned above. That-Vela-Fella (talk) 20:26, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

The documents available from Tamil websites such as this: describe Tamil Eelam as a "de facto state". As we know, it has mostly been destroyed, but it claimed to be a state in the past and should be in the list of historically unrecognised countries. Ladril (talk) 19:14, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

It's still actively listed here: List of active autonomist and secessionist movements, although it may need to be now moved to the historical part of that same named article. That-Vela-Fella (talk) 10:40, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
According to their own reports, they're still active, so as a movement they are not historical. Ladril (talk) 10:52, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
If those so-called 'own reports' is from the same link you gave earlier, then I would not stand by it as that website had not been updated for the past 2 years now. That-Vela-Fella (talk) 13:05, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Of course not. They are from press articles published a few days after the recent killing of their leader. :P Besides remember that the burden of proof is on both sides. If you want to argue that they are no longer active, you will have to produce uncontested evidence to that effect yourself as well. Ladril (talk) 15:43, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Shouldn't this discussion belong on another talk page? I mean, Tamil Eelam never had consensus to be here when it actually had territory; now, with the war pretty much over, it's even less likely to get on this list. --Golbez (talk) 16:34, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

States should be listed with their official names

I had done some work on this but it was reverted as being "unnecessary". I beg to differ. This is a list of states, not "countries" (Wales is a country, not a state, for example).

The current listings are confusing, especially when it is said that "Cyprus is not recognized by Northern Cyprus". Friendly nitpicker201.159.133.20 (talk) 16:47, 1 April 2009 (UTC).

Countries have long official names, and short official names. Thus, "Cyprus" is just as official a name as "Republic of Cyprus" is, see e.g. [2]. Countries are normally called by their short official names in English, not the long ones, there is no reason to complicate matters by putting those "Republic of" to essentially every entry. — Emil J. 17:13, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Again, I beg to differ. "Countries" are not recognized under international law, only states are. Under that argument, we might as well shorten "Democratic's People Republic of Korea" to "North Korea", but in a page where the central category being discussed is "statehood" that would look incorrect. Furthermore, retaining some official names while shortening others (as is being done at present) looks not only messy, but also leads to confussion. Friendly nitpicker (talk) 17:45, 1 April 2009 (UTC).

I used "country" as a synonym for "state" above, read it as "states" if you wish. The short official name of North Korea happens to be the same as its long official name, namely "Democratic People's Republic of Korea". The same goes for "Republic of Korea", and "Czech Republic". China is listed under it's long name to better disambiguate it from the Republic of China (Taiwan). Apart from this exception, the names used are consistently the short ones. And just to reiterate, it's not a matter of "retaining some official names while shortening others", it's a choice between two equally official names. — Emil J. 17:59, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Shouldn't we be looking at international relations theory and international law (the ISO does not formulate either) for reference? Mostly that the source being referenced does not list the majority of states on the list (where are their "short official names" then?). The State of Palestine is listed by your source as "Palestinian Territories, Occupied". Does this mean we have to change it to conform with the ISO or would we rather explicitly state the fact that, for example, the State of Palestine made a declaration of independence which is recognized by some states and not by others? Friendly nitpicker (talk) 18:20, 1 April 2009 (UTC).

I have no idea what you mean by "does not list the majority of states", there are 246 countries on the list including all UN states and some other territories. In any case, as far as international relations are concerned, the authority in the case of UN members is the UN itself. Each UN member state has to register with UN its short official name by which it wishes to be called, the list is here. (I assume the ISO list is based on this one as well, actually.) The problem is more difficult with non-member states, especially unrecognized states. The latter in fact do not have international relations, so the question is kind of meaningless. When a state recognizes another state, it recognizes it under a particular name, which is then considered to be official for the purposes of their bilateral relations.
As for Palestine, my understanding is that "Occupied Palestinian Territories" refers to the Israeli-administered (and therefore non-sovereign and unrecognizable, although partially self-governing through the Palestinian Authority) current establishment on the Israeli-occupied territories of Palestine, whereas the "State of Palestine" (which is the entity recognized by the 96 or so UN states) denotes the prospective sovereign Palestinian state envisaged by the 1988 independence declaration by the PLO, which does not yet exist as a real state with government structures and control over any territory. — Emil J. 12:24, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

I'll stop making unwelcome corrections to the page and discussing here. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:50, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

O. K. here is the deal:

This is a list of states, not countries. It should list each state's constitutional name (or the name listed in the declaration of independence). That's why its counterpart the List of sovereign states lists the long names. This is not just a nitpick; it's extremely important, for the following reasons:

- It avoids tendentiousness. For example, "Transnistria" is the name for the region recognized as part of Moldova. The entity with limited recognition is the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic.

- It avoids confusing territories or peoples with states. "Western Sahara" is a territory, no entity denies that. It's the recognition of the SADR as independent what's at issue. Likewise, it's not that Israel does not recognize Palestine (it recognizes the PLO as representative of the Palestinian people); rather, Israel does not recognize the State of Palestine, and so on.

- The ISO list is not especially helpful, since it does not list Nagorno-Karabakh, Somaliland, Kosovo, Abkhazia, South Ossetia nor Northern Cyprus. Thus we need a different proposal.

What I propose is to list the long official name just once on the table titles, followed by short names which will be used in the rest of the body of the article in order to safeguard economy of language. Here is the proposal:

- Nagorno Karabakh Republic (Nagorno Karabakh) - Republic of Somaliland (Somaliland) - Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (Pridnestrovie); note, see [3] for an official source where both names are used. - Republic of Abkhazia (Abkhazia) - Republic of Kosovo (Kosovo) - Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (Northern Cyprus) - Republic of China (Taiwan) - Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (Western Sahara) - Republic of South Ossetia (South Ossetia) - State of Palestine (Palestine)

And so on with the UN members. Ladril (talk) 16:38, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

My view:
This isn't the point you were making, but I think we should be clear that the UN is a not an inherently neutral body. It takes sides in international conflicts, and thus its POV cannot be taken as NPOV. This extends to the use of the names used on ISO 3166-1, the ISO list of states. The most obvious example I can think of is the use of Taiwan, Province of China, which implies that the government in Beijing is the sole legitimate government of a China that includes Taiwan.
On principle, we should use the name of the article on a country to refer to that country, except in cases (such as Georgia (country)) where this violates common sense. This is a simple principle that provides consistency across articles.
In terms of naming articles, Wikipedia policy is to prefer common names over official names, provided that reasonable precision is maintained. Our article on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is at North Korea, for example, and our article on Timor-Leste is at East Timor. Naturally, common names and official names tend to converge over time, but not all of them have. In the case of Transnistria, that is the name of the article concerned, and is also the common name in English. I would suggest that Pridnestrovie is not the most common name in use for that state - but also that whether it is or isn't is best discussed at Talk:Transnistria, not here.
This standard - using the names of the articles concerned - gives us:
and, I would suggest (given that we can't possibly call it Proposals for a Palestinian state),
Pfainuk talk 17:38, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm happy with your proposal as a provisional solution, except in the case of Transnistria/Pridnestrovie. Nonetheless, I also agree that it's better to discuss the name change at the corresponding page, in order to avoid future conflicts. For the time being, I'll shorten the current title for the Nagorno Karabakh entry in order to conform with this proposal. (talk) 17:56, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm happy with Pfainuk's suggestion. However, I'd like to point out that Taiwan is a province of China according to both PRC and ROC, so there is no side-taking involved in this designation. They do not dispute whether Taiwan is a part of China, but what is the legitimate government of (all of) China. In any case, the designation of Taiwan is not relevant to this article, since we are not referring to the geographical province of Taiwan, but to the Republic of China government (which happens to control Taiwan, but actually claims the whole China). — Emil J. 12:28, 20 April 2009 (UTC)


Why is there no reference for the "No recognition by any state" subsection? How can this list be featured if it isn't thoroughly sourced? -- (talk) 12:16, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Difficulty in proving a negative? Vizjim (talk) 00:07, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Customary international law is developed through actual state practice and diplomatic precedent. It isn't necessarily codified. However, Article 3 of the Montevideo Convention provides one example:

The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states. Even before recognition the state has the right to defend its integrity and independence, to provide for its conservation and prosperity, and consequently to organize itself as it sees fit, to legislate upon its interests, administer its services, and to define the jurisdiction and competence of its courts. The exercise of these rights has no other limitation than the exercise of the rights of other states according to international law.

A state that has declared its independence is not a "non-state actor" simply because it has not yet been recognized by other states. It is an "internationally non-recognized state". A state that has not yet been universally recognized is a "partially recognized state". Here for example is Article 3 of the Declaration by the Signatories of the Deed of Commitment to the Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines:

Call on all armed non-State actors and internationally non-recognized or partially recognized States to ban the use of AP mines and to sign the Deed of Commitment or undertake similar commitments as soon as possible;

Non-state actors don't enjoy the rights and immunities of a state, but they do avoid the responsibility of states for internationally wrongful acts. Hope that helps. harlan (talk) 13:30, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Use of Israel as example in second paragraph

Israel is a poor example to illustrate the idea that "some states have withheld recognition", as there are some states that have recognised and then withdrawn such recognition. A substantial minority of UN member states do not recognise it, which again makes it a poor choice compared to South Korea, Lichtenstein, Cyprus, etc. Vizjim (talk) 00:05, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

No way. I see someone took it out. I'm putting it back. Israel really shouldn't have been in this article at all. Everybody's knows it's there. The lack of "recognition" is just political posturing, and Wikipedia gives it much more significance than it really has. 6SJ7 (talk) 23:31, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Not so sure if we need any examples at all. What's the point with them? Anyone interested in what countries aren't recognized by all states will read the list below anyway. But if the examples will stay, I think the Czech Republic is a bad choice as there's only a very tiny country that doesn't recognise it. (And as for the above comment, it doesn't make any sense. This article lists all countries that aren't recognized by all other countries, regardless of how "significant" you think it is.) 96T (talk) 15:53, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
The fact that "there's only a very tiny country that doesn't recognise" the Czech Republic is exactly why it is the best choice to illustrate the point being made in that sentence, which is that the list contains countries most readers will not be aware of there being any dispute over. Vizjim (talk) 17:02, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, but Cyprus (or Israel, or PR of China) and the Czech Republic are very different cases, and the current wording doesn't clarify that. And I still don't see why we need any examples at all. 96T (talk) 11:16, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with user:96T in removing this section:
"Some countries on this list, such as Cyprus, the Czech Republic and the Republic of Korea, are recognized by the large majority of other nations and are members of the United Nations, but appear here because a small number of nations have withheld recognition."
If user:Vizjik, does not want to see my point, them I would agree in removing the whole section. This is my point, how many countries do not recognize Cyprus? Only 2 countries! What about Israel? 26 UN members! This is a great example that how many members do not recognizes it although Israel is a member of UN. We must pay attention to the title of this article, states with limited recognition, therefore, we must mention countries with limited recognition. In case of Cyprus that is mostly recognized, we can not use it as a good example, perhaps Cyprus should not even be in this article! The way this section is written is not related with the title of this article! Again, we should talk about limited recognition What this section describes, is not limited recognition. Anyway. I also agree with user:96T. This way, there will be no conflict. Parvazbato59 (talk) 16:06, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
This list may also help to see which country would be the best example, in terms of limited recognition. Parvazbato59 (talk) 16:41, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Have you actually read the sentence being discussed? Here it is: "Some countries on this list, such as Cyprus, the Czech Republic and the Republic of Korea, are recognized by the large majority of other nations and are members of the United Nations, but appear here because a small number of nations have withheld recognition." To illustrate this specific point, you need states that have been recognised by as many UN members as possible, but not 100%. Hence, Israel is not a good example to use to illustrate this point. Only this point. And my name is Vizjim (talk) 21:26, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Have you read my point? Because, my points are given according to your points. We are not trying to introduce countries that "are recognized by the large majority of other nations and are members of the United Nations" as this does not fit into the scope of this article! This article is about countries with limited recognition. Please read the meaning of it as it is clearly mentioned at the beginning of this article. This paragraph does not even fit to the meaning of this article. In the list that I gave you, Israel is a great example, as 26 UN members do not recognize it as a country. What about Cyprus, only 2! This is a poor example of limited recognition. As I said and other users agreed, that section needs to be deleted. If you have a good reason not to, give a reason, according to the scope of the title, not just what you like, please. Kind regards--Parvazbato59 (talk) 16:09, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
By the way, if you look more carefully at the list I gave you, everywhere in this article, including that list, you see the word limited recognition meaning that this article is about limited recognition. So, when we choose a country from a list, we have to make sure, that what we write, it is related to limited recognition not diverting from the subject. Israel in that list is the best example and Cyprus is a very very poor example! If there should be a paragraph, there should be a short one, with examples of limited recognized countries, not countries that are widely recognized. Best--Parvazbato59 (talk) 16:18, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I realise that English is your second language and I should be patient, but this really is a perfectly simple point. The sentence in the second paragraph explains why some countries that seem to the casual observer to not fit in with the idea of limited recognition (the article's main idea) are included. How are you not understanding this? By your logic, presumably we should list the states with least recognition at that point? How would that help explain the wide scope of the article? Are you deliberately being obtuse, or is this some form of trolling? Vizjim (talk) 21:03, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Please be carefull. Do not attack other user just because you are in a discussion. Your comments above count as personal attacks, so please refrain from that and instead, focuse on the subject. The statement that you are referring is still misleading. I agree with you about the intension of this section but it is misleading when it says: "...a small number of nations have withheld recognition" as it is not specified what it means by a small number of countries. What are we talking about, 2 countries? 10? 20? how small are we talking about? I think, since we are already giving examples, we should pick Cyprus and Liechtenstein since both are not recognized by 2 countries. This means removing the Czech Republic and the Republic of Korea. This way, we can clarify the statement by saying: "Some countries on this list, such as Cyprus and Liechtenstein are recognized by the large majority of other nations and are members of the United Nations, but appear here because only small number of nations (two countries in the case of Cyprus and Liechtenstein) have withheld recognition."--Parvazbato59 (talk) 22:46, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
I have now explained this patiently, and then impatiently. I will leave it to other editors to carry on the discussion. Vizjim (talk) 14:41, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with you. Although other users did, but let more do.--Parvazbato59 (talk) 15:02, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Seems interesting that this has trailed a bit off from the subject being talked about here. What also caught my attention though was about the article's name being mentioned & how it became to be so named from the original title of 'List of unrecognized countries'. Based on what had been said above, I can see the confusion & may be solved if it was reverted back to the original name or more appropriately called "List of unrecognized states". That-Vela-Fella (talk) 20:00, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

How could it be named that, when it contains so many states (or countries, if you will) that are not unrecognized? In fact, this whole list really should go, regardless of title. It is original research to lump all these countries with differing situations together under a single umbrella. The awkwardly-worded intro shows that this is not really a list of anything in particular; arguably it is a few different lists put together under some original theory that they belong together. And the fact that it is a featured list is especially ridiculous. It should be reviewed and de-listed right away, and then considered for deletion. 6SJ7 (talk) 23:42, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Then nominate it for review. --Golbez (talk) 23:46, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Palestine entry too long?

I contributed the Fatah and Hamas explanation to the page, but I've had second thoughts. It might work better as part of an article on Palestinian politics. I was asked to discuss before deleting. Anyone object? Ladril (talk) 14:57, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

O. K., I made some changes to the Palestine and Israel entries. I'm explaining the rationale:

- The internal Fatah-Hamas conflict has no bearing on this article any more than a detailed description of the internal situation in Somalia has. Taken out.

- The PLO recognizes the State of Israel while also making clear that it demands the right of the Palestinian people to a sovereign state in the region of Palestine, thus the quotation next to Israel.

- The Palestinian Authority is recognized by Israel as an internal authority which allows the Palestinian people to govern themselves within a territory still claimed by Israel (in other words, at present they recognize the Palestinian territory as moving towards internal self-government, but not as independent). It is important to have this is mind.

- Even within the framework of the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian people do not control their whole claimed territory - they still claim Jerusalem and some factions claim more Israeli-occupied territory. Ladril (talk) 19:04, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Effective control is irrelevant. Military occupations do not effect the sovereignty of a State in regard to the occupied territory. see Marzola v Societa Teavibra in International Law Reports, By H. Lauterpacht, Page 64. The government of Israel acknowledges that the West Bank territory outside the 1949 Green line is under belligerent occupation, and that the authority of the military commander is derived from public international law. see HCJ 7957/04 Mara’abe v. The Prime Minister of Israel. The permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people over the occupied Palestinian territory has been affirmed by UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/63/201. That resolution was adopted by more than two-thirds of the members present, 164 votes to 8, with 5 abstentions.
The "Missing Reversioner" legal theory portrays the Palestinians as inanimate objects that can only move when acted upon by an outside force. In reality, the Palestinians were free to determine their own political status and form or dissolve political unions - among themselves - or with other states once the mandate was terminated. The US State Department Legal Counsel, Ernest Gross, had advised the Truman administration that 'The Arab and Jewish communities will be legally entitled on May 15, 1948 to proclaim states and organize governments in the areas of Palestine occupied by the respective communities.' Israel has no standing to challenge the validity of Palestinian plebiscites like the Jericho Conference. The Arab High Committee (AHC) informed the Security Council that it was just a coalition of local national councils that was represented in the Arab League. The AHC advised that it had requested the assistance of the other Arab states, and that Palestine had not been invaded. see THE DECLARATION OF THE ARAB HIGHER COMMITTEE FOR PALESTINE, May 24, 1948. The Security Council representatives for Belgium, France, Great Britain, and the US had already met privately to discuss the "Arab invasion" before it happened. They agreed that the Jewish militias were the aggressors and that the Arab states were simply coming to the aid of their beleaguered brethren.
Some of the Arab local councils adopted resolutions asking for union with Transjordan. In December of 1948 the Secretary of State authorized the US Consul in Amman to advise King Abdullah and the officials of Transjordan that the US accepted the principles contained in the Palestinian resolutions of the Jericho Conference, and that the US viewed incorporation with Transjordan as the logical disposition of the bulk of Arab Palestine. The US government extended de jure recognition to the Government of Transjordan and the Government of Israel on the very same day, January 31, 1949.
The classified 1950 US State Department Country Report on Jordan said that King Abdullah had taken successive steps to incorporate the area of Central Palestine into Jordan and described the Jordanian Parliament resolution concerning the union of Central Palestine with Jordan. The report said the US and UK had approved the action, and the the US advised the British and French Foreign Ministers that "it represented a logical development of the situation which took place as a result of a free expression of the will of the people." Egypt continued to supervise as a trustee the independent government in Gaza on behalf of the Arab League. see for example "Palestine and International Law", ed. Sanford R. Siverburg, McFarland and Company, 2002, ISBN: 0786411910, page 11.
President Truman told King Abdullah of Transjordan "I desire to recall to Your Majesty that the policy of the United States Government as regards a final territorial settlement in Palestine and as stated in the General Assembly on Nov 30, 1948 by Dr. Philip Jessup, the American representative, is that Israel is entitled to the territory allotted to her by the General Assembly Resolution of November 29, 1947, but that if Israel desires additions, i.e., territory allotted to, the Arabs by the November 29 Resolution, it should offer territorial compensation.
The union between Arab Palestine and Jordan was subsequently dissolved. The Arab League, including Jordan, "affirmed the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent national authority under the command of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people". King Ḥussein dissolved the Jordanian parliament, renounced Jordanian claims to the West Bank, and allowed the PLO to assume responsibility as the Provisional Government of Palestine. harlan (talk) 14:53, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Proposal for new classification of states

Let go of the UN altogether and clasify under:

- Not recognized by any state (Nagorno-Karabakh, Somaliland)

- Not recognized by a substantial number of states (Abkhazia, Israel, Kosovo, Northern Cyprus, SADR, PRC, Republic of China, Palestine, South Ossetia, Pridnestrovie).

- Not recognized by a minority of states (Cyprus, North and South Korea, Liechtenstein, Czech Republic, Slovakia).

And rename the page "List of states without worldwide recognition".

Discuss. Ladril (talk) 00:08, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

  1. You are missing "virtually unrecognized", e.g., South Ossetia ("by one or a very small number of states")
  2. You are mising recognized by the vast majority of states ("by nearly all states")
  3. The proposed categories are an open invitation to POV pushing that states are recognized more or less than they actually are.
That is, "majority" and "minority" are wholly insufficient differentiators inviting endless abuse where it's not all or none. Not to mention that eliminating U.N. makes every separatist regime a "state", that is, leaving it open to even more POV pushing. U.N. membership is the only non-WP editors arguing barometer for what governing entities can be reasonably represented as legitimate sovereign entities. PetersV       TALK 00:22, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
How does your point 2 differ from Ladril's point 3? — Emil J. 10:54, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Saying the number of states not recognizing Israel is "substantial" is OR, POV and just not true. The vast majority of states recognize Israel. And lumping Israel in with the rest of those (with the possible exception of Republic of China) is ridiculous. 6SJ7 (talk) 23:35, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Saying the "vast" majority of states recognize Israel, when 14% of UN members do not, is just as POV as calling that 14% substantial. The classification in the article, which puts Israel, correctly, with other "UN members not recognized by a limited number of states" such as Lichtenstein and Slovakia, is accurate and not POV. Vizjim (talk) 09:40, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - we are just going to create opportunities for arguments, like above. Let me ask you this - how does having a "classification" system advance our knowledge or the functionality of Wikipedia? Kransky (talk) 09:56, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

"Substantial recognition status"

This list shows Palestine as the only country with "substantial" recognition. How many countries have to recognize another in order for the recognition to become "substantial" ? After all Kosovo (58) and Western Sahara (49) both have "substantial" numbers of recognitions. ..? I seem to remember that this headings used to be "minority" of "majority" recognition by UN members, which seems more clear-cut and less POV. Passportguy (talk) 16:20, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the word "substantial" can indeed be a weasel word. I believe Palestine should be included in with "recognized by at least one UN member" or at the very least, the heading should be changed. Ladril (talk) 16:13, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
On second thought, it looks a bit awkward to have State of Palestine in its current place. Though not recognized as a state by the UN, it still has a place as a observer at the general assembly. It's clearly unique in this respect with relation to all other non-UN members. Should we go back to when it had its own table? (perhaps naming the new table as "UN observer"). Ladril (talk) 15:56, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Vatican City State

Shouldn't this entity be listed here. After all some countries only recognize the Holy Sea (e.g. UN), others recognize both the Holy Sea and the State, others don't recognize either. Passportguy (talk) 16:35, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Got a source to state those? That-Vela-Fella (talk) 21:33, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Western Sahara

Shouldn't all of Western Sahara, and not just the SADR-controlled part, be marked on the map as unrecognized? It's a more complex matter than the standard 'de jure vs de facto' argument, since many states don't recognize Morocco's claim to the western half, leaving that area simply unowned, according to those states. So not only is the SADR's ownership of the east half partially recognized; so is Morocco's ownership of the west half. The whole unit should be colored as partially recognized. --Golbez (talk) 16:33, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Since birth the Rep. of Western Sahara & Morocco claim all of the territory, making all of it partially unrecognized either way. Also : those countries that do recoignie Western Sahara recognize the claim to all of the territory, not just to the eastern part. Passportguy (talk) 16:38, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Cook Islands is a state with limited recognition

There is no opposition from New Zealand (and the state has formal relations with another eighteen states), but at least one country (Japan) is presently unwilling to recognize Cook Islands as a sovereign state. Sources: and for more in-depth information see . Ladril (talk) 21:45, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

The Cook Islands government does not consider the Cook Islands to be a sovereign state either. Per a Islands Government Website: "The Cook Islands people, because of their many natural links with New Zealand, have determined to exercise their right of self-government or self-rule or independence -- call it what you will -- but not at this time as a separate, sovereign State." Pfainuk talk 22:12, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Things have changed in practice since 1965. There clearly is no opposition from New Zealand, since they did not object when Cook Islands did establish relationships with other states (the same was not true in the case of Niue). Ladril (talk) 22:34, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't think any country recognizes the Cook Islands as sovereign - and since even the Cook island government doesn't consider itself to be - why would it be on this list again ? Passportguy (talk) 22:23, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Several countries recognize the Cook Islands as sovereign. One of them is the People's Republic of China. See for an example. Also please read the sources as they explain that the Cook Islands does indeed want to be recognized as sovereign.Ladril (talk) 22:27, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Going into more detail: New Zealand regards Cook Islands as a self-governing state, but the two states have not established a relationship as sovereign states according to diplomatic practice and international law. They seem to be moving towards it (there is a Consulate of the Cook Islands in New Zealand), but the Cook Islands seem to want to retain their association with New Zealand while being recognized as sovereign. In practice, New Zealand and other countries do not object to this, but some other countries see such association as an obstacle for recognition of CK as an independent state. This is why recognition is so far only limited. Read also after "On 12 August 2005" in Ladril (talk) 22:58, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

“...whereas the Government of New Zealand=s accession [on 12 February 1974] implicitly extended to the Cook

Islands; and whereas the Cook Islands is a self-governing State in a relationship of free association with New Zealand, and possesses in its own right the capacity to enter into treaties and other international agreements with governments and regional and international organisations; and whereas the Government of the Cook Islands acceded to the Convention in its own right on 11 July 2005; now therefore the Government of New Zealand declares that, by reason of the accession to the Convention by the Government of the Cook Islands, it regards the Government of the Cook Islands as having succeeded to the obligations under the Convention of the Government of New Zealand in respect of the Cook Islands, and further declares that, accordingly, as from the date of the accession to the Convention by the Government of the Cook Islands, the Government of New Zealand ceased to have State responsibility for the observance of the obligations under the Convention in respect of the territory of the

Cook Islands.” (talk) 23:07, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Based on what I have read, the Cook Islands are very slowly heading towards full independence with the steps they are doing internationally on the diplomatic front, yet I can't see them as being on this list since no formal declaration to going alone has been made. The citizens are still considered as New Zealanders, so until that final break is made, could they be able to be included here with those states that do not recognize it as such. That-Vela-Fella (talk) 16:03, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
I disagree. A reading of their official website ( can confirm that they consider themselves a state in a "special relationship" with New Zealand. Nowhere does it say that they consider themselves a part of New Zealand. Please also read my responses below. Ladril (talk) 15:52, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I never said they were "a part of New Zealand", I mentioned about the citizenship.

The free association agreement means:

   * The Cook Islands Government has full executive powers.
   * The Cook Islands can make its own laws and New Zealand cannot make laws for the country unless authorised by government.
   * Cook Islanders keep New Zealand citizenship
   * The Cook Islands remains part of the Realm of New Zealand and Queen Elizabeth II is Head of State of the Cook Islands.

The last point also shows how close they are tied to NZ, thus other states will just recognize it as such rather than on it's own as a separate nation. Based on what others have said here thus far, no clear consensus will be forthcoming on it's inclusion in this article. That-Vela-Fella (talk) 23:53, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

I get what you're saying. But note that this is not a debate on whether Cook Islands meets the criteria for independent statehood. Rather what I'm saying is that some states see it as fulfilling the criteria and some don't, and that it's not seen by New Zealand as either an integral part of the country nor as an external territory (you would not have a High Commission of the Cook Islands in Wellington if the opposite was true). The definition of state adopted in this article is based on the Montevideo Convention, where the four criteria are: a permanent population, a defined territory, a government and an ability to enter into relations with other states. CK meets them all (perhaps more so than State of Palestine). If CK is not worthy of inclusion in the article, then there must be a precise wording defining why; a vague notion is not enough. Ladril (talk) 16:16, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
No, the Montevideo Criteria are not the issue. The point is that we don't have a reference where either the Islands themselves or New Zealand describe the Cook Islands as being independent. sephia karta | di mi 17:57, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
We do have several references where both New Zealand and Cook Islands describe the latter as a sovereign state. An excerpt from Ntumy, Michael A., South Pacific Islands Legal Systems, University of Hawaii Press, 1993, reads:
"However, in 1976, when the United States government sought the advice of the New Zealand government on the capacity and competence of the Cook Islands government to sign an agreement relating to the Peace Corps, the New Zealand response was
"In accordance with its constitutional status the Government of the Cook Islands has exercised and continues to exercise in the field of foreign relations atributes recognised in international law as attributes of a sovereign state. The Cook Islands Government is not restrained from initiating international reformations or countering agreements and there is no constitutional requirement for prior authority or approval from the Government of New Zealand."
And we do have the Cook Islands Constitution, which refers to the Cook Islands as "sovereign". I don't mean to sound obtuse, but what am I missing? Ladril (talk) 23:09, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
I can see what you're getting at, so perhaps the question shouldn't be if it's sovereign but rather, is it independent? Also, I note that no list of countries includes the Cook Islands; they are not a member of the UN, they are not a member of the Commonwealth (despite having the Queen as their head of state), we don't include them on list of sovereign states, etc. It may be a trivial point, but neither side has claimed the Cook Islands are independent; and without that claim, we can't really include them on this list. They maintain the ties to New Zealand, even if the ties are weak. --Golbez (talk) 23:43, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Exactly. That's btw why I've always been in favour of changing the name of List of sovereign states to List of independent states, because the two terms can be used in different ways and because often when sovereign is used on Wikipedia what is meant is independent. sephia karta | di mi 07:28, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Sovereignty is awkward because it's a legal and political concept that is not always as clearly defined as one might like. "Independence" as a word can be fairly emotive and is also vague as to whether the independence noted is de facto or de jure. If it's de jure, then we then have to ask whose law we're following. If it's de facto, we have to ask what constitutes de facto independence.
No entity on the planet is fully de facto independent of all the others because the world is interconnected. Even where a state is not a member of the UN, it generally has some form of trading link with the outside world. Requiring that any entity on the list considers itself independent, and that that entity holds the sort of de facto control that one would expect of an independent state over at least part of its claimed territory is a dividing line. Obviously it's not the only one that it would be possible to draw, but I think it's the one that makes most sense. The Cook Islands do not consider themselves to be independent of New Zealand, thus they fail that test, regardless of outside recognition. Pfainuk talk 17:16, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I suggest we stop the indentations at this point, as this already looks like an inverted Mesoamerican pyramid. Anyway: I'm not satisfied with your definition. If that were really the standard criteria, the Republic of China should not be listed here, as according to many scholarly and political sources it is not independent, and they do not officially claim to be independent. That's why states that claim sovereignty is a more adequate criterion. More to follow when I have the time. Ladril (talk) 17:14, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Er, yes they do. They claim to be an entirely separate and independent government from the People's Republic of China, while claiming the latter is illegitimate. The inverse is true; by that logic, the PRC should not be listed either. --Golbez (talk) 17:42, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Indentation is useful for the flow of the conversation - so we know who's replied to what.
On which country, in your view, does Taiwan consider itself dependent? Surely not the PRC, which the ROC doesn't even recognise exists? Surely not Japan or the United States?
The ROC government in Taipei considers itself to be the government of an independent country, and holds de facto control over part of its claimed territory. The fact that that claim includes the entirety of the PRC would not be unique or without precedent. For example, the two Koreas each consider their own government to be the sole lawful government over all Korea. Pfainuk talk 17:41, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
This question "On which country, in your view, does Taiwan consider itself dependent?" is an inverse error logical fallacy. Independence is a generic concept, it doesn't have to be defined in relation to an specific country. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ladril (talkcontribs) 19:51, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Let me get this straight. Cook Islands does not have a declaration of independence and by deed, they want to be recognized as a state by the international community, so they don't belong here. The Republic of China does not have a declaration of independence and by deed, they want to be recognized as a state by the international community, so they belong here. Cook Islands controls (to a degree) its territory and does not belong here. ROC controls (to a degree) its territory so it belongs here.
It's clear that an encyclopedic article such as this ought to list entities that, under a variety of scholarly points of view, could be said to be considered states in search of recognition. In my understanding, the job of the article is not to marry/adopt a single perspective on what is a state with limited recognition. I reiterate: it is to list all currently-existing entities which, under a variety of scholarly points of view, can be considered states with limited recognition. According to some scholarly perspectives (and despite my personal sympathies for the Palestinian people, I would have to agree), Palestine as a state currently only exists on paper: it doesn't have a defined territory nor a fully formed government. The Republic of China is not a fully independent state, according to the Montevideo Convention: it has a government, a territory and a population, but is not free to conduct its own relations with other states. There is not a single ROC government source that refers to the ROC as an independent state (and for good geopolitical reasons, but I was asked to provide it for CK). Also it has not declared independence from the PRC (doing so would start a war). Then why is it a state and CK isn't? The only argument that is being raised again and again is that because it hasn't declared independence from New Zealand. My question is: does a state have to declare independence to be a state? (If that's the case, Canada is not state).
Another question: is a state that has declared independence automatically a state? Bhutan, for example, is a full UN member but it is bound by treaty to have its external relations dependent on the opinion of India. Is such a state truly independent? Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, as a result of their compact of Free Association, have their national defense rights given to another state (the USA). Does this undermine their sovereignty or their independence?(1)
Regardless of whatever your personal answers to those questions are, the truth is they are not the only ones. Some scholarly positions believe Cook Islands is a sovereign state(2), others do not. Ditto for all the other cases I have mentioned so far. But as long as there are serious, scholarly sources in favour of one state being sovereign and seeking recognition, a plural encyclopedia page ought to mention that, not to adopt systemic bias by trying to rule which states can be considered states and which can't.
And it's not relevant to considering the CK as a state, but they do indeed have a separate participation at the Commonwealth of Nations as an associate country (New Zealand have sought full membership for them).
Before things get heated, on a personal note I would like to say that so far it has been pleasurable to have this conversation.

(1) This is also in part why I believe "sovereignty" is a better criteria than "independence" for determining what is a state. You can easily make a list of states fulfilling the Montevideo Convention and claiming sovereignty (and divide it into UN and non-UN members). Doing a list of states which in reality are fully independent is much more difficult due to the many conflicting positions on "independence".

(2) One scholarly source is Henderson, John, "Micro States and the Politics of Association: The Future of New Zealand's Constitutional Links to the Cook Islands and Tokelau", in Fay Alailima (ed.), "New Politics in the South Pacific", University of the South Pacific, 1994. Quote: (p. 105) "In essence, the Cook Islands wishes to be recognized and treated internationally as a sovereign state with all the associated powers and attributes. Most other states and international organizations accept it as such, but some (such as Japan) remain cautious." ... "If the Cook Islands wish to pursue this course it may be necessary for them to initiate a formal restatement of the true constitutional relationship which would enable other countries to understand fully the de facto reality of the relationship." Ladril (talk) 18:47, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

I do not believe you have well understood the history of the China dispute and are unconsciously taking the PRC's POV as read in this matter.
We must, at this stage, distinguish the concept of a country called "China" from both the PRC and the ROC. I will refer to each government by its formal name, and the state that each claims to be government of as "China". I will use the word "Taiwan" to the island of Taiwan and associated islands. Neither the words China nor Taiwan refer, in this message, to either to the PRC or to the ROC.
The ROC sees itself as the only legitimate successor to the government that overthrew the Emperor in 1912. In 1949, they were forced to withdraw from the Chinese mainland to the island of Taiwan in the wake of the Communist revolution - but, according to their POV, the whole of the Chinese mainland - and more - is still under their de jure sovereignty. Of course the ROC hasn't declared independence from the PRC. How can you declare independence from a something that you don't accept exists? How can you become independent from a government you were never dependent on in the first place? Let me be absolutely clear on this. The Republic of China does not - and has never - considered itself to be part of the People's Republic of China. It considers itself to be the sole legitimate government of China.
This leads to another logical absurdity. How could the ROC declare independence from China (a term that, I state again, I am not using synonymously with "People's Republic of China")? Based on the official position of the ROC, this would require the ROC to declare independence from itself - again, this doesn't make any sense at all. The Taiwanese independence movement wants Taiwan to declare independence from China - a notion that is entirely different from the logically absurd notion of an ROC declaration of independence from the PRC. In such a case, all of the claimed territory of the ROC would be under the control of other powers (either the PRC or the new government of Taiwan).
The position of both governments is that there is one China, and that they are the sole legitimate government of China. Replace "China" with "Korea" and the same would hold. The biggest difference is that the Koreas don't each refuse to have diplomatic relations with any third party that recognises the other. But the whole point of this list is that inclusion is not necessarily based on international recognition.
You say that the ROC "is not free to conduct its own relations with other states". False. Assuming the ROC position on the China dispute (as I must, given that my criterion relied on how a state sees itself), the ROC's ability to conduct relations with other states is constrained only by the attitudes and policies of those other states towards it - something that you could say equally about any other independent sovereign state on the planet. The fact that most countries prefer to have relations with the PRC is neither here nor there. Fifty years ago it was the other way around.
The fact is that, given that the ROC - on the mainland in 1912-49 and on Taiwan since 1949 - has never considered itself formally dependent on any other country whatsoever. This is not the case for the Cook Islands. Further we have a Cook Islands government source that states outright that the Cook Islands do not consider themselves to be an independent state. We do not have such a source for the ROC. I believe that the way a state sees itself is the most logical place to draw the line here. I believe it is clear that the Republic of China considers itself an independent state. I have seen no evidence that would suggest that the Cook Islands considers itself an independent state, but I have seen evidence that it does not.
You can read more on the ROC at articles such as Republic of China and Political status of Taiwan. Pfainuk talk 18:09, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
(Note, the following is not a response to the previous)
A couple of points :
  • 1) The Cook Islands government does not claim that the Cook islands are and independant country.
  • 2) Having diplomatic relations does not mean that an entity is a country. For example many of the German states have diplomatic representations at the EU in Brussels, yet they are not un-recognized countries.
  • 3) Eventually the Cook Islands may well become independant, but until they do, they should not be on this list. It only includes de facto independant countries that have declared their independance but have not had that independance (fully) recognized. Passportguy (talk)
That's not what it says on the front page. Quote: "This list of states with limited recognition gives an overview of contemporary geopolitical entities, that wish to be recognized as sovereign states under customary international law (drawing upon the principles of the Montevideo Convention) that nonetheless do not enjoy complete worldwide diplomatic recognition." Based on the definition, the Cook Islands *does* belong on the list. They are an special case in international relations, in that they want to be seen as an independent state while retaining Free Association with New Zealand, something which is accepted by some countries and not by others. That's the whole point.
The declaration argument is slippery, since many states that exist today did not make a declaration of independence (Spain, France, United Kingdom, The Republic of China and more can be found at: under "Independence without a Declaration"). We should be looking at how things are in practice.
The Quebec case is not the best example, as the conduct of international relations by Canada's provinces has not happened without tensions with the Canadian federal Government. It is generally understood that only sovereign states can have international relations and more importantly, embassies. Ladril (talk) 15:34, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. Canada is another such example - France's consulate-general in Quebec City is accredited with the Quebec Government, not the Canadian Government: France has diplomatic relations with Quebec but neither Quebec nor France considers Quebec to be an independent sovereign state. Thus it doesn't belong on this list. Unless the Cook Islands actually get to a point where they consider themselves a sovereign state then we shouldn't put them on this list. Pfainuk talk 16:42, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
I can't agree with your objection. An exchange of ambassadors is only made between sovereign states (and the Cook Islands have made it with several countries). Another point in favour is that according to international law, one of the key defining characteristics of a sovereign state is the ability to sign treaties with other states (and the Cook Islands have signed a lot, as can be seen here: Thus as I see it (and as the sources prove) the Cook Islands are considered a sovereign state by some countries and not by others (the whole point for inclusion in this list). It also participates in several international organizations (WHO, UNESCO, ICAO, Cotonou Agreement and several others) at the level of an independent state and it is listed in an official UN website as a non-member state (see Ladril (talk) 15:34, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
The topic of this list (recognition) makes only sense in the context of independence, that is to say legal binary independence, with no graduation in between. (This is not to be confused with political or economical independence, which is not binary, no state is politically 100% independent from the rest of the world. Since we use legal binary independence, there is no ambiguity in the inclusion criteria.) On the other hand, your suggestion that we should use sovereignty as a criterion (in the sense of the Cook Islands) does not make sense in the context of this list, because sovereignty is not subject to diplomatic recognition. This is exemplified by all those US states and Russian republics which are also officially sovereign, and which we would have to include here.
Now as for showing that the Cook Islands are considered to be independent by some other countries, you will have to quote sources that directly say so. The signing of treaties and diplomatic relations are circumstantial evidence, which don't prove that the Cook Islands are independent, and even if they did it would be OR. You will find e.g. that entities like Tatarstan also sign treaties with foreign states, yet no one considers it to be independent. sephia karta | di mi 10:54, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Sovereignty (at least de jure) is not exclusive of independent states (if you scroll down you'll find I already said so myself). However, according to their Constitution and this treaty, Tatarstan consider themselves part of the Russian Federation. Thus - I argue - they are not a state looking for worldwide diplomatic recognition. You said more than that, and a more detailed response is due soon. More to follow. Ladril (talk) 16:03, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Picking up where I left off. I'm not trying to argue that Cook Islands consider themselves to be an independent state (I know you did not imply this, but I'm trying to clear up my position to facilitate dialogue). What I'm saying is that they consider themselves to be something more than a dependent territory. The fact that the original interpretation of the 1964 Constitution Act of the Cook Islands is listed as not "complete sovereign independence" should not be taken to mean that they consider themselves a dependent territory of New Zealand. I'm not trying to push forward original research or circumstantial evidence, either. To clear up the matter, there is this declaration, issued jointly by both governments in 2001 (it constitutes an update on the Constitution Act of 1964):
"The Government of the Cook Islands and the Government of New Zealand...
...and desiring on this centenary to restate the principles underpinning the

relationship of partnership and free association between the Cook Islands and New Zealand as equal States independent in the conduct of their own affairs;"

"...jointly state..."

"In the conduct of its foreign affairs, the Cook Islands interacts with the

international community as a sovereign and independent state. Responsibility at international law rests with the Cook Islands in terms of its actions and the exercise of its international rights and fulfilment of its international obligations."

"The Government of the Cook Islands has full legal and executive competence in

respect of its own defence and security. Section 5 of the Cook Islands Constitution Act 1964 thus records a responsibility to assist the Cook Islands and not a qualification of Cook Islands’ statehood."

Just a few relevant excerpts to prove that the relationship between New Zealand and Cook Islands is viewed by both states as one between equals, and as such is not equivalent with the relationship between a colonizing state and a dependent territory. It's a unique international status in that both de jure and de facto is not full independence but it's not dependence, either. The country being discussed, however, wants to be diplomatically recognized as a sovereign state by the international community and, since it has found obstacles, it merits at least some discussion on this page. The state in question has also gained some acceptance in the international community as an equal, so it cannot simply be written off with the stroke of a pen.
As I said above, I'm not convinced that we can put so much weight on the belief that a declaration of independence is an absolute criterion that determines whether an entity constitutes a state. There are two main schools of thought in the matter: the declarative theory of statehood, which defines that regardless of recognition by other states, an entity that has a defined territory, a permanent population, a government and a capacity to enter into relations with other states can be considered a state. There is also the constitutive theory, which makes the definition of state contingent on whether the state has been admitted into the international community by way of recognition by other states. By combining both approaches, we can certainly define with accuracy what is a state 'with limited recognition' and also take into account the diversity and complexity of nascent statehood on a case-by-case basis.
I believe that in order to improve the article, we should be looking at a way to incorporate new international realities (such as the Cook Islands case) as they appear, not to declare them non-existent. If people don't like the idea of adding a new item to the list, perhaps a separate text section (not a table section) discussing the peculiarities of the Cook Islands case would be suitable.Ladril (talk) 04:47, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

And I think this is another instance of the subtle difference between the term sovereignty (as used by the states themselves in these situations) and independence. The former is used to indicate that the political entity has control over its political status, that is, it can choose to become independent, but it need not be at the present moment. sephia karta | di mi 10:44, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Indeed. As an example, the 31 states of Mexico are defines by their constitutions and the Federal Constitution as "free and sovereign" but according to the same Constitution, they cannot sign international treaties. The Cook Islands can, according both to law and practice.
I would say Cook Islands is a case where New Zealand considers it to be an independent state but that definition is different from the understanding of independence by other countries (the citizenship issue being the main bone of contention). Ladril (talk) 15:48, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Belgium recognizes the Cook Islands as a state: Belgian State Gazette 12 October 2004 ( 10 AOUT 2004. — Arrêté royal relatif à la reconnaissance des Iles Cook ALBERT II, Roi des Belges, A tous, présents et à venir, Salut. Vu l’article 167, paragraphe 1er, de la Constitution; Sur la proposition de Notre Ministre des Affaires étrangères, Nous avons arrêté et arrêtons : Article 1er. Le Royaume de Belgique reconnaît le présent Etat sous l’appellation « Iles Cook » (dénomination officielle) à la date de ce jour. Art. 2. Le présent arrêté sera publié au Moniteur belge. Art. 3. Notre Ministre des Affaires étrangères est chargé de l’exécution du présent arrêté. Donné à Nice, le 10 août 2004. ALBERT Par le Roi : Le Ministre des Affaires étrangères, K. DE GUCHT MaartenVidal (talk) 14:18, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, several countries recognize the Cook islands as a state (not necessarily as a country though) and have diplomatic relationships with it. However that does not change the fact that the Cook Islands themselves do not claim to be fully sovereign and that claim is needed for an inclusion on this list. A parallel example would have been the Baltic states pre-1991, when the US and a a few other countries still recognized them as independant countries, yet the government that was de facto in control of the territory did not claim such independance from the USSR. Passportguy (talk) 15:04, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree there. The point
The sources back up the fact the Cook islands do not consider themselves a full sovereign state there for i dont think the Cook islands should be added. If they are moving towards full status as an independent sovereign state then they dont have to wait long to be added to the list, but if we start making exceptions for one the flood gates open up as has happened in the past. BritishWatcher (talk) 17:59, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree as well. Unless the Cook Islands themselves do not claim full sovereignty, they should not be included in this list, however, if at such time as they choose to declare as such, then it should be included into the list. Until that time comes though... tough luck I should say for Ladril Outback the koala (talk) 05:55, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

De Facto States

I think we need a separate topic for those areas that have de facto states but for one reason or another have not declared independence. This includes places like the Cook Islands, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Puerto Rico. I understand that some of these places have autonomy, but autonomy varies from region to region. Tibet supposedly is an autonomous region but there is no way they can become independent if they wanted to. Other autonomous regions are a vote away from becoming independent. These are the places that we should list in the new topic. What do you think?--CK6569 11:45, 13 June 2009

The problem is that adding auotonomous regions that would open Pandora's box. Which regions would have enough autonomy to be added ?? Puerto Rico for example is not defacto independant and have only a small independance movement. Tibet has no autonomy to speak of, yet has a very strong autonomy movement in exile. etc etc
Independance movements are already covered extensively at List of active autonomist and secessionist movements Passportguy (talk)
Autonomy should not be confused with sovereignty. Autonomy usually refers to the right of a minority within a state to conduct its own internal affairs while reserving certain powers to the larger state. It does not imply the right to exercise the power of a nation-state within a certain territory (i. e., the fact that they are autonomous does not mean they will be independent some day).
As for the examples you mentioned, Cook Islands is a sovereign state in free association with New Zealand and Puerto Rico is a commonwealth in association with the United States. Only Kurdistan-Iraq and Tibet Autonomous Region are autonomous regions.Ladril (talk) 15:54, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
What does all this got to do with other states recognizing those that are not even independent states or those that claim to be? Let's try to keep things in perspective here & not make things more confusing. If need be, make another article about "autonomous/associated states seeking recognition". That-Vela-Fella (talk) 09:13, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
The list of active secessionist movements already covers that in detail, and even if it didn't, why should the associated states be lumped in with them? They are very different cases.Ladril (talk) 15:13, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

More states?

I was wondering why are countries like Iran or the USA not added to the list, since they refuse to recognize each other? For the matter, we could add certain arab states like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc. since Israel refuses to recognize them either. This article could really be expanded. (talk) 11:33, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

They added because there is a difference between non-recognition and not having diplomatic relations. In a nusthell : The US doesn't have relations with Iran, but it does rtecognize that Iran is a ciountry. With places like Abkhazia it considers them to be part of another country, in this case Georgia.
But it would be interesting to have a list of countries that don't have relations with each other, so if you want to be of help - just create an article (I couldn't find one that exists already but double check this first) and list them with links to reliable sources. Passportguy (talk) 12:30, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
It would be a hell of a list. Very few countries have diplomatic relations with all UN members (and if we start counting non-UN members, the list grows). Ladril (talk) 14:48, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. It would likely include almost all countries. But a table in the format of Country A|has not relations with Countries B,C,D| would be quite useful as a reference. Passportguy (talk) 15:00, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm also sure what was asked for would have gone under Diplomatic recognition, but a list would be a daunting task to undertake. That-Vela-Fella (talk) 02:09, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

If that's the case, shouldn't Czech Republic, Liechtenstien, Slovakia be removed since they have no diplomatic recognition but they both recognize each other is a country, like US/Iran BionicWilliam (talk) 18:52, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

I tend to agree. I will state why below :
  • 1) The articles gives one source with only an indirect reference ("to proceed to formal mutual recognition"). In addition this is a translated statement, the original (Czech) statement may be worded slightly differently and may actually refer to diplomatic relations. No sources are given for Liechtenstein's stance at all.
  • 2) Generally it is not possible to not recognize another country, unless :
    • a)A government regards a territory as part of another country it recognizes (e.g. Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh)
    • b)A government recognizes an alternate government's jurisdiction over an entire territory (e.g. PRC/ROC, North/South Korea)
    • c) Theoretically : A government regards a de facto independant territory as neutral or otherwise not belonging under any jurisdiction. (There are currenly no such cases)
  • 3) Liechtenstein and Czechoslovakia did have diplomatic relations. It is generally not possible to "de-recognize" a country, unless either a) or b) apply. It is possible to no longer recognize any legitimate entity as government though, as has happend in the past with Afghanistan and Somalia. However these were always recognized countries.

All in all I would say that this is a case of non-relations rather than of non-recognition. Passportguy (talk) 21:56, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Actually, that source isn't as defined as the other one in English as this other one found here. I'll add it with the other link since it does state more clearly as non-recognition since the split of 1993, although it doesn't specifically state the other nation of Slovakia (since the property involved in the dispute looks to be just within the Czech republic only). If I find another one, then I'll also add to it. That-Vela-Fella (talk) 10:39, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

The second source you added is again something that is either translated or taken from a third source in Czech. I am a bit hesitant to accept these kinds of sources, as the exact wording is very important to differenciate between non-relation and non-recognition and a lot can get lost in a quick translation. Ideally we would need either a scientific paper on this matter or a formal statement by the Czech/Slovakia/Liechtenstein governments originally written in English (or in Czech if a Czech speaker can vouch for its content).
The problem with this is that this would be the singular case where two governments regard a country as non-existant without recognizing any other claim to it - which would be contrary to all the precendents set in similar cases.
Btw : In another article on the same site (, the Czech MFA is quoted as :
"We don't see any new situation in Czech-Liechtenstein relations. We know that it is the usual approach of Liechtenstein to occasionally open this property question, the dispute with the Liechtenstein dynasty has a long history, already in the first Czechoslovak Republic - 1918 to 1938 - because of property which was touched during the first land reform."
And maybe more signifcantly :
"So what is the current relationship between the two countries? The Czech Republic and Liechtenstein do not even enjoy diplomatic relations."
Normally governments are very careful to add "unrecognized", "de-facto" or another term to any official mention of a non-recognized country. The fact that the Czech government never seems to do so and only mentions non existant diplomatic relations again points more to non-relations than non-recognition. Passportguy (talk) 11:17, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Ok - I've done a search and there isn't too much to be found since Liechtenstein is so small. However an official government publication of the Principality of Liechtenstein has a map it it which shows both the Czech Republic and Slovak republics with their respective flags on it, with no sign of a Czechoslovakia still in existance. IMO a clear indication that they do recognize the existance of these two states.
I'd say that this is a case of "If it doesn't look like a duck, doesn't swim like a duck and doesn't quack like a duck, then it's probably not a duck". Passportguy (talk) 11:30, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
See this official government statement:

The interesting part:
"It is with regret that the Principality of Liechtenstein has to take knowledge of the circumstance that the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic do not accept the fact that has been undisputed within the community of States, including the European Union, namely that the Principality of Liechtenstein has been a longstanding sovereign and recognized State which was neutral during the whole of World War I and World War II.
Taking up such a position, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic carry on without interruption the policy of non-recognition pursued vis-à-vis Liechtenstein by their predecessor State, Czechoslovakia. While Czechoslovakia had recognised the Principality of Liechtenstein in 1938 as a sovereign State, the recognition was not maintained in 1945. This policy of non-recognition has mainly manifested itself when the property of Liechtenstein citizens was confiscated without compensation in 1945 based on the allegation that it belonged to the German people, and such confiscation constituted a breach of international law already in force at the time.
The Principality of Liechtenstein has to state that the lack of respect for the sovereignty and the inherent rights of one of the EEA-States, shown by two future members of the EEA, is neither in accordance with the spirit and principles of the European Economic Area nor with the generally accepted principles of international law. However, in the interest of a continuous multilateral cooperation within the framework of the European Economic Area, the Principality of Liechtenstein has decided to sign the Agreement. Irrespective thereof, the Principality of Liechtenstein reserves the right to examine the possible political, legal and economic consequences the Principality of Liechtenstein will have to draw in view of the Czech Republic’s and Slovak Republic’s position."

Ladril (talk) 15:30, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Again, I'm not so sure he means "non-recognition" in the way we mean it on here (as oppsoed to non-relations). He specifially mentions the Czech and Slovak Republics several times and thus clearly acknowledges their existance. With no word does he qualify that acknowledgment, e.g. thought the words "unrecognized" or "de-facto". If you compare this to a statement that is issued by the Greek Cypriots goverment refering to Northern Cyprus you will never see it mentioned as "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus". It will always be refered to as "The occupied areas", "The areas not under government control" or at the very least "the so-called "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" " (in quotation marks). The same goes for any mention of Abkhazia, which will never be refered to by the US State Department as "The Republic of Abkhazia". Any mention of Abkazia and South Ossetia will be accompagnied by a qualifying remark that these areas are with Georgia, and under no circumstances will you find a US map showing countries including Abkhazia and South ossetia as seperate countries. Passportguy (talk) 15:44, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Btw : if you do a search on the same site for "Tschechische Republik", you will find that the Czech Rep. is also listed in multiple other lists, such as [4], [5]. Passportguy (talk) 15:48, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I have also read through some speaches on the subject in German. They do contain allegations by Liechtenstein that CZ/SK do not "fully recognize" the sovereignity of Liechtenstein. However since the reverse does not seem to be true - as Liechenstein does recognize at least the existance of CZ/SK - I would really like to see a specific statement by the governments of CZ/SK that they regard Liechtenstein as a part of Germany (as is implicitly alleged in one of the speeches). I personally think that this is highly unlikely to be the actual position on the part of CZ/SK.
Essentially what we have here is a parallel to the case of Somalia. Just like many governments do not recognize any government as the legitimate representatives of Somalia, CZ/SK do not recognize the Liechtenstein governemnt. However both sides do acknowledge the exisdtance of the other country, just like the existance of Somalia is recognized. Passportguy (talk) 15:59, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not in general disagreement with you. The only statement I'm not in agreement with is "Liechtenstein and Czechoslovakia did have diplomatic relations." They did not in the period 1945-1993 (when Czechoslovakia dissolved). Czechoslovakia did not argue that Liechtenstein was a part of Germany, but that the breakup of relations between Czechoslovakia and Switzerland during World War II also implied a breakup with Liechtenstein.
The terminology you are lacking is de jure vs. de facto recognition. Liechtenstein does de facto recognize the existence of the other two states, and they both do de facto recognize the existence of Liechtenstein, but both parties have refused to recognize each other as legitimate governments of a territory (they do not de jure recognize each other). That's the situation. Ladril (talk) 16:30, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
A somewhat reliable background to the dispute can be found at:
"The dispute between Liechtenstein and Germany arises ultimately out of measures adopted by the then Czechoslovakia at the end of WW II. In the so-called Benes Decrees, the eponymous President of Czechslovakia declared, inter alia, that the German (and less relevantly here, Hungarian) minorities in the country lost their Czechoslovak citizenship (unless they could prove that during the War they had officially registered themselves as Czechs or Slovaks, had remained faithful to the republic, had themselves suffered under the fascist regime or had taken an active part in the resistance). Czechoslovakia had fought with the Allies against Germany (and Hungary). An estimated 2.5 million Germans were expelled from Czechoslovakia as a result. At the same time as they were stripped of their citizenship rights, the minorities were stripped of their property rights by the Decrees. All movable and immovable property (including agricultural property) belonging to them was confiscated immediately and without compensation.
As part of the 1952 Convention on the Settlement of Matters arising out of the War and the Occupation, Germany agreed, inter alia, that it would "in the future raise no objections against the measures which have been, or will be, carried out with regard to German external assets or other property, seized for the purpose of reparation or restitution, or as a result of the state of war" (Article 3, paragraph 1). Germany also agreed with the United States, Great Britain and France to bar claims relating to such property from consideration by German courts (Article 3, paragraph 3).
In its Application before the International Court of Justice, Liechtenstein alleges that the Benes Decrees of 1945 were applied not only to German (and Hungarian) nationals in Czechoslovakia but also to other persons that the Benes government believed to be of German (or Hungarian) origin or ethnicity. Liechenstein thereby alleges that its nationals were treated as German nationals and deprived of their property rights without compensation in Czechoslovakia.
The application of the Benes Decrees to the Liechtenstein property remains an unresolved issue as between Liechtenstein and the Czech Republic, as it is did between Liechtenstein and the former Czechoslovakia. Liechtenstein has vehemently complained to successive governments to no avail, with the Czech Republic refusing to recognize Liechtenstein as a state, let alone to accede to negotiations with it. The seized Liechtenstein property has accordingly never been returned to its owners nor has compensation been offered or paid.
In Liechtenstein's view, the Settlement Convention of 1952 concerns only German property per se, i.e. property of the German State or its nationals; it does not apply to any Liechtenstein property. Liechtenstein was neutral during WW II and had no part in the events leading up to or the conduct of the war by Germany. Accordingly, any of its property located abroad affected by Allied measures could not rightly be considered as "seized for the purpose of reparation or restitution, or as a result of the state of war", regardless if it had previously been seized by Germany during the Occupation. Moreover, Liechtenstein alleges that it reached a subsequent understanding with Germany that such Liechtenstein property did not fall within the definition set out in Art. 3(1) and therefore that Germany would regard such property as unlawfully seized and would not bar related claims from consideration by German courts per Art. 3." Ladril (talk) 16:54, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Although it is the root of the current problems, the Benes decree dispute has more to do with the classification of Liechensteiners as ethnic Germans (like many other German speaking citizens citizens of other European countries). The Czechs contend that the Benes decrees pertain to an entire ethnic group, Liechtenstein contains that they, as a seperate nationality should not be included.
"but both parties have refused to recognize each other as legitimate governments of a territory (they do not de jure recognize each other). That's the situation." I can agree to that. But the result of that would be that we would have to delete all three from the current list, as we don't include Somalia either, with which there the the same problem of the non-existance of a recognized government entity. Or alternatively we include Somalia also. Passportguy (talk) 17:59, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Somalia's Transitional Regional Government is fully recognized as the legitimate government of Somalia, and Somalia including Somaliland is still recognized as a state by all states (except Somaliland). The conflict between different factions is an internal matter (except in the case of the breakaway Republic of Somaliland). Why should Somalia be included here?
Another claim is that Slovakia, Czechia and Lietchtenstein should not be included because their mutual non-recognition is de jure. I do not agree. This is not a list of states not recognized as existing; it is a list of states whose recognition is limited, and that includes not being de jure recognized. Ladril (talk) 19:12, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
A Somalia's transitional government is not universally recognized by all countries.
You still haven't established that Liechensteintn and SK/CZ do not recognize each other de jure. All the evidence presented points to a strong de facto recognition, with no reliable proof or sources of anything beyond non-relations. At this point you are extrapolating the de jure status reading in between the lines of translated references - not a very good wy to do it. Passportguy (talk) 23:01, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Ladril. This is not about the recognition of governments (a rather unclear matter), but about the recognition of states. We have sources that state that Liechtenstein and SK/CZ don't recognise each other. You have been trying to argue that these sources are mistranslations and that what they really meen to say is that they merely don't enjoy diplomatic relations. Well, it is up to you to back that up with other sources.
Besides I don't understand why you find it so hard to believe that Liechtenstein and SK/CZ don't recognise each other. Recognition is an active decisision, that is at the time that SK and CZ declared independence Liechtenstein would have to have said "we recognise SK and CZ", so it is very conceivable that they did not do this given the existing dispute over the Benes decrees. The reason Liechtenstein don't couch their language with modifiers like "de facto" and "illegal" is simply that they're being mature about the matter. sephia karta | di mi 23:33, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Which country does expressly not recognize the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia as the de jure authority in Somalia? Sources please.
And a motion of form I would like to make is that I'm not "extrapolating", "reading between the lines" or "using translated references". I'm just refuting incorrect statements you are making. If we don't clear those basic facts up we cannot advance in a discussion.
As to the question: do Czech Republic, Slovakia and Liechtenstein not recognize each other?, here is the source.

"During the whole period of negotiations on the Agreement on the participation in the European Economic Area (EEA), the Czech Republic avoided to link outstanding bilateral issues with one of the contracting parties with conditions of EEA membership. Negotiating an Agreement to which Liechtenstein is a contracting party, it repeatedly expressed its readiness to recognize this state. It was the Liechtenstein side that made last April a unilateral declaration tying the recognition of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic to the need to settle property rights issues. Both the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic responded with their own declarations. At bilateral diplomatic talks held in the meantime, the Czech Republic expressed its preparedness to proceed to formal mutual recognition, but without any conditions, and to withdraw its declaration in the case Liechtenstein does the same. However, shortly before the signing of the Agreement on the participation in the EEA ( October 9), Liechtenstein’s declaration was made even stronger, stating that the Government of the Principality of Liechtenstein expects all contracting parties to respect the Principality of Liechtenstein as a long-existing sovereign and recognized state, neutral throughout the whole First and Second World Wars period. The Czech and the Slovak sides responded accordingly, pointing out in their declarations that a declaration that is not related to the subject and objective of the EEA Agreement has no legal effects."

The issue is that when the Czech Republic and Slovakia became independent states in 1993, they had to seek mutual recognition with the world's states again. Liechtenstein conditioned its recognition of both states to the annulation of the Benes Decrees and the devolution of property. Czech Republic and Slovakia, in turn, have not agreed to recognize Liechtenstein. Ladril (talk) 23:36, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Location of each state

Each state should have a map to show its location and size in relation to the rest of the world, otherwise I am lost. Could somebody please add this? --William S. Saturn (talk) 00:08, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Is the map already on there not good enough? That-Vela-Fella (talk) 07:54, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

It's not labeled, and some of the states are too small to be visible. --William S. Saturn (talk) 16:52, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
As for the visibility issue, does the full resolution version here: work for your needs? Ladril (talk) 00:45, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
It's not labeled. --William S. Saturn (talk) 00:49, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Anti-Liechtenstein tone?

Consider the following quotes

"Liechtenstein is recognized by neither the Czech Republic nor Slovakia due to Liechtenstein's refusal to recognize them."

"Slovakia is not recognized by Liechtenstein due to a dispute over the applicability of the Beneš decrees."

Is there justification for the bolded part to be worded as such? It seems unnecessarily POVMwv2 (talk) 16:10, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Do you have a suggestion for a replacement? --Golbez (talk) 17:27, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
It's the bare truth. Liechtenstein is unrecognized by the other two due to it having been the first to refuse to recognize them. There is nothing politically or emotionally charged there. Ladril (talk) 18:40, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Lardil : Do you have any references for that assertion ? Passportguy (talk) 20:23, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not making things up. David Beattie's "Liechtenstein: a modern history" (which is widely available, published 2004) has a very good description of the background. Some quotes from p. 360 onwards:
"The Velvet Revolution of 1989 seemed to offer a chance to solve the longstanding differences between Prague and Vaduz. Liechtenstein was quick to indicate its wish to start negotiations with Czechoslovakia on the restitution of property in order to normalise bilateral relations... By 1991 the privatization of land had begun in Czechoslovakia. The Liechtenstein side asked the Czechoslovaks to halt the privatisation of Liechtenstein assets in order to avoid further complications, but the Czechoslovaks replied that their legal system would not permit this..."
"A new situation arose on 1 January 1993. After the Czech and Slovak republics parted company, each one had to seek recognition from other states and fresh admission to international organizations and institutions as the successor states to the Czechoslovak Republic. Liechtenstein now had to negotiate with two states which, as far as property was concerned, both based their positions on the Benes Decrees. On 15 March 1993, Liechtenstein replied to the Czech Republic's request for recognition by saying that it would recognize the existence of the new state on the basis of reciprocity and suggesting the start of negotiations about diplomatic relations and other unresolved issues including property. In short, Liechtenstein was willing in principle to recognize both states, but the problem of expropriation without compensation had to be solved before proper diplomatic relations could be established. Although the Czech Republic presented itself for recognition as a new entity, Liechtenstein noted that it continued to hold to certain policies of its predecessor which Liechtenstein considered to be contrary to international law..."
"Without wishing to obstruct important business, Liechtenstein has patiently continued to remind international meetings that the problem exists..."
"It is an anomaly in modern Europe that two partner states in various European and international organizations should not formally recognize each other or have diplomatic relations... The Prince and his Government seek a retrospective (so to speak) recognition of Liechtenstein and an acknowledgment that the application of the Benes Decrees to Liechtenstein was contrary to international law. The Czech and Slovak Republics for their part view the Benes Decrees as a vital line of defence against any possible Sudeten German and Hungarian minority claims".
There is more detail in the book in question if you care to look, but I hope that's enough. Ladril (talk) 22:30, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

To me, it seems like both should say "due to a dispute over Benes decrees" But if you can back up that Liectenstein stopped recognizing them because of the Benes and then AFTER THAT they stopped recognizing Liechtenstein specifically due to not being recognized, and not because of anything related to the Benes decrees, then it would be fine.Mwv2 (talk) 21:17, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

After seeing the confusion on the area, I adjusted it so as to have better clarity on the situation. I hope it would be suffice to any other reader. That-Vela-Fella (talk) 21:33, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
It's not that Liechtenstein stopped recognizing the other two. Remember Czech and Slovakia have only existed as states since 1993 (previous incarnations notwithstanding). Liechtenstein has never recognized them, and they both as independent states have not recognised Liechtenstein in return. Ladril (talk) 21:51, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

The Czech Republic and Liechtenstein are about to enter standard diplomatic relations: [6]. — Emil J. 14:09, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Here are official press releases from the two governments: [7], [8]. — Emil J. 14:28, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

UN member states, not recognized by at least one other state

Serbia is not recognized by the Republic of Kosovo. nenaad —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:06, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Interesting point. Do you have any links/sources for this ? I would agree that this is most likely the case. I doubt Kosovo ever officially and explicitly recognized the Republic of Serbia, which makes this similar to the Liechtenstein case above. But again that begs the question : should we really include this class of non-recognition that is a lot closer to non-relations ? Passportguy (talk) 09:33, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Btw : Other cases are likely Azberbaijan, Georgia and Moldova, which are almost certainly also not officially recognized by their respective break-away countries. Passportguy (talk) 09:40, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Where did you get such an idea? Kosovo most likely recognizes Serbia just like it recognizes all other UN member states, and the same goes for the other countries you mention. — Emil J. 12:08, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, this isn't a situation like China or Korea, where both sides demand the other's territory; Kosovo has no desires for Serbia, but the inverse is not true. --Golbez (talk) 14:35, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Here is an excerpt from Kosovo's declaration of independence:
"We express, in particular, our desire to establish good relations with all our neighbours, including the Republic of Serbia with whom we have deep historical, commercial and social ties that we seek to develop further in the near future. We shall continue our efforts to contribute to relations of friendship and cooperation with the Republic of Serbia, while promoting reconciliation among our people. "
"So I find it unlikely that Kosovo does not recognize Serbia. Ladril (talk) 18:02, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Ladril - See your arguments for Liechtenstein above. According to you this would be de facto recognition, not de jure recognition unless there is an official statement of recognition. Passportguy (talk) 19:49, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Maybe my arguments are wrong. I am not, after all, a scholar in either international relations or political science. However, in the case of Liechtenstein I referenced four different sources all stating the issue of non-recognition (one from the Liechtenstein government, one from the Czech government, one from a German Law journal and one from an English history book). Likewise, when I wanted to prove that Cook Islands was unrecognized as a sovereign state by Japan, I used a source from the Cook Islands government and a study by a German institution. In the case of Kosovo/Serbia, I've been unable so far to find any source that states that Kosovo does not recognize Serbia, and its declaration of independence seems to point out the intent to recognize them. If you can find a source where it is explicitly stated that Kosovo does not recognize Serbia, the discussion will be over. Ladril (talk) 21:49, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
It's not really a matter of being, wrong its a matter of being consistant on what should be included her and what not. As for proof that Kosovo does not recognize Serbia : As I think I already said early, a negative can almost never be proven. You cannot logically prove the non-existance of something, you can only prove the existance. E.g. I cannot prove that you are not in Tahiti unless I can prove that you are somewhere else. I.e. if we can find no proof that Kosovo does recognize Serbia, then we have to assume that they do not. Passportguy (talk) 22:40, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
We have no proof that Afghanistan recognizes Belize either. Using your logic, we would end up with pretty much all states as being "not fully recognized". Recognition of UN member states (and other generally accepted states like Vatican), including Serbia, by any other country, including Kosovo, is normally taken for granted. An abnormality, i.e., non-recognition, requires a source in this case. — Emil J. 10:04, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
I do not think you're understanding the phenomenon of non-recognition very well. When recognition is not given (or, as has happened in the past, is withdrawn) the non-recognition is explicitly declared. On the other hand, diplomatic recognition of a state does not always come in the form of a letter of recognition (it can be implied by actions of another state's government, like a visit from a head of state or state-to-state dealings). As a result, it is way more difficult to prove recognition of a state than it is to prove non-recognition. This is why, in the absence of a declaration of non-recognition, recognition is assumed. I could be wrong, of course, but I would like to see an argument that convinces me of it. Ladril (talk) 22:51, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
As you are admittedly not a legal scholar you should be very careful when assuming you understand everything perfectly.
Again : this really boils down to consistancy. Above (in the Liechtenstein arguement) you were very adamant that de facto recognition should not suffice when considering whether a country should be included in this list. That is a valid standpoint, however now you are arguing the exact oposite : that de facto recogition does suffice, i.e. a country that enjoys de facto recognition should not be included. You can legitmately argue either standpoint, but we need to adhere to one standard for all countries, otherwise this list becomes completely arbitrary. Passportguy (talk) 22:58, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
For the second (and last) time in our history of interaction, I'm going to have to ask you not to personalize the discussion at hand. I'm not a scholar in this area, and I make no claim to know everything, but I usually make what I believe is a reasonable effort to substantiate my points using sources, so there is no reason why you should be throwing personal jabs at me.
For the last time, what I'm trying to say here is, that even if my personal points about the state of recognition are wrong, the sources still back up the point that the states in question do not recognize each other. You have been dragging the Liechtenstein point across three different topics now, to no practical benefit. Let me ask this: exactly what part of "Liechtenstein has vehemently complained to successive governments to no avail, with the Czech Republic refusing to recognize Liechtenstein as a state, let alone to accede to negotiations with it." and "It is an anomaly in modern Europe that two partner states in various European and international organizations should not formally recognize each other or have diplomatic relations" do you not understand? (these are all exact quotes from the articles cited in the relevant discussion, see "More states" section above where I reproduce them verbatim). I hereafter absolutely refuse to discuss this issue outside the relevant section.
Taking into account all the time you have spent discussing this article and related topics, I find it hard to believe that you have not noticed all the sources that substantiate explicit non-recognition of specific states (see, for example, this section where many states declare their intention not to recognize Kosovo: It is thus reasonably safe to assume that a non-recognition of Serbia by Kosovo would be documented somewhere. So far I've been unable to find a reference to it.
Since I don't find this line of conversation productive, I'm leaving it. Any issues you may have can be resolved using dispute mediation. Ladril (talk) 01:20, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
I just wanted to note that you stating "I do not think you're understanding the phenomenon of non-recognition very well". was my reason for bringing your non-scholar status up,as - unlike you arraenty - I do have a degree in law. However I do not mean to say by this that you cannot have a valid argument/point, I am just saying that you shouldn't assume other people do not know what they are talking about. Passportguy (talk) 02:40, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Saying that apparently you don't understand something well is not an insult (people here have said it to me before while talking about stuff I believe I have a reasonable grasp on, but that's no reason to take it personally. It's possible that I don't understand something and even if true, that would not make me an idiot).
Back to the topic at hand. Like you, I do believe that countries that do not recognize each other would not usually refer to each other by their formal names. This is a principle I would apply for Kosovo and Serbia and most other cases (there is the case, however, of Liechtenstein referring to Slovakia as the "Slovak Republic" while formally not recognizing it). My personal belief is that the language used by Liechtenstein and the Czech Republic in official communications implied some sort of de facto recognition. After all, since the countries involved are fellow members of important organizations like the Council of Europe and the European Economic Area, they have to interact and it's hard for them not to acknowledge each other in some way, even if it does not go as far as formal diplomatic recognition. However, this is just my personal opinion and I would be breaking an important rule if I were to add it to the article without a citation backing it up. On the other hand, we do have sources that state clearly that Slovakia and Liechtenstein do not formally recognize each other; that's why the article lists them. Frankly, I don't think this is grounds for labeling the page as disputed.Ladril (talk) 18:14, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Kosovo sent letter for recognition to 192 UN members. Seems that Republic of Kosovo sent letter to Serbia too :((( I can not find any source for Kosovo's not recongnizing of serbian documents (there was a news about that some months ago). Nenaad (talk) 20:26, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I seem to remember that that that letter contained a request for recognition, not a statement of recognition regarding the recipient. Passportguy (talk) 21:06, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I did not find the text of letter. As I know, in letter the Republic of Kosovo recognize state and ask for recognition. Nenaad (talk) 04:51, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
That's what one would naturally expect, but to the best of my knowledge, the letters were not made public, so we can't know for sure. — Emil J. 10:38, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually it is quite the opposite of what you would expect. To put it in simple terms : Nothing in diplomacy is ever given out for "free". A country would never predjudice something as important as diplomatic recognition by blanket letters to all countries. What such diplomatic notes usually contain are offers and/or reserved statements, something along the lines of "We propose that our two countries mutally recognize each other" or "We recognize your country under the condition that you do so also" Passportguy (talk) 12:43, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I asked albanian Wikipedia for the text of letter. Nenaad (talk) 19:26, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Seems that they do not have the text of letter. Nenaad (talk) 19:42, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

I will tag the article as "accuracy disputed" for now, until above issues have been addressed and we have found a consensus on exactly which countries/territories should be included and for which reasons. At the moment there seems to be no clear line and the rules for and against inclusions that are being applied are rather murky. Passportguy (talk) 02:43, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

If this isn't resolved quickly, the article should be taken to WP:FLRC. --Golbez (talk) 04:02, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
WTF, to WP:FLRC for over one or two issues? All it needs are some valid sources to resolve the problem which is fixable, not a need to delete the whole article over it. That's going a bit over-board! That-Vela-Fella (talk) 08:41, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
WTF, yes, because a list being of disputed quality is precisely the kind of thing that prevents it from being featured. This debate has gone on for months; it's starting to become clear that the fundamental criteria for the list are in dispute, and if we don't know what goes into a featured list then it shouldn't be featured. I didn't say take it there immediately, but do you honestly think we should keep it featured if it has a disputed tag on top for weeks? It's not like I'm kicking your puppy here, taking it to FLRC is no shame. --Golbez (talk) 14:35, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

In order to shed some light on the situation, I sent an e-mail inquiry to the Kosovan MFA whether they recognize Serbia. If/when I get a reply, I'll post it here. — Emil J. 12:38, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Seems like the number of states not recognizing Israel is smaller

I'm going to have to be excused for linking to such a rabidly biased site, but what I found seems like a stepping-stone for clarifying the Israel topic:

(See footnote 11 in particular).

Apparently, the figure of 26 countries not recognizing Israel is a misquote, derived from a number of states that promoted a request of advisory opinion before the International Court of Justice in the UN on the issue of Israel's wall around the West Bank. Apparently, only 11 of them do not diplomatically recognize Israel (this does not exclude the possibility that more than 11 members actually do not recognize Israel, but it's a start, I guess).

This certainly needs backing up from other sources, but I felt it needed commenting. Ladril (talk) 17:28, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm taking a risk, but I'm correcting the page with this information. A strong Israeli supporter is likely to be a reliable source on which countries do not recognize Israel, especially when he is criticizing the international community at large. Ladril (talk) 18:44, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Doesn't that seem to now be in conflict with the other article at Foreign Relations of Israel? That-Vela-Fella (talk) 19:33, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
That article lists 34 states that do not have relations with Israel, but does not seem to have links to substantiate that 26 states do not recognize it (let alone which states). Ladril (talk) 19:36, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
There's a past edit done by someone else (sorry, don't remember the user name) which stated that the number of states that do not recognize Israel is larger than eleven. Unfortunately, it was wiped out in a careless revert. I do agree that the list of states is longer (I'm fairly sure that Iran, Iraq and Lybia do not recognize Israel, for example, but Morocco definitely does). This just to state that the list will be gradually expanded upon, as sources can be found to substantiate each case. Ladril (talk) 17:47, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
If anybody can supply sources for Algeria and Tunisia, They will be very much appreciated. Ladril (talk) 00:05, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Also sources for Somalia, Djibouti, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Oman if anyone has them please. Ladril (talk) 00:12, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

FLRC coming soon

The 'factual accuracy is disputed' tag has remained up for 9 days; unless this is resolved very soon, I'm taking this to WP:FLRC. It's obvious the criteria for inclusion are disputed, and if that can't be resolved then there's no way this can continue to be featured at this time. --Golbez (talk) 18:12, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Could somebody please detail the content of the dispute again? Ladril (talk) 18:16, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
The so-called 'dispute' is being resolved above, thus going to "FLRC" is baseless. If the wording of inclusion needs to be refined, so be it. There's no point to remove the whole article if clarity is needed alone. The tag has been removed, thus not in any conflict to the featured situation. If others feel the same, then state it here, otherwise doing things arbitrarily won't help. That-Vela-Fella (talk) 19:30, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
What I can infer is that some users believe that a breakaway state that is refused recognition by an occupying state automatically refuses to recognize that state. I think there is evidence of this not happening (Palestine does recognize Israel, but not the other way around, for example). Ladril (talk) 19:56, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Republic of Korea

Macedonia, Cuba and Syria do not have diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea. Should they be included as countries not recognising the ROK? - Canadian Bobby (talk) 22:02, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

There's a difference between not having diplomatic relations with a country and not recognising it. If you don't recognise a country, you don't actually accept that it exists. If you don't have diplomatic relations with it, you accept that it exists but refuse to talk to it. Maybe we should put a FAQ at the top about this, because it seems to come up a lot.
A list of country-pairs that do not have diplomatic relations with one another would be very long. Pfainuk talk 22:15, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't mean to ask a repeat question. I am aware of the difference between recognition and relations. There is the real possibility that Cuba may not actually recognise the Republic of Korea. Syria may not actually recognise, either. They both opt to have relations with Pyongyang and not Seoul. I would not find it surprising if either had never formally recognised the Republic of Korea. The US does not have diplomatic relations with the DPRK and I am unaware of the US ever formally recognising it, either, but the US still talks to it. As you are no doubt aware, recognition usually occurs via the method of a Note Verbale from one foreign ministry to another. Sometimes this does not occur between countries, which would mean that they may sit next to each other in the UN cafeteria, but not officially recognise each other. It can be solely a bureaucratic point of order, but still a point of law. - Canadian Bobby (talk) 22:07, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
You are correct (though recognition does not always come as a result of bureaucratic measures such as you mention). There is indeed such a possibility, and the list may indeed be incomplete. However, the issue of non-recognition of a state is usually salient enough to be well documented. Any further addition to the list would need to be supported by official and/or academic sources. Ladril (talk) 23:13, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
As for United States recognition of other states, check out . If it's not listed there, the US does not recognize it (and yes, they include North Korea). Ladril (talk) 23:17, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Sure, it's possible we have a few pairs missed out - one wonders whether (say) San Marino and Vanuatu have ever formally exchanged recognition, for example - but I think we ought to follow a general principle that assumes that UN states recognise one another unless there's evidence that they don't - generally speaking this would appear to be a reasonable assumption, and would also fit the burden of evidence required at WP:V. If anyone can provide evidence that Syria or Cuba does not recognise the ROK, then they can go on the article.
For the record, I was talking about the recognition-relations thing in a more general sense when I mentioned the FAQ. I don't think these particular pairs have come up recently, but I hope you'll understand that we do get a fair few people here mixing the two concepts up. Pfainuk talk 19:18, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Kosovo entry - relations between the UN and Kosovo

A text quote from the Palestinian Declaration of Independence was removed from the Israel entry a while back, presumably to keep the entry neutral and improve the style of the page. I'm doing the same for the Kosovo entry. There is no real need to quote verbatim UN Security Council Resolution 1244 in that entry. Ladril (talk) 17:00, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

The Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta

Worth thinking about adding this one. A unique example of a state without territory. It also has diplomatic recognition from quite a number of UN members. Admittedly in terms of territory it possess very little except for some properties in Rome and in Malta, which have extra-territorial "sovereignty". Its recognition by other states is something which distinguishes it from self-declared entities and that is why I think it merits inclusion. (talk) 12:02, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

From what I understand, they are not a state, nor do they make any claims to be; they are an international organization with some facilities kindly granted extraterritoriality by their home states. Either way, they are definitely a unique case. A note in the intro might be useful, but I don't see how an entry in the table would be, since non-recognition is most likely out of ignorance rather than malice. --Golbez (talk) 14:19, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

This is a fair point, but the key I think is sovereignty. The Knights Hospitallers did have extensive lands which they ruled up until the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, rather like the Roman Catholic Church (aka The Vatican) had in Italy up until 1870. Between 1870 and 1929, when the Lateran Treaty reestablished a temporal nature to its status, the Church remained in a quasi-soveriegn position even though it had no defined territory. I think it could be argued that the KH's are in a similar situation.

It should also be noted that not all current members of the UN recognise the Vatican and nor is it a member of UN - only an observer, as is the EU. Surely there is a parallel here with the KH's?

On the EU point, the EU is not a state but it exchanges Ambassadors with sovereign nations and almost all nations have permanent missions in the EU headquarters in Brussels. But it has no "sovereign" territory of its own and its legal identity comes from a series of treaties that give it different legal personalities. The Lisbon Treaty will change that if it ever gets past the Irish in their referendum, and the euroscepticism of the Polish and Czech Presidents and it give it one united personalitiy. Some claim this will be just another step towards sovereignty others disagree.

Gong back to the KH's another telling sign on how them see themselves, regardless of what they claim, is the title of their Grand Master who titles himself (and it is always a man, something most international orgs - if you consider them just as such - won't get away with these days) His Most Emminent Highness. This is similar to the title given to a lot of princelings in the former Holy Roman Empire, even after its dissolution. Although most princes were mediatised by 1806 they retained their unique legal status in the states that took over their sovereignty and in most cases co-equal in legal status with their new nominal sovereigns. The Knights Hospitallers despite losing all their lands were never dissolved and have had a continous existance.

So the question of recognition (or sovereignty) is not as black and white as we may think or like to think. Recognition will always be a problem, particularly because if you look at history many of today's current countries started off in a situation where few others recognised them as independent to start with. Kosovo for instance lacks general recognition because less than half the sovereign countries of this world recognise it. The Saharwi Arab Democratic Republic, another case in point, is recognised by a large number of third world countries that don't recognise Kosovo.

It seems the only criteria in the end is general recognition by over half the countries of the world, otherwise all factors are fluid. Food for thought?

Fairtoall1 (talk) 15:08, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

The parallel you draw between the Order of Malta and the Holy See is very important. For starters, a subject of international law does not have to be a state. Both the Holy See and the SMOM remained subjects of international law despite having lost all the territories they once controlled. Vatican City was only recognized as a state with the Lateran Treaty of 1929, while the SMOM has not regained any territory. But still, the entity recognized as sovereign under international law is still the Holy See, not the Vatican City State. Ladril (talk) 17:13, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Thus said, if the SMOM ever got into a situation like what the Holy See did (regained territory vis-à-vis the Vatican City, even thought it also has extra-territorial areas too), then it would gain the same recognizability as a state (which would of course fit within this said article). That-Vela-Fella (talk) 19:42, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

I read somewhere recently that around 1999 the Maltese Governement, gave Fort San Angelo in Valletta Harbour, to the order for a period of 99 years in full sovereignty. Would this I wonder give it territorial extent and satisfy the criteria has mentioned by That-Vela-Fella? This is different from the concept of extra-territoriality applied to diplomatic missions such as the Headquarters of the Order in Rome? It would be interesting to hear from any Maltese contributors who may be able to clarify.

Fairtoall1 (talk) 13:56, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

"However, unlike the Holy See, which is sovereign over the Vatican City, SMOM has had no sovereign territory (other than a few properties in Italy with extraterritoriality only) since the loss of the island of Malta in 1798." from SMOM. So you'd have to show a citation on that for us to even start to consider it. :) --Golbez (talk) 15:44, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
I believe the SMOM may be somewhat in the same ground as other questionable cases like Cook Islands, Niue, Palestine, Azad Kashmir and others. My proposal for all these cases would be to look up as many sources for each one as possible, and if at least some serious sources substantiate the view that they are states, they can be added to the main list of sovereign states as special cases. From there on it can be decided if they fit on other pages (such as this one).Ladril (talk) 03:44, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

A fair point of view, which I would agree with but for a couple of clarfications. Firstly Azad Kashmir and Palestine are self-declared states, which are not normally accorded international recognition (although it is undeniable that a lot of states have given such recognition in the case of Palestine, the SADR and Kosovo). Niue and the Cook Islands are in law dependencies of New Zealand, although their autonomy is considerable, and in the case of the Cook Islands have even been given some sort of diplomatic recognition by a few states.

The SMOM have always had sovereignty - though not territory - and I would therefore argue whatever the debate on its territorial extent, it is in a different class from the examples you quote. It is highly unlikely the the case of the SMOM will be repeated in the future as it is one of those oddities that history throws up.

I have tried to get clarification on the Sovereignty v Territory point by emailing the Order for clarification and also the Maltese Government. I will let you know what they say. Would this satisfy your criteria for consideration for inclusion if the answer is in the affirmative?

Fairtoall1 (talk) 06:21, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

This has come up so many times that I feel the need to reference WP:NPOV at this point. "Neutrality requires that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a reliable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each." Ergo, as I understand it, it is not the purpose of the encyclopedia to pass decrees on whether Palestine, or Taiwan, or SADR (or even SMOM) are states, but to reference the fact that they are considered states, even if the view is held by a minority. This is especially important considering the spirit of this article, which is all about minority viewpoints (whether you believe that Somaliland is a state or that socialist China is not, you're in the minority).
Now regarding the specific cases you mention: Cook Islands and Niue are not dependencies of New Zealand (and both are separate subjects of international law). Palestine is viewed by several states, organizations and academics as a state, and if we do find serious sources that substantiate the view that the SMOM is a state, then they can be added to the relevant page. As to your question, I expect them to respond with the same wording they do in their website: "SMOM is a sovereign subject of international law". If this happens, it won't do much to clear up matters. Secondary sources will most likely be needed. Ladril (talk) 14:30, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Here is an article which gives an opinion on the matter: Ladril (talk) 14:33, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Ladril, yes, I had read that article as well but it is also a little dated and I think there may have been developments since then which is why I was trying to get to the primary sources for clarification i.e The Order and the Maltese government.

On the question of the Neutrality required by WP, I agree this is very important. I personally don't have any strong views or what country is, or is not recognised. I only wished to add to the Wikipedia project by adding something which was interesting and factual. If my enquiries do not in the end prove to be factually correct then I will be the first to welcome that and will not try to flog a dead horse.

On the question of Niue and the Cook Islands, whilst recognising that each territory is substantially independant, that fact is that both are subordinate to New Zealand in certain matters, which they agreed with the New Zealand Government. This seems similar in certain ways to the arrangement of the Pacific Trust territories held by the US prior to their independance. The other example being the Carribean Associated States of the UK created in 1967 and all independent by the 1980s. So when I speak of dependencies I do so in the broadest possible terms and see no contradiction in that. Fairtoall1 (talk) 15:22, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

This is the reply that I received from the Order. As you will see it doesn't mention sovereignty, but it didn't specifically deny or confirm the question I asked about sovereignty. I am hoping for a response soon from the Maltese Govt to see if both sources agree.

In 2001 the Order of Malta signed an agreement with the Maltese Government which granted the Order the exclusive use of Fort St. Angelo for a term of 99 years. Located in the town of Birgu, the Fort belonged to the Knights from 1530 until the island was occupied by Napoleon in 1798. Today, after restoration, the Fort hosts historical and cultural activities related to the Order of Malta. Eugenio Ajroldi, Communications Office, Sovereign Military Order of Malta Fairtoall1 (talk) 08:01, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Just received the following reply from the Maltese Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Attached is the agreement between Malta and SMOM as requested, which was downloaded from the website of the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs of Malta. As you may note the Agreement grants SMOM certain privileges and immunities but I am not in a position to state whether the grant of St. Angelo was made in full sovereignty or as a simple owner-tenant agreement.

Reading through the agreements they have the sense and forms of a sovereign govt (Malta) granting diplomatic privileges and immunities to another country, as under the Vienna Conventions. But there seems to be a note of doubt in the agreements (depending on your interpretation of them). The wording used in the preambale talks of clarifying the legal status of San Angelo. This must mean there was an element of doubt (however small) about the status quo. But at the same time the agreement goes on to mention that Malta has sovereignty over the Fort - or does it?, since the MFA official who sent this reply does not know if the grant was made in full sovereignty or not. I personally find it difficult to believe they would not know that. This is important because if full sovereignty was granted then the SMOM possess territory and is therefore a state according to most accepted norms.

Both main parties could have put the issue beyond doubt, but have avoided doing so. Maybe this is for political reasons who knows?

I am happy to accept that this issue may not be resolved satisfactorily and therefore won't press any further for the inclusion of the SMOM on the page. However I suspect the issue will come up again at some stage. Fairtoall1 (talk) 11:06, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Just to clarify, are and Fairtoall1 the same person? --Golbez (talk) 18:56, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Yes sorry I should have made that clear, only created an account today. Was fascinated by this debate so wanted to contribute my "pennyworth" Hope you don't mind?

Fairtoall1 (talk) 18:59, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Nah, that's okay, I was just starting to wonder if I should be reverting the IP for editing someone else's comments. :P --Golbez (talk) 19:01, 6 August 2009 (UTC)