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Home  > Tamils - A Trans State Nation > Beyond Tamil Nation: One World > The Strength of an Idea > Nations & Nationalism  > International Relations in an Asymmetric Multi Lateral World  > U.S. and EU ready to recognize Kosovo Independence - if Serbia does not agree on role of the province

International Relations
in aN ASYMMETRIC Multi Lateral World

U.S. and EU ready to recognize Kosovo Independence
if Serbia does not agree on role of the province
Judy Dempsey in the International Herald Tribune,
 24 September 2007

Comment by tamilnation.org "Many years ago, in the early 1980's, a US diplomat in Washington reflecting on India's support for the Tamil militants, remarked that India was not a super power and should not try to behave like one. Today, in relation to Kosova,  one message that is being conveyed by the ‘international community’ is that Russia is not a super power and that the time has come for both Russia and Serbia to recognise the lead role of  NATO and US in Europe. That is not to say that there may not be other matters of concern as well. The support that may be given to Muslim Kosovo by the Muslim world,  may be another matter of concern. Said that both the US and Serbia see dangers in the creation of an independent Kosovo. They both prefer to retain the existing territorial  boundaries of Serbia. They both proclaim their support for a multi ethnic Kosovo within a multi ethnic Serbia.  The degree of autonomy is a matter of emphasis. Serbia fears that greater autonomy will lead to secession. US fears that repression may lead to an increase in extra regional Muslim influence within Kosova.  Serbia believes that it can manage Kosovar resistance if  US stays out. But US fears that if Serbia succeeds, this will strengthen the Yugoslav-Russia-Belraus (Slav) link with far reaching implications for US strategic interests in Europe.  The US therefore threatens that it will recognise an independent Kosova, if Serbia does not fall in line.  But if the threat is to succeed, it must be credible. Here the US may seek to play  upon the fear that Serbia (and Russia) may have  that US may be ready to recognise an independent Kosova despite a Russian veto - and indeed may welcome a Russian veto as a way of securing Kosova's permanent dependence on US recognition and support for its continued survival. Kosova as a client US state may not be without its attractions for US policy makers provided broad based European support is secured - and here the role of the members of the European Union may become pivotal. It seems that Velupillai Pirabakaran was right when he declared in 1993 'The world is not rotating on the axis of justice.It is economic and trade interests that determine the order of the present world, not the moral law of justice nor the rights of people. International relations and diplomacy between countries are determined by such interests.' "

[see also  Understanding Kosovo - Nadesan Satyendra, 1998  and
NATO, Kosovo & Tamil Eelam - Nadesan Satyendra, 1999 ]


BERLIN: The United States and the European Union will recognize Kosovo if the Balkan province declares independence from Serbia in early December when last-ditch negotiations end, senior U.S. and European officials said Monday.[24 September 2007]

The officials spoke as the Serbs and Kosovo Albanians prepared to sit down this week at the United Nations for talks that diplomats have billed as part of a final effort to get agreement on the issue. It has turned into a confrontation between the West and Russia, which has threatened to veto any Security Council resolution approving independence for Kosovo.

"The game plan is set," said a senior European diplomat who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. "The talks end on Dec. 10. If there is no sense then that Serbia and Kosovo can agree on the province's future, then Kosovo will make a unilateral declaration of independence. The U.S. will recognize that independence, and the Europeans, as far as they can remain united, will follow, too," he said.

The EU will support the U.S. stance despite a clear preference for a UN-backed solution. But it will find it difficult to speak with one voice for all the 27 member states, diplomats said.

Illustrating the thorniness of the issue, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France said in an interview last week that Europe must stay united on Kosovo, but that the Russian position must be taken into account. "Kosovo's independence is unavoidable in the long term," Sarkozy said, adding that President Vladimir Putin "must understand that no one wants to humiliate him."

Romania and Slovakia, fearful that ethnic Hungarians in their countries could seek greater autonomy, are expected to come under heavy pressure from Washington to accept the EU position.

Greece and Cyprus, however, could break ranks. Greece, a close ally of Serbia, is concerned that its neighbor Macedonia could become unstable because the ethnic Albanians in the former Yugoslav republic might call for independence. Cyprus, divided between the Turkish north and the Greek Cypriot south, fears the Kosovo example might be used by the Turkish Cypriots.

With so much at stake for EU unity, diplomats, while not holding out much hope, said all efforts would be made this week at the United Nations in New York where the Kosovar and Serb leaders meet for the first time since a new round of talks started last month. The issue is one of the last unresolved disputes left from the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

"I think it is best that we work through the United Nations Security Council," Ivan Vejvoda, director of the Belgrade office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, said. "It would ensure full solidarity and democratic legitimacy in the region."

Until now, the EU has been seeking an end to the impasse through the UN, too, but it is losing patience with the struggle to find a consensus in the Security Council over granting Kosovo independence, according to EU diplomats.

Putin, who wants the issue kept inside the UN, has opposed independence. As a member of the UN Security Council, Russia can veto or block any resolution calling for Kosovo to be independent.

Russian diplomats have repeatedly claimed that independence without Serbia's approval could set off a chain reaction in other regions that are seeking independence, particularly Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia and Transnistria in Moldova - which are supported by Russia.

European and U.S diplomats said the status of Kosovo could not be left in limbo indefinitely. Since 1999, when NATO bombed Serbian targets to stop the ethnic cleansing of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo by Serb forces, the province of two million people has been governed by the UN as an international protectorate. During this time, it has received over 3 billion, or $4.2 billion, of aid while NATO still has 17,000 soldiers deployed there.

Wanting to end this precarious status, the United Nations last year appointed former President Martti Ahtisaari of Finland to draw up a plan in which the Serb community in the province would be granted a wide degree of political and cultural autonomy once Kosovo was independent from Serbia.

The EU agreed to monitor closely the implementation of the Ahtisaari plan by replacing the UN protectorate there with a strong police and judicial system in which EU officials would supervise Kosovo's independence for a limited period. NATO forces would remain in the province.

While the Kosovo leadership overwhelmingly accepted the Ahtisaari plan, Boris Tadic, the Serb president, and Vojislav Kostunica, the Serb prime minister, openly rejected the plan, saying they would never agree to Kosovo becoming independent from Serbia.

Russia insisted on giving the diplomatic track another chance, which the U.S. and the EU accepted but only under conditions. The talks, which started last month, would last 120 days. The EU appointed Wolfgang Ischinger, the German ambassador to London, to lead a troika that also includes Aleksandr Botsan-Kharchenko of Russia and Frank Wisner, the U.S. special envoy for Kosovo..."

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