Kosovo Warned Over Independence (coverage by BBC)

BBC reported today that Kosovo has been warned over independence.  Hah!!  What else is new for Kosovo?  The Serbs have threatened Kosovo.  The Russians have threatened Kosovo.  And, as you can read from the BBC, the amorphous “international community” has warned Kosovo not to declare independence. 

Is it me or does everyone know that the Serbs and the Kosovars are not going to reach an agreement by December 10th?  Is it me or does everyone know that the Kosovars will declare independence after over 8 years of UN and NATO administration?  And, is it me or does everyone know that there’s no such thing as “supervised independence,” as Javier Solana (the EU’s foreign policy chief) seems to suggest?

The following article has been excerpted from the BBC:

Kosovo warned over independence


Foreign ministers from several EU countries have urged Kosovo Albanians not to declare unilateral independence following Saturday’s elections. Independencewithout foreign support could isolate Kosovo, they warned. A party led by a former Kosovo Albanian rebel is set to win the polls, which were boycotted by the Serb minority. Hashim Thaci’s party seeks to declare independence from Serbia after 10 December – the UN deadline for ethnic Albanians and Serbs to reach a deal. Kosovo is formally a part of Serbiabut has been run by the United Nations since 1999 when Nato ejected Serbian forces from the province. Ethnic Albanians, who make up some 90% of Kosovo’s population of two million people, have been pushing for the province’s independence. Members of the Serbian minority oppose the move. They heeded a call by Serbia’s government to boycott the poll. The 27-member EU is divided on the issue of independence for Kosovo, while the US backs the move.

‘Very bad thing’ “We are trying to convince the Kosovans not to proceed with a declaration of independence without the support of the international community,” Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said on Monday ahead of EU talks in Brussels. He warned that such a move would be “a very bad thing”. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt urged Mr Thaci’s Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) not to make any hasty moves that could lead to Kosovo being isolated. “I don’t think they (Kosovans) want to be independent from the international community,” Mr Bildt said. Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said formal independence for Kosovo would require proper preparations.

‘New century’ Mr Thaci’s PDK had won 34% of the vote with more than 90% of ballots counted, independent observers said. They said the rival Democratic League of Kosovo (LKD), which had dominated Kosovo politics in recent years, trailed in second place with 22%. That puts Mr Thaci – the former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army – in pole position to be prime minister.  “We will declare independence immediately after 10 December,” Mr Thaci told cheering supporters as results were coming in. If the PDK did in fact win the largest number of seats in the 120-seat parliament, a period of negotiations is likely to take place before a coalition government is formed, the BBC’s Nick Hawton reports from the Kosovo capital, Pristina. But every ethnic Albanian party, our correspondent adds, has the same priority: trying to make Kosovo an independent state in its own right and break away from Serbia. According to election officials, the turnout was around 45%, the lowest since 1999.

Serb boycott One hundred seats in the provincial assembly were up for direct election, with the remaining 20 reserved for Serbs and other minorities. The Serbian government had called on ethnic Serbs not to vote so as to avoid legitimising the new government. A Kosovo Serb spokesman, Rade Negojevic, said just three out of 46,000 Serbs in northern Kosovo had cast ballots. “Two people voted in Leposavic district, one in Zvecan and not a single person in Kosovska Mitrovica,” he said.


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