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European diplomats said the United States and Germany have agreed to recognize Kosovo's independence and call on other countries to follow suit.
U.S. President George Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were reportedly in agreement that the European Union should coordinate the recognition of independence of Serbia's mainly ethnic-Albanian Kosovo province immediately after a second round of Serbian presidential election Feb. 3, the International Herald Tribune said Friday.
Fearing Kosovo's independence declaration could strengthen and speed up similar moves in their own countries, a number of EU states, including Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia and Spain, are supporting Serbia and Russia in opposing an independent Kosovo.
But, a majority of EU states, led by Britain, Germany, France and Italy, are determined to recognize Kosovo independent of the Serbian government in Belgrade, EU diplomats said.
Putin says Russia will not support independence for Kosovo
SOFIA, January 18 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia will not support any "illegal and immoral" decision by Kosovo to declare unilateral independence.
Serbian President Boris Tadic, who attended the UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday, called upon the council to abide by its own resolutions and the United Nations Charter. UN Resolution 1244, adopted in 1999, reaffirmed the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to which Serbia is now the recognized successor state, and established that Kosovo was to remain part of Serbia.
Originally posted by Freeborn
Serbia are being quite considerate in offering Kosovo the right to run themselves as an autonomous region within Serbia.
Current U.S. policy relies on the unconvincing claim that Kosovo is "unique" and would set no precedent for other troublespots. Of course every conflict has unique characteristics. However, ethnic and religious minorities in other countries already are signaling their intention to follow a Kosovo example. This includes sizeable Albanian communities in adjoining areas of southern Serbia, Montenegro, and especially the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as the Serbian portion of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Recognition of Kosovo's independence without Serbia's consent would set a precedent with far-reaching and unpredictable consequences for many other regions of the world. The Kosovo model already has been cited by supporters of the Basque separatist movement in Spain and the Turkish-controlled area of northern Cyprus. Neither the Security Council nor any other international body has the power or authority to impose a change of any country's borders.
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the current policy is the dismissive attitude displayed toward Russia's objections. Whatever disagreements the United States may have with Moscow on other issues, and there are many, the United States should not prompt an unnecessary crisis in U.S.-Russia relations. There are urgent matters regarding which the United States must work with Russia, including Iran's nuclear intentions and North Korea's nuclear capability. Such cooperation would be undercut by American action to neutralize Moscow's legitimate concerns regarding Kosovo.
Even if Kosovo declared itself an independent state, it would be a dysfunctional one and a ward of the international community for the indefinite future. Corruption and organized crime are rampant. The economy, aside from international largesse and criminal activities, is nonviable. Law enforcement, integrity of the courts, protection of persons and property, and other prerequisites for statehood are practically nonexistent. While these failures are often blamed on Kosovo's uncertain status, a unilateral declaration of independence recognized by some countries and rejected by many others would hardly remedy that fact.
A reassessment of America's Kosovo policy is long overdue. We hope a policy that would set a very dangerous international precedent can still be averted if that reassessment begins now. In the meantime, it is imperative that no unwarranted or hasty action be taken that would turn what is now a relatively small problem into a large one.