Wednesday, October 12, 2005

US takes tough line in Balkans on ties with Nato - The Financial Times

By Daniel Dombey in Brussels and Eric Jansson in Belgrade
Published: October 12 2005 18:46 | Last updated: October 12 2005 18:46

The US will this week deliver a tough message to the countries of the former Yugoslavia that contrasts with the softer approach taken by the European Union.

Brussels has opened negotiations with Croatia and Serbia-Montenegro this month, even though alleged war criminals from the two countries are at large. Croatia is now on course to become an EU member while Serbia is negotiating a “stabilisation and association agreement”, widely seen as a way station to full membership.

By contrast, Washington says neither country should be allowed to deepen its ties with Nato, the US-led military alliance, while the most prominent war crimes indictees Ante Gotovina and Ratko Mladic remain at large.

Nicholas Burns, US undersecretary of state, is set to deliver the message on a trip to the region this week.

“Nato has to hold this line on these war criminals,” he said in comments ahead of his arrival on Wednesday.

He added that in June he had been led to expect Mr Mladic's imminent arrest: “We're not going to put much stock in promises. We're just going to look for actions, and we'll withhold normalisation of our relations until that happens.”

Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state, is also likely to push Bosnia-Herzegovina, which remains largely split between its Serb and Muslim-Croat populations, to move towards becoming a more unitary state over the next 12 to 18 months.

Ms Rice would like to use a conference on the 10th anniversary of Bosnia's Dayton peace deal in November to convince Bosnia to abolish its tripartite presidency to make way for a single head of state. Bosnia at present has a dozen governments at the national, federal and provincial levels.

The pressure from the US and the recent decisions by the EU come at a sensitive time. Serbia, the region's linchpin, faces the prospect of being split off both from its partner state of Montenegro, which is pushing for a referendum on independence, and from its province of Kosovo.

Despite pressure from Belgrade, Kofi Annan, United Nations secretary-general, is set to name Martti Ahtisaari, the former Finnish president, as his special envoy to lead negotiations on Kosovo's final status.


Anonymous said...

Ethnic Turk Murdered in Kosovo
October 12, 2005 -- An unknown assailant in a Kosovo town of Prizren has mortally attacked Ibish Chakali, an ethnic Turk and an attorney who was a member of the presidency of the Turkish Democratic Party.

Kosovo police confirmed the attack.

"Chakali was found wounded by police in the settlement of Ortokol in Prizren. He was taken to hospital where he died of his wounds," said Kosovo Police Service spokesman Bujar Xhurxhiali.

Police says that Chikali was targeted by shots from a moving vehicle.

Murder of a high ranking ethnic Turk comes one day after Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul visited Kosovo where he also inspected Turkish contingent of soldiers taking part in peacekeeping under NATO command. Gul also visited a Turkish village of Mamush located near town of Prizren where the murder occurred.

Turkish Democratic Party President Mahir Jagdjilar said that he hoped that the motive for the murder was neither political nor ethnic. He did not specify whether this was an assassination attempt.

Kosovo is a UN administered province of Serbia where the majority Albanians seek independence and have alluded that they are ready to use violence to get it. Recent UN report has criticized Kosovo Albanian government for lack of protection for ethnic minorities that live in the province.

October 12, 2005 04:22 PM (08:22 GMT)

Ron said...

"Recent UN report has criticized Kosovo Albanian government for lack of protection for ethnic minorities that live in the province"

Whoever wrote this comment doesn't know that the security in Kosova is in the hands of UN. Kosova Albanian Government has no power whatsoever to intervene. that's why Kosovars need independence. They need it in order to run their own country.

Ron said...

"Recent UN report has criticized Kosovo Albanian government for lack of protection for ethnic minorities that live in the province"

Whoever wrote this message doesn't know that the security in Kosova (Justice, Courts, Prosecution etc)is in the hands of UN.
Kosova Albanian Government has no power whatsoever to intervene.
This is why Kosova needs independence. They need it i order to run their own country.

Prince of Albania said...

Also, ethnic Turks in Kosovo support the Kosovare Albanian government and the majority of the people of Kosovo in their quest for independence. There are o reasons or motives for Albanians to perpetrate this act. The Serb secret service however, has every reason to do this!!!

Read why below:

Kosovo independent next year? | 10:24 October 13 | B92

LONDON, PRAGUE -- Thursday – Kosovo will be independent under the condition of international control of democratic standards, Reuters writes.

According to the report, Kosovo could get independence next year, but will remain under international control.

Reuters quotes an unnamed senior European official as saying that while Serbia insists that Kosovo can only be autonomous, the international community wants to begin negotiations aimed at conditional independence.

There is consensus within the international community for this solution, says Reuters’ source.

The unnamed diplomat says that full independence could be offered to the province as soon as the standards imposed by the international community have been met and only when Serbia and the other countries in the region become members of the European Union.

Former US Balkan envoy James Dobbins says that the Contact Group believes unanimously that the time has come for negotiations on Kosovo’s final status.

“I think that every member state of the Contact Group agrees on the importance of beginning talks. Perhaps some are more ready for them than others. But I can say that, in that sense, there is an agreed position within the Contact Group,” Dobbins told Radio Free Europe.

He added that it is obvious that the international community will put conditions on Kosovo’s independence.

“If Kosovo wants to reach this goal, independence, it must offer guarantees and evidence of security for the minority. The international community will be in a position to judge whether the guarantees have been met.,” said Dobbins.