Saturday, November 19, 2005

Kosovo status talks to confirm independence: PM

PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro, Nov 20 (AFP) -

Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi says he is sure talks on the status of the UN-run province starting with shuttle diplomacy on Monday will confirm its independence from Serbia.

"Practically, Kosovo has been functioning independently for six years and, with regard to relations with Serbia, it is already 100 percent independent," Kosumi said in an interview with AFP.

"Kosovo's legal status is still not defined and the negotiations are meant to define legally, together with the international community, Kosovo's independence," he said.

The UN-sponsored talks are aimed at resolving the status of Kosovo, which Belgrade lost authority over after a bombing campaign by NATO ended a crackdown by then Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic's forces against ethnic Albanian rebels in June 1999.

Ethnic Albanians, who make up more than 90 percent of Kosovo's population, are demanding independence from Belgrade, which Serbs strongly oppose.

The recently appointed chief UN mediator for the talks, former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, is to visit Pristina on Monday, marking the start of the negotiations.

Ahtisaari's return to the Balkans comes six and a half years after he played an important role in convincing Milosevic to accept the presence of international authorities in the province after 78 days of NATO air strikes.

Kosumi, elected prime minister in March 2005 to replace Ramush Haradinaj who resigned after he was indicted for war crimes, told AFP that Belgrade and Pristina would have to find common ground on many things -- excluding independence.

"If it was left to Belgrade and Pristina to find common ground on Kosovo's final status, (the problem) would have been resolved 100 years ago. But this was impossible because of the political circumstances in Belgrade and it remains impossible," he said.

Kosumi said the two sides would "have to find a common language for many open questions; from the position of the Serb minority in Kosovo and its cultural and religious heritage to many problems in our relations generated in the past and which still influence our relations".

As there is no clear schedule for the talks, many analysts believe they will last long enough, with an intention to provide negotiators an opportunity to find a common solution on Kosovo's future.

But Ahtisaari's new mission in the Balkans is expected to be more complicated than it was last time around.

The Finn will attempt to reconcile ethnic Albanians, who were oppressed during the Milosevic years, and Serbs, who say their claim to the province is based on historic and cultural roots dating back to the middle ages when few Albanians lived in the area.

But Kosumi said Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica was "in a difficult position," although he insisted the solution for disputed Kosovo was "very easy."

"Belgrade has a chance to distance itself finally from the radical politics and the approach that over recent decades has pushed Serbia into endless wars and led to bloodshed all over the former Yugoslavia," he said.

Kostunica had to end this trend "in a revolutionary way, to free his nation from the burden of the past and offer a new opportunity to Serbia, Kosovo and all nations in the region that had suffered from Serbian politics," said Kosumi.

He insisted Kosovo Serbs should engage in the political life of Kosovo, saying their boycott of institutions and political processes "damages their interests."

"I call on Kosovo Serb politicians to think about their responsibilities towards their voters," Kosumi said.

Kosovo Serb politicians describe the situation in the province as insecure and dangerous for their community, notably since riots 18 months ago that seriously damaged their confidence with NATO-led security forces (KFOR) and the Albanian population.

During three days of violence in March 2004, 19 people were killed, nearly 900 were injured and an estimated 4,500 -- most of them Serbs -- were forced from their homes.

The violence, in which dozens of ancient Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries were also demolished, was denounced by KFOR at the time as an attempt at "ethnic cleansing" by ethnic Albanians.

But Kosumi said: "Kosovo Serbs have no other future except the one in Kosovo. Wherever they go, to Serbia or somewhere else, they will have a tougher time than here. Kosovo is their home and their future."

17 comments:

teuta1 said...

RTS: Croats in Kosovo Seek Protection Because of Albanians' Actions

FOCUS NEWS ENGLISH (BULGARIA), 13 November 2005 15:17

Pristina. The Croats living in Kosovo and Metohija sent letters to the representatives of all international and local organizations in Pristina and to the President of Croatia Stipe Mesic demanding that their rights be defended from the actions of the Albanians, RTS reports.

According to the last census of the population in 1991 some 20,000 Croats were living in Kosovo. Now 6,000 remained to live in the region, the media reports.

Kosovar2006 said...

Pristina miss spelled its PRISHTINA. Kosovo & what ITS KOSOVA that place you mention doesn't exist.

Radio & Televizija Serbia (RTS) yeah very trustworthy agency please don't post from your propaganda but analyse the article and comment accordingly.

Chris Blaku said...

How many letters?

Prince of Albania said...

This part of the Blog says "Comments" not "Copy Pasted Articles"
Please feel free to comment on the article this page is dedicated to.
If you wish to copy paste comments please start a blogg.
I have a few creative names for it too, like: SerbianRacistPropaganda.com or GreaterSerbiaPolicies.com or KillAllNonSerbs.com
Anyways, you catch my drift, right?

Mir said...

Why is it that you insist on bringing hate and violence Prince? Are you just not mature enough to realize how serious this situation is? If Kosovo is independent, or if Kosovo remains under Serbia, either way will bring another war.

Have you even thought about how bad that war will be comparing to the others? Americans are all tied up in Iraq and wouldn't be able to help at all. We must work together to help the outcome be peaceful and meaninful.

If we do not there will be a war again and the purpose of all of this would have been absolutely useless. I look at my family and friends and realize how dangerous this situation is. I don't want to lose any of them and Im sure you don't either.

If you truly wish for peace after independence you must try and implement it before-hand. I don't give a shit what happens to Kosovo. I due care though, about what will happen regardless of the outcome. A solution must be found that will appease all sides.

-Mitar

illyrianboy said...

Mitar,

You sound to pessimistic. I don't think there will be a war in any case. There won't be a war if Belgrade understands that Kosovo is a lost cause. Kosovars understand that they have to respect the Serb minority. No matter what happens those who call Kosovo home will always have the right to live there.

Cheers

Dardania 2006 said...

This is funny, I am part Croat silly Serbs, and none of us is asking for protection from Albanians. We're no criminals you see, General Ceku is a citizen of Croatia and he often hangs out with his war time Croatian buddies...

Serbs are sooo silly...

ICE CREAM to SERBIA!!!

Kosovar2006 said...

Mitar

'If Kosovo is independent, or if Kosovo remains under Serbia, either way will bring another war.'

If Kosova gets independence there will be another war - can you ellaborate more on that? I don't see that as a bigger possibility as the other option you mentioned.

Anyway no one wants another war and I do agree if there is a war it will be bigger than any other the region has had.

Dardania 2006 said...

The Serb psyche, self-conceptual image depends on war and hatered toward someone, whoever it is, even if they are Kosovar Serbs.

I am not surprised Mitar is calling for war if Serbia looses its second-degree citizens, after all - they are running out of second-degree citizens fast, what will they do when they cannot be themselves anymore?

They need ICE CREAM!!!

Mir said...

"I am not surprised Mitar is calling for war"

You need some comprehension skills. What I said was that either way there will be a strong chance for war. Think about ALL the possibilities. If the Serbians lose it they could feel as if world law wasn't applied with them. They obviously wouldn't care anymore about the international laws and could easily invade Kosovo again.

OR, If Kosovo dosen't get independence the Kosovars could easily start rioting because THEY WOULD ALSO FEEL AS IF THEY WERE CHEATED. Why is it that you cannot understand there will be a conflict no matter what?

Just imagine the possibility. If Serbia can convince allies like Russia (200,000+ army) and China (1 MILLION+ infantry) that they weren't given the proper rights needed to keep Kosovo, this could EASILY break out into another World War. If that happened US (350,000+ army in Iraq) wouldn't be able to help the Albanians much. If US would help Albania in such an event this would be easily the most destructive and bloody war in history. I think Serbians and Albanians are failing to realize just how sensitive this Balkan region is.

This is an extremely tense situation that can only be handled with a appeasement for BOTH sides. Both sides must feel they have achieved some kind of victory or this region could erupt again.

I don't want any of my family and relatives and friends dying over a piece of land just because some idiot Serbs and Albanians feel the need the continuously insult and fight each other over a stupid piece of land.

If there is another war I am convinced it will be the most destructive of them all. I've seen what war can do and I don't want something even worse breaking out. Peace through appeasement and international laws is the only way Kosovo's outcome will be without violence. My English is bad so I can't talk much more about what I feel in detail.

-Mitar

illyrianboy said...

Mitar, I have a question for you. Do you honestly think that Russia and China will go to war over Kosovo?

Let me remind you that six years ago Yugoslavia was bombed and none of those countries objected. Now when independence seems more possible than in 1999 their opposition is going to be even weaker.

Russia is closer to the West right now, and has better relations with the US. Russia is definitely not interested in damaging its relations with the US right now.

China also is not interested in breaking up its relations with the US, especially since its trade sufficit with the US is in billions.

Cheers

Kosovar2006 said...

It is a tense situation, sometimes I keep thinking a conflict is unavoidable since the two sides want two different things so strongly. Personally I will take no action I am putting my faith on democracy and dialogue if that fails well I will fight on what I belive in. KOSOVA is albanian land, people there for centuries have known themselfs as albanians they have no other place and cant be called serbia ever again.

Mir said...

"none of those countries objected"

Russia took back an airport for the Serbians. America tried to send a British general to take it back from the Russians and I believe he said something along the lines of "Sir, I'm not starting WW3 for you." You can find this event on the internet.

Right know who knows what China or Russia would do. All I know is they are allied with Serbians and as far as I know they're "liking" for Americans (and their foreign imperialism) is equivelant to just about any other country. You people seem to think we're in our mother's backyard. This isn't a game. You think that the UN gives a SHIT wether it was yours 1000 years ago or Serbia's 600 years ago? People could get slaughtered over something as stupid as "history", which is just used as propaganda on both sides to fuel the hate.

It makes the Balkan region look completely backwards. It is obvious none of the Serbians or Kosovars on this blog want to find a peaceful way to transition through what happens to Kosovo, so I'm going to stop posting here for a while. Peace, if that fails, then you try diplomacy, if that fails appeasement, if that fails ONLY then do you go to war.

Best of luck to you all and stay safe.

-Mitar

tironsi said...

Mitar, you're seriously overestimating Russia's and China's allegiances to Serbia. First of all the only reason China sides with Serbia is because of Taiwan. They don't give a shit about Serbia or Kosova and they wouldn't go to war for some land half a world away that holds no economic or strategic gains for them. Remember that even in Serbia's best case scenario Kosova will be autonomous and not controlled by Serbia so what does China gain from one outcome that they don't gain from the other?They've already made their detante about Taiwan about going to War. There is nothing more that they can do. Now regarding Russia, you seriously think that Russia can afford another war (besides Chechenia)? They're almost broke as it is. If Putin were as foolish as to do that he'd be lynched in his own country. Wake up, no one gives a rat's ass about Kosova's independence. They want to keep Serbia quiet and not have to spend more money bombing it again. With the nutcases you have ready to come to power it could happen. But like Russia, Serbia can't afford any more wars either. Sure you have the ultra nationalists, but you need bodies on the groun and supplies. Assuming you can scrounge the supplies, you think Serbia has enough soldiers willing to die in another war? Kosovars on the other hand would be fighting for their freedom, they would have no other choice. Everyone in Serbia needs to wake up and realize the inevitability: picking fights with everyone doesn't make you likable or gain you anything. They lost Kosova and next they'll lose Vojvodina. Montenegro is half gone from the union already. Serbia needs to do a 180 and just embrace the EU. Get rid of all the war criminals, give up Kosova, and pacify Vojvodina, and hold out its hands for some nice fat cash to create a successful state that's not built on hate and threats.

arianit said...

Mitar,

I agree with you that Kosova is a crappy peace of land, but unfortunately this is what some 1.8 million Albanians (including me) and some 200,000 Serbs call home. The sooner we look at the problem on these terms (rather than divine or world terrorism one), the better for all of its people.
There won't be another war, and even less a chance of Serbs invading in the next 10 years. The ploy by the Russian soldiers was done without the knowledge of Kremlin and in two weeks they had to ask for food from NATO because Russia couldn't resupply them. Sir Jackson wasn't aware that all of Jeltsin's "anger" was a bluff, and everything was coordinated with US's Strobe Talbott.

For Serbs Kosova was an ideal and not much more. That ideal has been battered down in loss after loss in 10 years of wars across the Balkans. For K-Serbs, the situation is different since there is a high degree or racism by their compatriots and if they have the right moves, they could very well end up living an OK life in Kosova.

Now, there are provocateurs on both sides, but to fight a war you need a whole nation behind it.
Although there are expectations on both sides on what the result of Kosova should be - ironically the results are already there.

Prince of Albania said...

China and Russia going to war over Serbia?

Please!

And another thing, I didn't bring hate in here I am just telling the idiot poster teuta1 that copies and pastes shit on these pages to do what everyone else is doing, comment on the damn article at hand!!!

As for war, Serbia can barely maintain their Army and Police force. The economy of Serbia could not bare the burden of isolation, sanctions and financial ruin this would bring Serbia.

Be realistic. The only viable option is to respect the majority population’s wish.
People's Right to Self-determination is not a privilege, it's a right!
The only moral and just option is to respect that right for any nation, including the Albanians of Kosovo!

Sincerely, Prince of Albania.

Chris Blaku said...

The event you speak of was the preliminary and illegal occupation of Prishtina by some 200 Russian soldiers under the orders of Boris Yeltsin. General Wesley Clark ordered the NATO troops to engage the Russians, as was within his right as the senior commander in the region, and his command was met with your aforementioned comment, which was one of arrogance due to the fact that Russia cannot afford to take on Chechnya, much less NATO.

Russia and China are not allied with Serbia, as in military terms, the world ally is used sparingly. As Tironsi said, you seriously overestimate the military and political will to back the Serbians in war. A war in Kosova involves the largest overseas base in the United States, Camp Bondsteel, and its military detachment. Turning American bases into battlefields is an unlikely and unfavorable scenario for China and Russia, the latter of whom cannot afford war. Moreover, the recent economic development and growth of both nations is due to their embrace of capitalism, and most importantly, the United States. A war with their economic dependent would prove disastrous financially and militarily.

Please do not kid yourself and overestimate the power of the second-tier alliance of power in the world, the Russo-Chinese alliance. They protested fiercely against the invasion of Iraq, which went on anyway. You overestimate the power and will of Serbia's friends and underestimate that of the United States. Also, you brand the United States as a "foreign imperialist," while conveniently neglecting the fact that Russia is made up of 105 republics and China is made up of nearly the same number. If their forceful control of province's such as chechnya and Taiwan are not foreign-imposed imperialism, I don't know what is. What territory does the United States control against its will?

Additionally, the only people playing the history card are the Serbians, who seem to think their long-discredited history bears any fruit in an argument where their modern judgment calls are ridiculed and branded Nazi-like.