Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Kosovo PM Rejects Idea Of 20-Year Wait On Status

(Adds comments form U.S. ambassador, more comments from Serbian president.)

UNITED NATIONS (AP)--Serbia's president on Tuesday suggested imposing a 20- year grace period before determining Kosovo's final status, an idea that was swiftly rejected by the tiny province's prime minister.

The leaders' disagreement, expressed as they gathered for a U.N. Security Council discussion of Kosovo, underscored just how far apart the two sides remain ahead of U.N.-backed talks set to begin Feb. 20 on the province's future status.

Speaking before the council, Serbian President Boris Tadic reiterated his government's opposition to Kosovo independence and again offered the province wide autonomy instead. Kosovo's status could be re-negotiated "after an agreed period of time, say 20 years," he said.

He also added a wrinkle: If Kosovo is to gain autonomy from Serbia, then the Serbian minority there should gain autonomy from the Kosovo government.

Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi, the first Kosovo leader to ever appear in the council, told reporters afterward that Tadic's ideas were unacceptable.

"I believe that this is the appropriate moment where we have to end and close the Kosovo question," Kosumi said. "I do not think that we should leave room for other periods to deal with the Kosovo question."

The council debate and the two leaders' remarks exposed the problem that each side and their U.N.-appointed mediators know well, with the talks just days away. Kosovo wants total independence from Serbia, while Serbia refuses to countenance that possibility.

Tadic himself acknowledged the difficulty when he told the council that Kosovo and the Serbs favor "two seemingly irreconcilable options."

The U.N. has administered Kosovo since NATO's 1999 air war against Yugoslavia. The NATO bombardment forced former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to end a crackdown on rebel ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and relinquish control over the region.

Tadic warned that independence for Kosovo could have disastrous results because it might spur other territories to break away. But several council members stressed that the key was making sure Kosovo's people - who are 90% ethnic Albanian - approve of the final decision.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton tacitly rejected Tadic's warning, saying that Kosovo was "a very special case" because of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, ethnic cleansing, and the fact that it had been under U.N. administration for so long.

"We must be realistic about possible outcomes," Bolton said. "Independence is a possible outcome. Any status outcome must be acceptable to the people of Kosovo."

As well as hearing Tadic's views, council members discussed a report from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, released two weeks ago, that said Kosovo had made little progress in efforts to create a multiethnic and democratic society.

When it took over control of Kosovo, the U.N. set eight benchmarks it had to reach for final status talks to begin. They include establishing democratic institutions, protecting minorities, promoting economic development and ensuring the rule of law, freedom of movement and property rights.

Even though many of those benchmarks haven't been met, the Security Council agreed last year to allow the talks, which begin in Vienna next week. They said the region simply couldn't remain under U.N. authority forever.

Council members were blunt about their dissatisfaction with Kosovo's development, and spread blame between both sides.

"Understandably, the overall impression one comes away with is disappointment, " Greece's U.N. Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis said.

The top U.N. official in Kosovo, Soren Jessen-Petersen, said that even though the talks were going ahead, it was still essential for Kosovo to reach the benchmarks set out by the council.

"The message is clear: The sooner and the faster that we institute in Kosovo implemented standards, the sooner we will have a decision on the status in Kosovo," Petersen told reporters.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

he he he these idiots really have to make up their mind

So far they got:
-less than independence more that autonomy;
-if Kosova is independent then we will declare it occupied territory
-wait another 20 years or so....

I am surprised that this is all they got considering their amazing state propaganda machine- I guess bull sh**t can only take you so far in life....

Mir said...

Very stupid idea. If we wait 20 years all the Serbs in Kosovo will be dead by then and that would make it pointless to keep Kosovo.

Anonymous said...

Mir,

You are missing the point. Serbia does not care or give a damn for Kosovar Serbs. Speak to Serbs from Strpce and they will tell you why. Serbian politicians are fighting for votes within Serbia and don't want to go down in history as the ones who "lost Kosova forever".

The fewer Serbs in Kosova the more votes they receive in Serbia, and they want 20 years because that's when they plan to retire.

The next generation of Serb politicians will ask for a further 20-30 years I guess.

Greetings,
VP

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should lease Kosova like the British did with Hong Kong?!!! :)

What I find most interesting is that Serbs think that Kosova is rightfully theirs when they took it through aggression and a conference of world powers approved it in 1913 in London. In 1918 again there was war and it took the help of French soldiers returning from the Eastern front to establish the authority of the Serb state in Kosova. It's clearly something wrong with how international law is applied here but the argument, I guess, is "we did first it first, you can't copy us!"

In light of this line of reasoning I have a proposal that will placate both sides. We'll take areas of pre-1878 cleansing and then lease them to Serbia for 20 years. After that we'll discuss them again or even give them to Serbia. That's because we're generous. Who's down?

Mir said...

"and a conference of world powers approved it in 1913 in London"

Yep. The world powers were definately wrong, and the Albanians were right, Kosovo was theirs. Typical nationalist attitude I even saw in Serbs.

"It's clearly something wrong with how international law is applied here but the argument"

So morality should be above international law in these decisions? Hate to ruin it for you but you will find a rare amount of allies that will share that system with you.

"We'll take areas of pre-1878 cleansing and then lease them to Serbia for 20 years. After that we'll discuss them again or even give them to Serbia. That's because we're generous. Who's down? "

I'll give you a proposal. Next time you try to steal another chunk of a sovereign nation, fight your OWN war and win your independence the honorable way a warrior should win. You robbed us of a good battle.

Anonymous said...

"Next time you try to steal another chunk of a sovereign nation, fight your OWN war and win your independence the honorable way a warrior should win. You robbed us of a good battle."

If you think your battle was so honerable why did you appologize to what you did to Albanians, or Bosnians or Croats? I mean cut the b.s. and get real.
Also why do you think the whole world bombed the sh**t out of you, really can you you give me an answer or is it the same b.s that your state feeds you...

Mir said...

Croatians and Bosnians were skilled in warfare, they won logistically (atleast officially) almost completely alone.

"Also why do you think the whole world bombed the sh**t out of you, really can you you give me an answer or is it the same b.s that your state feeds you... "

The whole world...? Didn't see China or Russia or Japan bombing us. Don't care why they bombed us. I care that they killed 500 civilian Yugoslavians and polluted to Danube river so bad it affected countries not even bordering us.

Mir said...

I dont think the Serbian fighting was that honorable either. But they fought for their own country.

Dardania 2006 said...

...and we did for ours.

Mir said...

"...and we did for ours. "

Right... let me guess the pilots in teh American NATO B-52 bombers were Albanians... okay...

Dardania 2006 said...

Mir,

That war started in 1997, and it was our people fighting terrorism from state security forces.

Then NATO got involved cause simply:

a) Serb forces were getting a bit too exited
b) we could not stop the massacres

Anonymous said...

The Serb army fought against a Kosovar Albanian army made of 7 month old children, pregnant women and men over the age of 70. The Albanian victims of this war belonged to those categories.

This tells you how honorably they fought.

Mir said...

So if the armies we fought are the ones you listed that would mean essentially UCK and KLA abandoned the people and let them get slaughtered? Not sure I understand.

Anonymous said...

"So if the armies we fought are the ones you listed that would mean essentially UCK and KLA abandoned the people and let them get slaughtered? Not sure I understand."

Mir, what are you talking about once again?

First of all. Uçk (Ushtria çlirimtare e Kosoves) which means Kosova Liberation Army (KLA) are the same thing. Note, notice why the whole world calls them LIBERATION ARMY not TERRORIST ARMY.

Now, how big do you think UCK/KLA was? 50,000? 100,000? I am pretty sure it was small, certainly less then 50,000. UCK/KLA did not "abandon" anyone, there was not enough of them to be everywhere. Your Chetniks had snipers, tanks, firetourches (used on our Mosques). You have to remember UCK/KLA were not trained, not armed, just basics. No radios, no walkie-talkies, no "SOPI". Do you think that if UCK/KLA was well-organized, was armed to the teeth like the Chetniks and had been assemblied way earlier that they wouldn't have fought like Face-FACE? When a small unorganized army faces a huge power will always use gorrilla tactics. Just like America won against the British, hit and run.