Text of report by Irini Karanasopoulou, entitled "Kosovo like... USA", published by Greek newspaper Ta Nea on 13 March; subheadings and ellipsis in newspaper headline as published
High-level diplomatic officials of the Foreign Ministry are suggesting a turn of the country's foreign policy on Kosovo so that there will be openings towards the Albanians and a "diplomatic reception" of the almost certain independence of the area in 2006.
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni has not made any final decisions on the issue but, according to her associates, she seems to initially agree with the need of adjusting the foreign policy on Kosovo, also following her recent tour in the former Yugoslavia.
Independence is certain
In their suggestions, these officials note that Kosovo's independence - either through talks or in another way - must be considered certain, given that this is the choice of the Americans with the support of the British.
At the same time, the same diplomats are saying, the French are not interested, while the Germans are neutral since their interest in former Yugoslavia has in fact been exhausted in Slovenia and Croatia.
"The only thing we achieve by speaking continuously about the need not to have asphyxiating timetables, not to change the borders, not to have a solution if it is not agreed, is to be against both the Albanians and the international factor," the high-ranking diplomatic officials pointed out to the Foreign Ministry's new leadership, reminding that the diplomatic establishment has had this view since year 2000 but the governments had not accepted it. For this reason, they add, "it would be good if the 'green light' to a possible change of policy - provided this is decided by the government - is to be given at the highest possible level, by the Prime Minister himself.
In three countries
The diplomatic officials' suggestion points out that as soon as Kosovo becomes independent, the Albanian element will dominate in three countries - Albania, Kosovo and Skopje [Macedonia]. Consequently, good relationship with the Albanians will operate in a protective way for the existing Greek investments but also for future ones. They note that with Kosovo becoming independent, the money of exiled Kosovars will start flowing into the area since so far they were hesitating to send money to their fatherland which was under a disputed regime.
As a first opening towards the Albanians, the diplomats propose the establishment of a channel of communication with new Kosovo prime minister, general [Agim] Ceku, former UCK [Kosovo Liberation Army] member.
According to Washington, he constitutes to be the best choice because he is accepted as a hero in Kosovo and consequently he can make "offers" to the Serbs - which is also something that Athens wants.
Source: Ta Nea, Athens, in Greek 13 Mar 06