in THE AGE OF EMPIRE
U.S. and EU ready to recognize Kosovo
if Serbia does not agree on role of the province
Judy Dempsey in the International Herald Tribune,
24 September 2007
Comment by tamilnation.org
"Many years ago, in the early 1980's, a US
diplomat in Washington reflecting on India's support for the
Tamil militants, remarked that India was not a super power and
should not try to behave like one. Today, in relation to Kosova,
one message that is being conveyed by the international
community is that Russia is not a super power and that the time has come
for both Russia and Serbia to recognise the lead role of
NATO and US in Europe. That is not to say
that there may not be other matters of concern as well. The support that may be given to
Muslim Kosovo by the Muslim world, may be another
matter of concern. Said that both the US and Serbia see dangers
in the creation of an independent Kosovo. They both prefer to
retain the existing territorial boundaries of Serbia. They
both proclaim their support for a multi ethnic Kosovo within a
multi ethnic Serbia. The degree of autonomy is a matter of emphasis.
Serbia fears that greater autonomy will lead to secession. US
fears that repression may lead to an increase in extra regional
Muslim influence within Kosova. Serbia believes that it
can manage Kosovar resistance if US stays out. But US
fears that if Serbia succeeds, this will strengthen the
Yugoslav-Russia-Belraus (Slav) link with far reaching
implications for US strategic interests in Europe. The US
therefore threatens that it will recognise an independent
Kosova, if Serbia does not fall in line. But if the
threat is to succeed, it must be credible. Here the US may seek
to play upon the fear that Serbia (and Russia) may have
that US may be ready to recognise an independent Kosova despite
a Russian veto - and indeed may welcome a Russian veto as a way
of securing Kosova's permanent dependence on US recognition and
support for its continued survival. Kosovo as a client US state
may not be without its attractions for US policy makers provided
broad based European support is secured - and here the role of
the members of the European Union may become pivotal. It seems
that Velupillai Pirabakaran was right when he declared in 1993
'The world is not rotating on the axis of justice. It is economic
and trade interests that determine the order of the present
world, not the moral law of justice nor the rights of people.
International relations and diplomacy between countries are
determined by such interests.' "
- Nadesan Satyendra, 1998 and
NATO, Kosovo &
Tamil Eelam - Nadesan Satyendra, 1999 ]
BERLIN: The United States and the European Union
will recognize Kosovo if the Balkan province declares independence
from Serbia in early December when last-ditch negotiations end,
senior U.S. and European officials said Monday.[24 September 2007]
The officials spoke as the Serbs and Kosovo Albanians prepared to
sit down this week at the United Nations for talks that diplomats
have billed as part of a final effort to get agreement on the issue.
It has turned into a confrontation between the West and Russia,
which has threatened to veto any Security Council resolution
approving independence for Kosovo.
"The game plan is set," said a senior European diplomat who
requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. "The
talks end on Dec. 10. If there is no sense then that Serbia and
Kosovo can agree on the province's future, then Kosovo will make a
unilateral declaration of independence. The U.S. will recognize that
independence, and the Europeans, as far as they can remain united,
will follow, too," he said.
The EU will support the U.S. stance despite a clear preference for a
UN-backed solution. But it will find it difficult to speak with one
voice for all the 27 member states, diplomats said.
Illustrating the thorniness of the issue, President Nicolas Sarkozy
of France said in an interview last week that Europe must stay
united on Kosovo, but that the Russian position must be taken into
account. "Kosovo's independence is unavoidable in the long term,"
Sarkozy said, adding that President Vladimir Putin "must understand
that no one wants to humiliate him."
Romania and Slovakia, fearful that ethnic Hungarians in their
countries could seek greater autonomy, are expected to come under
heavy pressure from Washington to accept the EU position.
Greece and Cyprus, however, could break ranks. Greece, a close ally
of Serbia, is concerned that its neighbor Macedonia could become
unstable because the ethnic Albanians in the former Yugoslav
republic might call for independence. Cyprus, divided between the
Turkish north and the Greek Cypriot south, fears the Kosovo example
might be used by the Turkish Cypriots.
With so much at stake for EU unity, diplomats, while not holding out
much hope, said all efforts would be made this week at the United
Nations in New York where the Kosovar and Serb leaders meet for the
first time since a new round of talks started last month. The issue
is one of the last unresolved disputes left from the Balkan wars of
"I think it is best that we work through the United Nations Security
Council," Ivan Vejvoda, director of the Belgrade office of the
German Marshall Fund of the United States, said. "It would ensure
full solidarity and democratic legitimacy in the region."
Until now, the EU has been seeking an end to the impasse through the
UN, too, but it is losing patience with the struggle to find a
consensus in the Security Council over granting Kosovo independence,
according to EU diplomats.
Putin, who wants the issue kept inside the UN, has opposed
independence. As a member of the UN Security Council, Russia can
veto or block any resolution calling for Kosovo to be independent.
Russian diplomats have repeatedly claimed that independence without
Serbia's approval could set off a chain reaction in other regions
that are seeking independence, particularly Abkhazia and South
Ossetia in Georgia and Transnistria in Moldova - which are supported
European and U.S diplomats said the status of Kosovo could not be
left in limbo indefinitely. Since 1999, when NATO bombed Serbian
targets to stop the ethnic cleansing of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo
by Serb forces, the province of two million people has been governed
by the UN as an international protectorate. During this time, it has
received over €3 billion, or $4.2 billion, of aid while NATO still
has 17,000 soldiers deployed there.
Wanting to end this precarious status, the United Nations last year
appointed former President Martti Ahtisaari of Finland to draw up a
plan in which the Serb community in the province would be granted a
wide degree of political and cultural autonomy once Kosovo was
independent from Serbia.
The EU agreed to monitor closely the implementation of the Ahtisaari
plan by replacing the UN protectorate there with a strong police and
judicial system in which EU officials would supervise Kosovo's
independence for a limited period. NATO forces would remain in the
While the Kosovo leadership overwhelmingly accepted the Ahtisaari
plan, Boris Tadic, the Serb president, and Vojislav Kostunica, the
Serb prime minister, openly rejected the plan, saying they would
never agree to Kosovo becoming independent from Serbia.
Russia insisted on giving the diplomatic track another chance, which
the U.S. and the EU accepted but only under conditions. The talks,
which started last month, would last 120 days. The EU appointed
Wolfgang Ischinger, the German ambassador to London, to lead a
troika that also includes Aleksandr Botsan-Kharchenko of Russia and
Frank Wisner, the U.S. special envoy for Kosovo..."