Friday, February 02, 2007

KOSOVA set on path to INDEPENDENCE


Fri Feb 2, 2007
By Ellie Tzortzi

BELGRADE (Reuters) - United Nations special envoy Martti Ahtisaari on Friday avoided any pronouncement on the future sovereignty of Kosovo, but handed Serbia a plan that sets its breakaway province firmly on a path to independence.

As diplomats had long suggested, Ahtisaari gave Serbian President Boris Tadic a proposal that did not mention the word 'independence' or address the loss of Serbia's sovereignty.

But it allows Kosovo to access international bodies normally reserved for sovereign states and gives it the right to raise its own flag, with its own national anthem and other symbols.

"The settlement provides for an international representative to supervise the implementation," Ahtisaari told a news conference. The NATO-led peace force "will continue to provide a safe and secure environment ... as long as necessary."

The settlement includes measures to "promote sustainable economic development including Kosovo's ability to apply for membership in international financial institutions", he added.

Ahtisaari declined several opportunities to address the issue of Kosovo's ultimate status, saying this would be settled by the United Nations Security Council once he formally presents his plan, following a last round of consultations.

The envoy said the diametrically opposed positions of the Serbs and Kosovo Albanians were "extremely fixed", but he was allowing them one more chance to find compromise in talks this month on the future status of the territory.

Invitations would be sent for a meeting in Vienna on February 13 and it would be up to Serbs and leaders of Kosovo's 90 percent ethnic Albanian majority to decide whether to turn up.

The former Finnish president mediated months of largely fruitless talks in 2006 in search of a compromise. Maybe they have had enough, he said. "I can't force anyone to participate."

There was also no point in waiting for a new government to be formed following Serbia's inconclusive election last month, he said. "Whether it's now or a little bit later, the same people would be on either side of the table."

"The final process starts when the plan enters the Security Council," Ahtisaari said, indicating that could be next month.

The European Union urged both sides to respond "positively and constructively" to Ahtisaari's proposals.

SERB, ALBANIAN MEDIA AGREE

Ahtisaari was to present his plan later on Friday in Kosovo's capital Pristina, where newspapers already celebrated what one called a "whiff of statehood" in the air.

The daily Express said he was "bringing Kosovo the right to self-determination", and in Belgrade Serb newspapers agreed.

"The word independence is not mentioned, but a plan written like this leaves no room for uncertainty," wrote Vecernje Novosti.

Kosovo has been run by the U.N. since 1999 when 11 weeks of bombing by NATO forced the late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic to withdraw his forces, accused of killing 10,000 Albanians during a counter-insurgency war.

Some 100,000 ethnic Serbs remain in the province, half of them in the northern part that borders Serbia. Some predict violence and secession or partition, and both NATO and the U.N. mission have made contingency plans for a crisis.

"There is nothing more we can do," said Kosovo Serb accountant Milica Knezevic, "there's no life for us here."

"The deal is done, we are being fooled," said pensioner Dusan Obradovic.
Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, who has condemned Ahtisaari for "anti-Serb bias", has taken the lead in rejecting his plan in advance and refused to meet the envoy on Friday.

The poor, landlocked province of two million is cherished by Serbia for its heritage as the medieval homeland of the nation.

President Tadic has told Serbs Kosovo might already be lost.

But Kostunica says he will never accept this and is urging all parties in the next government to solemnly pledge that Serbia will cut ties with any country recognizing the province as an independent state, including all major Western powers.

(Additional reporting by Beti Bilandzic, Monika Lajhner, Ivana Sekularac in Belgrade and Matt Robinson in Pristina)
Reuters News Service:
Financial Times:
The New York Times:

13 comments:

Altin said...

God Bless Albanians!

Thank you GOD for setting our people FREE!!!

FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST, THANK GOD ALMIGHTY WE ARE FREE AT LAST!

Anonymous said...

Let Freedom Ring!

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I'm glad for Kosova.
Now Malesia and Cameria next to be freed!
May God bless our nation and all those who work for the cause!

Highlander said...

The mistakes that "our" forefathers made in Berlin (1878) have come back to haunt them.

The mistakes made back then must be corrected, as they were today In Kosova!

But Kosova is only part of the solution; the Albanian question resonates throughout the Balkans, e.g., Montenegro, Macedonia, Greece and Serbija (Preshev).

Hence the Albanian question remains in limbo.

Nik Gjurashaj said...

The trials of the Serbian terrorist machinery that persecuted and eliminated hundreds of thousands of Albanians throughout her storied history has finally come to a close with the proposal of a sovereign Kosova.

Yes, sovereign because the UNs proposal leads the way for full-fledged independence.

The results are unanimous and the Serbs lost everything their imperial hearts desired. Their Serbian "dynasty" is gone! Their nationalism is shameful! Their future is grim! And the seperation of territory is not finished with Kosova ---

***VOJVODINA WE ARE WITH YOU!!!!

Free Malësia said...

ACTION NEEDED!

CALL CONGRESSMAN FRANKS OFFICE AND DENOUNCE HIS STAND ON KOSOVA!

Congressman Franks' D.C. telephone number is: 202-225-4576. Fax: 202-225-6328

District office: Glendale, 623-776-7911

Congressman Frank blasted Albanians in Kosova in a recent publication in American Legion Magazine. Excerpts his comments were as follow:

"Much like Hezbollah, those who lay claim to Kosovo and neighboring lands have made clear their intent to create a religiously and ethnically pure Muslim Albanian state."

"For Christian Serbs in Kosovo an independent Kosovo will crush their hopes of achieving equality under the law. Since the birth of the Serbian democracy, hundreds of thousands of Christian Serbs and members of other ethnic minorities have been 'cleansed' from Kosova."

**** CALL HIS OFFICE AND DEMAND THAT HE RETRACT THESE SLANDEROUS COMMENTS AND DECLARE AN OFFICIAL APOLOGY TO THE ALBANIAN PEOPLE!!!

Free Malësia said...

CNN.com

"Describing his proposal as a draft compromise subject to change, Ahtisaari said he would invite the rival sides to meet again on Feb. 13 for negotiations. He said he hoped to be able to present a package to the Security Council -- which will have the final say on Kosovo's future status -- by the end of March."

"Approval there would set the stage for the U.S. and other countries to formally recognize Kosovo's independence. But there were concerns that it could trigger a showdown between the United States -- long an advocate of an independent Kosovo -- and Russia, a traditional ally of Serbia which wields veto power."

Anonymous said...

THIS IS WHAT ALBANIANS IN MONTENEGRO (MALESIA) HAVE BEEN PLEADING FOR BUT CONTINUE TO BE DENIED...

From CNN.com:

"For Serbs, the plan outlines "a high degree of control" over their own affairs by granting them six new Serb-administered municipalities and a greater voice in the higher education and health systems. Serbs also would be granted "extensive municipal autonomy in financial matters, including the ability to accept transparent funding from Serbia."

*** THERE IS OBVIOUSLY A DOUBLE-STANDARD HERE. WHAT'S GOOD FOR ONE MINORITY SHOULD APPLY TO THE OTHER...

Tina Kalaj said...

Yes, the real game will be played out in the UN Security Council.

I wonder how China is going to react to this, keeping in mind their (loose) association with Taiwan.

Russia is in a tough position; should it support its baby sister and veto, or bargain with the elite group re breakaway republics under their territory for the 'yeah" vote?

Whatever the result, the USA, Great Britain and Albania have already indicated they will decare recognition. Its just a matter of time before others do the same, regardless of what transpires in the Security Council.

Anonymous said...

The NY Times reports, and it now must be understood by all, that independence cannot be declared until Ahtisaari's plan passes the hurdles in teh Security Council.

With Serbia out of the picture, Russia & China stand in the way...

According to the Times..., "The plan would also allow Kosovo to declare independence if the package is approved by the Security Council."

"That shifts the onus to Russia and, to a lesser extent, China, both of which have supported Serbia’s territorial claims — in part, over concerns about ethnically motivated secessionist movements in their own countries."

Anonymous said...

I read the article from Congressman Franks; it is sad that the electorate votes for morons like him. Just goes to show how informed Americans are about their candidates.

Anonymous said...

Ne duhet ta dijme se bashkjetes me Malazes(Serb) nuk ka.Ata na kan vra e pre ne njiqind bes e fe deri ne ditet e sodit pa nderpre.Kosova si mas planit te Atisarit do ta fitoj nje dhoj pamvaresijet me nje autonomi per serbet,te cilet perbejin vetem 7% te popullates se Kosoves(po kaq perqind ka shqiptare nen MZ).Kushtetuta e Kosoves nuk do te mund te ndrrohet pa pelqimin e deputetvet te pakices Serbe(dy te tretat e tyre).Serbet ne Kosov i fituen te gjithat,e ne shqiptaret nen MZ nuk fituem asgje,bile as nje komune te plot ne Malesi,ne shtetin me te ri ne Bote,te cilin e krijuem ne shqiptaret me voten tone.Kurese ne komunen e Ulqinit pothuejse te gjith prokuroret dhe gjyqtaret jane serbo-malazes,aty ku mbi 85%te popullates jane shqiptare.Ne mbi 90% votuem per ate shtet,kurese 67% te sllavet ortodox votuen kundra.Mali i Zi u ba shtet e u prenue pothuoj se ne te gjitha instanca nderkombtare se bashku me trojet etnike shqiptare te cilat jau dorzueme ne shqiptaret me voten e doren tone pa kurrfar kushtesh.E per cfar perspektivash e te drejtavet per shqiptaret atje flasim nevet tani,sidomos ne nji shtet sllav e anti shqiptare,te cilin Amerika e bashkesija Evropjane po e mbajin si djal t` shirit.
Prezidenti i ndjer i Kosoves Rugova pat deklarue nje her"Ne mund te bejim negocjata me Serbin per shkembim te teritorevet por vetem ateher kur Kosova te jet e pamvarun".Me besoni se heret a vone kjo do te ndolli,se per ate aresye serbet ne kosove e fituen autonomin.Lugina e Presheves do te shkembehet me autonomin serbe te Kosoves,kurese shqiptaret nen MZ do te mbesen aty ku jane se jetojin ne nje shtet tjeter sovran e indipedent prej Serbijet.Ne Malesoret e vram vetin me dore te vet se duket e deshtem Malin e Zi me shume se Shqiprin e Kosoven.Kurese neved qe ishim per bojkotin e ktij referendumit na etikuen si pro serb e te cilet jane per Serbin e madhe kurese anetaret e shoqates Malesija e Madhe"katunar",te cilet jane intelektual me tituj te ndryshem shkencor e aktivista te dalluer te cheshtjes tone madhore te cilet kan shpenzue me qindra mija dollar Amerikan.E gzofshi Malin e Zi por pa mue.Ju pershendet nje katunar

Anonymous said...

konkuroj me ty