“Kosova independent by summer”
By Daily Jutarnji List
Published: April 17, 2007
ZAGREB -- Ahtisaari’s deputy Albert Rohan says Kosova will be granted supervised independence, while Russia will not use its veto at the UN.
Rohan told Zagreb daily Jutarnji List he did not wish to speculate on whether Serbian and Russian efforts to delay the United Nations Security Council decision on Kosova’s future status would lead to incidents escalating into violence, creating “negative press” for the province’s Albanians.
However, Rohan told the newspaper he agreed the situation in Kosova, although currently stable, was so volatile any incident could spark off more serious violence.
“The sooner we have a decision, the better. We oppose unreasonable delays,” Rohan said.
Rohan explained he expected negotiations over a new Kosova resolution to take place during May, while the resolution itsel! ! f would be adopted at the end of that month.
“In any case, Kosova should be independent before the summer,” he added.
Rohan told the daily Ahtisaari’s proposal “had no alternative”, as well as that after eight years of uncertainty Kosova’s status needed to be resolved.
“Miloševiæ is the one who lost Kosova, everybody knows this. The fault is not with the current Serbian leadership and this fact needs to be faced at last,” Rohan said.
Rohan also said he did not believe Russia would reach for its veto in a council session discussing a new Kosova resolution.
“Permanent Security Council member states have been responsible in the past, rarely using their veto powers,” Rohan explained.
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Burns said: "USA will support a declaration of independence by the people of Kosova"
By Associated Press
Published: April 17, 2007
In a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, the Undersecretary of State said that the U.S. considers independence “the only option for the province,” the Associated Press reports.
Letting go of Kosova would allow Belgrade to move toward greater integration with Western Europe and beyond troubled relations with Washington, Burns said, while gesturing toward Ivan Vujaèiæ, Serbia's ambassador, who was sitting in the front row.
Burns said that the United States hoped that a plan proposed by chief United Nations envoy for Kosova, Martti Ahtisaari granting the province supervised statehood would be debated by the UN Security Council within weeks.
Under the proposal, Kosova would have interim period of international supervision with its own army, flag, anthem and constitution, before achieving full statehood.
"We are on the verge of a major development with the looming independence of Kosova as a new state in the international system," Burns said.
"It is very clear to the United States that the future of Kosova should be one of independence and we will lead the way as authors of a resolution that would allow that to happen."
Serbia has rejected the proposal and has been supported by Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council with veto power.
During a question period following Monday's speech, Ambassador Vujaèiæ (serb-origine) asked Burns, why the U.S. would not consider Serbia's proposals for extensive autonomy for Kosova.
"There is every reason to believe that that solution put forward by Russia, put forward by the Serb government itself, would lead to more violence, rather than less," Burns replied.
"You put forward the proposal of autonomy. We think that is 10 to 12 years too late," Burns said.
Vujaèiæ also asked Burns whether the United States would rule out unilateral recognition of Kosova.
The question is sensitive because some have suggested that if Russia carries out threats that it has made to veto a resolution on the Ahtisaari plan, other countries, including the United States, should recognize Kosova's independence anyway.
"We will support a declaration of independence by the people of Kosova," Burns said.
But he made clear that the United States expected that UN resolution would pass and that recognition would follow.