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Thread: Sleepwalking into another Balkan war ?

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    Sleepwalking into another Balkan war ?

    Decision time approaches on the future of Kosovo - and its independence from "the Serbian National homeland". Not a Germanic issue ? -- but with the Russians supporting Orthodox Serbia, will the West yet again be drawn in to uphold the rights of whoever??



    We risk sleepwalking into another war in the Balkans

    Neither Gordon Brown nor David Cameron is talking about it, but there are darkening storm clouds over Kosovo and Bosnia (UK reference)

    Andrew Rawnsley

    Sunday November 18, 2007
    The Observer


    To paraphrase Neville Chamberlain , the Balkans are a nearby place about which we would prefer to know nothing. Within weeks, we could be facing a desperately grave crisis in the most combustible area of Europe. And yet so far there has been little curiosity about it in most of the media and among most of our politicians. Smoke alarms are shrieking, but most of Westminster is still asleep.


    We should know the perils of ignoring storm clouds when they begin to gather over the Balkans. It has been the arena of the only war on European soil since 1945. That was a vicious conflict with genocidal dimensions that cost at least 100,000 lives and displaced millions of people. The failure to act when Muslims were being massacred in Bosnia is part of the anti-Western propaganda narrative of al-Qaeda. It exposed the pitiful inadequacies of the European Union, which proved powerless to prevent conflict raging in its own neighbourhood without American intervention.

    The Balkan conflicts of the Nineties also profoundly shaped the policies and reputations of a generation of British politicians. It is a stain of shame on the last Conservative government that they wrung their hands or simply sat on them when a more robust response could have saved many lives. It was in reaction to that failure that Tony Blair took his muscular approach to the later conflict in Kosovo, which turned him into a world figure. That did save many Muslim lives, though al-Qaeda does not mention that.

    Despite this history - or perhaps it is precisely because of it - Gordon Brown had nothing to say about the recent alarming developments in the Balkans when he made his big speech on foreign policy at the Mansion House. It may be that he has the Balkans filed in his head as something that the other guy, his predecessor, what's-his-name did. But it can't really be ignorance because I know that Mr Brown talked about it privately with his counterpart from Slovenia when they met in Downing Street last week. In public, in that Mansion House speech, Mr Brown visited most of the rest of the world, but chose to avoid the nationalist tensions seething within his own continent. There was the same silence from David Cameron when he went to Berlin at the end of last month to make what the Tory leader intended to be his defining speech on his approach to the world. It was a trot around the hot spots of the globe, but had nothing to say about the most unstable part of Europe.eyes:


    I see why the two leaders preferred not to go there. There is a surfeit of foreign crises competing for their attention and that of the public. See how interest in Burma, Darfur and Zimbabwe has been pushed aside by Pakistan. When British troops are already fighting and dying in Afghanistan and Iraq, no one is keen to contemplate the possibility that conflict may ignite closer to home. We have grown accustomed to thinking of foreign policy in terms of the conflicts of the Middle East or the challenge of China or the nuclear ambitions of Iran. It is easy then - perhaps it is also more comfortable - to neglect the simmering ethnic conflicts on our doorstep.

    And yet there is a serious possibility that the Balkans will be the fierce crucible of Brown's approach to the world and his talk of a foreign policy based on 'hard-headed internationalism' . We may also get a proper measure of what Cameron really means when he says he'd have a foreign policy based on a doctrine of 'liberal conservatism'.

    To be fair, there are some British politicians who are awake to what is going on. Those who are paying attention are very worried indeed. Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, warned last week that 'right now we might be on the verge of the biggest crisis in the Balkans since the early Nineties'. He went on to say: 'We must ensure that we do not sit by while another conflict develops.' He gave this warning in a speech to the House of Commons. So, naturally, it was never reported.

    The Foreign Secretary is also alive to the growing peril. David Miliband has told friends that it is a 'big test' for both Britain and Europe. The threat of further conflict was part of the context of the Foreign Secretary's recent speech in which he suggested that Europe must do more to enhance its diplomatic and military capacity. Every meeting he has attended with his European counterparts has been preoccupied with the Balkans. It is that important..........:.

    At the heart of the gathering crisis is the future status of Kosovo. The military intervention there in his first term is widely seen as Tony Blair's 'good' war ((!!! as if )) - as against his 'bad' one in Iraq. The West acted to save persecuted Muslims. There was no dodgy dossier or mention of weapons of mass destruction. There was no oil at stake. Though there are these obvious differences, there is also a common lesson from Kosovo and Iraq. Wars are much easier to win than the peace. Intervention can be effective - as it was in Kosovo - in preventing the slaughter of civilians. Military action can remove dictators, as that conflict helped to trigger the removal of Slobodan Milosevic. But once a war is over, it is politics that has to deliver an enduring settlement.

    Eight years after Nato drove out the Serbian forces, the future of Kosovo is still contested. Europe has a massive stake in getting this right. Apart from the threat of renewed conflict, most of the overland drug and people trafficking routes go through the Balkans. Islamist terrorism is another reason for anxiety. The Balkans have been a training ground for jihadists. The European Union's long-term plan is to extend membership to all the ex-Yugoslav states, binding them into democracy, the rule of law and prosperity. Failure to peacefully resolve the future of Kosovo could be catastrophic and yet it is hard to see how success can be achieved.

    The Kosovo Albanians - the vast majority of the province - want independence from Serbia. The most that Belgrade says it can tolerate is a loose autonomy. Europe, for all its pretensions to speak with one clear voice to the world, is divided. Greece and Spain have been wary of the idea of Kosovo becoming Europe's newest state. Madrid does not like to give encouragement to its own Basque secessionists. Greece is agitated about Macedonia. Britain and France and most of the rest of Europe favour an independent Kosovo under the novel concept of EU supervision designed to guarantee good behaviour towards its minorities.

    Adding both complexity and peril, the future of Kosovo is entangled in the new Cold War between Washington and Moscow. America backs independence. Russia, traditional ally of the Serbs, is against. There was an attempt to come to a settlement earlier this year. It foundered when Russia declared that it would use its veto on the UN Security Council to prevent conditional independence for Kosovo.

    Time is now very short. The mandate for the EU's peacekeeping force in Bosnia expires this week and it is contested whether it can legally continue if the Russians wield their veto. There is a 10 December deadline for agreement in Kosovo. It is almost universally expected there won't be any agreement. Then the really scary stuff threatens to start happening.

    The Kosovans are talking about making a unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia. That could set off an explosive chain reaction throughout the western Balkans as the Serb minority in Kosovo revolts and the government in Belgrade backs a breakaway by the Serbs in Bosnia. I don't like to predict the worst, but there is good reason to be fearful in a region seething with nationalist rivalries and ethnic hatreds and where thousands keep Kalashnikovs in their cupboards. One of the starkest warnings has come from the commander of the EU forces in Bosnia. He has talked about the need for Europe to be able to intervene militarily 'in the event of another outbreak of war'.

    Millions of people were turned into refugees when the region was last convulsed by war. If British politicians think they have a problem handling migration at the moment, they are going to have a much bigger one if the western Balkans is in flames. It only takes a day to travel by train from Pristina to St Pancras.

    David Cameron told his audience in Berlin that he would fashion a foreign policy quite distinct to that pursued by Tony Blair. In place of liberal interventionism, the Tory leader said he would put 'national security' first. It was approaching the world with a foreign policy of narrowly defined self-interest that led to the Major government's hopeless inaction when conflict raged through the Balkans in the Nineties. That is a source of continuing shame among at least some Conservatives. As Liam Fox put it: 'We are not without our own measure of guilt.' Will David Cameron 'sit by', saying it's nothing to do with us, if the Balkans lurches to the brink of conflict? Or will the Tory leader agree with his defence spokesman that we will have to act?

    As for Gordon Brown, he also arrived in Number 10 determined that he would approach the world differently to Tony Blair. He believed his predecessor's international activism had distracted the government from its domestic goals, divided Labour and caused massive discontent in the country, especially over Iraq. Blairites sneered that Brown 'didn't do abroad'. His allies saw that as a virtue. Before he became Prime Minister, Mr Brown's friends made a boast of saying: 'Gordon doesn't do wars.' Trouble is, conflicts can have a nasty habit of finding you anyway. That much the Balkans has surely already taught us.......

    ------------------------------

    Looks like a future news story being prepared ...........eyes:

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    November 19, 2007

    Spiegel

    THE WORLD FROM BERLIN
    'Peace in Kosovo Was Never More than a Ceasefire'


    Former guerilla leader Hashim Thaci has won elections in Kosovo and says he intends to declare independence by December. German commentators say that could mean that war is on the horizon.


    Former guerrilla commander Hashim Thaci won Kosovo elections on Sunday.

    Former rebel leader Hashim Thaci is likely to become Kosovo's next prime minister following the resounding victory of his Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) in elections on Saturday.

    The initial results indicate that the PDK won 34 percent of the vote, eclipsing the moderate League of Democratic Kosovo (LDK) which only won 22 percent of the vote.

    Ethnic Serbs, who make up 10 percent of the province's 1.5 million inhabitants, boycotted the elections, but turnout overall was alarmingly low at just 45 percent. Doris Pack, a member of the Council of Europe's election monitoring team, said it was a reflection of people's "profound dissatisfaction." "People in Kosovo are really fed up with their political situation," she told Reuters.

    Thaci's PDK will now be expected to try to form a coalition with their rivals in the LDK, whose late leader was the pacifist Ibrahim Rogova. Thaci was a former leader in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) which fought Serbia is the 1998-99 war during which almost a million civilians fled Serbian repression.....

    Thaci has said that he would declare independence from Serbia after Dec. 10, the date on which international mediators are due to report to the United Nations on their efforts to resolve the province's final status. "With our victory today begins the new century," Thaci told cheering supporters on Sunday. "We showed that Kosovo is ready to move forward towards freedom and independence."

    Since 1999 Kosovo has been under UN control and Serbia has offered broad autonomy to the region but the Kosovo Albanians say they will accept nothing less than independence. European politicians urged Kosovo not to rush to declare independence in the light of the PDK victory.
    Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said any hasty moves could lead to Kosovo's international isolation. "Mr. Thaci has to understand there is a difference between being a politician in opposition and a responsible prime minister," he told Reuters. "I don't think they (Kosovars) want to be independent from the international community."

    Wolfgang Ischinger, the German diplomat who is leading mediation along with American and Russian officials is due to meet Serb and Kosovo Albanian leaders in Brussels on Tuesday.

    German commentators on Monday are pessimistic about Kosovo's future and many newspapers predict that violence will once again flare up in the region.

    The left-leaning Berliner Zeitung writes:

    "The landslide victory of the former rebels PDK will not lead to a radicalization of Kosovo. But neither does the result point to the triumph of a stable democracy .... Kosovo is not a democracy. Power is not with the people but is exercized by international diplomats. The elections only imitated democratic techniques. The stifling domination of the bureaucrats leaves little room for responsibility, ideas, change, productive crises or true reconciliation."

    "It is little wonder that the turnout has dropped below 45 percent. Hashim Thaci's PDK ... is a clientele party with mafia traits. ...Thaci has taken some measures to counter this but he hasn't still hasn't succeeded. And the partly criminal, partly extremist scene near the northern and southern borders have at least indirect links with the PDK."

    The left-leaning Die Tageszeitung writes:

    "The victory is a reward for creating a halfway modern and moderate image and rejuvenating the party leadership. The old KLA people don't play an obvious role any more. If he succeeds in forming a coalition with the losing LDK party and other smaller parties ... then he could fulfil his promises. And he could see his dream of leading Kosovo to independence as prime minister fulfilled."

    "But it won't be so easy. The independence of Kosovo isn't worth anything if the country is not recognized diplomatically. Following Russia's veto on the UN Security Council and Serbia's tough stance, the US and the EU are reluctant to recognize Kosovo's independence this year. They want to play for time -- to find a formula that will be acceptable to the Security Council and that would allow the European Union to replace the UN mission in Kosovo with an EU one."

    "But Thaci doesn't have time. (He) is expecting a decision now. Public opinion could quickly turn against him. And along with other radicals, his old marginalized comrades could take things into their own hands .... It won't be Thaci who decides how things go from here, but the US and the EU, who have to come up with a convincing prospect of independence for Kosovo ... by Dec. 10."

    The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:

    "Hopes of a better life have been disappointed far too often in the UN protectorate and the people are tired of hearing hollow words. That is why more than half the voters stayed at home on Saturday. Eight years of constant uncertainty about the future of the province and the dominance of a corrupt Kosovo-Albanian pseudo elite have paralyzed the people. The fact that the godfathers of democracy -- the UN, NATO and the EU -- have tolerated these offences so as not to endanger political stability has made the crisis worse."

    "Thaci can only achieve a turnaround for the better if the EU pushes through a quick solution to the status issue and takes control of the province. That is the only way to open up new prospects for the people of Kosovo."

    The business daily Handelsblatt writes:

    "For two years the EU, the US and Russia have been trying to find a formula that the Serbs, the West and Russia could live with. A hopeless undertaking. Washington has made it clear for some time that it will recognize a unilateral declaration of independence, as have the majority of EU states."

    "There are two arguments against this. One is that the creation of a new state would set a precedence that Abkahzia can use against Georiga, as Taiwan could against China. But this is only diplomatic stage fighting -- these states are de facto independent just as Kosovo is. Far more important is the danger that the new self-confidence of the Albanians will have an effect beyond the borders of Kosovo and cause counter reactions across the entire region."


    Conservative daily Die Welt writes.

    "The elections do not mark the end of the Kosovo crisis, rather they mark the way towards difficult conflicts, which could become violent. The consequences will not be confined to the Balkans."

    "Washington has already announced that it will recognize Kosovo, as has the majority of EU countries. Russia is giving the hardliners in Belgrade encouragement and support not only because of the pre-1914 sympathies and affinities due to their shared Orthodox religion, but much more because Moscow fears the uncontrollable effect on other national and ethnic egos."

    "If the north of Kosovo, which is mostly inhabited by Serbs, splits off from Kosovo and rushes into the open arms of Serbia, then the forces will be unleashed that showed their strength during the wars that marked the break up of Yugoslavia from 1991 and which could only been subdued from the outside -- with force."

    "Is the EU and NATO ready for this? And where will the frontlines form? Firstly the Republika Srpska will break away from Bosnia-Herzevognia. The Europeans are involved there as they are in Kosovo -- in order to preserve a peace that was never anything more than a ceasefire."

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Deutsche Welle 19.11.2007

    EU ministers appeal to Kosovo poll winner

    European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels have called on the man likely to lead the next government of Kosovo not to declare independence from Serbia. The EU's foreign policy co-ordinator, Javier Solana, said Hashim Thaci needed to give international talks aimed at reaching a negotiated settlement more time. The party of the former rebel leader won Sunday's parliamentary elections. Thaci has told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper that he did not expect a compromise between Kosovo's ethnic-Albanian majority and Serbia. He has threatened to declare independence unilaterally, if no negotiated settlement on the future of the Serbian province is reached by a December 10 deadline.................

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    Time for the Serbs to get ready to rumble, while the US military is tied down in central Asia.
    Contact Congress on immigration
    Contact Congress to reject banker bailout
    "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." --Ben Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by SwordOfTheVistula View Post
    Time for the Serbs to get ready to rumble, while the US military is tied down in central Asia.
    ----nodoubt that is the fear. They would have the backing of Russia. But I do wonder if they might not have been changed somewhat by all that has happened. Time will tell. No doubt about the muslim side however!!!eyes:

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    Oh Gods, this is a real nightmare. Why the hell we got involved in this in the first place is painful for me to even think about. Idiot Blair pandering to people who won't show us any gratitude. The floodgates opened to any Albanian scumbag who claims to be an oppressed Kosovar, and the Immigration officials who can't spot clear Tirane accents. The flourishing people trafficking busiiness in the west dominated by these supposed 'refugees'. The women from all over East and West beaten, raped and tortured by Albanians in Britain. The Serbs, our Christian brothers who stood against the Turk so manfully, now betrayed by us, humiliated, driven from their lands.

    The answer, as ever, is to cut the damned province in half, and ethnically cleanse the resultant territories, uniting them respectively to Serbia and Albania. Serbian cultural centres should be especially taken into account when borders are drawn. This won't happen though. And hundreds will die. Thankyou, Blair.

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    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by Oswiu View Post
    The Serbs, our Christian brothers who stood against the Turk so manfully, now betrayed by us, humiliated, driven from their lands......

    The answer, as ever, is to cut the damned province in half, and ethnically cleanse the resultant territories, uniting them respectively to Serbia and Albania. Serbian cultural centres should be especially taken into account when borders are drawn. This won't happen though. And hundreds will die. Thankyou, Blair.
    :Since when have you become a Christian Osy? have you been converted by all those Rus? But yes, the Serbs did have a case all along and they were not properly heard. Pity. The muslims are already on the march one hears - and heaven knows if the Serbs are even in a position to react.... There have already been border incidents -- and hundreds of German troops have been dispatched to polizei the district. Yes - there are already thousands of "our" troops there -- but they may yet find themselves in the middle of some intense action. Who knows! -- if the Serbs try to block "independence" - the ?'Albanians' will attack them, they say.

    I agree that the region should be partitioned demographically and attached -- but perhaps that wouldn't appeal to them as much as another international crisis. Lets hope Germanic troops don't get hurt because of "our" involvements there .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl View Post
    :Since when have you become a Christian Osy? have you been converted by all those Rus?
    Hehe! I would actually put myself down as an "Orthodox Sympathiser" almost as readily as I'd say "Heathen Sympathiser"! I carry an Ikona in my wallet. I spent a good few hours in my local church this last Easter. I watch telly, and almost always find myself nodding when the Russian priests are giving their opinions on current matters. Hey, I crave order, consistency, beauty, tradition and stability! Shoot me!
    But yes, the Serbs did have a case all troops have been dispatched to polizei the district. Yes - thalong and they were not properly heard. Pity.
    Exactly. And I confess, back in 1997 or whenever it was, I was largely taken in by the media smear campaign. May I be forgiven.
    I agree that the region should be partitioned demographically and attached -- but perhaps that wouldn't appeal to them as much as another international crisis. Lets hope Germanic troops don't get hurt because of "our" involvements there .
    Gods help us.

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    I always had some understanding of the Serb position thinking that they had not been heard properly. Of course they were not too subtle with their methods - and it all went terribly wrong. But - at one point it looked as though Serbia and Croatia might have worked together to sort out a joint mess there -- but it was not to be. Europe lost out - and 'Asia within' began to rise.....

    --------------------------------------------------------
    Kosovo Talks Stall as Deadline Nears

    Deutsche Welle 21 Nov.

    "No negotiations -- self determination," reads this Pristina graffiti


    Serbian and Kosovo officials on Tuesday, Nov. 20, failed to break a deadlock over the future status of the breakaway province. Both sides stuck to their previous positions but agreed to hold intensive talks next week.

    Meeting in Brussels under the auspices of the EU-US-Russia troika, Serbian and Kosovo delegations were unable to make progress on finding a solution for the future status of the Serbian breakaway province. According to a statement issued by European, US and Russian mediators, negotiators for Kosovo rejected a Serb offer of broad autonomy and insisted that nothing short of an EU-supervised independence would be acceptable.


    "Yet again, I cannot report any progress due to the intransigence of the Serbian delegation," said Skender Hyseni, spokesman for the Kosovo delegation. ((!!))

    Hyseni rejected Serbia's latest proposal which would turn Kosovo into an autonomous province modeled on Aland, a Swedish-speaking archipelago belonging to Finland, saying there was "nothing new" to it. He also said Kosovo had endured a long period of "harsh occupation" and that it had become a "de facto independent" state awaiting recognition from the international community.

    Kostunica blamed the Kosovars for the impasse
    Serbia's delegation, led by President Boris Tadic and Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, rejected Kosovo's demands for independence and accused their counterparts of wasting time ahead of a Dec. 10 deadline set by the United Nations for an agreement to be reached.

    "Serbia is always looking for compromises. If someone is wasting time, it's not Serbia," Kostunica said.

    Final chance for compromise?

    Kosovo's prime minister-in-waiting, Hashim Thaci, said he was willing to consult with the United States and the European Union before proclaiming his province's independence from Serbia.

    "We will take a decision on Kosovo after Dec. 10, together with the US and EU," Thaci said.

    Serbian President Tadic dismissed imposed solutions as unhelpful and said unilateral announcements of independence by Kosovo would stand in the way of an agreement.

    Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Thaci is focused on independence for Kosovo

    A last-ditch attempt to find a compromise is slated to take place in Austria on Nov. 26-28, the troika said in its statement.

    The predominantly ethnic-Albanian province of 2 million people is aspiring to become independent and to eventually join the EU and NATO. But the EU, which is split over whether to recognize the new country, has urged its leaders not to be too hasty in declaring independence.

    Russia, which is backing Serbia on the issue, has already threatened to veto a deal granting Kosovo independence, which was put forward by UN mediator Martti Ahtisaari.


    DW staff (ktz)
    -------------------------------------------------------



    Kosovo | 21.11.2007

    Deutsche Welle

    Serbia Proposes Finnish Province Model for Kosovo


    Thaci said he was willing to work with the US and EU as Serbia proposes a new plan ..........


    A proposal by Serbian officials attending talks in Brussels with their Kosovo counterparts and the EU-US-Russia mediating troika envisages Kosovo as an autonomous province modeled on a Swedish-speaking archipelago.

    "Today we have presented another case of successful, functional autonomy, it is the case of Aland Islands within Finland," said Slobodan Samardzic, Serbia's minister for Kosovo. The proposal follows previous Serbian proposals inspired by East Germany and Hong Kong designed to dissuade Kosovo from declaring independence from Serbia.

    Aland is an archipelago of more than 6,000 islands in the Baltic Sea, about half way between Sweden and Finland. Its population of nearly 27,000 speaks Swedish. In 1917, its residents asked to join Sweden, but their bid was blocked by the League of Nations, which decided that the archipelago should remain Finnish but be granted greater autonomy.

    "Once again Belgrade has come up with a fresh idea on the table," said Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, who also urged his Kosovo counterparts to stop talking about independence and show "an open mind" during the negotiations.

    Earlier Tuesday, Kosovo's prime minister-in-waiting, Hashim Thaci, had said he was willing to consult with the United States and the European Union before proclaiming his province's independence from Serbia.

    "We will take a decision on Kosovo [independence] after December 10, together with the US and the EU," Thaci said. The United Nations set a deadline for Dec. 10 which would see the conclusion of diplomatic efforts led by the US-EU-Russia troika.

    The troika is struggling to negotiate a solution on the final status of the predominantly ethnic-Albanian province, which is aspiring to become an independent state.

    Thaci indicates a softening tone after EU talks


    Tuesday's talks in Brussels mark the first time that Thaci will have met face-to-face with Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica since he won the elections held in Kosovo on Saturday.

    His latest comment appeared to suggest that the Kosovo leadership was willing to soften its stance after coming under pressure from the EU not to be too hasty about declaring unilateral independence after Dec. 10.

    His position was mirrored by similar remarks made by Kosovo's president, Fatmir Sejdiu. "We will coordinate each and every step that we take with the international community," said Sejdiu, adding that Kosovo had a strong interest in having its state of independence recognized by the world's main powers.

    Kosovo's plans for independence are strongly opposed by Serbia, which enjoys the backing of Russia in the UN Security Council. So far, both parties have made little progress on proposals put forward by the troika's leader, German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger


    Russia has also already threatened to veto a deal granting Kosovo independence put forward by UN mediator Martti Ahtisaari.

    Troika's leader more optimistic of success

    Ischinger hopes to have an agreement by the Dec. 10 deadline
    Despite widespread pessimism about the outcome of Tuesday's talks, Ischinger said he was in "good spirits" as he arrived in Brussels. "We will have a good troika session today and I am quite confident it will be a productive one," he added.

    Such comments contrasted with remarks made by Ischinger on Monday, when he appeared to concede that no settlement was likely to be agreed by the Dec. 10 deadline.

    Kosovo, whose population of about 2 million is 90 percent ethnic Albanian (!!) has been under UN administration since 1999, when NATO bombing raids drove Serbian troops out of the province.

    While the US has said it is ready to recognize an independent Kosovo, Russia is opposed. The EU is split on the matter, with all but a handful of its 27 member states willing to side with the US.

    The troika is expected to hold a new, and probably final, round of talks in Vienna on Nov. 26, officials in Brussels said.

    DW staff (nda)

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

  9. #9
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    It's war if Kosovo breaks away, say Serbs

    DT 22/11/2007



    A Serbian extremist group, which claims to have thousands of members, lodged a call to arms yesterday with the Serbian government should Kosovo declare independence.

    Hadzi Andrej Milic, the leader of the so-called Tsar Lazar Guard, said "a violent invasion will follow in the case of a unilateral declaration of independence" by Kosovo's ethnic Albanians.

    (( with German troops on the border ??))

    The Albanian National Army, branded a terrorist organisation by the UN in Kosovo, claimed that it has support throughout the province and was prepared to fight off any threats from armed Serb groups.

    Internationally brokered talks are under way between ethnic Albanians and Serbia on settling the long-standing dispute over whether Kosovo will become independent.

    ((Kosovo is an historic part of Serbia))

    The province has been under UN control since 1999, when Nato intervened to stop a Serb crackdown.

    Kosovo's Albanian leaders have threatened to declare independence unilaterally if negotiations fail.

    Serbia says it is willing to grant autonomy but not independence.


    ----------------

    Can we allow chaos in SE Europe with so many thousands of Germanic troops in situ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl View Post
    Can we allow chaos in SE Europe with so many thousands of Germanic troops in situ?
    Well if they just got out of the way and went home there wouldn't be a problem, as least from our end.
    Contact Congress on immigration
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    "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." --Ben Franklin

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