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Warrior
Sep 8th, 2007, 06:15 PM
By Mark John Fri Sep 7, 6:14 PM ET


VIANA DO CASTELO, Portugal (Reuters) - European Union states will seek to maintain a common front over the breakaway Serbian province of Kosovo on Saturday, amid growing concern that it will declare independence unilaterally.

Foreign ministers meeting in the Portuguese coastal town of Viana do Castelo will proclaim unity, aware that any split would wreck the bloc's credibility as a foreign policy player more than a decade after it failed to halt the 1990s Balkan wars.
Despite official determination, few expect last-ditch talks between Serbia and Kosovo's majority Albanians to reach a compromise by a deadline of December 10, after which Kosovo's leaders have threatened to declare independence regardless.
Britain and France are among those seen recognizing Kosovo's sovereignty, while Spain, Hungary, Greece, Slovakia, Cyprus and Romania are reluctant, either because of their proximity to the Balkans or fears it could encourage separatists at home.
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt also spoke out on Friday against recognizing a unilateral declaration of independence, highlighting the risk of a split after December 10.
"The unity of the European Union is of capital importance to us," French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told reporters on the first day of the two-day meeting.
Belgrade has said it could never accept independence for the province of two million people and has the backing of Russia, which holds a veto in the U.N. Security Council.
The EU demanded on Friday that Serbia clarify remarks by a junior minister that Belgrade could send troops into Kosovo to thwart Western recognition of its independence.
EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn called the reported comments by the secretary of state for Kosovo, Dusan Prorokovic, "highly unfortunate" and said he expected a clarification before Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica visits Brussels on Wednesday.
"It is not comprehensible that a country that is pleading for a negotiated settlement on the one hand, makes such threats of violence on the other hand which question its commitment to serious negotiations," Rehn told Reuters in an interview.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said there was still time to seek a compromise between Serbs and Kosovo Albanians and dismissed talk of an independence followed by partition for the small, Serb-dominated northern part of the province.
"Partition is not something that has been put on the table by any of the parties. I don't think we have to look into that today," he told reporters.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070907/wl_nm/serbia_kosovo_eu_dc

Scotso
Sep 8th, 2007, 06:47 PM
Although I love Serbia, I feel that any region should have the right to independence if the majority of the population seek it.

samsung101
Sep 10th, 2007, 02:59 AM
I thought all of the Eastern European conflicts were settled in the
perfect war of the 90's. I thought the EU took care of this. The
UN is there, there's a problem still?

I am shocked.

Kosovo should be allowed to declare independence.
It is separate.
How can we applaud the Soviet Union break up with
many nations, and not consider this as well?
It's hard for the West to appreciate all of this
in the USA.


There will be more conflict in the region, not less.

As the Muslim population grows, and the fanatic segment
intensifies freely, more problems will grow amid the
centuries old divisions of Christian, Catholic, Greek Orthodox,
Islamic sects, etc. It will get worse, not better.

The Russians want conflict.
The Islamic extremist groups do as well.
The UN can do little.
The USA went in years ago to do the dirty work by
carpet bombing various regions for months - killing
thousands in the clean/cut war so rarely covered here.
Now what?

Add in divisions going back centuries, what do you have?


Kosovo, Bosnia, Serbia, any and all those Eastern European nations
most Americans don't know of, care or, or think of...the 'stan' nations
as well. It's too bad. If Americans cared, we might be of some help.

As it is, any Democratic President will likely allow the US troops to step
in to do what the UN and European nations will not do if conflict grows
bloody there. With media approval here. However, with the Isalmic
groups given free reign by the media, Hollywood, and Europe pretty much,
the battle will be harder this time around.

Lord Nelson
Sep 10th, 2007, 10:16 PM
Serbia should keep the part of Kosovo it controls. Luckily Russia has its veto power and many EU nations like Greece and Spain support Serbia.

Scotso
Sep 11th, 2007, 07:43 AM
For many centuries Europe embraced a policy of "you can have what you can control." That's what led to the most horrible wars we've ever seen. Not a very good policy.

Just Do It
Sep 11th, 2007, 11:48 AM
Although I love Serbia, I feel that any region should have the right to independence if the majority of the population seek it.

I agree there, but if Kosovo becomes indepen. then Baskia and Northern Ireland should be independent too. Of course UK is against that but they support Albanians at Kosovo ( kissing Bush' ass ) :rolleyes: While Spain is against independency of Kosovo ;)

Just Do It
Sep 11th, 2007, 11:56 AM
I am shocked.

Kosovo should be allowed to declare independence.
It is separate.
How can we applaud the Soviet Union break up with
many nations, and not consider this as well?
It's hard for the West to appreciate all of this
in the USA.

Because Kosovo was NEVER a country ! That is jsut a normal part of Serbia. I see you dont understand, that would be the same like Mexicans in Los Angeles would want to be independent.

Kosovo is 15% of Serbian territory ;)

Hagar
Sep 11th, 2007, 02:32 PM
Kosovo should be allowed to declare independence.
It is separate.

How do you define what it means that a region is separate? And why do regions who are to some extent separate need to become a country?
What will you do about the Serbs who live in Kosovo?

I really don't think that this tendency to create countries out of all these small entities which have to a certain extent a different language and culture is a good one. And then of course, a new minority stands up and also wants to have its own state. Where does it stop?

I think the people in the former Yugoslavia were better off than those in the separate parts are now. Croatians, Serbs, Macedonians, etc... were living peacefully together. Every region had a certain autonomy for a number of competences.
But now? Bosnia-Herzegovina only is viable because of a huge presence of foreign powers. Kosovo remains a highly problematic area. Not to forget all the scars of the wars of the nineties.

rada
Sep 22nd, 2007, 12:20 PM
and the Greeks in Melbourne should do the same :lol: sorry but the Albanians will never be happy

Johno_uk
Sep 22nd, 2007, 06:32 PM
I agree there, but if Kosovo becomes indepen. then Baskia and Northern Ireland should be independent too. Of course UK is against that but they support Albanians at Kosovo ( kissing Bush' ass ) :rolleyes: While Spain is against independency of Kosovo ;)

Most people on the mainland don't have a strong opinion either way as to whether N Ireland should be part of the UK or not, during the bombing campaign most people probably wanted to get rid of it...

At the current time a majority of the population in Northern Ireland wishes to remain in the UK. The situation in Kosovo is completely different and 90%+ do not want to remain part of Serbia. In the long-run that is simply unworkable. Britain does not want Kosovo to become independent because USA does, it is because it is what the Kosovan people want. How can they be in the same country as another group that wanted to ethnically clense them?

HippityHop
Sep 22nd, 2007, 07:15 PM
How do you define what it means that a region is separate? And why do regions who are to some extent separate need to become a country?
What will you do about the Serbs who live in Kosovo?

I really don't think that this tendency to create countries out of all these small entities which have to a certain extent a different language and culture is a good one. And then of course, a new minority stands up and also wants to have its own state. Where does it stop?

I think the people in the former Yugoslavia were better off than those in the separate parts are now. Croatians, Serbs, Macedonians, etc... were living peacefully together. Every region had a certain autonomy for a number of competences.
But now? Bosnia-Herzegovina only is viable because of a huge presence of foreign powers. Kosovo remains a highly problematic area. Not to forget all the scars of the wars of the nineties.

The were living peacefully together because Tito, like Saddam, would put the hammer down on anybody who started some crap. Once a dictator is gone you get the demagogues who bring up what was done by one side or another 800 years ago and folks fall for it.

These countries like many in the Middle East and Africa were artificial creations of European powers. They'll never live together in peace without an iron man ruling with an iron hand. Sad, but there it is.

I used to believe that democracy and freedom were things that everybody is entitled to. I don't believe that anymore.

requiem
Sep 24th, 2007, 02:19 PM
^^ Well, comparing Tito and Saddam, tells me you shouldn't be talking about things in Balkan region

Andy T
Sep 24th, 2007, 05:31 PM
It may sound radical or retrograde - and it goes against my own multi-ethnic/cultural ideals - but my own gut feeling is that Serbia should contain those parts of Bosnia and Kosovo in which the Serbs were in a majority before the wars and massacres. The rest of Kosovo should be combined with Albania.

samsung101
Sep 24th, 2007, 05:50 PM
1. There is no problem. This was all solved and fixed perfectly in the 90's.
That is what we were told in the USA. Carpet bombing fixed it, the UN fixed it,
'peacekeepers' with rifles from around the world stationed in the region fixed it.
This is not a problem area any longer. There are no breakaway anything.

2. The mighty EU army will take care of any problem that may arise. Right? They
have created that multi-million man military they were going to. I trust them to
handle the situation.

3. How many centuries has this been going on? Exactly.
4. Most Americans do not know of these problem areas, don't want to anyway, and
our media doesn't bother to inform us about it. Unless you read page 31 of the NY
Times every other month when they give it an obligatory story.

Hagar
Sep 25th, 2007, 03:58 PM
The were living peacefully together because Tito, like Saddam, would put the hammer down on anybody who started some crap. Once a dictator is gone you get the demagogues who bring up what was done by one side or another 800 years ago and folks fall for it.

These countries like many in the Middle East and Africa were artificial creations of European powers. They'll never live together in peace without an iron man ruling with an iron hand. Sad, but there it is.

I used to believe that democracy and freedom were things that everybody is entitled to. I don't believe that anymore.

Is there any country that is not an artificial creation to some point? As a matter of fact, countries are artificial creations because at the beginning of planet earth, there was no such thing as countries and frontiers.

I agree with you that these countries were better of with an iron man ruling with an iron hand. But my question is, will redrawing the map help? Let's take the example of Irak. It is clearly an artificial country but would it be better to let the people decide on what entities are the correct ones? It will never be possible, especially not in adjacent regions to have a region that is 100% homogeneous. There will always be Serbs living in Kosovo, or Dutch in Flanders, or Flemish in Wallonia, or Mexicans in the USA.
So it is not such a bad thing to have the nation state as an entity created on a rational basis.

The USA approached things in the wrong way in Irak. Although democracy and freedom should in principle be available for everyone, you cannot impose democracy on a people that is not ready for it. You need to educate and socialize people so that they believe and adhere in the principle that every citizen is equal.

HippityHop
Sep 25th, 2007, 04:15 PM
Is there any country that is not an artificial creation to some point? As a matter of fact, countries are artificial creations because at the beginning of planet earth, there was no such thing as countries and frontiers.

I agree with you that these countries were better of with an iron man ruling with an iron hand. But my question is, will redrawing the map help? Let's take the example of Irak. It is clearly an artificial country but would it be better to let the people decide on what entities are the correct ones? It will never be possible, especially not in adjacent regions to have a region that is 100% homogeneous. There will always be Serbs living in Kosovo, or Dutch in Flanders, or Flemish in Wallonia, or Mexicans in the USA.
So it is not such a bad thing to have the nation state as an entity created on a rational basis.

The USA approached things in the wrong way in Irak. Although democracy and freedom should in principle be available for everyone, you cannot impose democracy on a people that is not ready for it. You need to educate and socialize people so that they believe and adhere in the principle that every citizen is equal.

I agree with much of this. However the USA is built on an idea rather than on group indentity. This is why it is much easier for people who embrace American ideals to actually become Americans. As we've seen in other parts of the world, no matter how long you live in a country, including some in Europe, you will always be "other".

Believing that every citizen in equal is not now nor has it ever been a universal concept. In fact it's so rare as to make it's existance (where it does exist) even more remarkable.

I believe that the nature of man is to tribalize and that's one of the reasons why I think that this whole multi-culturalism business is very dangerous to the US. It's probably too late for Europe.

Lord Nelson
Sep 30th, 2007, 03:11 PM
It may sound radical or retrograde - and it goes against my own multi-ethnic/cultural ideals - but my own gut feeling is that Serbia should contain those parts of Bosnia and Kosovo in which the Serbs were in a majority before the wars and massacres. The rest of Kosovo should be combined with Albania.

Kosovo does not want to be part of Albania because they speak a different dialect to those in Tirana. Also though 99% of kosovars are muslims only 60-70 % of Albanians are Muslims. Albania does not claim Kosovo as part of its territory.

Kosovo may never get its independance.