Sunday, March 11, 2007

I intend to give you a run down of precedent events later but for now ....

Kosovo's President Fatmir Sejdiu, left, and Kosovo's Prime Minister Agim Ceku

According to news media, the last talks between Kosovan and Serbian negotiators on the proposals by the UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari concerning the future status of Kosovo did not end well at all. C'est la vie. He takes the proposals to the UN Security Council now where Russia might be the only one of the Permanent Five to potentially veto it. Let's wait and see. From Reuters:

"The U.N. Security Council will decide whether to give Kosovo independence from Serbia, after U.N. envoy Martti Ahtisaari on Saturday declared an end to over a year of fruitless Serb-Albanian talks. Ahtisaari said leaders of Serbia and Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority were still deadlocked over the fate of the U.N.-run territory after a meeting in Vienna, the last in a mediation process that began in February 2006. If the U.N. Security Council adopts his blueprint, Kosovo will declare itself Europe's newest independent state and the last to be carved from the former Yugoslavia. "I would have very much preferred that this process would lead to a negotiated solution," the former Finnish president told a news conference. "But it has left my in no doubt that the parties' stands ... do not contain any common ground to reach such an agreement." "It is my intention to finalize the proposal for submission to the U.N. Security Council in the course of this month." The West wants a solution imposed by June, seeing no prospect of forcing 2 million Albanians back into the arms of Serbia and fearing unrest if they are frustrated much longer. Kosovo has been run by the United Nations since 1999, when NATO bombed Serbia to drive Serb forces accused of atrocities in a two-year counter-insurgency war out of the province. Some 10,000 Albanians died and almost a million fled before NATO troops occupied Kosovo. Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica called for the U.N.-mediated talks to continue, saying the present plan was a ''brutal violation of the U.N. charter'' and a bid to amputate land cherished by Serbs as their historic heartland. "This proposal does not meet the conditions to be presented to the U.N. Security Council,'' he told reporters.


The talks ended as hardliners in Serbia marked the first anniversary of the death in detention of Slobodan Milosevic, the Serb strongman whose repression of Kosovo Albanians in the 1990s led to fighting and NATO's first "humanitarian" air war. "We are putting an end to a dark chapter in our history," said Hashim Thaci, the former leader of the 1990s Kosovo Albanian guerrilla army. Kosovo Albanian politician Veton Surroi said: "The long train ride has arrived at the central station.'' Russia remains the only potential stumbling block. Serbia's fellow Orthodox Christian ally insists time be given for both sides to agree on a solution, but has pointedly avoided threatening the use of its council veto. Asked whether Moscow might veto the plan, Serbian President Boris Tadic replied: "That is going to be up to the Russians to decide what position they will take in the Security Council." Though it avoids the word independence, the U.N. envoy's blueprint sets out the framework for an independent state, under a foreign overseer and European Union police mission. It offers self-government and protection for the 100,000 remaining Serbs. The plan has won a frosty and at times violent reaction from some Albanians, who want clear and full independence. But Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu said they had accepted a '"painful compromise.""

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