Thursday, May 3, 2007

Kosovo PM Expects Independence Declaration in May

Kosovo PM Agim Ceku has stated that he expects a declaration of independence from Serbia by the end of May.  Some neighboring countries and the US have stated that they would recognize Kosovo as a state if it unilaterally declared independence if the UN Security Council failed to approve Ahtisaari's plan for supervised independence.  However, no vote is expected in the SC until at least June.  Thoughts are that the international community will request Ceku to put off the declaration until the SC decision to prevent setting a precedent for recognizing ethnic-majority areas unilaterally declaring independence (such as Kurdistan in Iraq). 
Meanwhile, the head of the UN fact-finding mission briefed the Security Council on the deep divide in Kosovo over the Ahtisaari proposal.  The mission found that while Albanians are confident about the future under Ahtisaari's proposal the Serb communities are largely apprehensive and that the creation of a multi-ethnic society would require sustained efforts by the Kosovo government.  The words "commitment and readiness" were used to describe the Kosovo politicians conveyed messages about building the said multi-ethnic society which seems to indicate that little progress has been made so far to bridge the gaps between the two communities.  So far the Serbian community has largely boycotted involvement in Kosovo politics and continued strong ties with Belgrade.  The Albanian community seems to function as if it was already independent and have been charging forward with development of everything from multi-story shopping centers to petrol stations (I believe the average was one every kilometer or two in Kosovo!)