Friday, January 11, 2008

U.S. and Germany Plan to Recognize Kosovo

The United States and Germany have promised to recognize Kosovo once it declares its independence from Serbia and are urging the rest of the European Union to follow them.

According to the New York Times, the United States in particular is pushing for quick and widespread recognition of Kosovo saying that an independent Kosovo is vital to the security of the Balkans.

That’s a big assumption to make. Serbs within Kosovo fear ethnic violence, Serbia has not ruled out military intervention to protect them. Meanwhile Bosnian Serbs have openly discussed declaring their independence from Bosnia-Herzegovina in response to Kosovo’s actions.

And a number of European countries have voiced concerns that an independent Kosovo could lead to similar declarations by ethnic groups in their countries – the Basques in Spain for example. But with the encouragement of powers like the United States and Germany, a declaration of independence by Kosovo seems inevitable.

“The cake has been baked, because the Americans have promised Kosovo independence,” a senior European Union official said in the New York Times. “And if Washington recognizes Kosovo and European nations do not follow, it will be a disaster.”

Whether it will be a disaster if they DO recognize Kosovo remains to be seen.
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