Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Kosovo Recognition and Possible Trade-offs

Where we now stand: 24 states have recognized the independence of Kosovo--alongside the United States, mainly European ones. 18 states--those with concerns about separatist movements in their own borders, which stress the importance of territorial integrity. or those who took particularly issue with the U.S. and key European states bypassing the UN--have announced they will not recognize, ranging from Argentina, Spain and Cyprus to Russia, Vietnam and Venezuela. Several Islamic states are on this list--Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Perhaps a real surprise for Washington is the "wait-and-see" attitude of the Arab world and the larger Islamic world. The Organization of the Islamic Conference welcomed the birth of the new state, but left the decision to recognize independence in the hands of its individual member-states. So far, only Turkey, Afghanistan and Senegal have chosen to recognize--and these can hardly be identified as the bell-weather states of the Islamic world (and no Arab state has yet done so).

The issue will break over the "undecideds"--who represent the bulk of the Islamic world and of the "World Without the West"--particularly its leading democracies. Brazil, India and South Africa are undecided. So is China. They have urged continuing negotiations. Here the concern is not to necessarily prevent an independent state from emerging but having an agreement sanctioned by all parties and with UN blessing.

Of particular interest is the concern in the Arab world both for upholding and preserving the principle of territorial integrity--the reason why the Chechen cause did not attract much official support (even if support from some segments of the "street") and for not validating what appears to be a unilateral U.S. or unilateral "Western" imposition of a solution.

The U.S. would like to see the number of countries recognizing Kosovo go up. So far, we are nowhere near the predicted "more than 100 countries" or even the "40 or more" many thought we would be at around this time. So it is interesting to speculate, and I stress here SPECULATE, what some of the things are that might need to be on the table for Washington to consider.

--Would Washington give public guarantees to China that the one-China policy is forever sacrosanct and that Washington endorses Beijing's Anti-Secession Law--with the only proviso from the U.S. that there is no use of force against Taiwan but that Washington will actively oppose all manifestations of sentiment for independence? Might not be feasible for Washington and might not be enough for Beijing (see Wu Yun's comments.) What about similar promises on Kashmir for India?

--to move Arab states, would Washington pledge never to use separatist movements as tools against the axis-of-evil states (Iran, Syria if promoted to this role)? More importantly, would Washington accept the right of Palestinians to declare independence and a state--even absent a final agreement on borders and a capital--given that the jurisdiction of Kosovo at present does not coincide with the territory of the state--and most significantly, without having to have Israel agree to the declaration of a Palestinian state? In other words, if the Annapolis process falters and we don't have an agreement and don't have status issues resolved, will the Palestinians embrace the option Yasser Abed Rabbo proclaimed (and that was walked back by Abbas)--and would other Arab states support it?

Just things to consider. The job of policy analysts is to consider all possible permutations--even if not all scenarios end up happening.

So let me get this straight:

Kosovo was an exception, East Timor was an exception, Iraq was an exception...


Surely you must forgive people for being suspcious of US & Western aims.

There is no substance to Annapolis Process. I am surprised that you would even mention it.
Is diplomatic recognition of Kosovo worth all that to the US? Serbia is not bombing Kosovo, so there isn't even that humanitarian angle.

For what it's worth, the Japanese government has been indicating that it should eventually get around to recognizing Kosovo, but it wants to see what the rest of the world is going to do first. This likely means that Japan won't do anything uness the Arabs make their move. It probably hopes to avoid making that decision until the July Summit in Hokkaido is over and done with, since it doesn't want to wrong-foot Putin. The Croatian president was here yesterday, and Prime Minister Fukuda repeated the party line.
Arab regimes must be concerned because they are the legacy of 19-20th Century imperialism, constructs imposed on multiple religious and cultural communities on artificial boundaries. Anything bad for Greece is good for Turkey (And Turkish Cyprus). As for the Central Asian nations, they are following the Russian dictate.

So much for the Islamic Congress. My guess is, the Japanese government is going to take a long time in making up its mind.
Countries may take a long time, or just decide it doesn't matter to them. Other than the immediate neighbors, Kosovo's existence as a state or not has no day to day impact and so no need to have to make a decision. This is New Zealand's approach.
Talking to a Serb/Montenegrin friend of mine (Once offered a position in the Serbian Ministry overseeing Kosovo) and the intrigues going on are way beyond what is covered in the West. Medvedev going to Mitrovitca, Mitrovitca's possible succession from Kosovo, i tak dale.

What struck me was the discord this whole matter has introduced into the nation-state world. What happens when there is no longer a centralized and agreed-upon list of sovereign states? Instead each country will have a world map for its own political tastes. Why was it so important to rip Kosovo away from Serbia instead of pushing a brokered solution? It certainly doesn't get the EU any closer to totality continent wide. Does it change Kosovo's investment problems? Why now? If this was the endgame, why wasn't it played out in 2000? Did we need the US bureaucracy behind this to get it going? IR is mysterious.

For what it's worth, I think Serbia should have agreed to let go long ago, but nationalism is sown too deeply there. But the chaos now is probably worse.
You didn't mention that Taiwan has recognised Kosovo. Somehow it is OK to recognise a state that recongises Taiwan, but not to recognise Taiwan yourself. The only reason that Kosovo didn't receive the same treatment as Taiwan is the small fact that Serbia doesn't have a two-million-strong army and nuclear weapons.
Iran is not an Arab state. It is a Persian state. Wow!?!?!
Those following the issue know that there will be a wave of recognitions from muslim states following the upcoming OIC conference.

Don't write as if you know, if you don't.
The idea that the US will trade anything to get other countries to recognize Kosovo seems bizzare. Kosovo's independence is not the culmination of a long-held US policy objective, but the only solution the largely EU-run mission there could work out. If Kosovo and Serbia could have made it work together with appropriate guarantees of minority rights, the US would have been more than happy. Given that, why the US should trade anything for Kosovo's recognition, let alone screw up the situations in Taiwan and Kashmir is pretty unclear.

Kosovo certainly wouldn't be the only partially-recognized state (taiwan, northern cyprus), but the mix of hostility and disinterest with which the rest of the world has reacted certainly does call into question whether the US thought this one all the way through, particularly with regard to the precedent it sets...
The arabs are a verminous race interested only in slaughtering their neighbors. The fact that they haven't recognized Kosova yet is further reason, if any was needed, why the West and the rest of the world should recognize Kosova immediately.
The question is not whether the Arab and Islamic states will recognize--they probably will, over time--but the U.S. is not going to be happy if many of them recognize and say this now sets a precedent for the Palestinians; that Palestinians no longer have to meet Israeli and U.S. standards in order to be recognized as a sovereign entity. And the U.S. hoped for quick and immediate recognition.
Why does the writer feel the need to suggest the U.S. yet again, sacrifice Taiwan just to get China to recognize Kosovo?

Our policy is horribly inconsistent. There is obviously tension between nation-state rights and the self-determination of people. But is seems to me there should be consistent policy. Why was it better to force people to live together in Bosnia but not in Kosovo? Kurdistan and Taiwan have better cases for independence than Kosovo ever did.
United States should recognise the Republic of Somaliland. It fulfills all the requirenment for a statehood.

After achieving independence from British colonial rule on June 26, 1960, Somaliland was duly recognized as a sovereign entity by the United Nations and thirty-five countries, including the United States. The independant country of Somaliland then voluntarily joined with its newly independent southern counterpart (the former Italian colony) to create the Somali Republic (presently known as Somalia). Since Somaliland voluntarily joined a union after independence, then under international law, they should (and do) have the right to abrogate that union, as they did in 1991. There are many examples of international recognition of countries that have emerged from failed federations or failed states, including East Timor, Eritrea, Gambia, and the successor states of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. The same legal principle should be applied to Somaliland.
More than four IIIyrian Entities compose Albania.
All of them speaks Illyrian language but with different dialects. Three first has a very distinct Illyrian dialect named GEGE and the rest has another Illyrian dialect named TOSKE.
On 1912 they united in one single state and agreed to be named Eagle’s Land. SHQIPERIA.
The foreign “SKOLARS” named Albania based on the name of only one of the Entities.
This was not only Ignorance but also a big mistake of these “very educated Scholars“.
The situation then was so critical for SHQIPETARET, so they accepted any injustice and compromise. This was the big price they pay to gain the independence. Of course many other Illyrian entities was ignored. This has been done in purpose to use Illyrian territories as a trade merchandise to please slavics, which in return were used in two wars. The Slavics paid their price. They lost 56 million people 1908 – 1946. Illyrian paid bigger price. They were spread over 5 different states.
It's about time to recognize the historical right of Kosova (Dardania) to have its destiny fulfilled-That is full independence. Kosova never was a Serbian province. It was there, since the times of birth of European civilization, a very distinct Dardanian/llyrian identity. Always populated by Dardanias who, although under constant pressure of forcefully migration by Serbian shovinism, Tito's Yugoslavia & Milloshevic's Serbia, still make up 92% of the population. They speak ilirian language with the dialect GEGE. Serbs always have been a minority there. We know that Serbs appeared in Balkans (then llyria) only by the 6th Century AD, and they speak a language more similar to Ukrainian then Russian. They have always been a minority and 'the story' of Kosova being the Heartland of Serbia is just a pure Serbian nationalist fantasy. Facts Speak Louder Than Words and Serbian’s Lies Will Collapse by Themselves. Serbs always have been considered as oppressors there, not just by Albanian majority, but also by other ethnic groups too. Serbs just occupied Kosova during the rise of the Serbian nationalism early 20th century from Ottomans, who by then were loosing the Balkans after 500 years of occupation. The borders of Kosova are well established and recognized. Now Kosova should be Free!
To find the answer for the question “do you think Kosovo’s independence will strengthen separatist movements elsewhere”, please refer to:
Erich Hartman – top ace of all the time. German Luftwaffe Bf 109 Pilot.
Near the end of WWII, in early May 1945, Hartmann, then Gruppenkommandeur of famous Jagdgeschwader 52, and his Commodore, Hermann Graf, ground crew, family members, and other civilians, who had joined the squadron, seeking protection approaching Russian army, moved west in direction of territory already occupied by US troops. On May 8th, 1945, the soldiers and civilians surrendered to US troops in the region between Bavaria (German province) and Czech border. But on May 17th, the US Army delivered all of these German troops and civilians to the Red Army. How did the Russian troops treat the civilians? They tortured, raped German woman, children at least 12 years old. Some woman were shot after the rapes. Others were not so lucky. A twelve year old girl whose mother had been raped and shoot being raped by several solders. She died from these acts soon afterward. Then more Russian came, and it began all over again. During the night, entire German families committed suicide with men killing their wives and daughters, then themselves. This is the way the slavics treat the human been, the innocent civilians. This is the way the Serbs treated innocent Croatian, Bosnian and Dardanian civilians. If any entity of human been will be treated like that, then they are in title to ask and gain the independence.
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