NEWS

Kosovo: no foregone conclusion

Is independence for Kosovo a foregone conclusion for the EU and the USA? Could it provoke ultra-nationalist reactions in Serbia and fuel desires for a «Greater Albania,» destabilizing the western Balkans? No decision has been taken by the EU or the US for the eventual independence of Kosovo. Negotiations are under way between Belgrade and Pristina, led by Special UN envoy for the Kosovo status talks Marti Ahtisaari, on the eventual final status. France hopes the two sides will cooperate with Mr Ahtisaari so that realistic solutions can be found to the many difficulties. These are chiefly freedom of movement, the restoration of transparent, constructive links between local communities in Serbia and Kosovo, the setting up of mechanisms to ascertain the fate of the mission, and measures to protect communities and places of worship. France, along with its European partners, supports the principles determined by the Contact Group in November 2005: no return to the pre-1999 status, no division, no union of Kosovo with any other country or part of a country.