OPINION

Setting a bad precedent

The Greek government insists that any solution on the final status of the divided Kosovo province must have Belgrade’s approval before being ratified by the international community. And for good reason. The use of military violence to extract territory from a foreign state followed by a recognition of its independence by the world powers could set a dangerous precedent in settling other minority issues on the old Continent: The Turkish Cypriots on the Turkish-occupied, northern section of Cyprus, the Albanians in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), the Hungarian minorities in Romania and Slovenia, the separatist movements in Spain and France – all may be tempted to follow the example of Kosovo Albanians. The negative fallout of such tendencies are not hard to imagine. Any solution must enjoy Serbian consent, otherwise it runs the risk of being interpreted as an encouragement, if not incitement, of a new round of minority crises.