On the eve of a meeting of Western powers gathered in the International Steering Group (ISG), which consists of 23 EU countries, the United States and Turkey who have all recognised Pristina’s 2008 declaration of independence, decided that time has come for Kosovo to “acquire full independence” despite Serbia’s refusal to accept it.
During a recent conference in Vienna, the ISG said it had determined that the UN Comprehensive Settlement Proposal – more commonly known as the Ahtisaari Plan and precondition to independence – was “substantially implemented.”
Serbia does not recognize Kosovo‘s independence, and has not accepted the Ahtisaari Plan and never cooperated with the International Civilian Office, set up to implement it.
The formal announcement to lift the supervision is expected after an afternoon meeting to be attended by Dutch diplomat Pieter Feith, who chairs the International Civilian Office (ICO), prime minister Hashim Thaci and a host of other international and Kosovo officials.
“This is an important step for Kosovo and for its people,” ISG-appointed International Civilian Representative Pieter Feith told The Independent, calling the decision “appropriate and timely,” as cited by The Independent.
Kosovo‘s people “will now have to demonstrate themselves that they’re willing to use the institutions that we have helped to set up to move towards a truly multi-ethnic decentralised democracy in the Balkans,” he said.
But though Kosovo might become fully sovereign nation, the many international organizations present on the ground will not be going anywhere anytime soon. Overall, the total cost of the international presence in Kosovo is still about half a billion dollars a year, and some 5,000 NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR) peacekeepers are currently deployed on the territory.
The mandate of the EU mission in Kosovo EULEX has just been renewed for another two years, with an annual budget of EUR 111 M.
Chief Spokesperson Nicholas Hawton admitted that although much progress had been made, EULEX was “still needed” in Kosovo in the area of rule of law.
He added that the fact EULEX was able to consequently downsize its staff and budget “and save European tax-payers’ money” was an indication of the progress Kosovo had made.
“But we’re not out of the wood in any sense, there is still a lot of work to do.” He said organised crime and corruption especially remained “big challenges.”
The ISG announcement was unsurprisingly acclaimed in Kosovo. During a press conference after the meeting in Vienna, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci called it a “symbolical and historical date” for his country.
Serbs make up most of northern Kosovo and reject Pristina’s institutions. Recent troubles included clashes between Serbs and the KFOR and attacks on Serbian civilian buses during a Serbian holiday.
Kosovo and its two million majority ethnic-Albanian population has been under some form of international administration since a NATO bombing campaign forced then Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic’s forces out of the Serbian province in 1999.
On February 17, 2008, it unilaterally declared independence from Serbia and has been recognised by some 90 countries, including most EU nations.
So far, 91 out of 193 UN member states have recognized Kosovo‘s independence.
However, this will continue to face opposition from Belgrade, Moscow and Kosovo’s ethnic Serbs, who make up about six percent of the population, living mainly in the north on the border with Serbia.
The end of international supervision will not affect the presence of the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force in charge of the security situation or the European rule of law mission EULEX, which was created to boost the justice system.
Publisher‘s VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:
I would like to request our readers to be aware and awake that yours truly is in the middle of a Global Chess Board strategy game with the warmongering Globalists who personally knows me. The Santos Republic publishes certain materials for certain purposes. This surprise announcement came through AFP first (one of their mouthpiece), 16 hours ago, exactly after I had to unfortunately ‘defend’ our article to a hurting reader. Thanks to the person, this now threw off my strategy a step backward – to defend all of you! OUR ONE HOUR (1% world) IS WORTH SEVERAL MONTHS TO THE 99%! Yes, you are all in that delayed time zone. It is very slow that’s why it is such a huge challenge driving this Ship. Everyone is moving in some slow motion speed. But HERE is the evidence of how things move in my world, the REAL WORLD! So, I would like to ask that if you are to comment, do not ‘disturb’ the Captain’s navigational planning nor attack it. Leave pertinent comments, not sanctimonious ones. I do not welcome reprimand from anyone who does not even have any inkling of the bigger picture. This Founder & Publisher is a political strategist, not a mere messenger to you all. I am on a multi-level war zone here with the entire Humanity in mind. I am here to educate you, and much of what we put out are puzzle pieces that we are presenting to you because they hijacked TRUTH from all of you. Those who know me and how I feel about this sneaky move, I think you can use your imagination. My mistake is that I responded to the person. Rest assure that I am not going to expose myself that way again, Globalists. It is OK that you take this point. I got more under my sleeves. I am smiling that you ARE following me very closely. I knew this all along. You respond to whatever we post here. Know, that the War is not over between us. We barely begun. We win this against you. Guess what? You WILL go down. Why? TRUTH PREVAILS NOW and I carry its Sword!