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Kosovo

Steering Group Grants Kosovo Full Sovereignty

Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci smiles during a press conference by the International Steering Group for Kosovo in Vienna on July 2.
Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci smiles during a press conference by the International Steering Group for Kosovo in Vienna on July 2.

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By RFE/RL
The International Steering Group for Kosovo has decided to grant full rights of national sovereignty to Kosovo from September.

Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger declared on July 2 that international supervision of Kosovo had come to an end.

Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, who attended the group's meeting in Vienna, hailed the move as "historic."

The Steering Group -- composed of 23 European countries, Turkey, and the United States -- has been responsible for overseeing Kosovo's independence and helping establish democratic institutions there.

The predominantly ethnic Albanian territory has been under international administration since a NATO bombing campaign ousted Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic's forces in 1999.

The head of the Steering Group's International Civilian Office in Kosovo, Dutch diplomat Pieter Feith, said in Vienna that Kosovo had become a "modern, democratic, multiethnic" country since the ethnic Albanian leadership declared independence in 2008.

Feith said much remained to be done in the new nation. But he hailed what he called Kosovo's "notable progress" in recent years.

Serbian Concerns For Minority

Feith's International Civilian Office will shut down when Kosovo formally gains statehood in September.

The NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force, and the European Union's police and legal experts, are expected to remain in Kosovo to help ensure stability and security.

Police detain a Serb wearing a T-shirt reading "Greater Serbia" during a celebration of the anniversary of the 1389 Battle of Kosovo Polje at Gazimestan on June 28.
Police detain a Serb wearing a T-shirt reading "Greater Serbia" during a celebration of the anniversary of the 1389 Battle of Kosovo Polje at Gazimestan on June 28.


Austrian Foreign Minister Spindelegger said Kosovo was on track to eventually become a member of the European Union.

The meeting was held amid Serbian concerns that the international community's withdrawal from Kosovo could put the territory's Serbian minority at greater risk under the rule of the Albanian majority.

Last week, five buses carrying Kosovo Serb schoolchildren in Pristina were pelted with stones and Molotov cocktails in the latest flare-up of ethnic violence. The unrest prompted Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic to call for greater international protection of Kosovo's Serbs.

Serbia's government, Kosovo Serbs, and Serbia's traditional ally, Russia, reject the ethnic Albanian declaration of Kosovo independence, arguing the territory is still a Serbian province.

Kosovo's independence has been recognized by 86 countries, including the United States and most EU nations.

With reporting by dpa and AFP
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jack from: US
July 02, 2012 15:58
most countries do not recognize and will not recognize illegal Kosovo "independence". Kosovo is nothing else but Sunni Muslim drug-trafficking enclave set up by US government in Europe to control drug trade. Even some NATO minions do not recognize Kosovo. US government controls Mexico and Colombian drug traffic, reaping billions in illegal profits which are deposited in offshore accounts of senior US government officials.
In Response

by: Demetrius Minneapolis from: Jack's dog house
July 02, 2012 21:22
... Cause Alex Jones told you so, right?
The only things I can agree with you on is that Kosovo independence should be regarded as illegal, it is a trafficking area and inhabited by Sunnis.
Other than that, why don't you provide legitimate information pertinent to your claims of offshore accounts etc. I want to know banks, names of those involved and how many billions. Come on Jack, you know it all, fill us in please or go back to posting on MoveOn.org
In Response

by: Peter from: Canada
July 02, 2012 22:36
This is logical step taken by the Western and specifically European countries.

@Jack: Drug trafficking argument shows your limited understanding of international law and diplomacy.

by: Rick from: milan
July 02, 2012 21:19
International Steering Group for Kosovo

"""has decided""" ! ! !

.......

http://youtu.be/6xzRhJNJRlE


by: Andreas Michel from: München
July 07, 2012 09:13
Serb family that came back to their home, was killed today in Kosovo. Why doesn't radio liberty and freedom write something about that. I hope governments in Europe will realise what kind of animals they gave power in southern Serbia.
In Response

by: Zach from: Prague
July 07, 2012 17:32
Andreas, here is a short report on the case you wrote about. http://www.rferl.org/content/serbian-couple-killed-in-kosovo/24638003.html

by: Darren from: Canada
July 14, 2012 00:31
Bravo Kosova!Congratulations! It is an enormous achievement to mature politically so fast! How proud all Kosovars: Albanians, Serbs and Romas must feel! A bright future awaits you!

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