Saturday, July 21, 2007

War Clouds Over Kosovo

July 19, 2007: Will resolving Kosovo's "final status" spark the regional war the U.S. tried to avoid in the 1990s? Ethnic Albanians in Macedonia have said they would go to Kosovo to fight for Kosovar independence should the UN decide to deny Kosovo independence, or even delay it. The head of a Macedonian "Albanian veterans" group recently said that if the UN decision "continues to be delayed," then Macedonian Albanians should be prepared to help Kosovo. This could be the trigger for a scenario that has concerned almost everyone – a new Balkan war pitting Albanians against Serbs and Montenegrins.

July 14, 2007: UN officials are openly criticizing Russia for opposing the independence resolution. Russia can cause real problems for the UN. The biggest concern was that putting off a decision on Kosovo's final status would simply increase unrest in Kosovo.

July 10, 2007: Greece fired its ambassador to Macedonia. The ambassador got in trouble by saying that Greece must accept that the country of Macedonia has been recognized "under its constitutional name" by around half of the members of the UN. The constitutional name? Macedonia. Greece, however insists on calling Macedonia "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (FYROM). That's because Greece fears that Macedonia may ultimately try to claim the Greek province of Macedonia.

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