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World Citizen: Amid Challenges, the Triumph of Peace in Kosovo

Thursday, May 6, 2010

PRISTINA, Kosovo -- Tensions ran high in the Balkans on the day, two years ago, that the people of Kosovo announced their momentous decision: "From today onwards," Prime Minister Hashim Thaci solemnly declared on Feb. 17, 2008, "Kosovo is proud, independent and free." The streets of Pristina erupted in celebration at the news that Kosovo's long-awaited independence from Serbia had finally arrived. At the time, however, many predicted yet another Balkan war.

More than two years later, Kosovo has defied the prophecies of the pessimists who believed armed conflict would inevitably break out again if Kosovo dared to declare independence. The fledgling republic remains plagued by serious social, political and economic problems. War, however, is not one of them. To that extent, the effort to protect and develop -- to create, even -- the new Kosovo looks like a qualified success story for the international community. ...

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