The Battle Over Kosovo’s Fate Has Reached a Decisive Stage

The Battle Over Kosovo’s Fate Has Reached a Decisive Stage

Ambassadors from the 15 U.N. Security Council member states have begun a fact-finding mission to assess the current situation in Kosovo. The mission is expected to visit the Serbian capital of Belgrade from April 25-26, the Kosovo capital of Pristina from April 27-28, and then Brussels, where the ambassadors will confer with NATO and EU leaders. Upon returning to New York, they will report their findings to the Security Council.

The council is currently deliberating whether to implement the recommendations on Kosovo's status offered by U.N. Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari last month. Ahtisaari's Comprehensive Proposal does not explicitly advocate granting Kosovo independence, but it certainly tilts in that direction.

The lengthy report contains certain provisions limiting Kosovar self-determination. For example, it would forbid the province from ever joining Albania. The proposal would also establish an international civilian overseer with powers to intervene in local government affairs and continue NATO's military and the EU's policing roles. Finally, it would enshrine protections for Kosovo's Serb minority by guaranteeing them roles in government, the civil service, and law enforcement as well as ties with neighboring Serbia. Nevertheless, the draft proposal would grant Kosovo its own flag, anthem, constitution, armed forces, and representation in international organizations -- all features characteristic of sovereign countries.

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