The Macedonian Tendency: The National Interest

Friday, May 04, 2007

The National Interest

The National Interest: "Kosovo Needs a Multilateral Approach
by Gordon N. Bardos



Permanent representatives from the United Nations Security Council have just returned from a fact finding mission to the Balkans and will soon begin debating whether or not to endorse granting Kosovo independence. There are legitimate arguments both in favor of granting Kosovo independence and against. But an argument currently making the rounds in Washington—that the United States should recognize Kosovo’s independence even without Security Council approval—is almost certainly wrong.

In the United States, senators Lieberman (D-CT), Biden (D-DE), McCain (R-AZ) and Smith (R-OR) have introduced a resolution to the Senate calling for a unilateral U.S. recognition of Kosovo’s independence. Yet an ad hoc process which does not enjoy clear international legitimacy, with some countries recognizing Kosovo’s independence and others opting not to, will significantly complicate an already messy diplomatic situation in the Balkans. The International Crisis Group, meanwhile, is arguing that a quick move towards independence is needed to prevent frustrated extremists in Kosovo from exporting violence to other parts of the Balkans. But granting Kosovo independence outright could just as easily whet the appetites of militants who have already engaged in violence in Macedonia"

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