Hope running out for Kosovo independence

Published on November 7, 2007, The Tiraspol Times

Category: Growing International Opposition to Imposed Solution

Eager to get internationally recognized statehood before Transdniestria and other older conflicts, Kosovo is toying with the idea of declaring independence unilaterally in December. But Germany will not recognize a unilateral Kosovo independence declaration, says its foreign ministry. Neither will Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia or Romania.

BERLIN (Tiraspol Times) - With Serbia and Kosovo meeting in Berlin this week, German Foreign Ministry official Martin Jaeger strongly rejected media reports from Pristina which said that Germany would recognize Kosovo's independence after 10 December 2007 when the current 120-day negotiation period ends.

With the statement, Germany added itself to a list of countries that are having second thoughts about giving Kosovo independence before other would-be countries that have waited longer to become internationally recognized. These frozen conflicts and "de facto" countries include Transdniestria, Northern Cyprus, Somaliland, Abkhazia and several others.

Germany sees only slim chances for an international agreement on the future status of the Serbian breakaway republic of Kosovo, the German diplomat said on Monday.

Speaking to the press, German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger stressed that a settlement of the crisis was "not guaranteed" at all.

Romania withdraws support

Talks on status of Kosovo must continue after 10 December if the sides do not come to agreement, said Romania's Foreign Minister in an interview with AFP. Adrian Cioroianu also said that if Kosovo proclaims independence unilaterally, then "Romania will not be among the first ten countries to recognize it, nor will Romania be part of the next ten." He added that this position is shared by Greece, Spain, Slovenia and Cyprus.

Internationally mediated talks between Serbian and ethnic Albanian negotiators over the future of Kosovo remain mired in disagreement with neither side reporting progress.

Government officials from Transdniestria (officially Pridnestrovie) have often pointed to Kosovo as a precedent, saying that if Kosovo gets international recognition then so should Transdniestria. Legally and historically, however, some experts argue that Transdniestria has a better case for independence than Kosovo, and that Transdniestria does not need a "Kosovo precedent" since its claim to statehood is much stronger and more solidly grounded in international law.

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