- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Kosovo cheers independence ruling
Serbia insists it won’t recognize breakaway
Question of the Day
Kosovo is the seventh state to emerge from the rubble of the former Yugoslavia. Its formal secession from Serbia ended nearly nine years of U.N. receivership, which followed NATO’s 1999 intervention to protect the territory’s mostly ethnic-Albanian population from the forces of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.
The ethnic bloodshed that plagued the Balkans throughout the ‘90s has been minimal in recent years, but NATO’s 10,000-strong Kosovo Force (KFOR) increased its troop strength Thursday in the Serb-controlled part of Mitrovica, the ethnically divided city in northern Kosovo. Earlier this month, Mitrovica was the site of a deadly bomb blast at a Serb political rally and the shooting of a Serb member of Kosovo’s parliament.
“KFOR will continue to implement its mandate to maintain a safe and secure environment in an impartial manner throughout Kosovo, for the benefit of all communities, majority and minority alike,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement.
EU foreign-affairs chief Catherine Ashton said Thursday that Brussels was “ready to facilitate a process of dialogue between Pristina [Kosovo] and Belgrade,” adding that the future of both nations “lies in the European Union.”
“We are ready to recognize Serbia, and I hope in the near future Serbia will change its position and recognize the independence of Kosovo, too,” he said, “because the only way for Serbia to be part of the EU is to recognize the independence of Kosovo.”
But Serbian officials said that they would accept an outcome reached only through negotiations with Pristina.
“Everything is on the table as far as we’re concerned,” Serbia’s ambassador to the United States, Vladimir Petrovic, told The Washington Times. “We don’t have any preconditions to sit down and talk about the final solution.”
Mr. Thaci, however, has said that Kosovo’s independence and territorial integrity are not negotiable. Rejecting suggestions for an ethnic realignment of Kosovo’s borders, he insisted that minorities throughout Kosovo have nothing to fear. “I want to assure all communities living in Kosovo - and in particular, the Serb citizens - that Kosovo is their home, too.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ben Birnbaum is a reporter covering foreign affairs for The Washington Times. Prior to joining The Times, Birnbaum worked as a reporter-researcher at the New Republic. A Boston-area native, he graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University with a degree in government and psychology. He won multiple collegiate journalism awards for his articles and columns in the Cornell Daily Sun.
TWT Video Picks
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- LYONS: Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq