During a recent visit to Portugal, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated that were committed to an independent Kosovo and we will get there one way or another.
In the current delicate political juncture, when key international players (including UN Security Council members and EU nations ) involved in helping determine a fair resolution to the Kosovo issue have agreed that a new round of good-faith negotiations between the parties, with no fixed time limits or default solutions, is necessary to move forward from the current stalemate - the present statement amounts to a sabotage that mocks the process and dooms the outcome.
A similar - though less brazen - stance by the State Department at the outset of the 2006 Vienna status talks likewise wiped out any substantive negotiations between the parties and directly led to the current political impasse. With a continuing American responsibility for assisting a just resolution to this political conflict, its ability to act as honest and independent broker is virtually destroyed with such an irresponsible bias towards one particular solution.
Furthemore, the current insistence on this specific outcome compromises US foreign policy on multiple levels. Defying international law by pressing the dismembering of a state that has clearly committed to its territorial integrity is bound to open a Pandoras box of secessionist claims worldwide, resultant instability and sundry blowback of a kind historically poorly handled by the US. Moreover, the abandonment of the earlier sensible [human rights] standards before status policy for the province, in the face of naked threats of violence by a narco-mafia clique with reported Al-Qaeda ties, is certain to bode ill for both our ongoing efforts in the War on Terror and the perceived sincerity of our worldwide human rights agenda.
If there was any question about the effect of the Secretarys public comments, that was promptly removed when the provincial Prime Minister Agim Ceku stated he will call on the Assembly of Kosovo to have November 28th as the day when the province will unilaterally declare its independence. This plan (called Plan U for Unilateral Independence) was presented to the Kosovo Albanian delegation in advance of its trip to Washington DC this week, to meet with Secretary Rice.
This is sadly a very predictable outcome of a very irresponsible remark. We now have the Kosovo governmental institutions poised for a declaration of unilateral independence, an outcome feared by all other international factors, but with the explicit support of the United States. While the rest of the International Community is desperatly trying to figure out a sustanable solution and bring lasting peace to the region, the Secretary of State is presenting the United States foreign policy as one where terrorism is not only tolerated, but rewarded.
The Serbian Unity Congress strongly condemns such destructive statements, especially coming from a key player in the ongoing discussions on the future of this province. Furthermore, the Serbian Unity Congress calls on members of Congress and Senate to come out strongly against such acts, exerting their mandated oversight of the State Department, raise the level of scrutiny of the Administrations policy regarding Kosovo-Metohija, and its implications on US security and national interest.