Thursday, February 07, 2008

Bolton: Kosovo debate resurfacing in White House

7 February 2008 | 10:28 | Source: FoNet WASHINGTON -- The Kosovo debate has been resurrected within the White House, says a former U.S. ambassador to the UN.

“You still have a number of people in the administration that do not support the policy of automatic recognition of Kosovo independence. I think that that debate has now resurfaced within the administration itself, and, I hope, in the Foreign Ministries of European countries,” John Bolton told Voice of America.

Bolton said that it was to difficult to predict the outcome of that debate, as conflicting views were being expressed, but it was no longer just the domain of the State Department that for the last 15 years or so has been following the issue on auto-pilot, more or less. “I can’t predict the outcome of the debate, but I do know that it has resurfaced.”

The former ambassador pointed out that under the UN Charter, the Security Council was not authorized to break a country up without its agreement.

He said that the international community should isolate the negotiating teams in a room and tell them that they cannot leave until the problem is solved, which would require concessions on both sides, and would help them reach a mutually acceptable solution.

Bolton said that the U.S., at this point in time, in the event of a declaration, would recognize independence, as would the majority of European countries, even though this would “reflect very negatively on the young democracy in Serbia,” and would have “a negative impact on U.S.-Russian relations.”

“From a U.S. point of view, I think that there are a lot more important issues in bilateral relations with the U.S. than Kosovo, and Kosovo independence would lead to unnecessary instability in the Balkan region,” said the former ambassador.

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