Monday, April 21, 2008

Former Czech Foreign Minister: "Kosovo Will Never Be Legally Independent"

20 April 2008 | 19:43 | Source: Tanjug FRANKFURT -- If I were in Serbian politicians' shoes, I would never recognize Kosovo's independence, Jiri Dienstbier says.

Dienstibier, a former UN human rights rapporteur for former Yugoslavia and former Czech foreign minister, was speaking in an interview for the Frankfurt-based Serbian-language daily Vesti.

Dienstbier said that Serbia's southern province has been in a "legal chaos" since some countries recognized the ethnic Albanians' unilaterally declared independence.

"This chaos has been created through the arbitrary political and interest-based interpretation of the norms of international law, which is unprecedented in the history of legal systems," Dienstbier said.

He added that many countries in the world have not taken this illegal path because they have a "sense of shame", while some have their own problems similar to Serbia's.

Such countries fortunately make up the majority, Dienstbier said, and added that the number of states that have recognized Kosovo's independence is lower than 25 percent of the world's countries.

"The pressure exerted on the 'disobedient' ones is huge, both by America, and the EU's 'elite members'. It's hard to say how many will succumb to that pressure. It is clear and certain, after all that’s been said and done, that Kosovo will never, but really never, be a legal and legitimate independent country."

"Kosovo cannot become a UN member, and with this, it cannot join most international organizations. Besides, the economic impotence of such a state must be kept in mind, and the fact that the international community has not managed to turn the Kosovo extremists into European democrats in the past ten years," the former Czech diplomat said.

"It's ridiculous that they are convincing us the Kosovo issue is unique, that it cannot serve as precedent. They should explain this to the Kurds, the Basques and many others, so if those people 'understand and accept' it, there will be no precedent."

"Nationalists are very happy because of Kosovo. In the words of Czech President Vaclav Klaus, by recognizing Kosovo, we are opening Pandora's Box," Dienstbier concluded.

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