Kosovo: Thaci heralds end of “supervised independence”
last update: June 12, 17:38
Pristina, 12 June (AKI) - Kosovo prime minister Hashim Thaci said on Tuesday the International Steering Group (ISG) for Kosovo will make a decision next month to end international supervision of Kosovo, four years after it declared independence from Serbia.
According to the plan forged by former United Nations negotiator Marti Ahtisaari, Kosovo independence, declared by majority Albanians, was under international supervision. ISG is an ad-hoc group consisting of 25 leading world countries which recognized Kosovo.
Ahtisaari plan was killed in the UN Security Council by Serbia’s ally Russia, but Kosovo has been recognized by ninety countries, including the United States and 22 out of 27 European Union members.
“We are ending supervised independence, opening at the same time a concrete European agenda for the Republic of Kosovo,” Thaci told government session in Pristina. “I call upon you to engage yourselves in full capacity in the government and parliament of Kosovo up to 2 July,” Thaci said.
In order to implement Ahtisaari plan, the EU has sent its Rule of Law mission in Kosovo (EULEX) to help Kosovo authorities in judiciary, police and customs matters. In addition, there are some 5,000 NATO soldiers stationed in Kosovo.
Kosovo had been under United Nations control after NATO bombing Serbian forces out of the province in 1999, but UN mission has dwindled down since declaration of independence in 2008, turning most of its competences to EULEX and Kosovo authorities.
Belgrade opposes Kosovo independence, but has made a number of concessions in order for Serbia and Kosovo to proceed towards their proclaimed goals of joining the European Union.
Kosovo authorities still haven’t established control over Serb-populated north, where local Serbs oppose Pristina rule and Belgrade operates “parallel institutions”. The area has been a scene of sporadic clashes between local Serbs and NATO troops.
Analysts said tensions may rise again if international presence ended and Pristina tried to establish its control over the entire territory.
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