Another Balkan High Noon

With the world focused on Iraq, North Korea, and a possible clash with Iran over nuclear weapons, Kosovo has fallen off the radar screen. That inattention will end soon; a decision about the province’s fate is looming.

The United States and its European friends have repeatedly stated their intent to make the difficult decision before the end of the year on whether to separate Kosovo from Serbia. This decision – crucial to the future of an unstable region – will test Western determination and unity.

Negotiations this year in Vienna, brokered by the United Nations, showed that an agreed settlement between Serbia and Kosovo on “final status” will not happen. Talks continue, but, as UN negotiator and former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari diplomatically told the Security Council, they are effectively dead.

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