Tuesday, April 17, 2007

US State Dept Speech: The Outlook for the Independence of Kosovo

 R. Nicholas Burns, US Under Secretary of Political Affairs spoke before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs today.

You can watch the video here or read a transcript here.  Basically, Burns states a very strong US position for an independent Kosovo. 

We are working closely with NATO and the European Union, whose members agree with us that independence for Kosovo is the only viable outcome. The United States, NATO, and the EU have invested enormous political, economic and military resources in Kosovo and the region -- we have the most significant equities at stake and therefore are most committed to seeing this process through.

The UN Security Council has already begun discussing President Ahtisaari's recommendations. In the coming weeks, the U.S. will sponsor a new Security Council resolution to replace resolution 1244, which established the current regime of international administration over Kosovo. This resolution will not actually confer independence on Kosovo. Rather, it will remove political and legal impediments to independence, as well as provide mandates for Kosovo’s post-status international supervision under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. We expect that Kosovo’s leaders will subsequently declare their independence. The U.S. and other countries will then recognize the new state. Our goal is to bring the Kosovo status process to a timely and successful conclusion by the end of this spring. We believe that the Security Council will recognize that President Ahtisaari's proposals represent the best chance to achieve a sustainable solution [emphasis added].

It seems like we really are coming down the wire.  Note specifically that the US will introduce a new UNSC resolution.

No comments: