Balkans: Kosovo Consequences

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April 14, 2006: The Serbian government said that an independent Kosovo would be "a precedent with unforeseeable consequences" for the rest of the Balkans. Serbia argues that an independent Kosovo would destabilize the rest of the Balkans. Serbia is offering to conduct direct talks with Kosovar Albanians and is promising Kosovo autonomy within Serbia.

April 10,2006: Montenegro intends to conduct a plebiscite on May 21 to determine if Montenegro will separate from Serbia. Whatever the result of the vote, Montenegro has told Serbia that it wants to maintain an "open border" with Serbia. Montenegrins and Serbs would only have to show an i.d. card in order to cross the border. So far Serbia has not responded to Montenegro's offer. Serbia is against Montenegrin independence. An "open border" would allow Montenegrin separatists to be "independent" but still benefit from a close relationship with Serbia.

Turkey said that it supported Bosnia's request to join NATO. At the moment Bosnia is trying to join NATO's Partnership for Peace program (which is a "preparatory" NATO of sorts, a program designed to improve military training and strengthen democratic institutions). Turkey's ties with Bosnia run deep. Turkey and Bosnia are increasing bi-lateral trade and investment

 

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