Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Archive for December 13th, 2007

LibDems Clear on Kosovo

Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 13th December, 2007

mark-hunter.jpgAlmost unnoticed by the great British public, Europe is soon likely to have its newest independent state, though not without birth pangs. On Monday, the deadline for agreement on Kosovo passed, with Serbia still displaying deep hostility to the province’s detachment. I understand why ethnic Serbs are concerned about the prospects for them in any future independent state dominated by ethnic Albanians. But the principle of self-determination is an important one, enshrined in international law, and I quite see why the Kosovars wanted to break away after their brutal suppression by the late and little lamented Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic.

Today, in the House of Commons, the LibDems Deputy Foreign Affairs spokesman, Mark Hunter, made the party’s position clear on Kosovo, declaring that ‘the only solution to the crisis in Kosovo is the supervised independence programme proposed by Maarti Artisaarhi [former Finnish president, and the man designated to try to find an equitable settlement for the ongoing status dispute]. His proposal envisages that the EU will play an oversight role while Kosovo develops the institutions and stable economy that it needs to enable full independence.’

Mark went on to stress that the EU has a key role to play in co-ordinating foreign and defence policy, something which is, in my view, essential not only for the well-being of the European continent, but also to provide a counter-balance both to the (declining) super-power, the United States, and the (rising) super-power, China.

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