Monday, February 18, 2008


PRISTINA, Kosovo (February 18,2008) – Kosovo's Parliament adopted the Declaration of Independence in Pristina yesterday.Members of Kosovo's Parliament voted for the declaration yesterday around 16.00 with 109 votes for the independence. Political representatives of the serbians livig in Kosovo were not present at the Assembly.

"From this moment on Kosovo is independent and sovereign state”, declared Hashim Thaqi at the Plenary Session of the Kosovo Parliament.

Bosnia would not be among the countries to recognize an independent Kosovo in the near future, the Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic said yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

The situation in Bosnia remained calm following the declaration of independence by Kosovo.More police had been deployed across the country over the weekend.

Meanwhile in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, dozens of cars drove through city centre, with blaring horns and waving Kosovo flags, celebrating Kosovo independence.

While Bosnians and members of the Albanian community in Bosnia, celebrated in Sarajevo, some 100 Serbians living in Bosnia gathered in downtown Banja Luka to protest the declaration of Kosovo's independence.

"We have waited for this for so long, and that finally happened," said Ismet Alia - a member of the Albanian community in Bosnia.

A member of the Bosnian Presidency Haris Silajdzic stated for the press that due to Kosovo's declaration of independence, measures of information exchange between Bosnian and foreign subjects are intensified related to possible repercussions on the security situation in Bosnia.

”Based on information it can be concluded that the Bosnian state institutions are ready to answer the challenges”, stated Silajdzic at the press conference.

"Declaration of independence by Kosovo must have no effect on Bosnia. The change of the status of Kosovo is not related to Bosnia and Bosnia will not allow any interference in its internal affairs," Silajdzic said in a statement in Sarajevo.

U.S. Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton, who is seeking the US presidency, has welcomed Kosovo's independence declaration as "a historic step that will allow the people of Kosovo to finally live in their own democratic state."

"I urge our friends and allies and around the world to join the United States and European Union countries in promptly recognizing an independent Kosovo," she said.

Kosovars wave an Albanian flag (L) and the flag of independent Kosovo (back) which was unveiled yesterday at the Kosovo Parliament after the declaration of independence was made in Pristina. Kosovo on Sunday declared independence from an angry and anxious genocidal Serbia, completing the conflict-strewn breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

U.S. President George W. Bush said yesterday that he supports the independence of Kosovo.

"On Kosovo, our position is that its status must be resolved in order for the Balkans to be stable. Secondly, we have strongly supported the Ahtisaari plan," Bush said, referring to a so-called "supervised independence" plan put forward by the former Finnish president and UN special envoy Martti Ahtisaari.

The European Union and NATO appealed for calm in the region after Kosovo's declaration of independence.The move put the EU and other nations under pressure to recognize Kosovo as an independent state.

"This is not a race" to recognition, said Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, in Brussels. "We are involved in trying to secure the stability of a very volatile region at a critical period in time. We have to do it with car," he said.

Still, diplomats said, most of the 27 EU nations planned to recognise Kosovo, led by Germany, Britain and France.

Javier Solana, the EU's foreign and security affairs chief, said he was in contact with leaders in the region to stress the importance of stability.

"I urge everybody to act calmly and in a responsible way.I am convinced that the Kosovar leaders will be up to their responsibilities in this crucial moment," Solana said in a statement.

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