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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2521

US Congress does not Support Repeat of Kosovo: Holds Back any Support for Unilateral Secession

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 29 February (Asiantribune.com): Despite the Government of the United States and leading influential members of both the Senate and the House including the current contenders for the Democratic and Republican Party nominations for the November 2008 presidential election overwhelmingly recognized the birth of the independent state of Kosovo there is also a consensus in the United States that the Kosovo’s status does not establish a precedent for resolutions of other conflicts.

In a resolution brought before the United States Congress and accepted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reiterates that Kosovo situation as unique. The March 29, 2007 resolution pronounces the following:

“Whereas, in light of NATO's military intervention in Kosovo and the United Nations trusteeship established in Kosovo pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999), the international community has recognized the political circumstances in Kosovo as unique, and the settlement of Kosovo's status therefore does not establish a precedent for the resolution of other conflicts;”

The resolution was co-authored by Senators John McCain, the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party for the November presidential election, Joe Biden, chairman of the committee and leading voice of foreign affairs in the Democratic Party, Joseph Liberman, the independent voice in the Senate and Senator Smith.

The current front runner for Democratic Party nominations for November presidential election Barack Obama is the other member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that adopted the resolution clearly indicating that the United States’ recognition of the independence of Kosovo does not legitimize the doctrine of imposing solutions to ethnic conflicts in other parts of the world and that it does not legitimize the act of unilateral secession by a province or other non-state actors.

The language of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is clear when it declared “the international community has recognized the political circumstances in Kosovo as unique, and the settlement of Kosovo’s status therefore does not establish a precedent for the resolution of other conflicts.”

Having made clear of the above policy the Senate Foreign Relations Committee resolution supported the establishment of an independent Kosovo:

“Resolved, that it is the sense of the Senate that—

(1) the United States should support the independence of Kosovo in accordance with its currently constituted borders, a resolution that represents the only just, sustainable solution for an economically viable and politically stable Kosovo;

(2) the United States should, in consultation and cooperation with its allies, vigorously and promptly pursue a United Nations Security Council resolution that endorses the recommendations of United Nations Special Envoy for Kosovo Martti Ahtisaari;

(3) in the absence of timely action by the United Nations Security Council, the United States should be prepared to act in conjunction with like-minded democracies to confer diplomatic recognition on, and establish full diplomatic relations with, Kosovo as an independent state, much as the United States worked in cooperation with like-minded democracies to protect the people of Kosovo in 1999;

(4) the United States should oppose any delay in the resolution of the political status of Kosovo as counterproductive, potentially dangerous, and likely to make the achievement of a lasting settlement more difficult;

(5) the United States should work together with the European Union as a full partner in supporting the political and economic development of an independent Kosovo;

(6) the United States should support the integration of Kosovo into international and Euro-Atlantic institutions, including its timely admission to the Partnership for Peace program of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), with the ultimate goal of full membership in NATO;”

The United States Congress, both the Senate and the House of Representatives, is an important instrument in the governance of the United States. The committees of both chambers do exercise, under the Constitution of the U.S., legislative, judicial and far reaching impact over the nation’s foreign policy, defense, trade, foreign economic assistance and human rights practices among other subjects. The Executive Branch (White House) and the Congress, under the provisions of the Constitution, are compelled to work together on policy decisions and their implementations. The Congress is able to hold the White House to ransom when it comes to appropriation of funds in exchange of policy compromises.

In the light of the Constitutional clout the United States Congress holds the resolution mentioned above, its sentiments, determinations and pronouncements have far reaching impact on the formulation of overall U.S. policy on the issues of self-determination, secession, unilateral declaration of independence, breaking away of provinces from a nation state, the role of the non-state players and what and what not an ethnic conflict is.

When the Senate adopts that “the international community has recognized the political circumstances in Kosovo as unique, and the settlement of Kosovo’s status therefore does not establish a precedent for the resolution of other conflicts”, it becomes a policy plank of the United States foreign policy objectives overseas regarding the above issues that have engulfed many nations, especially in the Third World, often not explained to the international community in correct perspective and cogent manner due to those countries’ lack of expertise in public diplomacy.

- Asian Tribune -

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