Crossfire War – Tehran – Pristina – Tirana Watch – Southeast Europe Theatre: Tehran – Ankara – Riyadh – Tirana – Pristina/Medvedja – Belgrade – Athens – Tehran – Moscow; UN Envoy Ahtisaari to Present Kosovo Plan to UN Security Council in Closed Door Meeting – Several Bombs Explode in Kosovo Destroy UN Vehicles
Night Watch: MEDVEDJA – AKI reports Martti Ahtisaari, United Nations Special Envoy for Kosovo, is to present his plan for a supervised independence for the ethnic Albanian majority province of Kosovo, 15% of Serbia’s territory. His presentation is to take place today at a closed door meeting of the 15 member nation Security Council. Serbia Ambassador to the UN, Pavle Jevremovic, has already protested the participation of Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu as if it implies the recognition of Kosovo as an independent state already. Belgrade states the presence of Sejdiu violates UN Resolution 1244 which only allows the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to represent Kosovo. [AKI]
Serbia Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has already conveyed Serbia’s message to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that Belgrade has contacted two of the permanent Security Council members China-Russia that negotiations should be continued and that there are still ways to resolve the issue peacefully. But events seem to be already overtaking the negotiation process. Speaking to reporters in Berlin, AP reports, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried has warned violence will breakout if Kosovo Albanians are not granted independence “quickly” and that they can “no longer be denied.”
As an example of Albanian impatience three masked men, wearing Serbian Army uniforms, stole a flock of 150 sheep and 10 cows Tuesday from a Serb household in Branija near Medvedja on the Kosovo border with Serbia. Branislav Zdravkovic said the men swore at him for being a Serb and threatened to kill him and his wife. “They harassed us for more than an hour, shouting we had to move from this area.” Zdravkovic gave his account over Serbian National television. Medvedja is one of three towns, Presevo and Bujanovc being the other two, that in 2001 experienced confrontations between Albanians and state security services which became so serious all out fighting nearly broke out, just two years after NATO’s 78 day air campaign against Serbia.
In other violence overnight, in the town of Zubin Potok, there were several bomb attacks against the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) that damaged several UN vehicles. There was no loss of life, but obviously Albanian nationalist militant groups see no hope in the UN process. Despite the current meeting today in New York the Security Council is still not going to make any final decision and three member nations of the council, Greece-Slovakia-Romania are openly against Kosovo independence. In the meantime with the increasing violent incidents, either against monasteries, Serbs or UN offices, NATO is increasing its presence in Kosovo.
Obviously the consequences of the extremely suspicious European Commission/Union decision-making process in the early 1990s to recognize the divided Yugoslavia as six new countries, are still being felt and the consequences – war, has yet to run its course. The division has definitely divided more than Yugoslavia and has brought back from the dead old, historical European hatreds, which I thought had been buried with World War II. And Tehran entered the conflict as soon as the divided states were recognized in 1991-92 by establishing relations with all of them, knowing this front will keep the U.S. and Western Europe busy trying to hold the line somewhere in the Balkans as fighting begins in the Mediterranean in and around the European units in UNIFIL-Lebanon. Tehran also intends to use the war as its way of silencing Vienna and ending the investigation into Iran’s nuclear weapons program by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency based there.
Neither will Brussels-NATO have any major impact on the most important front, the Caucasus, a crossroads of energy pipelines and the only theatre the Allies can confront Tehran directly and put Iran on the defensive. Instead, NATO insisted its power projection outside Europe should concentrate on Afghanistan, a country whose staple product is opium and possessing no industrial raw materials. NATO bases there are not even being used to attack Iran, the center of terrorist planning for more than 20 years.