Crossfire War – Tirana – Tehran – Pristina Watch – Southeast Europe Theatre: Tirana – Tehran – Ankara – Sarajevo – Pristina/(Brussels – Vienna – Warsaw)/Kosovska Mitrovica – Belgrade – Athens – Skopje – Podogrica – Banja Luka – Sofia – Moscow; Albanian Government Places Military on Pre-Mobilization Due to Rumors of Belgrade Planning Partition of Kosovo
Night Watch: TIRANA – “The endless suspension of a final status decision was doing serious damage to regional stability. Albania should be prepared for any unexpected situation.”
That is a quote from Albania National Security Council President and Army Chief Bamir Topi as he describes the deteriorating situation in the Balkans. This should not be surprising since Albanians were given the impression by the European Union (EU) and some NATO countries most of this year they were willing to recognize Kosovo independence until the Serbian government in Belgrade and Serbian para-military nationalist groups openly prepared for war to retain control over the province.
In response, the United Nations and the EU advised all parties to wait in the desperate hope some negotiated solution could break the entrenched impasse. In the meantime Albanian nationalists in Kosovo, with the full support of Tirana, made unofficial claims of independence with the assumption they had Washington’s support. [AKI]
AKI reports, according to the Pristina daily Koha Ditore, for the last few weeks word began to circulate Serbia Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, without the knowledge of Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, dispatched his private envoy, businessman Vojin Lazrevic to a number of European capitals to test their response to Kostunica’s proposal on Kosovo being partitioned.
Lazrevic was in Rome last week. Kostunica’s Belgrade office has responded with no comment to the reports and there has been no indication, officially, as to the responses so far from the European governments, but I suspect since they are desperate to avoid another wave of fighting in Southeast Europe they would be willing to support partition. However Lazervic may have informed them Tirana and the Kosovo Albanians would never support it even to the point of going to war to prevent it.
Lazervic may then mention since another war is inevitable the European Union and most of NATO should assist Serbia against any Albanian military unit, in Kosovo or from Albania itself and the reason being Albanian nationalists have support from Islamic militant groups. He should know of Tirana’s increased relations with Tehran. Iran is eager to see any war that can be used to distract the West from attacking Iran. Tehran can also use the next war in Southeast Europe to silence Vienna and end the investigation into Iran’s nuclear weapons program by the UN agency based there.
For the past three days Tirana has placed its military on “the second level of readiness” and all armed units set to active “pre-mobilization.” In an attempt to defuse the situation Serbian Parliament member Dragan Todorovic is trying to portray reports of Albania’s mobilization as “propaganda.” Todorovic commented, “Still, I have to ask against whom Albania wants to go into war – Serbia, Montenegro or Greece.”
As crossfirewar.com has reported, Tirana and Albanian nationalst guerrilla groups have territorial disputes with all three including Macedonia. Over the weekend there was another attack on a Macedonian police station by Albanian nationalists which has forced the Parliament in Skopje to debate the issue. It was the Albanian community in Macedonia that began the region’s last heavy fighting for seven months in 2001.
Washington has expressed its serious concerns over these latest developments by sending CIA Deputy Director Stephen Kappes to visit Tirana Sunday evening where he held two hours of secret discussions with Albania Secret Service (SHISH) Director Bahri Shakiri. I suspect Shakiri alerted Kappes that there is no holding back Albanian nationalist aspirations and Tirana-Pristina are prepared to accept assistance from anywhere (Tehran-Ankara-Sarajevo).
Battle lines in this regional theatre in World War III are being more clearly drawn now.