Monday, February 18, 2008

Kosovo: The World's Newest Country

Kosovo's flag has a map in it!

The long awaited vote in the Assembly of Kosovo has taken place and the new Republic of Kosovo was born. The declaration of independence comes after years of quasi-self rule under the United Nations de facto separated from Serbia.

Kosovo is the world's newest Muslim majority country (though it is of a conservative, not puritanical, brand not throughly observed). The citizens now are pretty pro-American supporting both former President William Clinton and current President George Bush for their pro-Kosovar polices.

On Monday some countries are planning to recognize the republic, others will deny it, and others will sit on the fence. The United States, United Kingdom, probably the European Union, Islamic countries, and the Republic of China plan to acknowledge the new country. The countries that do not plan to recognize Kosovo fall into two categories.
  • Russia, Slovenia, and other Slavic countries are rallying behind their Serbian cousins.
  • Other countries are afraid of de facto independent countries finalizing their split. Romania and Moldova fear Transnistria may be recognized by a vengeful Russia. Georgia has similar concerns about Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Bosnia's legal Serbian Republic's threats of declaring independence is keeping Bosnia and Herzegovina form recognizing Kosovo. The People's Republic of China sees Kosovo as a justification for the Republic of China. Kosovo allows lays the groundwork for Northern Cyprus to be internationally recognized.
What to do with the Serbs in Kosovo is another concern. While Kosovo's official flag is above many use the Albanian flag; these and other signs hint that Kosovars favor union with Albania. Serbs may demand their areas rejoin Serbia or that they should receive autonomy like Moldova's Christan Turks in Gagauzia.

The world's newest independent country is unlike other recent one's like East Timor or Montenegro. Kosovo's independence is as important in the geopolitical game as the rise of post-Soviet states. With a new Cold War let us hope Kosovo's geopolitical wake is not as big as Israel's was with independence.


Dan tdaxp said...

Fascinating post! I was unaware of the China/Taiwan bit, though that makes sense. Also hadn't heard of Gagauzia before.

cokaygne said...

Great post. Interesting flag. Not a muslim color in it. How does the map on the flag compare to the existing territory of Kosovo? I understand that Serbs in the northern part want to opt out. Can't blame them, but then you'll have a situation like so many left behind by the British empire.

Jasper said...

what is so Muslim about that flag? The aim of the flag was to be as extreme neutral as possible. The certainly didn't put any Albanian (Red with eagle) or Muslim (green, moon) signs on it.
The only flag is resembles is the one from the European union.

You also cannot call Balkan style Islam conservative. It's more Islam-light; use of alcohol is normal, so scarfs, etc.

A lot of terrible things could happend with this independence (struggle between Serbians and Albanians, other independencewars), so far I'm really happy how peacefull this went; Kosovo so far tries so consider the Serbian minority to and Serbia doens't plan to use violence.

Anyway, it's all very interesting news. Let's see what happens the coming days...

Nicholas said...

Hey CG - The 'Slavic solidarity' is non-existant. The croats and the slovenes have already recognized Kosovo. The Czechs and Poles really don't care, and will eventually recognize as well. Slovakia is worried how the precedent will affect relations with its Hungarian minority. Solidarity mainly comes from the Russians, for long-standing political reasons.