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Welcome to Europe, Kosovo

There really was no alternative to independence for Kosovo. What happens now depends on Serbia and the EU

By Ana Stanic   February 2008

Kosovo has declared independence, thus ending 16 years of legal limbo and political uncertainty. Thousands of Kosovar Albanians celebrated in the streets of Pristina late into Sunday night.

The announcement hardly comes as a surprise. It was carefully co-ordinated with the US, EU and the UN secretary-general, and deliberately delayed until after the Serbian presidential election on 3rd February when the pro-European Boris Tadic defeated Tomislav Nikolic, a hardline nationalist, by just 3 per cent.

Kosovo has accepted the UN special envoy Martti Ahtisaari’s plan as the blueprint for independence. It will grant substantial autonomy to the northern districts with…

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