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The United States described the proposal as “fair and balanced”,[15] while the EU Presidency said that Ahtisaari`s proposals “are based on nearly twelve months of direct discussions between Belgrade and Pristina”. [16] The implementation of Ahtisaari`s comprehensive proposal for the settlement of the status of Kosovo will create considerable challenges. The key to a peaceful transition lies in its extensive decentralization measures, which offer the possibility of buying a new state of Kosovo from its Serb minority, in particular the majority of Kosovo Serbs living in enclaves south of Ibar, to a new state of Kosovo. The Ahtisaari proposal is wisely ambiguous about the powers and duration of the EU mission to be managed by this regime and ensures that the international community will retain the final say in Kosovo during its defining years as a state. The full text of the initial proposal can be found at the office of the UN Special Envoy for Kosovo: www.unosek.org/unosek/en/statusproposal.html On 17 February 2008, the Kosovo Assembly declared Kosovo`s independence in accordance with Ahtisaari`s recommendations. In its declaration of independence, Kosovo pledged to fully implement the Ahtisaari plan and welcomed a period of international monitoring. Kosovo has already begun to adopt new legislation, as envisaged in the Ahtisaari plan, to draft a constitution that enshrines the principles of Ahtisaari and to take other measures to fully implement the provisions of the Ahtisaari plan. The debate on the future status of Kosovo has reached a crucial point. The UN Security Council (UNSC) has begun to consider elements of a draft resolution to determine the future of the unity that could be voted on in the coming weeks. The best way to ensure peace and stability in the region and to lift Kosovo out of an eight-year floating state, with a tired and temporary Un administration and an undeveloped and low-growth economy, is a resolution that relies directly on the plan of the UN Special Envoy, Martti Ahtisaari. Although the word “independence” has not yet been mentioned, it contained several provisions widely interpreted as an implicit state for Kosovo. For example, Kosovo would have the right to apply for membership in international organizations, to create a security force and to introduce national symbols.

[8] Major Western countries strongly support the adoption of a resolution based on the comprehensive Ahtisaari plan. But it is also important to exhaust all reasonable possibilities of obtaining the greatest possible unity within the Council and, above all, to avoid a Russian veto. In April 2007, UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari presented his comprehensive proposal for a settlement of the status of Kosovo (the “Ahtisaari Plan”) to the UN Security Council. The Ahtisaari plan contains a main text containing 15 articles outsting its general principles and 12 annexes that explain them. The Ahtisaari plan focuses mainly on protecting the rights, identity and culture of Kosovo`s non-Albanian communities, including the creation of a framework for their active participation in public life. Special Envoy Ahtisaari also proposed that Kosovo become independent, subject to a period of international monitoring. The alternative is dark. Forcing Kosovo Albanians to resume constitutional relations with Serbia would reignite the violence. Belgrade offered little more than the proposal that Kosovo remain an integral part of the Serbian state. Over the past eight years, it has done nothing to try to integrate Kosovo Albanians or to offer them useful and concrete rules of autonomy.

Instead, it attempted to lay the foundations for an ethnic division of Kosovo and division along the Ibar River that runs through the northern city of Mitrovica. It did so by attempting to delay the adoption of a Security Council resolution in the hope that it would trigger an excessive Albanian reaction, including violence, thus creating the conditions for such a division.