Skip to comments.Canada becomes latest power to recognize Kosovo
Posted on 03/18/2008 6:35:20 PM PDT by Diocletian
OTTAWA (AFP) Canada on Tuesday formally recognized Kosovo's independence, but stressed it was not setting a precedent to be exploited by the Quebec separatist movement.
The move swiftly triggered an angry response from Belgrade which recalled its ambassador to Ottawa in protest, as world powers called for calm after some of the worst violence since Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia last month.
"Today, we joined the international community and recognized Kosovo as a new state," Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier told public broadcaster CBC, a day after Serbs clashed with UN police in the town of Kosovska Mitrovica.
However, Bernier made it clear that Kosovo's new nation status was a "unique case" which would have no bearing on the aspirations of Quebec nationalists to split from the rest of Canada.
"As the declaration issued by Kosovo's parliament also makes clear, the unique circumstances which have led to Kosovo's independence mean it does not constitute any kind of precedent," Bernier said in a statement.
"Statements made by other countries recognizing Kosovo's independence have echoed this point."
"You cannot compare that with Quebec," he told CBC.
Canada's mostly French-speaking Quebec province has twice voted in referendums to separate from the rest of Canada, in 1980 and 1995. Federalists narrowly won the last ballot.
Last month, Quebec nationalists welcomed Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence, saying it would bolster their own position should they one day sever ties with Canada.
"It's encouraging for Quebec separatists," said Alain Gagnon, a politics professor at Quebec University in Montreal (UQAM). "For them, it's an important moment that Kosovo is being recognized by the international community as a nation."
Kosovo is overwhelmingly Albanian but Serbs consider it a cradle of their civilization. It has been under UN administration since 1999 when NATO intervened to stop Belgrade's crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists.
Japan also recognized Kosovo Tuesday, joining the United States and most of the European Union including Britain, France, Germany and the former Yugoslav republic of Slovenia.
Earlier, Serbia's ambassador Disan Batakovic told AFP: "For Serbia, (Canada's decision) is a total catastrophe because it signifies a violation of international law and the UN charter."
Batakovic was immediately recalled in protest at Canada's decision, his staff said.
Russia has stood by Serbia in fiercely opposing the loss of the territory since it declared independence on February 17.
Belgrade is also supported by a few EU states including Cyprus and Spain, as well as China, in the midst of a crackdown against protests in Tibet.
More than 150 people were wounded Monday in the northern town of Kosovska Mitrovica during clashes between international security forces and Serbs opposed to Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia.
Because western powers led by the USA are hypocrites.
One more stupid thing on the way to WW3.
“Russia has stood by Serbia in fiercely opposing the loss of the territory since it declared independence on February 17.”
Gotta agree with Russia on this one.
Canada, a wholely owned subsidiary of USA, Inc.
Thought that Canada might have more brains and gut than this, but I guess not.