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Albanian commentary advises Kosovo to avoid Islamic Conference

E shtune, 02.08.2008, 09:36 PM

Commentary by Ndue Ukaj

 "Kosovo Should Avoid Alignments of Religious Nature" p7]
Last May, when there was a debate about whether Kosova [Kosovo] should take part in the conference of Islamic states in Islamabad, I wrote: "The Islamic states will remain reluctant, irrespective of whether Veton Surroi and Lutfi Haziri decide to take part in the conference in Islamabad. Their participation would only tarnish Kosova's image." Kosova, fortunately enough, was not represented at that Islamic conference, thanks to the vigilance of President Fatmir Sejdiu. Now, one year on, there is no doubt that my observation was correct. But the debate continues. It should be noted that, a month after Kosova's proclamation of independence, there is no indication that any of these states will recognize it. In the final analysis, such recognition would be of no essential value; it would be insignificant in terms of the minimal influence that these states have on international politics. I am convinced that any attempt "to infiltrate" these undemocratic states, most of which are dictatorships, would present a risk to Kosovo's present and, in particular, its future. There are a number of reasons Kosova's participation in this conference is unnecessary. There is not a single reason for Kosova to participate in the meeting in Dakar. Therefore, Kosova's decision to take part in this meeting is immature and not based on any strategic analysis. [Passage omitted]

There are strong reasons Kosova should not take part in such conferences; indeed, it should stay away from them as much as possible, because Kosova's aim to establish a democratic, tolerant society is not helped at all by getting closer to these wholly undemocratic countries. There are many reasons and arguments for this and the heads of Kosova's institutions know them well. Those who are eager for Kosova to take part in this meeting know these reasons and arguments, too. They know that Kosova would stand to lose and that the only benefit would be for them to gain political capital or certain business advantages.
Kosova's participation in this conference and its presence alongside countries most of which are dubious for the civilized world, countries with governments containing many fundamentalist elements, would send a bad signal to our Western friends, without whom the independence process would not have been completed. The process would not have taken place with the help of this organization or even hundreds of such organizations. There is no need to comment on this, because even the most naive and pathetic people know that the Kosova issue has gone and will go through Washington, Brussels, London, Paris, Berlin, and Rome, not through such wholly undemocratic states, in which there is no democracy, freedom, market economy, or wellbeing. Without the support of these centres Kosova would never have been able to gain independence; indeed, it would never have been liberated from the Serbian state. [Passage omitted]
Kosova can and should cultivate relations with every state, even Serbia. However, it should never enter into alliances that damage its image and create internal tensions. Kosova's institutions should not fall into the "Albanian trap," which is still causing difficulties for our mother country over its economic recovery, integration into the Western world, and, above all, ability to attract powerful economic investment from the Western world. [Passage omitted]
Kosova should cultivate and strengthen its partnership with its great Western friends, on whom our economy, present, and future depend. The Islamic states are not only geographically far away, but they are also, politically and culturally, in a world that is alien to democracy. Therefore, they can exert no influence on perceptions about Kosova. The long-suffering and degraded Kosovar society should be brought as close as possible to all the components of the Western world. Otherwise, it will continue to suffer and remain without prospects for a long time. Similarly, there is no need for young Kosovars to seek to emigrate to Islamic countries; they should do so in the direction of the EU and United States. And herein lies the responsibility of the current political class.
Source: 55Pesedhjetepese, Tirana, in Albanian 14 Mar 08
BBC Mon EU1 EuroPol bk
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