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Kosovo's UN Resolutions Face Russian Veto, Churkin Says, Too Big for Footnotes

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 3, updated -- The foreign ministers of Serbia and Kosovo faced on Tuesday in the UN Security Council, then outside at the stakeout microphone. Inner City Press asked Kosovar minister Hyseni if he thought his idea of a new Security Council resolution on Kosovo has any chance, given Russia's opposition and veto power. Hyseni replied that all must see that the facts on the ground have changed.

Earlier on Tuesday, Inner City Press asked Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin if Hyseni, who said he has been in New York for a week meeting with non recognizing states, had asked to meet with the Russian mission.

  Churkin laughed. No, there has been no such request. He pointedly said that Hyseni would be speaking at the Council session in his “personal capacity.”

Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, who has eschewed the Press in his three last visits to the UN, this time came to the stakeout. Inner City Press asked him about report of a Kosovor resolution to the General Assembly, seeking recognition as a member state.

Jeremic pointed out that Kosovo would not itself propose a GA resolution -- of course, Albania or another supporter could -- and said that UN membership runs through the Security Council. Later, the head of UNIMIK Zanier said the same thing.

Finally, Inner City Press asked Vitaly Churkin, after he read out a Council press statement on the Gaza flotilla panel, to respond to Hyseni's proposed replacement of Resolution 1244, and the idea of a GA resolution for Kosovo membership in the UN.

Churkin advised Kosovo not to hold its breath, given the constellation of forces in the Security Council -- i.e. the Russian veto.

Vitaly "I'm too big for footnotes" Churkin, Kosovo's resolutions not shown

So what has the International Court of Justice ruling, and Hyseni's week of diplomacy in the city that never sleeps wrought? Two recognitions, it appears -- up from 67 to 69 -- by countries which Hyseni would not name. And so it goes at the UN.

Update of August 4: the 67 figure, it has helpfully been pointed out, actually comes from May 2010. It appears that Hyseni's week in New York did not result in a single new recognition.

  We also note the vicious behind the scenes fight between Serbia and an EU (majority) draft resolution, complete with calls for Vuk Jeremic to resign. But as Churkin said, as to Kosovo membership in the UN, don't hold your breath...

Footnote: on Churkin's first public day as Security Council president for August, he drew laughs at noon by saying “I'm a too big for footnotes” -- saying he was unaware that non proliferation was in the footnotes of the month's program of work -- and, at the final stakeout, refusing a tele journalist's request to re-read the flotilla statement. He said, “It is a one time opportunity.” But Kosovo's efforts will only continue.

* * *

Kosovo Minister Tells Other Secessionists, You're On Your Own, Solidarity is Only Emotional, Is Talking with Spain

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 29 -- Kosovo's Foreign Affairs Minister Skender Hyseni, at the UN on Thursday, was asked if he saw Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence, and its upholding by the International Court of Justice, as a precedent for others seeking independence.

  “No one should tie this to any other situation in the world,” Hyseni replied. He is in New York lobbying non-recognizing states, including five in the European Union, to now recognize Kosovo.

  Inner City Press asked Hyseni, given his arguments about what Kosovars suffered from Serbia, if Kosovo is in solidarity with other peoples which feel they have a historical right to their own state.

  “I'm getting your point,” Hyseni cut in. “I'm not going to mix my actions as Foreign Affairs Minister with my feelings and emotions.”

  If the response means that Hyseni personally feels such solidarity for other suffering peoples, but the Kosovo's foreign policy includes no such solidarity, it is problematic.

Hyseni (previously) at UN, solidarity not shown

Inner City Press asked Hyseni about Ukraine and Spain, which have said post-ICJ that they will not recognize Kosovo, and beyond Spain about four other EU members: the Slovak Republic, Romania, Greece and Cyprus.

Hyseni said “I am not aware of Spain saying it will not recognize... I am not aware of the statement on the part of Ukraine.” Both statements are on the record, as a Spanish journalist later pointed out.

Hyseni said he “discusses recognition” with his Spanish counterpart Miguel Angel Moratinos, but not in Spain, and as to the other four EU non - recognizers that “we do get encouraging signals from those countries.” He said he did not want to say more, to make Serbia's foreign minister Vuk Jeremic's lobbying job easier.

Footnote: Inner City Press asked for an update on the violence in Mitrovica in early July, which Hyseni previously blamed on ethnic Serbs. Nearly a month later, does he have the evidence? “The investigation is going in precisely that direction,” Hyseni said. We'll see.

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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