Europe thinks that by taking the Balkan countries under its umbrella, a climate of understanding will be fostered. Washington, DC however is different. It is insisting on the capture and arrest of war criminals. The number 3 name at the US State Department, Nicholas Burns, reiterated a few days ago that until Ante Gotovina is given up for surrender, Croatia will not be allowed to enter NATO.
These developments are crucial for us.
One day in the future, Croatia could become a NATO member. What will Turkey do?
More important though than this is the matter of Kosovo. The biggest headache awaiting us in the upcoming period is the question of independence for Kosovo, which with its Albanian majority and Turkish minority has blood ties with Turkey.
Kosovo is headed for independence. The EU, which up until very recently pretended not to hear Kosovian requests for independence, has finally begun to agree with Washington on its Kosovo policy, a policy which support independence. Soon enough, Kosovo will enter the line for the EU as an independent country.
UN General Secretary Kofi Annan has announced that talks clarifying Kosovo's status will begin before the end of this year. Currently, Kosovo, which is counted as Serbian land, is under the control of Albanian independent authority. Talks will take place in Belgrade and Pristina on this subject.
The Serbs are opposed to Kosovian independence. For the Albanians, turning back is not a option. In a statement made a few days ago, Prime Minister Bayram Kosumi said "Our goal is to form a government and take our place in Europe."
According to reports coming in from the region, an Albanian Independence Army has been formed. Pressure is being put on for potential leaders for this army, who are in jail right now, to be freed.
The Balkans still lack stability.
Let no one doubt that an independent Kosovo would give great inspiration not only to dreams of a greater Albania, but to the Albanians in Macedonia. As for the Serbs, they are already warning: "If Kosovo becomes independent, no one can prevent the Serbian Republic in Bosnia from separating either."
And there is a group of people who is never even mentioned in all these arguments: the Kosovian Turks.
I don't know if anyone is looking after their interests. I thought I would just remind you.