Spotlight on Geopolitics

Unilaterally proclaimed in 2008, Kosovo’s independence has been recognised to date only by 69 states out of 192 UN member states (source: Le Monde diplomatique). The unexpected outcome has surprised even Serbia, not to mention the United States and its allies.

As Le Monde diplomatique notes in its September 2010 issue, the map of states which have failed to respond to Pristina’s call for recognition has a surprising geopolitical shape. The anti-independence camp reunites almost all Latin American countries, three quarters of the African Union countries and even the majority of the Islamic Conference states. In the Islamic world, only countries like Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Turkey – as close US allies – have so far recognised Kosovo’s independence. This month Kosovo’s situation will again come up for discussion in the UN General Assembly, but the outcome is expected to favour Serbia’s position, which is resolutely against giving its former province the independence status it seeks.

Although Serbia’s diplomatic efforts aimed at blocking Kosovo’s independence have been intense and assiduous, they do not by themselves fully explain why so many countries around the world have as yet refused to acknowledge Kosovo as a sovereign state. An even stronger reason for not agreeing to Kosovo’s request has to do with the spread of anti-American sentiment worldwide, as a direct result of the US’ excesses in places like Afghanistan and Irak. Thus, Kosovo’s independence has in fact become a veritable gauge of anti-Americanism, an occurrence that should become a major concern for US policymakers and affiliated NATO officials.

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