Responses to Kosovo's proclaimed independence mixed

Updated: 2008-02-18 20:28

"We note that the declaration of independence was made without the consent of the majority of the people of Serbia and is a violation of the Charter of the United Nations, which enshrines the sovereignty and territorial integrity of member states," the statement said.

"Moreover, UN Security Council Resolution 1244 of June 10, 1999 reaffirms commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states of the region."

"This action is particularly regrettable, since all efforts at reaching a negotiated political settlement on the future status of Kosovo, as envisaged by the Security Council Resolution 1244, have not been exhausted," the statement added.

Shortly after Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on Sunday, Hungarian Foreign Minister Kinga Goncz said that Hungary wants to see Kosovo stick with the Ahtisaari plan, which includes guaranteeing minority rights, MTI news agency reported.

"In Hungary we consider it extremely important that Kosovo stick with the principles and values set in the Ahtisaari Plan, drawn up on commission of the UN Secretary-General. That includes democracy, rule of law, and the operation of a market economy. But, most of all, it means ensuring minority communities of the rights they are entitled to," Goncz was quoted as saying.

On its part, Hungary continues to call for a joint European Union position that focuses on an acceptable solution to the Kosovo issue, a position on increasing stability in the region, on cooperation with Serbia as a good neighbour, and on the interests of the ethnic Hungarian community living in Serbia, she said.

Bangladesh on Monday said it is very closely following the current development in Kosovo with like-minded countries.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said, "We are following the issue very closely with like-minded countries, and also the relevant on-going Security Council deliberations at the United Nations. Decisions on matters such as this are always taken on the basis of perceived national self interest."

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said on Monday his country is considering to recognize Kosovo as an independent state.

Machimura made the remarks at a press conference earlier in the day. He said the Japanese government is "moving toward recognizing" Kosovo since the progress seen was in line with Japan's criteria for recognizing states.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd expressed Monday his support for the independence of Kosovo.

Rudd told ABC Radio that the Australian government believes an independent Kosovo will be a good thing and it will offer official diplomatic recognition at the earliest opportunity.

He also said the sorry history of Kosovo means Australia has to do whatever it can to ensure the citizens of that part of the world are protected in the future.

Others like Malta and Portugal proposed that Kosovo's future be decided at the UN Security Council.

Kosovo was a southern autonomous province within Serbia before the breakup of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Albanian-dominated region was plunged into ethnic conflicts in 1990s.

Kosovo has been under UN administration since mid-1999, after NATO air strikes drove Serbian forces out of the province.

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