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Kosovo: Final Status

Recorded on January 4, 2006

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

After years of relative international neglect, the Bal­kans was back on the political agenda in Washington and Brussels this past summer when agreement was reached to review Kosovo's ultimate status. As noted by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns, it is "a year of decision for Kosovo."

Since the NATO bombing campaign that ended Ser­bian ethnic cleansing of Kosovo's Albanian popula­tion six years ago, Kosovo was effectively made a ward of the international community - administered by the UN and secured by NATO - with its future status left to later determination. That time is upon us, to resolve this issue and finally to win the peace.

Yet significant challenges remain. Longstanding ethnic differences continue to poison negotiations. Conflict between the Albanian majority and the Serbian minority has made any reconciliation near impossible. Will Kosovo one day achieve a lasting and peaceful independence? Or will history continue to repeat itself? Please join us as our distinguished panel of scholars addresses these questions and more.