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Kosovo Supports Syria Opposition, Says Jeremic as PGA Can't Stop Them

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 14 -- While the Kosovo debates in the UN Security Council have gotten more and more routine, Monday there were at least two new issues: Serbia's Vuk Jeremic's run for President of the UN General Assembly, and the conflict in Syria.

  Inner City Press asked Jeremic again about the race, and if he'd campaigned at the Non Aligned Movement's ministerial meeting in Sharm el Sheik. He said with a smile, "Would I miss it?" He knocked three times on the wooden banister of the stairs up to street level from the Council.

  Minutes later Inner City Press asked Kosovo minister Enver Hoxhaj, who did an on-camera stakeout unlike Jeremic, if the President of the General Assembly position being held by Jeremic would impact on Kosovo.

  Hoxhaj said nothing can reverse Kosovo's independence. He said that 90 countries have already recognized Kosovo, with more forthcoming -- he predicted an additional African country this week, saying the decision was already made but now will be made public.

  Still, seeing how the current Qatari President of the General Assembly uses the post to advance his country's foreign policy, for example against the Assad government of Syria, one can't help but wonder what Jeremic could or would do as PGA.

  On the Syrian question, Russia has implied or cited reports that Syrian opposition fighters are being trained in Kosovo. Inner City Press asked Hoxhaj about it, and more generally what his government's position is on Syria.

  Hoxhaj replied that his government has supported the opposition in Libya early on, and in other Arab Spring countries; it takes the same position in Syria and has had contacts with the opposition. Pressed, he denied any training.

  Inner City Press asked a previous Kosovo representative if his government supported the struggles of other people's and regions struggling for independence and recognition, like Western Sahara or the Tamils in Sri Lanka, to which one might now add Azawad in the Sahel.

  At the time, the Kosovar answer was that they had to focus on their own issues, seeking recognition.

  Does the switch to open support for opposition fighters in Libya and now Syria reflect that Kosovo is more confident, less vulnerable? Is it a smart political or religious move?

  These questions have yet to be answered. But we having last time criticized Hoxhaj for refusing to do a stakeout, we now have to acknowledge he did one, just as he acknowledged that the critique played a role. There is stasis, but there is also change. Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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