Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Canada hasn't jumped on the Kosovo bandwagon

Kudos to the Conservative government for not jumping on the Kosovo recognition bandwagon, despite pressure from opposition leader Stephane Dion.

The Harper government is staying mum on whether it will officially recognize the breakaway state of Kosovo, a decision that it wants to ensure has no impact on Canada's ongoing debate over Quebec separatism.

Canada's silence comes as the United States and key European Union powers quickly recognized Kosovo as an independent nation yesterday, while Russia, China and some EU members opposed the territory's split from Serbia.

Asked what Canada will do, Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier's office referred calls to a departmental spokesman who said Ottawa is still thinking things over.

"We note that the parliament of Kosovo has adopted a declaration of independence," André Lemay said.

"We are assessing the situation," he said, adding Canada backs United Nations efforts to broker a peaceful solution.

For once, Canada's national unity debate may have a positive result.

While the government is concerned about it encouraging Quebec nationalists, I'm concerned about what this means for Islamic umma given the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, and his comment: "There is no doubt that the independence of Kosovo will be an asset to the Muslim world and further enhance the joint Islamic action"

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