Letter: The path to peace

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The Independent Culture
Sir: No lasting peace can be made in Kosovo without the agreement of the people of Serbia, inside and outside the province. The only way they can express their views and perhaps be led to an agreement is if they have a democratic regime.

To encourage its growth must, therefore, be our main aim. To this end, the best thing we can do now is stop the bombing as soon as Nato preconditions are implemented. For the same reason we should not send in ground troops.

Until then, Kosovo must obviously be under international administration, and bombing is justified as a means to this. Indeed, democracy in Serbia should be a precondition to any consideration of Kosovo returning to Serb sovereignty.

It is not inconceivable that Kosovars could tolerate the sovereignty of a democratic Serbia, provided they had a fully confederal status guaranteed by the UN and (Palestinians note) Nato. The ideal would be power-sharing based on the proportion of populations before 1989.

What we can learn from these events is that today it is not practical to rely on dictatorial regimes for international peace or internal security.

ANTONY BLACK

Professor in the History of Political Thought

University of Dundee

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