After Kosovo declared its independence, Foreign Affairs minster Massimo D’Alema said Italy would recognize the Serbian province as a ‘sovereign state under international supervision’.
‘Serbia must recognise that the question is concluded. Belgrade must now look with courage towards the future and the role it can play in the Balkans’. D’Alema’s announcement came after European Union foreign ministers opted for the individual recognition of Kosovo by member states.
‘The independence of Kosovo closes the final chapter of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, which is now a fact that must be accepted despite the legitimate worries and the understandable psychological resistance’, D’Alema later told the Italian Senate.
Kosovo declared its independence on February 17, after holding a referendum. Reports suggest that approximately 90 percent of the Kosovar population is ethnically Albanian. The region has been under United Nations administration for the last nine years due to a Serbian offensive launched in the 1980s.
Serbia, backed by Russia, has fiercely opposed the independence of Kosovo and is disenchanted over the Western world’s intention to recognize the separatist province as a sovereign state. Britain, France, Germany, Denmark and the US have also announced their intention to recognise Kosovo’s ‘new status’.