« California votes still being counted | Main | Kosovo announces independence »

Kosovo claims independence from Serbia

The BBC reported that Kosovo’s parliament unanimously voted on Sunday to declare independence from Serbia.

Prime Minister Hashim Thaci announced that Kosovo would be a democratic nation that does not discriminate against anyone.

The United States and other European Union nations are expected to recognize the new nation on Monday. However, the Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has denounced the U.S. for helping Kosovo secede from Serbia

Protesters at the U.S. embassy in Belgrade pelted the building with stones and shouted remarks like “Kosovo is the heart of Serbia.? Elsewhere, in the town of Mitrovica in a Serbian area in Kosovo, hand grenades were thrown into international community buildings. One did not explode and the other went off in a United Nations court.

A different scene unfolded in Kosovo’s capital of Pristina. Tens of thousands of people went into the streets after Kosovo’s parliament announced independence. People lit off firecrackers and fired guns off to celebrate their new freedom.

Prime Minister Thaci claimed that Kosovo will use a U.N. plan that was drawn up by former Finnish President, Martti Ahtisaari. Some plans include an international presence and Kosovo cannot join another nation.

“We have waited for this day for a very long time,? Thaci said. “From today, Kosovo was proud, independent and free.? (BBC)

Kosovo has a population of about 2 million people, 90 percent of which are of Albanian ancestry, reported the Los Angeles Times. The main population follows the Muslim religion and is pro-western.

Russia called an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Sunday. Three European Union states have already announced that they will not recognize the new nation. They are Cyprus, Romania and Slovakia, a BBC correspondent said.