Here we see how the U.S. is dealing with the uncomfortable 800-pound gorilla in the room, that is the creeping reality of a Greater Albania. (Mr. Lambros is Lambros Papantoniou, a Greek journalist and naturally therefore the only reporter to recognize the critical effect that Kosovo will have on every region of the world — and therefore the only reporter to ask about it. Tom Casey is the deputy spokesperson for the State Dept.)

Daily Press Briefing
Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 12, 2007

MR. CASEY: Okay, Mr. Lambros, on Kosovo.

QUESTION: On Kosovo. The Albanian Government has decided to give Albanian citizenship to all Kosovars. What is the U.S. position since this move is a big step for the creation of “great Albania.”

MR. CASEY: Mr. Lambros, I’m not aware of what the Albanian Government may or may not have — have chosen to do. Certainly each country is entitled to determine who is or isn’t entitled to citizenship under their own appropriate laws and regulations. But the important issue for us, of course, with Kosovo is that we continue to work through the Contact Group and the troika on discussions between the Government of Serbia and the Kosovars on an equitable solution that’s agreeable to all sides to the situation there.

Certainly, as we’ve said, if by the end of the established negotiating period in December the parties have not been able to come to an agreement, what we expect would happen would be a decision to move forward with supervised independence for Kosovo that is in keeping with the outlines of the Ahtisaari plan. I am not aware of anyone in this country or anyplace else that believes that independence for Kosovo would somehow result in or would lead to some kind of greater Albanian state.

[Insert laugh track here.]

QUESTION: (Inaudible) FYROM [Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia] Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski and the Albanian leader of FYROM Ali Ahmeti declared the other day the unification, “great Albania” all the Albanians in FYROM. Any comment?


[Insert laugh track.]

QUESTION: Because that contradicts whatever you are doing in order to find a solution (inaudible) –

[Insert applause break.]

MR. CASEY: Mr. Lambros, you’re — I think you’ve exceeded your quota for today.

[Laugh break.]

But look, we support the territorial integrity of the states in the region, of Albania, of Macedonia, Greece, the other players. [But not Serbia! That doesn’t count as a state.] Kosovo, as you know, is a unique circumstance. [Because we say so!] It’s a unique circumstance because of the way the conflict occurred. [We were TOTALLY duped into taking the wrong side…what are we supposed to do — admit it?!] It’s a unique circumstance because of the current status of it, which falls under the outlines of UN Security Council Resolution 1244. No one views Kosovo and its probable independence as a precedent for any other conflicts. [Except rational thinkers and every country with minorities eager to rip a piece off for themselves, such as Russia, India, China, most of Africa, half of Latin America, the rest of the Balkans and a whole lot of Europe.] We certainly are not trying to reopen discussions that I think most of us believe were long settled over other borders.