Tadic: Serbia will never recognize Kosovo

In his General Assembly address, Serbian President Boris Tadic strongly criticized Kosovo's Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) and countries that have recognized it, saying, "Kosovo's UDI is an attempt to impose a 19th-century outcome to a 21st-century challenge." Serbia has challenged the UDI in the International Court of Justice and Tadic took the opportunity to warn of the slippery slope that could result if the court rules in Kosovo's favor:

There is no doubt that the court's conclusions will constitute a powerful legal precedent, with over-arching consequences for the United Nations system. The outcome will either strongly deter other separatist movements from attempting to secede, or produce a result that could encourage them to act in similar fashion. Plainly said, should Kosovo's UDI be allowed to stand, a door would open for challenging the territorial integrity of any UN member State.

Tadic vowed that Serbia would "never, under any circumstances" recognize the indpendence of what he calls "our Southern province."

Never is an awfully long time, and given that Serbia is thankfully unwilling to use force to resolve the issue, it seems unlikely that they will be able to keep up this hardline stance as Kosovo's de fact independence becomes more established. 


Palau's president prepares for Uighurs, protects sharks

The Obama administration notified congress last week that six Uighur detainees at Guantanamo Bay have agreed to be resettled in the Pacific nation of Palau and will be transferred within the next few months. Six of these detainees have agreed to the transfer. I ask Palauan President Johnson Toribiong for the latest on his country's preperations for taking in the Uighurs:

I am preparing a place for them to stay, arranging for our community college to set up education programs for them. They'll get a crash course in the English language and our culture and our environment. We will receive them as free human beings.

Toribong also made history today by announcing that Palau was creating the world's first shark sanctuary and would ban the fishing of sharks throughout Palauan waters, an area roughly the size of France.

"Healthy shark popluations are critical to both the health of our oceans and the health of Palau's economy," he said. "The rampant, illegal and widescale removal of sharks from Palau's water deprives our ecosystem of its apex predators and our tourism of one of its main attractions."