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Serbian official says Ahtisaari plan smacks of NATO ambition

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An adviser to the Serbian prime minister warned Thursday that Kosovo could become "a unique NATO state" if its status is decided on the basis of the Ahtisaari plan.
BELGRADE, August 9 (RIA Novosti) - An adviser to the Serbian prime minister warned Thursday that Kosovo could become "a unique NATO state" if its status is decided on the basis of the Ahtisaari plan.

According to a plan for Kosovo's independence proposed by the UN envoy and former Finnish president, Martti Ahtisaari, the UN must pass supervision over the region to the EU.

Alexander Simic told the NIN daily that "an impression is forming that Kosovo's independence is more important to certain circles in the West than the observance of international law, maintaining the territorial integrity of an internationally recognized state and regional stability."

He said the fact that Washington had been promoting the Ahtisaari plan suggests that the United States and a number of other NATO countries would like to retain their 16,000-strong contingent in Kosovo, while the U.S. military base Bondstill would actually become the 'capital' of Kosovo."

Moroever, Simic said, the implementation of Ahtisaari's proposals would give most international civilian functions to the NATO military contingent, with the KFOR commander enjoying unlimited powers in Kosovo.

The province has been under a UN protectorate since 1999 following a second military campaign by NATO against Serbia. Pristina insists that Kosovo be granted independence, a scenario opposed by Belgrade.

The construction of Fort Bondstill, the largest U.S. military base built after the Vietnam War, cost $300 million.

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