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McCain calls for Kosovo independence at Munich Conference
February 8, 2008

Front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination of the United States, U.S. Senator John McCain today said that NATO should be the foundation of "global order of peace" built on a "foundation of freedom" and said that Kosovo should be recognized as independent.

"It is time to bring Kosovo - and the Balkans with it - out of the 1990s and into the 21st century by recognizing Kosovo's independence. Eleven years ago, that region was in flames, characterized by ethnic cleansing and widespread violence. For the first time the region is today poised to move forward, with final status for Kosovo and transitioning continuing responsibilities there to increasing European control - at long last closing the door on the region's painful past," says McCain's statement.

McCain also added a point on Serbia saying that "We must ensure that Serbia can look toward the future as a modern and prosperous European nation. The proud people of Serbia have turned aside the temptations of ultranationalism in favor of moderation and a western orientation. The European Union has taken an important step by offering to establish regular political ties with Serbia, open up trade, and end visa restrictions. Now it can take the next step by setting forth a path to EU membership."

Statement was made in lieu of his annual speech at the Munich Security Conference, which he has attended for many years.

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