Although Kosovars did not get the new flag that its majority seemingly so desperately wanted, the Kosovar parliament officially became the final state of the former Yugoslavia to gain its independence by settling for a blue flag with white stars bearing a yellow map of Kosovo. On February 17, 2008, after the failure of UN-sponsored negotiations to finally determine Kosovoâ€™s constitutional status, Kosovo’s provisional government unilaterally declared its nationâ€™s independence.
The Western European powers, including France, Germany and Britain, recognized Kosovo; the United States did so as well. President Bush sent a letter to independent Kosovoâ€™s first president. All parties were careful to point out that their approval of Kosovoâ€™s secession did not extend to automatic recognition of future separatist movements, a declaration possibly aimed at avoiding the fracture of temporarily calm Bosnia. Naturally, Russia, Serbiaâ€™s long-term ally, and several nations concerned about its influence on their own secession movements, including Cyprus, Romania and Slovakia, have withheld recognition.
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