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IX. Deferring A Substantive Settlement While Agreeing To A Settlement Mechanism

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Chapter Summary

When autonomy or federalisation is not acceptable to one side and secession is not on the cards for the other, the option of deferral of the issue comes to the fore. This allows both sides to retain their legal positions but may enter into negotiations on a substantive settlement or establish an agreed interim phase of autonomous administration until final settlement negotiations can take place. This chapter shows that Kosovo was willing to agree to an autonomy settlement only if it was clear that it would merely apply during an interim period. Following upon the period of three years, Kosovo insisted, there would need to be a referendum on independence. In actual practice, the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) proceeded quite swiftly to establish an interim arrangement for self government. The full constitutional framework document contained no express reference to the continued territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Keywords: Kosovo; substantive settlement; UNMIK; Yugoslavia

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