Capital Prishtina
Time Zone CET (GMT+1)
Country Code 377 (Monaco); 381 (Serbia)
Mobile Codes 44
Currency Euro
Land Area 10,908 sq km
Population 1.8 million
Language Albanian, Serbian, Turkish
Major Religions Islam, Orthodox Christianity, Roman Catholicism

Kosovo after Supervised Independence: Interview with Petrit Selimi Editor’s note: September marked the end of the four-year period of supervised independence that followed Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence. The transition was met with fanfare by Kosovo Albanians, with trepidation by Serbs, and with some amount of relief from the oft-beleaguered international overseers charged with overcoming the many challenges of Kosovo state-building and multi-ethnic relations.

In this new interview, Director Chris Deliso gets the insights of Petrit Selimi, the Deputy Foreign Minister in Prishtina and an active participant in outreach efforts of a government that is trying to move Kosovo forward towards modernization and greater acceptance by international bodies and countries that have thus far not recognized its independence. The wide-ranging interview covers not only these topics but broader issues of political, social, economic and other factors affecting the lives of everyday people and what they might mean for the future.

Petrit Selimi is not the most typical of Balkan diplomats. He was a youth activist before the war of 1999 and, after studying social anthropology in Oslo, he was among a new wave of young Kosovans who launched several diverse civic initiatives. A decade ago, Selimi opened a small comic-strips shop and café, still popular among both artists and politicians. He convinced a Western telecom operator to bring the American performer 50Cent to Prishtina, and organized the star’s concert in a memorable night that put Kosovo on MTV a year before the declaration of independence.

At the same time, he wrote for a host of publications, and was one of the founders and publishers of a daily newspaper called Express. In the whirlwind of post-independence transition, Selimi was picked by Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci as Deputy Foreign Minister of the government created after the 2010 elections. There, he currently works with Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj, a prominent member of Kosovo’s post-war academia. Traces of Selimi’s past engagement remain in his new position, in the form of public diplomacy as a favorite tool; this has included establishing partnerships with the Aspen Institute, the European Council of Foreign Relations and even ecumenical organizations and art galleries. We talked with Selimi on the margins of the Aspen Institute’s recent conference on security in SE Europe, in Durres, Albania.

Strategic Diplomatic Goals

Chris Deliso: Could you give us a short recap of diplomatic achievements your government has made during 2012, including new recognitions by foreign states, and what led to these decisions?

Petrit Selimi: There are still a few intense months to go in 2012, but I hope to be able to report a very intensive and successful year for Kosovo’s diplomacy.

The Prime Minister had official visits with Prime Ministers or heads of royal families of Norway, Sweden, Austria, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Hungary, most of our neighbors and many more, while the MFA has quadrupled the number of bilateral agreements from all walks of life with over 90 countries.

According to Deputy Minister Selimi, the Kosovo MFA has “launched a massive public diplomacy effort, and we have worked with top foreign policy institutions to facilitate a greater understanding of Kosovo in the global processes, and vice versa.”

The Kosovar passport is acknowledged as an official document by over 150 countries, including China. And President Jahjaga is among the few heads of state to have met President Obama three times in over a year. She is currently organizing a global gathering of women dedicated to women empowerment, with [former US Secretary of State Madeleine] Albright as a keynote speaker.

Minister Hoxhaj has also had a record number of visits, and cooperation agreements and recognitions have not abated. It has been a great experience seeing him in action. Deputy Prime Minister Pacolli has also contributed, particularly with Kosovo’s increased interaction with all of Africa.

Further, our Europe Minister, Vlora Citaku can report on several big milestones reached on Kosovo’s long path to EU membership. Never forget that this is the year we received both a visa roadmap, as well as the Feasibility Study for an SAA. In dialogue, Kosovo has proven to be an exporter of peace, and a reliable partner in efforts to implement the Copenhagen criteria for the Balkans. This has included good-neighborly relations.

Kosovo sports and culture had a great year, adding power to our fight for a place under the sun. The MFA launched a massive public diplomacy effort, and we have worked with top foreign policy institutions to facilitate a greater understanding of Kosovo in the global processes, and vice versa. So all in all, I was proud to have made a small contribution to this enormous team effort.

CD: You have said that in 2012-13 the Kosovo government plans to put new focus on the EU member states that currently do not recognize it to change their policy. Can you describe what tactics you will be using, if they are different for different countries, and to what degree of success you estimate you will have by this time next year?

PS: I’ll have to go into this one a bit in depth. We have met all our ambassadors abroad, and the Minister has brought in some top experts, even statisticians, since we needed to understand where are the gaps and what are the priorities.

A new strategic approach was thus initiated, and Minister Hoxhaj has increased the portfolio of geographic coverage. Listen- Kosovo is independent because it’s a principled cause. We can get confused in the noise, especially in this Internet age, of relativization of the wars and the principles. The people of Kosovo had an undeniable right to choose where they wanted to live after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, as well as after the Second World War, and at both times were snubbed and forced into relationships of constant ill-treatment by the successive Belgrade regimes. We declared independence after every path was researched and every rock was turned.

The peaceful movement was harassed by Milosevic, and the armed resistance was crushed by a cruel and inhuman genocidal attempt. Serbia lost every right to Kosovo, and sovereignty was granted to the UN, until a UN envoy could propose a solution.

Then, [Former Finnish President Martii] Ahtisaari – who has high credentials in peace-making – came up with a plan based on the principles of the Contact Group, which included Russia. It gave Kosovo independence, conditioning it with a long list of reforms to be implemented, not least of which was the protection of the Serbian minority. Serbia said it would object to this declaration of independence legally, and it lost heavily in a landmark decision from the International Court of Justice.

Kosovo is already a member of two UN Bretton Woods institutions, namely the World Bank and IMF. We are the least-indebted country in all of Europe, and in 2011 we had the third-highest growth rate in Europe, after Turkey and Estonia. So why would countries not recognize Kosovo?

We must just explain the context, and we have to alleviate fears that were either inflamed by Serbia, or which are a genuine part of the internal debate in some countries. The European Commission declared, a day after the coordinated Declaration of Independence, that Kosovo’s independence is a “sui generis” case due to a truly unique set of legal circumstances, with references to Rambouillet documents, UN resolutions and the history of crime in Kosovo.

When we tell the real story, backed up by records from the Hague, by the documents and evidence, we don’t need to come up with any tactics, to lie to anyone or to spin a PR narrative. We will have over half of UN members formally recognizing Kosovo as a sovereign state soon. Later we will have two-thirds, and then three-fourths. We will be a part of weather maps and sporting events. We will be in the Olympics- and we will win medals in the Olympics. We will take our seat in the UN, because we are a successful UN story.

CD:  Turkey is an important actor in the Balkans, but seems to be less active in Kosovo in certain areas, such as education. Is there any reason for this? In general, to what extent and in what ways is the Erdogan government helping Kosovo abroad- whether in terms of political support, economic assistance, or other means of building connections?

PS: We have a very long relationship with Turkey. [Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet] Davutoğlu remarked some weeks ago that over 25 Ottoman Prime Ministers were Albanian. There are tens of thousands of family ties and an old connection between the two countries. It wasn’t always easy to define the relationship in the past – there were many painful moments too, but now it’s a really close connection.

Today, Turkey is responsible for 300 million euros of FDI over the last year or so, while the total value of contracted works has surpassed one billion euros since independence. Turkey does have a presence in Kosovo’s health care and private education. The Turkish republic has also provided essential support in diplomatic lobbying, as a member of the International Steering Group, and on a bilateral basis.

CD: What is Kosovo’s relationship with the African states? Is this something you see as being useful in future? I understand that there are certain food processing companies run by ethnic Albanians in the Balkans, for example, that use certain vegetable oils from these countries. Do you see any specific economic or other benefits from African countries, or are relations with them more or less being done to get more recognitions?

PS: We’ve had a good majority of the last 15-20 recognitions from Africa. And we have had real movement there, as more African countries get the proper information and engage us bilaterally. We have had many visits.

Several African countries that had been fully behind the Serbian interpretation have now visited Kosovo, and promptly recognized, basing their decision on seeing the facts, and following documents such as the ICJ opinion and the UN General Assembly resolution on dialogue. The Organization of the Islamic Conferences has also invited all of its members to recognize Kosovo, which strengthen the multilateral dimension.

CD: In addition to the above, what would you consider to be Kosovo’s top strategic diplomatic goals for the next two years? And how will a possible eventual integration with Albania be managed in this light?

PS: Our top strategic goals are to enmesh Kosovo in the web of [international’ connections so that our independence confirms our place as a true component of the regional and European family of nations. Progress in EU integration, progress in NATO relations, membership in an increased number of multilateral agreements, and good-neighborly relations are the immediate objectives.

Improving Kosovo’s overall image and making sure our message is clear, via public diplomacy efforts, is also essential for more recognitions and more investments. I don’t think Kosovo has to re-invent the wheel- we must just heed the good advice of the many friends we have been lucky to gather since our liberation efforts began. As for uniting with Albania, though there are some circles that seek that solution, it’s clear and beyond doubt that the focus of the entire mainstream of Kosovo society and politics is EU integrations. We will cherish increased trade, cultural and human links with all our neighbors.

Political Pressures and Unresolved Issues

CD: The issue of the Serbian-majority north of Kosovo is constantly brought up in every discussion of Kosovo’s unresolved issues by local and foreign observers. Strictly from the political angle, how does the stand-off benefit the Kosovo Albanian political parties currently in the opposition, in trying to put pressure on your government to be tough on the Serbs? Are they winning points on this issue among the public at large, or increasing their base? If so, has this pressure forced the Thaci government to make certain concessions in other areas or on other issues?

PS: I will be honest – there are parties in opposition, even among the so-called ‘liberal’ circles, who argue that the Kosovo government must use force and “return the north back to the fold.” Some of it is nationalism of the worst kind, some of it is just frustration with over a decade of blockades by illegal parallel structures, and some of it is just plain partisan politicking,.

Nevertheless, it’s clear that a problem that has existed for 14 years can’t be solved in 14 days. No amount of force can solve political challenges of this type. Serbs in the north are citizens of Kosovo. According to Ahtisaari, they are entitled to very wide decentralization and the power to run the health and education system, local policing, etcetera.

We have used robust power to establish a presence at the border posts, in order to implement measures of reciprocity. KFOR and EULEX help to keep the clarity of the Kosovo as a single legal zone. The EU is mandated by the UN General Assembly to facilitate dialogue on non-status issues. Kosovo must be confident, and the Thaci government is very much so, in believing that nothing bad comes out of dialogue, out of discussions, out of increased outreach.

After all, we have proved that animosities can be reduced in the southern enclaves, and we can reach this aim in the north as well. The people there are also tired of criminals, as you may have seen from the last episodes of Serbian B92 TV series on the hundreds of millions of euros that have disappeared in the north.

CD: People are constantly bringing up all sorts of creative solutions and conjectures for how to ‘solve’ the problem of the north. What I wonder is whether time will actually take care of the problem- if you look at cases like Northern Ireland or Northern Cyprus, or Abkhazia, these are stalemate situations that have been managed peacefully. Why not follow the same approach in Kosovo? For the past few years have shown beyond doubt that whenever KP or KFOR goes in with force, they are met by force. It does not seem likely that this will change. So is it more a chronic issue of pride among the Albanians to take the north, or something else? What should be done?

PS: The northern municipalities are six times smaller than Abkhazia, and seven times smaller than Northern Cyprus. Lichtenstein has more inhabitants [than the north]. So we have to keep a realistic perspective.

Three problems in the north can be solved: EU and members states have conditioned Serbia’s EU path with full closure of illegal security apparatus, which have been operating in violation of UNSCR 1244 for nine years, and against the Kosovo constitution for another five years. Another condition for Serbia was to allow EULEX to operate without hindrance and to establish a system of European integrated border management with Kosovo. These are now sine qua non for Serbia.

A second challenge is ensuring democratic representation, which can be arranged easily and we have the good will to enable such a process without meddling in the local landscape, as we have shown with the OSCE facilitation of the Serbian elections in Mitrovica for dual citizens. The third problem is economic, and herein lie the alpha and omega of integration. If people see a profit in turning to Prishtina for services, this will be a natural progression. However, as I have said, we must solve the two initial problems first- crime and parallel structures, and the lack of legitimate interlocutors.

CD: Another issue about the northern municipalities is that there is an ethnic Albanian minority in various parts of it, which seem to get along without problems. On the other hand, there were another two elderly Serb returnees in the south who were murdered just a few months ago. I don’t know the exact figures, but I would estimate that since 1999 few if any of the many murders of Serb civilians have been solved. So the Serbs would argue that while they cannot live safely in areas with an Albanian majority, an Albanian minority can generally safely in areas where there is a Serb (or any other) majority. What do you have to say about these issues?

PS: I don’t think you have the correct information. There are numerous incidents in northern municipalities [against Albanians]. Over 10 killings in the last few years were committed in the area. Radical Serbs have killed or maimed other Serbs who work for the Kosovo government, including sitting MP’s in the Kosovo parliament, such as Petar Miletic. Radicals have bombed and burned Kosovo-Albanian property. Hundreds of attacks are recorded against NATO forces and EULEX. These are well documented attacks, which add to the tension.

All of the most wanted criminals of Serbia and Kosovo are hiding in the north. Neo-Nazi Serbian football hooligans are also based there. These are facts known by our own security service, but also from KFOR data and Serbian reports too. In the south, on the other hand, one now can find a progress not seen in the last 10 years. Serbs are participating [with the state] at the municipal and central levels, economic benefits are slowly trickling down- too slowly, one might add, but still progress is being marked. Investments in skiing tourism in the very south, and investments in mining in the north, will bring even more ethnically Serbian] people closer to Kosovo’s legal framework.

CD: I had an interesting conversation with a Pentagon official who disagreed with the possibility that Kosovo might solve its problems with neighbors, and appear less of a threat, if it were to just declare neutrality as a state policy. But this military official said that after analysis they were sure that with the paramilitary tradition among Albanians, there were no way that this would work, and that without a properly overseen army paramilitaries would emerge anyway. What do you have to see about this assertion, and about the concept in general?

PS: I think Albanians don’t have a more paramilitary tradition than any of our neighbors. We also cannot declare neutrality, as the political consensus among all parties is NATO membership for Kosovo. At the MFA, we are dedicated to Euro-Atlantic integration, as this constitutes the backbone of our foreign policy. Neither can any “paramilitaries emerge,” as the Kosovo police is more than sufficient for our internal security apparatus.

The [Kosovo Security Forces] is also undergoing a positive evolution, following the close cooperation and support of NATO countries. The KSF has also entered into a productive state-partnership program with the Iowa National Guard.

So I must say that I have a problem with the general concept of ‘feisty Albanians in their little clans, always ready to take up arms.’ It follows a somewhat old narrative, one never really reflective of the real life of the wretched and oppressed inhabitants of these lands. That being said, Kosovo is becoming rapidly a modern and sustainable state – in some respects far more advanced then even our supporters expected – as was proven by the decision of the ISG to end the supervised period of independence.

CD: To what extent is youth unemployment causing frustration among ordinary citizens that can reflected in violent means or protests, or support the opposition? Are there any concrete steps your government is making to fix this problem, whether through work assistance or job training programs?

PS: This is the crux of the current conundrum. We have the lowest debt in Europe, and registered the biggest growth in the Euro-zone, but we are in the midst of a region that is going through painful economic crisis. Our economic model is essentially Keynesian, and that was supported by the ability to increase the tax base by eliminating gray economy. But we will soon reach the limits of efficiency.

This is why we need more FDI, in direct but friendly competition with our neighbors. We at the MFA are working to increase the overall promotion of investment opportunities. Luckily, we still haven’t privatized our crown jewels, such as the telecom, mining or energy generation sectors. This means we can sustain a prolonged cycle of investments to reach an increased numbers of employment and substantial growth of the middle class.

The government is thus engaged in directly investing in infrastructure project that enhance competitiveness, including major highways. We have built a major artery to the Adriatic coast eight months ahead of schedule, with zero cents of debt. We are also facilitating investors in critical industries. Education is essential in this forthcoming phase.

CD: A few months ago, there were unconfirmed reports that certain Syrian opposition militant groups were receiving training or at least some kind of support within Kosovo itself. Is this true? If so, what kind of details can you provide?

PS: There were no unconfirmed reports, just complete fabrications. The only time Kosovo officials ever met any Syrians was in a single meeting between the MFA and two members of a Syrian liberal civil society diaspora [group]. They came as part of a tour to Europe supported by the Open Society Foundation, so there was no militant element to this visit.

Unfortunately, a spin put forth by a Serbian tabloid took on a life on its own in this era of Internet reporting. I will repeat it again though, just for the record: Kosovo doesn’t train any militants. We are committed to the EU’s joint foreign policy with regards to events in the Middle East, and always in close coordination with the [position of the] USA.

Religion and Governance

CD: In May, you held an event marking the 1700th anniversary of Byzantine Emperor Constantine the Great’s conversion to Orthodox Christianity. This was somewhat creative, in any case, it was not one of the Balkan anniversaries that we had put on the calendar. And as far as I understand the pitch was to 1700 years of “monotheism” in the Balkans, which would presumably include Islam as well. So can you tell us who came up with this idea to celebrate such an event, and present it in this way?

PS: Well, Kosovo is a very diverse country in terms of religion, and this is our collective wealth. The vast majority of people declare themselves Sunni Muslims, but you have a very dynamic Catholic community, an old Orthodox and Byzantine heritage, a famous and tradition-rich Sufi community, and traces of a Jewish presence. The Sunni Islam is also rooted in local traditions and practices.

Saint Paul the Apostle passed through our lands on his third mission. Constantine was also from Dardania, and he was critical for the major shift from polytheism to monotheism. So, I’m not surprised that Kosovo would host meetings, workshops and projects dedicated to cherishing this richness. We must help the inter-faith dialogue to alleviate any fears about the important role that the Serbian Orthodox Church plays in our religious and societal landscape. The MFA of Kosovo has indeed supported several important initiates in this regards.

CD: Related to this was the visit to Prishtina in May of UNESCO representatives and Tony Blair, in his new incarnation as an inter-faith dialogue expert. So can you comment on this diplomatic dilemma, how your government handles these different outside parties who of course have their own interests, and goals, and whether you see an intensification or suppression of these kind of activities in future? In short, what is best for Kosovo’s long-term interests in this regard?

PS: The MFA and Ministry of Education are cooperating with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation to openly discuss the ideas of religion in a time of globalization. We must not shy away from debating and supporting critical thinking in today’s world. Mr Blair has played a very positive role in fostering the tolerance agenda. He is an icon of Kosovo liberation and we are proud to be able to work with his Foundation. UNESCO on the other hand was [in Kosovo on] a private visit. We have welcomed hundreds of guests from around the world this year. This has helped improved understanding.

CD: You have made a point of noting that Prizren is a case of co-existence wherein you have Serbian Orthodox, Albanian Catholic, and Albanian and Turkish Muslim houses of worship all in close proximity. Do you think this is more or less a historical accident, or something that can be replicated in other parts of Kosovo? Also, there is still (or at least was) some form of KFOR protection for the Serbian church. Is there still a concern that it will be attacked if that protection is removed?

PS: Most of the churches are now being protected by the local police. There are no attacks on churches, except for theft and occasional vandalism- nothing more serious than theft and vandalism of churches in Serbia. Prizren is a symbol of tolerance because the vast majority of the population is tolerant. It’s an old Albanian city, but it has a centuries-old Serbian, Turkish, Jewish, Roma and Gorani heritage also. It is also one of the cities which luckily escaped the full brute force of the Serbian military offensive of 1998-99. Cities such as Peja or Gjakova, and regions such as Drenica, were hit very hard and lost thousands of members from different families. Reconciliation will go slower there, especially in the absence of any sign of regret from the present Serbian government.

CD: We have good information that on the local level mayors and other municipal officials are in some cases coming under pressure from Islamic leaders and interests. Do you have any comments?


PS: Kosovo is a secular state. As many Westerners note, one sees fewer hijabs in Prishtina than in any other European city. The overwhelming majority of people in our society is respectful of other faiths, but are not particularly religious. Some of the best mojitos in Balkans are made in Prishtina bars.

I have not heard of problems in municipalities but I know that in a few mosques, less than one percent of the total [number of mosques], the state has had to intervene to expel figures unwanted by the local community due to extremist discourse. I don’t think we should sugar-coat the reality. Kosovo must dispel some of the prejudices. In the most dangerous form, these prejudices have inspired [people like] Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, who mentions Kosovo as an Islamic threat over 80 times in his vile “manifesto.” In a more benign manner, they still instill a dose of unhealthy skepticism. Islam in Kosovo has always been a force of tolerance and love. The wars and conflicts in the modern Balkans were ethnic and political, not religious. Framing the conflict in religious terms is intentionally done by some circles.

CD: What is the role of the Vatican in Kosovo currently? We understand there is a nuncio appointed by no information about how active he is, whether there any plans for developing a clergy so that one day there might be a Kosovar cardinal, etcetera.

PS: The Holy See has always been with the people of Kosovo. We have frequently been in the prayers and thoughts of Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI has a proven track record as an instigator of dialogue and peaceful resolution. And Mother Theresa’s father comes from Prizren.

Many cardinals came for the inauguration of the works on the  new cathedral built in the centre of the capital. And the Community of St Eggidio has been an early facilitator of dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia. So there are multiple and strong bonds between the Holy See and Kosovo. These will only strengthen over time.

Good Housekeeping and Infrastructure

CD: One achievement of which you are most proud is the completion of the highway linking Kosovo with Albania, done by Bechtel, which you have said finally gives Kosovo a ‘port’ with the city of Durres. Have you been able to assess yet any changes in volume of imports or exports due to this more rapid connection? Are there any other quantifiable indicators of the economic benefit of this impressive bit of engineering?

PS: It’s easy arithmetic – Kosovo citizens previously needed over eight hours of driving time to arrive at Podgorica, and more than six hours to reach Tirana. The geographic distances are not that great, but there were no major road arteries connecting Kosovo with neighboring states.

The new highway to the Adriatic connects the Kosovo borders with Serbia and Albania, and continues via the longest tunnel in the Balkans to the fork where one can choose to continue to Montenegro or to southern Albania. The highway was constructed in record time by US giant Bechtel. And we have not taken a cent in credit for its construction.

And so, nowadays the travel time to Montenegro and Albania has been cut by half- four hours to Montenegro,  and four hours to Tirana. Multiply that by 650,000 border crossings on this new highway during last 12 months. Need I say more? Plus, both Macedonians and inhabitants of southern Serbia are now using this new link to reach Montenegro.

CD: Any visitor to Kosovo immediately notices the main roadways ringed by gas stations, stacked materials for construction, random small motels, and other structures that make it look essentially like some sprawling industrial zone.

Two questions arise from this. The first is whether there is or could there be any sort of aesthetic development plan – on a national or municipal level, or both – that would make Kosovo look less like an industrial zone and more attractive?

PS: It’s funny you asked me that. In my past life I loved studies of urban anthropology. The gas stations in Kosovo, some resembling Star Trek buildings, the others more like Victorian houses, I called them Gas Vegas in a lecture I had in Zagreb and Amsterdam. They leave quite an impact on the physical and urban landscape. I wish our mayors were more updated regarding the latest methodology and best practices in urban planning- alas, this is not yet happening. Yet there is some charm in the grit of Kosovo. Prishtina is ugly, but full of surprises.

CD: The second, more pragmatic question concerns the industrial sprawl so close to the roadside, particularly in the case of the Prishtina-Skopje road. You have said that the government plans to build a modern highway on this route next year. Will the existing structures that block the widening process be relocated? Is the land owned by the state or private individuals? How problematic will the construction process be because of these factors?

PS: The Kosovo government is now considering the second highway project to Skopje, an important trade artery and connection to Greece. Highway plans are well underway. I think a portion of it may be built in different trajectories, because the cost of land in some of these urban zones is prohibitively high. The Ministries of Transport and Finance are hammering out the last details, always in consultation with the IMF. These rounds of investment cycles in road infrastructure were essential for us to even have a chance at a competitive free economy.

CD: Finally, in your opinion what sort of infrastructure is most urgently needed for the modernization of Kosovo and to increase its viability as a business destination? Is the government working on any such projects in a concerted way and what are the prioritizing?

PS: Personally, I think energy generation is an urgent and fundamental need. We have increased energy usage, and we will increase it further, but no new plants have been built since the 1970’s. We sit on coal, which is a dirty word in some circles, but then again new capacities in coal energy will speed up closure of the old 1950’s plants, which are the cause of 80% of particle pollution. So we need to provide long-term solution for energy independence.

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