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Kosovo

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Kosovo is a disputed territory in the Balkans. Its majority is governed by the partially-recognised Republic of Kosovo, a self-declared independent state which has de facto control over much of the territory;[dubious – discuss] the exceptions are Serb enclaves, largest one being entire North Kosovo. Serbia does not recognise the secession of Kosovo and considers it a United Nations-governed entity within its sovereign territory, the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija (Serbian: Аутономна Покрајина Косово и Метохија, Autonomna Pokrajina Kosovo i Metohija), according to the 2006 Constitution of Serbia. (Metohija is the western part of the overall territory).

Kosovo is landlocked and borders Central Serbia north and eastward, the Republic of Macedonia to the south, Albania to the west and Montenegro to the northwest (the latter three recognise it as independent). The largest city and the capital of Kosovo is Pristina (alternatively spelled Prishtina or Priština), while other cities include Peć (Peja), Prizren, Đakovica (Gjakova), and Kosovska Mitrovica (Mitrovica).

During classical antiquity, the territory roughly corresponding to present-day Kosovo was inhabited by the Dardani. In Late Antiquity, the region witnessed considerable migration and ethnic flux. Subsequently, what used to be Dardania became part of the Roman, Byzantine, Bulgarian and Serbian empires. Following the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, it became part of the Ottoman Empire; this brought the region into close contact with the Middle East and subsequently introduced Islam to the population. During the late 19th century, Kosovo was the centre of the Albanian national awakening. In 1912, the Ottoman province was divided between Montenegro and Serbia, both of which became part of Yugoslavia in 1918. During World War II, the majority of Kosovo was part of the Italian occupation of Albania, followed by a Nazi German Occupation before becoming an autonomous province under the SFR Yugoslavia.

After the Kosovo War and the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, the territory came under the interim administration of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), most of whose roles were assumed by the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) in December 2008. In February 2008, the Assembly of Kosovo declared Kosovo's independence as the Republic of Kosovo. Its independence is recognised by 65 UN member states and the Republic of China (Taiwan). On 8 October 2008, upon request of Serbia, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution asking the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion on the issue of Kosovo's declaration of independence. This process is currently ongoing.

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