Military intervention to stop the killing is the short-term piece of this puzzle. For the longer view, the world should draw inspiration from the historic April 19, 2013, accord between Kosovo and Serbia as an example of what peace can look like between previously hostile combatants. My government and the Serbian government have signed a declaration -- and taken concrete steps toward -- normalizing relations. Fourteen years ago, one would have been hard-pressed to foresee the possibility of this momentous step.
Before that step, however, there were many others, and the NATO intervention was the first to turn the tide. Then the U.N. Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) took up residence to help stabilize the political and economic situation. Its presence allowed us to begin to rebuild our political and civil society institutions. The NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), meanwhile, helped keep the peace in a fragile region of the country at a delicate time. International war criminals, including Milosevic, were also brought to justice in The Hague.
We took the final step toward normalizing relations with our neighbor with the help of Catherine Ashton, the European Union's high representative for foreign affairs, who brokered this year's historic accord. In doing so, Ashton showed tremendous courage, put her reputation on the line, and devoted a significant portion of her packed portfolio to helping us reach that agreement.
We should remember that Syria's transition to democracy will be long and difficult, but we in Kosovo are convinced that, with the support of the West and the Arab world, it can be achieved. My country, though small and young, is poised to help in the days and years after Assad's regime falls. We can use our recent and successful experience building our own state to help the Syrians rebuild theirs. We adhered to three key principles: democracy, multi-ethnicity, and secularism. These principles form the bedrock of the state of Kosovo's character, and we are convinced that they can be applied in Syria to accommodate its different ethnic, religious, and linguistic groups.
That is what Kosovo can offer. But what about the rest of the world? The West and the Arab world together should make clear that the territorial integrity of Syria is guaranteed, just as KFOR did for Kosovo. This will ensure that different groups in Syria can focus on creating a climate of cooperation that will lead to a power-sharing government under which all citizens of Syria feel equal and free.
Syrians deserve to live in a peaceful and democratic Syria. My country is ready to help, but first we need the international community to do what they did for us 14 years ago -- mobilize political will and military might to bring down the regime of a brutal thug.