BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) - Serbia-Montenengro's president on Saturday praised what he termed a "balanced" debate at the U.N. Security Council on the situation in Kosovo.
Svetozar Marovic said he was "pleased" the Serbia-Montenegro delegation at Friday's session insisted that Kosovo remain part of Serbia.
"I am especially pleased that the Serbia-Montenegro delegation stressed ... that sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia-Montenegro must be respected," Marovic said in a statement.
Belgrade officials insist that Kosovo, which has been an international protectorate for more than five years, must remain part of Serbia despite an overwhelming pro-independence drive by its ethnic Albanian majority.
The United Nations has run Kosovo since 1999, when a NATO air war ended a Serb crackdown against separatist ethnic Albanians and forced Belgrade to relinquish control over its southern territory.
The Friday Security Council debate was designed to review the situation in Kosovo ahead of possible talks later this year on the province's final status.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a report to the council Thursday that the United Nations will review Kosovo's progress toward achieving standards for democracy this summer, a key first step to the status discussion.
The U.N. administrator of Kosovo, Soren Jessen-Petersen, said at the Security Council session that substantial progress has been made in developing tolerance and democracy in Kosovo. Serbian officials, however, claimed that Kosovo's human rights record remains poor.
More than 200,000 Serbs and other non-Albanians have fled Kosovo since Belgrade lost control over the province in 1999. Those who stayed behind lack freedom of movement and face harassment by extremist ethnic Albanians, Serbian officials allege.