TINA (AP)--Kosovo's prime minister has ruled out direct talks with Serbia about the province's future status, a government statement said Wednesday.
Bajram Kosumi said his government was ready to talk to authorities in Serbia about all other outstanding issues between the former foes.
But, "no one, Belgrade included, will determine how we will live in Kosovo after 10 years," Kosumi, an ethnic Albanian, told a parliamentary committee, a government statement said.
Kosovo, which officially remains a province of Serbia-Montenegro, has been administered by the United Nations since 1999 following NATO's air war aimed at stopping the crackdown of Serb troops on separatist ethnic Albanians.
Since then, the province remains disputed between the ethnic Albanians who want it to be independent and Serbia, which opposes the province's independence.
Talks to determine the province's future are expected later this year, if Kosovo reaches internationally set standards on rule of law, democratization and the rights of minorities.
If the result of the review is positive, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is expected to appoint a senior European representative as an envoy for those talks.
Direct contact between authorities in Kosovo and Serbia resumed this year on issues such as missing persons as a result of war, return of displaced persons, telecommunications and energy.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires