Wednesday, June 08, 2005

US under secretary of state discusses standards with Kosovo leaders

The US administration believes that sufficient progress has been made in Kosovo so as to enable talks to begin on the final status of the province, US Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns said in London, before arriving in Pristina this morning.

He added that Washington had stepped up efforts to settle the status of Kosovo, and voiced his conviction that negotiations on status should begin in the autumn as the status quo in Kosovo was unsustainable.

Immediately upon arriving in Pristina this morning, Burns said that this was a crucial year for Kosovo.

In a brief statement after meeting the Kosovo [UN] administrator, Burns said that they had discussed the fulfilment of standards and other issues concerning the situation in Kosovo. The US under secretary also met for separate talks [Kosovo President] Ibrahim Rugova, Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi, leaders of parliamentary parties Hashim Thaci and Veton Surroi, and finally member of the Serb List for Kosmet [Kosovo-Metohija] Oliver Ivanovic.

Burns will end his one-day visit to Kosovo with a meeting with Serbian Orthodox Church representatives Bishop Teodosije and Father Savo Janjic. He will then address reporters.

Before departing for Belgrade he will visit Serb families in Obilic to see for himself the conditions in which they are living

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