Sunday, August 14, 2005

UN Envoy Returning To Kosovo To Review Developments

PRISTINA (AP)--A United Nations envoy was to return to Kosovo on Sunday on a final visit to the province before he makes a report on whether to open talks on its future status.

Kai Eide, a Norwegian diplomat, was appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in June to review how far Kosovo has come in reaching a list of U.N.-set targets for democracy and minority rights and to make suggestions on the way forward.

This is Eide's third visit to the province since his appointment.

Previously, he held talks with Kosovo's leaders and U.N. officials, toured towns and villages, made stops in Serbia's capital, Belgrade, to discuss the province with Serbian authorities and also visited some Western capitals and institutions that are represented in Kosovo.

He is expected to submit his recommendations on Kosovo by September. If the review is positive, it would be the first step toward possible negotiations on the disputed province's final status.

Kosovo officially remains part of Serbia-Montenegro, the union that replaced Yugoslavia. It has been under U.N. and NATO administration since a 78-day NATO- led air war that halted a Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists in 1999.

The province's majority ethnic Albanians want full independence, but the Serb minority insists Kosovo remain part of Serbia-Montenegro.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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