PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro, Sept 22 (AFP) -
Belgrade will host a Kosovo minister for talks on cultural matters in the first such visit since the 1999 war, the minister said Thursday.
"I am not going to Belgrade for political talks. I am going to ask for the return of historic and cultural heritage which belongs to Kosovo," Kosovo's Culture Minister Astrit Haracia told reporters.
Haracia said the issue of rebuilding Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries destroyed in the province would also be discussed in Friday's meeting with his Serbian counterpart, Dragan Kojadinovic.
The talks, the first face-to-face meeting between politicians from Belgrade and Pristina since the war, had been postponed twice before, said Haracia.
"Why should I hesitate? I am going to Belgrade as a minister. No one can stop me requesting the return of valuables that were made in Kosovo and belong to Kosovo. I feel this responsibility and I want to do it," Haracia said.
Kosovo has been under UN administration since June 1999 after NATO bombing ended a Serbian crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists who fought against the regime of then-Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.
Since then, senior officials from Serbia and Kosovo have met several times but under international mediation.
The United Nations has started to look at implementing democratic standards in Kosovo, one of the conditions for starting talks on the status of the province which is still technically part of Serbia.