PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) - The U.N.'s special envoy to Kosovo said Wednesday that he will present his progress report to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a couple of weeks on whether to start talks on the disputed province's future.
Kai Eide, whom Annan appointed to review how far the U.N.-run province has come in creating a democratic society and respecting the civil rights of Serbs, said he would also discuss the matter with diplomats from the United States, Britain Germany, Italy and Russia by the end of the month.
He declined to comment on whether he would recommend a start of talks, but said progress had been made in Kosovo.
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.
If Eide's review is positive, it would be the first step toward possible negotiations on the province's final status.
The province's majority ethnic Albanians want full independence, but the Serb minority insists Kosovo remain part of Serbia-Montenegro.
Eide, however, urged Kosovo's leaders to better reform local government, allow for the return of some 200,000 Serbs and other minorities who fled Kosovo after revenge attacks by ethnic Albanian extremists, and protection of cultural heritage, which mainly consists of Serb Orthodox churches that have been targeted in past violence.