BERLIN, Oct 25 (AFP) -
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer Tuesday welcomed the UN Security Council's decision to back the start of talks on the status of Kosovo.
He urged all parties to now act "constructively" over the troubled Serbian province.
Fischer said in a statement that it was now "high time" for a process to begin to determine Kosovo's final status and "continue the political momentum that has developed in the last six months".
He said both Kosovo and Serbia had a right to "clarity about the road ahead."
The Security Council gave its support Monday to UN chief Kofi Annan's "intention to start a political process to determine Kosovo's future status" as foreseen in a council resolution adopted in 1999.
The key issue in the talks will be whether or not the province should be allowed to become independent as sought by its Albanian majority -- a demand that is opposed by Belgrade.
"All parties are called on to contribute constructively to the status process. The international community will not accept unilateral steps -- compromises are expected from all sides," Fischer said.
"Any solution on the status of Kosovo must also contribute to strengthening of stability in the entire region," he said.
"Our goal remains the creation of a multi-ethnic, democratic Kosovo in which all residents, regardless of their ethnicity, can live in peace and security and according to European principles."