PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP)--The European Union envoy for Kosovo was to arrive in the province Kosovo Tuesday to discuss the E.U.'s role in the province's status process, an official said.
Stefan Lehne, who will represent the E.U. in the upcoming U.N.-mediated talks, will meet with Kosovo's leaders and U.N. officials, said Torbjorn Sohlstrom, an E.U. official in the province.
The two-day visit will include discussions on the status talks process but also on the E.U.'s future role in Kosovo, in fields such as justice and policing, after its status is decided, Sohlstrom said.
Lehne was appointed last year as the E.U.'s representative to help former Finnish President Martii Ahtisaari, who will lead those discussions. He currently serves as director for southeastern Europe at E.U. headquarters and is a senior adviser to E.U. foreign policy chief Javier Solana.
E.U. officials recommended late last year the bloc take over policing duties in Kosovo from the U.N., which has been administering the province since 1999, adding the E.U. had a responsibility to help rebuild the troubled Balkan province.
A report drafted by Solana and E.U. Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn suggested the E.U. prepare for a police mission, which would be deployed after Kosovo's future status has been decided.
Although still technically a province within the loose union of Serbia and Montenegro, Kosovo has been administered by the U.N. since a 1999 NATO bombing campaign halted ex-president Slobodan Milosevic's crackdown against ethnic Albanian separatists.
Serbian leaders want Kosovo to be split administratively between its majority Albanians and minority Serbs, granting Albanians self-government while keeping the province part of Serbia. Ethnic Albanians are pressing for complete independence from Belgrade.
U.N.-sponsored final status discussions for Kosovo are expected to begin next week in Vienna, Austria.