Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Macedonia PM: Will Meet With Kosovo PM On Border Dispute

PRAGUE (AP)--Macedonian Prime Minister Vlado Buckovski said Tuesday he will meet his Kosovan counterpart, Agim Ceku, to try to solve their border dispute.

Kosovo - the Serbian province that has been under U.N. administrative control since the end of the war between Serb forces and ethnic Albanian separatists in 1999 - has claimed about 2,000 hectares of disputed Macedonian territory since a 2001 border agreement between Macedonia and the former Yugoslavia.

"We're trying to find a way of demarcation (of the border) between Macedonia and Kosovo," Buckovski told reporters after meeting Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, adding he will hold talks over the problem with Ceku during his visit to Skopje, Macedonia's capital.

Representatives of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians - who want independence - and of a minority community of Serbs living there - who want the province to remain part of Serbia - are scheduled to meet in Vienna on May 4 in a new round of U.N.-mediated talks on Kosovo's future status.

Buckovski said he would like the talks to be over by year's end.

His two-day visit to Prague was meant to boost political and economic ties between the two countries. He was scheduled to meet President Vaclav Klaus on Wednesday and to attend an economic forum in the Czech capital.

Paroubek said the Czech Republic supports Macedonia's aspirations to join the European Union.

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