WASHINGTON (AP)--Kosovo's top leaders said they told the U.S. secretary of state in a meeting Monday that they are working to build a modern, multiethnic country.
"We are looking for Kosovo to become a normal country," Prime Minister Agim Ceku told reporters after he and President Fatmir Sejdiu met with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Ceku said he and Sejdiu assured Rice that they were capable of running a stable, democratic country, but that Kosovo needed resources from the U.S. to help transform itself.
Kosovo, formally a province of Serbia, has been administered by the United Nations since NATO's 1999 air war forced Serb forces to end a crackdown on separatist ethnic Albanians and relinquish control over the region.
Talks are under way to determine whether Kosovo becomes an independent state or remains attached to Serbia.
Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo insist on full independence, while the minority Serbs and Belgrade want the province to remain within Serbia.
Before Monday's meeting, the U.S. State Department was stressing the need for Kosovo's leaders to build confidence with minority communities, State Department spokeswoman Nancy Beck said.
Ceku said the majority of people in Kosovo understand that it is "in their best interest to accommodate minorities."