Thursday, July 20, 2006

Kosovo is already largely independent: Slovenian foreign minister

Jul 20, 2006, 19:00 GMT

Ljulbjana - The breakaway Serbian province of Kosovo is already practically independent, Slovenia\'s Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel said Thursday after meeting with Kosovo\'s Prime Minister Agim Ceku in Ljubljana.

Slovenia would work towards a quick conclusion to the ongoing negotiations over the future status of the predominantly ethnic- Albanian province, Rupel said.

Representatives of Kosovo\'s approximately 2 million ethnic Albanians have been negotiating for months with Serbia over the future status of the province that has been administered by the United Nations since 1999.

Kosovo\'s Albanians want independence from Serbia while Serbia is offering it wide-ranging autonomy instead.

UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari has invited top politicians from Pristina and Belgrade to a direct meeting in Vienna on Monday.

© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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