Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Serbian, Kosovo Leaders To Meet for High Level Talks over Kosovo's Status

Serbian and Kosovo top officials were invited by the chief United Nations mediator in the U.N.-governed southern Serbian province of Kosovo, Martti Ahtisaari, to meet on July 24, 2006 for the first high-level talks on the future of the Serbian province, it was reported on July 19, 2006.

Kosovo's President Fatmir Sejdiu and Serbia's President Boris Tadic agreed to take part in the high-level talks.

The talks, which started on technical level in February 2006, are to determine if Kosovo will remain a province of Serbia or become independent.

Between February and July 2006 seven technical rounds of the talks have taken place in Vienna, concerning economic, cultural, and administrative issues.

Kosovo's final status includes independence and autonomy as two main options. Currently Kosovo insists on full independence, while Serbia is inclined to award the province only broad autonomy.

According to analysts the most probable outcome is a form of independence for the province with clear European Union prospect both for Serbia and Kosovo.

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