Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Report: Kosovo's "fundamental problem" is uncertainty about its future, official says

VIENNA, Austria (AP) - The prime minister of Kosovo said Tuesday that the fundamental problem of the U.N.-administered province in Serbia is the uncertainty about its future, a news report said.

"I'm speaking about ... the approach to the future, about having a country one can recognize as one's own," Prime Minister Agim Ceku said in comments quoted by the Austria Press Agency.

He spoke at a meeting of politicians, academics and others in the Tyrolean town of Alpbach.

The people of Kosovo did not know "in which country they were living", which system of government they will have, who was heading the security forces and who was responsible for their energy supply, Ceku said, according to APA.

Kosovo has been administered by the U.N. since mid-1999 when a NATO air war halted Serb forces' crackdown on independence-seeking ethnic Albanians. U.N. mediators have been trying to narrow differences between the two sides over how Kosovo should be run in the future. But while Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority insists on independence, the Serb minority and Belgrade both want Serbia to retain some control over the province.

Earlier this month, Kosovo Serbs boycotted a round of talks on minority rights in Vienna, saying they would not accept being treated as a minority group, as they considered themselves citizens of Serbia, where they are in the majority.

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