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VOICE OF AMERICA
SLUG: 2-324911 UN/ Kosovo (L-O)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=5/27/05

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=UN/ KOSOVO (L-O)

NUMBER=2-324911

BYLINE=BARBARA SCHOETZAU

DATELINE=NEW YORK

INTERNET=

VOICED AT:

Headline: UN and Serbian Representatives Clash Over Report on Kosovo

INTRO: Disagreement surfaced Friday in advance of Kosovo's progress in moving toward a stable, multi-ethnic society as a condition for determining the province's final political status. From VOA's New York Bureau, correspondent Barbara Schoetzau reports.

TEXT: The head of the U.N. Mission to Kosovo, Soeren Jessen-Petersen offered positive signs of increased dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina on energy, missing persons and transportation issues. He said Kosovo has taken major steps to improve life for ethnic minorities, including new judges representing minority communities and he noted increased trust in the police and more freedom of movement.

But he said Kosovo's majority Albanians must show the same respect for minorities that European states accord minorities. And he said Belgrade must encourage Kosovo Serbs to participate in the process to ensure that their rights are protected.

/// JESSON-PETERSEN ACT ///

"I think there was a clear message here: continue your good work, continue your hard work. If you work even harder, you will get there. But now it is very much in the hands of the Kosovo Albanians. They know what they have to do. The agenda is clear and I must say I count on the Kosovo leaders to do that and I count on the Kosovo Serbs and Belgrade to make sure that the Kosovo Serbs will be part of that process. That is very important."

/// END ACT ///

The United Nations has established a checklist of eight norms of democratic society which Kosovo must meet before any discussions on the province's final status.

Speaking through an interpreter, the head of Belgrade's Kosovo Coordination Center, Nebojosa Covic, said Serbia and Montenegro support the comprehensive review Secretary-General Kofi Annan has initiated because it will show a far different reality than the one presented in Mr. Jesson-Peterson's report.

/// COVIC ACT ///

"Serbs are not against participation, but please do not ask them to participate in something which is not based on basic principle, an unprincipled approach that leads to the independence of Kosovo. Once they become free of fear and frustrations they are experiencing, for them it will be much easier and for Belgrade authorities to encourage them toward participation."

/// END ACT ///

Mr. Covic said an independent Kosovo is not a sustainable or democratic option and would destabilize the region.

Mr. Peteson says he expects Secretary-General Annan to a name an envoy to conduct the review next week. (Signed)

NEB/NYC/BJS/RH/PT



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