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Department of Public Information . News and Media Division . New York

16 January 2006

At a Headquarters press conference this afternoon, Hashim Thaci, Head of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, spoke of current international efforts to ascertain Kosovo’s final, long-term status, calling it a “sensitive and important process”.

In that regard, he welcomed the contributions of the Secretary General’s special envoy for the Kosovo status talks, Mr. Martti Ahtisaari, as well as those of the contact group, which had been monitoring and supervising international policy in Kosovo.

Mr. Thaci said that the institutions of Kosovo would strive to guarantee the rights of Kosovo’s minorities, but that, in turn, it was necessary for the international community to guarantee the territory’s independence. An independent Kosovo would mean a seat at the United Nations, he added.

He stressed that independence for Kosovo would bring stability to the surrounding region, including to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania. He added that the people of Kosovo would “respect a referendum in Montenegro” and “have good relations, in the future, with Serbia, as separate States -- Kosovo and Serbia”.

“We hope that through close cooperation with the international community, we will solve [Kosovo’s] final status in 2006. We think of this as the year for Kosovo”, he said.

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For information media • not an official record

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