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NATO Secretary-General Says Alliance Will Not Tolerate Violence in Kosovo

15 February 2007

NATO's secretary-general warns that the alliance will not tolerate any violence in Kosovo, after clashes between the international police and ethnic Albanians in the province left two dead.

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told reporters in the Kosovo capital, Pristina, Thursday that the alliance will prove wrong all those who think violence is an option in Kosovo. He spoke after talks with ethnic Albanian leaders, United Nations officials and the NATO commander for Kosovo.

The secretary-general's comments came days after demonstrators demanding full independence for Kosovo clashed with police. They were protesting a U.N. mediator's plan for that would give the Serbian province many of the rights of a sovereign state but falls short of their demands for independence

Meanwhile, Russia's special envoy for Kosovo, Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko, said the U.N. plan is not a good basis for further negotiations.

Russia has warned repeatedly that it will not support any Kosovo plan that is not acceptable to Serbia.

Serbia's new parliament Wednesday approved overwhelmingly a resolution rejecting the plan.

Kosovo has been under U.N. administration since 1999 when NATO air raids halted a deadly Serbian crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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