Kosovo: UN envoy presents revised proposals on future status
8 March 2007 – The United Nations envoy for the status of Kosovo has submitted revised plans after reporting that Serbia and the ethnic Albanian-led government remain diametrically opposed over the future of the Albanian-majority Serbian province, which the world body has run since Western forces drove out Yugoslav troops in 1999 amid ethnic fighting.
The parties are currently considering Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari’s revised proposal ahead of a meeting of both sides and major international partners in Vienna on Saturday, spokesperson Michele Montas told a news briefing at UN Headquarters in New York today.
Serbia rejects independence, a goal sought by many Albanians who outnumber Serbs and others by 9 to 1 in the province, and both sides interpreted Mr. Ahtisaari’s initial plan as meaning independence supervised by the international community.
While that plan did not specifically mention independence, it would give Kosovo the right to govern itself and conclude international agreements, including membership in international bodies, under international civilian and military supervision to help to ensure peace and stability.
Mr. Ahtisaari aims to deliver the final version to the Security Council by the end of the month when he has said he will make “a very clear statement” on the independence issue.
Currently there are no plans for any further meetings following the one on Saturday, which will bring together not only Serbia and the Kosovo Government but also the so-called Contact Group – the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Russia – which has been helping to seek a solution, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) whose forces drove out Yugoslav troops in 1999 and who now help to maintain security in the province, and the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
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