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Ahtisaari to return his plan on Kosovo status to UN Sec. Council

RIA Novosti

10/03/2007 19:06 VIENNA, March 10 (RIA Novosti) - A special UN envoy for talks on the Serbian province of Kosovo, Marti Ahtisaari, said he would return his resolution proposals to the UN Security Council following fruitless talks in Vienna.

Serbia's predominantly ethnic Albanian Kosovo province, which has a population of two million, has been a UN protectorate since NATO's 78-day bombing campaign against the former Yugoslavia ended a war between Serb forces and Albanian separatists in 1999.

Ahtisaari, who has proposed that the Kosovo province be given an internationally supervised sovereignty, has said the final top-level talks between Pristina and Belgrade in Austria had ended Saturday without any result.

Serbian authorities have strongly opposed Ahtisaari's plan as threatening national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Serbian parliament unanimously approved a resolution February 14 rejecting some provisions of the plan.

Russian officials have repeatedly said that granting sovereignty to Kosovo would set a precedent, and the international community would then have to recognize as independent the separatist regions in the former Soviet Union - Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and Moldova's Transdnestr.

As a veto-wielding member in the 15-nation UN Security Council and a traditional ally of Serbia, Russia has insisted that a decision on Kosovo should satisfy both Kosovar and Serbian authorities, and must be reached through negotiations.

Unlike Russia, NATO has made it clear that it favors independence for Kosovo, but the final decision will be up to the UN Security Council, which will hear Ahtisaari's proposals in mid-March.

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