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NATO Head Says No 'Rush' On Kosovo Decision

April 2, 2007 -- NATO's secretary-general today said the UN Security Council should not "rush," but also not unnecessarily delay a decision on the future of the UN-administered Serbian province of Kosovo.

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer also said NATO's 16,500 peacekeepers were prepared to confront violence.

De Hoop Scheffer and other members of NATO's senior decision-making body, the North Atlantic Council, reviewed security in Kosovo today.

The visit comes as the Security Council is expected on April 3 to start debating the plan for Kosovo's future status that has been proposed by UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari.

Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica today said the plan would fail because it was "illegal." Kostunica also said Russia's support in the Security Council will enable Serbia to maintain its "territorial integrity and sovereignty."

Both the Serbs and leaders of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority say Ahtisaari's proposal could lead to Kosovo's independence from Serbia -- an outcome rejected by Serbia but supported by the ethnic Albanians.

(AP, Reuters)

Copyright (c) 2007. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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