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Mediators Confirm Deadlock on Kosovo Status

By VOA News
07 December 2007

International mediators on the future of Serbia's breakaway Kosovo province have confirmed a deadlock in negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority.

In a report submitted Friday to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the United States, the European Union and Russia said that four months of negotiations failed because neither side would yield on the key question of sovereignty.

The negotiators said they could not bridge the gap between Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leadership, which wants nothing short of full independence, and the Serbian government, which offered broad autonomy.

In Serbia, President Boris Tadic said Belgrade will not wage war over the province. He said those who threaten bloodshed diminish any chance of the region remaining in Serbia.

Mr. Tadic made the comments after a senior government adviser, Aleksandar Simic, told reporters that war is one of Serbia's legitimate options if the international community recognizes Kosovo's independence.

The mediators say the 120 days of talks did not break the impasse on the status of Kosovo, but that the two sides engaged in direct dialogue for the first time in years and agreed to refrain from violence.

The report does not offer recommendations for a solution. It is scheduled for discussion by the U.N. Security Council on December 19.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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