01 February 2006

Russia, U.S. discuss minority rights in Kosovo



MOSCOW, January 19 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Rosemary DiCarlo met with Russian Foreign Ministry officials Thursday to discuss the rights of ethnic minorities in the Serbian province of Kosovo, the ministry's press office said.


According to the ministry, the sides agreed that international diplomats in Kosovo, which has been administered as a UN protectorate since the end of NATO's military campaign in the region in June 1999, should focus their efforts on enforcing Kosovar leaders' promise to uphold the rights of Serbs and other ethnic monitories and protect Christian shrines from destruction in this predominantly Muslim province.


The U.S and Russian officials also discussed Kosovo's final status talks, launched by the UN Security Council in October 2005, and cooperation between former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, appointed as the UN Secretary General's special envoy to the talks, and the six-nation Contact Group monitoring international policy in the region (the United States, the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Russia).