22 January 2007

US envoy: NATO will curb Kosovo violence

United Press International, November 26, 2006

WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. Under Secretary Nicholas Burns says NATO will not allow violence in Serbia's predominantly ethnic-Albanian Kosovo province, Serbian media said Thursday.

Addressing reporters in Washington, Burns, under secretary for political affairs in the U.S. Department of State, said NATO's 15,000 troops in Kosovo would put down any riots, demonstrations or violence, the Serbian news agency Tanjug reported.

Burns said Kosovo will be among issues to be discussed at the NATO summit in Latvia on Nov. 28-29.

Martti Ahtisaari, chief U.N. envoy chairing the Kosovo talks, is to announce a decision on the province's future status in January or February.

Serbs claim Kosovo will always be an integral part of Serbia, while ethnic-Albanians insist Kosovo should be independent of Serbia.

About 100,000 Serbs live in Kosovo, while ethnic-Albanians make up 90 percent of Kosovo's 1.8 million population.

U.N. administrators and NATO protection troops have been deployed in Kosovo since 1999 ethnic conflicts.