20 April 2007

Swedish FM believes Kosovo's status to be resolved

XINHUA (CHINA), 2007-02-02 04:11:37


STOCKHOLM, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Swedish foreign minister believes Kosovo's status will be resolved this year, Swedish news agency TT reported on Thursday


Carl Bildt, who has been involved in the Balkans since the early 1990s at the start of Yugoslavia's demise, said that Friday's visit of chief UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari to Kosovo to present his plan on the disputed province's future to both sides will mark "the beginning of the process."


According to Bildt, "that process is going to take some time between Belgrade and Pristina, and then eventually in the (United Nations) Security Council and then the European Union."


The Swedish Foreign Minister, who was also an international envoy in the former Yugoslavia, added however that he thinks it will be sorted out during this year, saying he hopes "it will be a solution that takes into account all of the interests as much as possible."


Kosovo has been a UN protectorate since a 1999 NATO intervention that stopped a Serbian crackdown against separatist ethnic Albanian rebels.


The ethnic Albanians, who account for 90 percent of Kosovo's 2 million population, have rejected Serbia's offer of broad autonomy within Serb borders and want nothing less than independence, according to the report.