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UN chief meets with Serbian foreign minister, with focus on Northern Kosovo, dialogue

02-10-2012 08:37 BJT

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Thursday met with Vuk Jeremic, the foreign minister of Serbia, and the two discussed the current situation in northern Kosovo and the European Union-facilitated dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade.

The Ban-Jeremic meeting came following the regular UN Security Council session on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), which was held here Wednesday.

"The focus of their discussion was the situation in northern Kosovo and the European Union-facilitated dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade," a UN readout said.

"The secretary-general expressed satisfaction with the recent reduction of tensions and the progress made in the restoration of freedom of movement in northern Kosovo," the readout said. "He commended Belgrade's positive contribution to the lowering of tensions and encouraged its continued constructive engagement."

"On the referendum organized by the Kosovo Serbs in the north, the secretary-general asked for Belgrade's close cooperation with UNMIK and other stakeholders to ensure that tensions would not escalate," the readout added.

Jeremic told the Security Council on Wednesday that Kosovo must resolve its problems with Serbia within the framework of peaceful negotiations, calling attempts to work outside this framework counter-productive.

"This includes seeking new UDI (unilateral declaration of independence) recognitions, divisive attempts to force one's way into international organizations, and any number of other plans to achieve narrowly conceived objectives," the foreign minister said. "The only way to produce a viable, sustainable, and lasting solution to the problem of Kosovo is for the parties to negotiate with each other in good faith, on all outstanding issues."

In November 2011, clashes broke out between Kosovo and Serbia in the north.

Kosovo unilaterally declared its own independence from Serbia in 2008, but Serbia never accepts it, and still recognizes Kosovo as one of its provinces. The two remain at odds over sovereignty and borders in North Kosovo, where a significant ethnic Serb community exists and resists Pristina's rule.

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Xinhua

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