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27 Sep, 2007 11:30

Future of Kosovo tops UN Assembly agenda

The future status of Kosovo is expected to dominate Thursday's session of the UN General Assembly in New York. Serb leader Boris Tadic has already addressed the UN General Assembly in New York, calling for Serbian-Albanian reconciliation in his speech.

He said he was hopeful both sides would come to some kind of conclusion, while reminding all concerned that any deal must be made under international law, which requires approval from the UN Security Council.

The Serb breakaway province will also take centre stage in a meeting of the Contact Group, attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Russia’s Foreign Minister is also expected to hold a meeting with the Serbian Prime Minister.

Mr Lavrov has already discussed Kosovo with Boris Tadic on the sidelines of the Assembly. The Russian delegation says that on Wednesday the two men agreed on the necessity of solving the problem of the province's future in accordance with international law. They also agreed that any decision on Kosovo should be supported by the UN Security Council.

The first direct meeting between senior Serbian and Albanian officials is due to take place on Friday on the sidelines of the Assembly. The United States, the European Union and Russia will act as mediators in the discussions.

The Russian delegation says there's a good chance a compromise could be reached in the negotiatons. Russia wants to keep an active role in the process of deciding Kosovo's final status. It supports dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. Russia has repeatedly said a deal cannot be done without Serbia's backing.

Apart from discussions on the status of Kosovo, Sergey Lavrov will also have a number of bilateral meeting with his counterparts from Britain, Cuba and Egypt. He will also meet the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon.