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15 Apr 08

Slovenia Worried Over Kosovo-Serbia Border

Belgrade _ Slovenia's Foreign Minister says he is concerned about developments along the Kosovo-Serbia border.
After meeting his United States counterpart in Washington, Dmitrij Rupel said swift action was needed to stop the situation in the region from deteriorating.

“Regarding the Balkans, we both feel concerned and consider that it is necessary to agree and decide clearly and in a realistic time. We don’t want any worsening of the situation on the border between Kosovo and Serbia,” Rupel said after holding talks with Condoleezza Rice.

He also expressed hope that the European Union's new law and order mission, EULEX, would take over the main supervisory role from the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, UNMIK.

Rupel added they both wished that “the European Union be successful and that a transfer of work (between UNMIK and the EU) happens as soon as possible.”

He referred to a tense situation in northern Kosovo, where Belgrade continues to furnish the Serb majority there with political and financial assistance and where Serbs have successfully resisted Pristina's February 17 declaration of independence, and the deployment of the new EU mission.

Serbia has declared the EU mission illegal since under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 passed at the end of the 1998-1999 conflict between Serb forces and Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority, only the UN has the right to administer Kosovo.

Rupel, whose country currently holds the EU rotating Presidency, said all the issues regarding Kosovo might not be solved during the Slovenia’s term at the helm of the bloc.

“We won’t resolve all the problems. However, the EU’s entry and transfer of functions must happen according to the scheduled time framework and Kosovo’s constitution,” he said.

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