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International community firmly rejects talks on status of Kosova

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In response to recent statements by Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic that he wants talks on the status of Kosova to begin soon, U.S. Ambassador to Serbia and Montenegro William Montgomery told the Belgrade daily "Blic" that the new state will harm its relations with the United States if it opens the Kosova question, RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service reported on 6 February (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 6 February 2003). Elsewhere in Belgrade, EU security policy chief Javier Solana said the time has not yet come to discuss the status of Kosova. In New York, UN civilian administration (UNMIK) chief Michael Steiner told the Security Council that "jobs, security, and multiethnicity" are UNMIK's priorities, Reuters reported. He added: "This is what the international community wants. This is what people in Kosovo want." He criticized Belgrade for saying Kosova is part of Serbia while being concerned only with the Serbian minority there. Steiner also said the Albanian majority fails to deal with the problems facing Serbs and other minorities. Also at the UN, U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said the time has come increasingly to transfer responsibilities from UNMIK to the elected authorities in Kosova, "Koha Ditore" reported on 7 February. PM
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