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Serbs could join Interim Administrative Council within 12 days: Kouchner

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Serb community representatives plan to join the Interim Administrative Council (IAC) in 10 to 12 days, Dr. Bernard Kouchner, the head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), told journalists today in Pristina.
Responding to questions from the media, following today's meeting of the IAC, Dr. Kouchner said that the representatives of the Serb National Council told him that they planned to join the Council in 10 to 12 days. They had indicated a wish to vote on the subject of joining the IAC in a meeting in Gracanica yesterday, he said. However, representatives of the Serb community in Mitrovica had been unable to attend due to heavy snowfall.

Today's IAC meeting discussed the subject of Serb participation on the Council. One of the four Kosovar seats in the IAC is reserved for a Serb, who has yet to be named.

"If the Serbs will participate, this will be a huge success," Dr. Kouchner said. "All those who have not been working together, should be together in the IAC and in the administrative departments. My wish is a united body representing all the communities of Kosovo going into elections."

Dr. Kouchner re-iterated UNMIK's invitation to the Serbs to co-head two administrative departments of the Joint Interim Administrative Structure and participate in other aspects of the provisional administration.

UNMIK plans to improve security and to locate essential services closer to minority communities. But this does not mean UNMIK is endorsing any form of local self-government or "cantonization", Dr. Kouchner stressed.