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U.S. supports use of political process to determine Kosovo status

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The United States strongly supports U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, which mandates a political process for determining Kosovo's future status, and the importance of achieving "key democratic goals" in preparation for status discussions, said State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher.
He also cautioned against statements or actions by authorities in Belgrade that could be "unhelpful and potentially de-stabilizing."

Following is his statement:

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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
February 12, 2003

Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman

KOSOVO'S FINAL STATUS

The United States is concerned by recent developments in Serbia and Montenegro and in Kosovo regarding the timing and nature of decisions on Kosovo's future status. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 mandates a political process for determining Kosovo's future status. The United States strongly reiterates its support for Resolution 1244 and for this process. We also share the view of Michael Steiner, the Special Representative of the Secretary General, that the best and only acceptable way to prepare for discussions concerning Kosovo's future status is through the achievement of key democratic goals -- a process called "standards before status." We believe that statements or actions by the authorities in Belgrade or on behalf of Kosovo parties or institutions which attempt to force the pace of the future status process or to re-interpret the provisions of Resolution 1244 are unhelpful and potentially de-stabilizing. We urge all concerned to continue to work with the international community to create the foundation for a democratic Kosovo.

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(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)