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Serbia Unveils Plan for Future of Kosovo


Serbian negotiators have unveiled their plan for the future of Kosovo, proposing wide autonomy for the province, but with Serbia maintaining ultimate sovereignty over the area.

Top negotiator Slobodan Samardzic says the plan would give the Kosovo government full authority over local affairs, including the right to seek loans from international financial institutions. The plan suggests giving Kosovo its own courts, but it says final appeals on religious and human rights issues should be handled by Serbia's Constitutional Court.

Serbia insists that Belgrade maintain control of Kosovo's foreign affairs, borders and customs. It agrees that the Kosovo government run its own police force, but would bar it from having an army. The area would be demilitarized, with international peacekeepers guaranteeing security.

Little progress has been reported in United Nations-mediated talks on the future of the area, as Kosovo Albanians insist on full independence.

Kosovo has been under U.N. administration since 1999 when NATO airstrikes drove out Serbian forces accused of atrocities against ethnic Albanians.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.
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