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Serbia to Attend High-Level Talks on Kosovo


Serbian President Boris Tadic says he will attend face-to-face talks next week with ethnic Albanian leaders on the future of Kosovo province.

Speaking Wednesday in Vienna, Mr. Tadic said he is satisfied that United Nations mediators had worked out what he called "very small technical problems" that had threatened Serbian participation. The talks are set for Monday in Vienna.

Tuesday, the Serbian leader again warned that granting Kosovo independence as demanded by the ethnic Albanian majority of the Serbian province could create new instability in the Balkans and set a bad secession precedent elsewhere in the world.

Belgrade strongly opposes independence for Kosovo, which has been under U.N. administration since NATO warplanes forced Serbian troops from the province in 1999.

Kosovo Albanians insist on independence and say they will never again submit to Serbian rule.

Separately, working-level mediators from both sides are in another round of talks in Vienna. Wednesday's talks are focusing on the number of Serb-run municipalities to be set up in Kosovo.

In another development NATO has dispatched an additional 600 German troops to Kosovo as temporary reinforcements to the 17,000 alliance soldiers already there.

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