Accessibility links

Kosovo Lawmakers Endorse UN Plan for Province

Lawmakers in Serbia's breakaway Kosovo province have unanimously endorsed the United Nations plan that proposes supervised independence for the area.

Lawmakers pledged to fully implement the package drafted by U.N. Kosovo mediator Martti Ahtisaari and welcomed the continued international civilian and security presence specified in the proposal.

The U.N. Security Council formally began consideration of the plan Tuesday.

The plan has the backing of the United States and the European Union, but was rejected by Serbia as violating its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In Belgrade, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, in a statement, said the plan failed to win required Security Council backing.

Russia, which traditionally backs Serbia and has a veto in the Security Council, has said it will not approve any plan that fails to gain the approval of both Serbia and Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority.

Activists from the Self-Determination Movement Thursday protested outside parliament against the plan. The movement insists on complete independence for Kosovo.

Wednesday, Britain's U.N. ambassador Emyr Jones-Parry, who currently chairs the Security Council, said he expects the council to put together a fact-finding mission to Kosovo and Serbia before voting on the issue

Kosovo has been under U.N. administration since 1999, when NATO air strikes stopped Serbia's deadly crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists in the province.