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US, EU and Russian Envoys Meet Serbian Officials on Kosovo


U.S., European Union and Russian mediators met Friday with Serbian President Boris Tadic, Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica and other top officials in Belgrade, opening a new round of talks on the future status of Serbia's province, Kosovo.

After the first session, U.S. envoy Frank Wisner said international mediators will leave "no stone unturned" in their efforts to find a compromise solution for the breakaway province.

German envoy Wolfgang Ischinger said the so-called "troika" of mediators had a very good business meeting with Serbian leaders.

Russia's Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko said the goal is to find a solution which can be endorsed by the United Nations Security Council.

The envoys are scheduled to meet with Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders in Pristina on Saturday.

Regional news reports quoted Serbia's Minister for Kosovo, Slobodan Samardzic, as saying that Belgrade presented the "troika" with its proposal for Kosovo's future status. He also said that Belgrade asked for direct talks with Pristina.

Serbia has said that it is prepared to give Kosovo broad autonomy, including its own representation in international organizations such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leadership insists on complete independence from Serbia.

The EU mediator said Thursday after a meeting in London that the U.S.-EU-Russian troika will not present any new proposals. He said envoys will ask Serbian and Kosovo's ethnic Albanian negotiators to offer their own suggestions for a compromise on the status of the province.

The three are to report back to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon by December 10 on the progress of the talks.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.
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