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Rehn: EU Supports Negotiated Solution for Kosovo


The European Union enlargement commissioner says the 27-nation bloc supports a negotiated solution on the future of Serbia's breakaway Kosovo province.

Olli Rehn told Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic Wednesday in Brussels that if the two sides agree, the European Union will accept almost any solution. But he says the bloc does not support a division of Kosovo along ethnic lines.

He says the European Union follows the guiding principles of the Contact Group (U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia), which do not include the partitioning.

Jeremic reiterated Serbian opposition to Kosovo's independence and urged against any unilateral moves on the status of the province.

The Serbian official is in Brussels to discuss his country's participation in NATO's Partnership for Peace program.

Kosovo has been under U.N. administration since 1999, after NATO air raids halted Belgrade's crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists.

Representatives of Serbia and Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority are involved in internationally-mediated negotiations on the future status of the province, set to end by December 10. Kosovo's leaders insist on independence, which Serbia strongly opposes. The Serbs instead are offering the province broad autonomy.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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