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Kosovo Albanian Leaders Meet Mediators in London


Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders have met in London with mediators from the United States, the European Union and Russia for talks on the future of the Serbian province.

Afterwards, Kosovo delegation member Veton Surroi told VOA's Albanian Sevice independence remains his team's goal. He downplayed the importance of Tuesday's comments by EU mediator Wolfgang Ischinger that the two sides should get away from labels such as "independence" and pursue "an internationally-supervised status for Kosovo."

On Tuesday, the EU mediator told a British newspaper, The Independent, the two sides should "reach a solution that would provide for an internationally supervised status for Kosovo."

Serbian representatives repeated their opposition to Kosovo's independence Tuesday in a separate meeting with the mediators. Belgrade has offered Kosovo wide autonomy, but insists the province must remain forever a part of Serbia.

The two sides are to meet face-to-face for the first time on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session next week.

The United Nations has administered Kosovo since 1999 when NATO airstrikes drove Serbian and Yugoslav security forces from the province.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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