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UN Security Council Discusses Kosovo

Discussions at the United Nations Security Council Wednesday revolved around the question of how to maintain the current trend of political and social progress in Kosovo.

Council members were, by and large, encouraged by recent developments in Kosovo. Citing such landmark events as the return of all Kosovo Albanians detained in Serbian prisons, and the recent election of Kosovo's first president, Ibrahim Rugova, one member after another praised the war-torn province's progress.

Still, U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham said, there is much work to be done to keep Kosovo on the path to democracy. "We, as others, are disappointed that Kosovo Serbs have so far resisted participation in the government," he said. "It is profoundly in the interest of all Kosovo Serbs that they do engage. A central challenge for the new government will be to create an atmosphere of trust and confidence that will reassure Serbs and other minorities, encouraging returns and reconciliation."

Mr. Cunningham called for a "visible role for the Serbs" in the newly-formed government.

According to a U.S. State Department report, in 1999, more than 90 percent of all ethnic Albanians were expelled from their homes in Kosovo by the regime of Slobodan Milosevic.