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US Opposes Serbian Calls for Partition of Kosovo


US Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon (L) shakes hand with Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci after signing an agreement to support education authorities in capital Pristina, June 16, 2011

US Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon (L) shakes hand with Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci after signing an agreement to support education authorities in capital Pristina, June 16, 2011

A senior U.S. official says Washington opposes Serbian calls for Kosovo to be partitioned along ethnic lines as a way of resolving a dispute about Kosovo's 2008 secession from Serbia.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon said Thursday the idea of redrawing Kosovo's borders to incorporate ethnic Serb areas into Serbia would be a "recipe for disaster" for the Balkan region. Gordon was speaking during a visit to Kosovo's capital, Pristina, where he met with Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.

Serbia rejects the independence of Kosovo, a predominantly ethnic Albanian state that has been recognized by more than 70 countries. But Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic recently said Belgrade may be able to resolve the dispute if Kosovo's Serb-dominated north joins Serbia.

Gordon is on a four-nation Balkan tour that began with visits to Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday and Serbia on Wednesday. His final stop is Croatia.

In the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, Gordon met with Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj and pledged continued U.S. support for Kosovo as an "independent and multi-ethnic country." The U.S. official also called for "technical dialogue" between Kosovo and Serbia, saying it will reduce their differences.

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

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