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UN to Grant Greater Authority to Kosovo Government

The United Nation's top representative in Kosovo has announced that the international body will soon grant greater power to local authorities in Pristina.

Special Representative Soren Jessen-Petersen said Monday the U.N. Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) will create three new Kosovo cabinet ministries in the areas of energy, local governance, and refugee repatriation.

He also said the mission will establish the post of deputy prime minister and other deputy minister posts in continuing to transfer power to the Kosovo government.

The special representative did not say when the new positions and ministries will be created. But he stressed that the power transfer will require improved government accountability before the local government's mid-2005 U.N. review.

The United Nations has administered Kosovo since June 1999, when a NATO offensive halted Serb repression of ethnic Albanians in the region.

Some information for this report provided by AP.