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Ahtisaari: Kosovo's Independence Irreversible

Nobel Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari said Kosovo's independence is irreversible, despite opposition from Serbia and its allies.

Speaking to reporters in Oslo Tuesday on the eve of the award ceremony, Mr. Ahtisaari repeated his view that Kosovo is independent and will remain independent. He called on Serbia to accept it.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee will honor Mr. Ahtisaari on Wednesday for his peace efforts in Namibia, Indonesia and Northern Ireland, as well as in the Balkans.

The former Finnish president forged a plan for a final Kosovo settlement. His proposal includes internationally supervised independence for the former Serbian province.

Despite Serbia's fierce opposition, Kosovo declared independence in February - an action recognized by more than 50 countries, including the United States.

The Associated Press Tuesday reported that Serbia's leading human rights groups have called on the country to face its role in Balkan war crimes and punish those responsible. The groups specifically mentioned the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslims after the Serb capture of Srebrenica. They made their statement on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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