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New UN Kosovo Administrator Vows to Push for Deal


The German diplomat appointed Monday to head the United Nations team governing Serbia's Kosovo province says he expects to be the last U.N. official to run the troubled territory.

Joachim Ruecker spoke Tuesday, in the provincial capital, Pristina. He said he will continue efforts to find a solution to Kosovo's status, ahead of the year-end deadline for resolving the dispute.

Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority is seeking full independence from Belgrade, while Serbian authorities want to keep at least some control over the territory. U.N.-brokered talks with the two sides have failed to produce a compromise

In his inaugural address, Ruecker warned that Serbian proposals to partition the province and annex the northern Serb part to Serbia are, "out of the question."

Kosovo has been under U.N. administration since 1999, when NATO airstrikes forced Serbian forces from the majority ethnic-Albanian province. An estimated 100,000 Serbs stayed, and remain in a northern triangle of territory supported and served by the Belgrade government.