German Defense Minister Peter Struck says his country's 2,500 peacekeepers in Kosovo will remain there until the final status of the province has been determined.

Mr. Struck spoke with journalists Tuesday after talks in Pristina with Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova. He called for speedy resolution of the issue of Kosovo's status.

The German defense minister also visited German peacekeepers, who are part of a NATO force, in the southern Kosovo city of Prizren. He returns to Berlin late Tuesday.

Kosovo has been under United Nations administration since 1999, when NATO airstrikes against Yugoslavia in response to the Kosovo crisis forced the withdrawal of Serbian and Yugoslav security forces from the area.

The territory is still formally part of Serbia, but Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority wants independence.