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30 January 2005 -- Belgrade's top official dealing with issues in Kosovo has offered to resume dialogue with the UN protectorate interrupted since anti-Serb violence there last March.

A statement issued yesterday by Serbia's Center for Kosovo said Nebojsa Covic proposed an end to the stalemate by resuming talks on missing-persons and energy issues.

Such talks were initiated in October 2003, but were halted abruptly last March after violent anti-Serb riots in Kosovo left 19 dead and some 900 injured.

Kosovo is technically part of Serbia but has been a UN protectorate since the end of the 1998-98 war between Serbian forces and separatists from the province's ethnic Albanian majority.

(AFP)
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