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UN Chief Visits Kosovo

  • RFE/RL's Balkan Service

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at Belgrade's airport on his tour of the Balkans.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at Belgrade's airport on his tour of the Balkans.

PRISTINA – Ban Ki-moon has arrived in Kosovo to start the first visit by a United Nations secretary-general there since the 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia by the Kosovar government.

In remarks on July 24 in Pristina, Ban urged dialogue between ethnic Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo, citing what he called the "sensitive and complex issue related to northern Kosovo."

Kosovo's ethnic Serbian majority in the north rejects rule by ethnic Albanians and has set up roadblocks to prevent the Kosovar government from extending control to Serbian areas.

Ban arrived in Kosovo following a visit to Serbia, where he held talks on July 23 with new President Tomislav Nikolic.

Serbia lost control of Kosovo after a 1999 NATO air campaign. Kosovo's independence has been recognized by leading Western powers and 91 countries worldwide, but not by Serbian ally Russia.

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