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Kosovar President Rejects Talks With Serbia

Ibrahim Rugova (file photo) 13 April 2005 -- Kosovo's ethnic Albanian President Ibrahim Rugova has ruled out holding talks with Serbia on the future of Kosovo.

Earlier in the day, representatives of the six-nation Contact Group urged leaders of both Serbia and Kosovo to hold direct talks ahead of full negotiations on the "final status" of Kosovo, which has been overseen by the UN since a NATO bombing campaign drove Serbian forces out in 1999.

But a spokesman for Rugova, Muhamet Hamiti, said the Albanian president rejected the idea.

Ethnic Albanians, who make up about 90 percent of the population of Kosovo, demand independence, but Serbia rejects this.

Last year, ethnic Albanians rioted for two days in Kosovo. Nineteen people died and some 4,000 Serbs and other minorities fled their homes.


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