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UN Security Council Supports Review Plan For Kosovo

Kofi Annan Washington, 27 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The UN Security Council has expressed support for Secretary-General Kofi Annan's plan to review Kosovo's progress on democracy and minority reforms this summer.

But council members stressed Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders have much progress to make before final status talks can begin.

UN Envoy Soren Jessen-Petersen said after the council meeting that the comprehensive review does not mean final status talks are automatic.

"I want just to reiterate so that there is no misunderstanding," he said. "I indeed said and will repeat, the outcome is not a foregone conclusion. But what is important is with the debate today, we are on track."

Jessen-Petersen told council members he had seen clear progress in a number of key reform issues in the province, although minority returns are still too low.

Belgrade's chief official for Kosovo affairs, Nebojsa Covic, told the council that returns are low because of a persistent climate of fear. He disputed the UN report on progress and expressed hope that the comprehensive review will be "more fairly conducted."

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