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Kosovo Premier Visits Albania Ahead Of Status Talks

UN troops on patrol in Kosovo (file photo) (AFP) 24 October 2005 -- Kosovo's ethnic Albanian Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi is visiting Albania today for talks with his counterpart Sali Berisha.

Discussions are expected to focus on bilateral relations and upcoming talks on the future status of the disputed Serbian territory.

The UN Security Council is expected to give approval for the start of the talks at a session that begins today at the United Nations in New York.

The UN, which has run the province since a war ended there in 1999, is hoping to start negotiations by the end of the year.

Kosovo's majority ethnic Albanians seek independence but Serbia wants to keep the province.

Kosovo's ethnic Albanian Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi told the Reuters news agency yesterday that Kosovo will accept international "observation" or advice after the UN talks on its fate end

But Kosumi added the West can no longer place conditions on Kosovo's independence from Serbia. He said Kosovo "must be an independent and sovereign state."

(Reuters, AP)