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Belgrade, Pristina Begin UN-Mediated Kosovo Talks

UN Special Envoy for Kosovo Ahtisaari (file photo) (AFP) 20 February 2006 -- Serbian and Kosovo Albanian leaders today began their first face-to-face talks over the sensitive issue of the future of Serbia's Kosovo province.

The talks in the Austrian capital Vienna -- under the chairmanship of UN special envoy Martti Ahtisaari -- are aimed at resolving the last major unresolved question from the 1990s Balkan wars.

The closed-door session marks the start of complex negotiations expected to last at least until the end of this year.

Diplomats from the so-called Contact Group -- the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Russia -- have already agreed on a set of guidelines for Kosovo's future.


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