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UN Pushes For Minority Rights In Kosovo

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (center) at the Serbian monastery of Decani in Kosovo (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) June 7, 2006 -- World powers today gave Kosovo up to six months to implement 13 steps to improve protection of its Serbian minority.

Leaders of the UN-administered Serbian province are currently in UN-sponsored talks involving Serbia aimed at settling the future status of Kosovo, whose ethnic Albanian majority is pressing for independence from Serbia.

The checklist includes the adoption of laws on languages and religious freedom, and the allocation of money to fund the return of refugees.

Meanwhile, the UN said on June 7 that it will deploy 500 additional policemen in Kosovo's Serb-dominated north after a rise in tension sparked by a series of violent incidents.

Serbs have blamed the incidents on ethnic Albanians and have threatened to sever their ties with the institutions o the ethnic Albanian-dominated province.

(AP, Reuters)

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