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Kosovo Leaders Say Patience Running Out On UN Talks

Sejdiu (left) and Ceku (right) with Solana today (epa) BRUSSELS, July 11, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Kosovo leaders have warned the European Union they are losing patience with attempts at the UN Security Council to reach a consensus on the future status of the breakaway Serbian province.

President Fatmir Sejdiu and Prime Minister Agim Ceku told EU foreign-policy chief Javier Solana today in Brussels that Kosovo was ready to declare independence and ruled out further status talks with Serbia.

"It seems to us that we will not have [an] acceptable solution [at the] UN Security Council, and for us, it is not enough for countries and the international community to say that we are all waiting for [a] UN Security Council solution," Ceku told a news conference.

"So, we have to stop pretending that the UN Security Council has an answer to every question. And, we are calling for a new approach, for a more brave approach to Kosovo['s] status," he added.

Solana said the EU wanted the UN Security Council to decide the matter.

Kosovo's majority ethnic Albanians back a UN plan to give them a form of supervised independence from Serbia. The plan is backed by the EU and the United States, but opposed by Serbia and Russia.

On July 10, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the impasse between the West and Russia over Kosovo was jeopardizing security in the region.

Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said Belgrade was open to fresh talks provided the outcome was not already decided.

But Ceku said Russia had blocked the UN route, and new talks would change nothing.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried said the United States would back another 120 days of talks on the fate of Kosovo, but said independence for the breakaway province was "inevitable."

Veterans of Kosovo's guerilla war have threatened to take up arms again if Kosovo is not granted independence.

(with material from Reuters)

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