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West To Seek Kosovo Solution Outside UN

(RFE/RL) July 20, 2007 -- The United States and European powers say it has proven impossible to move forward with a UN Security Council resolution on Kosovo's final status due to Russia's threat of a veto.

Speaking at a briefing today, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, said the six-nation Contact Group (Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Russia, and the United States) should work toward a solution.

Khalilzad, said that if Russia stays "with the point that they have said before, which is that this
[plan] is unacceptable, then the Contact Group, the sponsoring nations have come
to an agreement to move outside the [UN Security] Council and for the Contact
Group to take the lead in a new process to move forward."

France's UN ambassador, Jean-Marc De La Sabliere, likewise said today that negotiations should now move through the Contact Group.

"We believe that resolving Kosovo's status must be achieved as soon as possible," de la Sabliere said.
"We hope that this discussion will lead to agreement between the parties. If not,
we continue to believe that the Ahtisaari plan is the best way forward."

(Reuters, AP)

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