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Yugoslavia: Contact Group Meets In Brussels

Brussels/Pristina, 20 March (RFE/RL) -- The six-nation Contact Group is meeting in Brussels today to discuss developments in Serbia's southern Kosovo province. Reports say the talks have started but did not provide details. The meeting comes a day after the expiration of a Contact Group deadline for Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to open dialogue with ethnic Albanians in the province or risk punitive sanctions.

The French and German foreign ministers, Hubert Vedrine and Klaus Kinkel, reported progress yesterday on getting Milosevic to take action to stabilize Kosovo. Kinkel said Milosevic had "generally speaking" met the contact group's demands, though he said they didn't make a "breakthrough."

Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov welcomed the latest steps by Milosevic. But Robert Gelbard, the top American envoy to the Balkans, said the new steps fall short of what the U.S. believes is necessary to start a serious dialogue with the ethnic Albanians.