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Kosovo: Serbs Agree To Join Government

Pristina, 17 April 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Serb authorities today agreed to Serb participation in Kosovo's government, ending a boycott of the province's new political structure. The deal clears the way for the province's self-governing institutions to start working with the full participation of both majority Albanians and minority Serbs.

In a meeting in Pristina today with the UN chief administrator for the province, Michael Steiner, Belgrade's special coordinator for Kosovo, Nebojsa Covic, agreed to Steiner's proposal that Serbs have one seat in the Kosovo government -- the Ministry for Agriculture, Forests and Rural Development.

The Serbs had demanded the establishment of a ministry for refugee returns, but have now agreed to Steiner's proposal that a Serb head a Kosovo commission on refugee returns and that a Serb be named senior adviser to Steiner on refugee issues.