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Serbian President Says Kosovo Talks To Start 'Soon'

Serbia's President Boris Tadic
Serbian President Boris Tadic told the UN General Assembly that talks with Kosovo would start "soon" but appealed for states not to recognize the former province.

"Soon the two parties will be talking to each other for the first time in many years," Tadic said. "We must be patient and seek out those issues which allow confidence to be built on each side."

Tadic also said the issue of Kosovo's status remained unresolved and that the only legal framework for its resolution was UN Security Council Resolution 1244 from 1999, which reaffirms the territorial integrity of Serbia.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008.

About 70 countries around the world have recognized Kosovo's independence, including the United States and most European Union states.

Serbia insists it will not recognize Kosovo and is backed by Russia, China, and other states with strong separatist movements.

with agency reports