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Solana Hopes EU Kosovo Mission Deployed Soon

The EU foreign policy chief's comments came after a meeting with Ban Ki-moon in New York.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -- European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana has said he hopes a new EU justice and police mission is deployed in Kosovo by early December.

In February, the EU agreed to send the mission, known as EULEX, to Kosovo to take over from the United Nations and oversee the police, the judiciary and customs, but its deployment had been delayed by opposition from Serbia, which refuses to accept the secession of its former province.

Diplomats in New York say UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to issue a report next week saying there is now enough agreement for the mission to take over much of the authority held by the UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

"I hope very much that the report of the secretary-general will be issued, the sooner the better, and I hope that the beginning of next week will be [it]," Solana said after meeting Ban at UN headquarters in New York. "If that is the case, then we will be ready to deploy by the beginning of December."

EULEX's deployment ran into new obstacles recently. Earlier this month, Ban proposed an amended six-point plan for the deployment of EULEX that was accepted by Serbia but rejected by Kosovo.

Britain's UN ambassador, John Sawers, told Reuters on November 21 that the United Nations believed there was a "sufficient level of agreement now" between Belgrade and Pristina on EULEX for Ban to report that the deployment can go ahead as planned.