US urges Kosovo leaders to continue diplomatic efforts to find status solution

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with members of Kosovo’s negotiating team — the Unity Group — on Monday (July 23rd), and urged Kosovo leaders to continue talks on final status with Belgrade, rather than declaring independence unilaterally. After the meeting, Unity Group spokesman Skender Hyseni said Kosovo will remain a close partner amid efforts by Washington and Brussels to finalise the Kosovo status process. Prime Minister Agim Ceku, who recently floated the idea of declaring independence on November 28th, said after the meeting that Kosovo will proclaim independence only with the consent and backing of the US and the EU. Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu said he had received assurances that once the 120-day period for additional talks is over, there will be quick movement to resolve the status question.In other news Monday, about 100 Kosovo Albanian activists held peaceful demonstrations in Pristina against prolonging the status process. They urged Kosovo leaders to set a time limit for independence from Serbia.

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