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UPDATED: 10:39, February 12, 2006
Kosovo ready for first status talks in Vienna
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Newly-elected Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu said in Pristina on Saturday that the Kosovo negotiating team is ready for the first status talks with Belgrade due to be held in Vienna on Feb. 20.

Sejdiu, who was elected as the president on Friday, said "it is yet to be decided on the composition of the delegation that would leave for Austria," the official Tanjug news agency reported.

But Kosovo's negotiating team decided on Saturday to take part in the talks and adopted a document on the local administration reform in Kosovo, said Sejdiu, who heads Kosovo's negotiating team for future status talks.

A part of Serbia-Montenegro, Kosovo has been run by the United Nations since mid-1999. Kosovo's future status has long been a bitter subject between Belgrade and Kosovo's Albanian majority who are pushing for independence from Serbia.

The UN-sponsored talks would initially be focused on decentralization, which would help ensure the security of non- Albanian minorities.

Sejdiu said that the basic document on the local administration reform was discussed by the negotiating team and was accepted in principle, as proposed by a political group and foreign experts.

Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi said that there are no delays in the negotiating team's preparations, since the team and working groups had completed their tasks on time.

Source: Xinhua

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