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Kosovo to open first embassies after constitution takes effect
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11:22, April 11, 2008

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Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci announced Thursday that his government will open its first three diplomatic missions immediately after the new constitution takes effect in June.

During a government meeting held in the ethnic flashpoint town of Mitrovica, Thaci asked nominated foreign minister Skender Hyseni to take all necessary steps for the timely opening of diplomatic missions in New York, Washington and Brussels.

Thaci said the respective ambassadors for these priority embassies would be appointed soon.

He said his government intended to open 20 embassies in 2008, most of them in European countries.

On Wednesday, Kosovo's parliament adopted the new constitution, which will come into force on June 15 when the U.N. mission in Kosovo is expected to complete a handover of power to the self-proclaimed independent country and its EU supervisors.

Kosovo, which is dominated by ethnic Albanians and had been run by a U.N. mission since 1999, unilaterally declared independence from Serbia on Feb. 17.

Serbia, which has rejected Kosovo's independence and the EU mission, has pledged support for Serbs in Kosovo and vowed to continue the diplomatic struggle to keep Kosovo within Serbia.

Kosovo has been formally recognized by over 30 countries since its unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia.


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