Leaders in Kosovo Tuesday again rejected a Serbia-sponsored United Nations proposal to revise an upcoming European Union mission, the Eulex, in Kosovo, warning they would not allow even a hint at the partition of the country along ethnic lines, reported dpa.
"There can be no illegal and illegitimate institutions in any part of Kosovo," Prime Minister Hashin Thaci said after meeting the US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried in Pristina.
Kosovo, with its majority Albanian population, declared independence from Serbia nine months ago. Despite Belgrade's vehement opposition, the EU devised a plan to send a law-enforcement mission to help Kosovo's first sovereign steps.
But Serbia, backed by Russia, locked the UN mission which has governed since 1999 in place, and pushed through the revised plan for the deployment of the Eulex.
Officials in Pristina last week flatly rejected the plan, saying it would split Kosovo into the larger south, with the Albanian population, and the smaller north, populated almost only by Serbs.
According to the UN plan, under which Belgrade would agree to Eulex, policing, justice and customs in the north would remain under the UN umbrella and so, indirectly, under Belgrade's influence.
While insisting Pristina wants Eulex to deploy swiftly, President Fatmir Sejdiu said Tuesday it must deploy throughout Kosovo under the same rules.
Fried said during his visit to Kosovo on Tuesday that Washington was urging for a quick deployment of the mission, describing it as "provisional."
The US were among the first to recognize Kosovo following its secession from Serbia in February. A total of 52 countries have recognized it so far, including most EU nations.
Kosovo was the scene of decades of ethnic repression, an Albanian insurgency in 1998 and a NATO intervention which drove Serbian forces out in 1999.
It has been building institutions under the UN protectorate, which was supposed be replaced by Eulex in December.