UN Chief Urges Security Council to Act on Kosovo

(DW) - UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged the Security Council not to "waste too much time" in making up its mind about endorsing the UN plan for Kosovo's "supervised independence" from Serbia.

"We should not waste too much time in making decisions," the secretary general told reporters on Monday.

He said it was "absolutely necessary that the Security Council should take a fair and sound judgment on this by endorsing" UN mediator Martti Ahtisaari's plan for Kosovo's "supervised independence."

Ban was briefing reporters on his recent foreign trip, including stops in Panama, Spain and Germany where he attended the G8 summit last week.

During a visit to Albania Sunday, US President George W. Bush called for speedy moves to give Kosovo independence, saying the days of "endless dialogue" were over despite the outright hostility of Serbia and its ally Russia.

"We need to get moving, and the end result is independence," he noted.

But Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said Monday that his country was "rightfully outraged over the US policy on Kosovo" and insisted Washington had no right to give away Serbian territory.

US State Department spokesman Tom Casey, however, urged the Security Council on Monday to move quickly.

"There is a resolution that is tabled at the UN," Casey said. "I expect those discussions to move forward. I expect there will be a vote on it."

Department spokesman Sean McCormack played down the prospect of a Russian veto.

"Nobody wants it to get to that point," McCormack said. "Nobody wants to see a veto."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last month said a veto would be a last resort.

"I hope a veto will not be necessary," Lavrov said after a meeting of foreign ministers of the Group of Eight industrialized nations in Potsdam, Germany.

Meanwhile, UN diplomats said the Security Council had no immediate plan to take up a revised draft resolution put forward by Britain on May 31 that would reaffirm support for the UN plan for Kosovo.

The new draft, sponsored by the United States, Belgium, Britain, France, Italy, Slovakia and Germany, calls for "full implementation" of the provisions contained in the Ahtisaari plan.

Though technically a Serbian province, Kosovo has been UN-run since the end of the NATO assault in mid-1999.

Some 10,000 ethnic Albanians died and hundreds of thousands fled Kosovo during the 1998-1999 conflict between Serbian government troops and ethnic Albanian separatists.

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