Thursday, February 14, 2008

UN Security Council Calls Urgent Meeting on Kosovo

'The council agreed that the meeting shall be held as a private debate and the Serbian foreign minister will be invited to participate,'' said Panama's UN Ambassador Ricardo Alberto Arias.

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council has agreed to hold an urgent meeting on Thursday over expected Kosovo's unilateral proclamation of independence as requested by Serbia and Russia, its president said Wednesday.

"The council agreed that the meeting shall be held as a private debate and the Serbian foreign minister will be invited to participate," said Panama's UN Ambassador Ricardo Alberto Arias.

The closed-door meeting will be held on Thursday afternoon, he added.

In a letter sent to the council president on Tuesday, Serbia urged it to consider the grave situation in the Serbian province of Kosovo where a unilateral declaration of independence was expected soon. Russia supported the Serbian request.

Kosovo, a breakaway Serbian province inhabited by a majority of ethnic Albanians, was expected to unilaterally declare independence on Sunday after multiple rounds of direct talks, which were mediated by the troika of the EU, Russia and the United States, failed to resolve its future status before the Dec. 10 deadline set by Europe and the United States.

The breakaway region is ready to declare independence in the coming days, its leader Hashim Thaci said after talks with EU top diplomat Javier Solana late January.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow categorically disagrees with a unilateral proclamation of the independence of Kosovo.

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