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FYR of Macedonia re-opens border with Kosovo, UN reports

FYR of Macedonia re-opens border with Kosovo, UN reports

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia today re-opened its border with Kosovo, ensuring the delivery of essential goods and medicines, according to the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

UNMIK chief Hans Haekkerup told Kosovo's Interim Administration Council that this welcome development came in fulfilment of a promise he had received from the authorities in the FYR of Macedonia when he visited the country last week.

Mr. Haekkerup also announced plans to meet Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica in Belgrade on 5 April to discuss the legal framework for provisional self-government institutions. He said he would press for the release of all Kosovo Albanian detainees in Serbia, and anticipated discussing the participation of Kosovo Serbs in elections to be held later this year.

Next week, Mr. Haekkerup is expected to visit Albania for talks with the country's Prime Minister, Ilir Meta.

In another development, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that at least 2,000 residents of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have headed back to their homes over the past few days after fighting died down in the north of the country. UNHCR also said that only a handful of people crossed into Kosovo over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the international security force (KFOR) said today that it had increased its troop levels by nearly two battalions on Kosovo's border with the FYR of Macedonia. KFOR also announced that it had found an arms cache yesterday near the Kosovo village of Krivenik -- an area close to the border which had recently come under attack.