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Security Council mission, Yugoslav leader agree on goal of multi-ethnic Kosovo

Security Council mission, Yugoslav leader agree on goal of multi-ethnic Kosovo

After a meeting with Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica in Belgrade, the visiting Security Council delegation said today the two sides had agreed to work together in support the common quest for a multi-ethnic Kosovo.

"We have made a new beginning in the relation between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the international community," Ambassador Anwarul Karim Chowdhury of Bangladesh, the current President of the Council, who led the 15-member mission, told reporters after three hours of talks with President Kostunica, Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic and other senior officials.

Council members discussed the constitutional framework for an interim self-government, the return of Serbs to Kosovo, the upcoming elections of 17 November and the issue of missing and detained persons.

The Council delegation, which was flying back to New York today, has scheduled an open meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discuss its mission to Kosovo and Yugoslavia.

Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) announced today in Pristina it was tapping contingency stockpiles and mobilizing extra staff to assist a fresh wave of ethnic Albanian refugees fleeing to Kosovo from the conflict in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

According to WFP, more than 18,000 refugees crossed the border during the past week to escape an upsurge in fighting, bringing the total to over 41,000. Another 3,500 Macedonian Albanians fled into southern Serbia.

On arrival, the refugees are registered, sheltered in temporary accommodation and given emergency daily rations, WFP said. Once settled with local families, they receive a full month's ration of wheat flour, pulses, vegetable oil and sugar.