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Security Council mission stresses importance of Yugoslavia's full cooperation with UN

Security Council mission stresses importance of Yugoslavia's full cooperation with UN

Amb. Kolby (left) at press conference in Belgrade
Security Council members have stressed the importance of Belgrade's full cooperation with United Nations resolutions on Kosovo and the UN war crimes tribunal, the head of the Council mission said today as it concluded its visit to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Speaking at a press conference in Belgrade, Ambassador Ole Peter Kolby of Norway said that the Council delegation had met yesterday with Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica, Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic and other senior officials.

During those meetings, Ambassador Kolby said, the Council members also emphasized that outstanding issues in Kosovo could only be resolved by dialogue among all affected parties, and that Kosovo Serbs should be encouraged to participate fully in the province's provisional institutions of self-government.

"Belgrade should encourage the Kosovo Serbs to be constructive partners in the legislative process in the Kosovo Assembly," he added.

The Council mission is heading back to New York, where it will report back to the full Council on its four-day visit to the region.

In other news, the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) said that the certifications for the budgets of 24 municipalities in the province have been found to be in order, allowing for greater authority to be devolved to those municipalities.

At the same time, the Mission said, UNMIK chief Michael Steiner will monitor the certified municipalities to ensure that they comply with their obligations under the Constitutional Framework, including the protection of the rights and legitimate interests of all communities, such as fair-share financing.