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Press Statement
Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
August 1, 2007


United States Supports Period of Intensive Engagement on Kosovo

We welcome UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's announcement today of the Contact Group's initiative to undertake a period of intensive engagement with the Serb government and the Kosovar Albanian authorities to discuss Kosovo's future status. We view this period as a serious, final attempt to reach an agreement between the parties. A U.S.-European Union-Russian negotiating troika, operating within the framework of the Contact Group, will visit the region soon to consult with the parties. Ambassador Frank Wisner, U.S. Representative to the Kosovo Status Talks, will represent the United States in this troika. UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari and his staff will remain associated with the process.

This period of engagement is not open ended. Secretary-General Ban has said that the Contact Group will report on their efforts no later than December 10, 2007, after which we believe Kosovo's status needs to be clarified promptly. We strongly agree with the Secretary-General that the status quo is not sustainable.

We remain fully committed to the proposals of Special Envoy Ahtisaari, including his recommendation that Kosovo become independent subject to a period of international supervision. Special Envoy Ahtisaari's proposals, prepared after fifteen months of UN-sponsored negotiations, can allow the entire region to move beyond the conflicts of the 1990s and toward a brighter Euro-Atlantic future. At the same time, the United States is prepared to accept any outcome to which the parties agree.

2007/656


Released on August 1, 2007

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