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Press Statement
Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 26, 2007


Proposals for Kosovo's Final Status

After over a year of negotiations, UN Special Envoy and former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari has delivered to the UN Secretary General his proposals for Kosovo's future status. We are grateful to President Ahtisaari for his patient, skillful and balanced work leading the Kosovo status process.

The United States welcomes and supports his recommendations.

The UN Special Envoy's proposals will give the people of Kosovo clarity about their future for the first time in many years. They contain far-reaching guarantees to protect the rights and security of Kosovo Serbs and other non-Albanian communities. President Ahtisaari has also proposed that Kosovo become independent, subject to a period of international supervision.

The Kosovo status process is entering its final and decisive phase. As the UN Security Council prepares to review President Ahtisaari's recommendations, we will be engaged in full and intensive consultations with our Security Council partners and the parties.

The resolution of Kosovo's status should be seen in the historical context of the tragic circumstances of the break-up of Yugoslavia, which began in the 1990s. The UN Security Council, which in 1999 passed a resolution that placed Kosovo under UN administration and envisioned a political process to determine status, has long treated Kosovo as a special case.

Since the crisis in this region began sixteen years ago, President George W. Bush and his two predecessors have worked to realize a vision of a Europe, whole, free and at peace. We believe that President Ahtisaari's proposals will allow the region to move beyond the conflicts of the 1990s and towards a brighter Euro-Atlantic future.

2007/230

Released on March 26, 2007

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