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The World | IN BRIEF / SERBIA

Talks Take Up Status of Kosovo Province

July 24, 2006|From Times Wire Reports

Kosovo stakes its claim to independence today at top-level talks between Serbs and ethnic Albanians, the first since NATO's 1999 air war wrested control of the province from Serbia.

The one-day meeting in Vienna formally puts the issue of independence for the majority Albanian province on the agenda of a U.N.-led mediation process that began in February.

Ninety percent of Kosovo's 2 million people are Albanians who reject any return to Serb rule, while Serbia sees Kosovo as its "Jerusalem."

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