UN chief urges Serbia and Kosovo to resolve their dispute

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The importance of Serbia and Kosovo successfully concluding negotiations to resolve their dispute is being stressed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008 but Serbia does not recognize the declaration.

In a statement issued through his Spokesperson before the start of the next round of talks in Brussels on 20 March, the Secretary-General urges the two parties to compromise in order to bring about lasting stability in the Western Balkans.

Eduardo Del Buey is Deputy Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General.

"The Secretary-General is encouraged by the commitment and determination of the leaderships in Belgrade and Pristina to achieve substantial progress in the context of the dialogue facilitated by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton. The Secretary-General calls upon both parties to remain committed to reaching agreements through mutually acceptable solutions. He stresses the importance of a successful outcome to achieve a stable and prosperous European future for the Western Balkans." (31")

Mr. Ban says he looks forward to discussing the progress with the parties in New York on the margins of the Security Council discussion on Kosovo, following the important next round of talks in Brussels on Wednesday.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1'33"

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