Dutch foreign minister in Kosovo for talks

The Dutch foreign minister arrived in Kosovo Tuesday for talks which will focus on the progress of negotiations on the settlement of the disputed province's future status. Bernard Bot, who visited Serbia on Monday, was to meet with Kosovo's top U.N. official, Soren Jessen-Petersen, as well as with the province's president and other representatives.

Officials from Kosovo and Serbia were discussing province's future in U.N.-mediated talks for the second day Tuesday in Vienna , Austria . The negotiations centered on the reform of local government to allow Serbs and other minorities to have more say in the province. The talks are the start of a process expected to lead to resolving Kosovo's final status.

The province's ethnic Albanians, who comprise about 90 percent of its population of 2 million, want outright independence from Serbia . Serbia , however, insists on retaining some control over the region, which it considers an integral part of the nation. Western diplomats have said Kosovo's quest for independence is conditional on the province becoming a democracy that respects minority rights, reports the AP.


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