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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 March 2007, 01:01 GMT 02:01 UK
UN plans for Kosovo independence
United Nations envoy for Kosovo Martti Ahtisaari
Mr Ahtisaari failed to get a deal between Serbs and ethnic Albanians
The United Nations envoy for Kosovo says independence is the "only viable option" for the territory, in a report to the Security Council.

The envoy, Finnish diplomat Martti Ahtisaari, says Kosovo should have internationally-supervised independence for an initial period.

Serbia has rejected a previous outline of the proposals, which have been broadly accepted by Kosovo Albanians.

Russia has said it will back Serbia and is calling for talks to continue.

Kosovo has been administered by the UN since 1999, when Nato air strikes ended a Serbian offensive against the ethnic Albanian majority. But the territory remains legally part of Serbia.

A final round of talks between top Serbian and ethnic Albanian leaders on the future of Kosovo ended without agreement.

Kosovo map

Once Mr Ahtisaari has presented his final plan to the Security Council, it will then be up to the UN's highest body to decide whether to approve or reject his proposals.

"Independence is the only viable option for a politically stable and economically viable Kosovo," Mr Ahtisaari said in the report.

"I propose the exercise of Kosovo's independence... be supervised and supported for an initial period by international civilian and military presences."

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