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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 July 2007, 22:25 GMT 23:25 UK
US and EU revise Kosovo UN draft
Kosovo map
Europe and the US have revised a draft UN resolution on the status of Kosovo, dropping a promise of independence for the province if talks with Serbia fail.

An earlier draft called for four months of talks between the two sides, but also included a plan for independence.

Russia had threatened to veto the plan and Serbia rejected the draft.

The US ambassador to the UN says the latest draft is still being finalised, and would be put to the Security Council following talks with Russia.

On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned against any further delay in determining the future of the breakaway Serbian province.

'Council review'

The new text, drafted by Western members of the UN Security Council, also calls for four months of talks between Kosovo's ethnic majority Albanians and Serbia.

But instead of offering independence, the UN now says it will "review the situation further" if talks fail.

We have to stop pretending that the UN Security Council has an answer to every question
Agim Ceku
Kosovo prime minister

The draft is still being finalised, US ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad said.

"We are meeting with our Russian colleague," he said, adding that the draft would be circulated "within two to three days," based on the outcome of those talks.

UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari's plan to install an EU overseer and EU-led police forces to replace the current UN mission remains in the draft.

But it stops short of the previous roadmap to "supervised independence" that would let Kosovo join international institutions.

This new draft is the UN's third attempt to seek support from Russia, which insists that Kosovo can only become independent with Belgrade's consent.

'European problem'

Meanwhile, Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku has called for a new approach to decide the province's future.

After talks with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Mr Ceku said Kosovo's status was a "European problem" and, with time running out to find a solution, it was now necessary to sidestep the UN.

"We have to stop pretending that the UN Security Council has an answer to every question," Mr Ceku said.

Mr Solana said he had faith in the UN's ability to resolve the situation.

Kosovo has been administered by the UN since 1999, when it took over control of the territory following a Nato bombing campaign targeting Serb forces.

Nato intervened to halt a violent crackdown by Serbia against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, some of whom had taken up arms.

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