Page last updated at 01:21 GMT, Thursday, 27 November 2008

UN approval for EU Kosovo mission

The EU offices in Pristina
The EU's "Blue Building" in Pristina is a glass-plated cube

The UN Security Council has approved a plan to hand over security duties in Kosovo to a European Union force.

All 15 members of the Security Council backed Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's plan, which earlier this week won the approval of both Kosovo and Serbia.

The 2,000-strong EU mission is due to take over police and customs duties from the UN in December.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February, a move strongly resisted by Belgrade.

And while Serbia has agreed to allow the EU to take over the UN's responsibilities, it has not changed its stance on Kosovo, which it regards as part of its territory.


Kosovo has refused to accept any provisions which would keep its majority-Serb areas under UN auspices.

The government in Pristina, Kosovo's capital, fears this could lead to partition of its fledgling state.

Serbia had objected to the EU mission having any role, until the plan was altered to keep the UN in Serb areas.

But earlier this week both sides agreed to accept the EU mission, despite their concerns.

The plan approved by the Security Council does not explicitly refer to the issue of independence.

The UN has not recognised Kosovo's independence, which has been recognised by about 50 nations, including most, but not all, EU states. More than 140 countries have not recognised it.

Kosovo's population is 90% Albanian, with a minority of Serbs, who mainly occupy northern Kosovo, bordering Serbia, and some other areas.

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