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US: it's time to resolve Kosovo's final status
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The United States said Friday that it is time to resolve Kosovo's final status in keeping with U.N. Resolution 1244.

"We believe that, in keeping with U.N. Resolution 1244, it's time to resolve Kosovo's final status," State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said.

"That, for us and for the broad cross-section of the international community, means proceeding with implementation of the Ahtisaari plan. And that's we'll be working for in the coming days and weeks," Casey said.

Casey was referring to the plan put forward by U.N. special envoy Martti Ahtisaari concerning the future of Kosovo.

According to a report by the New York Times on Friday, the United States and Germany have agreed to recognize Kosovo, a Serbian province that has been under U.N. administration since 1999, after it declares independence and to urge the rest of Europe to follow suit.

In a recent conversation about Kosovo, U.S. President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to recognize Kosovo to stabilize the western Balkans, the report said, citing European officials.

However, the government of Serbia and Russia have vehemently opposed independence for Kosovo. 

(Xinhua News Agency January 12, 2008)

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