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    UNMIK PRESENTS ITS "STANDARDS FOR KOSOVO" IN PRISTINA

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    BELGRADE, MARCH 31, 2004, RIA NOVOSTI - Harri Holkeri, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Kosovo, and Kosovar Prime Minister Bajram Rexhepi presented the UN Interim Administration Mission's "Standards for Kosovo" at a ceremony in the capital of Pristina Wednesday.

    The 120-page plan envisages the province as an area of peace and security, one governed by corruption-free and unbiased authorities showing due respect for the law, Holkeri said. If implemented, it will enable Kosovo to rejoin the family of European nations, he stressed.

    The UNMIK head expressed regret that not all of the province's ethnic groups had been able to contribute to the document, but said he was hopeful that the Serbs would take part in its implementation. According to Holkeri, the plan is to be translated into reality in cooperation with Belgrade authorities.

    The presentation of the UNMIK's "Standards for Kosovo" in Pristina came two weeks after an upsurge of violence against the local Serb community. Twenty-eight ethnic Serbs were killed in that flareup; several hundred Serb houses were destroyed and thirty Orthodox churches razed to the ground. Four thousand Serbs had to flee their homes in Kosovo.

    The Prime Minister of Kosovo, under UN protectorate since 1999, voiced the provincial government's determination to achieve all the goals set in the UNMIK's "Standards" by the middle of next year. After the results are reviewed in mid-2005, discussions of Kosovo's future status will get underway, Rexhepi said.

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