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    LAVROV SAYS SECURITY OF ETHNIC MINORITIES IN KOSOVO MUST BE ENSURED

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    MOSCOW, April 1, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The international forces in Kosovo must take resolute and effective measures to ensure the security of the ethnic minorities in Kosovo, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

    The meeting took place on Wednesday within the framework of the International Conference on Afghanistan in Berlin. The sides exchanged their views on a number of current international and regional problems, including the situation in Kosovo.

    Mr. Lavrov said the international forces in Kosovo must take resolute and effective measures to prosecute those responsible for the recent violence and confiscate arms in the area.

    Mr. Lavrov noted than the Albanian leaders of Kosovo must show their readiness to observe the UN Security Council's resolutions, including resolution 1244 on the principles of the settlement in Kosovo and the full normalization of the situation in the area.

    The participants in the meeting also considered the situation in the Middle East. They highlighted that the international community, including the UN, the EU, Russia and the United States, needed to work to prevent the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from escalating further.

    Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Powell stressed the need to resume the implementation of the road map peace plan.

    Mr. Powell and Mr. Lavrov also discussed NATO's enlargement and questions of interaction in the non-proliferation sphere.

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