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Western powers push draft resolution to delay Kosovo independence

[JURIST] The US, France, and the UK circulated a draft UN Security Council resolution Wednesday seeking to postpone plans for Kosovo's independence for 120 days to facilitate further discussions with Serbia and Russia, which oppose independence. Kosovar Prime Minister Agim Ceku [official website] nonetheless urged the international community to quickly adopt a UN-supervised independence plan for Kosovo [JURIST news archive], saying that the Kosovar people's desire for an identity should not be held "hostage" to the opposition.

Also on Wednesday, Ceku's cabinet criticized [press release] comments made by ICTY chief prosecutor Karla Del Ponte [official profile], who had proposed a delay of Kosovo's status resolution [Reuters report] until Bosnian Serb fugitives Radovan Karadzic [ICTY case backgrounder; BBC profile] and Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; JURIST news archive] have been arrested. Del Ponte fears that an independent Kosovo could discourage Serbia from cooperating with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website]. The Kosovo government said Del Ponte's statements were "unacceptable" and "trespassed" the boundary between the judiciary and politics.

In April, Kosovo's parliament voted 100-1 to support a UN plan [JURIST reports] to establish an independent Kosovar state under UN supervision. The Serbian parliament, the current sovereign authority over the one-time Yugoslav province, has rejected the plan [JURIST report], condemning it as "offensive to Serbia, the Serb people, and the international community as a whole." AFP has more.

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