Kosovo Serb delegation to meet with Solana

BRUSSELS, May 19, 2000 -- (AFP) A delegation of Kosovo Serbs led by Orthodox Bishop Artemije is to meet here Friday with Javier Solana, the EU's high representative for security and foreign policy, Solana's spokeswoman said.

It will be the first such visit since the NATO air campaign over Kosovo a year ago and aims to send a "strong signal" of support for the Kosovo Serbs who elected to be part of the UN-created interim administration council in the southern Yugoslav province, she said.

A Kosovo Serb representative sat in at the interim council for the first time on April 11 over the opposition of Serb leaders in northern Kosovo.

Serbs had boycotted the council since December in protest against the fact that the were not consulted over its creation.

On April 2, the National Serb Council of Kosovo (SNV) agreed to participate as observers for a trial three-month period.

But the leaders of the SNV in Kosovska Mitrovica, the main city in northern Kosovo, have opposed any participation in the council, contending it would legitimize what they consider an "ethnic cleansing" of Serbs in Kosovo by the ethnic Albanian majority.

Bishop Artemije and another Kosovo Serb leader, Momcilo Trajkovic, met with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in Moscow on April 19.

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