First visit by Albanian president to Kosovo

TIRANA, May 24, 2000 -- (AFP) Albanian President Rexhep Meidani was set to arrive in Kosovo Wednesday for talks with leading ethnic Albanians and the commander of KFOR, the multinational peace force, a presidential statement said.

Meidani is the first Albanian president to visit Kosovo, bordering Albania, whose population was nine-tenths ethnic Albanian when last year's NATO campaign against Yugoslavia began.

He was scheduled to meet with ethnic Albanian leader Hashim Thaci, head of the Party for Democratic Progress in Kosovo (PDK), and Rexhep Qosja of the Unified Democratic Movement (LBD).

Both are members of the provisional administration council of the province, currently chaired by the United Nations.

During his one-day visit to Pristina, Kosovo's provincial capital, Meidani was also scheduled to hold talks with General Juan Ortuno, the KFOR commander, and Bernard Kouchner, the UN's chief administrator in the province.

The Albanian president was also expected to attend the opening of an Albanian-language book fair and visit Pristina's university before returning to Tirana later Wednesday.

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