Source Pravda.Ru

Turkey's foreign minister visits Serbia-Montenegro for talks

Turkey's foreign minister was to discuss bilateral ties and regional issues with Serbia-Montenegro leaders Wednesday.

Abdullah Gul arrived in Belgrade late Tuesday following a visit to Serbia's southern Kosovo province, which has been run by the United Nations and NATO since 1999.

In Belgrade, Gul will meet Serbia-Montenegro president Svetozar Marovic, Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic and other officials.

After arriving late Tuesday, Gull met with Boris Tadic, the president of Serbia, the larger republic in the union. Gul and Tadic discussed the situation in Kosovo, EU integration and other topics.

Kosovo also has a sizable Turkish community and 350 Turkish troops serving there as peacekeepers.

Kosovo's majority ethnic Albanians want independence while Serbia wishes to retain at least formal control over its southern region.

Tadic said late Tuesday after his meeting with Gull that Kosovo should remain part of Serbia-Montenegro. He also called for protection of all minorities in the tense province.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan recommended last week that talks on Kosovo's future start later this year. The U.N. Security Council is likely to discuss Kosovo on Oct. 24, and talks could start as early as next month, reports the AP.

P.T.