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Britain diplomat: U.N. resolution on Kosovo's future to be taken in "the next few weeks"

There is no deadline for a U.N. resolution on Kosovo's future, but there is a hope than the decision will be taken within few weeks, a senior British diplomat said Wednesday.

Mark Lyall Grant, the political director of Britain's Foreign Office, urged patience among Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority who are pressing for independence for the Serbian province which has been under U.N. administration since mid-1999.

"We hope it will be possible to pass a resolution ... in the next few weeks in New York," said Grant.

"There is no deadline," he added. "It is more important to get the right outcome than it is to get a speedy outcome."

The U.S. and EU circulated a draft U.N. resolution earlier this month endorsing supervised independence for Kosovo despite strong objections from Russia.

Russia - a traditional ally of Serbia, which wants to keep control of the province - has warned against putting the plan to a vote, and said it might use its veto to block it.

Western leaders have warned that delaying the vote could provoke violence.

Kosovo, with a predominantly ethnic Albanian population, has been under U.N. administration since NATO airstrikes in 1999 ended a Serbian crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists.

Earlier this year, U.N. envoy Martti Ahtisaari presented a plan to give Kosovo internationally supervised independence, with broad rights for the Serbian minority to run its affairs and to protect its culture and identity in the province.

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