Wednesday, December 21, 2005

In the News: Kosovo could one day be self-sufficient - UN envoy

Kosovo could one day be self-sufficient - UN envoy
Tue Dec 20, 2005 10:44 PM GMT

By Irwin Arieff

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Kosovo has enough natural resources, including low-grade coal, to one day make it economically self-sufficient, the United Nations mediator for the disputed Serb province said on Tuesday.

Veteran diplomat Martti Ahtisaari, who is leading U.N. talks aimed at determining whether Kosovo gains independence or remains a part of Serbia, said economic development would be a top priority in the negotiations.

Kosovo is heavily subsidised by international donors, and "when the international community knows that there are natural resources which are not exploited, you can't expect the world's taxpayers to finance this forever," Ahtisaari told reporters at U.N. headquarters.

"Everyone wants to create conditions in which these can be properly exploited," he said.

If that happens "I think there is in the future the possibility for sustainable economic development in Kosovo," he said when asked whether it could ever support itself economically.


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