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About 20 senior officials of the EU's police and justice mission
About 20 senior officials of the EU's police and justice mission (EULEX) in Kosovo have arrived in Pristina, the mission's head French General Yves de Karmebon said on Tuesday.

Prior to the declaration of independence by the Serbian province on February 17, the European Union approved sending a 2,000-strong EULEX mission to Kosovo to replace the UN mission, which has been deployed there since the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999. Kosovo has been a UN protectorate since the end of the conflict between Albanian and Serb forces.

De Karmebon, a former commander of the NATO-led peacekeepers in Kosovo (KFOR), said the main contingent of the EULEX will begin arriving in Kosovo only after all deployment issues have been fully coordinated with the UN peacekeeping mission (UNMIK).

On Monday Dimitrij Rupel, the Slovenian foreign minister, which hold EU's rotating chair, said it was extremely important that the UN peacekeeping mission be deployed on the border between Serbia and Kosovo.

Since the predominately Albanian province declared its independence from Serbia, 18 of the 27 EU states have recognized Kosovo. Russia, China, Spain, Cyprus and several other countries have refused to recognize the province's independence.

Belgrade has recalled its ambassadors from a number of countries recognizing Kosovo's independence. Russia has pledged to block any move by Kosovo to join the United Nations.


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