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In November 2005, the Contact Group – in its last consensus -stated the guiding principles for status resolution. At the same time, UNSecretary General praised former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari to lead theprocess of reaching a status agreement. Ahtisaari faced a difficult task due tovarious positions on the final status of Kosovo’s case; positions thatreflected the opposing stances of Belgrade and Pristina. In joint sessions andother meetings, he focused on trying to draw on both sides the elements of a possiblecompromise agreement. He managed to get out of the talks the elements forsomething that became known as the Ahtisaari Plan.However, in 2007, it was clear that there would be no new UNSecurity Council resolution on Kosovo. There were substantial issues betweenQuint countries and Russia, with Moscow refusing to grant independence toKosovo as a precedent for other controversial regions. There were also factorsin bilateral relations between Russia and the US which influenced the dynamics.

With guaranteed Quintile support, Kosovo declared independence in February2008. The Ahtisaari plan served as the basis for this statement and for anongoing international role; to be carried out by the International CivilianOffice (ICO) of the Special Representative of the European Union and the EURule of Law Mission (EULEX). During the duration of the events, the AhtisaariPlan was implemented in southern Kosovo, including some non-Albanian majoritymunicipalities.

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The Ahtisaari plan remains a good framework for resolving theconflict around the north and maintaining Kosovo’s territorial and politicalintegrity while status remains controversial. It provides minority rights andparticipation in government, local self-rule and links between localmunicipalities (with Serb majority) and Belgrade. Along with UNSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s six-point plan, the Ahtisaari Plan provides anumber of pragmatic measures related to police, customs, courts andinfrastructure, plus local autonomy in education and culture, and specialfeatures for Mitrovica (University and Hospital). The plan also providesmechanisms to ensure transparency in Belgrade’s support for Serbianmunicipalities in Kosovo and the linking of northern Serbs and their localinstitutions to Pristina. Northern Serbs should look further away from thesimple rejection of the Ahtisaari Plan – as related to Kosovo’s independence -and to re-examine closely how they can address their problems Minorities in KosovoCommunity rights in Kosovo are ensured by a range of primaryand secondary legislative acts, including the Constitution of the Republic ofKosovo and the Basic Law on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights ofCommunities and their Members in Kosovo, acts which cover the rights ofcommunities from a broader perspective there are six communities in Kosovo(including Albanians with 93%)Serbs:  Most KosovoSerbs live in the Serb-populated north or in one-ethnic enclaves in other partsof Kosovo. Approximately one third live in the Serb majority municipalities ofZvecan (95% of the municipal population), Leposaviq (95%), Zubin Potok (89.4%)and in the northern part of Mitrovica (90%).

To the south of the Iber River,Serbs constitute the majority of the population in Štrpce (75%) and Novo Brdo(40%). The rest of the members of the Serb community are distributed throughoutthe villages across Kosovo, accounting for between 5% and 20% of the municipalpopulation. The Serbian community is the second largest community in Kosovo.Kosovo Serbs account for about 6% of the total population of the country, whichmatches the total number of approximately 114,000. Turks: The Turkish community in Kosovo is mainly concentratedin the Prizren municipalities (6.9%) 1, Mitrovica (3%) and Istog (3.33%),although this figure includes Bosniaks.

In Kosovo, there have been a largenumber of members of the Turkish community since its Ottoman occupation in thefourteenth century. In general, this community has been stable, integrated inKosovo society and active in all aspects of cultural, social and politicallife. Due to the lack of reliable statistics, demographic data on Kosovo Turkshave been the subject of discussion and distortion , and should be treated withdiscretion. The number of members of the Turkish community is estimated to bearound 1% of the total number of Kosovo’s population, corresponding to about19,000 people