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Kosovo Albanian Politician Welcomes Dialogue with Serbs


Washington, D.C., June 24, 2004 - Nexhat Daci, the Albanian Speaker of the Kosovo Parliament, told the Voice of America (VOA) Wednesday that he welcomes a dialogue with the Serb minority in Kosovo following the outbreak of ethnic violence in which many Serb homes and churches have been destroyed.

"The only strategic aim of the Albanians in Kosovo is independence that creates democracy, freedom, education, security, and freedom of movement for all," Daci said on VOA's daily Serbian TV program Otvoreni Studio (Open Studio). "The public institutions in Kosovo will offer the citizens of Kosovo chances for a peaceful and better life to all the citizens of Kosovo, and will pay greater attention to their problems, especially the problems of the Serb minority. In that we will be doing more in the future."

Daci made the comments during an interview about this week's meeting of the Kosovo Albanian and Serb political leaders at the U.S. mission in Pristina. He was also interviewed on VOA's daily Albanian TV program Ditari (Journal). Television stations in Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Croatia broadcast VOA's Otvoreni Studio (Open Studio) program with Daci's comments, while many TV stations in Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia use Ditari (Journal).

The Voice of America has played a unique role in broadcasting news and information to the Albanian and Serb population in Kosovo directly, via television. Both Serbian and Albanian politicians have given interviews to VOA's language services in which they addressed members of the other ethnic community.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government. VOA broadcasts almost 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of 87 million people. Programs are produced in Albanian, Serbian, and 42 other languages.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 401-7000, or E-mail publicaffairs@voa.gov.

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