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US in touch with Russia, Serbia, over Kosovo

Top US officials have been in touch with their Russian and Serbian counterparts in recognition of "deep-rooted emotions" about Kosovo's pending independence declaration, the White House said on Sunday.
By HT Correspondent | AFP, Dar Es Salaam
UPDATED ON FEB 17, 2008 08:28 PM IST

Top US officials have been in touch with their Russian and Serbian counterparts in recognition of "deep-rooted emotions" about Kosovo's pending independence declaration, the White House said on Sunday.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and US President George W. Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, "have been in contact with their counterparts," said spokeswoman Dana Perino.

"I believe that we've been in contact with those countries but I don't know if the message has been one of restraint," she told reporters as Bush visited Tanzania on the second leg of a week-long Africa tour.

"We have been well-aware that there are deep-rooted emotions and sensitivities regarding this issue. And they've been there not just for the past few years, since they've been working towards this supervised independence, but for centuries," she said.

"And those deep-rooted emotions are sometimes ones that take a lot of discussion. We know that there is opposition to the pending announcement," said the spokeswoman.

Her comments came as Kosovo's parliament opened an extraordinary session at which it will declare the province's independence from Serbia.

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