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Published: Monday, 7/2/2012

25-nation group decides to end Kosovo’s international supervision in September


VIENNA — A 25-nation group supervising Kosovo’s democratic progress says its oversight will end in September.

The decision, announced Monday in Vienna by Pieter Feith of Kosovo’s International Civilian Office, was expected but is still a milestone in easing Kosovo’s path toward eventual EU and NATO membership.

The ICO is the executive arm of the International Steering Group, encompassing the United States, the EU and other countries.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008. That came after almost 10 years under a U.N. umbrella after a NATO bombing campaign that aimed to stop Serbian attacks on Kosovo’s independence-seeking ethnic Albanian majority.

Significant Serb-Albanian tensions persist, but Feith and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci expressed optimism they could be eased.

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