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Kosovo: Albanian leaders make coexistence visit

Briefing notes

Kosovo: Albanian leaders make coexistence visit

5 September 2000

UNHCR yesterday organised a visit by three Kosovo Albanian leaders - Hasim Thaci, Ibrahim Rugova, and Rexhep Qosja - to an ethnically mixed village near Pec, Mahalla e Bates. It was the second such visit organised by UNHCR and is aimed at fostering coexistence between ethnic groups. Mahalla e Bates is currently populated by some 175 Albanian, Roma and Bosniak families - approximately 980 people. The visiting delegation, which also included SRSG Bernard Kouchner and KFOR and UNHCR officials, met with local administrative council members. A previous UNHCR-organised visit by the trio of Albanian leaders on June 7 to the Prizren and Urosevac areas contributed to an easing of tensions between Roma and Kosovo Albanians in the region and led to some minority returns as well as the establishment of local community working groups.