New Kosovo UN chief to facilitate dialogue between rival Albanians, Serbs

The newly appointed United Nations chief in Kosovo said Friday he will seek dialogue between Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority and Serb minority, whose rivalry has brought the fledgling state to the verge of partition. The Italian diplomat, Lamberto Zannier, assumed his position just days after Kosovo's constitution came into force, giving the government of Kosovo full authority after nine years of UN administration. Under a plan drafted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the UN mission in Kosovo will remain in a limited capacity and gradually hand over duties to an EU-led mission of policemen, judges and advisers. The UN will also seek to calm Kosovo's restive Serb, which is deeply suspicious of majority Albanians.