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Kosovo's parliament approves constitution

Kosovo's parliament approved on Wednesday a national constitution due to enter into force on June 15, Serbia's BETA news agency reported.

According to the document, Kosovo, which declared its independence on February 17 and has been recognized by most Western powers, is a parliamentary republic in which the president holds substantial powers and the official languages are Albanian and Serbian.

All 103 MPs present voted in favor of the constitution.

“This is a special moment in finalizing the establishment of the state of Kosovo, and this constitution ensures the rights of all Kosovan citizens,” President Fatmir Sejdiu told lawmakers.

The Kosovo Constitutional Commission signed the draft constitution on Monday after working on it for several months. Former UN Kosovo settlement envoy Martti Ahtisaari's proposals were taken as a basis for the document. These envisioned internationally supervised independence for the breakaway region.

Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence on February 17, adopting a new national flag and national emblem. The province's sovereignty has so far been formally recognized by 36 countries including the United States and most European Union members. Russia and China have consistently backed Belgrade's position that Kosovo must remain a part of Serbia.

EU representative in Kosovo Pieter Feith told the Serb newspaper Danas on Wednesday that the constitution would benefit Serbs living in the province, giving them equal rights with other citizens. (RIA Novosti)