11 March 2006

Serbia and Montenegro expresses condolences on death of Kosovo president

People's Daily Online (CHINA), UPDATED: 11:07, January 22, 2006


Serbia and Montenegro leaders expressed condolences on Saturday to the family and all members of the Albanian community in Kosovo on the death of President Ibrahim Rugova, the official Tanjug news agency reported.


Serbia and Montenegro President Svetozar Marovic praised Rugova as "an advocate of peaceful means for achieving political goals."


He hoped that "such a way of conducting policy, which was characteristic of Ibrahim Rugova, will also be dominant in the future, among the top politicians and institutions of Kosovo."


Serbian President Boris Tadic, while expressing his regret for Rugova's death, hoped that it "will not hamper efforts to find a peaceful, compromise and a solution agreed by both sides for the future status of the province."


Serbia and Montenegro Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic also extended his condolences to Rugova's family, as well as to Kosovo Albanian leaders, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.


Rugova, who headed Kosovo's negotiating team for the status talks, died of lung cancer on Saturday at the age of 61. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 2005 and had been undergoing treatment at his residence in Kosovo's capital Pristina.


Since 1990s, Rugova had been at the forefront of the kosovo Albanian drive for independence. Observers said Rugova's death will cast shadows on the forthcoming status talks on Kosovo, which has been under UN administration since June 1999.


Source: Xinhua