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Kosovo should purse peace despite Presidents death

Security Council says people of Kosovo should pursue peace despite President’s death

Mourning the death of the President of Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova, members of the Security Council today urged the people of the province to peacefully conclude talks on its final status.

Mr. Rugova, who was suffering from lung cancer, died this weekend, prompting a flurry of tributes, including those from United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his Special Representative to Kosovo, Søren Jessen-Petersen.

In a statement to the press today, Council President Augustine P. Mahiga of Tanzania voiced the 15-member body’s “deep condolences to the Assembly and the people of Kosovo for the untimely death of their leader.”

”The Council trusts that the people of Kosovo, while mourning this great loss, will continue nonetheless to pursue the peaceful conclusion of the process already underway to determine the final future status of Kosovo in the interests of peace, stability and the well being of the entire population of Kosovo,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Special Envoy for the status process, Martti Ahtisaari, announced that, out of respect for the late President, he had decided to delay the decentralization talks that were previously scheduled to take place in Vienna on 25 January.

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