Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Annan welcomes surrender of Kosovo leader to ICTY

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Wednesday welcomed the action adopted by Ramush Haradinaj, the former Prime Minister of Kosovo, who stood down from his post and surrendered to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Annan said in a statement that the former Kosovo leader "has shown a good example of cooperation with the Tribunal."

He noted that "the representatives of Kosovo's Provisional Institutions, Kosovo's political leaders and the people of Kosovo have expressed their feelings related to his resignation and departure in a peaceful, democratic manner."

Annan stressed that Kosovo must build on the achievements reached under the government led by Haradinaj, and make progress on the implementation of standards without delay in light of the envisaged comprehensive review.

Kosovo must work for "a possible decision to initiate talks on Kosovo's future status," he said, adding "it is essential that we all remain focused on the work at hand so that we can move forward in building a stable, multiethnic and democratic Kosovo."

Annan reiterated that UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo is ready to continue to support the people and Provisional Institutions of Kosovo in the implementation of standards.

Accompanied by his wife, 36-year-old Haradinaj left for The Hague on Wednesday to face war crimes trial launched by the UN-led court there. The court gave no details of the specific charges against him.

The ethnic Albanian Haradinaj, who became prime minister in December 2004, resigned Tuesday as the province's prime minister after being indicted by ICTY.

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