Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Kosovo's ailing president visits U.S. base for medical checkup

PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) - President Ibrahim Rugova, who suffers from lung cancer, visited a U.S. military hospital Wednesday for routine checkup by military doctors.

Rugova, 61, was at the main U.S. military camp in Kosovo for a "routine follow up visit, as part of the care he receives from the military doctors," said Maj. Michael Wunn, a spokesman for U.S. peacekeepers in the province.

Rugova was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year and underwent tests and treatments at the U.S. military-run Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

Muhamet Hamiti, a Rugova spokesman, said the president's condition was unchanged. He didn't provide any more details.

Rugova, who was a chain-smoker, has been at the forefront of ethnic Albanians' demand for independence from Serbia since the early 1990s, when he started leading a nonviolent movement against the policies of then Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic.

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