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Kosovar President Has Cancer, But Will Not Step Down

Ibrahim Rugova (file photo) 5 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The president of Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova, said today that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer but will not step down.

Rugova looked weak and frail when he made the announcement on television. He said he had been diagnosed with a localized cancer, but he said he will continue to work toward his life-long goal of Kosovo's independence from Serbia.

His announcement came as the province nears a crucial time of talks on its future.

Kosovo, part of Serbia, has been administered by the United Nations since 1999, after NATO air strikes aimed at stopping a crackdown by Serbian forces on separatist ethnic Albanians.


For RFE/RL's full coverage of events in Kosovo, see "News And Features On Kosovo"