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Thaci Sworn In As New Kosovo President

Outgoing Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga (right) meets with newly elected President Hashim Thaci before he was sworn into office in Pristina on April 7.

Kosovo’s newly elected president, Hashim Thaci, will be inaugurated in the capital, Pristina, on April 7.

On February 26, Kosovo's parliament elected Thaci, the former foreign minister and ex-leader of the governing Democratic Party of Kosovo, as president in the absence of nearly all opposition lawmakers who earlier tried to disrupt the voting.

Protesters hurled stones at the Kosovo parliament as Thaci was being sworn in and opposition parties boycotted the ceremony.

Kosovo has been facing a months-long political crisis, with the opposition denouncing an EU-brokered deal with Serbia to give more rights to local Serbs and a border demarcation pact with Montenegro.

"The state of Kosovo is committed to normalizing relations with Serbia. We cannot change the past but we have to work not to repeat it," Thaci told parliament after taking the oath.

Kosovo's Constitutional Court on April 4 turned down an opposition request to void the election of Thaci because of irregularities. The court said it had found no evidence to substantiate the claims.

Thaci led the fighters of Kosovo's successful separatist war against Serbia in 1998-99. Kosovo declared independence in 2008, although that is rejected by Serbia.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP