UN Secretary General Kofi Annan expressed deep regret over the death of
Kosovo president and said that Rugova’s death came “at an important stage of
final preparations for talks on future status of Kosovo.” Annan said the president’s
death will not hinder negotiations process.
UNMIK chief Søren Jessen-Petersen said that President of Kosovo Ibrahim
Rugova was a uniting force. He said the unwavering belief of President Rugova in
his vision for Kosovo led him decisively towards all his life. “The best tribute we
can pay to President Rugova is to stand united in the coming months,” Jessen-
UN Status Envoy Martti Ahtisaari said Kosovo lost a historic leader in a crucial
period. “He was symbol of aspirations of Kosovo people,” said Ahtisaari, adding
that he was impressed by Rugova’s visions on the future of Kosovo.
Albanian President Alfred Moisiu said the news on the death of Ibrahim Rugova
“touched the hearts and feelings of Albanians everywhere.” He said the loss of
Rugova is great not only for Kosovo but for all those that speak the Albanian
language. Prime Minister Sali Berisha said Rugova was a symbol of “historical
resistance of Albanians for realizing a centuries-old dream of independence.” He
said he hoped Rugova’s dream for an independent Kosovo will come true as soon
NATO General Secretary Jaap de Hoop Scheffer stated that Kosovo President
Ibrahim Rugova was committed to the idea of a democratic Kosovo. “I am
convinced that his legacy will continue at this crucial stage and lead people of
Kosovo towards the future.”
COMKFOR Giuseppe Valotto said he lost a great friend in Rugova. He called on
the people of Kosovo to continue to act according to Rugova’s thoughts and
EU Foreign Policy Representative Javier Solana said, “With deep sorrow I
received the news on the death of President Ibrahim Rugova”. Solana said Kosovo
lost a historic leader who dedicated his life to the protection and promotion of
human rights in Kosovo.
Head of European Commission Jose Manuel Durrao Barroso said Rugova was a
“highly respected leader”. He encouraged all leaders to continue to work in
Ursula Plassnik, chairperson of EU’s presidency said that Rugova, during his
extraordinary political career worked tirelessly for the interests of Kosovo.
US State Department issued a statement where it says that Kosovo lost a dearlyloved
leader and USA lost and old and respected friend. State Secretary
Condoleezza Rice said United States will work with all citizens of Kosovo to build
a society based on principles of democracy, human rights and interethnic tolerance
“so highly appreciated by President Rugova.”
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Rugova was one of the most popular
figures in Kosovo. He said people of Kosovo should continue work on a stable and
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Rugova’s commitment against violence
should be a “legacy to all politically responsible people in Kosovo.”
French President Jacques Chirac said, “Today, France…pays tribute to historic
role and courage that led Ibrahim Rugova to protect democratic rights of Kosovo
Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini expressed condolences of Italian
Government to the people and administration of Kosovo.
Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel said that Rugova with his strong
personality contributed to the policymaking in the southeastern Europe.
Bulgarian Foreign Ministry issued a press release where it stated that the death of
Kosovo President comes at a delicate moment. “We are convinced that the
wisdom and pragmatism of Ibrahim Rugova will characterize the goals of leaders
that are to replace him,” reads the release.
Croatian President Stjepan Mesic said Kosovo lost a leader who’s peaceful and
calm politics is needed in this key moment Kosovo is going through. “Ibrahim
Rugova will be remembered not only as a regional politician but as one of the
main characters in the events that occurred in former Yugoslavia in years
following its disintegration.”
OSCE Ambassador in Kosovo Werner Wnendt said President Rugova shall be
missed by all.