Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova has died at the age of 61, just days ahead of the scheduled start of United Nations talks on the future of the Serbian province Kosovo officials say Mr. Rugova died on Saturday in the provincial capital, Pristina. He was diagnosed with lung cancer last September.
Mr. Rugova, who became president of Kosovo in 2002, is considered the father of the Serbian province's ethnic Albanian independence movement. Kosovo remains part of Serbia, but has been administered by the United Nations since 1999. U.N. officials say the Kosovo talks are being postponed until February. Mr. Rugova spent the early part of his career as a professor and author. He entered politics in 1989, founding the Democratic League of Kosovo, which remains the largest political party in the province. Under Kosovo's constitution, Provincial Assembly Speaker Nexhat Daci temporarily becomes acting president.