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Kosovo Prime Minister Hails Independence Ruling, Vows Corruption Fight


Participates in broadcasts at VOA headquarters

Washington, D.C., July 23, 2010 – Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci has called Thursday's ruling by the top U.N. court "a historic victory" for Kosovo's independence, and he says his government has "zero tolerance" for corruption. <!-- IMAGE -->

Mr. Thaci spoke Friday at VOA headquarters, one day after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) affirmed the legality of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008.

The Prime Minister's interview with the VOA Albanian Service also came just hours after police in Kosovo arrested the head of the Kosovo's Central Bank as part of an ongoing series of corruption probes.

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Mr. Thaci told VOA, "My government will have zero tolerance against corruption." He said, "I want to guarantee the people of Kosovo that I'll be at the front line in the fight against corruption."

Asked about Thursday's ruling on Kosovo's independence, Mr. Thaci said it was, "a historic victory for Kosovo and the region." He said, "The ICJ ruling shows that the independence of Kosovo was legal and in compliance with the international law…."

In Washington, the U.S. State Department has expressed support for the ICJ ruling.

Kosovo was placed under U.N. supervision in 1999, following a 78-day NATO bombing campaign that ended a two-year war between Serbia and the ethnic Albanian majority in Kosovo, which was then a Serbian province. In February 2008, Kosovo's Albanian majority declared independence. Kosovo's statehood has been recognized by 69 countries, including the United States and most European Union nations.

Visit the VOA Albanian service website at http://www1.voanews.com/albanian/news/.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. Government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 125 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages and are intended exclusively for audiences outside of the United States.

For more information, call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail askvoa@voanews.com.

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