Kosovo prime minister resigns, called for questioning by The Hague
File photo of Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj (c.), who presented this Friday in the capital city of Pristina his resignation after being summoned by The Hague for questioning as a suspect. EFE-EPA/Valdrin Xhemaj/File
File photo of Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, who presented this Friday in the capital city of Pristina his resignation after being summoned by The Hague for questioning as a suspect. EFE-EPA/Olivier Hoslet/File
Belgrade, July 19 (efe-epa).- Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj presented this Friday in the capital city of Pristina his resignation after being summoned by The Hague for questioning as a suspect.
"I present my irrevocable resignation from the position of prime minister of the Republic of Kosovo. The reason for this is that I have been summoned by the Specialist Chambers in The Hague," the former guerrilla leader said in a government meeting, according to a report in the online edition of the daily Koha Ditore newspaper.
The Serbian justice system accuses him of crimes supposedly committed as leader of the paramilitary Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) against the civil population of Serbia and Kosovo during the 1998-1999 Kosovo War.
"It is now the responsibility of the president to prepare for the next elections. I will run again in order to seek the trust of the people. I am not accused, but I will be interrogated," said Haradinaj, who became head of state in 2017.
He added that he wished to separate the situation for which he was summoned by The Hague "from the honor of the government and of its prime minister, because I do not go before the court as the prime minister of Kosovo or head of the government of Kosovo, but rather as Ramush Haradinaj."
The 51-year-old politician also said that the 100 percent tariff on Serbian products, imposed last November by his government, will remain in effect despite his resignation.
Eliminating the huge tariff is the condition Belgrade has set to resume the dialogue of normalization between the two nations, which for its part the European Union supports, though up to now Kosovo has rejected the requests of the EU and US to annul that measure.
Haradinaj, leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), former leader fo the KLA paramilitary group and head of government between 2004-2005, was twice accused of war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague on behalf of the former Yugoslavia and both times was pardoned, in 2008 and 2012. EFE-EPA sn-jk/cd