Kosovo welcomes Ahtisaari's Nobel Peace Prize
Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu on Friday congratulated former Finish president Marti Ahtisaari for winning this year's Nobel Peace Prize, saying it was given to the most deserving person, reported dpa.
"This remarkable prize was without a doubt most deserved," local media quoted Sejdiu as saying.
Praised by the Nobel Committee for his peace mediation in Africa and Asia, Ahtisaari is regarded as a villain in Serbia and a hero in its southern province Kosovo, over his mediation in talks on the status of Kosovo in 2005-2007.
The talks failed, amid constant accusations of bias by Belgrade, but Ahtisaari hammered out a plan for Kosovo alone - a Western-backed road map to independence with safeguards for the Serbs and other minorities.
Kosovo's Albanian majority declared independence in February, using Ahtisaari's plan and is so far recognized by 50 countries including the United States, most of European Union and Serbia's closest neighbours, Macedonia and Montenegro.
"Kosovo will fulfill the promises given while striving for independence and will become a country where rights and freedom of all citizens will be respected, regardless of their national, religious or racial status," Sejdiu added.
The Kosovo assembly also welcomed Ahtisaari's latest achievement as a "victory of Kosovo" which will help in further recognition of its independence.