Kosovan president forced to step down

Kosovo's president resigned yesterday, potentially destabilising the political scene before talks with Belgrade, which still refuses to recognise the former Serbian province's independence.

Fatmir Sejdiu bowed to a constitutional court ruling last week that he may not serve simultaneously as the largely ceremonial head of state and as leader of his political party, which is junior partner in the coalition government.

"I respect the constitutional court decision," Mr Sejdiu said in announcing his resignation as President, who is elected by parliament.