U.N. Administrator Harri Holkeri resigned

Helsinki, 25 May 2004 – Harri Holkeri, the top U.N. administrator in Kosovo, resigned Tuesday from his post because of his health.

The former Finnish Prime Minister, told the media that he was following the advice of the doctors. On May 11, Holkeri was hospitalized for exhaustion because of his heavy load and schedule in Kosovo.

”I am resigning for purely health reasons. The warning was such that it should be taken seriously”, said Holkeri in Helsinki.

Prime Minister Rexhepi said that he feels sorry that Holkeri has to leave. “He was always open and ready to help”, PM Rexhepi was quoted as saying.

“The European Union and the rest of the international community are indebted to Harri Holkeri for all his efforts and crucial work at the head of the UN mission in Kosovo,” EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said.

Holkeri was the fourth Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Kosovo, since the end of the NATO war against Serbia in 1999.

Holkeri’s acting deputy Charles Brayshaw will lead the UN mission in Kosovo on an interim basis until a new special representative can be found.