Body of Macedonian president recovered from crash site

The body of the Macedonian president, Boris Trajkovski, has been recovered by rescue teams searching the crash site in mountains on the border of Bosnia-Hercegovina and Montenegro.

The bodies of all those on board have now been recovered and accident investigators have begun sifting through the wreckage to determine the cause of the crash. Weather conditions were poor at the time of the crash.

The plane, which was crewed by two pilots and had seven members of a Macedonian delegation on board, lost contact with air-traffic control at 08.01CET in the area of Stolac, 30kms south of Mostar. The president had been due to attend a two-day conference on investment in Mostar.

According to the Macedonian constitution, voters will have to go to the polls to select a successor for the presidency.

The Foreign Secretary Jack Straw yesterday spoke of his sorrow when he was informed of the tragedy.

Mr Trajkovski had been president of Macedonia since 1999. Mr Straw paid tribute to Mr Trajkovski for playing a "key role" in resolving the civil unrest in 2001 which "threatened Macedonia's unity". At the time, Albanian rebels and Kosovan militia were involved in sporadic fighting which, due to Macedonia's sizeable ex-pat Albanian population, threatened to destabilise the region.


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