Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova has nominated Bajram Kosumi as prime minister of the Serbian province.

Mr. Kosumi is a close associate of former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, who resigned last week and surrendered to the United Nations tribunal in The Hague after it indicted him for war crimes.

Kosovo lawmakers are expected to consider the nomination next week.

The appointment comes just months before Kosovo's ethnic Albanian-led government and Serbian leaders are due to open talks on the future of the province.  Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority wants independence, while its Serb minority wants the province to remain part of Serbia.

The United Nations has been administering the area since 1999, when NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia forced Serbian and Yugoslav security forces to withdraw from the area.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP, Reuters.