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News Archive 1999

Foreign ministers of G8 reached agreement

8th June 1999

Members of G8 agreed today on U.N. Security Council resolution that should authorize a peacekeeping forces for Kosovo. Seven top Western industrial nations and Russia is now taking steps to gain support from U.N. Security Council members for the resolution. On Monday, talks were postponed when Russian Foreign Minster Igor Ivanov needed to consult Moscow. Resolution include all of the key NATO demands including the unified command of international peacekeeping force, and a reference to indictment of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic by the war crimes tribunal. Russian defence minister Igor Sergeyev said Russia was preparing to send up to 10,000 troops into Kosovo. He added that they would not be under NATO command. Instead, Russian troops will be serving under it's own command, coordinated with NATO command. US President Clinton said "I do expect that there will be an acceptable level of coordination". US State Secretary Madeleine Albright said that it is now up to Belgrade regime to agree to a military plan to withdraw all Serbian troops from Kosovo and allow international peacekeepers to enter the province. Albright also said that each day of denial by Serbian side "leads only to another day of destruction and another day of delay". It is widely expected that Serbian side will comply to a document regarding withdrawal of it's forces, after United Nations Security Council accept a resolution proposed by G8. Officials said the Security Council would examine the resolution today without taking final action. Resolution doesn't provide independence for Kosovo, only a high degree of self-government. But ethnic Albanian leaders still hopes for independence from Yugoslavia after interim period of transition. Ibrahim Rugova, one of the leaders of ethnic Albanians, said that Kosovo independence would require "change of minds" and he added that "some democracy" in Yugoslavia would advance Albanians aspirations for independence. Hashim Thaci, the political leader of the KLA, says KLA is ready to publicly pledge that it will not attack Serb troops leaving the province. Yugoslavia asked for it's custom officials should be allowed to check if only refugees are coming back, and expressed concerns that besides refugees coming to their homes, Albanians from Albania proper could enter on Kosovo also. But, US State Secretary Madeline Albright said that Serbs will not be able to control who goes back into Kosovo and added "There may be a few Serbs on the border but not in any shape of form to control access to Kosovo".

Peace timetable

In Germany, officials said the six stages to the end of the conflict agreed by the ministers were as follows: 1) Finalization of the U.N. resolution 2) Text of draft resolution sent to New York and to the military-technical negotiators 3) Military-technical agreement brought into conformity with the draft resolution 4) Security Council readies resolution for adoption 5a) Signature of the military-technical agreement 5b) Verifiable start of the Serb withdrawal 5c) Suspension of the NATO air campaign 5d) Security Council adoption of the resolution 5e) Deployment of peacekeeping forces 6) Formal end of NATO air campaign upon completion of the final Serb withdrawal.

Source: Free Serbia

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