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News Archive 1999

Talks failed between Yugoslav and NATO officials

Yesterdays' talks between high ranking officers of Yugoslav Army and NATO officials led by General Jackson finished at Monday around 3.00 without success. Both sides accused other side of inserting new details into document that was agreed by Serbian parliament.

Yugoslav side insisted that a U.N. resolution must precede NATO entry into Kosovo, and asked for more time to withdraw it's troops than one week as demanded by NATO. In official statement, gen. Jackson said that "The Yugoslav delegation presented a proposal that would not guarantee the safe return of the refugees or the full withdrawal of Yugoslav forces and indeed was inconsistent with the text produced by Ahtisaari and Chernomyrdin".

Yugoslav Foreign Ministry spokesman Nebojsa Vujovic said that "The Security Council, in line with the political agreement and principles set out in Belgrade, is the only institution in charge of scope, modalities and mandate of an international presence in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" and added "The host delegation (NATO) intended to insert substance into the technical agreement which violated the established principles of the 10-point political document".

On Monday, NATO said it would not negotiate on core elements of the Kosovo peace agreement but might give the Serbs a little more time to comply. NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said that NATO may be prepared to extend the seven-day deadline for complete withdrawal of Serb troops, and added "If it is a question of a day here or there, of course the Allies would be prepared to look at it, as long as Milosevic and his commanders are prepared to look at the requirements of the international community". NATO also said that air strikes against Yugoslavia were accelerating towards their prior intensity on Monday as a result of Serbia's failure to start a military withdrawal from Kosovo.

But, talks are not finished yet. NATO officers were to meet Yugoslav representatives in Macedonia for further contacts on resolving current stalling. NATO spokesman, Jamie Shea told reporters that today's meeting is to take place at lower, liaison level. But there was still no officially announced meeting in 18.00CET. Russian ITAR-TASS agency reported that Yugoslav Deputy Foreign Minister Nebojsa Vujovic with three unarmed Serbian military officers arrived at Macedonian border and met "a U.S. brigadier general", but that hasn't been confirmed. France's General Jean Pierre Kelche, chief of France's army staff, told reporters at NATO military headquarters that he hopes there would be more talks between NATO and Yugoslav military chiefs later on Monday.

Source: Free Serbia

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