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Crisis 1999
Opinions Archive 1999
Human rights organisations ask Shimon Peres to mediate

Sofia, April 21, 1999

Dear Mr. Peres,

We, a group of human rights NGOs call on you, the internationally respected statesman, thinker and humanist, with the onerous request that you harness your talents, knowledge and experience for finding an exit from the vicious war against the Yugoslav people and the criminal ethnic cleansing of the Albanians from Kosovo. Your unique experience in finding unorthodox ways of settling most intractable problems attest you as the honest-broker that can bring together reasonable Serbs and Albanians, such as there really exist in that ill-fated country.

We believe that if one could make well-meaning Serbs and Albanians sit down together around a white sheet of paper and knock their heads, they will be able to produce a resolution of the seemingly intractable problems that have dragged them into this awful catastrophe. We are sure that if there is anyone who could knock their heads together it is precisely you.

We also believe that if anyone could persuade the leaders of the Great Western Powers to stop their hopeless exercise of suppressing violence by indiscriminate violence which hurts mainly the innocent civilian population, it is precisely you. Your moves to bring together Serbs and Kosovar Albanians will provide the Great Powers with the desperately needed by them honourable way of extracting themselves from the sticky bog in which they blindly rushed, and will thus save NATO which, when the body-bags start returning home, will most probably disintegrate with dire consequences to world peace.

We know that there are many other suggestions, such as the call of Lech Walesa for a joint action by all the Nobel Peace Prize winners, for stopping the vicious war in Yugoslavia. We support all such moves. But we also believe that our suggestion can prove most contributing to peace, human rights and democracy in Yugoslavia, in the Balkans, and in the world at large.

We are ready to support you with all our means and connections which we have with distinguished free-minded personalities and human rights organisations and movements among both the Serbian and the Albanian people. If only you would agree to join with us in a drive for peace, human rights and democracy in Yugoslavia and in the Balkans, this will most surely prove to be a highly productive effort, beneficial to all sides involved in this vicious conflict.

Expecting your positive reply, we remain

Most truly yours:

Krassimir Kanev, Chairman of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee
Antonina Zheliazkova, Director of the International Centre for Inter-Ethnic Relations and Intercultural Studies (Sofia)
Plamen Bogoev, Director of Bulgarian Human Rights Centre
Dimitar Gheorghiev, Chairman of Human Rights Project (Sofia)
Dimitrina Petrova, Executive Director of the European Roma Rights Centre (Budapest)
Valery Russanov, Access Foundation (Sofia)
Panayote Dimitras, Spokesperson for Greek Helsinki Monitor
Nafsika Papanikolatos, Spokesperson for Minority Rights Group - Greece

------------------------ Greek Helsinki Monitor
P.O. Box 51393
GR-14510 Kifisia Greece
Tel. +30-1-620.01.20
Fax +30-1-807.57.67

Source: Minelres

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