|weitere Meldungen von dpa|
Rot-grüne Regierung will Kontinuität in Außenpolitik wahren_______________________________________________________________________
Bonn (dpa) - Die neue rot-grüne Regierungskoalition in Deutschland hat am Freitag eine größtmögliche Stabilität in der Außenpolitik beschlossen. Auch die eher pazifistisch eingestellten Grünen stimmten künftigen internationalen Kampfeinsätzen deutscher Soldaten zur Friedenssicherung zu.
Gleichzeitig sollten aber die weltweiten Strategien zur Vermeidung und Behebung von Konflikten ausgeweitet werden, erklärten die Außen-und Sicherheitspolitiker der Sozialdemokraten (SPD) und Bündnis 90/Die Grünen am Freitag während der Koalitionsgespräche vor Journalisten. Deutschland solle mittelfristig mehr Geld für Entwicklungshilfe geben und wieder in Friedensforschung investieren. Außenminister der neuen Regierung soll voraussichtlich der Grünen-Politiker Joschka Fischer werden.
Das Atlantische Bündnis wurde von den Verhandlungspartnern als unverzichtbar für den Frieden in Europa gewertet. Die USA seien der wichtigste außereuropäische Partner Deutschlands. Für die Erweiterung der Nato nach Osten bleibe die Tür offen, sagte der designierte Verteidigungsminister Rudolf Scharping (SPD). Gerade die Grünen haben eine sehr kritische Haltung zur Nato.
Im Gegensatz zur bisherigen Mitte-Rechts-Regierung unter Bundeskanzler Helmut Kohl will sich die neue Koalition nicht vordringlich um einen eigenen Sitz für Deutschland im UN-Weltsicherheitsrat bemühen. Man suche in dieser Frage eine europäische Lösung.
Die Beteiligung der deutschen Streitkräfte im Rahmen internationaler Einsätze muß sich nach den Vorstellungen der neuen Regierung am Völkerrecht wie am deutschen Verfassungsrecht orientieren. Dabei muß es sich nicht zwingend um ein UN-Mandat handeln, auch wenn das Gewaltmonopol der Vereinten Nationen gewahrt bleiben müsse.
Der außenpolitische Sprecher der Grünen, Ludger Volmer, sagte, es solle künftig versucht werden, Zuspitzungen wie bei der Entscheidung über die deutsche Beteiligung im Kosovo zu verhindern. Seine Partei hatte bislang friedenserzwingende und Kampfeinsätze der Bundeswehr grundsätzlich abgelehnt. Die Parlaments-Entscheidung vom Freitag zum Kosovo sei ein Ausnahmefall gewesen.
Die neuen Koalitionspartner trafen keine «Vorab-Festlegung» über den Etat der deutschen Streitkräfte und die Truppenstärke. Dies solle erst nach Ergebnissen der geplanten Wehrstruktur-Kommission erfolgen, sagte Scharping. Die Regierungspartner kündigten auch an, alle Initiativen für eine friedenssichernde Politik auszuweiten. So soll den Absprachen zufolge eine Trendumkehr im Haushalt der Entwicklungspolitik eingeleitet werden.
Vom UN-Ziel, 0,7 Prozent des Bruttosozialproduktes für Entwicklungspolitik bereitzustellen, habe sich die alte Regierung immer mehr entfernt. Derzeit würden lediglich 2,9 Prozent des Staatshaushaltes dafür eingesetzt. Die Haushaltsmittel sollten maßvoll gesteigert werden.
Nato-Rat setzt Einsatzbefehl für weitere zehn Tage aus_______________________________________________________________________
Brüssel (dpa) - Die Nato gibt dem jugoslawischen Präsidenten Slobodan Milosevic weitere zehn Tage Zeit, die UN-Resolution 1199 zum Kosovo-Konflikt zu erfüllen. Der sogenannte Aktivierungsbefehl für Luftangriffe vom vergangenen Dienstag wird bis zum 27. Oktober ausgesetzt, bleibt aber voll gültig. Das beschloß der Nato-Rat nach Angaben eines Nato-Sprechers am Freitag in Brüssel.
Damit bleiben die rund 430 Flugzeuge der Nato-Partner dem Oberkommandierenden in Europa, Wesley Clark, unterstellt. Dieser kann in enger Absprache mit dem Nato-Rat genau festgelegte Luftangriffe gegen serbische Ziele anordnen. Die Nato erwartet, daß Milosevic innerhalb der Zehn-Tage-Frist die Bedingungen der Resolution, besonders den Rückzug seiner Sicherheitskräfte und die Rückkehr der Flüchtlinge, erfüllt.
(Achtung: Zweite Gesamtzusammenfassung folgt)
Nato-Rat setzt Einsatzbefehl bis 27. Oktober aus_______________________________________________________________________
Brüssel (dpa) - Der Nato-Rat hat am Freitag den sogenannten Aktivierungsbeschluß für Luftangriffe im Kosovo-Konflikt vom vergangenen Dienstag bis zum 27. Oktober ausgesetzt.
Bis dahin soll der jugoslawische Präsident Slobodan Milosevic alle Forderungen der UN-Resolution 1199 erfüllt haben, hieß es in Nato-Kreisen.
Offenbar wieder Kämpfe im Kosovo_______________________________________________________________________
Pristina (dpa) - Trotz massiver internationaler Bemühungen um eine friedliche Beilegung des Kosovo-Konfliktes scheinen sich die Kämpfe in der serbisch verwalteten Albaner-Provinz wieder zu intensivieren. Ein Albaner wurde getötet und ein zweiter verletzt, als serbische Polizeikräfte den Weiler Makeremal am Donnerstag mit schweren Maschinengewehren beschossen. Das meldete das kosovo-albanische Informationszentrum (IZK) am Freitag in Pristina.
Dieselbe Quelle meldete schwere serbische Artillerieangriffe am Donnerstag und Freitag auf den Weiler Jablanica (Gemeinde Djakovica). Die Bewohner hätten die Ortschaft panikartig verlassen und sich in die katholische Kirche im benachbarten Ort Glodjane geflüchtet. Außerdem seien am Freitag mehrere Dörfer in der Region Malisevo zwei Stunden lang von serbischer Artillerie beschossen worden.
In einem dieser Orte, dem Weiler Dragobil, sei am Donnerstag abend ein serbischer Polizist von albanischen Freischärlern getötet worden, meldete das amtliche serbische «Medienzentrum» am Freitag in Pristina. Der Bericht sprach von einem «Angriff albanischer Terroristen».
Albaner-Führer sichert OSZE-Beobachtern Unterstützung zu_______________________________________________________________________
Pristina (dpa) - Der führende Vertreter der Kosovo-Albaner, Ibrahim Rugova, hat der geplanten OSZE-Beobachtermission im Kosovo die «volle Unterstützung» durch die albanische Bevölkerung zugesagt. «Die Menschen sind an dieser Mission interessiert, sie wollen den damit verbundenen Schutz», sagte Rugova am Freitag nach einem Gespräch mit dem amtierenden OSZE-Vorsitzenden, dem polnischen Außenminister Bronislaw Geremek, in Pristina vor Journalisten. Auch die kosovo-albanische Aufständischen-Armee UCK werde die OSZE- Mission «respektieren», fügte Rugova hinzu.
Geremek betonte, er hoffe, daß die Mission «ein Mindestmaß an Vertrauen» in der von Serbien verwalteten Unruhe-Provinz schaffen werde. «Die internationale Gemeinschaft will im Kosovo einen Friedensprozeß, ein Respektieren der Menschenrechte, ein Respektieren der politischen Realitäten des gegenwärtigen Europa», erklärte Geremek.
Der OSZE-Vorsitzende kündigte an, daß seine Organisation für den Kosovo-Einsatz Hilfeabkommen mit mehreren internationalen Organisationen, darunter der Nato, unterzeichnen werde, «um ein Minimum an Sicherheit für die Mission zu garantieren». In Presseberichten war spekuliert worden, daß die Nato in Ländern, die ans Kosovo grenzen (Albanien und Mazedonien), eine schnelle Eingreiftruppe für Notfälle im Zusammenhang mit der OSZE-Mission stationieren könnte.
Zensierte Zeitung stellt Strafantrag gegen serbischen Radikalenchef_______________________________________________________________________
Belgrad (dpa) - Die Redaktion der zensierten Belgrader Tageszeitung «Danas» hat am Freitag Strafanzeige gegen den serbischen Vizeregierungschef und Radikalenführer Vojislav Seselj gestellt. Ihm und dem serbischen Informationsminister und Parteikollegen Aleksandar Vucic wirft das Blatt Verfassungsbruch vor.
Seselj hatte in der vergangenen Woche per Regierungsbeschluß die Zensur in Serbien eingeführt und neben «Danas» auch die regimekritischen Blätter «Nasa borba», «Dnevni telegraf» und zwei unabhängige Rundfunksender verboten. Ihre Texte und Sendungen seien, wie es im Erlaß hieß, «staatsfeindlich und defätistisch». Gegen diese Verbote wurde am Freitag in Belgrad wieder demonstriert.
Nato will Belgrad genaue Fristen setzen - Vertrag mit OSZE_______________________________________________________________________
Brüssel/Belgrad/Bonn (dpa) - Jugoslawien und die Organisation für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa (OSZE) haben am Freitag in Belgrad ein Abkommen über die Stationierung von bis zu 2 000 Beobachtern der OSZE im Kosovo unterzeichnet. Diese sollen den Abzug der serbischen und jugoslawischen Sicherheitskräfte aus der Provinz und die Rückkehr der Flüchtlinge überwachen.
In Brüssel beriet der Nato-Rat über eine Fristverlängerung für den Einsatzbefehl im Kosovo-Konflikt. Es wurde damit gerechnet, daß der Nato-Rat den am Dienstag ausgegebenen Aktivierungsbefehl, der die Luftstreitmacht dem Nato-Oberbefehlshaber General Wesley Clark für Einsätze in Jugoslawien unterstellt, weiter aussetzt. Aus Nato- Kreisen verlautete ferner, die Nato werde der Regierung in Belgrad genaue Fristen zur Erfüllung der UN-Resolution 1199 bezüglich des Kosovo setzen.
Der Nato-Rat werde verlangen, daß Präsident Slobodan Milosevic seine zusätzlich im Kosovo stationierten Sicherheitskräfte in einem genau festgelegten Zeitraum zurückzieht, hieß es in Brüssel weiter. Am Donnerstag hatten Belgrad und die Nato ein Abkommen über unbewaffnete Nato- Überwachungsflüge über der Krisenprovinz Kosovo unterzeichnet.
Der offiziell nicht anerkannte «Präsident» der Kosovo-Albaner, Ibrahim Rugova, forderte eine Verlängerung des Nato- Aktivierungsbefehls als Druckmittel gegen Belgrad und die Stationierung von Nato-Bodentruppen im Kosovo. Zehntausende von Flüchtlingen und Vertriebenen werden nach Worten Rugovas «immer noch von serbischen Sicherheitskräften bedroht».
Das Abkommen über die Stationierung der OSZE-Beobachter wurde vom jugoslawischen Außenminister Zivadin Jovanovic und dem polnischen Außenminister und amtierenden OSZE-Vorsitzenden Bronislaw Geremek unterschrieben. «Das Abkommen eröffnet dem Frieden eine Chance im Kosovo», sagte Geremek. «Es ist der erste Schritt in die richtige Richtung.»
Rußland begrüßte das Abkommen als eine neue Etappe, die zur politischen Lösung des Kosovo-Konflikts führen werde. Nach Meinung Moskaus sind jetzt auch die Voraussetzungen für die Wiederaufnahme Jugoslawiens in die Organisation für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa (OSZE) geschaffen. Die Mitgliedschaft Jugoslawiens in der OSZE ist seit 1992 wegen Belgrads Rolle im Bosnien-Konflikt aufgehoben.
Die Abkommen Belgrads mit der Nato und der OSZE waren Anfang der Woche vom US-Sonderbeauftragten Richard Holbrooke nach Marathonverhandlungen mit dem jugoslawischen Präsidenten Slobodan Milosevic ausgehandelt worden.
Die deutsche Bundeswehr kann sich im Kosovo-Konflikt mit 14 Tornado-Kampfflugzeugen und 500 Soldaten an einem möglichen Nato- Militäreinsatz beteiligen. Der alte Bundestag in Bonn billigte am Freitag mit überwältigender Mehrheit einen entsprechenden Antrag der scheidenden Regierung Helmut Kohl.
In der Debatte hatten neben dem deutschen Außenminister Klaus Kinkel und Verteidigungsminister Volker Rühe auch der designierte neue deutsche Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schröder von der SPD und dessen wahrscheinlicher Außenminister Joschka Fischer von den Grünen um eine breite Zustimmung geworben.
Die USA bestehen in der Kosovo-Krise auf Lösungen und nicht auf Gerechtigkeit. Das sagte der US- Vermittler Christopher Hill am Freitag nach einem Treffen mit Albanerführer Rugova in Pristina. «Wir haben uns auf eine Beschleunigung (des politischen Prozesses) geeinigt», erklärte Hill, der zu Gesprächen mit dem jugoslawischen Präsidenten Slobodan Milosevic nach Belgrad weiterfliegen wollte.
Albaner-Führer sichert OSZE-Beobachtern Unterstützung zu_______________________________________________________________________
Pristina (dpa) - Der führende Vertreter der Kosovo-Albaner, Ibrahim Rugova, hat der geplanten OSZE-Beobachtermission im Kosovo die «volle Unterstützung» durch die albanische Bevölkerung zugesagt. «Die Menschen sind an dieser Mission interessiert, sie wollen den damit verbundenen Schutz», sagte Rugova am Freitag nach einem Gespräch mit dem amtierenden OSZE-Vorsitzenden, dem polnischen Außenminister Bronislaw Geremek, in Pristina vor Journalisten. Auch die kosovo-albanische Aufständischen-Armee UCK werde die OSZE- Mission «respektieren», fügte Rugova hinzu.
Geremek betonte, er hoffe, daß die Mission «ein Mindestmaß an Vertrauen» in der von Serbien verwalteten Unruhe-Provinz schaffen werde. «Die internationale Gemeinschaft will im Kosovo einen Friedensprozeß, ein Respektieren der Menschenrechte, ein Respektieren der politischen Realitäten des gegenwärtigen Europa», erklärte Geremek.
Der OSZE-Vorsitzende kündigte an, daß seine Organisation für den Kosovo-Einsatz Hilfeabkommen mit mehreren internationalen Organisationen, darunter der Nato, unterzeichnen werde, «um ein Minimum an Sicherheit für die Mission zu garantieren». In Presseberichten war spekuliert worden, daß die Nato in Ländern, die ans Kosovo grenzen (Albanien und Montenegro), eine schnelle Eingreiftruppe für Notfälle im Zusammenhang mit der OSZE-Mission stationieren könnte.
Serbischer Polizist im Kosovo getötet_______________________________________________________________________
Belgrad (dpa) - Bei einem Angriff der albanischen Kosovo- Befreiungsarmee UCK auf eine serbische Polizeistelle in dem Dorf Dragobilje ist ein Polizist getötet worden. Wie das halboffizielle serbische Media-Zentrum aus der Kosovo-Hauptstadt Pristina am Freitag meldete, hätten die Untergrundkämpfer bei ihrem Überfall am Donnerstag abend automatische Waffen und Granatwerfer benutzt.
Das Zentrum berichtet auch von mehreren Angriffen der UCK auf Polizeistellen in verschiedenen Kosovo-Ortschaften in den vergangenen zwei Tagen. Dabei seien zwei Polizisten verletzt worden.
Bonn bleibt bei Drohung gegen Milosevic_______________________________________________________________________
Bonn (dpa) - Die militärische Drohung der Nato gegen den jugoslawischen Präsidenten Slobodan Milosevic im Kosovo-Konflikt stößt auf eine breite Unterstützung im deutschen Parlament.
Mit 500 Stimmen von 580 Parlamentariern gab der Bundestag in Bonn am Freitag grünes Licht für eine deutsche Beteiligung an einer möglichen Intervention der Nato auf dem Balkan. Nur 62 Abgeordnete lehnten einen solchen Schritt ab, 18 Abgeordnete enthielten sich.
Der künftige Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schröder machte in der Debatte, zu der noch das alte Parlament zusammengerufen worden war, seine Übereinstimmung mit dem Kurs der bisherigen Regierung deutlich.
Der Präsident in Belgrad reagiere leider nur auf Gewalt, stellte Schröder fest. Er hoffe, daß eine Intervention nicht erforderlich werde. Dies könne aber offenbar nur durch die Androhung eines Eingreifens erreicht werden.
Die Befürworter der militärischen Drohung gegen Belgrad vertraten übereinstimmend die Auffassung, das jetzt zwischen Milosevic und US- Unterhändler Richard Holbrooke erreichte Übereinkommen sei nur wegen der Drohung mit einer Intervention zustande gekommen. Die Nato wiederum sei im Falle eines Eingreifens auf die Beteiligung Deutschlands angewiesen, betonten mehrere Redner.
Auch Schröders künftiger Außenminister Joschka Fischer von den Grünen zeigte sich von diesen Zusammenhängen überzeugt. Er sagte, es wäre nicht zu verantworten gewesen, wenn Holbrookes Bemühungen aufgrund einer anderen deutschen Haltung gescheitert wären.
Fischer gab zu, daß ihm eine Zustimmung zu einer Intervention leichter falle, nachdem diese weniger wahrscheinlich geworden sei. Im anderen Falle hätte das deutsche Parlament über `Krieg gegen Serbien" abstimmen müssen, gab Fischer zu bedenken. Wie alle anderen Befürworter der Drohung gegen Milosevic verwies jedoch auch Fischer auf die Notwendigkeit, eine humanitäre Katastrophe zu verhindern.
Zuvor hatten der scheidende Außenminister Klaus Kinkel und der bisherige Verteidigungsminister Volker Rühe die Politik der Nato in der Kosovo-Krise verteidigt. Ohne den Aktivierungsbefehl für die Truppen wäre Milosevic nicht auf Holbrooke eingegangen, sagte Kinkel.
Deutschland dürfe nicht abseits stehen, wenn es gelte, Frieden und Menschenrechte zu verteidigen, betonte der Außenminister. Rühe nannte die mit breiter Mehrheit gefaßte Entscheidung ein wichtiges Beispiel für die Zukunft. Deutschland dürfe die integrierten Strukturen der Nato niemals gefährden, warnte er, wobei der die nato-kritischen und teilweise pazifistischen Grünen ansprach.
Widerspruch gab es aber aus allen Lagern einschließlich der bisherigen Mitte-Rechts-Koalition. Die Kritiker eines Nato-Insatzes machten geltend, daß eine Entscheidung darüber ausschließlich im Sicherheitsrat der Vereinten Nationen fallen könne.
Dieser habe aber bislang bewußt auf den Einsatz von Gewalt in der Kosovo-Krise verzichtet. Die Nato dürfe sich ein Mandat zur militärischen Intervention nicht selbst erteilten, verlangten die Gegner des Beschlusses. Jedoch stimmten nur die Reformkommunisten geschlossen gegen den Antrag der alten Regierung.
Das alte Parlament war zu einer Sondersitzung zusammen gerufen worden, weil der am 27. September gewählte Bundestag sich erst in zehn Tagen konstituieren wird.
Moskau begrüßt Abkommen über OSZE-Mission im Kosovo_______________________________________________________________________
Moskau (dpa) - Rußland hat das Abkommen über die Stationierung von etwa 2 000 OSZE-Beobachtern im Kosovo begrüßt. Damit sei eine neue Etappe erreicht, die zur politischen Beilegung des Konflikts führen werde, hieß es am Freitag in einer Erklärung des Außenministeriums.
Dank der Bemühungen Rußlands und der engen Zusammenarbeit mit der Internationalen Kontaktgruppe bestehe nun die reale Möglichkeit, eine gewaltsame Lösung des Kosovo-Konflikts zu verhindern. Es sei ein «wichtiger Schritt zur vollständigen Erfüllung der entsprechenden UN- Resolutionen durch alle Seiten» gemacht worden, hieß es weiter.
Nach Meinung der russischen Seite sind durch das Abkommen auch die Voraussetzungen für die Wiederaufnahme Jugoslawiens in die Organisation für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa (OSZE) geschaffen. Die Mitgliedschaft Jugoslawiens in der OSZE ist seit 1992 wegen Belgrads Rolle im Bosnien-Konflikt aufgehoben.
An der OSZE-Mission im Kosovo, die den Abzug der serbischen und jugoslawischen Sicherheitskräfte und die Rückkehr der Flüchtlinge überwachen soll, will sich auch Rußland beteiligen.
Nato-Rat berät über Fristverlängerung für Einsatzbefehl_______________________________________________________________________
Brüssel (dpa) - Der Nato-Rat ist am Freitag nachmittag in Brüssel zusammengekommen, um über eine Fristverlängerung für den Einsatzbefehl im Kosovokonflikt zu beraten. Mit dem Aktivierungsbeschluß vom vergangenen Dienstag wurden die rund 430 Flugzeuge der Nato-Partner dem Oberkommandierenden in Europa, Wesley Clark, unterstellt. Dieser kann in enger Absprache mit dem Nato-Rat genau festgelegte Luftschläge gegen serbische Ziele anordnen. Mit Blick auf die laufenden Verhandlungen um eine diplomatische Lösung war Belgrad eine Frist bis diesen Samstag 05.00 Uhr MESZ gesetzt worden. Nach den jüngsten Abkommen zwischen der Nato sowie der OSZE und Belgrad gilt es als wahrscheinlich, daß der Nato-Rat den Befehl zunächst aussetzt.
Nato will Belgrad genaue Fristen setzen - Vertrag mit OSZE_______________________________________________________________________
Brüssel/Belgrad/Pristina (dpa) - Jugoslawien und die Organisation für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa (OSZE) haben am Freitag in Belgrad ein Abkommen über die Stationierung von bis zu 2 000 Beobachtern der OSZE im Kosovo unterzeichnet. Diese sollen den Abzug der serbischen und jugoslawischen Sicherheitskräfte aus der Provinz und die Rückkehr der Flüchtlinge überwachen.
Die Nato wird der Regierung in Belgrad genaue Fristen zur Erfüllung der UN-Resolution 1199 setzen. Das verlautete am Freitag wenige Stunden vor Beginn einer neuen Sitzung des Nato-Rates in Brüssel. Der Nato-Rat werde den am Dienstag früh ausgegebenen Aktivierungsbefehl, der die Luftstreitmacht dem Nato-Oberbefehlshaber General Wesley Clark für Einsätze in Jugoslawien unterstellt, auf seiner Sitzung am Nachmittag verlängern.
Über den Zeitraum gebe es noch unterschiedliche Ansichten, hieß es in Brüssel. «Wer aber Verträge unterschreibt, muß auch Gelegenheit geben, diese umzusetzen», sagte ein Nato-Diplomat.
Das vom Nato-Rat gesetzte Ultimatum läuft am Samstag um 05.00 Uhr MESZ ab. Der Nato-Rat werde verlangen, daß Präsident Slobodan Milosevic seine zusätzlich im Kosovo stationierten Sicherheitskräfte in einem genau festgelegten Zeitraum zurückzieht, hieß es in Brüssel weiter. Am Donnerstag hatten Belgrad und die Nato ein Abkommen über unbewaffnete Nato- Überwachungsflüge über der Krisenprovinz Kosovo unterzeichnet.
Der offiziell nicht anerkannte «Präsident» der Kosovo-Albaner, Ibrahim Rugova, verlangte seinerseits eine Verlängerung des Nato- Aktivierungsbefehls als Druckmittel gegen Belgrad. Zehntausende von Flüchtlingen und Vertriebenen werden nach Worten Rugovas «immer noch von serbischen Sicherheitskräften bedroht».
Auf einer Pressekonferenz in Pristina betonte er: «Die serbischen Kräfte haben sich nicht zurückgezogen. Sie haben sich neu gruppiert und in verschiedenen strategischen Positionen eingebunkert.» Am Donnerstag hatten beide Konfliktseiten von neuen Kämpfen im Kosovo berichtet. Rugova forderte erneut «die Stationierung von Nato- Bodentruppen im Kosovo, um die Sicherheit der Menschen zu garantieren». Das Abkommen über die Stationierung der OSZE-Beobachter wurde vom jugoslawischen Außenminister Zivadin Jovanovic und dem polnischen Außenminister und amtierenden OSZE-Vorsitzenden Bronislaw Geremek unterschrieben. «Das Abkommen eröffnet dem Frieden eine Chance im Kosovo», sagte Geremek. «Es ist der erste Schritt in die richtige Richtung.»
In den kommenden Wochen sollen rund 2 000 OSZE-Beobachter im Kosovo stationiert werden. Die unbewaffneten OSZE-Vertreter haben freien Zugang zu Militäranlagen und Kasernen der Sonderpolizei.
Die Abkommen Belgrads mit der Nato und der OSZE waren Anfang der Woche vom US-Sonderbeauftragten Richard Holbrooke nach Marathonverhandlungen mit dem jugoslawischen Präsidenten Slobodan Milosevic ausgehandelt worden.
Deutsches Parlament billigt Beteiligung an möglichem Kosovo-Einsatz_______________________________________________________________________
Bonn (dpa) - Das deutsche Parlament hat am Freitag der Beteiligung der deutschen Streitkräfte an einem möglichen Eingreifen der Nato im Kosovo-Konflikt mit großer Mehrheit zugestimmt.
Ein Antrag der scheidenden Regierung von Bundeskanzler Helmut Kohl fand die Zustimmung der bisherigen Koalition aus Christdemokraten und Freien Demokraten, aber auch einer Mehrheit der künftigen Regierungspartner Sozialdemokraten und Grünen. 503 Abgeordnete stimmten für den Antrag, 63 dagegen, 18 enthielten sich.
Die Befürworter begründeten ihr Votum übereinstimmend mit dem Argument, nur durch die Drohung mit militärischer Gewalt könne der jugoslawische Präsident Slobodan Milosevic zu einer politischen Lösung der Krise bewegt werden.
Die Gegner eines möglichen deutschen Kosovo-Einsatzes machten geltend, daß nur der UN-Sicherheitsrat über eine Intervention entscheiden könne, darauf aber bisher ausdrücklich verzichtet habe.
Sollte die Nato in der Kosovo-Krise intervenieren, so könnte sich Deutschland nach diesem Beschluß mit 14 Kampfflugzeugen vom Typ Tornado sowie mit etwa 500 Soldatgen beteiligen.
Deutsches Parlament billigt möglichen Kosovo-Einsatz der Bundeswehr_______________________________________________________________________
Bonn (dpa) - Mit überwältigender Mehrheit hat das deutshe Parlament am Freitag die Beteiligung der Streitkräfte an einem möglichen Kosovo-Einsatz der Nato gebilligt.
Für die Teilnahme von 14 deutschen Tornado-Kampfflugzeugen an einem Luftschlag gegen serbische Stellungen stimmten von den 584 anwesenden Abgeordneten 503 dafür, 63 votierten dagegen. Es gab 18 Enthaltungen.
Belgrad und OSZE unterzeichnen Abkommen über OSZE-Beobachter_______________________________________________________________________
Belgrad (dpa) - Jugoslawien und die Organisation für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa (OSZE) haben am Freitag in Belgrad ein Abkommen über die Einrichtung einer Beobachtermission der OSZE im Kosovo unterzeichnet. Das Dokument wurde vom jugoslawischen Außenminister Zivadin Jovanovic und dem polnischen Außenminister und amtierenden OSZE-Vorsitzenden Bronislaw Geremek unterschrieben. «Das Abkommen eröffnet dem Frieden eine Chance im Kosovo», sagte Geremek. «Es ist der erste Schritt in die richtige Richtung.»
In den kommenden Wochen sollen rund 2 000 OSZE-Beobachter im Kosovo stationiert werden, die den Abzug serbischer und jugoslawischer Sicherheitskräfte aus der Provinz überwachen sollen. Die unbewaffneten OSZE-Vertreter haben freien Zugang zu Militäranlagen und Kasernen der Sonderpolizei.
Die «technische Vorhut» der OSZE wurde nach Angaben Geremeks bereits am Samstag in Belgrad erwartet, um die Details zur Stationierung der Beobachtergruppe mit den jugoslawischen Behörden auszuhandeln. «Die OSZE steht hiermit vor der größten Herausforderung in ihrer Geschichte», sagte Geremek.
Erst am Vorabend hatte die Nato mit dem jugoslawischen Militär ein Abkommen über unbewaffnete Überwachungsflügen über dem Kosovo unterzeichnet. Die Abkommen Belgrads mit der Allianz und der OSZE waren zu Wochenbeginn vom US-Sonderbeauftragten Richard Holbrooke nach Marathonverhandlungen mit dem jugoslawischen Präsidenten Slobodan Milosevic ausgehandelt worden.
Belgrad und OSZE unterzeichnen Abkommen über Kosovo-Beobachter_______________________________________________________________________
Belgrad (dpa) - Jugoslawien und die Organisation für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa (OSZE) haben am Freitag in Belgrad ein Abkommen über die Entsendung von OSZE-Beobachtern in die südserbische Krisenprovinz Kosovo vereinbart. Das Abkommen wurde vom OSZE-Vorsitzenden und polnischen Außenminister Bronislaw Gerenek und seinem jugoslawischen Amtskollegen Zivadin Jovanovic unterzeichnet.
Der Vertrag sieht die Stationierung von bis zu 2 000 Beobachtern vor. Diese sollen den Abzug der serbischen Einheiten aus der Unruheprovinz überwachen.
Nato will Belgrad genaue Fristen setzen - Rugova fordert Druck_______________________________________________________________________
Brüssel/Pristina (dpa) - Die Nato wird der Regierung in Belgrad genaue Fristen und Zahlen zur Erfüllung der UN-Resolution 1199 geben. Das verlautete am Freitag wenige Stunden vor Beginn einer erneuten Sitzung des Nato-Rates in Brüssel.
Der am Dienstag früh ausgegebene Aktivierungsbefehl, der die Luftstreitmacht dem Nato-Kommando für Einsätze in Jugoslawien unterstellt, werde verlängert werden, hieß es weiter. Über den Zeitraum gebe es noch unterschiedliche Ansichten. «Wer aber Verträge unterschreibt, muß auch Gelegenheit geben, diese umzusetzen»,, sagte ein Nato-Diplomat.
Der führende politische Vertreter der Kosovo-Albaner, Ibrahim Rugova, hat hingegen eine Verlängerung des Nato-Aktivierungsbefehls verlangt. Zehntausende von Flüchtlingen und Vertriebenen würden «immer noch von serbischen Sicherheitskräften bedroht», erklärte Rugova auf einer Pressekonferenz in Pristina. Er betonte: «Die serbischen Kräfte haben sich nicht zurückgezogen. Sie haben sich neu gruppiert und in verschiedenen strategischen Positionen eingebunkert.»
Das vom Nato-Rat gesetzte Ultimatum läuft am Samstag um 05.00 Uhr MESZ ab. Der Nato-Rat werde verlangen, daß Präsident Slobodan Milosevic seine zusätzlich im Kosovo stationierten Sicherheitskräfte in einem genau festgelegten Zeitraum zurückzieht, hieß es in Brüssel weiter.
Am Donnerstag hatten Belgrad und die Nato ein Abkommen über unbewaffnete Nato- Überwachungsflüge über der Krisenprovinz Kosovo unterzeichnet.
Breite Mehrheit im deutschen Parlament zu Kosovo-Krise sicher_______________________________________________________________________
Bonn (dpa) - Für die deutsche Beteiligung an einer möglichen Militär-Intervention der Nato in der Kosovo-Krise gibt es im Parlament in Bonn eine breite Mehrheit. Auch die Regierung des scheidenden Bundeskanzlers Helmut Kohl und die designierten Nachfolger sind sich in dieser Frage einig.
Dies wurde am Freitag in einer Sondersitzung des Parlaments deutlich. Übereinstimmend vertraten die alte und die künftige Regierung die Auffassung, erst die militärische Drohung der Nato habe den jugoslawischen Präsidenten Slobodan Milosevic dazu bewegt, auf die Forderungen der UN in der Kosovo-Krise einzugehen.
Daher sei es richtig und weiterhin notwendig, die Bemühungen um eine politische Lösung mit einer glaubwürdigen Drohung zu verbinden, sagte der designierte sozialdemokratische Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schröder.
Ähnlich äußerte sich auch sein voraussichtlicher Außenminister Joschka Fischer von der Partei der Grünen, die in dieser Frage keinen einheitlichen Kurs verfolgt. Es wäre nicht verantwortbar, wenn Deutschland seine Beteiligung an einem Nato-Einsatz verweigern und eine Intervention damit vielleicht sogar verhindern würde, sagte er.
Milosevic Politik bedeute eine ständige Kriegsgefahr, sagte Fischer. Er rief das serbische Volk auf, nicht den «Irrweg des aggressiven Nationalismus» zu gehen, sondern den Weg zu einer gemeinsamen Zukunft Europas.
Schröder und der noch amtierende Außenminister Klaus Kinkel betonten, die internationale Gemeinschaft werde sich nach der Entsendung von Beobachtern in den Kosovo auf ein langes Engagement einrichten müssen.
Kinkel sagte, zu den voraussichtlich 2 000 Beobachtern der Organisation für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa (OSZE) sollten 150 bis 200 Deutsche gehören. Für einen eventuellen Militär-Einsatz würde Deutschland nach dem Beschluß der alten Regierung 14 Kampfflugzeuge und etwa 500 Soldaten bereitstellen.
Zur Entscheidung hierüber war noch das alte Parlament in Bonn zusammengekommen. Der am 27. September gewählte neue Bundestag mit einer linken Mehrheit wird sich erst am 26. Oktober konstituieren.
Genaue Zahl der OSZE-Beobachter im Kosovo noch unklar_______________________________________________________________________
Wien (dpa) - Die genaue Zahl der Beobachter, die die Organisation für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa (OSZE) in den Kosovo entsenden wird, ist noch unklar. In dem Abkommen mit Belgrad werde eine Obergrenze von 2 000 Beobachtern festgelegt, sagte ein OSZE-Sprecher am Freitag der dpa. Wieviele tatsächlich ihren Dienst im Kosovo antreten werden, müsse der Leiter der Mission entscheiden, der in den nächsten Tagen bestellt werden soll, fügte er hinzu.
Die Rekrutierung der Beobachter, die von ihren Heimatländern entlohnt werden, werde einige Wochen in Anspruch nehmen, hieß es. Es sei noch nicht klar, welches Land wieviele Beobachter entsenden werde. Vorerst werde sich die OSZE-Mission auf jene rund 50 Beobachter stützen, die im Auftrag der internationalen Kontaktgruppe bereits seit Juni im Kosovo stationiert sind. Außerdem werde die OSZE in der Anfangsphase einen Teil ihrer in Kroatien und Bosnien stationierten Beobachter in den Kosovo verlegen, sagte der Sprecher.
Eine OSZE-Delegation werde noch am Wochenende in der Kosovo-Hauptstadt Pristina eintreffen. Sie müsse ein Hauptquartier für die Beobachtermission finden und die Lage vor Ort sondieren. Die Beobachtermission solle bis Ende der kommenden Woche anlaufen. In sechs bis acht weiteren Städten würden Stützpunkte errichtet, von wo aus die Beobachter ihre Arbeit durchführen sollen, sagte der Sprecher.
Auch Schröder für weitere Drohung gegen Milosevic_______________________________________________________________________
Bonn (dpa) - Auch der designierte deutsche Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schröder hält weiteren militärischen Druck auf den jugoslawischen Präsidenten Slobodan Milosevic für erforderlich, um diesen zu einer friedlichen Lösung der Kosovo-Krise zu bewegen.
Es sei «richtig und wichtig», die Bemühungen um eine politische Lösung mit einer glaubwürdigen militärischen Drohung zu verbinden, sagte Schröder am Freitag in einer Sondersitzung des deutschen Parlaments in Bonn. Er warb um eine breite Mehrheit für die Entscheidung, die deutschen Streitkräfte an einer eventuellen militärischen Intervention der Nato zu beteiligen.
Der künftige Regierungschef unterstützte damit die Position der noch amtierenden Regierung von Bundeskanzler Helmut Kohl. Diese hat - nach Konsultation mit ihren Nachfolgern - beim Parlament beantragt, der Bereitstellung von 14 deutschen Kampfflugzeugen und etwa 500 Soldaten zuzustimmen.
Wie zuvor die noch amtierenden Minister Klaus Kinkel (Außen) und Volker Rühe (Verteidigung) betonte Schröder die wichtige Aufgabe der deutschen Streitkräfte innerhalb des Nato-Konzepts für einen Angriff auf jugoslawische Ziele.
Übereinstimmend vertraten die scheidenden Minister und der künftige Regierungschef die Auffassung, die Geschlossenheit Bonns habe das grüne Licht für einen Einsatz der Nato ermöglicht, und nur deswegen habe Milosevic in letzter Minute eingelenkt.
Bedenken wegen der deutschen Nazi-Vergangenheit gegen eine militärische Aktion unter Einschluß Deutschlands auf dem Balkan wies Schröder zurück. «Die Tatsache, daß Deutschland unter einer verbrecherischen Führung auf dem Balkan schuldig geworden» sei, erlaube dem demokratischen Deutschland nicht, massives Unrecht in dieser Region zuzulassen.
Zur Entscheidung über die deutsche Beteiligung an einem möglichen Nato-Einsatz war noch das alte deutsche Parlament zusammengekommen, in dem Kohls Mitte-Rechts-Koalition eine Mehrheit hat. Der am 27. September gewählte neue Bundestag mit einer linken Mehrheit wird sich erst am 26. Oktober konstituieren. Sowohl in der alten als auch in der neuen Konstellation gilt jedoch eine klare Mehrheit für die deutsche Beteiligung an einem Nato-Einsatz als sicher.
Deutsches Parlament berät über Kosovo-Einsatz_______________________________________________________________________
Bonn (dpa) - Ungeachtet der Möglicheit einer friedlichen Lösung der Kosovo-Krise ist das deutsche Parlament am Freitag in Bonn zu Beratungen über eine militärische Intervention zusammengekommen. Es muß entscheiden über die von der Regierung geplante Beteiligung der deutschen Streitkräfte an einem eventuellen Einsatz der Nato gegen jugoslawische Ziele.
Der noch amtierende Außenminister Klaus Kinkel sagte, die Entscheidung sei nötig, um eine friedliche Lösung durchzusetzen. Ohne den militärischen Druck werde der jugoslawische Präsident Slobodan Milosevic nicht reagieren. Nur aufgrund der Nato-Drohung sei das Abkommen zwischen Milosevic und dem US-Unterhändler Holbrooke zustandegekommen.
Die internationale Staatengemeinschaft habe eine Anwendung von Gewalt immer als «ultimo ratio» bezeichnet. Milovesic aber sei bis zuletzt uneinsichtig geblieben, sagte Kinkel. Erst die Drohung mit Gewalt habe ihn dazu bewegt, nachzugeben und die Forderungen der UN in bezug auf die Kosovo-Krise zu erfüllen.
Falls die Nato doch noch in der Kosovo-Krise interveniert, will Bonn 14 Kampfflugzeuge vom Typ Tornado und insgesamt etwa 500 Soldaten bereitstellen.
Dies hatte die scheidende Regierung von Bundeskanzler Helmut Kohl nach Konsultationen mit ihren designierten Nachfolgern von Sozialdemokraten und Grünen entschieden.
Die Zustimmung muß noch vom alten Parlament kommen. Der am 27. September gewählte neue Bundestag wird sich nach den derzeitigen Planungen erst am 26. Oktober konstituieren. In der heutigen Sitzung wird mit einer breiten Zustimmung für die Position der Regierung gerechnet.
«Nesawissimaja Gaseta»: Im Kosovo hängt nun alles von Beobachtern ab_______________________________________________________________________
Moskau (dpa) - Die russische Zeitung «Nesawissimaja Gaseta» (Moskau) befaßt sich in einem Kommentar am Freitag mit dem Kosovo-Konflikt. Eine Delegation des russischen Parlaments unter Leitung des nationalistischen Vize-Vorsitzenden Sergej Baburin war am Donnerstag nach Jugoslawien gereist:
«Die offiziellen Vertreter Moskaus haben gesagt, daß sie über konkrete Hilfe für Jugoslawien im Falle einer Nato-Agression erst dann entscheiden würden, wenn sie zur Tatsache geworden sei. Wie auch immer: Jetzt hängt alles davon ab, welche Informationen von den internationalen Beobachtern in Kosovo eingehen. Die russischen Abgeordneten haben die Absicht, sich mit den führenden Kräften der lokalen Behörden, mit Bürgern und auch mit Vertretern der Separatisten zu treffen. Aber sie wollen sich nur mit solchen Separatisten treffen, die für eine friedliche Lösung des Problems eintreten. Dazu zählt Baburin auch die Führer der demokratischen Liga Kosovos Ibrahim Rugova.»
Flüchtlinge im Kosovo: Leben in Ruinen_______________________________________________________________________
Jezerce (Kosovo) (dpa) - Der 31jährige Halit Estref zeigt mit einer apathischen Handbewegung auf eine ausgebrannte Ruine. «Das ist alles, was von meinem Haus übrig geblieben ist,» sagt er und blickt auf die geschwärzten Grundmauern, die gerade noch bis in zwei Meter Höhe stehengeblieben sind. Alles andere ist Schutt und Asche. Diesem traurigen Bild gleichen fast alle Gebäude in der Berggemeinde Jezerce (50 Kilometer südwestlich von Pristina).
Das Dorf zerfällt in mehrere, weit auseinanderliegende Teilsiedlungen, die sich an den Hang des Jezerce-Berges schmiegen und nur über abenteuerliche Gebirgspfade zu erreichen sind. Hier tobten Ende September die letzten Kampfhandlungen, bevor die serbischen Sicherheitskräfte offiziell die Beendigung ihrer seit Juli anhaltenden Offensive gegen die Rebellen der kosovo-albanischen Untergrundarmee UCK verkündeten.
Die Bewohner des Dorfes hielten sich weiter bergaufwärts im Wald versteckt, als die serbische Polizei einrückte, die Häuser plünderte und sie mit Benzin in Brand steckte. «Zehn Tage schliefen wir im Freien», berichtete Halit Estref. Die Polizei zog nach vollendetem Zerstörungswerk ab, die vertriebenen Albaner kehrten zaghaft zurück. Sie hausen nun in den Ruinen. Estref schläft mit Frau und vier Kindern sowie anderen Verwandten in einer kleinen, heil gebliebenen Vorratskammer auf kaltem, nacktem Erdboden.
Verloren hat er nicht nur sein Haus, sondern seinen Traktor, sein Vieh, seine Mehl-Vorräte und somit seine kleinbäuerliche Existenz. «Wir stecken hier fest. Oben Polizei und unten Polizei», sagt er. Die Gräben, über die Jezerce verstreut ist, münden in ein Tal, das in den nächsten Ort, Nerodimje, führt. Den hat die Polizei fest im Griff. Oben, auf der Berghöhe, sind Sondereinheiten mit Panzern positioniert.
Die schätzungsweise 800 Menschen in der zerstörten Berggemeinde, ohnehin schon in einer der ärmsten Gegenden des Kosovos gelegen, verhungern nicht, aber satt werden sie auch nicht. Auf verschlungenen Pfaden bringen Albaner aus Nerodimje auf Pferdefuhrwerken Säcke mit Mehl, Herde aus Blech und Schaumgummi-Matratzen hoch. Die Ruinenbewohner versuchen, sich auf den Winter vorzubereiten.
«Die in Jezerce», meint brummig unten in Nerodimje Hauptmann Dragomir von der serbischen Polizei, «die sollen uns erst mal ihre Waffen abgeben. Dann geschieht ihnen nichts.» Aber da oben sei es eben voll von «Terroristen», wie die Kämpfer der UCK im offiziellen serbischen Sprachgebrauch heißen. Die Häuser seien deshalb «von uns zusammengeschossen worden, weil die aus jedem - ich betone - aus jedem Haus auf uns schossen», behauptet der Polizei-Offizier.
In Wirklichkeit ließen sich Kampfspuren - wie etwa Patronenhülsen oder Projektileinschläge an Gebäudemauern - nur unten, auf halbem Wege zwischen Nerodimje und Jezerce feststellen. Offenbar versuchte dort die UCK, gegen die anrückenden serbischen Truppen möglichst lange Widerstand zu leisten, damit sich die Zivilbevölkerung in den Wald flüchten konnte.
Das Verhältnis zwischen den verängstigten Bergbauern in ihrem Trümmerdorf und der mächtigen Polizei in der Ortschaft darunter veranschaulicht präzise, warum die internationale Gemeinschaft auf einem umfassenden Abzug der serbischen Sicherheitskräfte beharrt. «Wer schützt uns vor der Polizei?», fragen die Albaner, während der Polizei-Hauptmann mit seiner Neigung, die renitenten Bergdörfler und «Terroristen»-Sympathisanten kollektiv zu bestrafen, die Berechtigung dieser Befürchtungen nur unterstreicht.
Kosovo-Flüchtlingsstrom wird zur Belastungsprobe für die Schweiz_______________________________________________________________________
Bern (dpa) - Der Flüchtlingsstrom aus der serbischen Krisenprovinz Kosovo reißt nicht ab. In diesem Jahr haben bereits mehr als 22 000 Menschen aus Jugoslawien in Deutschland Asyl beantragt. Das deutsche Innenministerium sieht das Ende der Aufnahmekapazität erreicht. Dabei wird gern verschwiegen, daß die Lage im Nachbarland Schweiz noch viel dramatischer ist. Denn gemessen an der Bevölkerungszahl haben die Eidgenossen seit Jahresbeginn sechmal soviel Kosovo-Albaner aufgenommen wie die Deutschen.
Dafür gibt es verschiedene Gründe. Da die Schweiz nicht Mitglied der EU ist, können die Behörden nicht überprüfen, ob ein Asylsuchender schon in einem anderen europäischen Land erfolglos einen Antrag gestellt hat. Die in diesem Sommer eingeführte Drittstaatenregelung hilft wenig, denn nur wer aus Deutschland in die Schweiz einreist, kann problemlos «zurückgeschoben» werden. Abschiebungen nach Frankreich oder Italien seien dagegen zur Zeit fast unmöglich, heißt es beim Flüchtlingsamt in Bern.
In ihre Heimat können die Schweizer die Kosovo-Albaner momentan ohnehin nicht zurückschicken, obwohl die jugoslawische Fluglinie JAT Zürich immer noch einmal pro Tag anfliegen darf. Angesichts der humanitären Krise in der serbischen Provinz wurde der Abschiebestopp bis Ende April 1999 verlängert. Nur Straftäter werden noch ins Flugzeug nach Belgrad gesetzt.
In Genf, Basel, Kreuzlingen und am Grenzübergang Chiasso sind die Unterbringungskapazitäten für Neuankömmlinge inzwischen restlos erschöpft. Die ersten Asylbewerber mußten bereits im Freien übernachten. «Frauen, Kinder, Alte und Kranke haben bei der Vergabe von Schlafplätzen natürlich Vorrang», erklärt Vera Britsch, Sprecherin des Bundesamtes für Flüchtlinge in Bern.
Außerdem könnten viele Kosovo-Albaner bei Verwandten unterkommen, die als Gastarbeiter in der Schweiz lebten. «Einige sind aber obdachlos», räumt sie ein. «Gestern abend mußten wir insgesamt rund 600 Menschen wegschicken.»
Außerdem gibt es für die Betreuung der Asylbewerber nicht genug Personal. Deshalb will Justizminister Arnold Koller demnächst Versorgungseinheiten der Armee in die Flüchtlingsunterkünfte schicken. Sie könnten dort für Sicherheit sorgen und auch Hausmeister-Tätigkeiten verrichten, meint Britsch.
Doch nicht nur die Unterbringungskapazitäten sind ausgeschöpft. Auch die Solidarität der Schweizer Bürger stößt an ihre Grenzen. Vor einigen Tagen explodierte vor der Militärkaserne Bronschhofen im Kanton Sankt Gallen ein Sprengsatz - ein Woche vor dem geplanten Einzug von 190 Asylbewerbern aus dem Kosovo.
Vera Britsch kann nicht verstehen, warum sich die Menschen in Bronschhofen und anderswo nicht großherziger zeigen. «Damals bei den Bosnien-Flüchtlingen gab es diese Probleme nicht.»
Belgrad und Nato unterzeichneten Abkommen über Überwachungsflüge_______________________________________________________________________
Belgrad/Paris/Washington (dpa) - Die Führung in Belgrad und die Nato haben am Donnerstag das Abkommen über unbewaffnete Nato-Überwachungsflüge über der Krisenprovinz Kosovo unterzeichnet. Das berichtete der Belgrader Fernsehkanal BK-TV. Am Abend waren in Belgrad der Nato-Generalsekretär Javier Solana, der Nato-Oberbefehlshaber Wesley Clark und der Vorsitzende des Nato-Militärausschusses, Klaus Naumann, in Belgrad eingetroffen. Sie sollten sich mit Milosevic treffen. Der Sender BK-TV berichtete nicht, wer das Abkommen unterschrieben hat.
Die Überwachung des Luftraums um das Kosovo durch Nato-Flugzeuge könnte nach Angaben des amerikanischen Verteidigungsministeriums bereits am Freitag oder Samstag beginnen. Eingesetzt würden US-Flugzeuge, die bisher über Bosnien Kontrollflüge unternehmen, sowie Maschinen aus Großbritannien und Frankreich, den Niederlanden und möglicherweise Rußland, berichteten Pentagon-Beamte am Donnerstag in Washington. Feindliche Aktionen gegen die Flugzeuge der Nato seien zwar nicht zu erwarten, doch würden die Maschinen auf mögliche Angriffe entsprechend antworten, hielten die Beamten fest.
Im Gegensatz zu Hinweisen auf eine leichte Entspannung und einen Abzug der serbischen Sicherheitskräfte sagte der Auslandssprecher der Kosovo-«Befreiungsarmee» (UCK), Bardhyl Mahmuti, in Genf, Straßen und Dörfer in der Provinz würden weiter von den Serben beschossen. Belgrad habe seine Truppen sogar noch verstärkt. Mit beginnendem Schneefall verschärfe sich die Flüchtlingstragödie.
Vier serbische Polizisten sind bei zwei Angriffen der albanischen Untergrundarmee UCK in der Krisenprovinz Kosovo verletzt worden, berichtete der Belgrader Radio-Sender B 92. Am Donnerstag abend kam es zu neuen Schießereien zwischen serbischen Polizisten und der albanischen Untergrundarmee UCK. Albaner hätten mehrere Stunden lang einige Polizeikontrollpunkte angegriffen, meldete die amtliche Belgrader Nachrichtenagentur Tanjug.
In Paris berieten die Außenminister der Sechs-Mächte-Kontaktgruppe (USA, Rußland, Frankreich, Großbritannien, Deutschland, Italien) unter anderem, wie die Sicherheit der von Milosevic zugelassenen 2 000 OSZE-Beobachter gewährleistet werden soll. Die Organisation für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa (OSZE) hat am Donnerstag der internationalen Beobachtermission für das Kosovo zugestimmt.
Der deutsche Außenminister Klaus Kinkel erklärte in Paris, die Kontaktgruppe bleibe mißtrauisch gegenüber Milosevic und seinen Zusagen für eine Kosovo-Lösung. Bei der Nato in Brüssel wurde kritisiert, daß Milosevic die Forderungen der UN-Resolution vom September zu zögernd umsetze: «Uns geht das alles viel zu langsam», hieß es. Rußlands Außenminister Igor Iwanow wiederholte in Paris die Warnung Moskaus vor einer Militäraktion, die von der Allianz weiter nicht ausgeschlossen wird.
Die Vereinten Nationen entsenden am kommenden Wochenende die ersten Mitglieder einer Beobachtermission in die südjugoslawische Krisenprovinz Kosovo. UN-Sprecher Fred Eckhard kündigte am Donnerstag in New York an, daß sie unter Leitung des Schweden Staffan de Mistura stehen werde.
Belgrad und Nato unterzeichnen Abkommen über Überwachungsflüge_______________________________________________________________________
Belgrad (dpa) - Die Führung in Belgrad und die Nato haben am Donnerstag abend das Abkommen über unbewaffneten Nato-Überwachungsflügen über der südserbischen Krisenprovinz Kosovo unterzeichnet. Das berichtete der Belgrader Fernsehkanal BK-TV. Der Sender berichtete nicht, wer das Abkommen unterschrieben hat.
Am Abend waren in Belgrad der Nato-Generalsekretär Javier Solana, der Nato-Oberbefehlshaber Wesley Clark und der Vorsitzende des Nato-Militärausschusses Klaus Neumann in Belgrad eingetroffen. Sie sollten sich mit dem jugoslawischen Präsident Slobodan Milosevic treffen.
UN-Tribunal will Ermittlungen im Kosovo fortsetzen_______________________________________________________________________
Den Haag (dpa) - Das UN-Kriegsverbrechertribunal in Den Haag will so schnell wie möglich seine Ermittlungen über mögliche Menschenrechtsverletzungen im Kosovo wieder aufnehmen. Das habe die Chefanklägerin Louise Arbour dem jugoslawischen Präsidenten Slobodan Milosevic in einem Brief mitgeteilt, meldete die niederländische Presse-Agentur ANP. Arbour wolle selbst eine Gruppe von insgesamt zehn Ermittlern leiten. Am Mittwoch hatte Belgrad den Mitarbeitern des Tribunals Visa zugesagt, nachdem ihnen zuvor die Erlaubnis für Arbeiten verweigert worden war.
Agentur Tanjug berichtet über albanische Angriffe im Kosovo_______________________________________________________________________
Belgrad (dpa) - In der südserbischen Krisenprovinz Kosovo ist es am Donnerstag abend zu neuen Schießereien zwischen serbischen Polizisten und der albanischen Untergrundarmee UCK gekommen. Die «Terroristen» hätten mehrere Stunden lang einige Polizeikontrollpunkte nahe Klina, 60 Kilometer westlich der Provinzhauptstadt Pristina, angegriffen, meldete die amtliche Belgrader Nachrichtenagentur Tanjug.
Wegen der Kämpfe mußte die Straße von Pristina nach Pec für den Verkehr gesperrt werden. Es gab zunächst keine Angaben über mögliche Opfer. Bei mehreren UCK-Angriffen am Mittwoch und Donnerstag wurden nach serbischen Angaben vier Polizisten verletzt.
SPD-Fraktion stimmt möglichem Kosovo-Einsatz der Nato zu
Bonn (dpa) - Die sozialdemokratische Parlamentsfraktion will bei der Sondersitzung im deutschen Parlament der Beteiligung der deutschen Streitkräfte an einer möglichen Nato-Militäraktion im Kosovo zustimmen.
Bei zwölf Gegenstimmen sprachen sich am Donnerstag abend die SPD-Abgeordneten der alten Fraktion dafür aus. Einige Vertreter der Parteilinken äußerten Bedenken, die jedoch von der Mehrheit der Mitglieder nicht geteilt wurden.
zurück zu ==> Teil 1
|news from Fr. Sava (Decani Monastery)|
SM News:7384: HRH Crown Prince Aleksandar II Attack on Media Freedom
Datum: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 02:52:01 -0400 (EDT)
angelina markovic posted Message 7384 in the SM News:
Dated : October 15, 1998 at 02:51:40
Subject: HRH Crown Prince Aleksandar II Attack on Media Freedom
For Fair use Only
Latest statement of
HRH Crown Prince Aleksandar II
Attack on Media Freedom
London 14 October, 1998.
In connection with the banning of independent newspapers “Danas” and “Dnevni Telegraf”, HRH Crown Prince Alexander made the following statement today.
After warning the independent media not to “spread panic and defeatism”, the regime in Serbia yesterday banned the Belgrade newspapers “Danas” and “Dnevni Telegraf”. Earlier it took measures against independent radio stations and banned rebroadcasting of “Voice of America”, “BBC” and “Deutsche Welle” programmes. It is clear that the regime, not satisfied with its complete control over State television and radio, is using the crisis over Kosovo to stifle even the limited freedom that the media had up to now.
While protesting in the strongest possible terms against this attack on the freedom of thought and expression, I would like to point out that there can be no democracy or the rule of law without the freedom of the press and media. I am convinced that the Serbian people will not allow the present regime in Belgrade, which has brought the Serbs and the entire region to the brink of disaster, to deprive them even of independent media. As regards the ban on rebroadcasting of programmes of foreign radio stations such as the BBC, I would like to remind the regime that listening to “Radio London” was banned in Serbia only once in our history when the ban was imposed by the German occupier during the Second World War.
London 14 October, 1998
CONGRES MONDIAL SERBE
WORLD SERB CONGRESS
WELTKONGRESS DER SERBEN
Bruxelles -- Heildeberg -- Bonn
* * * Iustitia regnorum fundamentum * * *
For fair use only
[FWD]: Angelina Markovic firstname.lastname@example.org
Datum: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 11:44:58 -0400
Von: Jonathan Clarke <email@example.com>
October 15, 1998_______________________________________________________________________
The Honorable Madeleine Albright,
Secretary of State,
Department of State,
Washington, D.C. 20520
Dear Madam Secretary:
In my letter to you of October 13, I welcomed the agreement on Kosovo negotiated under American auspices. I also warned that, as we move into the monitoring and verification stage, it will be very important to ensure that extremists on the Kosovo Albanian side do not derail the agreement.
These warnings received new strength on October 14 with the publication in the Albanian language newspaper Koha Ditore of a statement by the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army rejecting autonomy and insisting on independence as the solution to the Kosovo problem. The implication, of course, is that the KLA reserves the right to resume terrorism in pursuit of this objective.
Not only is this position in direct conflict with the provisions of Security Council Resolution 1199 calling for a commitment to negotiations (paragraph 3) and a renunciation of violence (paragraph 6), but it conflicts with the established U.S. policy that rules out independence for Kosovo.
I hope therefore that the Administration will take urgent steps to make clear to the Kosovo Albanian side that they also have serious obligations under the agreement and that any non-compliance will attract serious consequences. I urge the Administration to ensure that it and its NATO and OSCE partners monitor the activities of the KLA very closely. The latter has a vested interest in seeing the agreement fail. For the sake of the rest of us who believe in peaceful settlement of disputes, the terrorists and extremists must not be allowed to succeed.
Milosh D. Milenkovich
5851 Pearl Road, Suite 307,
Cleveland, OH 44130
tel: (440) 842-2770 fax: (440) 842-2740
cc: Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Members of the House International Relations Committee
Members of NATO
tel (202) 785-8430
fax (202) 466-4089
15 October 1998
TRANSCRIPT: LEHRER INTV WITH HOLBROOKE ON KOSOVO OCTOBER 14
(Holbrooke says emergency may be "bottoming out") (2770)
(Permission has been obtained covering republication/translation of the text by USIS/press outside the United States. On title page carry: From the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, October 14, 1998, co-produced by MACNEIL-LEHRER PRODUCTIONS, and WETA in association with WNET. Copyright (c) 1998 by MacNeil-Lehrer Productions. NOTE: Internet rights are not available, but we can link to the NEWSHOUR Home Page: WWW.PBS.ORG/NEWSHOUR The NewsHour Home Page is in Real Audio.)
Washington -- Ambassador Richard Holbrooke says that when he left Washington for his talks in Belgrade with "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" President Slobodan Milosevic regarding Kosovo, "we were on a glide path towards a war."
But now, he said during an October 14 interview on Public Broadcasting's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, he feels "maybe we're seeing the bottoming out of the emergency and the beginning of an attempt to address the crisis."
But, Holbrooke said, the crisis "is the future of Kosovo within Yugoslavia, and we're only scratching the surface of that one today."
Following is transcript of interview from the MacNeil-Lehrer web site:
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE
October 14, 1998
Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special envoy to the Balkans, discusses the recent peace agreement in Kosovo.
JIM LEHRER: The interview with special Kosovo envoy Richard Holbrooke. I talked with him this afternoon.
JIM LEHRER: Mr. Ambassador, welcome.
RICHARD HOLBROOKE: It's a pleasure to be here, Jim.
JIM LEHRER: Are you optimistic today, 24 hours or so later, about the arrangement you made with President Milosevic?
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: Optimism is a word I never use in this area. Let me just be clear on what happened. When we left for the region nine days ago -- when the President and Secretary Albright asked us to go out there -- we were on a glide path towards a war, an aerial war to be sure, but the bombers were getting ready, the fighters were at Aviano fueling up, and NATO was getting ready to issue an activation order, and I really thought that the odds were overwhelming that we were going to have to use force. We gave Milosevic a choice between the use of force and a very strict compliance and verification regime. And after nine of the toughest days imaginable, Milosevic agreed to two verification regimes, a very intrusive aerial surveillance system, which NATO will conduct; Milosevic's air force will have to turn off its radar. They will have to put their anti-aircraft in cold storage, and there will be a safety buffer zone.
That air campaign of non-combat surveillance will be conducted, of course, by NATO, but interestingly enough, Jim, the Russians have asked about the possibility of participating in it. On the ground, over 2000 international verifiers in civilian clothes will be there under the auspices of the OSCE -- this 54-nation organization based in Vienna. OSCE has never done anything like this before, but we're going to make sure it's for real. These people will be able to go anywhere they want in the country -- in Kosovo.
JIM LEHRER: Who are these 2000 people?
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: Anyone who wants to sign up should send their application to the OSCE in Vienna. You know, every time I go around this country speaking, every time I appear on your show, I get letters from people who did the same kind of thing in Bosnia and said they'd like to do it again, send their resumes to them.
JIM LEHRER: So you don't have to be a trained diplomat or a military person or anything like that, huh?
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: God, I hate to say this in front of my friends in the State Department who -- who were so wonderful in this negotiation, but, hey, you don't have a diplomat to be a verifier. These are people who are going to live in towns and villages in Kosovo. They're going to be guaranteed their safety. But we'll have an emergency extraction campaign, if necessary, planned, and an over-the-horizon capability. They're going to be there to verify, to conduct elections, as we move forward in the political process and so on. But I want to be clear -- Kosovo was and remains a crisis. Inside the crisis we hit an emergency over the use of force to stop this dreadful thing that had happened in Kosovo over the summer in which you and I have talked before and on which you've reported. We can now see a route to end the emergency, although the activation order was passed two nights ago in Brussels by NATO, and it's still in effect but suspended while we wait for compliance.
Today I talked to the French and British foreign ministers and Secretary Albright also did, and we talked to the head of NATO, Solana. They're all -- Solana is getting ready to go to Belgrade within 48 hours to sign the air surveillance agreement. The head of OSCE, Foreign Minister Geremek of Poland, will go there to sign their agreement, and then we want to put these people into Kosovo to verify and comply. Meanwhile, their initial report put them in further drawdowns, so --
JIM LEHRER: Drawdowns by the Serbs of their troops and police, right?
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: Yes. So going back to your question about optimism and pessimism, all I can say is that three years ago we ended the war in Bosnia using NATO air power, and I hope that history will record that this week we started the turnaround in Kosovo with the threat but not the use of NATO air power -- but to stress to your viewers, the threat was real, and will remain in force as and if necessary.
JIM LEHRER: Give us a feel for what it was like to sit with Milosevic for -- How many hours altogether were you with him over these last nine days?
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: I didn't add it up but on the day before yesterday it was 11 hours alone. Yesterday we had a nice short meeting, only two hours and as I went over the final arrangements for our announcements. But I've spent a lot of time with them. With the exception of the last two days of Dayton, this was far and away the most difficult situation.
JIM LEHRER: Dayton is when you were negotiating Bosnia, right?
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: Yes. That was 21 fun-filled days.
JIM LEHRER: Yes.
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: But this one was not. This one was really difficult. It was heated and emotional at times. Kosovo is far more important to President Milosevic than Kosovo -- excuse me -- let me rephrase -- I'm a little tired here. Kosovo is far more important to Milosevic than Bosnia was, because it's inside Yugoslavia. Bosnia was an adjoining country. It was heated at times, it was emotional at times, but in the end, we made a set of arrangements which I think give us the chance of compliance with these UN resolutions. And then we can turn to the core problem, which is the political situation.
JIM LEHRER: Give us a feel for the heat and the emotion that was inside the room at times between the two of you.
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: Well, you know, I'm trying to think of anecdotes. We have a rule not to disclose confidential things, but let me just give you an example. On the third day -- the first three days were unbelievably difficult. And I wasn't sure how we were going to emerge from this. I made it clear that bombing was likely. We moved the B-52's forward from the United States to the United Kingdom, and we moved carriers in the Adriatic. On the third or fourth day my memory is a little vague right now, we added to our delegation Lt. General Mike Short, the U.S. and NATO commander of air forces in Southern Europe. General Short, who is a very tough, no-nonsense airman, with 240 missions in Vietnam under his belt, came in and I introduced him to Milosevic and Milosevic leaned forward in characteristic fashion and said -- opening line -- said, "So, General, you're the man who's going to bomb us" -- was his first line -- and Mike Short was momentarily taken aback, but he came right back at him and said, Mr. President, I've got B-52's in one hand, I've got U-2's in the other -- I'm going to be ordered to use one of the two of them, I hope you make the right choice, but I'll do whatever I'm told. That kind of leveled the playing field, and Milosevic knew he was up against the real thing. I think Mike Short's presence in those negotiations -- General
JIM LEHRER: When was it that you realized that Milosevic realized this was -- this threat of an air strike -- of air strikes -- was real?
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: I don't know that. You know, my colleagues in Washington -- Madeleine Albright -- Sandy Berger -- others -- Bill Cohen -- asked me the same question repeatedly when we had our secure phone conversations. We would go into this little telephone booth with all sorts of detective devices to guard against listening and have these calls to Washington in the middle of the night. Two nights ago we were on the phone with them till 5:30 in the morning. And then when we got to the hotel, there were 30 journalists waiting for us. And that question was asked. And I don't know the answer. But it was real, and I think that you just put together the package and make sure that it's understood.
JIM LEHRER: Now, you've spent all this time with Milosevic -- you've spent time with him before -- it's not the first time you've spent some intense moments with this. What's he like? Is he an evil man trying to do evil things? Or is he -- do you have any understanding beyond -- of him or understanding of why he feels the way he does and does what he does?
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: I think power motivates him. He's very smart. He's very tough. I think there's a great deal of cynicism there. I know that many people have described him as an extreme nationalist. That is not my view. I think he's more opportunistic than nationalistic. There are people to the right of him -- Sheshel -- Karadzic in the region -- who are real fascist racists. I think this is a different equation. He's extraordinarily dangerous and will take advantage of any opportunity to gain something. But I also want to say that I'm not into making a moral judgment at this time about somebody with whom I've had to negotiate. My job was to negotiate with them.
And I want to just add one more point, Jim, particularly since you know my wife, Kati. She wrote a book, which was very influential in my thinking, about Raoul Wallenberg. Wallenberg negotiated with Eichmann to save 300,000 people. Eichmann was surely one of the most evil men, to use your word, ever in Europe in this century, but Wallenberg's theory, which I fully subscribe to, was it's better to negotiate with a person to save lives still alive than to refuse to. And, I therefore have no qualms about doing things which I think will ultimately help the Albanians in Kosovo who have been treated so badly by the Serbs in Belgrade and in Kosovo.
JIM LEHRER: Did you leave there feeling that Milosevic did what he did because he was forced to do it, and that had you had not come and essentially threatened him, held a gun to his head, he would not have done this?
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: Well, the short answer to your question is yes. But I don't want to personalize this into the second person singular. It wasn't me. It was a team in Belgrade, including General Short, including Amb. Chris Hill, who continues the negotiations now with the Albanians, which is still the crux of the problem. We have to deal with the realities of the refugees, of the political debasement of the process, of the need to hold the elections and get the local Albanian police up and running and get the Serb security police out of the Albanian hair, and we were backed up by all of NATO, by the whole contact group, by the OSCE, even the Russians, and back in Washington the determination of the president and of his national security team, including Madeleine Albright, Bill Cohen, Sandy Berger, I mean these guys were around the clock on the weekend. They were in the office at 6:00 AM for the meeting with us on the phone -- we must have spent almost as much time on the phone as we did with Milosevic. So it was a team effort, and we were in constant contact with the foreign ministers of Britain, France, Germany. Madeleine Albright and I went to Brussels and London together in the middle of it, as you reported. So it was an extraordinary effort.
JIM LEHRER: The 250,000 people who have been displaced, Albanians, ethnic Albanians have been displaced because of this.
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: I think more than that.
JIM LEHRER: Is it more than that? At least 250,000, 300,000, whatever. Are those people really going to be allowed now to return to their homes and live in safety and comfort?
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: Most of them are out of the forests and out of the hills that they went into during the summer because if the weather deteriorated, most of them came back into the lower lands and took up residence. But a lot of them are living with relatives or friends or camping out somewhere; their own houses have been destroyed. The current U.N. estimate is that the number of people still out in the open is between ten and fifty thousand. That's a lot, but it's going down every day, and one of the good news events of today is that the U.N. -- based on the suspension of the activation order -- the U.N. has gone back in there, is starting the humanitarian supply again. But the key thing is to let the people go back not just to get out of the forest but to get into their original homes. And a lot of these homes have been destroyed.
And Milosevic said to me -- look -- I said to Milosevic the international community should not pay for this, you should, you caused it. He said, fine. He said, I've sent cement and bricks and mortar around and the Albanians can come pick it up, and I said to Milosevic, but, look, you -- you put them at the Serb supply, the Serb checkpoints -- so that the Albanians are scared to come and get the bricks and mortar, and if they come in, the Serbs have this paraffin test where they put a paraffin test on your arm to see if you've been near gun powder, and if the paraffin test, which isn't always accurate, tests positive, they pick you up as a terrorist. So --
JIM LEHRER: Is he going to stop that?
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: Well, the paraffin test only is valid for 72 hours, and the fighting has been over now for about eight or ten days, but the paraffin test -- you know, it was terrorizing the Albanians. So --
JIM LEHRER: That's over now, right?
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: The paraffin test is over --
JIM LEHRER: But what about the rest?
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: The supplies are still in Serb control -- checkpoints, and that's one of the things we want the U.N. and after them the OSCE to work on.
JIM LEHRER: So there's a lot to be done?
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: Oh, God, I mean, it's immense, but it's not up to us today to know whether this is the turning point, but I'll tell you something -- because you and I did the same interviews at the time of Dayton -- history will tell whether it works out or not, but I got a feeling that maybe we're seeing the bottoming out of the emergency and the beginning of an attempt to address the crisis. The crisis is the future of Kosovo within Yugoslavia, and we're only scratching the surface of that one today.
JIM LEHRER: Okay. Well, thank you very much. Get some rest. You've earned it.
AMB. RICHARD HOLBROOKE: Thanks, Jim.
Decani Monastery tel +381 390 61543
38322 Decani, Serbia fax +381 390 61567
http://www.decani.yunet.com e-mail: decani@EUnet.yu
back to ==> Part 1
Reports from Human Rights Organisations
especially CDHRF (Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms, Prishtina)
|further news from ATA /ENTER and so on|
|further press news|
14 October 1998_______________________________________________________________________
TRANSCRIPT: LUGAR AND EAGLEBURGER DISCUSS KOSOVO ON WORLDNET
("We simply are not going to allow those refugees to die") (8950)
Washington -- Senator Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Lawrence Eagleburger, who served as Secretary of State during the last months of President Bush's administration, discussed October 13 the political and humanitarian situation in Kosovo.
Speaking on the WorldNet program "Washington Window," Senator Lugar addressed the subject of possible NATO air strikes against Serbia, saying, "I am one who is supporting the President of the United States and the NATO commander, General Clark, as they need to proceed to do what they need to do. And I have been one who advised them that the attacks should not be those that injure people in Kosovo.
"As a matter of fact, my own view is that air strikes ought to be very sizably against the Serbian military, to diminish its capacity. If we're going to get into this, we need to be very credible indeed and take it very seriously. And President Milosevic needs to take it very seriously."
The senator said that "people in Serbia have to understand that people are being killed in Kosovo by the thousands, that their homes are being demolished, that their villages are being pillaged, that hundreds of thousands of refugees are spilling out of the country due to Serbian action. And this is unacceptable.
"The fact is that we favor democratization throughout the entirety of Europe, and especially in Serbia. This would be welcome. But at the same time, from a humanitarian standpoint, enough is enough. And it appears to me that Serbians in their discussion of what is going on in their part of the world ought to understand that, ought to be supportive of attempts to bring an end to the killing and the pillaging in Kosovo."
Lugar had pointed out earlier that last week "the Serbian Information Ministry warned the local media that rebroadcasting foreign news from such reputable international broadcasters as the Voice of America and BBC would be considered a subversive act. And yet in an effort to provide an alternate view on the Kosovo situation, the independent media continued to carry news from these international broadcasters."
Asked if NATO air strikes would mean the cessation of diplomacy, Lugar said, "No, it would not mean the cessation of diplomacy. It would mean that now, apparently, President Milosevic and others would understand that NATO is serious. In my judgment, President Milosevic has taken things for granted for a long while, namely, that he could huff and bluff and, in essence, not suffer any penalties for that.
"I think he ought to understand .. that he cannot count upon managing to bluff his way through this situation. We simply are not going to allow those refugees to die, for the villages to be continued to be pillaged for, in essence, a regime in Kosovo which is not negotiating a peaceful future, but rather a dire circumstance of tragedy. That is not going to continue.... Many people in the United States, and I am one of them, have said that the tolerance level with regard to atrocities has been passed."
Saying that the world is watching the negotiations, Lugar said, "Now if we do get peace, let us say the negotiations are successful today between Ambassador Holbrooke and President Milosevic. This is going to require an enormous effort on the part of the world to try to save a lot of people. But that effort will be attempted."
He said, however, if the refugees are to be fed and the groups that are attempting to help them in a humanitarian way are to get that job done, that an observation group has to be credible, has to assure those providing the humanitarian aid that they can do so in safety. He said that "NATO has to be a part of it, and the United States is a leader of NATO."
Former Assistant Secretary of State Eagleburger, taking a different tack, but not opposing NATO air strikes against Serbia, said that "there is some likelihood ... that this will strengthen Milosevic. But again, what will be achieved? Well, as I said at the beginning of my remarks, I think we have all waited too long to do anything.
"What happens now and what will be achieved now at best will be an end to the fighting and some means of feeding and clothing and housing the thousands of refugees that have been engendered by this whole thing. But it's only going to be stopgap measures. It's not a fundamental solution to the problem of multinational ethnicity in what was Yugoslavia. It is simply something that is aimed at doing something about the worst aspects of what's now going on in Kosovo. But it isn't going to accomplish much beyond that. It can't.
"And in fact, if you look at the situation from an American perspective, I have to say to you that it seems to me that the air strikes, depending on how effective they are and where they are, they will perhaps force Mr. Milosevic to develop a new policy.
"But I also will say to you that it's not a lasting thing. We're going to be dealing with this kind of a problem for years to come. I said that when the whole break-up of Yugoslavia began. I said it during the tragedy of Bosnia. And I say it again to you now. This whole awful, awful mess that's developed since the collapse of the Yugoslav federal state is going to be with us all, and most importantly with all of you for the next decade."
At another point, Eagleburger said, "And by the way, I am in favor of the use of force now to try to get Mr. Milosevic to deal with things differently. I wish it had happened some months ago, because it is such a mess in the Kosovo now that no matter what happens, it's going to take a terribly long time to sort it out. And unfortunately, a lot of people are going to die from starvation and exposure, no matter what we do."
Responding to a questioner, Eagleburger said, "And while I think we're now in a situation in the Kosovo where the questioner's very right to point that these are radical elements as far as the Kosovars are concerned, I do have to come back to say that it is years and years of Milosevic mismanagement of the Kosovo situation, in my personal judgment, that has led to the impasse we're now in."
Speaking candidly in response to another question, the former secretary of state said, "Come on. I lived in Yugoslavia long enough to know and see that the Kosovars in the old days had a certain degree of freedom. And I was in that part of the world enough times, in Pristina and so forth, that I saw how Serbs and Albanians lived together. It wasn't always easy, but it was managed. And what's happened now is that we have had Mr. Milosevic for years, in Bosnia and in the Kosovo, pushing and pushing and pushing what I can only describe as Serb nationalism."
Following is a transcript of the interviews:
U.S. INFORMATION AGENCY
SUBJECT: THE POLITICAL AND HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN KOSOVO INTERVIEWS WITH: SENATOR RICHARD LUGAR (REPUBLICAN-INDIANA) AND FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE LAWRENCE EAGLEBURGER
MONDAY, OCTOBER 12, 1998
9:00 AM [EST]
JIM BERTEL: Hi. I'm Jim Bertel. Welcome to Washington Window, where we discuss today's most important issues one-on-one with leading newsmakers.
The lock is ticking, with time quickly running out for a diplomatic solution to the Kosovo crisis. As Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke continues his shuttle diplomacy between meetings in Belgrade with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and Pristina for talks with the leaders of the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, NATO is making final preparations for air strikes which could begin within days if no political solution is reached. According to sources close to the discussions, the key hurdle is Washington's demand for a Kosovo monitoring force, which would include some NATO troops. The West sees this as vital because of President Milosevic's reputation for breaking promises during the Bosnian civil war.
Meanwhile, within Serbia, as the civilian population prepares for possible air strikes, the independent media faces their own crisis. Last week, the Serbian Information Ministry warned the local media that rebroadcasting foreign news from such reputable international broadcasters as the Voice of America and BBC would be considered a subversive act. And yet in an effort to provide an alternate view on the Kosovo situation, the independent media continued to carry news from these international broadcasters.
On this edition of Washington Window, we'll discuss the situation in Kosovo and the international community's resolve to help the hundreds of thousands of refugees left homeless by the months of fighting. Joining me here in Washington is Senator Richard Lugar, a Republican from the state of Indiana and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Senator Lugar, thank you for being with us today.
SENATOR RICHARD LUGAR [R-INDIANA]: Thank you very much.
BERTEL: If military air strikes are required to solve the situation Kosovo, does President Clinton need a resolution, the approval of Congress to allow it to happen? And is there bilateral support for air strikes in Kosovo?
SENATOR LUGAR: Well, let me separate the two questions.
I suspect that it would be advisable for the President to have a resolution of support. But that is going to be very difficult, technically, to come by. The Congress is about to recess. We are in the last prospects now of working through appropriation bills with members scattered over the country, back on call to vote for final passage, with continuing resolutions keeping our government spending going while this negotiation proceeds. So there will not be the normal committee work, floor debate. Essentially, the administration, anticipating this, briefed most members of the House and Senate on Kosovo on the possibility that NATO would be asked to take this military option. And there was general support for that.
Now, having said that, eventually this must be paid for. And members of Congress, even as we're discussing the appropriations, are thinking very soberly about the amounts of money that must be provided in the military budget. And I would just add that the military budget is going to be increased. There is clearer vision that Kosovo has to be solved and that the United States government ought to be resolute, both Congress and President.
BERTEL: Last week, Defense Secretary Cohen testified before the Armed Services Committee and was asked about American ground troops as part of a possible NATO force once the situation in Kosovo has been stabilized. So you see a role for American troops? And is there support at home to put American troops on the ground in Kosovo?
SENATOR LUGAR: I do see a role for American troops as a part of an observation group in Kosovo, as a part of NATO, as a leader of NATO. And I believe that NATO must be a part of that observation group. Now this is a point of dispute, as I understand it, in the negotiations between President Milosevic and Ambassador Holbrooke now. But clearly, if the refugees are to be fed and the groups that are attempting to help them in a humanitarian way are to get that job done, and if, in fact, there are to be negotiations about the future of the political status of Kosovo, that observation group has to be credible and NATO has to be a part of it, and the United States is a leader of NATO.
BERTEL: Well, today we're pleased that this program is being carried by independent broadcasters all across Serbia and Montenegro, as well as being monitored by independent journalists in Kosovo.
Let's continue our discussion in Belgrade with B-92.
Belgrade, B-92, please go ahead with your first question for Senator Lugar.
Q: Our first question is what is the position of the Senator regarding what is -- what can be reached or achieved by the air strikes, considering that they could only strengthen Milosevic.
SENATOR LUGAR: Well, the whole idea of the air strikes is simply that NATO must be credible. Clearly, for some time the United States, leaders of NATO, even the United Nations with Resolution 1199, have said that the killing of Kosovars, the dispersal of refugees, the pillaging of over 200 villages is totally unacceptable. And every attempt has been made to bring an end to the killing, an end to the burning of the villages and the dispersal of refugees. Every attempt has been made to get some negotiations proceeding between the government of Yugoslavia and President Milosevic and those in Kosovo who want an autonomous status or independence, as the case may be.
Now all of that has not happened. And essentially, the United States and NATO allies have come to the conclusion which may be formalized even this very day, that military action may be required to indicate to President Milosevic that the world will not stand by for the dispersal of the refugees, for the killing of people indiscriminately and for the continuity of the policies that he has proceeded to do. I think there's full recognition of resistance by Serbia, resentment by Serbians generally of this proposition. But there is also a feeling that, without a credible threat of air strikes, and finally the strike themselves, that movement may not happen.
So I, as a member of Congress, do not have executive authority. But I am one who is supporting the President of the United States and the NATO commander, General Clark, as they need to proceed to do what they need to do. And I have been one who advised them that the attacks should not be those that injure people in Kosovo. As a matter of fact, my own view is that air strikes ought to be very sizably against the Serbian military, to diminish its capacity. If we're going to get into this, we need to be very credible indeed and take it very seriously. And President Milosevic needs to take it very seriously. And I say that as a member of Congress that's supporting what I suspect will be required, unless these negotiations, now in their last moments, bring about a credible group of people who can at least monitor in Kosovo what is happening and make certain that the right things happen.
BERTEL: Let's remain in Belgrade now and move on to Studio B. Go ahead with your first question.
Q: Hello. Hello.
BERTEL: Hello. Studio B, we hear you. Please go ahead with your question for the Senator.
Studio B, we do hear your question. We would like you to ask your question in Serbian. So please start over with your question for Senator Lugar.
All right. Studio B, we'll come back to you in just a moment or two. Let's move on now to TV Bijelina Basta.
Go ahead, please, with your first question.
Q: Good afternoon to colleagues and guests from Bijelina Basta in west Serbia.
Mr. Lugar, my question has to deal with what we've talked to our viewers over the crisis years, and that is the democratization of Serbia and integration of Serbia in all affairs of the world. The air strikes represent use of force that will take away all the positive processes that are taking place in this country today.
BERTEL: I think that's the end of the question.
SENATOR LUGAR: Well, let me just add that the point that the questioner has made is well taken, and this is why the United States and NATO have been very reluctant to go into military action, whether it be air strikes or anything else. Clearly, we are very strongly supportive of democratization and every democratic movement in Serbia. As a matter of fact, we admire the tremendous courage of Studio B and B-92 and others who have tried to keep a forum for discussion open in Serbia during this crisis. It's only with the greatest reluctance anybody is talking about military action.
But finally, people in Serbia have to understand that people are being killed in Kosovo by the thousands, that their homes are being demolished, that their villages are being pillaged, that hundreds of thousands of refugees are spilling out of the country due to Serbian action. And this is unacceptable. The fact is that we favor democratization throughout the entirety of Europe, and especially in Serbia. This would be welcome. But at the same time, from a humanitarian standpoint, enough is enough. And it appears to me that Serbians in their discussion of what is going on in their part of the world ought to understand that, ought to be supportive of attempts to bring an end to the killing and the pillaging in Kosovo.
BERTEL: We're pleased to have the newspaper Nasha Borba with us today. Please go ahead with your question for Senator Lugar.
Q: Good afternoon. Greetings. A question for Senator Lugar. Is there an exit strategy for the U.S. in case air strikes do take place? And how would the situation develop following the air strikes?
SENATOR LUGAR: Well, the air strikes are a part of a diplomatic process. There is no exit strategy, because there is no entry. The air strikes supplement international pressure, U.N. resolutions, NATO resolutions, other visitors who have come to see President Milosevic and try to make sense.
Now, in essence, the bombing attacks, at least the plans for these, are still known only to the NATO commander. But there have been suggestions of progressive attacks. There've been suggestions for attacks that ultimately go to the vitals of Serbia's military establishment. That ought to be taken very seriously by everybody, and certainly is, I believe, by everybody in Serbia and the United States. And this is why we are most hopeful that there will be no bombing attacks, that the negotiations Ambassador Holbrooke is conducting now with President Milosevic will be successful in bringing about a sufficiently credible observation team that the killing will stop, the pillaging will stop; the refugees will be fed and housed in a proper way, and negotiations about the future political status of Kosovo might continue.
But absent that, there is likely to be air strikes, bombing, destruction. And there is no exit strategy from this, aside from a new regime in Kosovo. By that I mean negotiations, and end to the bombing and the killing in Kosovo.
BERTEL: There's a great deal of interest in what's happening in Kosovo around the world. At this point, let's move on to London for the Middle East Broadcasting Center. Go ahead with your question.
Q: Yes, thank you. Russia is still against the use of force. Do you think the bombing should go ahead without the five permanent Security members' full approval?
SENATOR LUGAR: My view is that NATO has full authority to conduct the air strikes, that essentially the United States, through Resolution 1199, recognized the disaster and the crisis in Kosovo, that Secretary-General Kofi Annan has indicated that there has not been compliance with the humanitarian ideas of that resolution of the United Nations.
Now, furthermore, I would add, just as a United States senator, that NATO cannot be beholden ultimately to the veto of the Security Council of the United Nations. There simply are occasions in which the security of Europe, that for which NATO has been founded, peace and the movement toward democracy and stability so that people are not killed and maimed and sent into refugee status. The mission of NATO is to bring about peace, prosperity and tranquility. That is a solemn obligation, but it's one that is entered into by consensus; that is, by unanimity of all of the NATO members.
Now my view is that Russia needs to understand that. And I'm very hopeful the Russians will. The world right now is being asked by Russia for humanitarian aid to rescue Russia from very dire circumstances. It is certainly inappropriate for Russians at this time to be, at least by implication, condemning those in Kosovo to a cold winter in which a quarter of a million refugees may die if we do not really have a credible solution. And I would hope the Russians would take seriously their humanitarian obligation in that area.
BERTEL: Let's move now to central Serbia for TV Krogriavitz (?). Please go ahead with your question.
Q: Good afternoon from TV Krogriavitz. And here is our joint question. Is the authorization is given to NATO for military action, does that mean the cessation of diplomacy in Belgrade?
SENATOR LUGAR: No, it would not mean the cessation of diplomacy. It would mean that now, apparently, President Milosevic and others would understand that NATO is serious. In my judgment, President Milosevic has taken things for granted for a long while, namely, that he could huff and bluff and, in essence, not suffer any penalties for that. I think he ought to understand with the B-52 bombers in place, with the A-10 attack aircraft in place, with a very firm resolve on the part of NATO and the United States, that he cannot count upon managing to bluff his way through this situation. We simply are not going to allow those refugees to die, for the villages to be continued to be pillaged for, in essence, a regime in Kosovo which is not negotiating a peaceful future, but rather a dire circumstance of tragedy. That is not going to continue.
So as a result, we are at threshold.
Now after the bombing, there will need to be some more talks. And after more bombing, maybe some more talks. And maybe after visible destruction of the Serbian military establishment, some more talks. Eventually, this is going to be talked through. And the great hope on the part of people in the United States is that talking will occur prior and without bombing. That goes without saying. But I say it again. The need for success of those negotiations now between Ambassador Holbrooke and Mr. Milosevic is of the essence.
BERTEL: Let's return now to B-92 Radio in Belgrade. Go ahead with your question. We're actually going to stay in Belgrade and take a question from Studio B. Please go ahead.
Q: Good afternoon. My name is Milan Vitovich. I am a reporter from Studio B, Belgrade and one of the people who reported from Kosovo. I would ask the Senator for a short and a brief and precise answer. Tell me exactly what act of the Charter of the U.N. allows NATO to intervene in the internal affairs of another country. And as one of the reporters for Kosovo, I had the opportunity to see how Albanian terrorists take their own population and use them as a live shield so that they could attack the police, and the police did not -- because the police would not attack civilians, attack terrorists who were surrounded by civilians.
SENATOR LUGAR: Well, I will not try to cite a particular chapter of the Charter of the U.N. I will cite Resolution 1199, which is the most recent action taken by the U.N. with regard to Kosovo, as well as Secretary Kofi Annan's general summation of the predicament.
Let me just add with regard to the second point that one of the things that is most admirable about those who are trying to keep a free press alive in Yugoslavia is accurate reporting of what is actually occurring in Kosovo. And it does include activities in which certain citizens of Kosovo have also committed killing and have committed actions that are totally unacceptable. The problem of that kind of reporting is that it is so rare, and it is discounted because of the lack of freedom of the press in Serbia that frequently the world does not have as panoramic a view of what is occurring there as might be the case.
But let me just say that those in the United States who are following the situation in Kosovo are not entering into any summation which is totally a one-sided affair. There are many perpetrators of difficulty in the situation, which makes it all the more important that peaceful negotiations about the future that will be of benefit to all of the people of Kosovo, not [just] to those of any particular political persuasion, take place. We believe that can best happen if there is a fairly large and credible monitoring force there that can stop the killing and the pillaging in the meanwhile.
BERTEL: Let's move on now to Radio Station B-92 in Belgrade. Go ahead.
Q: The question for the Senator deals with the humanitarian catastrophe. Because you are saying there is a humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo, how do you explain the fact that members of aid organizations were among the first to have left this area recently?
SENATOR LUGAR: Well, I presume, without knowing who has left precisely, that many people have left the area because it's very dangerous. It's very difficult to deliver humanitarian aid in the midst of conflict, if not in some cases what looks like war. This is one reason why there has to be stability on the ground. This is why a fairly large and credible observation force is being suggested in negotiations now with Ambassador Holbrooke and Prime Minister Milosevic, so that, in fact, the private voluntary organizations or others of nation states who want to provide aid have some hope of getting that aid to the persons that need to be helped. In past situations in which people have tried to provide aid in this world, very frequently the food, or the clothing, or what have you, is stolen by those who are the aggressors, or who are involved in armed conflict with each other. That is totally unacceptable. People are going to die if aid doesn't get to them. And that is why the channels need to be clear and the protection for those providing the aid needs to be certain.
BERTEL: Once again, we remain in Belgrade and take a question from newspaper Nasha Borba. Go ahead.
Q: Again, the question for Senator Lugar. Based on what resolution of the Security Council or the Contact Group can you establish verification forces in Kosovo with wide powers? That is not one of the six requests of the Contact Group.
SENATOR LUGAR: Well, I'm unaware of all six of the requests of the Contact Group. I would simply say I have already cited on several occasions U.N. Resolution 1199 and Kofi Annan's general report. But I have also pointed out that NATO stands for the security of Europe. And by that, we mean stability; we mean peace; we mean movement toward freedom of people. Now that is a very strong calling. Many people in the United States, and I am one of them, have said that the tolerance level with regard to atrocities has been passed. But in essence, no nation state has the right to disperse hundreds of thousands of people, even in its own territory, to tear down their houses, to disrupt their villages. This is unacceptable just as humanitarian thought. But this is going to be resolved by the NATO as a unanimous consent, affirmation, before force is utilized. And I would just simply say that I will support NATO's dicta simply because I believe in NATO and I believe NATO's credibility is at stake.
For a long time, these discussions have proceeded. And I appreciate that international law is very important and it's been observed. But something more has to be observed at this point, and that is that people are dying. They are being killed ruthlessly. And that must be stopped. And at least a force that is there in Europe that might stop the killing is NATO. And therefore, we must proceed, unless there are peaceful negotiations that finally result in something, today or tomorrow, or in the very, very near future. And I suspect the world is watching right now those negotiations between Ambassador Holbrooke and President Milosevic.
BERTEL: Senator Lugar, peace is going to come to Kosovo, either politically or militarily, in the weeks ahead. What remains is a huge humanitarian relief operation. What steps are being taken to get relief in? And can we provide housing and food, shelter, clothing for these hundreds of thousands of refugees before winter sets in?
SENATOR LUGAR: Well, that's a very important question, because we're already up to October the 12th, and winter is very close at hand. And much of the activity that would be necessary is not occurring because a war is going on there. In other words, people who are seriously involved as private voluntary organizations are reticent to plan activities, simply because their own personnel are in jeopardy, or physically they cannot deliver out of a small airport in Pristina or through roads that may be impassable. It would be difficult enough to do in the winter if there was not conflict. It is virtually impossible under these circumstances.
Now if we do get peace, let us say the negotiations are successful today between Ambassador Holbrooke and President Milosevic. This is going to require an enormous effort on the part of the world to try to save a lot of people. But that effort will be attempted.
You may recall a short while ago when President Bush went to the nation in December to talk about refugees in Somalia and a million people potentially starving there. And people in the United States responded generously, both governmentally and privately. I suspect that will be the case in Kosovo. But the situation is so confused currently and so dangerous that kind of planning has not occurred really to the extent that it must.
BERTEL: Well, at this point, let's return to TV Bijelina Basta for another question.
Q: I have one observation and one suggestion for Mr. Lugar. First, it seems to me that Washington today does not have the newest information from Kosovo and Serbia, if you are to believe us from the independent media, because we spent the last seven to ten years facing a lot of risk in an attempt to show the whole truth to the people. We know, and this is very fresh, that the conflicts in Kosovo are to a great degree lessened, and special police forces and troops have to a great extent been withdrawn, and humanitarian groups are in Kosovo. [In] the big cities where Serbs and Albanians live together, there have been no major conflicts. It seems to me that [in] the American media, or the Western media, this conflict is exaggerated to some extent. I'm not saying it's not existent. It's tragic. It's atrocious in some ways, and the American public was well informed about the armed aspect of the conflict. But I think the real truth to the West will come as a late echo, and it might be too late at that point. I believe NATO could only provoke a new civil war in Serbia.
These are difficult words, and in that light I would like to ask you what will you think -- what will you and the American administration think if this civil war occurs? I'd like to add there is hundred thousand refugees from Kosovo, but they're not alone. We have a lot of refugees from west Serbia, from the border states, and there are people who have relatives or friends in Bosnia, or Romania or Bulgaria. They're refugees as well. They don't have as horrible a situation as the Kosovars. And this situation might be worse and more dangerous than the conflict in Kosovo.
My question for you is, can you do something concrete to prevent the escalation of the conflict, concretely speaking maybe preventing the NATO action and adding additional force through all kinds of institutions on the public opinion of Serbia so as to create a constructive approach to progress within the Serbian state?
SENATOR LUGAR: I believe that the observations are very important. Namely, it is impossible for most of us in Washington to obtain accurate information about precisely how many Serbian forces have been withdrawn, or what types are still there and where they are located, the degree and the intensity of the fighting. Most reporting here in Washington is the fighting has subsided. And as the observation of the last questioner points out, it is probable that in the large cities there has been less conflict than in areas of the country where apparently Serbians attempting to combat the Kosovo Liberation Army have pre-emptively destroyed villages, houses, other situations in the more rural areas. But clearly, the question of civil war is important because it would be tragic again. People would be killed. The same situation that NATO is trying to prevent would be continued on in a different form.
This is why the current idea of a large observation force, including NATO personnel, to add credibility, to add security and safety to this is imperative, so that there is not further conflict, whether it be Serbians or Kosovars killing each other, or an absolute civil war in which all society breaks down. This is a moment of truth, of bringing some fiber, some fabric that is neutral, that brings a sense of safety to the area. Clearly, to the extent that there is independent reporting, this is very helpful. And I stress again how much I admire the courage of those in the television and the radio and the press in Serbia who are attempting to do their job and interpret even under these difficult circumstances to Washington, London, to everywhere the actually situation. We need to know that so mistakes are not made.
At the same time, the answer, I still think, is an independent force on the ground in Kosovo that helps to keep the peace and feed the refugees.
BERTEL: Well, I'm afraid we'll have to make that the final word. We've run out of time. Senator Lugar, thank you for joining us at this critical time.
SENATOR LUGAR: Thank you.
BERTEL: You're watching Washington Window.
As NATO prepares to authorize military action in Kosovo, U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke continues to meet with Yugoslav President Milosevic in a last-ditch effort to find a peaceful solution to the Kosovo crisis.
Ratcheting up the pressure, the U.S. moved A-10 aircraft to the Aviano Air Base in Italy and B-52 bombers to Britain.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think just by the virtue of being here, we send a very powerful signal that NATO means business.
BERTEL: In Belgrade, talks continue today between special envoy Richard Holbrooke and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. The deadlock appears to be over whether Serb police in Kosovo should be replaced by NATO ground troops who would supervise any peace settlement. In Kosovo, the situation worsens for Albanian refugees. Tens of thousands are afraid to return to their homes fearing attacks. Most international relief agencies have fled the area, creating a potential food crisis. Ethnic Albanians also fear reprisals if NATO does strike. The armed Albanian rebel group, KLA, is virtually defeated. Over the weekend, some of them made a show of laying down their arms in support of international peace efforts. In Belgrade, this political analyst says that when attacked from outside, Serbs will back their leader, right or wrong, which would leave the West dealing with an even stronger Milosevic.
Joining me now to further analyze the situation in Kosovo is former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. During Mr. Eagleburger's diplomatic career, he served in Belgrade as the U.S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia. Mr. Eagleburger joins us today from the air as he travels from his home in Virginia to a meeting in Oklahoma.
Mr. Eagleburger, thank you for being with us.
LAWRENCE EAGLEBURGER [FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE]: My pleasure. Thank you for inviting me.
BERTEL: Oh, we're glad you're here.
You were a senior diplomat at the State Department during the war in Bosnia. We're seeing the atrocities of that war repeated in Kosovo. Should the international community have seen this coming? And has it reacted in a timely manner?
EAGLEBURGER: The answer to the first part of the question is, yes, it should have seen it coming. The second to the second part of the question is, no, it has not acted in a timely manner. If it had acted some time ago, it would be an easier problem to solve now. There wouldn't be as many refugees, and it would have been a less severe problem than is now the case.
BERTEL: All right. Well, we're glad that you're with us today. Let's move on now to the independent broadcasters scattered throughout Serbia. Right now, we join TV Krogriavitz. Please go ahead with your question.
Q: Western politicians say that they have nothing against the civilian population in Serbia, but the decision on whether for air strikes depends on Milosevic's compliance with the request of NATO and the U.N. And Milosevic is seen as the only culprit for this current situation. What is your view on this?
EAGLEBURGER: I don't think Milosevic is the only culprit. I've said before with regard to Bosnia, and I basically would say it again, that there are no heroes in this game at all. I hold the Croats and some of the Bosnian Muslims responsible, and much of Serbia for the mess in Bosnia. I think what we've seen in Kosovo, and, yes, I do think it largely rests originally in Mr. Milosevic's hands. What we see now is, I think, the Kosovars themselves over time have become more radicalized than was the case some few years ago. I think that is a consequence of Milosevic's very unwise handling of the Kosovo situation. But I couldn't argue that Milosevic alone is the criminal, is the culprit. I think there is blame to go around.
But I would say, as I said just a minute ago, I think the fundamental reason that things are as bad in Kosovo now as they are must rest with Mr. Milosevic.
BERTEL: Let's move on now to Studio B in Belgrade. Please go ahead with your first question.
Q: I would like to appeal to Ambassador Eagleburger to reply to the questions much more precisely than did Senator Lugar. My question is if the U.S. is so scared because of the situation of the refugees in Kosovo, why does the U.S. create new waves of refugees by its decisions, the ones that are flooding over to other parts of Yugoslavia?
EAGLEBURGER: Well, I guess.....
Q: What do you do with the Irish, the Irish IRA and the English? How can the Turks use bombs when dealing with the Kurds and there's no repercussions?
BERTEL: Ambassador Eagleburger, go ahead with your answer.
EAGLEBURGER: First of all, it's a very good question. And the basic answer to the comparison with Ireland, and so forth, is that the world is to some degree is unfair, I guess. But the fact of the matter is that in some cases, people pay attention, and in some they don't. And what's happened in the Yugoslav is that we have seen for almost a decade now a really awful situation in what was Yugoslavia. It's gotten a lot of attention. We see now the potential for thousands of refugees. And the world is paying attention; the U.S. is paying attention. But it's a good question. And, yes, I think by reacting, it is likely that there will be more refugees. But the fact of the matter is, and I say this with a good bit of sorrow, frankly, because I've lived in Yugoslavia and I know the people there I think quite well. But the fact of the matter is that what the Yugoslavs have been visiting on Yugoslavs, and I will say this bluntly, what Serbs more than others have been laying on others resembles too much all of the awful things that you all went through during the Second World War. I cannot conceive of how it is possible for good, honest, civilized people such as yourselves to be treating each other the way you have. And it is so awful that it's gotten a great deal of attention from the world, and that's one of the reasons that we are involved here now. And it's not going to stop. We in the U.S. and the world are now too deeply involved in this. Whether it is unfair or not, we're not going to stand aside any longer, and neither is the world.
BERTEL: With the possibility of military action on the horizon, there's a great deal of interest around the world in what's going on in Kosovo and the negotiations in Belgrade. So at this point, we'd like to welcome the Middle East Broadcasting Center to the program. Go ahead with your question for Ambassador Eagleburger.
Okay. We'll try to get back to MBC in just a few minutes. Let's move on to Belgrade again where B-92 Radio is standing by. Go ahead.
Q: Mr. Eagleburger, we'd like to ask the same question we asked also Senator Lugar. That is, what is your opinion regarding what will be achieved with the NATO attacks, considering that in Serbia, we think that Milosevic will only be helped through this move.
EAGLEBURGER: It's a good question again. And I think there is some likelihood -- although I'm not as sure of it as you seem to be -- there is some likelihood that this will strengthen Milosevic. But again, what will be achieved? Well, as I said at the beginning of my remarks, I think we have all waited too long to do anything. What happens now and what will be achieved now at best will be an end to the fighting and some means of feeding and clothing and housing the thousands of refugees that have been engendered by this whole thing. But it's only going to be stopgap measures. It's not a fundamental solution to the problem of multinational ethnicity in what was Yugoslavia. It is simply something that is aimed at doing something about the worst aspects of what's now going on in Kosovo. But it isn't going to accomplish much beyond that. It can't. And in fact, if you look at the situation from an American perspective, I have to say to you that it seems to me that the air strikes, depending on how effective they are and where they are, they will perhaps force Mr. Milosevic to develop a new policy.
But I also will say to you that it's not a lasting thing. We're going to be dealing with this kind of a problem for years to come. I said that when the whole break-up of Yugoslavia began. I said it during the tragedy of Bosnia. And I say it again to you now. This whole awful, awful mess that's developed since the collapse of the Yugoslav federal state is going to be with us all, and most importantly with all of you for the next decade.
BERTEL: We're discussing the situation in Kosovo with former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. At this point, let's welcome TV Bijelina Basta to the program. Go ahead with your question.
Q: Greetings to Mr. Eagleburger. And I would like to ask -- I live in Bijelina Basta, and it's a small town on the border with Bosnia. I was able to observe the war in Bosnia and report about it. And my experience based on that has to do that any kind of action taken by NATO or the U.S. might bring about a conflict or exacerbate the situation. It can only create a greater agony and a greater tragedy. And I think Europe and the U.S. will have much greater problems as a consequence of that action. And the most direct reason would be the air strikes.
My question for you is the following. The past few days we've been talking about the Russian support has moved from verbal promises to practice. We're finding now that Russian forces, maybe through logistical or some other way, are starting to practice their promises. Will your country in the sky -- is it possible that there will be a conflict or a measuring of forces between Russia and the U.S.?
EAGLEBURGER: No, I don't think that's possible now. There was a time during the Cold War when I think both Moscow and Washington very much were a threat that we might come to a confrontation in Yugoslavia that could lead to World War III. But I don't think that's the case now. And put bluntly, the Russians are in no shape to conduct that kind of a confrontation at the moment. They won't be for some years to come.
Having said that, there is no question that air attacks will certainly not improve relations between Russia and the United States. And we will pay something of a price for that in terms of our ability to get the Russians to cooperate on other issues. However, again, remember that the Russians are in serious financial trouble, and they are not, under those circumstances, likely to try to do anything very strenuous against us or against NATO if we do, in fact, go ahead with these air strikes. But it cannot help the relationship between the two countries. That I'll give you.
BERTEL: Let's return to London now for another question from the Middle East Broadcasting Center. Go ahead with your question.
BERTEL: Hello, MBC. Go ahead with your question.
Q: All right. Okay, I'll ask the question, even though I don't see anything on the monitors now. I just wanted to ask Mr. Eagleburger about how the U.S. and President Clinton's administration is planning to absorb what might be a negative or unapproving, disapproving from the part of Moscow towards any military action against Serbia. How is this going to be contained?
EAGLEBURGER: Well, first of all, you have to understand President Clinton and I don't talk very often. So I'm guessing. I don't know what Mr. Clinton's policy may turn out to be. But as I indicated just a few minutes ago, I think this whole question of how the NATO and U.S forces react in what was Yugoslavia will have a negative effect on the relationship between the two countries. But I don't think that it's going to be particularly dangerous, for several reasons. The first of which is the Russians are not the military power that the Soviet Union was. They're in some deep trouble economically and politically. So I don't think they would really look to the use of force.
Secondly, I think it will cause some souring of the relationship between Russia and the United States. But even there, remember, the Russians have a lot of other issues they've got to be concerned about, not the least of which is their own economic situation and their hopes that the IMF [International Monetary Fund] can some day bail them out of some of their most recent difficulties. So while I think there may be some souring of the relationship for a little while, I don't think it'll have a any fundamental effect.
BERTEL: Let's return now to Belgrade for a question from the newspaper Nasha Borba.
Q: Good afternoon, Mr. Eagleburger. You are a very respected diplomat in Belgrade, and with a good basis, with a good reason. I think that you think more historically. You're acquainted with the historical responses of the people here. I would like to ask you, how good is the style or the approach of NATO? NATO is approaching this situation as a threat, not as an adviser to solving the problem. And considering that the arguments and motivation of NATO, they look like a moving goal.
So I'm asking as I asked Mr. Lugar, where is the basis for the NATO attack? And he was not quite able to answer that. How much do you think NATO was able to find another strategy for dealing with the problem?
EAGLEBURGER: Oh, look, NATO, or the U.S., all of us have been trying for some time to find some other way to deal earlier with this. You deal first with the Kosovo problem now, and earlier in Bosnia. And it's never been particularly successful. And we can argue about whose fault that is. But I would simply say to you that while I think all parties to what has gone on in Yugoslavia have some responsibility for it, I think that Mr. Milosevic, and therefore at least the government of Serbia, have some actions that are very much their responsibility.
So I'm not at all sure there is any other policy that can make much sense now. I'm not wildly happy about air strikes, in the first place. If we do air strikes and they don't achieve the consequences we want from the Milosevic government, then the question has to become, all right, what do you do next. And I don't want to make a comparison. But it's that kind of thinking that got the United States into Vietnam in ways that we should never have been involved.
So I accept your point about looking at other policies. I don't think there are any at this stage. I have to say to you that the situation in the Kosovo now with regard to the refugees and so forth and the fact that the Western world has for some months, and the U.N. has for some months been trying to convince Mr. Milosevic that things have to be handled differently in Kosovo without much success has led to the impasse we now have. And that's what's led to sort of the almost reaching out for the air strike option almost in frustration because not much else is left. And by the way, I am in favor of the use of force now to try to get Mr. Milosevic to deal with things differently. I wish it had happened some months ago, because it is such a mess in the Kosovo now that no matter what happens, it's going to take a terribly long time to sort it out. And unfortunately, a lot of people are going to die from starvation and exposure, no matter what we do.
I'm not sure I've answered your question. But I've done the best I could.
BERTEL: We're running short of time. So let's take one last quick question from B-92 in Belgrade.
Q: Mr. Eagleburger, what is the position of the American administration on the Kosovo Liberation Army? Will NATO attack them? And in what way will their activities be prevented or stopped?
EAGLEBURGER: That's a very good question. And I respect the question, because there is no question in my mind that it takes two in this particular case to create the kind of chaos that's there. Now I want to be careful how I say this, because I recognize, I think, that the Kosovo Liberation Army, that there has been a move toward a more extremist approach on the part of the Kosovars for their problem. And there is no guarantee that if Mr. Milosevic changes his tune tomorrow morning, that the other side, the Kosovo Liberation Army, will do the same. So I understand the question. And I can't -- look, again, I have to say I don't know what the position of the U.S. government's going to be. I'm not in the government any more. But I can understand the purpose of the question, however. And here again, it seems to me that we have to recognize that as these sorts of struggles progress, radicalism on both sides, and particularly on the side of the indigenous peoples who are reacting against the force brought at them from the government, are going to become more and more radical. And while I think we're now in a situation in the Kosovo where the questioner's very right to point that these are radical elements as far as the Kosovars are concerned, I do have to come back to say that it is years and years of Milosevic mismanagement of the Kosovo situation, in my personal judgment, that has led to the impasse we're now in.
Come on. I lived in Yugoslavia long enough to know and see that the Kosovars in the old days had a certain degree of freedom. And I was in that part of the world enough times, in Pristina and so forth, that I saw how Serbs and Albanians lived together. It wasn't always easy, but it was managed. And what's happened now is that we have had Mr. Milosevic for years, in Bosnia and in the Kosovo, pushing and pushing and pushing what I can only describe as Serb nationalism.
BERTEL: Mr. Eagleburger, I'm afraid we're running out of time here. So I'm going to have to end it there. Thank you so much for joining us today. And our thanks to all of the broadcasters in Serbia.
In Washington, Jim Bertel for Washington Window.
14 October 1998_______________________________________________________________________
WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL TO PROCEED WITH KOSOVO INVESTIGATIONS
(Chief prosecutor will be asking Yugoslavia for visas) (820)
By Judy Aita
USIA United Nations Correspondent
United Nations -- The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said October 14 that she will be launching a new investigation into alleged atrocities in Kosovo "in the very near future."
Louise Arbour, chief prosecutor for ICTY, said that she will be making visa requests "imminently."
In light of previous visa problems with Belgrade and press statements by President Slobodan Milosevic of the "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" (FRY) on the court's jurisdiction, Arbour said that she "will request we will be given a speedy expedited answer to the general question of access and more specifically the issuance of the visas.
"I plan to resume our investigative mission into the FRY and in Kosovo in particular. And I expect to be granted access for missions of whatever size we deem appropriate," she said.
She said that both Serb military and paramilitary units as well as the Kosovar Albanian separatists will be under investigation in Kosovo, where tens of thousands of ethnic Albanians have been driven from their homes and hundreds massacred.
Speaking at a press conference at UN headquarters, Arbour stressed that the tribunal has "crystal clear and pre-existing" jurisdiction over Kosovo and is authorized to carry out investigations with or without Milosevic's consent. She referred to press reports that during negotiations on Kosovo, President Milosevic refused to acknowledge the tribunal's jurisdiction but said he would allow it to operate.
"The jurisdiction of the tribunal is set out in unambiguous terms in the statute of the tribunal set out by a resolution of the Security Council," Arbour said, adding, "The interpretation of the scope of the tribunal is for the judges of the tribunals to determine and for the Security Council to modify or expand, but it is not otherwise subject to anybody's consent."
Under the Security Council resolution creating the tribunal, "we have jurisdiction over crimes during an internal armed conflict in Kosovo since 1991 on a continuing basis to date and into the future," Arbour said.
"Only the Security Council can curtail the scope that jurisdiction. Under the same resolution ... the prosecutor is entitled to conduct on-site investigations and ... entitled to the cooperation of all states, as well as to their compliance to court orders," she said.
The tribunal's president, Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, also issued a statement October 14 on whether the agreement concluded by Ambassador Richard Holbrooke contained explicit provisions and mechanisms that the FRY cooperate with the tribunal.
"The president [of ICTY] would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that the 'Federal Republic of Yugoslavia' is legally required to cooperate with the international tribunal," McDonald said in the statement. "She reminds all involved parties of the need to ensure the FRY's full compliance with all of its obligations toward the international tribunal."
In September, McDonald complained to the Security Council about the "persistent failure" of the FRY to surrender three Serbs indicted by the tribunal, Mile Mrksic, Miroslav Radic and Veselin Sljivancanin, for alleged involvement in a 1991 massacre in Vukovar.
"Today they remain at liberty. The 'Federal Republic of Yugoslavia' continues to flout the law and the will of the international community by refusing to transfer them to the international tribunal," the judge said.
Arbour called the failure of FRY to turn over indicted persons an "absolutely unambiguous case of non-compliance."
She said, "There has never been a denial the targets of these warrants are on the territory of the FRY and there is no case -- sanctuary, legal, or otherwise -- to justify non-compliance."
Arbour said that she has a "very small" permanent office in Belgrade, and she has no plans to expand the size of that office because of the Kosovo investigation.
Arbour said that the tribunal's outstanding FRY visa applications for previous missions, which had been overdue for three weeks, finally have been granted by Yugoslavia "with no explanation.... I don't know what that is intended to convey."
Arbour said that the tribunal does not usually announce investigations, but with Kosovo the tribunal made public its intentions "in the hope that it would signal to both parties the need to be respectful of international humanitarian law and to be reminded that there was in place a mechanism to make them accountable."
Arbour refused to discuss individuals who may be a target of the investigation, including the possibility of indicting Milosevic himself.
"I have not discussed with anybody except with my staff the question of indictments .... Inside my office we discuss little else," she said.
"I have discussed and I continue to discuss with my staff the feasibility and desirability of indicting all those, particularly those in the most senior positions of responsibility -- military, political, paramilitary and otherwise -- that fall within our jurisdiction," Arbour said.
15 October 1998
DEFENSE SPOKESMAN OUTLINES KOSOVO VERIFICATION REGIME
(Bacon says two-part agreement benefits all sides) (920)
By Jacquelyn S. Porth
USIA Security Affairs Writer
Washington -- Defense Department spokesman Ken Bacon outlined the parameters of the verification regime for Kosovo October 15, noting, "We are asking...for an immediate move to full compliance."
Although the compliance effort is under way, he told reporters at the Pentagon, "What the Serbs need to show is a significant move to full compliance and...to do so quickly."
The demand reflects the specifics of UN Security Council Resolution 1199, which requires the withdrawal of significant police and military forces from Kosovo. While the occurrence of some withdrawals is "encouraging," Bacon said, "we need more."
In addition to the issue of withdrawals, NATO is examining compliance regarding the return of internally displaced persons in Kosovo and the provision of humanitarian aid. Bacon said there have been anecdotal reports that a significant number of Kosovar refugees have returned to their villages in Central Kosovo. He also said there has been an "encouraging" increase in the provision of humanitarian aid with the recent movement of five aid convoys. As many as seven nongovernmental organizations are moving into place and none of the aid workers has reported any obstacles to the aid delivery.
More information will be available October 16, the spokesman said, as the Kosovo Diplomatic Mission (KDOM) returns to the region. "The plan is that the KDOM will sort of grow over the next couple of days and throughout the weekend into KDOM II," he said. The size of the force will more than double, Bacon said, with "more eyes and ears on the ground telling us what is going on."
With KDOM II in place, a clearer picture will emerge about what is happening in Kosovo. Team members will be looking to verify that the police and military forces that were sent into Kosovo in February and March are coming out. They also will be looking to see that other forces that are still there are returning to garrison in Kosovo.
The spokesman indicated that NATO Secretary General Javier Solana and the Supreme Allied Commander for Europe General Wesley Clark traveled to Belgrade October 15 to discuss the issue of compliance with "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" President Slobodan Milosevic and to sign the first of a two-part verification agreement. The first part will clear the way for NATO aircraft to fly over territory in Kosovo. The spokesman indicated that the first Air Verification Agreement (AVA) mission could take place October 16 or soon thereafter.
The air component will involve U.S. aircraft and those of a number of allied nations to include, possibly, French Mirages, German Tornadoes, British Canberras and De Havillands, and Dutch P-3 Orions. The U.S. contribution might include U.S. U-2 reconnaissance aircraft and UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) Predators. If Russian aircraft participate, they will be organized under a NATO command structure.
The significance of the AVA is that it will allow unarmed NATO aircraft "free reign" over Kosovo, according to Bacon, "and it essentially requires Serbia to give up control of its airspace."
The AVA will establish what Bacon called a Mutual Safety Zone, composed of Kosovo and a 25-kilometer corridor extending beyond the contiguous boundaries of Kosovo. When manned flights are being conducted in the zone, he said all surface-to-air missiles and air defense weapons will either have to be removed from the area or placed in cantonment sites which will be subject to inspection. Although SA-6 missiles and launchers may remain at deployed sites under the agreement, the spokesman said they have to be rendered inoperable by separating them from acquisition, target-tracking and fire-control system radars.
Bacon said NATO reserves the right to respond defensively if there are any violations of the agreement or threats to unarmed NATO surveillance aircraft flying over Kosovo.
The second part of the verification agreement would be the Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM). The KVM is expected to be signed in Belgrade October 16 by the head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Polish Foreign Minister. KVM members will be unarmed.
Bacon said the KVM is the ground component of verification that will make judgments about the validity of check-points and road blocks in Kosovo.
He also indicated that NATO will have to weigh the progress that has been made in Kosovo in the past 96 hours and decide what to do. Bacon said General Clark has the responsibility of discussing benchmarks in Belgrade and reporting back to NATO on "measuring progress against the type of benchmarks he's laid down with President Milosevic."
The spokesman said the two-part agreement "has provided a very meaningful diplomatic solution to a ticklish problem that was hurtling toward the use of force." By avoiding force, he said, "we have reached an agreement that benefits all sides."
On the issue of a possible NATO quick-reaction force, Bacon said a decision has not yet been made about where such a force would be based, how it would operate or its composition. It could include pilots, soldiers, communicators, and administrators, but all participants would be based outside of Kosovo. The spokesman did say that there is a possibility that the United States may participate in some fashion.
But if the verification agreements operate as envisioned, Bacon said, "there should be no need for the quick reaction force ever to deploy."
15 October 1998_______________________________________________________________________
TEXT: NATO HEAD SIGNS VERIFICATION REGIME WITH MILOSEVIC OCT 15
(Solana addresses Belgrade press and populace on Kosovo) (590)
Belgrade -- Dr. Javier Solana, secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), met October 15 with Slobodan Milosevic, president of Serbia and Montenegro, as anticipated after the conclusion of the negotiations conducted this week by Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and others, to sign an agreement to establish a NATO/Kosovo air verification regime, to be operated by NATO.
After the meeting, Solana delivered the following statement to the press late in the evening:
Secretary General's Visit to Belgrade: Press Points
-- I have come to Belgrade today, accompanied by the Chairman of the Military Committee, General Naumann, and SACEUR, General [Wesley] Clark, to deliver a simple but strong message to President Milosevic. He must comply fully and immediately with the requirements of the UN Security Council Resolution 1199.
-- Three weeks have elapsed since the Resolution was adopted but still we are far from seeing the full compliance that the international community demands. I have told President Milosevic about the many army and special police units that, according to our information, remain in Kosovo even through their barracks are outside Kosovo territory. These units must be withdrawn immediately.
-- Let there be no doubt: We will keep the situation in Kosovo under the closest scrutiny. NATO will maintain its pressure until we have evidence that compliance has been fully achieved. We will remain ready and willing to act if these obligations are not met. NATO prefers compliance to conflict.
-- We have just signed with the government of this country and agreement to establish a NATO/Kosovo air verification regime, to be operated by NATO. We intend to begin implementation in the very near future. Along with the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] mission on the ground in Kosovo, NATO's role will be crucial in verifying that President Milosevic intends to keep his word and to help stabilize the situation in Kosovo.
-- I also made clear to President Milosevic that we expect the full cooperation of the Yugoslav government in carrying out the agreement on the air verification regime over Kosovo strictly. Any attack or hostile intent against our NATO verification aircraft will have the gravest consequences.
-- We also expect the full cooperation of the Yugoslav authorities, including its security forces, with both the NATO and the OSCE verification missions.
-- I want to emphasize that the agreement that we have signed today and the agreement that the OSCE will sign shortly are not the end of the story. They are the first step in ending the conflict in Kosovo and in relieving the urgent humanitarian situation. These agreements represent an opportunity for the leaders of Yugoslavia to solve problems in a peaceful and more constructive way. I urge President Milosevic and the Kosovar Albanians not to squander this opportunity.
-- Finally, I would like to address a few words to the peoples of Yugoslavia. There has been too much suffering, too much intolerance and too much violence in this country and this region over the past few years. Much of this has been caused by political leaders who have misused their political power, and the closure of independent newspapers is the latest example. Apart from the terrible human tragedy, the result is that Yugoslavia has been increasingly isolated from the European democratic family of nations. I urge you to open a new chapter in your history and to work for solutions through dialogue and reconciliation. The Alliance is there to help you in this endeavor, but you, too, must accept your responsibility and look to the future.
Taken without permission , for fair use only.
- Albanian-Language Kosovo Papers Attack NATO Deal
- Belgrade threatens existence of Albanian newspapers in Kosova
- NATO Chief Flies to Belgrade to Sign Agreement, Warn Milosevic
- Lilic Accuses NATO of Arming Kosovo Separatists
- Albania Reserved on Milosevic-Holbrooke Agreement
- Kosovo monitors to start work
- What does the deal mean to Milosevic
- British monitors head for Kosovo
- Airstrike decision by Nato today
- Yugoslav Leader Is Not Complying With Kosovo Pact
Albanian-Language Kosovo Papers Attack NATO Deal
PRISTINA, Serbia, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Kosovo's three Albanian language daily newspapers were strongly negative on Friday in their reporting and comment on this week's deal to avert NATO air strikes and on a draft U.S. proposal for self-government.
The tone of their headlines, news reports, editorial comment and politicial cartoons suggested a hardening of attitude against the two accords among ethnic Albanian opinion leaders in the southern Serbian province.
"Who is telling the truth?" demanded the front-page headline of Koha Ditore, pointing out stark differences in recent assessments by the U.S. State Department and NATO about government security force withdrawals from Kosovo.
NATO suspended the countdown to air strikes until Saturday on condition that the government security units responsible for devastating ethnic Albanian towns and villages in a summer campaign against armed separatists, were withdrawn.
NATO Secretary General Javier Solana said on Thursday Belgrade had failed to comply with the demands. His comment followed by just a few hours a more generous assessment by the U.S. State Department spokesman.
Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority is convinced that security force withdrawals have been minimal and that Washington, among other Western capitals, is giving Belgrade credit where little or none is due.
Bujku, another Kosovo newspaper, said on its front page: "There is no progress in carrying out the Holbrooke-Milosevic accord," referring to a deal this week between U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.
The newspaper cited Solana's comments and field reports by its own staff from various points around Kosovo.
Kosova Sot, a third Albanian-language newspaper, attacked the U.S.-drafted plan for self-government in Kosovo in an article headlined on the front page: "Why the American plan Is unacceptable."
The U.S. ambassador to Macedonia, Christopher Hill, has been Holbrooke's ally in diplomatic efforts to solve Kosovo's crisis peacefully.
While Holbrooke dealt with Milosevic, Hill has been trying to broker an interim agreement on the status of Kosovo.
Ethnic Albanians comprise 90 per cent of Kosovo's population of about 1.8 million people.
Kosovo enjoyed substantial autonomy between 1974 and 1989 until Milosevic revoked it and imposed direct rule from Belgrade.
Referring to an early draft of the U.S.-proposed interim accord, Kosova Sot said: "This agreement leaves Kosovo once again under Serb control with lower rights of self-administration had according to the 1974 constitution."
A political cartoon in the newspaper showed a Serb and an ethnic Albanian, both glowering and in traditional dress.
The two mens are shaking hands, but their hands are bound together by a rope bearing a sign saying "Made in America."
Part of the negative attitude in Pristina may stem from the lack of detailed information available here about the Holbrooke-Milosevic accord and the Hill proposal.
The European Union's special envoy to Kosovo, Wolfgang Petrisch, is the only senior Western official to travel to Pristina this week to explain what has been agreed, or at least proposed, on behalf of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority.
Hill was expected to arrive on Friday for talks with ethnic Albanian leaders.
The chairman of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Polish Foreign Minister Bronislaw Geremek, was also due in town.
The OSCE is charged with deploying 2,000 "verifiers" whose job will be to ascertain whether government forces are meeting their obligations under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1199, which brought NATO to the brink of air strikes.
Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.All rights reserved.
Belgrade threatens existence of Albanian newspapers in Kosova
PRISHTINA, Oct. 16 - ATA correspondent in Prishtina, Belul Jashari, reports: The Albanian newspaper "Koha Ditore," published in Prishtina, is likely to be closed by Belgrade. "Those who want to close this newspaper today, will be thrown tomorrow in the garbage and we will be engaged not to allow entering of such people in Kosova, even with passports," the publisher of Koha Ditore, Veton Surroi, writes today on the first page, by responding to the threats of Belgrade. More than eight years ago, the regime of Belgrade closed the only Albanian daily newspaper of that time, "Rilindja," as well as the Radio and Television of Prishtina and other private Albanian radios. /p.ta/mt/
NATO Chief Flies to Belgrade to Sign Agreement, Warn Milosevic
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) -- NATO signed a deal Thursday with the Yugoslav army, allowing spy planes to monitor the military's compliance in withdrawing troops from Kosovo so ethnic Albanian refugees can return to their villages.
Amid new accusations by Kosovo Albanians of Serb police intimidation, NATO chief Javier Solana said that despite some progress Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic has a long way to go to meet NATO's Saturday deadline for compliance.
"I would send a very clear message" to Milosevic, Solana said before arriving in Belgrade Thursday evening. "And that is that the solution to the problem is not signing papers but to comply with agreements that have been achieved."
The deal allows for unarmed spy planes to watch over troop withdrawals and the return of tens of thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees -- demands spelled out in a breakthrough agreement reached earlier this week by Milosevic and U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke.
International officials also huddled in Paris and Vienna on Thursday to push ahead the assessment process aimed at making sure Milosevic adheres to the agreement.
In Vienna, the 54-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe agreed formally to oversee the 2,000-member "ground verification mission" -- unarmed monitors who will roam through Kosovo to make sure terms of the agreement with Holbrooke are being honored.
The mission could cost about $200 million, with the United States, Britain, France, Russia, Italy and Germany assuming most of the burden, Poland's ambassador to the OSCE, Adam Kobieracki, was quoted as saying by the Austria Press Agency.
In Kosovo, the U.N. refugee agency delivered more aid to those displaced by the seven-month crackdown in the secessionist Serbian province, which is populated overwhelmingly by ethnic Albanians.
In the town of Kisna Reka, refugees living in a makeshift camp of 3,000 people in a nearby gully carted off 110-pound sacks of flour, bags of clothing, cooking oil and other supplies delivered by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
Asked how long they could stay in the woods, a man who gave his name only as Rexhep said: "Until we die. We don't know how much we can take. We are afraid to go back."
In Paris, the Balkans Contact Group of five leading Western nations and Russia fully endorsed the agreement on Kosovo but maintained its support for airstrikes if Milosevic fails to comply when a four-day grace period expires Saturday.
But the Russians opposed a proposed new U.N. resolution specifically authorizing airstrikes, said Germany's Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel.
In Vienna, diplomatic sources said the OSCE was not expected to finalize details of the verification mission until next week.
Western nations were discussing naming Jacques Klein, the American deputy to Bosnia's top international mediator Carlos Westendorp, as head of the mission -- to be composed largely of Europeans.
Germany and Britain have pledged to contribute 200 people each, officials said Thursday, and Russia and others were expected to send similar numbers. But it's expected to take weeks to organize the OSCE force.
Efforts to save Kosovo's refugees from disaster have been stepped up in the aftermath of the agreement. But with many reluctant to return home, Solana said troops are not being withdrawn fast enough for refugees to feel confident about going back.
"It is very important for (refugees) to return to their villages," he said. "For that, compliance with the withdrawal of troops is very, very important."
Hundreds of ethnic Albanians have been killed and an estimated 300,000 displaced from their homes by Milosevic's crackdown. The secessionist Kosovo Liberation Army also has killed more than 200 Serb policemen, Serb civilians and ethnic Albanians loyal to Milosevic's government.
At Kisna Reka, the refugees said unarmed monitors will do them no good. They also complained that Serbian security forces fired machine guns, mortars and other weapons throughout the night, apparently to intimidate them from returning to their villages.
"There's nobody there" in the villages, said Fatmir Nuhaj, 27, his arms wrapped around his young son's shoulders. "It's only to keep us from our homes."
The Serbs, for their part, complain that the KLA is continuing attacks on police.
A KLA representative warned Thursday that the rebel force won't adhere to its cease-fire indefinitely.
"If the international community tries to create the illusion that Serbia is conforming with demands ... we won't be able to tolerate it for long," said Swiss-based representative Bardhyl Mahmuti in Geneva.
Also Thursday, authorities ordered the closure of the independent daily Nasa Borba, the third newspaper ordered closed this week in a crackdown on Milosevic's opponents. The newspaper said it would defy the order.
Copyright 1998& The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Lilic Accuses NATO of Arming Kosovo Separatists
MOSCOW (Oct. 15) XINHUA - Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Lilic Thursday accused NATO of "arming the Albanian separatists in Kosovo."
"NATO itself provoked tensions over Kosovo," said Lilic, who was visiting Belarus.
He blamed NATO for helping to train Albanian terrorists in Albania and for sending them to Kosovo to upset stability in the territory, the Interfax news agency reported.
During the visit, Lilic met with Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko and the two discussed joint measures to ensure their countries' security.
"We discussed what we can do to protect our countries and people," Lilic said.
Belgrade is ready to "defend itself with all means available against NATO bomb and missile strikes," Lilic said.
"We know how strong NATO is, but we also know that everything possible must be done to defend the motherland," he added.
He expressed "profound gratitude to the Belarussian president for his statement of support for Yugoslavia."
Albania Reserved on Milosevic-Holbrooke Agreement
TIRANA (Oct. 15) XINHUA - The Albanian government Thursday showed a reserved attitude toward the agreement reached between Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke on Tuesday.
Vladimir Prela, political consultant to the Albanian prime minister, said the Albanian government was studying the agreement, viewing it as a step that would likely lead to a settlement of the Kosovo crisis, the Albanian Telegraphic Agency reported.
This was Tirana's first comment on the latest Kosovo peace deal.
Prela said that the Albanian government did not believe Milosevic would fulfill his promise, and that the Yugoslav president was a major obstacle to the settlement of the Kosovo crisis.
He said he personally regarded the Milosevic-Holbrooke agreement as an old tactic by the Serbian leaders to stall for time.
Prela said: "If Milosevic continues to provoke the West, Albania will back the international community's 'adventurous actions' for military intervention."
Therefore, he said, Albania should work together with other Balkan countries to prevent history from repeating itself to become once again "the European powder keg."
Prela said Albania would respect the principle of dialogue and a step-by-step solution if Milosevic kept his promise.
The Milosevic-Holbrooke agreement, which averted a possible military operation by NATO, guarantees the withdrawal of Serbian security forces from Kosovo and the deployment of international monitoring personnel in the province.
The agreement also provides for the return of ethnic Albanian refugees and displaced people to their homes, as well as free movement of international aid agents.
Friday, October 16, 1998 Published at 10:07 GMT 11:07 UK
Kosovo monitors to start work
The Yugoslav government has signed an agreement permitting monitors from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe to begin their work in Kosovo.
The task of the unarmed force will be to ensure Yugoslavia's compliance with Nato's order to withdraw troops from the Serbian province, or face military action.
Nato's deadline is due to run out early on Saturday, although diplomats say it will be extended by ten days at a meeting in Brussels on Friday.
Although some Yugoslav troops have withdrawn from Kosovo, others are reported to remain in the province.
OSCE chairman and Polish Foreign Minister Bronislaw Geremek, who signed the monitoring agreement in Belgrade, has described the mission in Kosovo as the greatest challenge in the history of the 54-nation OSCE.
Under the Belgrade Agreement forged between US envoy Richard Holbrooke and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, the OSCE is to bring in 2,000 unarmed monitors who will ensure that Serbia complies with UN demands on Kosovo.
Although some troops appear to have withdrawn from Kosovo, Nato Secretary-General Javier Solana has said that many special Serbian units sent to Kosovo for this summer's counter-attack against ethnic Albanian separatists were still stationed in the province, three weeks after a UN Security Council resolution called for their withdrawal.
"We are still far from seeing full compliance with what the international community wants," Mr Solana said in Belgrade.
The Nato chief also warned the Serb authorities not to interfere with the non-combat Nato aircraft which are expected to begin their task of verifying the troop withdrawal on Friday.
Air strike threat
"Any attack with hostile intent against Nato verification aircraft will have the greatest consequence," he said.
Unless the Nato deadline is extended, Mr Milosevic has until 0600 (local time) on Saturday to comply with UN resolutions or face air strikes.
"We remain ready and willing to act if these (UN) obligations are not met," Mr Solana warned.
A BBC correspondent in central Kosovo says that despite some withdrawals, many fortified positions remain. He says ethnic Albanians in one village spoke of police attacks with guns, mortars and shells.
After signing the agreement with the Yugoslav foreign minister and meeting President Milosevic, Mr Geremek is travelling to Kosovo to see the situation on the ground for himself.
Many details, including the security of the OSCE monitors, have not yet been spelt out.
Fears that the separatists will benefit
An immediate problem for the monitors will be to make sure that the Yugoslav army and police do withdraw in sufficient numbers to satisfy Western leaders, and that the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army does not then take advantage of that situation to re-occupy areas recently regained by the Serbs.
This is exacerbated by a political difference between the Nato and the KLA, which was not consulted over the Belgrade Agreement. While the agreement provides for autonomy for Kosovo within Serbia, the KLA maintains that it will accept nothing less than full independence.
"If need be we are prepared to fill new graveyards in Kosovo with our dead," a KLA spokesman said.
Mr Milosevic has introduced an emergency decree banning what is described as unpatriotic and defeatist reporting.
Three daily newspapers have been closed down, the latest, Nasa Borba, on Thursday.
Exactly what constitutes unpatriotic and defeatist reporting is decided by the government, which has also banned the publishing in full of the text of the decree.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Vojislav Seselj, accused independent journalists of taking part in a propaganda war against Serbia in the service of hostile powers.
Contact Group wants UN resolution
Meanwhile, ministers from the six-nation Contact Group - including Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United States - have agreed in Paris to organise a new UN resolution to strengthen the peace agreement.
A BBC correspondent in Paris says that it represents a considerable diplomatic breakthrough, because it seems Russia is now closer to the West's policy on Kosovo.
Thursday, October 15, 1998 Published at 23:44 GMT 00:44 UK
What does the deal mean to Milosevic
By South-East Europe Analyst, Gabriel Partos
A couple of days ago the junior partner in the Yugoslav coalition government, the Yugoslav United Left, or YUL, welcomed the agreement on Kosovo by congratulating President Milosevic on what it called "his statesmanship, courage and wisdom". The tribute was not entirely unexpected: the neo-communist YUL is led by Mr Milosevic's wife, Mirjana Markovic.
Serbia's state-controlled media outlets have been inundated with similar professions of support for the Yugoslav leader. Meanwhile, criticism has been dampened by the closing down of two independent newspapers and a radio station.
Heart-ache has been avoidedThere is no doubt that the deal Mr Milosevic has struck with Richard Holbrooke has been greeted with relief in Yugoslavia. After all, at one stage, late on Monday, it appeared that Nato air strikes might be just a little over 24 hours away.
By dragging out the negotiations and taking the confrontation with Nato to the brink, Mr Milosevic had built up a war mentality in Serbia. As a result, it has been all the easier for him to portray himself as the man who has averted Nato's potentially devastating military operation.
The sense of relief felt across Serbia makes it easier for Mr Milosevic to neutralise criticism. That includes those who've been arguing all along that the entire crisis was brought about by the President's brutal clamp-down on the Kosovar Albanians.
Taking a step down
In some ways, the deal is a humiliation for Mr Milosevic. Five years after he kicked out a group of 20 observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, he is now being forced to allow the OSCE back in - with 100 times the previous number, who will have far greater powers of verification.
Air strikes averted Similarly, just six months after he pushed through a referendum to rule out foreign mediation over Kosovo, he has now had to accept a mixture of mediation and intrusive verification leading towards some kind of agreement on Kosovo's future.
More importantly, though, it looks like Mr Milosevic has, for the time being, averted Nato air strikes - as well as the possibility of an armed Nato presence to help move on the Kosovo peace process.
The kind of arrangement he has had to sign up to is not ideal from his point of view. But the opportunity is still there to prevaricate and delay implementation of the agreement. And Mr Milosevic can be expected to exploit this opportunity to the full.
October 16 1998 EUROPE
Michael Binyon and Valerie Elliott report on the man leading Britain's peace team and his mission
British monitors head for Kosovo
THE first British monitors for the 2,000-strong multinational Kosovo mission flew to Vienna last night confident that they would be able to make an impact on the ground.
Yesterday the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) approved the sending of the 2,000-member "verification mission'' to Kosovo as part of a deal to defuse the crisis in the Serbian province.
Major-General John Drewienkiewicz, the senior general heading the British contingent, was convinced that the United Nations would not repeat any of the mistakes made in Bosnia.
The Foreign Office said that it had been overwhelmed with volunteers for the 200-strong force, which will be patrolling the hills and villages of Kosovo to ensure Serb military and police units are pulled back and that there is no further harassment of ethnic Albanian inhabitants.
The men chosen will, overwhelmingly, be picked for their military experience and local knowledge. Unlike the monitors sent from Britain to take part in the last Balkan exercise by the OSCE - the elections in Bosnia last month - the observers' task will be the expert identification of military, rather than electoral, fraud.
The Foreign Office has previously drawn on the expertise of such organisations as the Electoral Reform Society, which sent 145 monitors to Bosnia and also monitored the elections in Serbia, including Kosovo, last year.
Another two monitors were also due to leave Britain for Vienna last night. One was named as Duncan Bullivant, 33, a former public affairs officer with the Office of the High Representative in Sarajevo.Three others are due to leave London today. Most monitors have been selected from the ranks of retired or serving military personnel. The monitors will not be uniformed but it is still to be agreed whether they will wear distinctive armbands. The Foreign Office has a databank of up to 100 qualified people who can be called on for monitoring. It said that about 300 people had volunteered, including former military men, former European Union monitors in Bosnia, aid workers, those who had worked for UN agencies, and journalists.
Terry Taylor, assistant director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said the main requirement for an observer was a thorough knowledge of military equipment and operations. Jonathan Eyal, director of studies at the Royal United Services Institute, noted that the Foreign Office had "got it about right" in drawing up the criteria for monitors. Observers had to face harsh conditions, be able to interpret what is meant by "heavy military equipment" and be competent to tell real refugees from militants posing as refugees.
General Drewienkiewicz, 52, better known as General DZ, a former engineer-in-chief of the British Army, had just six hours' notice of his latest commission. But having spent 17 out of the past 24 months in Bosnia, where he helped to set up the stabilisation headquarters, he was prepared. Last night just before flying out, the general said: "I am convinced that we are not going to make the same mistakes as two years ago. We can make shortcuts this time. I have experience of putting things together from scratch and I know a lot of the people out there and will have served with them before."
He had no fears about the monitors working unarmed in Kosovo and he hopes to be in Pristina, the provincial capital, by the weekend.
"It has been done before and we simply have to ensure that we follow our mandate correctly, and hold both sides to the mandate."
Asked about the continuing threat of airstrikes, the general said they had to "remain an option because it is part of the menu. But we are there to make sure it does not happen."
He was accompanied by Mark Etherington, 39, a monitor appointed by the Foreign Office. A former freelance journalist for The Sunday Times, most recently he has been running a company in Zagreb and Sarajevo that is helping new companies to move into Croatia and Bosnia. Among his recent clients were the rock supergroup U2, Texaco, Rolls-Royce and also the Department of Trade and Industry.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said yesterday that thousands of Kosovo refugees in Bosnia were still not ready to go back home.
"I still cannot even begin to comment on their possible return to Kosovo," said Wendy Rappeport, a spokeswoman for the UNHCR. Some refugees were still arriving in the Bosnian capital, which has already received at least 4,500 Kosovans.
Airstrike decision by Nato today
BY MICHAEL EVANSDEFENCE EDITOR
NATO ambassadors will decide today whether President Milosevic of Yugoslavia has gone far enough in complying with the Kosovo deal to hold off airstrikes.
An alliance official said yesterday that the number of Serb units remaining in Kosovo "far exceeded the level required by Nato".
The alliance is planning to put in place as quickly as possible a programme for daily sorties of surveillance aircraft over Kosovo to check on Serb troop movements. Javier Solana, the Nato Secretary-General, flew to Belgrade yesterday to sign the aerial agreement with General Momcilo Perisic, the Chief of the Yugoslav Army General Staff. American sources said that, until aerial photography intelligence started coming in, it would be hard to get a comprehensive picture of Serb police and troop withdrawals.
Señor Solana said before going to Belgrade there were signs of withdrawals, but "the information we have . . . is that compliance is still not a reality".
October 16, 1998
Yugoslav Leader Is Not Complying With Kosovo Pact
By JANE PERLEZ
MOVLJANE, Yugoslavia -- About a dozen Serbian policemen armed with AK47 automatic rifles on Thursday sauntered around the same brick house where they had camped a week ago, in sight of nearby ethnic-Albanian villages.
Their cocky presence is just one of many examples in the hills and valleys of Kosovo province that the Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic has not complied with NATO demands to withdraw his troops and police forces.
NATO has told Milosevic that he has until Saturday to reduce his forces in Kosovo or face a renewed threat of air strikes, though it looks increasingly unlikely that such a threat will be carried out.
Secretary general of NATO, Javier Solana, who came to Belgrade on Thursday, complained that Milosevic's "compliance is not a reality," adding that Serbian pullbacks in the past several days were unsatisfactory.
Solana, who was accompanied by the supreme commander of NATO, Gen. Wesley Clark, signed an agreement brokered this week by the U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke.
As part of that accord NATO will send reconnaissance flights over Kosovo to verify that Milosevic has reduced his troops to the levels of early March, before fighting broke out between ethnic-Albanian guerrillas of the Kosovo Liberation Army and Serbian police units and Yugoslav soldiers.
After some rosy comments by Washington on Wednesday that the Serbian police were pulling out and access to ethnic Albanian refugees was described as "excellent," the U.S. was a little more downbeat Thursday.
The White House spokesman, Joe Lockhart, said of Milosevic, "I don't think anyone believes that he has come into compliance."
But it was fairly clear Thursday as relief agencies and diplomatic monitors began to return to Kosovo, after being evacuated earlier this week because of NATO's threatened action, that the possibility that NATO would go ahead with an attack was more theoretical than real.
It was also clear from the monitors' road trips in the last two days that the intensity of the Serbian military presence remained little changed since Monday, when they left, the monitors said.
"I'm not sure how far they've advanced since we left," said a monitor who is a former European military officer.
He was puzzled, the monitor added, about how Milosevic's withdrawal of troops could be adequately assessed. "When you verify something, it is usually against a fixed number," he said.
But two days into the four-day ultimatum period set by NATO, only a vague "pre-crisis" benchmark of Serbian policemen and Yugoslav troops had been offered by the Holbrooke agreement, he said. No precise numbers or units had been mentioned.
During their travels around the countryside on Thursday, one team of monitors said they had seen an infantry company of the Yugoslav Army dug in to the hill opposite Kisna Reka, one of the largest outdoor camps of ethnic-Albanian refugees.
The roughly 100 soldiers have been in that position for months, the monitors said, firing shells from time to time and effectively intimidating the refugees from returning to their homes.
Similarly, they said, Serbian police units are still holding their positions in abandoned houses along the road from Lapusnik to Malisevo, putting them in an ideal position to jump into action, a monitor who traveled the route on Thursday said.
The monitors said they had seen what appeared to be a withdrawal of a squad of Interior Ministry policemen from Malisevo. But it was possible, they added, that the gathering of men waiting by the side of the road with packed bags and automatic rifles lying casually on the ground was just a rotation of forces.
More urgently, the monitors said, they would seek on Friday to check a report late Thursday afternoon that three villages in the Gjakova area in western Kosovo were hit with artillery fire from the Yugoslav Army.
Here in Movljane, the policemen would not allow a reporter to enter the grounds of the house where there appeared to be a stash of equipment. Two of the policemen said they had received no orders to move and that they expected to remain indefinitely.
The presence of the police in Movljane explains why the shelled and burned villages across the valley -- Budakovo, Papaz and Bukos -- remain eerily empty, with untended goats and cows straying in gardens and fields. Laundry, apparently hung just before the villages were shelled and then burned in a finale to the Serbian offensive three weeks ago, still hangs on verandas and lines. The people of the villages are among the estimated 250,000 refugees created by the fighting in Kosovo.
Several elderly men have returned to Budakovo in the last few days but they said they remained uneasy. "I can't bring the family back because they are shooting every day," said Isuf Bajraktari, nodding across the valley to Movljane where, if he looked closely, he could see the policemen moving around their yard.
In Papaz, the Rexhaj family -- husband, wife and seven children -- decided to risk the journey home on Thursday. They were among the few families in the region that have started to trickle back, motivated by the increasing cold and rain.
Another villager who had returned to Papaz, Zymer Bardheci, 27, said he was skeptical of the Holbrooke agreement. Bardheci, who worked in Germany for five years, said he distrusted the Serbs but he also distrusted the KLA.
And he had little faith in the arrival of 2,000 unarmed monitors who on behalf of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe are supposed to verify Serbian troop levels and help with relief work.
"In Bosnia there were armed United Nations people yet the Serbs massacred people in front of their eyes," Bardheci said.
Taken without permission, for fair use only.
Contact Group to Mull Kosovo Deal Details in Paris_______________________________________________________________________
PARIS, Oct 15 (Reuters) - The Contact Group of major world powers meets in Paris on Thursday to discuss monitoring how Yugoslavia will abide by its promises in Kosovo.
NATO says it is not relaxing the military pressure on President Slobodan Milosevic to end his bloody military crackdown on Kosovo's separatist ethnic Albanians.
The rebel Kosovo Liberation Army, through a spokesman in Geneva, rejected a Serb proposal for elections in Kosovo within nine months and accused Serbian forces of fresh shelling.
Kosovo Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova called on NATO on Wednesday to keep the heat on, saying plans for an unarmed international monitoring mission to verify Belgrade's new commitments on Kosovo might not suffice.
But the United States said it saw signs that Serbia was keeping to the pledges given to U.S. Balkans troubleshooter Richard Holbrooke under threat of NATO air strikes.
U.S. State Department spokesman James Rubin said American and European teams had met no problems when they set out to see what was happening in the Kosovo countryside on Wednesday.
He said it was a sign that Belgrade had started to keep its pledge to withdraw troops and police and open up access to thousands of refugees in Kosovo, an overwhelmingly ethnic Albanian province of Serbia within federal Yugoslavia.
NATO said, however, its activation order authorising air strikes on Yugoslav military targets would remain in place "for the foreseeable future"-- well beyond a four-day ultimatum for a start to compliance which expires on Saturday.
Foreign ministers and representatives of the Big Powers-- the United States, Russia, Britain, France, Germany and Italy-- were due to meet for two hours on Thursday from 10.30 a.m. (0830 GMT) at the Kleber International Conference Centre in Paris.
French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine was to hold a news conference at the end of the meeting.
The French Foreign Ministry said Contact Group ministers would discuss how to send in 2,000 Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) monitors and mount aerial surveillance flights.
The ministers will also discuss how negotiations can get noving to restore substantial autonomy to Kosovo, which was stripped of its self-rule status by Milosevic in 1989.
With Secretary of State Madeleine Albright remaining in Washington to steer Middle East peace talks, the United States will be represented in Paris by her deputy Strobe Talbott.
Diplomats in Vienna and London said Jacques Klein, a retired American general who is now deputy international High Representative in post-war Bosnia, would be named head of the verification mission for Kosovo.
Asked about this, Klein said he had not been offered the job and had enough to do in Bosnia.
Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.All rights reserved.
RICHARD HOTTELET: The Kosovo situation_______________________________________________________________________
Copyright © 1998 Nando.net
Copyright © 1998 The Christian Science Monitor
(October 14, 1998 10:38 a.m. EDT http://www.nandotimes.com) - Threatened NATO airstrikes have apparently made Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic back down on Kosovo.
On the other hand, he could again weasel himself more time to maneuver. Western countries have offered him an interim agreement that would leave Serbia effectively in possession of Kosovo, albeit not fully enough for him.
In either case, bombs or some deal, the core of the conflict remains untouched. Bombing would be justifiable only if it served a serious political purpose. Only a profound change in Kosovo's status holds a chance of restoring peace and protecting the large ethnic Albanian majority from further brutalization. The immediate necessity is to stop the killing once and for all and to avert a humanitarian catastrophe for more than 250,000 refugees this winter.
The chief obstacle to a solution is the principle of sovereignty governing international relations. It forbids intervention in the domestic affairs of any state. That applies even to Iraq, subjected to harsh sanctions after launching and losing an aggressive war.
As for Milosevic, having begun the Yugoslav war with its blind destruction and murderous ethnic cleansing in Croatia and Bosnia, mitigation may lie in his having played a key role in the Dayton (Ohio) peace accord.
Reaffirming Serbia's sovereign rule over Kosovo would make a mockery of all the NATO community and the United Nations have done to succor the Kosovo Albanians. Their future must be taken out of Milosevic's hands. So outrageous a violation of human rights is no longer a domestic matter. It's an international emergency. Those who seek a legal precedent for decisive action will find it in the prohibited zone declared in northern Iraq to protect the Kurdish population from Iraqi forces. A world now rethinking such economic axioms as the virtue of free markets can take a new look at political sovereignty.
Once Milosevic has been made to remove his military and security enforcers, Kosovo can be treated as the fully autonomous province of Serbia it was before he started his chauvinistic rampage in 1989. Better, it could become a self-governing republic in the Yugoslav federation.
Several traps lie in the way. Serbs regard Kosovo as the cradle of their nation, having been defeated there by the Ottomans centuries ago. To preclude arousing the Black Hand irredentism that flourishes in the Balkans, Serb monasteries and monuments must be respected and the remaining Serb population protected.
Many Kosovars' claim to full independence must be curbed. It could feed the demand of Albanian nationalists like former president Sali Berisha for a Greater Albania. This might move the ethnic Albanians who form a quarter of the population of Macedonia to break away to the west. Once that happened, Bulgaria could seize the eastern part it has always claimed, and Greece the south, in the name of stability.
Nations intent on saving Kosovo Albanians have no desire to start a third Balkan war, nor to fight a war with Serbia.
The change needed in Kosovo must and can be made by diplomacy, larded with enough incentives to persuade Serbia to swallow it, but also backed by believable military power to make Milosevic think before lashing out against it.
For this to be possible, the vacuum left by the withdrawal of Serbian tyranny must be promptly filled. An international presence in Kosovo is indispensable from the start - and for a long time to come. The moderate government of Albania wants one too for its shaky self.
Bosnia today, with its NATO stabilization force and civil authority in the hands of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, is a good example.
Those appalled by another commitment need to ask what the alternative is.
The greater part of the burden would be borne by the European nations whose dithering in the early period of the war opened Pandora's box. It would focus the European Union now trying to find a common security policy. And NATO, through which the United States would remain engaged, might find its missing mission.
The challenge is there. So are the means to meet it. Decisive is cool determination to stay the course. And there, as things stand, is the rub.
RICHARD C. HOTTELET, a longtime foreign correspondent for CBS, writes on World affairs.
Taken without permission, for fair use only.
NATO Says Milosevic Not Complying_______________________________________________________________________
.c The Associated Press
By JEFFREY ULBRICH
PRISTINA, Yugoslavia (AP) -- The NATO alliance said today that Slobodan Milosevic was not meeting international demands to restore peace in Kosovo, and several officials warned the Yugoslav leader that airstrikes were still possible.
NATO expects to sign a deal Friday with Yugoslavia that would allow NATO reconnaissance planes to fly over the troubled Serb province and monitor whether Milosevic is complying with his agreement to end the Kosovo crackdown. Other officials noted that NATO planes were arriving at bases in Italy.
British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook warned the Yugoslav president today that NATO is prepared to use force if he backs down on the agreement to withdraw forces from Kosovo, begin peace talks with separatist ethnic Albanians and allow the monitors into Kosovo to verify compliance.
U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke said it's time to focus on compliance and not threats, "but the bombers are ready, and if necessary we'll return to that emergency phase, which is not quite over."
Those steps are designed to end the seven-month crackdown against Kosovo Albanian separatists, an operation that has killed hundreds and left up to 300,000 people homeless. NATO gave Milosevic until 1 a.m. Saturday to comply or face airstrikes.
In Geneva, the U.N. refugee agency said it resumed aid convoys, which were suspended Monday before Milosevic bowed to international demands. U.N. officials said many refugees were still hiding in the hills and forests, fearing Serb reprisals if they go home.
"We've always said that fear is the main problem," said U.N. spokesman Kris Janowski. "And that needs to be allayed."
In order to build such confidence, the agreement reached this week with Holbrooke provides about 2,000 international monitors to be stationed in Kosovo. But the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, which is responsible for the mission, must ask its 54 member governments to provide the monitors.
OSCE officials said it could take weeks before all 2,000 are in the province.
"I'm worried that the international community will be too slow and leisurely in getting them there, and they'll take six months to get there when we need them there in six days or at least six weeks," Holbrooke told CNN.
Holbrooke said the Russians, who had opposed NATO airstrikes, also have agreed to participate in aerial monitoring.
In the meantime, American, Canadian and European diplomats returned today to begin forming the ground monitor force. The diplomats had been working as observers in Kosovo since July but were evacuated last week for fear of Serb reprisals if NATO attacked.
Also, the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo authorized American officials to return to the Serb-held half of Bosnia today.
In the hills about 25 miles northwest of Pristina, some refugees said today that they don't trust Milosevic and have no confidence in the ability of unarmed monitors to guarantee their safety.
"He is lying that they are withdrawing their forces," said a 56-year-old refugee, who gave his name only as Hasan. "They are here. There are tanks dug in the ground."
Another refugee, Maher Shpati, said unarmed monitors could not do the job. "They must be soldiers, like in Bosnia," he said, referring to the NATO peacekeeping force in that former Yugoslav republic.
In a step toward compliance, the Serb government outlined a plan for a separate parliament in Kosovo. The plan, announced late Tuesday, calls for local elections in 1999 in the separatist province. According to the statement, Kosovo Albanians would have their own parliament, judiciary and police.
The government also said elections in Kosovo would be held within nine months and invited foreign monitors to observe them. And it offered amnesty for ethnic Albanian fighters not suspected of war crimes.
Ethnic Albanians form 90 percent of the 2 million people in Kosovo and have insisted on independence rather than regaining the autonomy Milosevic stripped in 1989.
But international leaders oppose independence for Kosovo, fearing it could lead to further instability in the tense Balkans.
In Moscow today, the upper house of Russia's parliament adopted a resolution calling on "the world community -- especially NATO members -- not to allow military intervention in Yugoslavia's internal conflict." The lower house of parliament, the State Duma, also drafted a resolution today denouncing the "NATO threat to unleash a war" against Yugoslavia.
Meanwhile, Romania's parliament voted to allow NATO use the country's airspace in emergency situations if the alliance launches airstrikes.
Moscow Times October 10, 1998_______________________________________________________________________
A Flawed Pragmatism
By James Goldgeier and Michael McFaul
James Goldgeier and Michael McFaul are professors of political science at George Washington University and Stanford University respectively. They contributed this comment to The Moscow Times.
In the West, Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov is often described as "wily," "pragmatic," and "a realist" who seeks to carve out a place for Russia as a major player in the global game of balance-of-power politics. Usually these descriptions point to the turn in Russian foreign policy away from the "naive," Western-oriented approach taken by his predecessor in the Foreign Ministry, Andrei Kozyrev. Expressed support for Serbia in the most recent NATO showdown with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic over Kosovo is presumably yet further evidence of these so-called clever foreign policy maneuvers.
Clever? Pragmatic? Hardly. Russian support for Milosevic is just plain stupid and has nothing to do with furthering Russian national interests from a realist point of view or reasserting Russia as a global power. On the contrary, the Russian defense of Milosevic represents an attempt by Yeltsin, Primakov and other leaders in Russia to find a foreign policy diversion to deflect attention away from Russia's more serious economic problems at home.
In the end, standing tough in the Balkans does little to advance Russia's reputation abroad and does much to damage the well being of Russian citizens at home.
Russian leaders and foreign policy elites have asserted that Russian resistance to planned NATO military actions in Serbia is a "test" of Russia's great power status in the international arena. If Russia acquiesces to U.S. desires regarding the Kosovo crisis, this argument contends, then Russia will no longer be respected as a serious political actor on the international stage.
From our vantage point, the exact opposite is true. By defending a pariah state, Russia demonstrates to the rest of the world that the only way Russia can get attention internationally is to cause trouble, not resolve it. This is no way to establish an international reputation as a great power.
As for U.S.-Russian relations in particular, Russian stances regarding Kosovo only reaffirm the belief of many, especially within the Republican Party, that Russia itself is a pariah state whose influence in international affairs must be contained.
Finally, the assumption commonly heard in Moscow that standing against "American imperialism" in the former Yugoslavia will re-establish Russia as the leader of the nonaligned movement, the developing world or a growing anti- U.S. coalition that stretches from Paris to Beijing is sure folly. Russia could become a leader of an anti-Western coalition, but its allies will be Iraq, Serbia and North Korea, not France, India or China. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
The damage done to the welfare of Russians within Russia by these ill- conceived foreign policy forays, however, is even more tragic and detrimental to Russian national interests. At a time when the Russian economy is in a free fall with the bottom still not in sight, can Russia afford to be playing balance-of-power politics in the Balkans? One can hardly believe that "bonding" with "Serbian brothers" has any resonance for the masses in Russia, who have more important things to worry about.
In addition, at a time when Russia is seeking Western assistance to help survive its latest economic crisis, why feed Western complaints that Russia remains at heart an adversary? Only the most naive in Russia should continue to believe the refrain that "Russia is too big to fail" and therefore the West will always bail Russia out no matter what. Russia already has failed economically and there is little sentiment in the West today to provide additional funds to Russia. This sentiment for aiding Russia will disappear altogether if Russia continues to exacerbate tensions in the Balkans.
Historically, great powers feed their citizens, stimulate growth in their economy, and pay their foreign debt. If Russia wants to restore its reputation as a great power, it will only come through focusing on these issues, not empty threats to defend rogue states.
Standing up for Milosevic is damaging both to Russian national interest abroad and at home. While the policy may play well in a State Duma seeking to vent its rage against perceived Western injustices, it neither helps with Russia's near-term problems nor makes or breaks Russia as a great power.
Finally, if Primakov and Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov do believe that Russia can only take its place in the pantheon of major powers by choosing policies independent of and antithetical to Western policies, they should pick their spots carefully.
If NATO wants to act, it will act no matter what the Russians say. And if NATO does not act, it will choose not to do so with little reference to Russia's embrace of Milosevic in Belgrade. On this issue, siding with the bully of the Balkans is evidence of the bankruptcy of Russian foreign policy, not of its cleverness.
SECURING PEACE IN KOSOVO: COOK AND ROBERTSON
In a joint press conference, the Foreign and Defence Secretaries have expanded on recent statements regarding the Holbrooke deal on Kosovo. Events had shown that the policy, of diplomacy backed up by the threat of force, had was the right one: 'without both tracks,' said Robin Cook, 'we would not have secured this agreement.' Britain, he said, would be making a major contribution to the OSCE verification mission; and would be backing a UN resolution endorsing the agreement. Mr Cook announced that he would be visiting a number of neighbouring countries to discuss the crisis, and would attend a Contact Group meeting on Thursday 15 October in Paris. But the most urgent task, he noted, was 'to get humanitarian relief through to the refugees on the hillside.' The Defence Secretary, Mr Robertson paid tribute to the commitment and professionalism of the British forces called into action; they are partly responsible, he said, for 'the retreat from the precipice, the success of diplomacy'.
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