Geert Lovink on Thu, 13 May 1999 18:50:16 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> KOSOVO BRIEFING #71 - MAY 12, 1999

Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 19:33:26 -0400
From: Kosovo Action Coalition <>

KOSOVO BRIEFING #71 - MAY 12, 1999 
Special issue on diplomacy

Kosovo Briefing, a bulletin on human rights, humanitarian and security
developments on Kosovo, is issued by the Kosovo Action Coalition.
Please communicate any questions, comments or requests to receive these
bulletins to Jay Wise at (202) 496-2401, or <>
Note: Place names rendered primarily in Serbian spelling

"If the war ends with a signature on a peace agreement and the same
leadership in power, with Slobodan Milosevic at the helm, the tragedy
and violence will continue."
Montenegro's President Milo Djukanovic and Serbia's opposition
Democratic Party leader Zoran Djindjic
May 8 ≠ Podgorica

"One of the biggest mistakes the international community made in Bosnia
was to believe that Milosevic could be a part of the solution to the
problem, when he was the problem. If what we are looking for now is a
negotiated solution, this negotiation will inevitably go through Milosevic
but if he then guarantees the agreements I believe we will have new
International High Representative in Bosnia Carlos Westendorp
Quoted by Reuters, May 10 ≠ Madrid

"For Serbia itself, I cannot see a future for Serbia under the rule of
Milosevic. I'm not sitting down and dealing with Milosevic. I don't think
anyone is in a position to deal with Milosevic."
Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair
On CNN, May 8 ≠ London

"Something that no one has suggested... is that the international
community, in effect, declare war on Yugoslavia and march on Belgrade.
If that is not to happen, and our goals never entail that - our goals
were bring the Kosovars home, let them live in security, let them live
with the autonomy that clearly they deserve and have to have now to
have any sense of a normal life - then those goals can be achieved with
an enforceable agreement with Mr. Milosevic in Belgrade."
US President Bill Clinton
May 6 ≠ Bonn

"If we are safe there, if there is no policeman there, if there is 
no Serbian forces there, and if NATO is together with us, assuring our
safety, I'm absolutely sure that all we will go back. Without safety,
if Serbian policemen - as I told you before - will wait for us at the 
border checkpoint, nobody is ready to go back."
Blerim Shala, independent Kosovo daily Zeri editor
Interview, Lehrer Newshour, May 6 ≠ Washington

"If troops are not in place by August, Gen. Winter is on Milosevic's side.
Milosevic has only to ask his people for a few more months of endurance
and he will have won, at least for this year."
Daily Telegraph military correspondent John Keegan
May 8 ≠ London

Diplomatic outcome tilting on Moscow-Beijing axis?
* Reuters reported today that "in Moscow, Deputy Secretary of State Strobe
Talbott met the Russian Balkan envoy, Viktor Chernomyrdin, for several hours
and also had talks with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov." US State Department
spokesman James Rubin said following the talks today: "Two working groups
were set up, one on the military side, one on the civilian side.  These
working groups will be staying in Moscow as Deputy Secretary Talbott is
now in Helsinki meeting with President Ahtisaari who, as you know, on many
occasions has had consultations with many important figures, including
President Chirac, Chancellor Schroeder, Secretary-General Annan and now
Deputy Secretary Talbott. President Ahtisaari's counsel has been sought 
because of his wisdom in the area of the Balkans, and he's indicated a
willingness to play an advisory role as a friend of this process and
perhaps more at the appropriate time... Deputy Secretary Talbott will be
back in Moscow tomorrow to meet with, presumably, Foreign Minister Ivanov
after the working groups have had a full day of discussions. With respect
to the substance, the discussions were serious; they were constructive;
they, by all accounts, were not affected by the political developments
in Moscow, so that effort continues.  With respect to progress, let me say
that there are still wide gaps between Russia and the United States on 
the key questions of the composition of the international security force,
on the time table and verification of the withdrawal of Serb forces."

* The New York Times today reported that "in a brief news conference
on Tuesday [in Beijing], Mr. Chernomyrdin said the two countries agreed
that talks in the United Nations to create an international intervention
force for Kosovo must be preceded by a halt to the bombing, a demand that
NATO has rejected. 'First it is necessary to stop the bombing and then to
conduct negotiations,' Mr. Chernomyrdin said. But Russia is eager to act
as a peacemaker, and hopes to advance the proposal it worked out with
seven industrial nations last week, calling for an armed force under
United Nations auspices to enter Kosovo as Yugoslav troops withdraw.
One goal of the Russian envoy, who met here with President Jiang Zemin,
Prime Minister Zhu Rongji and Deputy Prime Minister Qian Qichen, 
appeared to be to gain China's support for the general approach of 
the Group of Eight plan. As a permanent member of the Security Council,
China will have to agree to the establishment of any United Nations force.
Mr. Chernomyrdin hinted at progress at least toward this goal. 'The
Chinese side is studying the proposals of the Group of Eight,' he said.
'They agree that the decision by the Group of Eight could be the basis
for future negotiations.' But Chinese accounts only emphasized China's
demand for an immediate halt to the bombing."

* Reuters had reported yesterday that "in Moscow, Russia's special
Balkans envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin was expected to present new proposals
to resolve the conflict to U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott
Wednesday. Chernomyrdin returned Tuesday from talks with Chinese leaders
in Beijing and was asked if he had any new proposals for Talbott. 'I
have,' he replied without elaboration. Russia's Interfax news agency
quoted Chernomyrdin as saying China might be willing to take part in
an international peace force for Kosovo if it had Belgrade's support and
was organized by the United Nations, not NATO."

* The New York Times noted yesterday that Clinton administration officials
"now see signs that the Chinese government may delay a United Nations
Security Council resolution requiring an international security force 
in Kosovo... The Chinese signaled today that they would try to obstruct
the Administration's diplomatic strategy by demanding that NATO first halt
its bombing against Yugoslavia before the Security Council could consider
any other action on Kosovo." Associated Press reported yesterday that
"China dropped its demand Tuesday that the Security Council condemn NATO's
bombing of its Belgrade embassy but warned again it wouldn't discuss a
Kosovo peace plan until the alliance stops attacking Yugoslavia."

* Agence France-Presse reported today that "Yeltsin also warned that
Moscow could pull out of international efforts to find a peaceful solution
to the Kosovo crisis if its views were ignored, Interfax reported. 'We are
not the ones taking part in this war and we did not start it,' Yeltsin
told a meeting of the Russian Security Council. 'Clearly, our appeals
and various propositions (for a peaceful settlement) have not reached
their intended destination.' The talks with Talbott, who is in charge of
Washington's relations with Moscow, were expected to focus on a framework
accord reached last week in Bonn by foreign ministers from Russia and the
Group of Seven top industrial nations."

* When asked yesterday about China's stand in the Security Council, State
Department spokesman James Rubin said that "The issue in the diplomacy 
is the substance. The issue is whether President Milosevic will finally
say yes to the five conditions that NATO and the rest of the world are
supportive of [see section VI, below]. If he does so, and arrangements are
worked out substantively for a force with NATO at its core, for a rapid
and precise timetable for his withdrawal, for the return of the refugees,
for a framework for a discussion of the political arrangements and the 
end to the violence, that's the substance. That is the key question. 
If that happens, we believe we will be able to find a way procedurally 
to move quickly and we do not believe that at the end of the day, if a
diplomatic resolution is found where President Milosevic has agreed to
NATO's conditions, that at the end of the day the Chinese will stand 
in the way of that. It would be contrary to their longstanding claim 
to resolve this question peacefully."

Mixed signals from Europe
* The Washington Times reported today that "Greece and other nations
neighboring Serbia are shipping oil into into that republic despite the
allied bombing aimed at strangling Belgrade's fuel supplies, Pentagon
officials say... They spoke on the condition of anonymity. Officials
familiar with the classified document say it reports that small-scale
fuel shipments from Greece were noted for the first time last week,
and fuel shipments are reaching Serbia from other neighboring countries.
At least five ships reached Serbia in the past week, according to
diplomatic sources. 'Governments are reluctant to stop the oil smuggling
because it replaces other trade broken by the bombing and because
anti-U.S. sentiment in northern Greece is growing,' said one official
who has seen the report."

* Agence France-Presse today reported that "Italian President Oscar
Luigi Scalfaro said Monday that NATO should halt its air raids against
Yugoslavia. Scalfaro, who arrived in the Macedonian capital earlier 
in the day, told reporters: 'It is necessary for the bombing to stop,
because we are very worried to see that the raids are apparently
moving away from military targets and are being directed towards
civilian targets... We say this... with the greatest respect for
our allies, with the conviction that an alliance signifies giving and
receiving advice... We are very conscious of the problems and tragedies
confronting the people of Kosovo, and that the violence and bloodbath
must cease,' Scalfaro said. Reuters noted that Scalfaro was 'the
highest-ranking representative of a NATO member-state' to call for
a halt to the bombing."

* Associated Press reported today that "Greens leaders warned their party
Wednesday against taking a pacifist stand on Kosovo at a special congress
that has the power to bring down the German government. Foreign Minister
Joschka Fischer, the highest-ranking Green, was quoted as saying he would
quit if Thursday's conference disavows his support of NATO air strikes on
Yugoslavia. With anti-war sentiment running high in the party, pacifist
Greens have drafted motions calling for an immediate, unconditional end to
the air campaign. If passed, such a challenge to government policy could
force Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to dump the Greens, his junior partner.
A collapse of the center-left coalition, only six months in office, would
undermine NATO's unity in its effort to bomb Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic into accepting an international force to secure the return
of Kosovo refugees. [Leaders of the party] are proposing a nonbinding
compromise that backs the foreign minister but also departs from 
NATO goals by calling for a temporary suspension of the bombing to see if
Milosevic is ready to meet NATO conditions [for a list of international
community conditions, see section VI below]."

* The Los Angeles Times noted Monday that "Germany's foreign minister,
Joschka Fischer, said a military solution involving NATO ground troops
may be required if peace cannot be achieved through diplomatic means.
'We would like to find a political solution, but if necessary we will be
ready to seek a military solution,' Fischer said in Sofia. 'We cannot
accept for this part of Europe to sink in bloodshed.'"

Views of Kosovo Albanian leaders in exile
* In what the New York Times May 10 called "his clearest assessment yet
that he fully supports NATOís position in the war," Democratic League of
Kosovo (LDK) party leader Ibrahim Rugova told reporters in Rome yesterday
that he was "asking for... the installment of an intervention force...
NATO and Russian, that can check the withdrawal of Serbian forces and
begin letting refugees back in... Belgrade has to accept that first."

* Associated-Press reported May 9 that "in a stinging commentary, the
Kosovo Liberation Army's news agency Sunday denounced ethnic Albanian
leader Ibrahim Rugova as a 'special emissary of the criminal' government
in Belgrade and no longer a representative of the Kosovo Albanian people.
[KLA news agency] Kosovapress criticized Rugova for not speaking out
publicly about the suffering of the Kosovo Albanian people since his
arrival in Rome last Wednesday as a 'special guest' of the Italian
government."  The Daily Telegraph (London) May 8 quoted Baton Haxhiu,
the editor of independent Kosovo daily Koha Ditore [now based in Tetovo,
Macedonia], on Rugova: "He is politically dead... Once he was arrested
he had the opportunity to announce he was no longer an Albanian leader
as he was not at liberty, but he didn't do that. For me he is a traitor."

* Reuters reported today that following talks between Rugova and
Germany's Foreign Minister Fischer, "Rugova said on Wednesday he wanted 
a reorganization of the province's various political movements... A
spokesman for Fischer said that the German minister had stressed during
the talks that Kosovo's Albanians should try to coordinate better and
stop arguing amongst themselves." Kosovapress yesterday printed an
interview with KLA chief Hashim Thaci in which Thaci called for the LDK
to participate in a provisional government he formed last month: "It is
in the interest of the LDK to abandon forms of institutional boycott
and to respect the agreement that its president signed.... It would
be in their interest to rise above these dissensions and to make
recommendations." The Financial Times noted May 5 that "the LDK,
in the shape of its prime minister in exile Bujar Bukoshi, holds the
purse strings for the considerable funds raised in recent years among
the Albanian diaspora, but he has proved reluctant to provide much finance
for the KLA, seen by many in the LDK as inspired by radical Marxist
ideology. 'My government is the legitimate representative of Kosovo,'
insisted Mr Bukoshi on a recent visit to Tirana to rally support. He said
he had not had any contact with Mr Thaci, who, according to KLA officials
in the Albanian capital, is currently leading the fight in Kosovo."

* Following an May 8 meeting in Bonn between Rugova and Russia's envoy
Viktor Chernomyrdin, Associated Press reported that "Chernomyrdin said
his late-night meeting with Rugova 'has opened my eyes to several things,'
adding to Russian reporters that Rugova had called for a disarming of
Kosovo Liberation Army rebels and autonomy for the Yugoslav province."
The Toronto Star quoted KLA spokesman Jakup Krasniqi saying that "'the
conditions under which the KLA will agree to disarm do not exist and 
I do not think they will ever exist in the Balkans'... And, he reminded
the West, independence is the KLA's paramount goal." The Baltimore Sun
(Baltimore) quoted Krasniqi saying Friday that "the proper and just
solution is the independence of Kosovo."

Timing, US contribution to Kosovo force in question
* The Chicago Tribune noted May 8 that General Michael Jackson, "the
British commander who was designated to lead NATO troops into Kosovo
under the [abortive] Rambouillet peace plan, reignited the debate about
ground troops in a BBC television interview earlier this week from 
his base in Macedonia. He argued that if a decision was not made soon
to commit ground troops to action in Kosovo, it would be impossible to
secure the province and allow the return of refugees before winter snows
start in October. In that case, he noted, many refugees would face a
'miserable' winter living in tents in Macedonia and Albania. When
a reporter suggested the time frame for a decision would have to be
the next two weeks, Jackson indicated he was in general agreement
with that."

* The Independent (London) reported May 8 that "the size of a future
international peace monitoring force in Kosovo will have to be doubled,
and possibly trebled, from its current estimate of 28,000, according to
defense and diplomatic sources. Contingency plans being drawn up to
enforce a settlement range from 65,000 to 100,000 troops, backed by
heavy armor and air cover. Around 40,000 will be needed just to escort
displaced refugees back to their homes and provide them with immediate
security and sustenance. With Russia amenable to the concept of an
international force, the allies appear more wiling to consider the
possibility of it operating under a United Nations rather than a NATO
flag... However, allied ministers and officials insisted yesterday
that any Serb presence in the province must be a token one, and the
international force must be under a NATO rather than a UN commander.
But getting the numbers for a revamped international Kosovo force
does pose a problem... a major increase in the size of the American
ground commitment remains politically problematic in Washington, 
say diplomatic sources."

*The New York Times reported Monday that Britainís Prime Minister Blair
"is understood to have returned from Washington with no clear idea of
whether the Europeans can count on the Americans to commit significant
numbers of soldiers if they are needed."

* The Daily Telegraph (London) reported May 8 that "Milosevic still
insists that the 'aggressor countries,' especially the four main
NATO countries, be excluded. Madeleine Albright... has rejected this as
'unacceptable'... Russian diplomats, however, were under the impression
that NATO, and especially America, might be flexible on this point."

* The International Herald Tribune reported May 8 that "Russian leaders...
have conceded privately that a NATO-led deployment will probably be
needed, diplomats said."

Language still vague on Belgrade troop levels in Kosovo?
* The Scotsman reported today that "in London, senior diplomatic sources
said the alliance was discussing proposals to allow Milosevic to appoint
Serb officers as liaison staff inside Kosovo with a United Nations
peacekeeping force and station lightly-armed Serbs to guard significant
monuments or Yugoslav flag sites as part of a peace deal. The sources
declined to rule out extending this proposed sweetener to include a token
force of Yugoslav police at some border crossing points." [As reported in
Kosovo Briefing #68, NATO Secretary General Javier Solana in an interview
April 25 was "reported as saying that not all Serbian forces would
necessarily have to be withdrawn from Kosovo - which NATO has been
demanding. Instead, some 'border forces could, perhaps, remain.'"]

* The Scotsman (Edinburgh) reported May 8 that "last night a senior
NATO diplomat in Brussels "confirmed Moscow was pressing for the same
number of Serb troops to remain in the region indefinitely as existed in
October 1998. However, the NATO diplomat made clear that, in his personal
view, if any Serb troops remain, their numbers would be 'screwed down
to something very near zero' and would possibly involve local police
guarding sites of religious interest such as Orthodox churches." 
The Guardian (London) reported today that "NATO... has made clear 
The Times (London) yesterday quoted a spokesman for Britain's Prime
Minister Tony Blair: "We have been absolutely clear that his troops
have got to get out ≠ and that means all his troops."

* NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said today that "President Milosevic has to
accept each and every one of our five non-negotiable demands [including
that] he must withdraw all of his Army and special police forces from
Kosovo." Secretary of State Albright said yesterday in a taped message
to the Serbian people that "NATO's air campaign will continue until
atrocities in Kosovo have ceased, all Yugoslav security forces have
left Kosovo, and there is agreement on an international security presence
that will allow refugees to return to the region in safety."  The
Washington Post reported May 7 that "in talks with Foreign Minister
Igor Ivanov of Russia, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright insisted
recently that every Serb soldier and policeman has to leave the
rebellious province. Other US and allied officials said, as a British
diplomat put it, that only 'enough of them are going to have to go
to persuade the refugees it is safe to return.' A US policymaker said,
'you might allow some Serb presence as a symbol of Serb sovereignty.'"

* Reuters noted Monday that international community High Representative
in Bosnia Carlos Westendorp "said his experience in Bosnia made it clear
that any sort of international administration could take place only after
the complete disarmament of all forces in Kosovo ≠ Yugoslav military,
Serbian special police and Kosovo Albanian guerrillas."

Annan appoints envoys, EU strengthens sanctions * The Guardian (London)
reported May 8 that "the UN's Secretary General, Kofi Annan, yesterday
appointed the former Swedish prime minister, Carl Bildt, as a special
envoy. He also confirmed that a second special envoy, decided last week,
was Slovakia's foreign minister, Eduard Kukan. Britain had lobbied against
the appointment of Mr. Bildt, because he had publicly criticized the 
NATO bombing."  The Washington Post reported today that "when the Clinton
administration failed to persuade Annan to choose its candidate for
special envoy - former Austrian chancellor Franz Vranitzky - Albright
proposed an end run. What, she asked, would Russia think of Finnish
President Martti Ahtisaari? The Russian 'jumped on it,' one U.S. official
said. Annan declined to appoint Ahtisaari, but by yesterday Washington
had helped maneuver him into an appointment as special Kosovo envoy 
for the European Union."

* The Los Angeles Times reported that the European Union Monday
"formalized sanctions against Serbia, and for the first time, all 
15 member countries agreed to them. Previously, only some members had
enacted sanctions. The countries banned Milosevic, his wife, brother,
daughter-in-law and about 300 Yugoslav politicians, military officers
and private-sector executives from entering EU countries. Also banned
were all commercial flights between EU and Yugoslav airports. Assets 
of Yugoslav and Serbian officials close to Milosevic that are held 
in EU countries will be frozen."

Belgrade official puts pre-war Kosovo Albanian population at 900,000
* The Washington Post reported yesterday that "Goran Matic, a [Serbian
government] minister without portfolio accused NATO and the US of
falsifying the numbers of ethnic Albanians who have fled Kosovo, accusing
the allies of organizing a 'big production' in which thousands of ethnic
Albanians were paid 'actors' who repeatedly left Kosovo, reentered and
then left again to inflate refugee numbers. Beyond the propaganda give
and take, the issue is important to Kosovo's future. If Belgrade contends
that fewer ethnic Albanians than reported left the province, it could
then insist that only the lower number should be permitted to return.
Matic did not give his government's estimate of the number of refugees,
although he said that the prewar ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo
was 917,000 ≠ far below the 1.7 million that Western officials say lived
in the province."

"No evidence" of troop withdrawal
* A statement issued by the Yugoslav Army, announced the withdrawal,
effective May 9 at 10 PM, from Kosovo of "parts of army and police
units... At the same time, it was concluded that as soon as an agreement
with the UN is reached regarding the deployment of a UN mission to Kosovo,
by which the external danger to the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia
will cease, it will be possible to realize a plan reducing the military
and police forces in Kosovo to the peace time level before NATO's
aggression. In a situation where a well-secured state border prevents
infiltration of terrorist gangs from Albania and Macedonia, peace-time
police and army levels would, according the competent estimates of
military and police experts, guarantee the security of citizens and
property throughout Kosovo."  The Los Angeles Times noted yesterday
that "the withdrawal order was said to be in effect from 10 PM Sunday,
but refugees consistently reported being rousted from their most recent
hiding places hours later."

* Britain's Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said yesterday of the withdrawal
announcement that "there is no evidence here of President Milosevic
honouring this latest ploy on his part. Far from withdrawing, Serb forces
continue with the construction of defences around Urosevac and along the
Kosovo-Albanian border south west of Prizren." NATO spokesman Jamie Shea
said Tuesday that "yesterday we know that the Yugoslav Army and the
special police forces carried out offensive and security operations
throughout Kosovo. In northern Kosovo there was fighting along the
Pristina/Podujevo route, and also along the road between Pristina and
Kosovska Mitrovica. There was also heavy fighting around the Kosare pocket
which is currently in the hands of the Kosovo Liberation Army. And in
central Kosovo special police, or MUP, units were in action against UCK
elements around Suva Reka and Orosevac. We also know that in the north
near Junik, the Yugoslav Armed Forces continue to try to close the UCK
supply lines."

* Reuters reported Monday that "a partial withdrawal of Yugoslav forces
from Kosovo down to the levels before NATO began bombing on March 24 would
leave 29,000 soldiers and police in Kosovo, according to NATO estimates.
That would be well in excess of the 22,500 agreed last October in a deal
with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic brokered by US envoy Richard
Holbrooke." In a separate report, Reuters noted that "British officials
said Yugoslavia's pullout formula would leave some 25-30,000 Yugoslav
forces in Kosovo."

Negotiation over composition, role, arms of international force
* The Chicago Tribune May 11 quoted Pedrag Markovic, an analyst at the
Belgrade-based Institute of Political Science: 
"We are now expecting a great period of negotiations about which countries
will come to Kosovo and join the UN forces. Our government will work very
hard to keep out US forces, but if they have to accept them, there will be
no more Americans in Kosovo than there are in Bosnia." [The US at the
beginning of the Bosnia IFOR mission contributed 20,000 troops out of
an initial total deployment of 60,000. The US deployment in Bosnia is 
now at 7,000 troops.] Reuters reported Monday that Yasushi Akashi, former
UN envoy to Yugoslavia, "said after a private meeting with Milosevic,
the Yugoslav leader wanted any Kosovo peacekeeping force to be under 
UN auspices, small and not heavily armed and was 'very firm in his
position'... Milosevic said he would not accept any countries which
had participated in NATO's bombing campaign involved in peacekeeping,
Akashi said."

* The Financial Times reported May 5 that "Slobodan Milosevic, the
Yugoslav president, is working on a proposal that would allow a United
Nations-led, armed peacekeeping force into the Serbian province, sources
close to the Belgrade regime said yesterday. The proposal centres on
a lightly armed UN police force that would include a large Russian
contingent and representatives of NATO member states not taking part 
in the air campaign against Yugoslavia. Acceptable NATO countries would
include Greece, Portugal and the three new NATO states - Hungary, Poland
and the Czech Republic... 'Milosevic is now afraid that the United States
and Russia will find a common language and keep him out of the picture.
He's trying to get back into the game,' one source said by telephone
from Belgrade. Mr Milosevic is also concerned that if the leading role
in the peace process is taken by Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general,
then the composition of a future peacekeeping force will be beyond
Belgrade's influence."

* Reuters reported Monday that "Yugoslavia's largest commercial bank
Beobanka, which had close ties to President Slobodan Milosevic, said
in its weekly newsletter on Monday that peace would soon be restored 
after weeks of NATO air raids... Beobanka's senior managers are
members of Milosevic's ruling Socialist Party of Serbia or its junior
coalition partner the Yugoslav Left (JUL), founded by Milosevic's wife
Mirjana Markovic."

* The Chicago Tribune May 11 quoted Bratislav Grubacic, editor of the
daily VIP newsletter in Belgrade:  "I do think [Milosevic] hopes this
partial withdrawal of troops will soften the Western alliance, that Italy
and Germany will produce pressure on the Americans."

* The Washington Post reported yesterday that an effort to indict
Milosevic for war crimes "is complicated by...the possibility that an
indictment ≠ enthusiastically sought by NATO allies several weeks ago ≠
might now interfere with a diplomatic settlement of the Kosovo conflict...
[war crimes Tribunal Chief Prosecutor Louise] Arbour said the hardest
proof of war crimes gathered so far is in the hands of the Western
governments she has been courting for help ≠ and it is the most
jealously-guarded kind of intelligence. Photographic imagery from
high-flying surveillance aircraft can show mass graces one day where 
none  existed the day before and even identify the military units 
in the area at the time of the crime. More useful yet for the tribunal's
purposes... are electronic intercepts and other surreptitiously recorded
conversations that could link front-line officers to field commanders to
ranking generals to Milosevic, establishing ≠ with voice recognition if
necessary ≠ who gave orders to do what. Arbour said the tribunal has been
given the kind of information that is useful to military tacticians ≠
distilled, analyzed intelligence product. But in a courtroom, she said,
'the finished product isn't enough. It's uncheckable, unverifiable. I need
the raw stuff, with dates and times and places."

* Reuters yesterday quoted Louise Arbour, chief prosecutor for the UN
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia: "Our tribunal
is not impeded by any form of pre-existing immunity for heads of state,
even while in office, so there is absolutely no impediment to our bringing
the case up the command-and-control structure to wherever the evidence
will show responsibility lies."

* Associated Press reported yesterday that "a bipartisan congressional
human rights commission says the Clinton administration is failing 
to gather usable war crimes evidence against Yugoslav leader Slobodan
Milosevic. 'In spite of all that has happened in Bosnia and now Kosovo,
the United States administration still seems to cling to the idea that
Milosevic is someone with whom we can cut a deal,' Rep. Chris Smith,
R-N.J., cochairman of the congressional Helsinki Commission, said Tuesday.
Even before NATO attacks on Kosovo, the House and Senate passed
resolutions last year calling upon the Clinton administration to gather
evidence for an indictment of Milosevic based on atrocities in Bosnia and
elsewhere. Smith said he plans to introduce another resolution to push for
more aggressive legal action against the Yugoslav leader, Serb commanders
and others for atrocities in Kosovo. He said administration officials have
repeatedly told him they have no specific collection of evidence against


General Principles of the Political Solution on Kosovo adopted by the
G8 Foreign Ministers, Petersburg, Germany, May 6, 1999

1. The G8 Foreign Ministers adopted the following general principles on 
the political solution to the Kosovo crisis:
-- Immediate and verifiable end of violence and repression in Kosovo;
-- Withdrawal from Kosovo of military, police and paramilitary forces;
-- Deployment in Kosovo of effective international civil and security
    presences, endorsed and adopted by the United Nations, capable of
    guaranteeing the achievement of the common objectives;
-- Establishment of an interim administration for Kosovo to be decided 
    by the Security Council of the United Nations to ensure conditions for
    a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants in Kosovo;
-- The safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons and
    unimpeded access to Kosovo by humanitarian aid organizations;
-- A political process towards the establishment of an interim political
    framework agreement providing for a substantial self-government 
    for Kosovo, taking full account of the Rambouillet accords and
    the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the
    Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other countries of the region,
    and the demilitarization of the UCK;
-- Comprehensive approach to the economic development and stabilization 
    of the crisis region.

2. In order to implement these principles the G8 Foreign Ministers
instructed their Political Directors to prepare elements of a United
Nations Security Council resolution.

3. The Political Directors will draw up a roadmap on further concrete
steps towards a political solution to the Kosovo crisis.

4. The G8 Presidency will inform the Chinese government on the results 
of today's meeting.

5. Foreign Ministers will reconvene in due time to review the progress
which has been achieved up to that point.

Statement on Kosovo, Issued by the NAC Heads of State and Government,
Washington, D.C., April 23, 1999 (excerpt) 

Our military actions are directed not at the Serb people but at the
policies of the regime in Belgrade, which has repeatedly rejected all
efforts to solve the crisis peacefully. President Milosevic must:

-- Ensure a verifiable stop to all military action and the
    immediate ending of violence and repression in Kosovo; 
-- Withdraw from Kosovo his military, police and paramilitary forces; 
-- Agree to the stationing in Kosovo of an international military 
-- Agree to the unconditional and safe return of all refugees and
    displaced persons, and unhindered access to them by humanitarian 
    aid organisations; and 
-- Provide credible assurance of his willingness to work for the
    establishment of a political framework agreement based on the
    Rambouillet accords.  

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