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Milosevic to free U.S. soldiers, Yugoslav news agency says

Jackson and Milosevic
Jackson, left, met with Milosevic on Saturday to discuss the release of the three captured U.S. soldiers
Jesse Jackson arrives at an air base in Zagreb, Croatia (May 2)
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Jesse Jackson news conference
(May 1)
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Jesse Jackson reports the release of U.S. soldiers from Yugoslavia (May 1)
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Andrew Ramirez's mother says, 'He looks very healthy'
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Jesse Jackson prays with the three captured soldiers (April 30)
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"(Mom, Dad) Sorry you had to go through so much agony" - Jackson's meeting with Steven Gonzales (April 30)
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"To my wife and son, I love you" - Jackson's meeting and Christopher Stone (April 30)
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Captured U.S. soldiers to be released Sunday

More refugees pour into Albania, Macedonia

U.S. rejects Yugo position on peacekeepers


May 2, 1999
Web posted at: 3:17 p.m. EDT (1917 GMT)


BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (CNN) -- Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic agreed Saturday to release three American soldiers captured last month, Yugoslav officials told CNN.

The prisoners will be turned over Sunday morning to the Rev. Jesse Jackson and his team of interfaith American peace advocates, who went to Belgrade to plead for the soldiers' release. Jackson and his colleagues hugged and clapped each other on the back when they heard the Yugoslav announcement.

Jackson met with the three soldiers -- Staff Sgt. Christopher Stone of Smiths Creek, Michigan; Staff Sgt. Andrew Ramirez, 24, of Los Angeles; and Spc. Steven Gonzales, 22, of Huntsville, Texas -- individually and as a group Friday.

The men were in good shape, he said.

"They are physically being treated very well," Jackson said. "Of course, there are the psychological problems involved with being in isolation."

Yugoslavia's Tanjug news agency said Yugoslavia sees the captives not as enemies, but "as victims of war and militarism."

During a three-hour meeting with Milosevic on Saturday, Jackson said he had encouraged the Yugoslav president to "break the cycle of violence" by releasing the captives. He said Milosevic made no promises, but that "the issues that we raised were meaningfully addressed."

Jackson said he argued that the prisoners' release would be a bold diplomatic gesture.

Soldiers send messages home

The soldiers -- the same three who appeared sullen, haggard and battered shortly after their capture March 31 -- this time looked washed, rested and in better spirits.

During their visit with Jackson, they smiled and one beamed, "Mom, Dad, love you."

Stone was the first soldier to meet with Jackson. A fading bruise on his forehead is "a mark from our capture," he said in a video of the soldiers approved by Serb censors.

Gonzales apologized to his family: "Sorry I put you through so much pain and agony."

The POWs, dressed in their camouflage U.S. Army uniforms, have been held in isolation. Their brief reunion marked the first time they had seen each other since their capture, although they weren't allowed to speak to one another.

They were allowed to send and receive messages from relatives and to receive Bibles and candy from Jackson.

Milosevic to free U.S. soldiers, Yugoslav news agency says
May 1, 1999
U.S. POWs send video messages home
April 30, 1999
Jesse Jackson to meet captured U.S. soldiers in Yugoslavia
April 30, 1999
Intense NATO bombardment targets Yugoslav capital
April 29, 1999
Macedonia says refugee problem overwhelming
April 29, 1999
Russia, U.S. disagree on Yugoslavia peace plans
April 29, 1999
Captured soldiers send first messages home
April 28, 1999
Clinton warns Congress not to double Kosovo appropriations request
April 28, 1999

Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites:
  • Kosovo

  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News

  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosova Liberation Peace Movement
  • Kosovo - from

  • F-117s arrive at Aviano to support possible NATO operations
  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis

  • U.S. Agency for International Development (Kosovo aid)
  • Doctors of the World
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Kosovo Humanitarian Disaster Forces Hundreds of Thousands from their Homes
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page
  • The Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Mercy International

  • Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

  • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
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