Yugoslavia rejects U.N. peace plan for Kosovo
April 16, 1999
UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- Yugoslavia formally turned down a U.N. peace proposal for Kosovo Friday that calls for the deployment of an international military force in the province.
Yugoslavia's most senior diplomat in the United States, Chargé d'Affaires Vladislav Jovanovic, told reporters his country was willing to discuss a possible international civilian presence in Kosovo, but not military peacekeepers.
"We're not at all open to the idea of accepting any foreign military presence. Civilian presence -- this is something which can be negotiated, (but) military presence absolutely not," Jovanovic said.
He delivered a letter from his prime minister to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan late Friday, responding to Annan's proposal, which Annan made in Geneva on April 9.
The initiative, which is similar to NATO's proposals, asks Yugoslav authorities to end the expulsion of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, withdraw the Yugoslav military forces and Serb police, allow the return of refugees and displaced people to their homes, and accept the deployment of an international military force in the Serb province.
Once Belgrade's accepts those conditions, Annan wants NATO to suspend its air campaign against Yugoslavia.
Jovanovic said that only after the NATO bombing ceased would his country withdraw its troops from Kosovo.
"Parallel with the end of the aggression and the cessation of the bombings and the withdrawal of NATO forces, we would proceed to the reduction of our forces which existed in peacetime," Jovanovic said.
Yugoslavia's letter to Annan also spelled out Yugoslavia's casualties since the NATO airstrikes began.
"There are already casualties going high to the near 600 civilians killed, nearly 5,000 wounded, many of them seriously," the letter says.
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Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites
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