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Wednesday, December 2, 1998 Published at 14:49 GMT

World: Europe

OSCE chairman criticises big powers over Kosovo

The chairman of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe OSCEBronislaw Geremek, has criticised the way the major powers have handled the crisis in Kosovo.

Mr Geremek told the annual meeting of the OSCE in the Norwegian capital Oslo that the big powers had ignored warnings he gave in January of an impending crisis.

Mr Geremek also criticised the failure to involve Kosovar Albanians in negotiations with the Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic, which led to the ceasefire in Kosovo.

The OSCE has begun deploying two-thousand unarmed observers to monitor the ceasefire -- an operation which Mr Geremek described as the organisation's biggest single challenge.

Yugoslavia has sent a memorandum to the meeting condemning contacts with the ethnic Albanian guerrilla force, the Kosovo Liberation Army.

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