Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Wednesday, February 17, 1999 Published at 01:20 GMT

World: Europe

Milosevic: No foreign troops

Ethnic Albanians are reportedly ready to sign a deal

Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has reiterated his refusal to accept foreign troops in Kosovo as part of a peace deal, despite the threat of Nato strikes.

Bridget Kendall: "Time is running out"
Mr Milosevic was speaking after a chief American mediator in the Kosovo peace talks flew to Belgrade to urge him to accept a settlement in the war-torn province.

United States envoy Christopher Hill is thought to have told the president to agree to the internationally brokered deal or face a Nato bombardment.

Kosovo Section
US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright earlier telephoned Mr Milosevic to brief him on the talks between Serbs and ethnic Albanians being held at a French chateau.

The two sides have until noon on Saturday to agree to a plan aimed at ending a year of bloodshed in Kosovo which has cost around 2,000 lives and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes.

[ image: Mr Hill: Expected to talk tough]
Mr Hill: Expected to talk tough
US State Department spokesman James Rubin said the Serb side remained the obstacle to progress, with the ethnic Albanian side now ready to sign an agreement.

He said Mrs Albright's conversation with the Yugoslav president was "businesslike".

The peace deal gives the province substantial autonomy for an interim three-year period while remaining a part of Yugoslavia.

But the Serb side has repeatedly refused to allow foreign troops to police the agreement.

'We can police the terrorists'

The Serbs were counting on Russia to back them, but the Associated Press news agency says it is now clear Moscow is willing to go along with a Nato deployment in the province as part of the agreement.

[ image:  ]
However, Russia still opposes Nato airstrikes against Yugoslavia in the event the peace talks fail.

At the begining of the week Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said he believed the two sides would reach a deal before the deadline.

But at the same time, the Serbian President Milan Milutinovic made clear that Belgrade would not accept a foreign peacekeeping force in Kosovo where 90% of the population is ethnic Albanian.

"If the agreement that is reached is good, why impose something people accept, unless [it is] to chase the terrorists, but we can chase the terrorists," he said in reference to ethnic Albanian guerrilla fighters.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

13 Feb 99 | Kosovo
Kosovo talks: Half-way to a deal?

14 Feb 99 | Europe
Countdown for Kosovo

13 Feb 99 | Europe
Clinton approves US troops for Kosovo

13 Feb 99 | Europe
Analysis: Selling a Kosovo deal to Russia

12 Feb 99 | Europe
Nato 'losing patience' with Serbs

11 Feb 99 | UK Politics
UK troops on Kosovo stand-by

06 Feb 99 | Europe
Kosovo talks: The negotiators

Internet Links

Serbia's Ministry of Information

US Senate Republican Committee - Kosovo

French Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Meeting on Kosovo

Kosovo Information Centre

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift