Saturday, May 1, 1999 Published at 14:03 GMT 15:03 UK
Jackson pleads for POWs
The three soldiers are in good health says Jesse Jackson (NYTimes)
The United States civil rights leader, Jesse Jackson, has appealed to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic for the release of three US prisoners of war.
"We will know later today what his final decision will be," Rev Jackson said after the meeting.
But Yugoslav Assistant Foreign Minister Nebojsa Vujovic said earlier the release would not be "on the agenda" for the meeting.
The three soldiers, who had been stationed in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Maceonia, were captured a month ago on the Yugoslav border.
Prayers with prisoners
He said the men had showed "a great sense of dignity",and were in good health but being kept apart from one another in a military jail.
"Our country should be proud of them," he said.
"It has been for them a long, dark night."
White House officials tried to dissuade Rev Jackson from travelling to Yugoslavia. But when he insisted on making the trip, they urged him to tell Mr Milosevic that there could be no link between the release of the soldiers and an end to Nato air strikes.
Mr Jackson is not the first politician to try to secure the release of the soldiers.
The mission of the Cypriot parliamentary leader Spyros Kyprianou earlier this month ended in failure.
The 57-year-old founder and leader of the Rainbow/Push Coalition, who ran for the US presidency in 1984 and 1988, has previously secured the release of captives held in Syria, Cuba, Kuwait and Iraq.