Tuesday, May 18, 1999 Published at 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
Blair's pledge to refugees
Mr Blair receives flowers from a refugee girl at Elbasan
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is assuring ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo that the Nato campaign to return them to their homes will be successful.
He was greeted with chants of "Nato, Nato" and outstretched hands as he walked through the refugee camp at Elbasan.
He also met some of the western troops in Albania. He told them that Nato's Kosovo mission would not be easy but its commitment was unshakable.
During his visit he heard hearing harrowing accounts from Kosovo refugees at a camp in Albania.
There he addressed about 100 soldiers of various nationalities and reassured them of his "unshakeable commitment to see this through".
"It cannot be right to have racial genocide and ethnic cleansing being carried out in a part of Europe and for us to stand aside and do nothing," he said.
And Mr Blair went on to hear evidence of such "ethnic cleansing" from some of the 430,000 Kosovo Albanians who have fled to neighbouring Albania from the war-torn region.
He told Mr Blair how he was robbed, forced to strip naked in front of his village by armed Serbs who kicked him and hit him with a rifle butt.
"They hit me again in the ribs," he said through an interpeter, "and they asked me for [German] marks and I told them I didn't have many because I was a pensioner and I gave them all the 200 marks I had and they told me it wasn't enough."
Earlier, he said, the Serbs had rounded up all the young men. By nightfall, his wife Shyret said, they went in search of "all the beautiful girls".
Promise of safe return
It was the most vivid account yet of "ethnic cleansing" that Mr Blair had heard at first hand.
"Our promise to you, to all of you, is that you should return in peace to the land that is yours" he said.
But Mr Blair's visit coincides with criticism of the humanitarian operation by one of the biggest aid organisations. Oxfam says the efforts are lacking co-ordination.
Overnight, Nato jets attacked an industrial zone, a key Yugoslav highway, a military airport and Kosovo targets after further accounts of ethnic Albanians being used as human shields.
Serbian media reported Nato attacks against the Batajnica military airport, north-west of Belgrade, a settlement near Leskovac, central Serbia; a bridge in Vladicin Han and a factory in Vranje to the south.
Strikes were also reported in Nis, the third-largest Yugoslav city, and an industrial zone which has frequently been targeted during the campaign.