BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Politics  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 2 October, 1998, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
Cook issues fresh warning to Serbs
Robin Cook
Cook: we are prepared to use force
Britain has given Serbia a fresh warning to pull its troops out of Kosovo or risk Nato airstrikes.

Speaking at the Labour Party conference in Blackpool, the foreign secretary told the Serbian government that Britain was prepared to use force to stop war crimes in Kosovo.

Robin Cook's remarks come as fighter jets are already on standby and military planning almost complete.

He said: "We don't want to use force but today I warn President Milosevic. That if it will take force, Britain is prepared to back force."

Delegates
Conference backed Cook's call for a tough stance
The United Nations Security Council is calling for Serbian troops to cease fire and withdraw from Kosovo in preparation for genuine discussions on autonomy, but Mr Cook said the UN's warnings were going unheard.

He said the continuing atrocities committed by Serb forces on civilians could not be considered an internal matter for the Serbian government.

"Yesterday the corpses of 18 victims of ethnic hatred were found in Kosovo - almost all of them women and children."

They were killed, he said, "because they were the wrong ethnic identity".

He told Mr Milosevic: "Don't dare tell us that such an atrocity is purely an internal affair for you. Such an outrage to the laws of humanity is the business of all of humanity."

The foreign secretary added that he had asked the prosecutor of the international war crimes tribunal to investigate the matter, insisting that those "responsible must be brought to justice."

Fresh start with Iran

Following his warning to Serbia, Mr Cook then told party activists that Britain now had a fresh opportunity to build better relationships with the Islamic world after the Iranian government withdrew support for the death sentence against the writer, Salman Rushdie.

He said: "For Salman Rushdie, it offers hope of a life no longer in the shadows.

"For Britain, it means a fresh start with Iran and the wider Islamic world."

He added: "I flatly reject the view that, because the Islamic world has a different culture and a different religion, we are therefore fated for a clash of civilisations."

See also:


E-mail this story to a friend



© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes