Saturday, June 5, 1999 Published at 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
UK troops set for Balkans
Sir Michael Jackson: The former Para has a 'tough guy' reputation
The first wave of British troops to strengthen the planned Kosovo international peace-keeping force will begin leaving Britain this weekend.
On Saturday, the head of Nato's rapid reaction force in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Lieutenant-General Michael Jackson, meets face to face with Yugoslav military officials to discuss the Serb pull-out from Kosovo.
On Friday UK Prime Minister Tony Blair pledged Britain would provide a "key element" of the peace-keeping force on the ground in Kosovo.
The Paras are famed as a fighting force, but the prime minister denied they would be sent in an offensive capacity.
"It's not an aggressive force, it's entirely in line with the peace-keeping mission that we will have," he said.
The extra UK troops will join Nato's ACE Rapid Reaction Corps already in Macedonia under the control of Sir Michael Jackson.
Sir Michael joined the Paras in 1970 and commanded the 1st Battalion for two years from 1984. He earned the nickname "Macho Jacko".
Milosevic 'must stand trial'
The UK insisted on Friday that the Kosovo peace deal had not reduced its determination to have the Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic tried for war crimes.
He said the possibility of an amnesty or immunity had not even been raised by either side in the peace negotiations.
"There can be no lasting peace and settlement in Kosovo without justice against those who carried out the atrocities in Kosovo."
Mr Blair agreed there could be no question of President Milosevic being granted immunity, even if the peace deal was fully implemented.
"When we begin that process of going back into Kosovo and we find what has happened and we have a clear picture of what has been done, how many people have disappeared, died, been subject to brutality and barbarity, then we shall have ample evidence of the policies of Milosevic and the evils of ethnic cleansing," he said.
"Serbia and the Serbian people probably know now - and we must make them more aware over the coming weeks - that there is no real place for Serbia in the family of nations while that man remains head of their government," he said.
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