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Monday, June 7, 1999 Published at 17:37 GMT 18:37 UK


Serbs cover 'UN talks'

Senior Nato commanders: Described as "UN military experts"

Serbian state media covers the withdrawal talks on the Macedonian border with what it described as "UN" negotiators while Serbian TV reports a major military victory over the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

State radio, in line with the state news agency Tanjug and Serbian TV, has consistently referred to the Nato team at the withdrawal talks in Macedonia as "UN military experts".

Kosovo: Special Report
In an early report of the talks, state radio said: "Expert talks between the Yugoslav delegation and UN military experts have begun at the Djeneral Jankovic border crossing.

"The delegation of UN experts is led by British General Mike Jackson."

The talks were meant to produce a "military-technical document", the radio said without indicating that this referred to a military retreat.

However, the independent Serbian news agency Beta has been quite blunt in its reports on the talks.

They were described as "talks between the representatives of Nato and the Yugoslav Army on the pullout of the Yugoslav forces from Kosovo".

KLA fighters killed

Serbian TV said that 500 KLA fighters were killed attempting to cross from Albania into Kosovo and the Yugoslav Army had won the "air and ground battle".

"Almost 4,000 terrorists have launched a series of fierce attacks with large-scale support from Nato aviation and Albanian artillery," the TV reported from the Yugoslav Army watchtower at Gorozup.

"However, our fighters have repulsed all terrorist attempts, inflicting heavy losses on them with their fierce and precise fire, as witnessed by us during one of the waves of attacks.

"Over the last few days more than 500 terrorists have been killed in the area of the Gorozup watchtower. Many of them will stay in this clearing for ever as evidence that the aggression originated from Albania."

The TV report said that Nato was "desperately trying to achieve at least some military successes" because the "air and ground battle" in Kosovo had been won by the Yugoslav Army.

Nato admits failure

Serbia's ruling Socialist Party has described the Kosovo peace agreement as a success for Serbia that will go down in world history.

In a statement broadcast on Serbian state TV, it said: "Our people... has won a solution preserving the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

"Everything that our army, police and the entire nation, every citizen and every individual, have done in the past two months for the defence of our country will be inscribed in gold letters not only in the history of our country, but also in the history of our entire civilisation."

The party said Nato had been forced to admit it could not defeat Yugoslavia.

"This fact has now been acknowledged by those who relentlessly bombarded our people, by accepting that they have not managed to defeat and subjugate us," the statement said.

Army remains proud

A commentary on the Yugoslav Army's web site said that the aim of Nato's military campaign had been the invasion of Yugoslavia as a whole and that ambition had been defeated by the efforts of the army on the ground and Belgrade diplomats working with the UN.

"If we had not opposed this challenge... the whole of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia would have become neo-colonial territory in the heart of the Balkans, easy prey for subsequent divisions," the statement by the Supreme Command Headquarters Information Service said.

"The adoption of the Security Council resolution will soon put an end to a great collective crime against one nation.

"Adoption of the peace plan reflects political rationality, political reality and our continuous efforts to reach peace and a peaceful solution of the crisis.

"We remain proud of the heroic resistance that our people and the army offered to the aggressor, because thus we have defended the freedom, honour and dignity of the country."

BBC Monitoring (http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk), based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.



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