Kosovo Albanian Leader Urges NATO to Stop Airstrikes

Special to Antiwar.com
4/1/99 -- 6:30 pm EST

THE ethnic Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova yesterday
threatened to throw Nato's military strategy in Yugoslavia
into chaos as he called for an end to air-strikes because
of the growing human-itarian crisis in Kosovo.

Mr Rugova, whose moderate tones were submerged at
the Rambouillet and Paris peace conferences by the more
extreme Kosovo Liberation Army, spoke to reporters at
his home in Pristina last night. He said the Nato strikes
"must stop", but added that the regime of President
Milosevic must also co-operate in ending the war. Now
was the time, Mr Rugova said, for Nato "not to kill people
and help to find a solution".

He described the situation in Kosovo as "very tragic" and
said a "general humanitarian catastrophe of unimaginable
proportions" loomed in the province.

He also appealed for the European Union, the Contact
Group and Russia to apply their diplomatic energies to
resolving the crisis.

The press conference ended days of speculation about the
unofficial "President" of Kosovo, who has been in hiding
since violence erupted in Pristina over the last week.

Reporters were also able to put an end to rumours that
Mr Rugova's house had been destroyed.

Combined with the efforts of Yevgeni Primakov, the
Russian Prime Minister, to end the airstrikes, Mr Rugova's
call will make it difficult for Nato to move to its next phase
of operations without further consultations with the
Contact Group.

Back to Home Page | Contact Us