|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Statement on the Gelbard-Holbrooke Mission on Kosovo
Washington, D.C., May 13, 1998
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
We welcome today's announcement from Belgrade that Federal Republic of Yugoslavia President Milosevic and Kosovar Albanian leader Rugova have agreed to meet in Belgrade on May 15. This meeting is to be without preconditions, and will aim to begin a dialogue to resolve the crisis in Kosovo.
The United States helped directly to bring about these talks and will continue to play an active role to encourage their success. Special Representative Gelbard and Ambassador Holbrooke were instrumental in breaking the deadlock on dialogue. Their shuttle diplomacy between Belgrade, Pristina, and throughout the region made the talks possible.
We recognize that this announcement represents only the first step toward a political resolution of the increasingly dangerous situation in Kosovo. We welcome the personal engagement of President Milosevic, as well as the flexibility shown by Dr. Rugova. Without continued momentum in the dialogue process, however, renewed violence is likely. We urge both sides to enter the talks with an open mind and the will to find a solution to the problems of Kosovo.
[End of Document]
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