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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Press Availability on Kosovo following Volunteer Event at Children's Hospital
Washington, D.C., January 18, 1999
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State

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SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: We have condemned in the strongest possible terms the atrocities that have taken place in Kosovo. The international community is united in its condemnation. Yesterday there was an emergency meeting of the North Atlantic Council and they made very clear that the activation order for air strikes is on the table and effective.

We are very determined that these kinds of atrocities are unacceptable. The monitoring group there headed by Ambassador Walker is a very important part of the agreement that Milosevic made with Ambassador Holbrooke and we expect that Milosevic will comply with his obligations which means that it is essential that he guarantee the safety and security of those verifiers.

It's also very important that Louise Arbour, the prosecutor of the International War Crimes Tribunal, be allowed access. She is on her way.

Finally, Generals Clark and Naumann are going to be meeting with Milosevic very soon in order to make clear what came out yesterday from this emergency meeting of the NAC, the North Atlantic Council, and making clear that the international community demands compliance.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, knowing his track record, realistically do you think that (inaudible) outside of air strikes?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well we still keep saying that the best way to resolve this kind of a problem is diplomatically. But he has to understand, what I have just said, which is that the international community in an emergency meeting, made very clear yesterday that the activation order is on the table.

QUESTION: Does he understand the firm resolve here? Are you being tough enough, quick enough with him based on past history?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well I think that the fact that the Supreme Allied Commander and General Naumann, who is the military commander, are going to have an appointment with him to give a very direct message, he should understand that he would be making a grave mistake not to abide by what, first of all the commitment he made himself, and second also what the international community is signaling with these messages.

Thank you.

[End of Document]

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