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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Interview on CBS' "This Morning"
Washington, D.C., May 28, 1999
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
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QUESTION: First of all, in light of the past 24 hours, if Milosevic were to propose a meeting with you, would you accept?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: We are not negotiating with Milosevic, and he knows that he has to accept the terms and conditions of the NATO alliance, and those we have made very clear. He knows what he has to do. The indictments, I think, clarify the situation because they really show that we are doing the right thing in terms of responding to the kinds of crimes against humanity that Milosevic has perpetrated.

QUESTION: So what if Yugoslavia, for example, promised to meet all the NATO demands in exchange for a meeting with President Clinton. What would you advise the President to do?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, let me say that we have to see how he accepts the terms and starts withdrawing the forces. I think you are raising a completely hypothetical situation. He has to accept the terms, then the bombing campaign will stop. Milosevic is an indicted war criminal.

QUESTION: Former President Jimmy Carter called the air strikes counter-productive, and hurting innocent people instead of Milosevic. He actually said that ground troops might be a better way to go. When will the Administration seriously consider ground troops?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Mika, what has happened is that all along we have said that all options are on the table. NATO is informally assessing the possibility of ground troops. In the meantime, NATO has already agreed to enlarge the international security force that would go in once this is over. We are assessing various options and are now dealing with the impact of the indictment.

QUESTION: If we're going to have an end to this, how do you envision the end? Does peace in Kosovo mean a Kosovo without Milosevic? And how does that happen?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, I think the most important thing here is for the refugees to be able to go home. That is the purpose of all this. We have said that Kosovo ultimately would have the highest degree of autonomy within Yugoslavia, but they have to be able to run their own lives. We expect that all Serb forces have to leave.

QUESTION: Briefly, if you could, does the Administration view the meeting in Belgrade today with any hope, considering Russia's stance on all of this?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, I spoke with Mr. Chernomyrdin yesterday. He is going there to assess how Milosevic is reacting to the indictment and to explain the position. As you have stated, we have disagreements with the Russians on how -- on the NATO bombing -- the validity of it. But you know what's interesting -- is the Russians supported the Security Council resolution that created the War Crimes Tribunal. The War Crimes Tribunal is an independent body. The indictment must be respected.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, thank you for being with us this morning.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you.

[End of Document]

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