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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and
NATO Secretary General Javier Solana

Press Conference
Brussels, Belgium, June 8, 1999
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
Blue Line

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: (In progress) -- but it always all depends on compliance, verifiable compliance.

SECRETARY GENERAL SOLANA: Thank you very much. I have little to add. Let me say that the Council has been meeting this afternoon. We welcome the result of the meeting of the Eight [G-8], and would like to thank all the ministers who have participated in that. In particular, I'd like also to praise the contribution of the Russian minister, who has been very constructive along the way. I'd like to say that the technical military people are already meeting at this time, probably, and we'll see how things evolve.

As the Secretary has said, it's very important that we coordinate all the efforts now, at this point in which we are approaching -- let's hope -- the end. As she has said, the most important thing is that Milosevic complies with a withdrawal schedule, and all the troops are withdrawn, and the international military force comes into Kosovo in order to guarantee, which has been a way, the security of Kosovo and stability for the refugees. And for that we will continue working 24 hours over 24. Thank you.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, could I ask you if -- why the name of NATO is not included in the text of the G-8 -- just in annexes; and what is the consequence of this?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Let me start with the last question. There are no consequences of it, because as far as UN documents are concerned, the annexes are as much a part of the document as the main part of it. And the decision was made as we were listing the G-8 principles, and the aspects of the Ahtisaari-Chernomyrdin document, that it made sense to create them, have them as annexes. NATO is mentioned in the Ahtisaari-Chernomyrdin document, and it talks about the international security force within the resolution itself. There's no --

SECRETARY GENERAL SOLANA: Allow me to say one word to answer that question. You are a very well informed journalist. Go back to the moment in which we deployed forces in Bosnia. In the resolution of the UN when we talk about SFOR, NATO as such was not mentioned. It was mentioned also in the appendix, like this.

QUESTION: A question for either the Secretary of State or the Secretary General. Mr. Solana just said a minute ago that the technical military people are meeting at this time. Do you mean, Mr. Solana, that the Yugoslav generals have come back to Macedonia and are talking about withdrawal terms?

SECRETARY GENERAL SOLANA: I hope that that is the case; I don't know if at this very moment. But if not at this very moment, it will be soon.

QUESTION: Secretary of State, your Russian colleague, Mr. Ivanov, stressed twice during your news conference earlier that all aspects related to the security presence remained open for negotiation. Some military talks are due to take place in Moscow tomorrow. What is your impression of the main issues which remain to be resolved between NATO's understanding and Russia's understanding; in particular, about the role of Russian troops and who will be giving them their orders? In particular, are there any calls or plans for a Russian zone to be established inside Kosovo?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, first of all, let me say that there have been, kind of, general discussions with the Russians about whether they would participate. They have -- are participating in the Bosnia operation, and there are a variety -- that's one model for having them participate. There's some -- what is going to be discussed, I think, are possibilities of how they can participate in this operation under a -- as we have stated in the Security Council -- under a unified command-and-control.

As far as sectors, we believe that it is very important to have NATO embedded in every sector. That discussion, about how the sectors will be dealt with, is part of what is being talked about with the military technical talks, as well as internally. We do not see a Russian sector.

SECRETARY GENERAL SOLANA: Let me also say that, as you know from Bosnia, also, we have multinational divisions in different places. So it should not be any surprise that there are regions -- (inaudible) -- in which multinational divisions are placed. This is nothing new.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, a lot of the debate has been about sequencing. Now, clearly an important step is this military technical agreement. But once that is in place, could you outline a little more clearly exactly how you see the sequence of events unfolding at that point?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, if the military technical agreement provides for a withdrawal schedule, as the cease-fire and the verifiable withdrawal takes place, then there is, as we have said before, a pause, at which point the final -- the Security Council itself would vote on the final version.

In the meantime, what is going on in New York is, they are now talking about the Security Council resolution and, hopefully, putting it, as we say, "into blue" as fast as possible in order to get it set. Then the international security force would go in.

QUESTION: (In French.)

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: (In French.)

COMMENTATOR: She answered, I am always optimistic; I was born that way.

[End of Document]

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