U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
The State Department web site below is a permanent electronic archive of information released online from January 1, 1997 to January 20, 2001. Please see www.state.gov for current material from the Department of State. Or visit http://2001-2009.state.gov for information from that period. Archive sites are not updated, so external links may no longer function. Contact us with any questions about finding information. NOTE: External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.
U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and
European Union President Romano Prodi

Press Stakeout at Breydel Building of the European Commission
Brussels, Belgium, March 10, 2000
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
Blue Line

PRESIDENT PRODI: Good morning. We have had just now a very friendly long conversation. In the view of the European Union -- U.S. (inaudible) bilaterally that we share, in a short time. Of course this was not a negotiating session, but was a very deep and strong exchange of views. And I am happy that we are not only going in the same direction but, let us say, that we are going at the same speed. The cooperation between the European Union and the United States becomes stronger and stronger every day. I repeat, it was a deep exchange of views -- no negotiating -- and it was not some sort of confrontation on any point. It was very, very useful to exchange our views.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: And just to add to that, I was very glad that I was able to give President Prodi my views from my trip to Bosnia and general discussion on the Balkans, from the vantage point of having spent a lot of time talking to people about the Balkans in the Balkans. So that was what I added, and I definitely agree with the President in terms of how we are working together. His leadership is remarkable of the Commission and we are very pleased to be able to have the opportunity to work with someone of his caliber and character.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, you spent the last week talking to the European Allies and Kosovo has been on your agenda every step of the way. This is for both of you: How close is the West to reaching a consensus on what to do if Kosovo blows up this spring? And Madame Secretary, did you offer President Djukanovic anything other than moral support when you met in Sarajevo?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Let me say first of all that we are obviously all concerned about developments in Kosovo this spring. Spring has not always been good for the Balkans and we have been consulting on ways to try to lower the temperature and press extremists not to pursue activities that complicate the situation. We have talked generally about the fact that all countries need to come up to the levels that they committed to KFOR, how to support Bernard Kouchner and UNMIK, and take all steps that are necessary to try to diffuse the areas of tension.

PRESIDENT PRODI: I want to add that Mrs. Albright was in the Balkans with Chris Patten, and you know, we started from a joint position and of course we are engaged with the same intensity to help Montenegro from its difficult economic situation, not only wars, but to give them the possibility of overcoming, not only today's situation, but also the longer round situation, because it is a difficult issue.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: And I did discuss projects that were necessary and I have made my statement now a number of times that we are concerned. The security of the whole region is of interest to us including Montenegro.

QUESTION: Did you discuss at all the IMF job and the candidacy and to Madame Secretary, would the U.S. support Mr. Koehler's candidacy if he becomes the European candidate?

PRESIDENT PRODI: We discussed the IMF, of course, without taking any decision. But I re-stressed my position that the Commission will support a common European candidate, and I am working, and we are working, in this direction.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: We have made quite clear that what is necessary is to have a strong head of the IMF, it is a very important organization, central to the economic well-being of the world, and we have said that the U.S. is for a European candidate. The importance is to find one that has the qualifications and the consensus. That is our position.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, Kosovo again: are there any specifics as to how you can prevent a hot spring as NATO is calling it in Kosovo, and would the alliance be prepared to relaunch airstrikes or the threat of airstrikes if indeed the diplomatic measures don't work to calm matters down?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I think it is very important not to get ahead of ourselves here. We have been making quite clear that extremist actions are counter-productive. We have been talking both to the Albanians and various Serbs, but the truth is that there are extremists that need to know that this is not the solution to any problems. There is one government, however, that is stirring things up that concerns us. I think that it is important for everyone to know that there is a process for dealing with problems. We want to see Mitroviça dealt with in a fair way where it is not a partitioned city, where there is respect for minority rights. And we hope that generally we should be moving towards a phase in the Kosovo situation where there is greater support for institutions that lead to self-government and a large degree of autonomy, and elections, municipal elections. But I don't want to get ahead of ourselves here. I have said, and I will repeat again, that the security of the entire region is of concern to us.

[End of Document]
Blue Line

Secretary's Home Page | State Department Home Page