|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Interview by CBS "The Early Show"
October 6, 2000, Washington, D.C.
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
QUESTION: Secretary Albright, good morning.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Good morning.
QUESTION: You know Belgrade. You know the Yugoslav people. What are your thoughts this morning about this triumph for democracy?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, I wish them the best. They have gone out on their streets. They have come in from the countryside -- ordinary people, workers. Everybody is coming in and pouring into the streets and showing the fact that they are fed up with what has been happening to them for the last two decades, and they want to see Mr. Kostunica their new president. And I wish them so much good help and good luck, and a part of being what they have been missing, which is the new Europe, a democratic Europe, and a normal life. I know exactly where these things are taking place, having lived not to far from the parliament, and it is amazing to see those pictures. But what is most amazing is to see the Serb people pushing for their freedom and making clear that Milosevic has to go. Heís finished.
QUESTION: Well, that is the problem still: Slobodan Milosevic. You know him. Youíve met him face to face. Will he step down, and what will the United States do if he doesn't?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, I think that at this moment itís a little unclear as to where he is. I think that he has to hear the voices of the people that he must step down. But obviously things are not finished yet. They are all going in the right direction, but things are not completed. And what has to happen is that all the countries in the world that are involved with this, and the Russians themselves -- Foreign Minister Ivanov is either in Belgrade right now or about to land there-- the Russians have to make their voice heard about the fact that Milosevicís time is done and Kostunica is the victor.
QUESTION: Are you willing to relax or delay possible sanctions -- excuse me, possible war crimes prosecution against Milosevic just to get him out of there?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: We have made our position very clear on that issue. Itís important now for Serbian people to be able to have a rule of law and to follow with the rest of the countries in Europe, countries where democracy reigns and the peopleís voices are heard. We are going to be talking about lifting sanctions. We have said that when Kostunica is fully in place and Milosevic is out that we will lift the sanctions because they are against Milosevicís regime, not against the people of Serbia. And we want also to set up a situation where, once things are in place, the United States and all of Europe can begin to assist the reconstruction and rebuilding of Yugoslavia so that it can be a normal European, democratic, law-abiding country.
QUESTION: In our last 30 seconds here, Madame Secretary, what do you know -- what can you tell us about this potential new president-elect, Kostunica?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, he is somebody, most importantly, who is a democrat and has not been a communist. He has been a constitutional lawyer. He is very much a Serb nationalist and he wants to rebuild a normal life for his people. At the moment, he is making very clear that he is not happy either with the US or Russia, but he is somebody I think that represents a new democratic Serbia, and we want to support him.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary. Madeleine Albright, thank you.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you very much.
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