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04 November, 1997
Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano yesterday hailed as "historic" a meeting on the sidelines of the southeast European countries' summit on Crete with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, which lasted approximately an hour and a half.
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Nano said "new foundations are created for the closer cooperation between the two countries", adding that new meetings between the two leaders would take place.
Yugoslavia and Albania are at odds over the Serbian province of Kosovo, a region inhabited by predominately ethnic Albanians.
Mr. Milosevic referred to an Albanian "minority", indicating that "their problem will be resolved in the framework of international law" and on the basis of Yugoslavia's policy promoting the equality of ethnic groups.
Mr. Nano spoke of a an "Albanian community" and underlined that its problem should be dealt with in the same European framework as other communities.
On his part, Mr. Milosevic said he had asked that the issue of Serbs and Montenegrins living in Albania be discussed, and added that Kosovo was an inseparable part of Serbia and was an internal Yugoslav issue.
He described his meeting with the Albanian prime minister as "a start to the process for smoothing out relations between Yugoslavia and Albania," and as "very interesting and good for both sides".
"I hope in our next meeting, we shall be able to say much more," he concluded.
Source: Athens News Agency