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29 July, 1998
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has accepted Athens' proposal for an increase in the number of European Union observers in Kosovo on condition that they will previously be accredited to their embassies in Belgrade, foreign ministry sources said yesterday. The message was conveyed to Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos by Foreign Ministry Secretary General Pavlos Apostolidis, upon his return from Belgrade where he met with Mr. Milosevic. The Yugoslav president told Mr. Apostolidis that police forces in Kosovo have been ordered not to attack, but as a matter of fact they were obliged to respond to provocations and to protect the lives and economic activities of citizens in Kosovo. Mr. Milosevic also noted that the Yugoslav forces have the ability to control the borders so as to stop the infiltration of terrorists from Albania.
Greece has notified the European Union Austrian Presidency on the meeting between Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Apostolidis in light of a visit to Belgrade by the EU troika headed by Austrian Foreign Ministry Secretary General Mr. Rohan. The letter from Prime Minister Costas Simitis to Mr. Milosevic sets out the Greek government's positions on the crisis in the Serbian province of Kosovo, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas noted yesterday.
In the letter, delivered to Mr. Milosevic on Monday, Mr. Simitis reiterated that an end must be put to hostilities in Kosovo, military forces withdrawn, observers sent to the province and political talks begun immediately, Mr. Reppas added. The letter was seen as a follow-up to an initiative launched during a recent visit to Tirana by Mr. Pangalos. During Mr. Pangalos' visit, Albanian Foreign Minister Paskal Milo asked his Greek counterpart to use Greece's influence in Belgrade to de-escalate tension in Kosovo.
Source: Athens News Agency