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25 June, 1998
Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou stressed yesterday that the Council of Europe (CoE) cannot simply wait for a political settlement of the crisis in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, particularly in Kosovo.
Speaking before the organization's Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg, Mr. Papandreou said the CoE has a standing mandate to act in order to prevent new human rights violations. To this end, he intends to propose to his colleagues a specific four-point plan calling for an immediate cease-fire, firm condemnation of any use of violence intending to postpone or delay political dialogue, continuous and credible monitoring of the human rights situation in Kosovo by the Council of Europe and the establishment of an index of steps to be immediately adopted by the Yugoslav authorities in order to lift all existing restrictions on the most elementary rights of all Yugoslav citizens.
"This last step would be a useful reply to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's request for admission to the Council of Europe, but could not be misinterpreted as accession negotiations or whatsoever," he said.
Mr. Papandreou also met with Sonia Licht, a representative of several Yugoslav NGOs, who expressed to the Greek minister her concerns about media freedom in Yugoslavia, particularly regarding the broadcast media.
BELGRADE (ANA - G. Mouratidis)
Meanwhile, in an interview with a Zagreb-based newspaper "Viesnik", Foreign Deputy Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis said that Kosovo Albanians must secure wide autonomy in Yugoslavia and not independence or secession.
Mr. Kranidiotis said Greece is concerned over the situation in Kosovo, adding that he believes prudence will prevail and a peaceful solution to the crisis will be found.
Source: Athens News Agency