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Yugoslavia: Contact Group Disagrees About UN Resolution On Kosovo

Paris, 15 October 1998 (RFE/RL) - German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel said today that members of the Contact Group on the former Yugoslavia are expressing different opinions about whether a U.N. Security Council resolution should bind Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to his promises on Kosovo. Kinkel said a Security Council resolution depends on Russia, which opposes any use of force by NATO to resolve the situation.

He made the remarks during a break in today's Paris meeting of foreign ministers from Russia, Germany, Britain, Italy, France and the United States.

British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said yesterday that a Security Council resolution is "the critical element" to ensure Milosevic keeps his promise to withdraw troops from the southern Serbian province and allow displaced ethnic Albanians to return to what is left of their homes. Britain currently holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council.

Earlier today, NATO Secretary General Javier Solana said Yugoslav security forces still have not withdrawn enough troops to make Kosovars feel safe about returning. Solana said he expects to go to Belgrade by tomorrow to sign an accord on verification of the deal worked out with U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told RFE/RL that more than 340,000 Kosovars have fled their homes and are scattered across Yugoslavia and other countries. About 200,000 are still in Kosovo and tens of thousands are said to be hiding in the forests and mountains with inadequate shelter and little food.