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Yugoslavia: Kostunica To Address Prisoners Issue

Strasbourg, 9 November 2000 (RFE/RL) - Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica said today before the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe that he will address demands for the release of all ethnic-Albanian Kosovo prisoners held in Serbian jails. Also today, the Council of Europe formally offered Yugoslavia membership in the organization if the country commits itself to democratic and human rights standards.

Yugoslavia, which recently regained its seat at the United Nations, has been internationally isolated under the regime of President Slobodan Milosevic.

Kostunica said today that Milosevic no longer holds an influential role in the country.

The release of Albanian prisoners held in Serbian jails is one of the condition set by Kosovo's moderate ethnic Albanian political leader Ibrahim Rugova before he agrees to meet with Yugoslavia's new president.