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Bosnia: Powell Pledges Not To Rashly Withdraw Forces

Washington, 2 February 2001 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell reassured two Balkan leaders yesterday that the administration of George W. Bush will not "cut and run" from the region and will consult with its partners and allies before withdrawing forces from Bosnia and Kosovo. Powell made the statements in separate meetings with Romanian Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana and Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski in Washington. They raised concerns over campaign pledges by Bush to end U.S. participation in peacekeeping forces in the region.

Powell is scheduled to meet separately today with Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic and a group of Kosovo Albanian leaders. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Powell will urge the Kosovo leaders to push for an end to anti-NATO violence in the province.