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Macedonia: France, Greece Want UN Mandate For Peacekeeping Force

Athens, 10 September 2001 (RFE/RL) -- France and Greece agreed today that a multinational force should remain in Macedonia after NATO finishes collecting weapons from ethnic Albanian militants. But leaders from both countries say foreign troops should operate under a United Nations Security Council mandate.

Lionel Jospin of France and Costas Simitis of Greece made the remarks after meeting in Athens today.

EU foreign ministers yesterday called for a NATO-led security force to remain in Macedonia after the alliance's weapon collecting operation ends on 26 September. But the German proposal says the force also should include non-NATO members like Russia, Ukraine, Sweden, and Finland.

Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski says there is no need for NATO to stay. But Trajkovski has asked for a new international monitoring mission that includes the United States and Russia.