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Croatia: Albright Warns Minister About Rights Abuses

Washington, 16 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - The State Department says U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright yesterday made it clear to Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic that Croatia is not living up to commitments it made under the Dayton accord that ended the civil war in former Yugoslavia.

Spokesman Nicholas Burns told reporters yesterday that Albright had a long and interesting meeting with Granic and detailed U.S. concerns about alleged Croatian abuses.

Burns said Albright told Granic that Zagreb must give full cooperation to the international war crimes tribunal in the Hague and hand over all Croats who have been indicted for war crimes.

She also said that all Serbian refugees must be allowed to safely return to their homes in Croatia, Burns reported. He said Albright informed Granic that Croatia can do much more to improve its performance in protecting ethnic Serbs in Croatia, especially in Eastern Slavonia.

Albright said reports that Croatians had taken part in violent incidents directed against Serbs was a very serious development.

According to Burns, Albright told the foreign minister that the United States respects him personally, but that Washington wanted to make sure that its point of view about Croatian compliance with the Dayton accords was clearly understood.