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News Bulletin
"G8 Discusses Kosovo"

by Nick Nikopoulos & Rose Bulaong

Volume 2, Issue 4
Saturday, May 16, 1998 2:30 p.m.

BIRMINGHAM - Among the major political and economic issues to land on the table of the G8 summit, the political instability in Kosovo will be considered today. The leaders of the world's major industrial powers will be briefed by US presidential envoy Robert S. Gelbard on yesterday's historic meeting between Kosovo leader Ibrahim Rugova and President of Serbia and Montenegro, Slobodan Milosevic.

It's the first step in finding a political solution to the ethnic turmoil which continues in the Yugoslav province. Serbian military and police forces have resumed attacking the Kosovo border villages of Morin & Ponoshec and Smolic with heavy guns. Thousands have died in the ethnic cleansing of Albanians in the Serb-run province.

The Kosovo president and Milosevic met face-to-face in Belgrade. The talks were mediated by Gelbard and US envoy Richard Holbrooke.

One wrinkle is not everyone was at the meeting. The Kosovo Liberation Army was not represented in the talks. The K.L.A. has thus far opted for violent measures, and is seen as an uncompromising extremist faction. As the crisis escalates, there is much fear their support will grow.

But Rugova said yesterday's meeting was the first step towards the resolution of the Kosovo issue "on the basis of the will of the people of Kosovo for independence."

The G8 said: "We urge both sides to ensure that the dialogue now begun leads rapidly to the adoption of concrete measures to lower tensions and stop violence." It places the responsibility squarely on Milosevic to search for a resolution of the problems of Kosovo.

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