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Clinton, Albright send message to Yugoslav people


Blasts rip through Belgrade in third night of NATO airstrikes

Belgrade independent radio moves to Net

Objective of the NATO airstrikes

Albright: Milosevic a 'cruel dictator'

NATO: Yugo ground troops may be targeted


In this story:

Internet and broadcast diplomacy

NATO: Yugoslav planes shot down


(CNN) -- President Clinton kept a low profile in the United States on Friday as NATO launched its first daytime attack in the three-day air campaign against Yugoslav military targets.

Clinton administration sources said that daytime military operations would be "limited."

The White House also decided to limit access to the president on Friday.

Reporters were not permitted into the beginning of the briefing session, as they were on Thursday.

The White House also played down fresh public statements by Italian and Greek officials suggesting it might be time to end the airstrikes. White House sources said both governments were privately offering reassurances they were supportive of the operation.

Internet and broadcast diplomacy

Clinton took steps earlier on Friday to deliver his explanation for the NATO air assault directly to the country under attack.

The WORLDNET Web site features video messages for the Yugoslav people from Clinton and Albright

In a 15-minute videotaped message posted on the U.S. Information Agency's WORLDNET Web site and broadcast via satellite at 8:30 a.m. (2:30 a.m. EST/0730 GMT), Clinton told the Yugoslav people the NATO attacks were aimed at the Belgrade government and its crackdown on ethnic Albanians in the province of Kosovo.

In his Web-posted, taped message, Clinton said Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic could have avoided the NATO military strikes by accepting a U.S.-brokered peace deal.

He called on "all Serbs and all people of good will to join with us in seeking an end to this needless and avoidable conflict."

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright taped a similar message of her own Friday morning at the State Department. Albright, who was born in Czechoslovakia, made her comments in Serbo-Croatian, one of several languages she speaks.

"NATO's goal is not to hurt innocent people," she said.

In an interview with CNN earlier Friday, Albright said there had been no word from Milosevic that he was ready to talk peace.

"Nothing positive" was coming from Milosevic through diplomatic channels that remain open, she said.

NATO: Yugoslav planes shot down

Also Friday, NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said NATO planes shot down two Yugoslav MiG fighter planes over Bosnia.

At the U.S. State Department, spokesman James Rubin called the decision to send Yugoslav fighters into Bosnia an "act of desperation."

"They are unable to interfere with the military operations being conducted in Serbia and Kosovo, so they were lashing out in an act of desperation and they were shot down," Rubin said.

Rubin was asked whether the Clinton administration had any message for Serb forces who might capture any NATO pilots.

"We hold the Serbs responsible for the safety of all Americans, including American journalists in Serbia," said Rubin. "With respect to any activity like that, we would expect them to live up to the laws of war."

Correspondents John King, Andrea Koppel and Jamie McIntyre contributed to this report.

NATO: 2 Yugoslav aircraft shot down over Bosnia-Herzegovina
March 26, 1999
Clinton appeals via satellite to Serbs
March 26, 1999
U.S. ship begins 3rd day of airstrikes
March 26, 1999
U.S.: Milosevic won't budge
March 25, 1999
Clinton: 'Serbia must choose peace'
March 25, 1999

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