March 30, 1999
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton is "very disturbed" by reports of Serb atrocities against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and has "redoubled his resolve" to continue NATO's round-the-clock air campaign against Yugoslavia, his spokesman said Tuesday.
"We have heard reports of atrocities, and we have clear examples of ethnic cleansing," White House press secretary Joe Lockhart said. But he said the Clinton administration could not confirm that genocide was taking place in Kosovo, a Serbian province.
"We see potential evidence of genocide and that evidence will continue to be collected" for possible use in war crimes trials, Lockhart said.
Yugoslav officials say the thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees leaving Kosovo are fleeing not from atrocities, but from fighting between the Yugoslav army and "terrorists" of the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army.
Lockhart said the Clinton administration had not heard whether Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov had been successful in his mission to Belgrade to find a diplomatic solution to the Kosovo crisis.
Lockhart repeated comments made earlier in the day by Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering, who told CNN the United States is neither optimistic nor pessimistic about Primakov's talks with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.
In a separate interview, Pickering rejected a suggestion that the bombing will not succeed and that NATO ground troops would be needed to force Milosevic to sign a peace agreement.
Clinton was expected to comment on the week-old NATO offensive during a Tuesday afternoon appearance at the State Department.
U.S., world mobilize to aid Kosovo refugees
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.