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US

Cypriot seeking soldiers' release heads to Belgrade

Spyros Kyprianou
Kyprianou boards a plane to Belgrade, Yugoslavia

 ALSO

The Geneva Conventions: Prisoners of war

Airstrikes said to complicate efforts to release U.S. soldiers

NATO strikes target Serb ground forces, complicate GI release efforts

Yugoslavian borders closed, refugees' fate 'alarming'

RELATED VIDEO
CNN's Jim Hill, Ed Garsten and Tony Clark check in on the soldiers' hometowns, where family and friends hope for their safe return (April 7)
Windows Media 28K 80K
 

April 8, 1999
Web posted at: 8:49 a.m. EDT (0849 GMT)

ATHENS, Greece (CNN) -- With NATO airstrikes against Yugoslavia in their 16th day, the acting president of Cyprus was flying to Belgrade from Greece on Thursday, hoping to make arrangements for the release of three U.S. soldiers captured by Serb forces.

But Spyros Kyprianou, also speaker of the Cypriot Parliament, was reluctant to say what the outcome would be, indicating he was less certain than he was on Wednesday that his mission would succeed.

While the United States has refused to make any concessions to gain the soldiers' release, Cypriot sources told CNN that the continuing NATO airstrikes could complicate gaining the release of the soldiers. Kyprianou had asked for a 24-hour NATO cease-fire while he pursued his mission.

Staff Sgt. Andrew Ramirez, 24, of Los Angeles; Spc. Steven Gonzales, 21, of Huntsville, Texas; and Staff Sgt. Christopher Stone, 25, of Smiths Creek, Michigan; were captured March 31 near the border of Macedonia and Kosovo.

Macedonia is an independent country that was once part of Yugoslavia. Kosovo is a province in the Yugoslav republic of Serbia.

NATO says the soldiers were noncombat troops under its command and were on a routine border patrol. Belgrade says they were captured on Yugoslav territory.

FULL STORY TO COME

Correspondent Walter Rodgers contributed to this report.


RELATED STORIES:
Blasts shake Belgrade in dawn of third week of airstrikes
April 7, 1999
U.S. won't confirm deal to free captured soldiers
April 7, 1999
A-10 anti-tank planes used for first time in Yugoslavia, Pentagon says
April 7, 1999
Incoming Kosovo refugees, outgoing U.S. donations
April 7, 1999
Yugoslavian borders closed, refugees' fate 'alarming'
April 7, 1999
NATO extends diplomatic pressure to Serb commanders
April 7, 1999

RELATED SITES:
Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites
  • Kosovo

Yugoslavia:
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News

Kosovo:
  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosova Liberation Peace Movement
  • Kosovo - from Albanian.com

Military:
  • F-117s arrive at Aviano to support possible NATO operations
  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis


Relief:
  • Doctors of the World
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Kosovo Humanitarian Disaster Forces Hundreds of Thousands from their Homes
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page


Media:
  • Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

Other:
  • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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