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Cypriot envoy: Talks on freeing U.S. soldiers fail

 Kyprianou and Milosevic
Kyprianou, left, and Milosevic met in Belgrade


Serb media battles NATO with scenes of destruction

The Geneva Conventions: Prisoners of war

Clinton: Yugo peace claim is 'illusion'

U.S. casts doubt on Cuban base as refugee site

Britain says Milosevic 'feeling the heat'

Yeltsin warns of possible world war over Kosovo

Serbs reportedly planting land mines to create Kosovo 'no man's land'


Crisis in Kosovo

Ramirez, left, Stone and Gonzales  
Close bond between Cyprus and Yugoslavia

Cyprus, an island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, has close ties with Yugoslavia. Both are founding members of the Non- Aligned Movement.

Also strengthening their bond is the Orthodox Christian religion that Serbia shares with the Greek Cypriots in a region where the general perception is that Orthodoxy, the bedrock of their culture, is under threat.

Spyros Kyprianou, who was president of Cyprus from 1978 to 1988, has been a vocal critic of NATO airstrikes on Yugoslavia. He has accused the alliance of violating international law with its air raids.


April 9, 1999
Web posted at: 10:26 p.m. EDT (0226 GMT)

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (CNN) -- A Cypriot envoy said Friday he failed in talks with Yugoslav President Milosevic to win the release of three captured U.S. soldiers, and blamed continued NATO air strikes for the outcome.

"Under the circumstances created and the fact that the message received by the Yugoslav leadership and people is that the relentless bombardments will continue, (they) can't proceed with a new peace gesture," said Spyros Kyprianou, a Greek Cypriot who is the parliament speaker on the Mediterranean island.

Kyprianou said he would cease his efforts to free the captive soldiers "for the time being" since "it is impossible to achieve any results in the present climate."

"But I cannot exclude anything in the future, depending on developments," he added.

His meeting with Milosevic began around 5 p.m. (11 a.m. EDT/1500 GMT) and lasted about an hour and a half.

Earlier, Yugoslav officials took Kyprianou to the coal-mining town of Aleksinac, where a NATO airstrike gone awry killed civilians earlier this week.

Even before he traveled to Yugoslavia, Kyprianou had suggested that NATO should curb its bombing campaign if the three American servicemen were freed. He also urged NATO to observe a cease-fire over the Orthodox Christian Easter holiday, which is now under way. NATO refused.

Some Yugoslav officials had said a release was unlikely. U.N. envoy Vladislav Jovanovic said Friday it would be "unnatural" to expect the Yugoslav government to free the servicemen while NATO continues to bomb his country.

Vice Premier Vojislav Seselj, leader of the influential Serbian Radical Party allied with Milosevic, told reporters Thursday that releasing the Americans was "out of the question."

The 19-nation NATO alliance demands that Milosevic accept terms of a U.S.-brokered peace accord, withdraw his military police and paramilitary forces and allow hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians to return to their homes in Kosovo, accompanied by a NATO-led security force.

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

Correspondents Brent Sadler and Alessio Vinci contributed to this report.

Pentagon ready to fill request for more attack helicopters
April 8, 1999
Effort to free U.S. soldiers may fall short
April 8, 1999
Evidence of possible war crimes en route to international tribunal
April 8, 1999
Pentagon details new attacks on Yugoslavia
April 8, 1999
Yugoslavia declares 'peace' in Kosovo; NATO airstrikes continue
April 8, 1999

Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites
  • Kosovo

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

  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosova Liberation Peace Movement
  • Kosovo - from

  • 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

  • U.S. Agency for International Development (Kosovo aid)
  • 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

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

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