ad info

 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

CNN Websites
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines

 message boards




Clinton: 'Happy day' as Yugoslav pullout completed

Clinton in Cologne on Sunday

KFOR enters Kosovo

NATO rolls into Kosovo
G-8 summit ends with promise of 'strong action' in Balkans

Serb troops withdraw as NATO faces weapons problem in Kosovo

Crisis in Kosovo
Focus on Kosovo

June 20, 1999
Web posted at: 1:08 p.m. EDT (1708 GMT)

COLOGNE, Germany (CNN) -- U.S. President Bill Clinton said Sunday that Yugoslav troops' withdrawal from Kosovo marked a good day, and that Russia's role in peacekeeping efforts there is acceptable to NATO.

"It's a very happy day," Clinton said, referring to the Yugoslav pullout. NATO formally ended its 11-week air war against Yugoslavia on Sunday.

In a wide-ranging interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN's Late Edition on Sunday, Clinton discussed progress on the Kosovo peace plan, gun control and the 2000 presidential election.

"We have about 20,000 of our NATO peacekeepers in there. Sixty-two thousand of the Kosovars have already come home. So I feel very good about where we're going with this now, and I'm leaving here with real confidence that we are going to succeed in achieving all of our objectives," Clinton said.

After meeting with Russian President Boris Yeltsin on the last day of the G-8 summit, Clinton said he was satisfied with Russia's role at the airport in Kosovo's capital, Pristina.

Originally thought to be a staging ground for NATO peacekeepers, the airport was unexpectedly taken over by Russian troops last week.

"The division of labor they've worked out at the airport is quite acceptable to us and guarantees that the mission can go forward," Clinton said. He did not elaborate.

The U.S. president downplayed reports of Yeltsin's poor health.

"His behavior was neither erratic or shaky today. He was strong, clear, forceful and looking to the future," Clinton said.

Election 2000

Discussing the 2000 presidential election, Clinton praised Republican George W. Bush's campaign announcement last week. But he said the issues will decide how well Bush does against Vice President Al Gore on the Democratic side.

"We've got to see where he stands on the issues," Clinton said. "So far we know almost nothing of that except what we know from his record as governor."

"His announcement speech was very well-crafted. But on the specifics, I just don't know. I mean, for example, he said nothing about this gun battle going on in the House. He signed a concealed weapons bill in the Texas legislature. That's just one example."

Yugoslav military presence in Kosovo drawing to a close
June 19, 1999
Cohen receives warm welcome from Kosovar Albanians
June 19, 1999
Hillary Clinton confirms plans for exploratory committee
June 04, 1999

The White House
U.S. Senate
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.