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World - Europe

Russian patriarch meets Milosevic on peace mission

story
Patriarch Alexey II meets with the media  

April 20, 1999
Web posted at: 12:20 p.m. EDT (1620 GMT)

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (CNN) -- Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Alexey II met with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic Tuesday in a symbolic show of unity between Russia and Yugoslavia.

Alexey called for an end to NATO bombing.

"We will be thankful to God if NATO receives the message asking for a peaceful solution of the problem, and for peace to dominate the region," the patriarch said following his meeting with Milosevic.

Neither Alexey nor Milosevic offered details of their meeting, but Milosevic said he was "very pleased to hear from (Alexey) what I already knew."

"The Russian church is supporting the unity of the people of Russia, Belorussia and Yugoslavia with its whole heart," the president said.

Alexey was reportedly carrying a peace plan on his visit to Belgrade calling for the demilitarization of Kosovo, an immediate halt to NATO airstrikes, and a resumption of peace talks -- a plan mirroring that of the Russian government.

Earlier Tuesday, Alexey and Serb Orthodox Patriarch Pavel celebrated Mass at Belgrade's unfinished St. Sava Cathedral, where the Russian church leader issued a plea for Serbs to do what they could to allow ethnic Albanians to return to their home.

milosevic
Milosevic, after his meeting with Alexey II  

"Do everything in your power so all well-intentioned people who left their homes in Kosovo return," he said. "The only just peace is a solid and long-term peace, that's why you must do all you can to foster peace and harmony."

But Alexey condemned the month-old NATO bombing campaign.

"NATO's bombs and missiles are intended to destroy the world order created after World War II and paid for with a great deal of blood, and to found a new order on brute force," he told a crowd of some 50,000 who filled the cathedral and spilled outside.

Serbia has appealed to Russia for help against the NATO attacks. Russia, in turn, has expressed its opposition to the airstrikes but has stopped short of offering military aid.

Correspondent Brent Sadler contributed to this report.

RELATED STORIES:
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April 20, 1999
NATO launches fresh round of raids, Serbs say
April 19, 1999
NATO bombs hit several Yugoslav cities
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Five ethnic Albanians killed when vehicle hits land mine
April 18, 1999
U.S. holding Yugoslav officer as POW
April 16, 1999
Macedonia fears it could become KLA staging ground
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Official Pentagon statement on captured Yugoslav soldier
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RELATED SITES:
Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites
  • Orthodox Church History
  • The Orthodox Churches
  • Kosovo

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


Kosovo:
  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosovo - from Albanian.com

Military:
  • 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:
  • Kosovar doctor helps refugees one at a time
  • Mercy International USA
  • Donations for Kosovo Refugees
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Unicef USA
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • World Vision
  • CARE: The Kosovo Crisis
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Disaster Relief from DisasterRelief.org
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page


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

Other:
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