Solana stresses NATO resolve in Kosovo conflict
May 4, 1999
BRUSSELS, Belgium (CNN) -- NATO's bombing campaign in Yugoslavia is a result of the alliance's adherence to the values on which it was formed 50 years ago, Secretary-General Javier Solana said Tuesday.
"Our core principles remain constant," Solana, speaking by satellite from Brussels, told CNN's World Report conference in Atlanta. "The founding members of NATO signed the North Atlantic Treaty to defend democracy, to defend liberty and to defend the rule of law.
"The Kosovo crisis has obliged us to take action to defend these values," he continued. "Our action in the Balkans is the latest chapter in the long history of standing up for these principles -- principles that without any doubt will ensure that Europe (enters) into the next millennium as a peaceful and stable place."
Serbia, Solana said, should be an integral part in the building of a "lasting peace" in Europe -- but it would have to take its place there without Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.
"The people of Serbia are not responsible for their current condition," he said. "The blame sits squarely on the shoulders of Milosevic and his regime."
Milosevic's ethnic cleansing policy is unacceptable to NATO and its allies, Solana said.
"We have tried months and months, years I would say. to try to find a political solution to this crisis," he said. "And only when all the political efforts had failed, because Milosevic did not accept any, did we resort ... to the use of force."
Solana also acknowledged the importance of Russia in the quest for a solution to the Kosovo crisis, saying that the Serbian ally would be "central" to the efforts.
But, he said, the final solution rests with Milosevic.
"Milosevic must stop the killings, must get his troops out of Kosovo, must let an international force in to ... guarantee that refugees who have been expelled from their houses, expelled from their country, can safely return," he said.
Yugoslavia's Jovanovic blames NATO for humanitarian crisis
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