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World - Europe

Rugova in Britain to promote return of Kosovo refugees

Rugova, left, met with Blair to discuss plans for helping Kosovo refugees return home

Hillary Clinton hears Kosovars' tales of tears

Clinton calls Chinese president with apology

Finnish leader to join Chernomyrdin on Belgrade visit

Yugoslavia says village death toll tops 100


May 14, 1999
Web posted at: 9:16 p.m. EDT (0116 GMT)

LONDON (CNN) -- Moderate Kosovo Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova on Friday insisted that he still holds influence over ethnic Albanians and said his top priority was to ensure the return of refugees to Kosovo.

Rugova met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook in London Friday to discuss plans to help the hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanians who have fled the Serbian province return home.

"To make conditions for ... international security forces in Kosovo, to create security for the people, and to return the people to Kosovo, is the major objective for us now, for me personally and for the people of Kosovo," Rugova told CNN.

Rugova was unexpectedly allowed to leave Yugoslavia last week after being held, according to aides, under virtual house arrest by Belgrade authorities since the beginning of NATO airstrikes in late March.

Responding to accusations that he has lost credibility among Kosovo Albanians, Rugova defended his leadership.

"I am two times (their) elected leader, I have a right to speak ... and even these days ... the (refugee) camps of Macedonia, Albania accept me, respect me," Rugova said.

He said he was encouraging unity among various Kosovo political groups including the Kosovo Liberation Army, even though the KLA has criticized him for promoting negotiations with Yugoslavia.

"I try to work together with the groups, the KLA ... it is much better for us, for victory and for the return of the people (to Kosovo)," he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

NATO dismisses Serb pullout, knocks out electricity
May 13, 1999
Officials ponder ways to get food to homeless in Kosovo
May 13, 1999
First refugees leave Fort Dix to join relatives
May 13, 1999
Reopened Macedonian border draws few refugees
May 13, 1999
Kosovo Albanian leader Rugova in Italy
May 5, 1999
Kosovo Albanian leader Rugova in Rome for talks
May 5, 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
  • 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

  • Doctors Without Borders
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (Kosovo aid)
  • Doctors of the World
  • The IOM Migration Web
  • 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
  • The Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Mercy International

  • 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
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Tribune
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of P.R.China
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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