[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[September 2, 1998]
[Pages 1501-1502]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Joint Statement on the Situation in Kosovo
September 2, 1998

    The Presidents of the United States and the Russian Federation noted 
with concern that the situation in Kosovo continues to deteriorate, 
causing growing alarm among the world public about the growing negative 
consequences for regional stability. Despite extensive attempts of the 
Contact Group, OSCE, and other international institutions, there has not 
yet been success in achieving an end to the armed clashes and senseless 
bloodshed and in initiating serious and meaningful negotiations between 
the authorities in Belgrade and leaders of Kosovo Albanians that would 
make it possible to agree promptly on measures to build confidence and 
security in the province as an interim step on the way to a final 
settlement of the Kosovo problem including the definition of the status 
of enhanced Kosovo self-government with strict respect for the 
territorial integrity of the FRY.
    The escalation of tension in Kosovo inflicts heavy suffering on 
innocent civilians. Over 200,000 people were forced to leave their homes 
as the result of armed clashes. The situation is aggravated by large-
scale destruction of houses, food shortages, and the risk of epidemic 
disease. The threat of humanitarian catastrophe is becoming ever more 
    Slobodan Milosevic, as President of the FRY, must order a halt to 
all repressive actions against the civilian population in Kosovo. All 
violence by all Kosovo Albanian armed groups must cease immediately. 
President Milosevic and the Kosovo Albanian leadership must intensify 
the negotiating process.
    Urgent measures should be taken promptly to prevent humanitarian 
catastrophe in Kosovo. Necessary conditions should be created without 
delay for the refugees and displaced persons to return freely to the 
places of their permanent residence before the advent of winter. The 
scope and acuteness of the problem call for urgent joint actions of the 
authorities in Belgrade, the Kosovo Albanians, and international 
humanitarian organizations. Constant international monitoring in the 
field, accompanied both by progressive withdrawal of Serb security 
forces to their permanent locations, and the cessation of armed actions 
by the Kosovo Albanians, are needed to inspire confidence among people 
in their safety and prospects for restoring normal life. A mechanism for 
creating favorable conditions in the most heavily affected locations in 
the province--a series of ``pilot projects''--should be set in motion 
immediately. The Serb authorities should implement in practice unimpeded 
access to all areas of the province for humanitarian organizations and 
diplomatic observers.

[[Page 1502]]

    The cessation of violence and amelioration of the humanitarian 
situation would facilitate the creation of a favorable environment for 
progress in the negotiating process over the entire range of issues. 
President Milosevic and all Kosovo Albanian leaders should engage 
actively in the negotiating process, with a view toward achieving a 
political solution to the crisis and a framework for durable peace in 


September 2, 1998

Note: An original was not available for verification of the content of 
this joint statement.