07/03/2001
Press Release
SC/7026



Security Council

4289th & 4290th Meetings (Night)


SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, CONDEMNS VIOLENCE BY ETHNIC


ALBANIAN EXTREMISTS IN FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA


Foreign Minister of Former Yugoslav Republic Briefs Council


The Security Council this evening strongly condemned the recent violence by armed ethnic Albanian extremists in the north of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and in particular the killing of three soldiers from that country in the Tanusevci area.


In a presidential statement read by Council President Volodymyr Yel’chenko (Ukraine), the Council described the events as a threat to the stability and security not only of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, but also of the region.  It called on all political leaders in the former Yugoslav Republic and in Kosovo, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to isolate the forces behind all violent incidents and shoulder their responsibility for peace and stability in the region.


The Council expressed support for actions taken by the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic to address the violence with an appropriate level of restraint, and to preserve political stability and foster harmony between all ethnic components of its population.  Steps taken by the international security presence -- KFOR -- to control the border between the Kosovo region and the former Yugoslav Republic were welcomed, as was ongoing dialogue between KFOR and the former Yugoslav Republic on practical steps to address the immediate security situation and to prevent extremists from crossing the border.


Prior to the statement, in a separate meeting, the Council heard a briefing by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Srgjan Kerim, on the current situation, and his Government’s response


He warned that the Tanusevci incident was not only about the village or the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, but about the transformation of the Balkans into a peaceful, stable, democratic and prosperous European region.  The current situation was a serious test for the international community.  In order to be effective, Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) must be fully implemented.  KFOR must act according to its basic mandate -- to prevent spillover effects and to secure the northern border of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia from the Kosovo side.


He outlined the main elements of the Macedonian Government’s proposed action plan to resolve the situation, including cooperation with KFOR to ensure the full observance of Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).  He assured the Council


that his country’s peaceful policy and the philosophy behind it -- based on inter-ethnic balance among other principles -- would continue.  The fact that Macedonian security forces had not intervened in a proportional way was not a matter of political tactics, but one of deepest conviction.


In the ensuing discussion, Council members unanimously condemned the violence perpetrated by ethnic Albanian extremists, affirmed the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and commended that country’s Government for the restraint it had shown and for its plans to address the situation.


The representative of the Russian Federation said his country was especially concerned about new reports of the coordinated nature of actions by Albanian groups.  The international community must draw a lesson from those events, which arose as a result of supporting separatists, who were not interested in dialogue, but sought to achieve nationalist ends through force.  Extremists in Kosovo must be disarmed, and KFOR must close the border to prevent the transfer of weapons from Kosovo.  The current problems were the fruits of aiding and abetting the flouting of the arms embargo in Kosovo, he stated.


The United Kingdom’s representative said the Council welcomed the dialogue between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and KFOR on practical steps to address the situation.  Minister Kerim’s forthcoming visit to NATO would be important in putting into operation the proposals he had presented to the Council.  The presidential statement should be seen as a clear message that the violence would not be tolerated.


The representative of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia said the escalation of ethnic Albanian terrorism now threatened the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the broader security of the region.  Yugoslavia faced the same problems on its side of the border.  Only this afternoon, an army vehicle had run over a landmine planted by Albanian extremists in southern Serbia.  It had been detonated by remote control and killed three soldiers.  Another was still fighting for his life.  Responsibility for the situation in Kosovo lay squarely on KFOR and the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK), as established in Council resolution 1244 (1999).  Demilitarization of Albanian armed groups had clearly not been carried out.


Albania’s representative said his Government had repudiated and renounced the behaviour of the ethnic Albanian terrorist group.  In its view, such acts of violence ran contrary to the interests of all Albanians, and served to deprive them of the international support and sympathy they had won during the war in Kosovo.  His Government called on all Albanian parties to distance themselves from all violent acts, whoever the perpetrators were.  It was committed to the democratic stability of the the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the whole region.


(page 1b follows)


Statements here also made by the United States, France, China, Singapore, Jamaica, Norway, Ireland, Tunisia, Colombia, Mali, Mauritius, Ukraine, Sweden (speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States), Bulgaria, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia and Turkey.


The full text of the presidential statement is reproduced at the end of this press release.


The first meeting started 6:45 p.m. and was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.  The second meeting began at 8:10 p.m. and adjourned at 8:16 p.m.


Background


The Security Council met this evening to hear a briefing from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, on the problems on its border with Kosovo.


Statements


SRGJAN KERIM, Minister of Foreign Affairs of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, recalled that in the past few weeks, unidentified extremist militant groups had occupied the northern border village of Tanusevci, from where they had continuously provoked armed incidents, resulting in the deaths of three Macedonian soldiers on 4 March.  The extremists, who had not put forth their demands, were holding the local Albanian population hostage and, in view of the fact that the border with Kosovo was inhabited mostly by ethnic Albanians, also the inter-ethnic relations of the country.  Tanusevci was a serious warning that the border area with Kosovo could be used to provoke such incidents, thus threatening the peace, security and stability of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the entire region.


Emphasizing that the problem required political, diplomatic and security measures, he said his country had condemned all attempts to disrupt its country’s ethnic balance and undertaken a measured security response to the provocations.  The Government appreciated the support it had received from the Security Council, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the European Union presidency, the North Atlantic Council, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other intergovernmental organizations.


He said that the main elements of the Government’s action plan to resolve the situation included proposals for the full observance of Security Council resolution 1244 (1999); immediate establishment by KFOR -– the NATO stabilization force in Kosovo -- and willing States of a ground safety area along the entire border between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from the Kosovo side; and the creation of conditions for the return of inhabitants of Tanusevci to their homes.


Other proposals included urgent KFOR actions for the strict compliance with provisions relating to the movement of military and paramilitary formations, arms shipments and movement in the ground safety zone; and strengthening of the permanent coordination of activities between the Macedonian armed forces and KFOR to disarm paramilitary extremist groups and bring them to justice.  The action plan also proposed strengthening existing measures and undertaking additional ones, particularly reinforcing police control with new border units to prevent the violence from spilling over.


He said that for the last decade his country had proven to be a factor for stability, despite challenges presented by the regional crisis.  A new climate of cooperation and regional integration was best articulated by the Skopje Summit of Heads of State and Government of South-Eastern Europe, where regional leaders had committed themselves to a new era of development, cooperation and stability.  In addition, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had signed a border demarcation agreement acknowledged by all regional countries and the international community as an important contribution to peace and stability in the region.


The Security Council should be aware that the Tanusevci incident must be seen in a broader context, he stressed.  It was not only about the village or the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, but about the transformation of the Balkans into a peaceful, stable, democratic and prosperous European region.  The current situation was a serious test for the international community.  In order to be effective, Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) must be fully implemented.  KFOR must act according to its basic mandate -- to prevent spill-over effects and to secure the northern border of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia from the Kosovo side.


JAMES B. CUNNINGHAM (United States) said there was little disagreement about the responsible and careful way the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Government had handled the violence in the northern part of that country, or about the desire of the Council to provide support for future helpful actions.  Several days ago the Council heard from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary-General, who noted the difficulty in responding to problems in the region in a way that balanced perceptions on the ground with appropriate action.  That advice should be at the forefront of Council discussions.


There was considerable concern about the violence that had spilled over into the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, he said.  He asked the Foreign Minister to inform his Government that the Council understood the prudence with which it had acted, that it saw the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as an example of democracy based on the rule of law and inter-ethnic cooperation, and that the United Nations would do all it could to ensure its accomplishments were not undermined.


JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE (France) said the Council was meeting at a time when small armed groups were provoking serious incidents on the Yugoslavia-Macedonia border. That destabilization at the regional level must be strongly condemned.  Those undertaking it must understand that the international community will not allow them to continue.  They must be isolated and they must be stopped. KFOR –- the NATO Stabilization Force -- had undertaken to do that.


The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was a key element of the regional balance, and its borders and sovereign integrity must be defended, he said.  Since independence -- and with wisdom -- its leaders had implemented a policy designed to ensure coexistence among all communities.  Everything must be done to maintain harmony in that pluralistic society.  Its future was at stake, as was the future of South-East Europe.  France supported the Government’s actions, as French leaders had said before.  France was firmly at the side of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


SERGEY V. LAVROV (Russian Federation) condemned the worsening situation, provoked by Albanian extremists.  The Russian Federation fully supported the legitimate request by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the need to end those provocations.  He was especially concerned about new reports of the coordinated nature of sharpened actions by Albanian groups.


The international community must draw a lesson from those events, which arose as a result of supporting separatists, he said.  Those separatists were not interested in dialogue.  They sought to achieve their nationalist ends through force.  Their activities were intended to destabilize Macedonia.  They were calculating on giving rise to a disproportionate reaction, and thereby forcing NATO to protect them.  But NATO and the Islamic world had woken up to their aims.  The extremists in Kosovo must be disarmed.  Increasing nationalism in Kosovo and increased tension in Kosovo, the Presevo Valley and Macedonia were threats to regional peace.  The international community must ensure the sovereign integrity of all States in the Balkan region.  KFOR must close the Kosovo portion of the border between Yugoslavia and Macedonia, to prevent the transfer of weapons from Kosovo.  The problems were the fruits of aiding and abetting the flouting of the arms embargo in Kosovo.


The United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) must also take steps to stop the illegal activities in Kosovo with Albanian nationalism aims, he said.  The United Nations Mission and KFOR had special responsibility for preventing the spread of extremism from Kosovo.


SHEN GUOFANG (China), condemning the actions of the extremists, expressed support for the draft presidential statement and called for a timely response by the Council to prevent the situation from spinning out of control.  China encouraged the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to pursue peaceful means in seeking a solution to the conflict.


He said that easing tensions along the border between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was linked to Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).  KFOR must play a role in curbing the activities of the ethnic Albanian extremists.  The resolution must be implemented in full.  The present situation showed that durable peace in the region could only be achieved by fostering a spirit of tolerance and promoting inter-ethnic harmony.


KISHORE MAHBUBANI (Singapore) said that the entire Council condemned the ethnic Albanian extremists.  Singapore agreed with the Minister’s statement that a solution to the problem required political, diplomatic and security measures.  In addition, economic measures might also contribute to a long-term solution.  He agreed with the Minister that the conflict confronted the international community and the Security Council with a serious test.  Their response would be judged not by press conferences held or statements made, but by the actions taken on the ground.  Singapore supported the draft presidential statement to be read after the meeting.


CURTIS WARD (Jamaica) expressed satisfaction with the actions taken by the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and by KFOR and noted the assistance being provided by governments and international organizations.  He said his country encouraged the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to seek a political solution to the conflict.  Jamaica joined in supporting the presidential statement.


OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said he commended the Macedonian authorities for successfully maintaining peace and developing democracy under difficult circumstances.  He wished to make it clear that Macedonia had legitimate security concerns that must be addressed, and its sovereignty and territorial integrity must be protected.  Norway condemned all terrorist attacks in the region.  They threatened both internal and regional security.  Leaders must isolate extremists and clearly condemn violence.  Norway supported the activities of the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to restore order.  Clearly, the methods used must be proportionate, and Norway commended the restraint that had been shown.


He noted the plan the Foreign Minister had put forward, and believed that KFOR must intensify its border activities, he said.  It was also important that close contact between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and KFOR be maintained.


Sir JEREMY GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom) said the Council seemed pretty unanimous on both the Foreign Minister’s proposals and the situation.  He condemned the recent violence by ethnic Albanian extremists, and welcomed the dialogue between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, NATO and KFOR on practical steps.  The United Kingdom echoed the commendation of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for its prudent action.


The Foreign Minister’s forthcoming visit to NATO on Friday would be important to operationalize proposals presented today, he said.  KFOR had a broad mandate and it should take any operational decisions.  The United Kingdom welcomed the activities it had taken already, which should lead to a more effective response on the ground.  There was strong United Kingdom support for the presidential statement that would follow the meeting, and it should be seen as a clear message that the violence will not be tolerated.


DAVID COONEY (Ireland) said he also strongly condemned the violence, including the attacks on Sunday which led to death of three soldiers from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.  He commended the restraint shown by Skopje and noted the action plan presented today by the Foreign Minister, which Ireland would examine carefully.  Ireland supported dialogue between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and KFOR.  All international organizations must coordinate their activities to aid in the establishment of regional stability.  He also supported the preservation of the territorial integrity of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


The current situation underlined the need to reinforce ethnic relations in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, he said.  He asked if there was anything further the international community could do to support Skopje in that.


ALI CHERIF (Tunisia) reiterated that the situation on the border threatened the stability and ethnic balance of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and risked destabilizing the region as a whole.  Tunisia condemned the violent actions by the extremists.


He stressed the need to end the violence, especially in the border areas.  Tunisia welcomed the border demarcation agreement signed between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  Furthermore, it was vital to address the root causes of violence in the Balkan region.


ALFONSO VALDEVIESO (Colombia) expressed his country’s support for a solution to the conflict and condemned the recent actions carried out by the extremists near Tanusevci.  Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States was among the most important principles in international relations.  He condemned the threats made by the extremists and expressed his country’s support for the call by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for a more meaningful role for KFOR in restoring the situation.


MOCTAR OUANE (Mali) expressed his Government’s deep concern over the increasing violence and firmly condemned the illegal and violent terrorist actions by the ethnic Albanian extremists, especially the deaths of the three soldiers.


He called on all parties concerned to exercise restraint.  The situation could only be resolved through political means.  Mali supported the quest for stability throughout the Balkans and endorsed the draft presidential statement to be read after the meeting.


ANUND PRIYAY NEEWOOR (Mauritius), condemning the actions of the extremists, expressed appreciation for the great restraint exercised by the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.  Mauritius was confident in the role of KFOR and UNMIK in helping to restore the situation to normalcy.  The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was a multi-ethnic democratic State and Mauritius supported its proposals for resolving the situation.


Council President VOLDYMYR YEL'CHENKO (Ukraine), speaking in his national capacity, strongly condemned attacks on Macedonian soldiers by extremist Albanian forces and deplored the violent death of three of them a few days ago.  Ukraine reaffirmed its full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


He said the armed clashes between the Albanian fighters and Macedonian troops should be seen as a direct consequence of the critical situation in southern Serbia.  It would be impossible to remedy the border situation without finding a viable solution to the problem of restoring proper security conditions in the Ground Safety Zone.


Further enhancement of cooperation between UNMIK and KFOR, on the one side, and the Yugoslav Government on the other, was indispensable, he stressed.  Ukraine was encouraged by the ongoing dialogue between NATO and the Yugoslav Government.  Swift implementation of the plan by the Yugoslav Government to achieve a political solution of the problems in southern Serbia through confidence-building measures would contribute significantly to curbing the dangerous developments in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


Ukraine commended the Macedonian Government for its measured response to the situation so far and its inclination to seek a political solution, he said.  The Government's proposed action plan, aimed at preventing the conflict from spilling over, deserved support.  Ukraine welcomed NATO's commitment to support the security, stability and territorial integrity of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and steps already taken to help the country protect its frontiers.


He applauded NATO's current measures to reinforce KFOR capabilities to monitor the border between Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as the European Union's announced increase in the number of its monitors in the area.  The Security Council should encourage further joint efforts by KFOR and other relevant international organizations, in coordination with the Macedonian Government, towards the implementation of that Government's plan presented today.


PIERRE SCHORI (Sweden) spoke on behalf of the European Union and the associated countries of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, as well as Iceland and Liechtenstein.


He said he was concerned about the recent escalation of violence in the border region between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia/Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.  He condemned the rising number of incidents in the area, including the ethnic Albanian extremist attack on 4 March near the village of Tanusevci, which resulted in the deaths of three soldiers.  Such violent acts endangered the stability and security of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and its citizens and should stop immediately.


He called on all political leaders in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo to isolate the forces behind the violence and to shoulder their responsibility for peace and stability in the region.  Further, he reiterated the Union’s strong attachment to the principle of inviolability of all borders in the region, including the territorial integrity of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


He welcomed the efforts initiated by KFOR aimed at increased control of the border area and the further strengthening of coordination between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia authorities and KFOR in order to contribute to the stabilization of the situation in the area.  A peaceful and stable former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia -- within internationally recognized borders -- was an important condition for furthering its integration with the European Union, as well as a key factor for stability in the region.


VLADIMIR SOTIROV (Bulgaria) said the actions of armed Albanian extremists in the area of the village of Tanusevci amounted to an opening of a new front in the war over Kosovo.  Those activities also impeded the efforts of the international community to find a lasting, peaceful solution to the problem within the provisions of resolution 1244 (1999).  Those attacks came after the Republic of Macedonia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had concluded an agreement on the delimitation of their common border.  Bulgaria had welcomed that agreement as helpful in maintaining stability in the region and it strongly rejected attempts to question a border recognized by international law.  Indeed, the recent events seriously affected the security of the Republic of Macedonia and might serve to further destabilize the region.  Only a total isolation of the extremists could put an end to their illegal activities.


The stability of the Republic of Macedonia was of key importance to the national interest of Bulgaria and other countries in the region.  To that end, the Bulgarian Government strongly supported the efforts of the Macedonian authorities to use political and diplomatic, instead of military means to bring the situation to an end.  Bulgaria's Government was maintaining contact with Macedonia, and tomorrow Bulgarian Prime Minister Ivan Kostove would pay a visit to the country.  The active involvement of the international community was essential for reducing the existing tensions.  While it was still possible to prevent the conflict from spilling over into other parts of the border area, only prompt action would ensure that the United Nations would not be forced to resort to a larger scale and more costly operation.  He commended NATO’s readiness to support stability in the Republic of Macedonia.


ELIAS GOUNARIS (Greece) said he believed that the points outlined by the Foreign Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia were welcome and should be taken into consideration.  Greece condemned all acts of violence in the region.  Yesterday, Greece had conveyed a message that it supported the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which was important for regional security.  It also supported all activities in support of that from the international community.  The international community should not hesitate to address those acts of violence, which had the potential to undermine the status of former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multi-religious society.


ERNEST PETRIC (Slovenia) said that over the last 10 years, Macedonia had managed to protect its territorial integrity and stability, despite the negative effects sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on its economy and its own delicate ethnic and religious balance.  During the Kosovo crisis, Macedonia had, with great sacrifice, given refuge to hundreds of thousands of Albanian refugees and extended full support to the United Nations, NATO and other international organizations working to resolve that crisis.  Most importantly, when religious and ethnic conflicts seemed to be the norm in most parts of the former Yugoslavia, Macedonia had successfully integrated its Albanian population and other minorities into its political, economic and social life.


He went on to say that recent acts of extremist violence near the border of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Macedonia seriously endangered the stability of Macedonia and could provoke new crises.  Indeed, the escalation of violence, if not checked immediately, could endanger the wider region as well.  Along with condemning all violent activities, Slovenia urged political leaders, in particular those of the Albanian community in Macedonia, as well as the leaders of Kosovo Albanians, to isolate the extremists and show active support for peace and stability in the region.  In particular, Kosovo Albanian leaders should not forget that only through the support of the international community -- including Macedonia -- had they successfully survived the onslaught of the Milosevic regime.


IVAN SIMONOVIC (Croatia), expressing concern about possible escalation of violent conflict in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, condemned the incidents along the border and threats directed at representatives of the international community in the area.  At the same time, Croatia saluted the restraint demonstrated by the Macedonian authorities.  Unified and determined action by the international community was indispensable in preventing further deterioration of the situation.


While the suffering of the ethnic Albanian population in Kosovo should not be forgotten, violence only bred more violence, he emphasized.  Together with their brethren elsewhere in the region, the ethnic Albanians in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia must strive to protect their rights through democratic institutions.


He reiterated that his country's primary interest and commitment was the maintenance of peace and overall security in the area for all peoples of South-Eastern Europe.  It was absolutely crucial to depart from the tradition of using violence to achieve political aims and to accept dialogue as the only legitimate means for resolving differences and disputes.


VLADISLAV MLADENOVIC (Yugoslavia) said his country was seriously concerned at the escalation of ethnic Albanian terrorism that had now spread to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, threatening the broader security of the region.  Efforts of the countries of the region and the international community to stabilize conditions and strengthen confidence were seriously in jeopardy.  The latest attacks by ethnic Albanian terrorists had resulted in the loss of innocent lives, and he conveyed the condolences of his country to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


The Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was entitled to take all legitimate measures to preserve its territorial integrity and stabilize the situation on its soil, he said.  He fully supported the plan of action adopted by that Government on Monday.  The current attacks were an attempt to provoke a new Balkan conflagration, in order to achieve political ends by violence.  Yugoslavia faced the same problems on its side of the border, and, only this afternoon, an army vehicle had run over a landmine, detonated by a remote control mechanism, planted by Albanian extremists in southern Serbia, which caused three deaths and left another soldier still fighting for his life.  It was high time resolute and concrete measures were taken against Albanian extremists.  It was obvious that those extremist actions were coordinated on a larger scale and were a function of greater Albanian goals and objectives.


The troubles could only be solved peacefully through dialogue, he said, and with full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all States.  The responsibility for the situation in Kosovo and Metohija lay squarely on KFOR and UNMIK, as established in Council resolution 1244 (1999).  Demilitarization of Albanian armed groups had clearly not been carried out, as the resolution demanded, and the uncontrolled crossing of extremist groups and weapons from Kosovo and Metohija to southern Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had not been stopped.  Both States concerned were entitled to expect the Council to address a clear and resolute message to Albanian extremists.


AGIM NESHO (Albania) said Albania was deeply concerned by the recent violence in the region.  His Government had repudiated and renounced the behaviour of the terrorist group.  He commended the response of the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and was confident it would continue to show proper restraint and wisdom.


Albania supported efforts to solve ethnic Albanians’ problems in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia by constitutional means, he said.  In his view, acts of violence ran contrary to the interests of Albanians and of the ethnic Albanian political sector in Macedonia.  It deprived all Albanians of the international support and sympathy they had won during the war in Kosovo.


His Government called on all Albanian parties to distance themselves from all violent acts, whoever the perpetrators were, he said.  It also had a sincere commitment to the peaceful resolution of problems in the region.  Albania was committed to the democratic stability of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the whole region.


SAFAK GOKTURK (Turkey), aligning himself with the statement by Sweden on behalf of the European Union, recalled statements made earlier by the President of his country regarding the dead Macedonian soldiers.  Turkey stood against all acts of violence perpetrated by extremists on the northern border of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.  It also supported measures by the Government of that country and by the international community aimed at arresting the situation.


Mr. KERIM, Minister for Foreign Affairs of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, assured the Council that his country’s peaceful policy and the philosophy behind it -- based on inter-ethnic balance, among other principles -- would continue.  The fact that Macedonian security forces had not intervened in a proportional way was not a political tactic, but a matter of deepest conviction.


He said his country's Government did not regard its own people, including ethnic Albanians, as targets.  Only terrorists could be regarded as targets and the Government was satisfied with the support it had received from the Council.  The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was pursuing a policy of inter-ethnic balance, particularly in the fields of higher education and local government.  That was the only way to fight extremists and others who thought they could turn back the clock.


Presidential Statement


After adjourning the meeting and reconvening a second meeting, the President of the Council, Volodymyr Yel'chenko (Ukraine) read our the following statement, which will be issued as S/PRST/2001/7:


“The Security Council welcomes the participation of the Foreign Minister of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in its meeting on 7 March 2001.


“The Security Council strongly condemns recent violence by ethnic Albanian armed extremists in the north of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in particular the killing of three soldiers of the Army of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in the area of Tanusevci.  It calls for an immediate end to the violence.


“The Security Council expresses its deep concern at those events, which jeopardize the stability and security not only of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia but also of the entire region.  It calls on all political leaders in The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo who are in a position to do so to isolate the forces behind the violent incidents and to shoulder their responsibility for peace and stability in the region.


“The Security Council underlines the responsibility of the Government of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for the rule of law in its territory.  It supports the actions undertaken by the Government of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in addressing the violence with an appropriate level of restraint and to preserve the political stability of the country and foster harmony between all ethnic components of the population.


“The Security Council recalls the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.  In this context it emphasizes that the border demarcation agreement, signed in Skopje on 23 February and ratified by the Macedonian Parliament on 1 March 2001 must be respected by all.


“The Security Council welcomes the steps taken by the international security presence (KFOR) to control the border between Kosovo/Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in accordance with the military technical agreement signed in Kumanovo on 9 June 1999.  It welcomes the ongoing dialogue between the Government of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the international security presence (KFOR) on practical steps to address the immediate security situation and to prevent crossing of the border by extremists as well as possible violations of resolution 1160.  It welcomes the efforts of all relevant international

organizations in cooperation with the Government of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to promote stability and to create conditions for a return of the inhabitants to their homes.


“The Security Council will continue to follow the developments on the ground closely, and request to be briefed regularly on the outcome of the efforts referred to above.”


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