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Letter: No faith in Nato

Sir: The North Atlantic Treaty begins with the affirmation that its parties "reaffirm their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations". Article 1 reads: "The parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international disputes in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purpose of the United Nations."

The bombardment of Yugoslavia thus contravenes both the United Nations Charter and the North Atlantic Treaty itself, in one illegal moment.

Numerous possibilities were open to reach a negotiated settlement of the tragic confrontation in Kosovo. But when they felt they had reached a stalemate, the allied powers were under solemn obligation to refer the problem to the United Nations. This, the proper course of action, was never even considered, perhaps because it was feared that the UN might be able to broker a peaceful solution.

Now the trauma in Kosovo will certainly be aggravated and there is a danger that war will be extended over an even wider area.