Letter: What now for Serbs?

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I have just returned from a conference organised by Freedom House and the New Atlantic Initiative (both concerned with promoting democratic values). The main concern of the participants was the problems of Bosnia and, of course, Kosovo. All those directly affected by the Balkans tragedy, including Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania and Slovenia, are fully supportive of Nato strategy on Kosovo.

I chaired a session at which Milan Panic, the former Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, spoke, together with Muhamed Sacirbey, the permanent representative to the United Nations for Bosnia Hercegovina and special envoy for implementation of the Dayton agreement, and Zsolt Nemeth, the Hungarian State Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Their major concern was that the Nato allies might lack the resolve to insist on the full implementation of their clearly defined objectives for the conclusion of the Kosovan tragedy.

Unlike the armchair strategists, the peoples of the region will have to live with the awful consequences if we fail to achieve our stated objectives. The various ranks of the retired military, diplomatic and political service, the professional leftists, and heaven help us, the thespians and playwrights who question the continuing prosecution of these aims would do well to dwell on what would have happened if Nato had done nothing. Those closest to the conflict believe it would certainly have created a far worse situation than we presently face.

PETER ROBINSON

Director

Trades Union Committee for European and Transatlantic Understanding

Empingham, Rutland

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