Monitor:Comment on the Nato ultimatum given to Serbia and Kosovo

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The Independent Culture
NATO'S CALL for negotiations between Milosevic and the Kosovars is worrisome. What is there to negotiate? Nato should force Serbian forces to withdraw and give the Kosovars a three- to five-year period to recover from Milosevic's depredations and rebuild the democratic institutions he destroyed. During that same period, the United States and its allies should intensify their efforts to promote a democratic transition in Serbia itself. Then negotiations - between a democratic Serbia and a democratic Kosovo - might have some meaning, and some chance of success.

Washington Post, US

OUR EUROPEAN allies must take over more responsibility. A good start was the willingness of the French to assume leadership of the Nato troops that protect the monitors in Kosovo. That force includes no American ground troops. We should also draw the Europeans more into the negotiations on the future of Kosovo, so that these issues do not become an entirely American affair. There are greater threats to our national interests than those posed by the problems of the former Yugoslavia.

The New York Times, US

NOW COMES the familiar chant of admonition. From US Vice-President Al Gore: "There should be no doubt about our collective resolve in this matter. Nato is prepared to back up its word with action." From Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State: "The consequences of failure will be swift and serious." Perhaps they mean it this time. Perhaps this time they will use force to bring Mr Milosevic to heel. But, after all the years of empty sermonising, can we really blame him for doubting it?

The Globe and Mail, Canada

ANY MILITARY action must be followed by a comprehensive political solution to the Kosovan crisis. One possibility is a return to the ethnic Albanians of the sort of autonomy they enjoyed previously. It is short of the independence they seek, but it could be an achievable compromise that halts the bloodshed.

The Age, Australia

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