The News of the World Today: the West's response to the Kosovo crisis

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The Independent Culture
Leader: `Le Monde' (France)

WE CANNOT continue to indulge the Yugoslav president under the pretext that a negotiated settlement can only be obtained through him.

He must be threatened - politically, legally and with the military.

If Moscow continues to protect "the man of Belgrade", we should even consider withdrawing our financial help, of which Russia is so desirous.

In short, we Westerners must dare now to give ourselves a new Balkan objective: to have done with Milosevic.

Noel Malcolm: `Time' (US)

IT IS a virtual certainty that Kosovo will become independent from Serbia within the next 50 years. The only question is: how do we get from here to there?

A negotiated solution based on a prolonged interim phase, like the one agreed for Chechnya by General Alexander Lebed, may be possible, but only if the Albanians are assured that independence remains an eventual option.

With Western governments blithely telling them that even long-term independence is out of the question, the chances for "stability" in the Balkans are slender indeed.

Peter Lipman: `Nando Times'


KOSOVO'S underground Albanian government, led by Ibrahim Rugova, has successfully advocated a non-violent response to Serbian repression - and this in a region where the blood feud was practised until recently. But his leadership has been passive and the Albanians' patience has not been rewarded.

In response, small groups of Albanians in the countryside have armed themselves.

It's doubtful that they have any chance of beating the better-equipped Serbian police and army.

After last month's massacre in the central region of Drenica, the Kosovo Liberation Army is unlikely to gain the necessary sympathy and support from the outside world, other than Albania, to defeat the Yugoslav People's Army.

The West will intervene militarily only if there are many more Drenica's, and by then it will be too late.