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WAR IN THE BALKANS:Briefing: Day 52

n Martti Ahtisaari, the Finnish President, met the United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan yesterday in the Netherlands. Mr Ahtisaari will also hold talks on Kosovo in Helsinki with Russia's special Balkans envoy, Viktor Chernomyrdin, and US deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott on 18 May.

n A 12-day UN humanitarian visit to Yugoslavia starting today will attempt to assess the crisis in Kosovo. Kofi Annan and heads of non- governmental aid agencies and representatives of the European Commission, the World Bank and the Red Cross held a crisis summit yesterday.

n The foreign ministers of Bulgaria, Greece and Romania met in Sofia to discuss the prospects of ending the crisis and rebuilding the region's economy and security.

n The Red Cross sent its first staff and aid supplies into Kosovo since pulling out of the war zone on 29 March. A convoy carrying food and shelter materials had driven into the Kosovo capital, Pristina.