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Kosovo: Australia Agrees to implement United Nation arms embargo against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia



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MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER

FA43 14 April 1998

KOSOVO: AUSTRALIA AGREES TO IMPLEMENT UNITED NATIONS ARMS EMBARGO AGAINST THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA

The Australian Government is moving swiftly to implement the recent UN Security Council resolution imposing an arms embargo against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) following the recent violence and civilian deaths in Kosovo.

This resolution reflects a strong view in the UN of the need to avert another tragedy in the Balkans. Australia shares with the rest of the international community the hope that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia will agree soon to enter into unconditional talks with the

ethnic Albanians in Kosovo about increased autonomy for the province and a lasting resolution of the current tensions.

We welcome the decisive efforts by the Contact Group (the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Russia) in taking the lead role in addressing this crisis. Prompt action by the Contact Group has been instrumental in generating broad international action and in addressing this issue.

Australia is closely monitoring the situation in Kosovo. We are encouraged by recent signs of a willingness by the FRY government to enter into negotiations with the representatives of the Kosovar Albanians and we urge both communities to settle their differences without resort to violence.

While we look forward to positive developments, Australia is prepared to consider taking additional measures if such action becomes necessary to ensure improvements in the security and human rights situation in Kosovo.

Media releases and speeches are available from DFAT via the internet, http://www.dfat.qov.au/