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Hill urges senate to condemn Croatia attacks, call for protest



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MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR ROBERT HILL LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS Wednesday, September 4 Canberra

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HILL URGES SENATE TO CONDEMN CROATIA ATTACKS. OAT.T. FOR PROTEST

The Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Robert Hill, today urged the Senate to condemn the overnight attacks on Croatia by Yugoslav military forces and to call on the Australian Government to protest to Belgrade their continuing operations in Croatia.

Senator Hill today gave notice that he would move a motion stating that the Senate:

NOTES the reports of overnight attacks by the Yugoslav armed forces - including airforce jets, naval vessels, tanks and artillery - against civilian targets defended by lightly armed militia forces in Croatia;

NOTES that such attacks have occurred after the ceasefire agreed by the Yugoslav central government;

CONDEMNS such attacks not only for the continuing loss of life, injury and damage to property they cause, but for the grave implications they have for the peace process recently agreed;

REAFFIRMS the right of Croatia to independence which cannot be allowed to be prejudiced by force of arms; and

CALLS on the Australian Government to protest in the strongest terms possible through its diplomatic representatives in Belgrade this continuation of operations in Croatia by the Yugoslav armed forces.

"The reported attacks by Yugoslav armed forces on Croatian targets are deliberate acts of aggression," Senator Hill said.

"The attacks threaten to seriously jeopardise the prospects of the European Community's strategy for a ceasefire in Croatia and a peace conference.

"It is reprehensible that Yugoslav armed forces have flagrantly violated a ceasefire which has been agreed to by their own federal Yugoslav government.

"The Australian Government should end its inaction on the crisis in Yugoslavia and lodge an immediate protest with Belgrade against the forces' continuing operations and their refusal to withdraw from Croatia."

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Enquiries: Senator Hill or Mark Batistich on (06) 277 3170

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