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Liberals to visit former Yugoslavia



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MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR ROBERT HILL LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Monday, August 24 76/92

LIBERALS TO VISIT FORMER YUGOSLAVIA

Two Liberal Federal MPs, Paul Filing from Western Australia and John Bradford, Queensland, will attend this week's summit on the former Yugoslavia in London, Senator Robert Hill, the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, said today.

"They will then visit the former Yugoslavia, including Sarajevo returning to brief Coalition leaders on how Australia might best support the UN-European peace process in former Yugoslavia and contribute to the humanitarian needs arising from the fighting.

"The Coalition has been appalled by brutal conflict in Bosnia- Herzegovina and the inhuman practice of "ethnic cleansing".

"We have been equally concerned by the apparent inability of the international community to facilitate a peaceful resolution.

"This incapacity has particularly distressed the large Australian community who have immigrated from the former Yugoslavia.

"The Australian Government has largely sat on its hands on this issue offering few ideas and little encouragement.

"It is the view of the Coalition that in seeking solutions to these issues which include not only achieving peace in Bosnia- Herzegovina, but also include finding a formula for peace and security in Kosova and the future of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Europe should be supported by the wider community of democratic states.

"The Coalition is pleased that the Secretary-General of the United Nations will co-chair the London Conference.

"The authority of the U.N. is necessary and the U.N. should

assume a much more prominent role in the negotiating phase. U.N. support of the outcome will almost certainly be necessary.

"The Coalition supported the decision of the U.N. to endorse the protection of the provision of humanitarian aid, by force, if necessary.

"The Liberal Party observers will particularly examine the humanitarian issues and the question of refugees. It should be possible for Australia to be more useful than has been the case to date. This visit will be helpful in the further consideration of the Coalition's policy options.

Enquiries: Senator Hill of Mark Batistich on (08) 237 7920

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH