19 Nov. 1998

Press Statement by the North Atlantic Council on Kosovo

NATO is deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation in Kosovo. Since the beginning of November there has been a sharp increase in tension resulting from incidents created in some cases by Serbian security forces and in other cases by armed Kosovar elements such as the UCK.

These incidents risk creating a dangerous cycle of provocation and response which, if continued, could destabilize the ceasefire, reverse the recent improvement in the humanitarian situation, and jeopardize the arrangements being put into place by NATO and OSCE for verification of compliance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

NATO is monitoring the situation closely and has made its concerns clear to the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Kosovar Albanians.

NATO insists that all parties must comply fully with the relevant UNSCRs and their other commitments; in particular by observing the ceasefire, avoiding provocation, and moving promptly to negotiations on a political settlement which alone can be the basis of a lasting peace in Kosovo.

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