25 Apr. 1999
Meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Heads of State and Government with Countries in the Region of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
- NATO Heads of State and Government today met with their counterparts from Albania, Bulgaria, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia , Romania and Slovenia, and the Foreign Ministers of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. They discussed the current situation in Kosovo, its impact on the countries in the region and longer term strategies for security, prosperity and stability in Southeastern Europe.
- There was general agreement that the Kosovo crisis represents a fundamental challenge to the entire Euro-Atlantic community and to the region in particular. NATO Heads of State and Government and leaders of the countries in the region condemned the ongoing violence and repression in Kosovo. They emphasized that the oppression, ethnic cleansing and violence must end and that all refugees and displaced persons must be allowed to return to their homes in safety and security, to allow for a credible, verifiable and durable political solution for Kosovo. They underscored the necessity for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to accept the international community's demands.
- The meeting expressed support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states in the region.
- NATO Heads of State and Government acknowledged that the neighbouring states are particularly affected by the humanitarian, political and economic implications of the crisis. Participants agreed to intensify their efforts to support refugee and humanitarian relief operations.
- NATO Heads of State and Government expressed their gratitude for the efforts and solidarity shown by the neighbouring states in support of the Alliance's and the international community's objectives. In this context, they reaffirmed that the security of the neighbouring states was of direct and material concern to Alliance member states and that NATO would respond to any challenges by Belgrade to the neighbouring states resulting from the presence of NATO forces and their activities on their territory during this crisis.
- The meeting also underscored the need for developing a longer term comprehensive strategy with the help of different institutions for securing stability and prosperity based on democratic principles and enhanced economic and political development. Participants emphasized their common aim of forging a better future for the region, including the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, based upon democracy, justice, economic integration and security cooperation. The full implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement was considered an essential element of this process.
- NATO and the countries in the region agreed to continue consultations both on the current crisis in Kosovo and on the development of a broader strategy for the region.