Updated: 15-Apr-2001 NATO Press Releases


15 April 2001

Statement by the NATO Secretary General
on the Release of Serb Hostages by Ethnic Albanians

NATO welcomes the release of the Serb hostages by ethnic Albanians in Southern Serbia as a good and important humanitarian gesture and a decisive step towards a political resolution of the current tensions.

This release is a further positive step towards the normalisation of the situation in southern Serbia and should facilitate a renewed dialogue between Serb authorities and representatives of ethnic Albanians.

Clearly, more confidence-building measures are still needed. In this context, NATO would welcome further steps by both sides to disengage from the Lucane area and to reopen the school in that village.

NATO expects the dialogue between both parties to continue on 26 April as scheduled. Only through political dialogue and measures to address the concerns of all ethnic groups will a lasting peace be reestablished in the area.

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