Updated: 05-Jul-2001 NATO Press Releases


28 June 2001

Statement by the Secretary General of NATO
Lord Robertson

Following the news about the decision on the transfer of Slobodan Milosevic from Belgrade to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, I would like to congratulate the authorities in Belgrade for their wise and courageous decision. We have awaited this decision for a very long time. Mr. Milosevic is associated with the darkest periods in the modern history of Yugoslavia and the Balkans in general. His vision of the region - nationalist, intolerant and xenophobic - belongs to the past. The people of Yugoslavia and others in the Balkans are longing to move forward to rejoin the European family of nations. We expect that the trial of Mr. Milosevic in The Hague will make a decisive break with the past.

NATO Allies have been constantly repeating that democracy and economic progress in Yugoslavia can only develop in a climate where people are accountable for their past deeds. The events of today are an important step in this direction. I commend those in Belgrade who have made a wise and courageous decision.

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