Updated: 11-Jan-2002 Week of 20-26 January 1999

20 Jan. 1999

Following the Racak massacre, international consultations have intensified to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in Kosovo, NATO is increasing its military preparedness to back-up the demands of the international community. NATO allies, as well as representatives from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union and the Contact Group (made up of France, Germany, Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) are considering a number of different options in support of efforts by the international community to bring the Government of the Federal Yugoslav Republic and the Kosovars to the negotiating table.

The NATO-Russian Permanent Joint Council reviews the deteriorating situation in Kosovo and reaffirms their full support for the OSCE verification mission. NATO and Russia call on all parties to end the violence and open the path for a negotiated settlement.

20 Jan. 1999
Toward stability in Bosnia

Measures to reduce NATO's peacekeeping force -known as the Stabilisation Force (SFOR)- by 10% over the next few months are under way. This would reduce the multinational force, composed of peacekeepers from 25 different countries, from 32 000 to 28 800. The reduction would reflect the progress made in Bosnia since the Dayton accords were signed in 1995.

20 Jan. 1999
Solana on "Northern tour"
Before his visit to Italy, NATO Secretary General, Dr Javier Solana, went to Denmark, Norway and Iceland from 20 to 22 January. He will be visiting all NATO-member countries and the three invitee countries -the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland- before April to discuss issues on the agenda at the Washington Summit. These will include the new Strategic Concept and NATO's open door policy.
25 Jan. 1999
50th anniversary conference in Rome

On 25 January, a major international conference took place in Rome on "The 50th anniversary of the Atlantic Alliance: a new NATO for a new Europe". It was closed by a keynote address given by NATO Secretary General, Dr Javier Solana, before the Italian Chamber of Deputies. The Secretary General, who was on an official visit to Italy, met with the Italian Prime Minister, Massimo D'Alema, the Foreign Minister, Lamberto Dini and the Defence Minister, Carlo Scognamiglio.

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