Updated: 10-Sep-2001 Week of 21-27 July 1999

21 July 1999
Balkans Summit meeting Sarajevo

Preparations for the forthcoming South-Eastern Europe Stability Pact Summit to be held in Sarajevo on 30 July have now been finalised, with all parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina working closely together to ensure the success of the event.

SFOR will be working with more than 20,000 police from both Entities to provide security for the event, and is also running a sizeable logistical operation in support.

More than 60 Delegations will be taking part in the Summit. It is hoped that it will act as a symbol of the regeneration of the Balkan Region as a whole, building on the significant progress in social, political and economic development that has been achieved over the past few years.

21 July 1999
NATO's 50th anniversary

NATO's 50th anniversary has recently been celebrated on both sides of the Channel, in Belgium and in the United Kingdom.

On Belgium's national day, 21 July, the traditional Military Parade was organised around NATO's 50th anniversary and the King's speech focused on two themes of which one was the Kosovo crisis.

On 24-25 July, the Royal International Air Tattoo 99 (RIAT) organised its annual air show in Fairford on the theme of the 50th anniversary. NATO member and Partner countries participated in the event. Fighters, NATO reconnaissance aircraft, bombers and transporters from across Europe and North America appeared together in the air show.

23 July 1999

The killing of 14 Serb farmers at Gracko on 23 July has been condemned by all parties in Kosovo. KFOR and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) have launched an investigation into the killings.

However, despite individual unacceptable incidents, the overall security situation has greatly improved since KFOR's arrival in the Province, and over 727,000 refugees have now returned. Furthermore, more and more meetings are taking place with participation of all ethnic groups, showing improvement on this level of co-operation.

With only some 15,000 refugees left in Albania, there is a decreasing requirement for refugee transport assistance. AFOR transport is now concentrating on moving food aid and International Organisation/Non Governmental Organisation equipment into Kosovo. Convoys, in co-operation with the World Food Program (WFP) and the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), have transported 500 tons of humanitarian aid supplies and equipment over the last few days.

KFOR engineers continue to help with the re-establishment of vital infrastructure and utilities. The majority of the Kosovo public water supply system has been restored, with 23 municipalities completed and a further two power stations have been brought on line in the last week. UNICEF have said that schools in Kosovo will be open by 15 August. KFOR will be providing assistance in running projects to help prepare the schools for opening.

23 July 1999
NATO-Russia meeting

On 23 July, NATO's 19 member countries and Russia met at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels. This was the first NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council meeting since the beginning of NATO's air campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Council issued a joint statement on the security situation in Kosovo affirming commitment to full implementation of the provisions and goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244.