President Milosevic replies to Ministers Cook, Vedrine
March 23, 1999

Belgrade, Mar 22 (Tanjug) - President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic has addressed a letter to French and British Foreign Ministers Hubert Vedrine and Robin Cook, Co-Chairmen of the Rambouillet meeting, in reply to their message. The following is the text of President Milosevic's reply (official translation):

Gentlemen Ministers,

This is my reply to the message you have sent me.

The talks in Paris, which you called adjourned, did not take place at all. The delegation of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the representatives of the Albanian separatist and terrorist movement never met to talk.

As concerns the signed "agreement", two documents were signed in Paris.

One of the documents was signed by the representatives of all national communities from Kosovo, and these are the representatives of Kosovo. The other documents was signed by the representatives of the Albanian separatist and terrorist movement, and they, of course, are not the representatives of Kosovo.

That other document, which you call the Rambouillet Agreement, however, is not the Rambouillet Agreement. For neither in Rambouillet, nor in Paris, people who came to negotiate, did not negotiate. There were no talks between them, therefore there could be no common document to be accepted or rejected.

Otherwise, the text you call the Rambouillet Agreement, was published in the Kosovo press (the Albanian newspaper "Koha Ditore") before the start of the Rambouillet talks.

Belgrade is tolerant, but not stupid. Thanks to the stupidity of someone else, the document which should have been the result of the talks which were still to take place, was published.

Of course, we have nothing against preparing a draft document before the start of the talks. But we are strongly against not having talks at all, and being asked to sign something which could eventually be a draft agreement as an agreement, never meeting those with whom we should have agreed.

Therefore, my reply to your sentence "the agreement is on the table", is the following: Only a draft agreement could be at the table. But an empty table does not bring about an agreement. Nor can an agreement be reached if only one side of the table is filled. Those concerned with the agreement must sit at the table.

Regarding your threats with NATO military intervention, your peoples should be ashamed of them, for you prepare yourselves to use force against a small European nation, just because it protects its territory from separatism, protects its citizens from terrorism, and its historical dignity against rats who know nothing about history or dignity.

You say that large movements of our security forces are a matter of great concern. If you think they are a matter of concern for the separatists who would like to take away a part of the territory of Serbia and Yugoslavia, they, of course, should be concerned. If you have in mind some possible aggressors outside Yugoslavia, this should be a matter of concern for them, too.

Is it really possible for a normal person to think that somebody who is being threatened will not show the intention to defend himself.

You are, Gentlemen, Ministers of Foreign Affairs of two European countries, and as such you are distinguished diplomats. In such a capacity, you have the right to mediate, to negotiate, to advocate goodwill, to strive for peace in Europe, for better relations among nations. But you do not have the right to threaten other countries and their citizens, nor to arrange life in other countries.

We stay with our strong option to solve the problems in Kosovo and Metohija by peaceful means, through negotiations. The fact that negotiations did not take place in Rambouillet and in Paris does not mean that we should give up negotiations. At least from our peaceful and democratic standpoint.

Slobodan Milosevic



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