Declaration on Kosovo

Meeting of the Socialist International Committee for Central and Eastern Europe, Bucharest, 5-6 February 1999

The Socialist International Committee for Central and Eastern Europe, SICEE, meeting in Bucharest on 5-6 February 1999,

in line with the Declaration approved by the Council of the Socialist International in Geneva, on 23-24 November 1998:

supports and approves the decision taken by the Contact Group to call for direct talks between the Serbian authorities and the Kosovo Albanian representatives;

urges both parties to fully cooperate with the process of negotiations on a political settlement of the conflict and to commit themselves to reach an agreement within the specified time frame;

stresses the need for the Contact Group to continue with its own direct commitment, together with the need for the international community to continue applying pressure while also bearing in mind the measures planned by NATO;

expresses its strongest condemnation of the massacre in Racak and of all the acts of violence perpetrated in the region, and asks the Serbian armed forces and the Kosovo Liberation Army to put an end to all military activity;

stresses the urgency to speed up the deployment of the 2,000 OSCE verifiers, ensuring their full safety and the best conditions for carrying out their activities;

underlines once again that the Kosovo crisis can only be solved in an effective and stable way through the introduction of forms of maximum autonomy for Kosovo within the borders of the Yugoslav Federation;

reaffirms the danger of the thesis that stipulates that states must be ethnically homogeneous. On the contrary, true to democratic principles it is important to recognise and respect the value of multi-ethnicity and cultural and religious freedoms.

asks the European Union and all the European governments to give assistance to the international humanitarian institutions in their relief aid to homeless people and refugees;

reaffirms the need to confirm all the commitments undertaken by the international community in order to strengthen the stability of Albania and Macedonia and consolidate the peace process in Bosnia;

calls on all socialist and social democratic parties to support a negotiated solution in all forums and with all the necessary measures.

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