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CRISIS IN YUGOSLAVIA

Albright Says Partition Plan Not an Option

April 22, 1999| From Reuters

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Wednesday ruled out partitioning Kosovo, but said the idea of making the Serbian province an international protectorate is under consideration.

Some experts have said that before NATO began airstrikes March 24 on Yugoslavia, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was believed to be prepared to settle for a partition solution under which two-thirds of Kosovo would be under Serbian control and one-third under the control of ethnic Albanians.

But Albright told the House International Relations Committee that because Serbian holy places are "scattered throughout [Kosovo] . . . it is not possible to have a clean partition."

That solution also is "not suitable," because the U.S. fought partition in Bosnia, she said.

Albright said there are "a number of ideas out there on the table now" about how to deal with Kosovo.

But she highlighted a British proposal to create "some kind of an international protected area, which would allow there to be self-government with this international protective [military] force."

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