Chairman’s Conclusions – London, 22 January 1999

Contact Group

Chairman’s Conclusions

Members of the Contact Group met in London on 22 January to discuss the grave situation in Kosovo. It reaffirmed its united commitment to achieve an early political solution to the present crisis, and its determination to intensify its efforts to that end.

The Contact Group unreservedly condemns the massacre of Kosovo Albanians in Racak on 15 January. All members expressed their revulsion at this act of mass murder. No amount of provocation could justify it. The Contact Group condemns UCK provocations which can only contribute to rising tensions and further violence. It deplores the taking of hostages and calls for the unconditional release of any hostages currently held. The Contact Group calls on both sides to comply fully with relevant SCRs.

The Contact Group also condemns the decisions by the FRY authorities to refuse entry into Kosovo by ICTY Chief Prosecutor Judge Arbour.

The Contact Group looks to the FRY to:

  • stop all offensive actions/repression in Kosovo;
  • promote the safe return home of those persons displaced in the past few days from the Racak area and take all steps to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe;
  • permit the KVM and its Chief of Mission to carry out their responsibilities unimpeded;
  • co-operate fully with ICTY, in particular by allowing unimpeded access for its investigators to Kosovo;
  • work with the International Tribunal to ensure that those responsible for Racak are brought to justice;
  • suspend those VJ/MUP officers operating in Racak on 15 Janaury pending the results of this investigation becoming available;
  • comply fully with the OSCE/FRY and NATO/FRY agreements and relevant SCRs.

The Contact Group set a goal of early negotiations on a political settlement with direct international involvement.

The Contact Group is assuming its responsibilities and has identified the basic elements for these negotiations.

All members of the Contact Group, and in particular Chris Hill and Wolfgang Petritsch, will intensify pressure on the parties in order for these negotiations to be successful. It expects the parties to engage constructively in these negotiations.

Robin Cook will now consult his colleagues in order to arrange an early Ministerial meeting.

Office of the High Representative