G7/G8 Birmingham Summit – 17 May 1998

Birmingham Summit of The Eight

Statements on FRY/Kosovo and Bosnia And Herzegovina

Statement on FRY/Kosovo

The continuing violence in Kosovo has revived fears of a new Balkans war. The region has already seen too much bloodshed. A political solution to the problem of Kosovo is vital for the peace and well-being of all the people of the region. We consider the meeting on 15 May between President Milosevic and Dr. Rugova to be a positive first step. It is particularly important that President Milosevic has assumed personal responsibility in the search for a resolution of the problems of Kosovo, including its future status. We urge both sides to ensure that the dialogue now begun leads rapidly to the adoption of concrete measures to lower tensions and stop violence. Resolving the issue of Kosovo’s status will be difficult but is essential for the good of all those living in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Peace and stability in Europe rest on the principles that borders are inviolable and that political change must come about through peaceful means. We reject terrorism and violence from any side to achieve political goals or to stifle dissent. The states of the region should themselves contribute to a non-violent solution to the crisis. All states should cooperate in addressing the problem of refugees and displaced persons.

We underline the importance of cooperation with the Gonzalez mission. We stand ready to promote a clear and achievable path towards the FRY’s full integration into the international community. But if Belgrade fails to build on recent progress and a genuine political process does not get underway, its isolation will deepen.

The elections in Montenegro on 31 May must be free, fair and in keeping with democratic standards and their results must be respected by all.

Statement on Bosnia and Herzegovina

We welcome the progress that has recently been made on peace implementation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and support the High Representative’s active role in promoting the peace process. This is a critical year for consolidating peace in Bosnia, especially for refugee returns and democratic development, with nationwide elections scheduled for September. While the people of Bosnia have accomplished a great deal under very difficult circumstances, we look to Bosnia’s leaders to work harder to create a stable and prosperous future for all the country’s citizens.

Office of the High Representative