HL Deb 02 November 1998 vol 594 cc12-3WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How they reconcile the agreement to allow Serbia to keep all the forces in Kosovo that were there last March with the condition specified in Security Council Resolution 1199, that all forces involved in operations against civilians be withdrawn. [HL3456]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

UNSCR 1199 does not deny the Government of Belgrade the right to defend the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's borders and handle security problems in an appropriate proportional manner. In the view of the Contact Group and NATO, the requirement in UNSCR 1199 for the withdrawal of security units used for civilian repression means in practice the withdrawal of Belgrade's security forces to their positions before March which have been responsible for the worst excesses of disproportionate violence. President Milosevic has now committed himself to such withdrawals. Her Majesty's Government attach the highest priority to ensuring that the OSCE Verification Mission is able to deploy personnel as quickly as possible, so that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's compliance with the requirements of UNSCR 1199 can be fully verified throughout Kosovo.