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16 Aug 2001 description

NATO agreed on 15 August to deploy to Macedonia an advance party of headquarters personnel and key enablers, against the possibility of a larger force being subsequently deployed to help administer a weapons collection programme. British troops will provide the majority of the 350-400 strong advance party.

NATO has always been clear that, as part of its wider long-term commitment to promoting stability in Macedonia, it would consider a limited deployment to help, if a weapons collection programme could be agreed. The advance party is expected to deploy to Skopje on Friday 17 August.

13 Aug 2001 description

The signature of the Framework Document today is a great step forward for Macedonia. I congratulate all concerned on reaching this agreement.

The key now is for both sides to observe the latest ceasefire; and for those ethnic Albanians who have been fighting Government forces to agree on practical arrangements for surrendering their weapons. Once NATO's conditions are met, NATO forces, led by the UK, will deploy rapidly to collect the weapons and ammunition, while Parliament takes forward the process of agreeing the proposed legislation.

29 Apr 2001 description

The Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook made the following statement in response to the terrorist attack in Macedonia on 28 April:

'The British Government is appalled by and strongly condemns the terrorist attack which left eight Macedonian service personnel dead and seven wounded on 28 April. As we have made abundantly clear in the past, violence has no part to play in resolving differences in Macedonia. Once again we call on leaders in Macedonia and neighbouring countries to condemn such attacks unreservedly and to ensure that all links with such terrorist groups are broken.

04 Apr 2001 description

EDITED TRANSCRIPT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE GIVEN BY THE FOREIGN SECRETARY, ROBIN COOK, AND YUGOSLAV FOREIGN MINISTER, GORAN SVILANOVIC, BELGRADE, WEDNESDAY 4 APRIL 2001

FOREIGN SECRETARY:

I have just had a very pleasant lunch with my good friend, Goran Svilanovic, and I particularly appreciate the very full programme that has been arranged for me today in Belgrade. Earlier today I met with President Kostunica.

27 Mar 2001 description

London, Tuesday 27 March 2001 - On Sunday, the army of Macedonia launched an operation to retake the hills above Tetevo. The operation appears to have been a success and the armed extremists have abandoned their positions.

I spoke to President Trajkovski on Sunday morning when l urged on him the importance of keeping the operation proportionate to the threat, and restrained from action that could cause civilian casualties. I am pleased to report that, on the information currently available to us, there have been no civilian deaths.

I spoke this morning to Javier Solana in Skopje.

19 Mar 2001 description

The Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, has expressed his concern at the current situation in Macedonia:

'We are concerned by the situation in Macedonia. There can be no excuse or justification for the behaviour of extremist armed groups. The majority of people in both communities in Macedonia want peace and stability. The task of the international community is to help isolate those extremists who want to achieve their ends through violent means.

'The Macedonian Government has the full support of the international community.