Sky News 1999-11-23 - Clinton preaches tolerance to Kosovars

US President Bill Clinton is heading for Kosovo in his first visit to the war savaged region.P> It is expected that Mr Clinton will appeal to both Serbs and Albanians to stop the revenge attacks which are besmirching the successes of NATO's 78-day bombing campaign.

Accompanied by his daughter Chelsea, the president set off from Bulgaria in the early hours of Tuesday morning on the last leg of a 10-day European visit.

"I will make a very strong statement about the importance of everybody getting over this ethnic hatred and going beyond it," Clinton said.

"I think it's very important that Kosovo, in effect, not become the mirror image of Serbia."

Some 50,000 to 100,000 Serbs have left the province to avoid violent reprisals by ethnic Albanians who fled Serb repression before and during NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.

The US President will take his appeal for tolerance to the Kosovan town of Ferizaj/Urosevac, where he will address both Serbs and Albanians.

He will also meet with KLA leaders including Hashim Thaqi, prime minister in Kosovo's provisional government, Ibrahim Rugova, Kosovo's unofficially elected moderate president, and Serb leaders.

For some light relief, the President will share a traditional turkey dinner with American soldiers still in the Balkans, as a pre-celebration of Thanksgiving.

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