US pledges additional money, police for UN Kosovo mission

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 25, 2000 -- (AFP) The United States on Monday pledged to contribute an additional $10 million and provide and extra 100 civilian police officers to the U.N. mission in Kosovo, a senior US official said.

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright offered the assistance to U.N. chief Kofi Annan in a meeting held early Monday ahead of a special Security Council session on the Democratic Republic of Congo over which Albright is presiding, the official said.

The additional aid -- which will bring the total U.S. contribution to the U.N. Kosovo operation to $41.2 million since last July and the number of American police officers there to 550 -- is designed to impress on other donor countries the need to support the mission, the official said.

Albright also raised with Annan concerns that some European countries were not contributing their share in Kosovo and not giving the support necessary to the head of the U.N. mission there, former French health minister Bernard Kouchner.

"Secretary Albright told the secretary general that she was puzzled that the Europeans, who had pushed so strongly for Kouchner, seemed to be falling off in there support to the point where the United States was now his biggest supporter," the official said.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said following through on the work in Kosovo was a priority in Washington where there were fears that monetary assistance to and interest in the Yugoslav province were drying up.

"If this is going to work, we're going to need more money," the official said.

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