Dini rebukes Kosovar Albanians for lack of cooperation

ROME, Mar 5, 2000 -- (AFP) Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini criticized Kosovar Albanians for not supporting law and order in the troubled province, in an interview with La Repubblica published Saturday.

"I have to say that there has not been a lot of help from the Kosovar Albanian side, from the political leaders of the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army), from (Ibrahim) Rugova (the moderate Kosovar leader), from all those who talk so much about independence without perhaps knowing what it means to run a country," Dini said.

"Let them collaborate in putting a civil administration in place, instead of thinking about weapons and fighting," he said, adding that law and order would never be re-established without "a civil administration which punishes crimes."

"The acts of violence perpetrated in Kosovo are not only by Serbs, no! Since the United Nations has been in Kosovo, all the reprisals have been carried out against the Serbian population. That is not acceptable," he said.

Commenting on the political situation in Belgrade, Dini said that democratic change "could only come about from within the country itself."

"We must support all the democratic forces opposed to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, and respond to their requests for economic sanctions to be abolished," he added.

Dini said "it is only the Serb population which suffers as a result of these sanctions."

"The pressure on Milosevic must continue, and it must come from within," he added.

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