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Jordan's King says much still to be done in Kosovo

VUCITRN, Yugoslavia, Mar 14, 2000 -- (Reuters) Jordan's King Abdullah said on Monday the world had rushed to Kosovo's aid last year but added that the job was only half done.

"I think the international community delivered...(but) what is happening now in Kosovo is very important to us," the king told Reuters in an interview aboard a flight back from a visit to Jordanian peacekeeping forces in Kosovo.

"Most of the world stood by Kosovo but this is only half of it," the king said.

King Abdullah and the commander of the United Arab Emirates military, Lieutenant-General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zaid al-Nahayan, on Monday inspected Jordanian and UAE peacekeeping soldiers based in the French-controlled sector of the Yugoslav province, a de facto U.N. protectorate since mid-1999.

The king said last May in Washington that U.S. success or failure in the Kosovo crisis would be seen around the world as a measure of its resolve.

Citing the American experience of pulling forces out of Lebanon in the 1980s and Somalia in the 1990s after the deaths of U.S. servicemen, the king at that time raised the question of whether the United States would carry through on what he described as "the final round" in Kosovo.

NATO last year carried out a bombing campaign against Yugoslavia to end Serbian repression of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority.

The Jordanian monarch said on Monday that in his conversations with the United States he had made it clear that "new rules" for the world were being set in Kosovo. "This is a symbol of what the future of the world will be like," he said.

King Abdullah said that during his conversations with military and other officials in Kosovo it had been made clear to him that the United Nations "has to deliver".

"The Kosovars need to have general security," he said.

"We have to help them rebuild their infrastructure. In Kosovo unemployment is at 85 percent. We must help them help themselves."

The UAE, which has gained international attention by joining Kosovo's NATO-led peacekeeping force, has about 1,200 troops in the area along with 15 French-made Leclerc main battle tanks and 50 Russian-made BMP-3 armoured fighting vehicles.

Another 250 UAE troops, including special forces, and six Apache helicopters are operating in Kosovo in the U.S.-run zone to the southeast, in addition to medical facilities.

Jordan has a smaller deployment in Kosovo. Between 150 and 200 troops and medical personnel are operating in the French zone and 55 troops are attached to the U.S. force.



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