Belgrade protests Kosovo visit by Jordan's queen

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 18, 2000 -- (Reuters) Yugoslavia has protested to the Security Council over a March 27 visit to Kosovo by Queen Rania of Jordan without Belgrade's approval, saying this was a violation of its sovereignty over the Serbian province.

"The visit of the Queen of Jordan to the sovereign part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia without approval of its authorities is yet another negative precedent in a row that has taken place of late," Yugoslav UN envoy Vladislav Jovanovic said.

In a letter to the president of the council circulated on Monday, he said visits of foreign dignitaries to Kosovo "without prior notification to, and approval by, the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia are contrary to Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) ... in particular its provisions relative to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia."

The resolution, adopted in June 1999, authorized a UN interim administration and a NATO-led force to enter Kosovo.

This followed an 11-week NATO bombing campaign that forced Belgrade to halt repression of Kosovo's mainly ethnic Albanian inhabitants and allowed the return of hundreds of thousands of those who had fled, mainly to Albania and Macedonia.

The same resolution reaffirmed the commitment of all UN members to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia.

Belgrade has repeatedly complained that this provision is constantly violated through various actions usurping Yugoslav sovereignty.

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