Canada says Nato to examine YU 'repression'

OTAWA, May 20, 2000 -- (Reuters) Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy condemned on Friday what he called the intensification of repression by the Yugoslav authorities and said NATO would consider possible responses.

"Independent and pluralistic media are essential to a free and open society and to democratic systems of government," he said in a statement.

"The Yugoslav authorities are making every attempt, including the use of force, to stifle dissenting voices. In the past few days, we have witnessed increasingly desperate attempts to harass, intimidate and make scapegoats of opposition activists."

He said he would raise the issue of the "intensifying repression" at a NATO ministerial meeting in Florence on May 24-25.

"In coordinating with allies, the Canadian government will review further possible responses to the crackdown, as well as means to demonstrate our continuing support for independent media and democratic reform" in Yugoslavia, he said.

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