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910 June 10 Administration of William J. Clinton, 1999 by USCodes


									                           June 10 / Administration of William J. Clinton, 1999

                           withdrawal from Kosovo, an essential step to-                  speak at least to President Chirac, Chancellor
                           ward meeting NATO’s conditions and restoring                   Schroeder, Prime Minister D’Alema, Prime
                           peace.                                                         Minister Chretien, Mr. Kok, Mr. Aznar, and
                              Accordingly, NATO has suspended its air                     many others. They were all—all 19 held to-
                           campaign against Serbia. An International Secu-                gether so well.
                           rity Force, including American troops, is pre-                    I want to thank President Ahtisaari and Mr.
                           paring to enter Kosovo. I will address the Nation              Chernomyrdin for their diplomatic mission,
                           this evening, but I would like to make a few                   which played a critical role in this. I want to
                           points now.                                                    thank President Yeltsin for his strong instruc-
                              We and our Allies launched our campaign                     tions to his team to resolve these matters so
                           in the face of Serbia’s brutal, systematic effort              that we can go forward.
                           to remove Kosovars, ethnic Albanians, from their                  I want to thank our allies in Congress in both
                           land, dead or alive. From the beginning, we                    Houses and both parties for believing in Amer-
                           had three clear objectives: the withdrawal of                  ica’s mission in Kosovo. I want to thank our
                           Serb forces, the deployment of an international                team very much, those who are not here: the
                           security force with NATO at the core, the return               Vice President, who played a large role in put-
                           of the Kosovars to their home to live in security              ting together the Chernomyrdin-Ahtisaari team;
                           and self-government. Serbia now has accepted                   Secretary Albright, whose passionate commit-
                           these conditions, and the process of imple-                    ment to this cause is well-known; and Deputy
                           menting them is underway.                                      Secretary Talbott, who was pivotal in the diplo-
                              The Kosovars have been victims of terrible                  matic efforts. I want to thank Secretary Cohen
                           atrocities. Their only hope was that the world                 and General Shelton, who persevered with great
                           would not turn away in the face of ethnic cleans-              confidence and calmness amidst criticisms and
                           ing and killing, that the world would take a                   the early rough going to achieve the victory that
                           stand. We did, for 78 days. Because we did,                    they have achieved.
                           the Kosovars will go home.                                        And I want to say a special word of thanks
                              Our policy was designed to achieve our objec-               to Mr. Berger, who has barely slept for the
                           tives in Kosovo and to do so in a way that                     last 3 months and who has done a superb job.
                           advanced other important interests:                            He and Mr. Podesta and Mr. Steinberg, our
                              First, to prevent the violence from spreading               entire national security team has done a very,
                           to other nations in southeastern Europe and un-                very good job.
                           dermining the progress they have made toward                      And finally, let me say I am enormously proud
                           deeper democracy, greater ethnic and religious                 of our men and women in uniform, and those
                           tolerance, and broader prosperity. They felt the               of our Allies, who have performed with tremen-
                           greatest strain, but they never wavered. And I                 dous skill and courage, striking at Serbia’s mili-
                           thank them for that.                                           tary machine and aiding the refugees. I am pro-
                              Second, to achieve our aims as an alliance,                 foundly grateful for what they have done. I am
                           19 democratic nations, with 780 million people,                very grateful that the loss of life was limited
                           working together in the first sustained military               to the tragedies in the two training incidents
                           operation in NATO’s history, the Alliance did                  and that we only lost two planes in the combat
                           stay together. It is now stronger and more                     operation.
                           united than ever. And I thank my fellow leaders                   And I am grateful to the American citizens,
                           in the Alliance for their fidelity and their for-              who felt enormous compassion for the suffering
                           titude.                                                        of the people in Kosovo and understood the
                              Third, to act in a manner that would strength-              importance of standing up to the war crimes
                           en, not weaken, our vital relations with a demo-               involved in ethnic cleansing and killing, and the
                           cratic Russia. Russia played an important role                 kind of ethnic and religious bigotry and violence
                           in achieving this peace, and we hope that, as                  we have seen against innocent civilians.
                           in Bosnia, it will join us in securing the peace.                 Now we are waiting for the United Nations
                              There are so many people to thank: first, Sec-              to pass a resolution that the G–8 nations have
                           retary General Solana and General Clark, who                   embraced. We expect the Security Council to
                           were steadfast and effective, our NATO Allies—                 adopt it shortly.
                           I have spoken already with Prime Minister Blair                   We must be mindful that even though we
                           and have calls out to many others. I hope to                   now have a chance to replace violence with


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