Nobel Laureates' Kosovo Peace Initiative

"At the end of the press conference, the participants said it was  inadmissible to use force to solve problems of a strictly political
nature  and, therefore, are convinced these can only be resolved through  diplomacy."   ---1999.04.22 Zenit
 
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNERS' PROPOSAL FOR PEACE IN KOSOVO
Resolution of Conflict Must Come through United Nations
 
ROME, APR 22 (ZENIT).- Following an audience with John Paul II, the participants in the first summit of Nobel Peace Prize Winners, held in  Rome from April 21-22 and sponsored by the Gorbachov Foundation,  presented their proposal for the reestablishment of peace in Kosovo on the Capitoline hill of the Eternal City.
 
 The document is the fruit of the collaboration of Betty Williams, Frederik de Klerk, Rigoberta Menchu, Simon Peres, David Trimble, Joseph  Rotblat and Mikhail Gorbachov.
 
 On behalf of the participants in the summit, Mikhail Gorbachov, the former Soviet president, said that the peace proposal for Kosovo is based on the immediate suspension of military activities and the beginning  of direct negotiations among the contending parties. Specifically, the  Nobel winners called for the urgent return of the refugees to Kosovo,  based on the guarantee of a broad autonomy for the separatist province  and on the decisive intervention of the international community in  humanitarian support for these people. These measures must be  implemented as the "highest priorities."
 
 The summit participants also support the presence of a multinational force under the direction of the United Nations, with the express approval of the Security Council.
 
 Finally, the Nobel Prize winners believe the conflict will not end unless an international conference is called which, in the words of  Mikhail Gorbachov, would allow for the "Europeanization of the Balkans  instead of the Balkanization of Europe."
 
 The participants expressed their willingness to mediate in the crisis.  In fact, they want to collaborate with the U.N. and Kofi Annan, its  secretary, to put an end to this war and prevent new threats and  possible dangers to peace. They even stated that they are ready to  travel to Belgrade to attempt direct mediation.
 
 At the end of the press conference, the participants said it was inadmissible to use force to solve problems of a strictly political nature  and, therefore, are convinced these can only be resolved
through  diplomacy.
 
 ZE99042206
 
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