Yugoslavia to enter Council of Europe

The Portuguese government has declared its support for Yugoslavia to enter the Council of Europe as soon as possible, according to a joint statement issued by the Portuguese Foreign Minister, Dr. Jaime Gama and the Yugoslav Federal Foreign Minister, Goran Svilanovic.

Both ministers declared their support for the fight against international terrorism and called for the full implementation of the United nations Security Council Resolution 1244, which covers the return of all ethnic groups to Kosovo. This province has lived an imbalance since the NATO military campaign of 1999 created the conditions for Albanian extremists to oust most of the 200,000 Serb population from their homes.

Talks in Strasbourg with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Walter Schwimmer led Vladan Batic, the Serbian Justice Minister, to declare that Yugoslavia was “on the threshold” of being admitted to the Council. He declared that the negotiations on the constitution of the Federation will be concluded with Montenegro in January and that the optimum time for admission would be June or September, 2002.

Vladan Batic declared that the Council of Europe ambassadors had expressed their satisfaction at “Yugoslavia’s new face before the international public”.