CEOL - Clinton's Visit To Kosovo "Naked Aggression"

BELGRADE, Nov 19, 1999 -- (AFP) U.S. President Bill Clinton's visit to Kosovo is an "act of naked aggression", a spokesman for the Socialist Party of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic told the Belgrade media Friday.

"The visit is another act of naked aggression by the biggest world power and its president. It is an insult for every honest citizen of the Balkans," party spokesman Ivica Dacic said.

Clinton was expected to pay a brief visit to Kosovo on November 23, at the end of his 10-day European trip, during which he attended the summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Turkey.

While in Kosovo, Clinton is to address U.S. troops in the NATO-led peacekeeping force (KFOR) stationed in the province since mid-June.

"He will be warmly welcomed by the murderers, terrorists, criminals -- all those who have been supported by his country in recent years," Dacic said.

He was alluding to pro-independence Kosovar Albanians who Belgrade accuses Washington of backing.

"Our opposition leaders went to Turkey, so Clinton could have someone to warmly welcome him, the man who ordered murders of the Serbian children," Dacic said.

The United States led the 11-week NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia that ended in June with the withdrawal of Yugoslav forces from the province and the return of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians to their homes.

U.S. and EU officials agreed on the sidelines of the OSCE summit to work closely with members of the Yugoslav opposition, which is battling to oust Milosevic and have oil and air embargos lifted in towns where the local leadership opposes Belgrade.

A delegation of influential Serbian opposition leaders was invited to attend the summit in Istanbul, where they met with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and other ministers from OSCE member countries.

Belgrade is barred from the body and was not invited to the high-level meeting.

Earlier this week, the main pro-government daily, Politika, blasted Clinton's visit as a violation of Yugoslavia's sovereignty, adding that "such visits offer strong encouragement" to Kosovar Albanians seeking independence.

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