|U.S. Supports Follow-on Presence in FYR Macedonia |
U.S. Supports Follow-on Presence in FYR Macedonia
Johnson told the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna September 20 that it is "tremendously important" to answer Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski's request for such a presence -- which would provide support for the security of international monitors -- as rapidly as possible. Source: Washington File (EUR520), U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C., September 21, 2001.
The United States supports a follow-on presence in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia after NATO completes its task of collecting weapons surrendered by ethnic Albanian rebels, according to David T. Johnson, head of the U.S. mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Following is a transcript of his remarks: (begin transcript)
United States Mission to the OSCE
Statement on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, delivered by Ambassador David T. Johnson to the Permanent Council, Vienna, September 20, 2001.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, you distributed to us earlier this week a letter from the Macedonian Foreign Minister requesting an enhancement of the OSCE's engagement.
We look forward in the coming days working with you, Mr. Chairman, with other delegations and with the Secretariat's Staff to develop a plan to respond to this request. We believe it is tremendously important that we answer this request rapidly.
Our planning will of course be done in close consultation with officials in Skopje, in order to ensure that needs and proposals are agreed and understood by all parties. Whatever the size and scope of the enhanced mission, it must be sufficient to ensure that the tasks we undertake can be done properly and well. We owe this to the people who live in Macedonia, to the staff we will send to the field, and to ourselves.
The United States supports a NATO follow-on presence, which would provide support for the security of international monitors in Macedonia, as has been requested by President Trajkovski.
I would urge all of my colleagues to conclude their consultations with their capitals now on the task that lies ahead, and in particular, to identify personnel immediately for an enhanced mission. Important decisions will have to be taken in the very short term so that we can do our part to help the people of Macedonia move forward with the very important task of restoring peace, calm, order and confidence.