20 years since NATO said it would use force against Serbia

This Monday marks 20 years since NATO approved its "Act Warn" for "both a limited air option and a phased air campaign in Kosovo."

Source: B92
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Javier Solana (EPA, file)
Javier Solana (EPA, file)

This was done a day after the UN called on the Yugoslav government and the Kosovo Albanians to end conflicts and violence in Kosovo and Metohija.

The North Atlantic Council then (on September 24, 1999) approved its act, in a statement signed by NATO Secretary General Javier Solana.

"Let me stress that the use of force will require further decisions by the North Atlantic Council. But today's decision is an important political signal of NATO's readiness to use force, if it becomes necessary to do so," the statement said.

Solana also "expressed the strong support of all allies" for "firm resolution" adopted by the UN Security Council the previous night - which states what Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic "must do."

"He must stop his repressive actions against the population; he must seek a political solution to the Kosovo crisis based on negotiations, as must Kosovar Albanians; and he must make immediate steps to alleviate the humanitarian situation," the statement read.

Solana also stressed that the UN resolution and NATO's decision "underline the unity of the international community" and "our resolve to find a solution to the Kosovo crisis."

NATO launched its aggression against Yugoslavia (then consisting of Serbia and Montenegro) on March 24, 1999, using a massacre allegedly committed against the Albanian population in Racak in January 1999 as the trigger.

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