Sen. Bob Dole Letter to Foreign Minister of Portugal

 

BOB DOLE
KANSAS

United States Senate
OFFICE OF THE REPUBUCAN LEADER

WASHINGTON. DC 20510-7020

 

January 8, 1992

His Excellency Joao da Deus Pinheiro
Foreign Minister
Portugal

 

Dear Mr. Minister:

 

Now that Portugal has assumed leadership of the European Community and the European Community-sponsored peace conference on Yugoslavia has resumed, I wanted to once again raise a few of my concerns with you. While I believe that the EC?s approach to the war in Croatia and the problem of Yugoslavia is for the most part realistic and on the right track, I am deeply worried that the two million Albanians in Kosova will be left out of a political solution arising from the peace conference.

Although Albanian representatives from Kosova have been given access to Lord Carrington?s deputies, they are not seated at the peace conference table. As you know, Albanians represent the third largest ethnic group in Yugoslavia. In my view, there can be no lasting settlement unless Albanian rights are fully protected and Albanian interests taken into account. It is hard for me to imagine how that can be done if the Albanian community is not represented at the talks.

Since the Kosova representative to the Yugoslav ?rump? Presidency has been a Serbian Government ?puppet?, appointed by the Serbian legislature, his inclusion would not be acceptable. Instead I would reiterate and urge U.S. support for proposals I made in September to Lord Carrington:

*That a legitimate representative of Kosova be included in the reconstituted EC peace talks. One obvious candidate is Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, the recognized leader of the human rights movement in Kosova.

*That the European Community send an observer group to Kosova to monitor and report on human rights and humani-tarian conditions there. The Albanians of Kosova will mark their third year under martial law in a few weeks.

The bottom line is that a ?solution? to the Yugoslav problem that does not take into account the Albanians of Kosova and their right to freedom and self-determination will prove to be no solution at all. We cannot hope to find lasting peace in an agreement which codifies the current inhumane regime in Kosova. Moreover, Kosova is a tinderbox that could go up in flames of mass violence and slaughter at any time. Such a scenario could prove even more destabilizing to Eastern Europe than the current war in Croatia.

In closing, let me express my best wishes to your government as it begins the task of leading the European Community and for success of the peace talks in Brussels.

 

Sincerely

BOB DOLE
United States

 

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