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You will be an outcast Blair warns Milosevic.

Serbia will be an outcast from the international community as long as President Milosevic remains in power in Belgrade, Mr Tony Blair warned yesterday.

Mr Blair called on the Serb people to accept some responsibility for atrocities carried out by Yugoslav security forces, bluntly telling them that they can not "pretend it is nothing to do with you".

Mr Blair issued his warnings in a statement to the Commons on the outcome of the weekend's G8 summit in Cologne, which discussed the conflict.

In Kosovo itself, ethnic Albanian rebels showed signs of complying with the demilitarisation pact which Kosovo Liberation Army leaders signed with Nato just after midnight, hours after the last of the Serb-led Yugoslav forces left the province.

The KLA's political head, Hashim Thaci, said the deal heralded the beginning of a "new epoch for the people of Kosovo".

But Nato leaders spoke as one in insisting there would be no Western-backed new start for Serbia - no help rebuilding bombed power stations, bridges and factories - as long as Milosevic retained his grip on power.

In Budapest, Nato Secretary-General Javier Solana said President Milosevic had no place in Europe's future.

"This man represents the past . . . he has no place in the Europe of tomorrow," Mr Solana told a Nato conference.

An international summit to discuss the reconstruction of the Balkans will take place in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo next month.

In the Commons, Mr Blair said the West was keen to help with the rebuilding of the Balkans, but stressed that President Milosevic's grip on power was a barrier to Serbia benefiting from that process.

"Let no one think that Serbia can regain a place among civilised nations while it is led by an indicted war criminal," he said.

In what looked like a fresh bid to encourage the Serbs to unseat President Milosevic, Mr Blair made plain that as long as President Milosevic remained in office they themselves would be tainted by the atrocities carried out by his forces.

"And nor will the world understand, as the full extent of these atrocities is revealed, if you just turn a blind eye to the truth and pretend it is nothing to do with you," he said.

"This is your country. This evil was carried out by your soldiers and your leaders."

Throughout Kosovo, KLA fighters were heading back to their homes in increasing numbers, while their commanders handed over maps of minefields to German soldiers in accordance with the deal struck in the early hours.

The deal calls for an immediate ceasefire, and the KLA promised to warehouse its weapons and give up its uniforms within 90 days.

Lt-Gen Sir Michael Jackson, head of Nato forces in Kosovo, signed the demilitarisation pact with Hashim Thaci, political head of the KLA.

The two men signed the historic agreement in a tent at the British general's field headquarters at Pristina, the regional capital.

The KLA must clear minefields and boobytraps within seven days, leave checkpoints and end any military activity unless approved by Lt-Gen Jackson.

The rebel fighters must also "respect the authority" of the multi-national peacekeeping force in Kosovo.

The Nato-led force "is here to keep the peace and we will not tolerate its violation," said Lt-Gen Jackson.

Only a few hours before the pact was signed, Lt-Gen Jackson received written confirmation that all Yugoslav forces had withdrawn from Kosovo.
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Title Annotation:National
Author:Deane, John
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 22, 1999
Words:560
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