Europe Hints Shift on Yugoslavia

By Francine S. Kiefer, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, July 5, 1991 | Go to article overview

Europe Hints Shift on Yugoslavia


Francine S. Kiefer, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


EUROPEANS are pulling out all the stops to try to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Yugoslavia.

Today, foreign ministers of the European Community will gather for a special session at The Hague to address the crisis. They are expected to discuss an arms embargo and freeze on economic aid to Yugoslavia, as well as the possible recognition of Slovania and Croatia, the two republics that declared independence from Yugoslavia on June 25. These are considered viable options if the recent lull in fighting proves short-lived or the concerned parties refuse to negotiate.

The ministers will also review the results of this week's emergency meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) in Prague, which was still meeting at press time yesterday. The CSCE's 35-member nations, which include all the countries of Europe, plus the United States, Canada, and the Soviet Union, called for an immediate end to the fighting and agreed to send an observer mission as soon as possible to Yugoslavia to oversee a cease-fire and return of tanks and armed forces to th eir bases.

It was the first-time use of a new power of the CSCE, in which any 13 members can summon, on short notice, high officials from all member states to deal with a crisis. Europeans who want the CSCE to take on more responsibility for security on the continent viewed the Prague meeting as an important test case.

The CSCE underwent another first this week when Austria used the CSCE's new Conflict Prevention Center in Vienna to demand information on "unusual" military activity in Yugoslavia. Although the delegates in Vienna also issued a statement supporting a cease-fire, Austrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Walter Greinert said his country was disappointed because the Yugoslav delegation refused to acknowledge that their fighter jets had violated Austrian air space.

Austria has a different perspective on Yugoslavia than its European colleagues simply because it shares a border with it. Mr. …

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