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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Berlin, Germany)
For Immediate Release                                       May 13, 1998


Agreement on Kosovo Talks

I welcome the news that President Milosevic and Dr. Ibrahim Rugova will meet on May 15 in Belgrade to initiate a dialogue without pre-conditions.

As Ambassadors Holbrooke and Gelbard announced earlier today, the parties have also agreed to continue this dialogue in a series of talks in Pristina.

This is a sober first step towards resolving a very dangerous conflict that clearly has the potential to spillover into neighboring countries and destabilize the region.

There is a great deal more to be done, however, before all the peoples of Kosovo enjoy the peace, security, and human rights they deserve. The Parties face a complex challenge, but success is up to them. We expect each to make good their commitment to serious and productive dialogue.

We should be mindful of the difficult road ahead, but we are encouraged to see this process underway.