THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Aboard Air Force One) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release May 25, 1999
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
I believe that our air campaign in Kosovo is working and will ultimately succeed in its objective of returning the people of Kosovo to their homes with security and self government. With that in mind, we are planning with our allies for success. Today, NATO endorsed an updated plan for implementing the peace in Kosovo when its conditions are met.
The force that NATO plans to deploy -- KFOR -- will deter renewed hostilities and provide the security and confidence the refugees need to return and get on with their lives. To be credible and effective, KFOR will have NATO at the core.
Given the new circumstances, including the enormous humanitarian crisis caused by Mr. Milosevic, KFOR will need to be larger than we originally foresaw. We expect the American contribution to increase proportionately but our European allies will still provide the vast bulk of the force. We also hope that Russia and other non-NATO countries will participate.
The headquarters and leading elements of KFOR are already in the region, where they are helping to relieve the refugee crisis. NATO's military authorities will now work with allied countries to determine what additional forces will be required so that the Alliance is ready when the time comes for the refugees to return. Make no mistake, that time will come, in accordance with the conditions we have repeatedly laid out.
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