THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Yulee, Florida) _______________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release May 27, 1999
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
White Oaks Plantation Yulee, Florida
1:45 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. I welcome the decision of the International War Crimes Tribunal to indict Slobodan Milosevic and other senior Serbian leaders for crimes against humanity and war crimes. This says to the hundreds of thousands of victims of Belgrade's atrocities in Kosovo that their voices have been heard. It will help to deter future war crimes by establishing that those who give orders will be held accountable. It will make clear to the Serbian people precisely who is responsible for this conflict and who is prolonging it.
It speaks to the world in saying that the cause we are fighting for in Kosovo is just. I call on all nations to support the Tribunal's decision and to cooperate with its efforts to seek justice.
For six years, the United States has strongly supported the work of this Tribunal. We've urged it to pursue its investigation of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia as far up the chain of command as the evidence leads, and we've helped to provide that evidence. The Congress recently approved my request for supplemental funding for the Tribunal, which will provide $9 million for the Tribunal trust fund, $4 million for technology that will speed up our providing information to the Tribunal, $10 million to interview Kosovar refugees, and $5 million for forensic teams to go into Kosovo once conditions allow for the gathering of evidence.
Now, the objectives of NATO's military campaign remain unchanged: The Kosovar refugees must be able to go home with security and self-government; Serb forces must withdraw; and an international security force with NATO at its core must deploy there.
Day and night, NATO air strikes are imposing a heavy price on Mr. Milosevic and his forces in Kosovo. We see the impact they're having in the protests against his policies, the desertions in his army, the difficulties his troops in Kosovo are having in maintaining their grip on the area. Our forces have shown courage and skill. We and our allies have shown determination. Both will persist until we achieve our goals.
Thank you very much.
END 1:51 P.M. EDT