Text of a Letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Appropriations: FRY Application to the OSCE (11/10/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                                           November
10, 2000

                          OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE

                             November 9, 2000

Dear Mr. Chairman:  (Dear Senator:)  (Dear Represenative:)

The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) has indicated its preparedness to
join the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as a
participating state.  Given the interest of the Congress in the question of
FRY participation in international and regional organizations, as
reflected, for example, in section 594(e) of the Foreign Operations, Export
Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2001, I want to inform
you that the United States representative to the OSCE will support the
FRY?s application when the matter is considered before the OSCE Permanent
Council on Friday, November 10.  The decision is predicated on the FRY?s
recent actions, including those that indicate the FRY is approaching
membership in regional and international organiza-tions on the same basis
as the other successor states, and is taking important steps towards
resolving issues related to liabilities, assets, and property.

We have reviewed the FRY application and have concluded that the FRY has
applied on the same basis that Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia,
and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia applied to participate in the
OSCE following the dissolution of the former Socialist Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia (SFRY).  This mirrors the approach taken by the FRY last week in
applying as a new member to the United Nations.

The FRY?s application on the same basis as other successors demonstrates
what President Kostunica has told United States officials:  that he is
abandoning Milosevic?s claim that the FRY is the continuation of the former
SFRY.  As applied to succession talks, this change removes a major
impediment to progress in negotiations among the successor states by
establishing that all are operating from a principle of equality.  In this
regard, the fact that all other successors sponsored the FRY?s entry to the
United Nations and have signaled a willingness to support entry to the OSCE
reflects the importance of the step the FRY has taken.

In addition, President Kostunica has taken other steps to expedite
succession discussions.  He has designated senior officials for the issue.
These officials, in turn, have told United States Government officials that
they intend to move quickly to reach an agreed solution.  As a sign of the
priority the new government attaches to this issue, during its first week
in office, it received the designated international mediator,
Sir Arthur Watts, to resume talks suspended under the previous regime.  In
their preliminary discussions with Watts this week, Yugoslav officials
reviewed the prior negotiations and signaled their desire to make a fresh
start and to seek rapid progress.  These actions reflect a complete
reversal of the previous government?s position and represent reasonable and
appropriate steps towards resolving successor state issues.

As succession discussions develop and the FRY applies to additional
organizations, we will continue to work with FRY authorities, international
mediators, and the other successor states to press for progress towards
resolving these succession issues.

My Administration places great importance on the integration of the FRY
into the international community through membership within regional and
international organizations.  Such integration will support President
Kostunica?s program on democratization and economic recovery, which, in
turn, will help lead towards greater stability and support for democracy
within Serbia, as well as increase cooperation with the FRY?s neighbors and
international community on meeting Belgrade?s obligations under
international law including cooperation with the International War Crimes


                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON

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