Ha'aretz Monday, May 3, 1999
Serbian opposition sees deal in 2-3 weeks
By Adar Primor, Ha'aretz Foreign News Editor
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic will accept international proposals for an end to the war within two to three weeks, a leading opposition politician in Yugoslavia told Ha'aretz yesterday.
Zoran Djinjic, a former mayor of Belgrade who was one of the leaders of the democratic opposition in the winter of 1996-1997, said he has noticed a shift in the the Belgrade regime's terminology in recent days.
"In their speeches they are talking about the possibility of an international presence in Kosovo ... I think that their terminology is already quite close to the international community. Meanwhile, it's just terminology, but that's the way it is in the Communist world. First you identify the change in speeches, and then in actions."
Djinjic, one of the three leaders of democratic opposition in the winter of 1996-1997, does not think there's a need for a ground campaign. "There's no logic to a ground campaign and a formal conquest of Serbia. That would lead to a conflict between NATO and Russia and China and an international crisis. The most logical thing for NATO is to continue the air war, which is very effective. They have destroyed the infrastructure in Serbia and in 10 days to two weeks it will be very difficult to live here without gas, electricity, bridges, communications. Milosevic won't be able to conduct the war for more than 10 days, or two to three weeks."
Asked to characterize the agreement he foresees, Djinjic saw two key steps. "First, a a peace agreement under NATO auspices that will include an end to the bombing, withdrawal of the Serbian forces from Kosovo and the installation of international forces in Kosovo. Russia, Ukraine and NATO will make up that force.
"In the second stage, the refugees will be resettled and an inquiry will be undertaken into the losses. There will be a new crisis then, because Milosevic cannot agree to an investigation of war crimes... It will be a very difficult situation but after we get through it, I lieve we can move the country forward in the proper direction.
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