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Statement by the Ambassadors of France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America on 24 March 2024

23.03.2024 - Pressemitteilung

24 March 1999 was the start of a military campaign no one wanted: Operation Allied Force was designed to force Slobodan Milosevic, then President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to stop the abuses against the civilian population in Kosovo, to avert a humanitarian catastrophe and to allow the return of refugees and displaced persons and access for humanitarian organizations to Kosovo.

This military operation was launched after all political and diplomatic means had been exhausted to convince Slobodan Milosevic to choose a negotiated solution and peace in Kosovo, by adhering to the Rambouillet agreements and to comply with the demands of Security Council Resolution 1199, adopted under Chapter VII with the support of Russia.

Operation Allied Force was not directed against the Serbian people and we deplore the loss of human lives in Kosovo and Serbia.

Today we remember and mourn the innocent lives lost. But we also think of our shared future with Serbia and Kosovo in the European family of nations.

We support the search for a settlement of the dispute between Kosovo and Serbia, which is an urgent European security issue, and we are convinced that the full implementation of Ohrid agreement concluded under the auspices of EU mediation is the best way forward toward peace and stability for the benefit of the peoples living in Serbia and in Kosovo.

The Serbian Armed forces continue to cooperate ever more closely with NATO and with European partners through participation in Common Security and Defence Policy’s missions. It is through partnership that we can build a peaceful and stable future together that our peoples deserve.

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