American Hellenic Institute


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AHI Public Policy Consultant Appears on National Television, Calls For Diplomatic Solution to Kosovo Crisis
May 5, 1999 No. 21/99 (202) 785-8430

AHI Public Policy Consultant Appears on National Television, Calls For Diplomatic Solution to Kosovo Crisis

On May 2, 1999 Jonathan Clarke, Public Policy Consultant at the American Hellenic Institute, appeared on MSNBC's "Equal Time" show hosted by Ms. Bay Buchanan to discuss the Kosovo crisis. The other guests were Representative Thomas Allen (D-Maine), Charles Kupchan, Council on Foreign Relations, New York, and Dan Goure, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington DC.

The main topic of discussion was the aftermath of the Jesse Jackson mission to Belgrade, the prospects for a diplomatic solution, and advisability of ground troops. In contrast to the hard, pro-bombing line adopted by Congressman Allen, Jonathan Clarke advocated the need for a diplomatic solution. He said that Reverend Jackson's successful initiative has "opened the door" to diplomacy. He regretted that the Administration seemed inclined to "slam the door shut."

Clarke urged the Administration to give priority to the Russian proposals brought by Mr. Viktor Chernomyrdin and to treat the Russians as "full partners" of the West. He said that the gap between the two sides was not as large as portrayed in the media. Both sides agreed on refugee return and the need for autonomy for Kosovo; the differences lay in the composition of the international monitoring force and in its "rules of engagement." Creative diplomacy should be able to bridge these differences. Clarke warned against arming the Kosovo Liberation Army or making it the West's political partner.

All the guests, including Congressman Allen, agreed that the introduction of ground troops was unlikely.

AHI's position on Kosovo is:
1. To regret the resort to bombing before negotiation was exhausted;
2.To endorse the urgent need for a diplomatic solution to the Kosovo crisis;
3. To favor a bombing halt to facilitate negotiations; and
4.To oppose ground troops.

Nick Larigakis, Executive Director, stated: "We are delighted that Jonathan Clarke was able to reinforce this position to a national television audience."