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Powell for giving Yugoslavia aid

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

WASHINGTON -- Yugoslavia has met U.S. criteria for cooperating with the U.N. war crimes tribunal, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday, opening the way for a resumption of U.S. assistance.

Powell's announcement means that $40 million in frozen assistance can be released and that the administration is free once again to support Yugoslav loan requests in the World Bank and other international lending institutions.

Also, Yugoslavs' private U.S. assets that have been frozen can be released, Powell said. The amount was not disclosed.

All forms of U.S. support for Yugoslavia's development had been suspended since March 31 because Powell was unable to certify that Belgrade was fully cooperative with the Hague-based tribunal.

Powell made the announcement after a meeting with Goran Svilanovic, the Yugoslav foreign minister, and Zoran Djindjic, prime minister of Serbia.

As the basis for his decision, Powell cited new laws that have been passed in Belgrade, voluntary surrenders of Serbs wanted by the tribunal and indictments of those who remain outside the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

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