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Kosovar Refugees Return Home Today

U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement by M. Lee McClenny, Acting Spokesman
July 26, 1999

Kosovar Refugees Return Home Today

We are pleased to announce that the first group of Kosovar refugees in the U.S. who asked to return to their homeland will fly back today.

A chartered jet is scheduled to take off from JFK International Airport in New York City at 3 p.m., carrying 304 Kosovar refugees who volunteered to return are scheduled to be on the flight. The plane will land in Skopje, Macedonia and refugees then will be taken to Kosovo by bus. A second flight is scheduled to depart Tuesday, July 27. Other flights will follow in coming days and weeks.

The Department has contracted the International Organization for Migration to organize transportation for refugees back to Kosovo. Eligible refugees who wish to return should call IOM at 1-800-748-4521.

The return program is open to all Kosovar refugees evacuated by the U.S. from Macedonia, and who will have arrived in the U.S. by July 31. The Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration will fund the return travel of Kosovar refugees who depart the U.S. before May 1, 2000.

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