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Visa Ban On Republic Of Yugoslavia Leaders

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Hon Lianne Dalziel
Minister of Immigration
Media Statement

12 June, 2000


Foreign Minister Phil Goff and Immigration Minister, Lianne Dalziel today announced a ban on issuing visas to leading members of the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia including Serbia, and their supporters.

“New Zealand is joining thirty four countries, including the United States, Canada and most European nations in imposing voluntary sanctions on the FRY” said Mr Goff.

Persons covered by the ban include President Slobodan Milosevic and members of his immediate family, members of the FRY and Serbian governments, military leaders, police/security forces, the judiciary and persons close to the regime whose activities support President Milosevic.

“Comprehensive sanctions are a blunt instrument,” said Mr Goff. “They tend to create shortages and impose hardships on innocent civilians. The visa ban gets around this by putting pressure on FRY leaders who by reason of their position, are able to avoid the day-to-day economic hardships faced by the great majority of the FRY people.”

“The visa ban has been applied in Europe and North America for several months and is proving effective” said Mr Goff. “There is clear evidence that the FRY elite are discomfited by being publicly “banned” and the listing is interfering with their international activities. This shows that “smart sanctions” can work.”

The Minister of Immigration said that officials will be issued with a watch list of named FRY citizens. However the list is not the only basis on which a decision on granting or withholding visas would be taken. “Individuals will be able to request reconsideration of a decision by providing reliable evidence supporting their application for a visa,” Ms Dalziel said.


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