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Milosevic Must Go


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement
6 October 2000

Milosevic Must Go


Foreign Minister Phil Goff has welcomed the popular uprising by Serbian people against President Slobodan Milosevic

"Mr Milosevic's refusal to accept the outcome of the election leaves Serbian people with no option but direct action.

"The election result, notwithstanding the massive electoral fraud by Milosevic supporters which has been confirmed by the UN, showed overwhelming rejection of Milosevic by the electorate.

"He should go now, and spare the country the damage and the bloodshed which could result if he continues to resist the will of the people.

"Mr Milosevic leaves a tragic legacy of international isolation of Serbia, and economic and social decline.

"He must bear personal responsibility for the destruction and the deaths and suffering of tens of thousands in the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia and Kosovo.

"His ongoing presence as leader of Serbia taints the reputation of his country and locks its political system into the legacy of the past which most of the former Yugoslav republics have now left behind them.

"New Zealand joins with countries across the world in supporting the hundreds of thousands of Serbs who want a better future for their country and in demanding that Milosevic go.

"While the Balkans are on the other side of the world from New Zealand, we have played our part in trying to bring stability to the region and peace and justice for its people.

"New Zealand has two military officers working in Kosovo, two in Croatia and a further 26 Defence force personnel being deployed in Bosnia.

"Their job arguably will be easier with the removal of Mr Milosevic and what he stands for from the Serbian leadership". Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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