U.S. envoy warns Yugoslav president of NATO strikes

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) — With NATO attacks possibly only days away, U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke delivered an in-person, 11th-hour warning Monday to Yugoslavia’s president to halt his crackdown on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo or face airstrikes.
But there was no sign Slobodan Milosevic was backing down. Following his meeting with Holbrooke, Milosevic’s office issued a statement denouncing NATO threats as a “criminal act” that favored ethnic Albanian separatists.
Holbrooke, the U.S. ambassador-designate to the United Nations, met with Milosevic for several hours late Monday after arriving from Brussels, Belgium, where he conferred with senior NATO officials.
Holbrooke had no comment for reporters after the meeting. Before boarding a plane for Belgrade, however, Holbrooke said conditions in the southern Serbian province had not improved since the alliance started two weeks ago to finalize plans for air raids to force Milosevic to halt his offensive against Kosovo Albanian separatists.
As Holbrooke tried to resolve the crisis through negotiations, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said a decision on NATO military action was imminent.