Wednesday, February 02, 2005

State Dept. Daily Press Briefing for February 1

State Dept. Daily Press Briefing for February 1 -- Transcript

Daily Press Briefing
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 1, 2005

QUESTION: Mr. Boucher, on the Balkans. Mr. Wesley Clark, who described Yugoslavia in 1999, in an article published today in the Wall Street Journal has the guts to advise President Bush to address the resolution of Kosovo's final status now, before it's too late to prevent another tragedy in the spring, claiming that Albanians will not settle until full independence. Since it's obvious something is going on against the entire western Balkans, could you please once again clarify the U.S. position vis-à-vis to Kosovo's status?

MR. BOUCHER: First of all, I think I did that last week. Our position on Kosovo has not changed since then, and I'll refer you to exactly what I said back then. Nothing has changed at all. Second of all, I'm not sure it's obvious that something is going on against the entire western Balkans, but I'll leave that aside for the moment. Okay?

QUESTION: How would you assure the international community that the U.S. will never allow the unification of Kosovo with Albania against the territorial integrity of Serbia? Because it's a lot of discussion in the --

MR. BOUCHER: We -- and I know there may be discussion out there. There is certainly no discussion by our government to any other government involved in this matter of changing -- altering the territorial integrity of the areas and states that have emerged. We have stood for the territorial integrity of Macedonia and every other state where it's been challenged and we'll continue to do so.

Our belief is that a peaceful Balkans requires good relations between all of the states of the region, it requires proceeding with Kosovo on the path outlined by the United Nations. And we're not interested, supportive -- we remain opposed -- to any alternation of borders and things like that.

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