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After talks in Washington, UN war crimes prosecutor foresees speedy progress

After talks in Washington, UN war crimes prosecutor foresees speedy progress

Following a series of high-level meetings in the United States capital, the Prosecutor of the United Nations war crimes tribunals said in New York today that she foresaw "positive results" in achieving the court's goals in the near future.

"US officials assured me that they will do all possible to achieve what we are asking for, and so I'm sure -- I'm confident -- that next week or next month, we will have positive results," said Carla Del Ponte, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Ms. Del Ponte told a news conference at UN Headquarters she was "very satisfied" with her meetings in Washington, which included talks with US Secretary of State Colin Powell. "All my interlocutors understood perfectly why cooperation with the Tribunal is crucial," she said, noting that such cooperation would involve arresting indictees, including former President Milosevic, and transferring them to the Tribunal's seat at The Hague.

Stressing the need for Belgrade's help in this effort, the Prosecutor noted that currently, some 20 indictees were at large in Serbia. "I'm asking [the Federal Republic of] Yugoslavia for the last six months to start cooperating," she observed.

Ms. Del Ponte also underscored the Tribunal's broader mission in fostering stability. "Let's not forget that victims are waiting for justice to be done," she emphasized. "And let's not forget that peace and stability in the Balkans will never be achieved if justice is not served."