Security Council lifts arms embargo against Yugoslavia

Security Council lifts arms embargo against Yugoslavia

The United Nations Security Council today adopted a resolution lifting the three-year-old arms embargo against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Imposing the measures in March 1998 with the adoption of Resolution 1160, the Council said it would "reconsider the prohibitions" against arms sales to Yugoslavia if the Belgrade Government began a substantive dialogue with the leadership of the Kosovar Albanian community, withdrew the special police units and stopped the activities of security forces against civilians.

The resolution also required Yugoslavia to allow humanitarian groups and diplomatic representatives access to Kosovo; accept a mission by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) that would include a new and specific mandate for addressing the problems in Kosovo; and facilitate a mission to Kosovo by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights before the restrictions would be lifted.

On 6 September, Secretary-General Kofi Annan had sent a letter to the Council confirming Yugoslavia's compliance with the provisions of its 1998 resolution, and suggesting that the Security Council reconsider the sanctions.

"I applaud the Council for taking prompt action," Mr. Annan told the press today in New York in reaction to the Council action.