AP World Politics
Citing progress between Croatia and Yugoslavia, Annan recommends ending Prevlaka peacekeeping mission by Dec. 31
Tue Oct 8, 3:40 PM ET
UNITED NATIONS - Welcoming efforts by Croatia and Yugoslavia to resolve their dispute over the Prevlaka peninsula, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (news - web sites) recommended ending the U.N. peacekeeping mission in the area by the end of the year.
In a report released Tuesday, Annan urged the Security Council to extend the peacekeeping mission by another two months until Dec. 15 and then disband the mission comprising 27 military observers by Dec. 31.
The Security Council is scheduled to discuss the Prevlaka mission on Thursday.
Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia in June 1991. But Yugoslavia says the peninsula, which controls access to Yugoslavia's navy headquarters, historically has never been part of Croatia.
The United Nations (news - web sites) has monitored Prevlaka — a 3-kilometer (two-mile) strip on an Adriatic peninsula — since Croatia and Yugoslavia agreed to the U.N. presence in 1992. The current observer mission began in January 1996.
The United Nations recognizes Prevlaka as part of Croatia, but insists the two sides settle their dispute.
In the report, Annan said, "I am encouraged by the commitment of the parties to resolve their dispute over Prevlaka" through diplomatic and political channels.
"It is apparent ... that the parties are working in good faith with a determination to reach an interim agreement aimed at normalizing the situation on the ground at the earliest," he said.
If Croatia and Yugoslavia reach a settlement before December, Annan said he would make a fresh recommendation to the Security Council to end the mission earlier.
"It is my assessment that the closure of another chapter in the tumultuous recent history of the Balkans is within reach, and that Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia are about to take another step towards normal, good neighborly relations," Annan said.
"The United Nations recognizes Prevlaka as part of Croatia, but insists the two sides settle their dispute"
What is there to settle? It is Croatian land. Period. Where are war reparations from Yugoslavia?
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