Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel visits Refugees from Kosovo (July 8, 1998)
The conflict between Kosovar Albanians and Serbs led to another war in the former Yugoslavia in 1998. In response, representatives of the USA, Russia, France, Great Britain, Germany, the EU, and the OSCE participated in a meeting of the so-called Balkan Contact Group, which had been convened to solve the crisis. After the meeting, Federal Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel (left) made a trip to Albania and Macedonia in July 1998. During talks with the Albanian government, he made it clear that Germany would support Kosovo’s autonomy but not its independence. Afterwards, he visited the north Albanian refugee camp Bajram Curri, which housed approximately 13,000 Kosovar Albanians who had fled the fighting between Serbian units and the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK). If there was no ceasefire in Kosovo, Kinkel warned, then NATO would take military action. Photo: Christian Stutterheim.