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Serbs urged to reject leader
Clinton praises Slovenia's example

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia -- President Clinton Monday toasted Slovenia as an example of what a democratic Balkans could become and urged Serbia to "reject the murderous rule" of President Slobodan Milosevic.

In the capital of the first Yugoslav republic to break with Milosevic, Clinton called on "all the people of every part of Europe" to choose democracy and respect for human rights over the politics of ethnic hatred."We want Serbia to be a part of the new Europe," Clinton said. "But Serbia must reject the murderous rule of Mr. Milosevic and choose the path that Slovenia has chosen where people reach across the old divides and find strength in their differences and their common humanity."

Meanwhile, Kosovo Albanian rebels signed a demilitarization pact with NATO Monday, allowing the peacekeeping force to tighten its control over the province and try to prevent a backlash of ethnic violence. Hours later, rebels handed over their maps of minefields.

The pact aims to neutralize the Kosovo Liberation Army as a military force. It was signed just after midnight, hours after the last of some 40,000 Serb forces left the Yugoslav province.

Many in the rank and file seemed to be complying. Rebels began heading home Monday, and their commanders handed over maps showing anti-tank minefield locations -- most near the Albanian border -- to German commanders in the city of Prizren as required under the agreement.

Clinton and other world leaders hailed the Serb military pullout from Kosovo and pledged to act more quickly to prevent fresh outbreaks of ethnic slaughter of the kind now being uncovered by NATO troops in the province.

"We will stand up for the innocents in the face of evil," Clinton said in a speech Sunday in Cologne, Germany, after the close of the three-day summit of the Group of Eight -- the seven leading world economic powers and Russia.

On Sunday, with the rest of the G-8 behind him, Clinton vowed to move swiftly to prevent future religious and ethnic conflict.

The KLA agreement is aimed at reducing tensions throughout Kosovo and preventing reprisal attacks against Serb civilians. Despite those efforts, a Serb civilian in Pristina was stabbed and died later in the hospital.

The role of the KLA has become a critical issue in postwar Kosovo. About 50,000 Serbs have fled the province over the past week, fearing the guerrillas would exact revenge for Serb killings and atrocities as well as the mass expulsions of some 860,000 ethnic Albanians since March.

The agreement, effective immediately, calls for the KLA to leave its checkpoints, halt military and security activities and put their weapons in storage sites.

Jackson brushed aside concerns that the KLA leadership wouldn't be able to make its fighters comply.

Only hours before signing the KLA demilitarization agreement, Jackson received confirmation that all Yugoslav forces had withdrawn from Kosovo. That allowed NATO to officially end its air campaign, which began March 24 and was suspended June 10 pending total withdrawal of Serb forces.

The Belgrade government Monday requested parliament abolish the state of war that had been imposed the day NATO bombings began, the state-run Tanjug news agency reported.

The ensuing flight of Serbs has been a visible sign of defeat for Milosevic, and his government has pressured them to return to Kosovo.

The G-8 summit saw an easing of tensions between Russia and the Western powers after months of acrimony over NATO's bombing campaign against the Serbs and Russia's role in the Kosovo peacekeeping force.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin arrived at the talks promising to "mend ties after a fight," and Western leaders responded warmly, praising the deal that will bring Russian troops into the NATO-led force in Kosovo. "I am among my friends now," Yeltsin declared.

In a private meeting, Clinton and Yeltsin agreed to hold U.S.-Russian talks in the fall on deeper cuts in nuclear arms and on possibly reopening the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, White House national security adviser Sandy Berger said.

Western leaders said Yeltsin seemed to be in relatively robust health.

The G-8 leaders outlined plans to pump money into the rebuilding of Kosovo and called a special summit for November with Balkan leaders to plan long-term economic and political development of the region.

Western leaders insisted Serbia would be excluded from such plans as long as Milosevic remains in power.

"We cannot start giving money to a regime that has perpetrated brutality and barbarism and the Serbian people must understand that," said British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Clinton said the evidence of atrocities NATO troops are finding as they fan out through Kosovo was "even worse than we imagined," and he expressed confidence Milosevic would be brought to book for the misdeeds of his troops.