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Clinton 'anxious' to end war
But airstrikes won't stop until Serbs withdraw

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Clinton said Friday he is "anxious to end the bombing" against Yugoslavia but not until NATO has proof that Slobodan Milosevic is complying with the alliance's terms for a Kosovo peace agreement.

Clinton said he was encouraged by Yugoslavia's acceptance of an international peace plan but is cautious because of Milosevic's record of broken promises over 6 1/2 years."I will feel much better about this when we have evidence that there is a real withdrawal of Serb forces and when we are moving in," the president said in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Saying that NATO will keep up its bombing campaign -- targets across Serbia were struck again Friday -- Clinton said, "I think it's important that we continue the military action against the military targets until we have some evidence that there are more than words here.

"We want to know that the military forces are withdrawing," he said, "and we want to have the timetable for our people going in. We want to have a militarily verifiable withdrawal of the troops and an agreement about the introduction of the international force."

He said those steps "could come quite soon."

NATO and Yugoslav generals will meet Saturday on the border between Macedonia and Kosovo to discuss the withdrawal of Serb forces from Kosovo, NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said.

Gen. Michael Jackson, commander of NATO troops in Macedonia preparing to enter Kosovo as part of a peace implementation force, will represent the allies. There will also be a representative from Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, who convinced the Yugoslavs to accept the peace deal.

Additionally, Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek, current head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said Gen. Wesley Clark, the American commander of NATO, planned to meet Saturday with Yugoslavia's defense chief. He did not elaborate.

Foreign ministers from the G-8 group -- Russia and the seven major industrialized democracies that put together the peace plan -- planned to meet Sunday to work out points of a tentative U.N. Security Council resolution formally empowering the plan.

Clinton said he did not believe the war-crimes indictment against Milosevic was discussed as part of the peace deal. He also said Milosevic's staying in office was not part of NATO's terms. "That question is left open," Clinton said. "He is subject to the jurisdiction of the international war-crimes tribunal, which means that if he comes within the juris- diction of any country that is cooperating with the United Nations, they would have an obligation to turn him over."

NATO bombing will continue unabated until Serb forces withdraw.

After 72 days of U.S.-led airstrikes, which, according to NATO estimates, inflicted more than 10,000 Yugoslav casualties and destroyed hundreds of artillery pieces, armored personnel carriers and tanks, Milosevic capitulated to NATO demands for a withdrawal of Serb forces from Kosovo and safe passage home for refugees.

NATO is planning to put nearly 50,000 armed troops into Kosovo to keep the peace, including about 7,000 U.S. forces.

The Macedonian government has agreed to allow NATO to deploy 14,000 additional troops in the country -- raising the total to 30,000, Foreign Minister Aleksander Dimitrov said today.

Macedonia has more than 250,000 of Kosovo's refugees in the country; neighboring Albania has some 440,000.

Many refugees remain unconvinced that Belgrade would honor the peace plan.

"We're not going to believe Milosevic any more. But if NATO goes into Kosovo, we will follow immediately," said Istref Veseli, a 43-year-old from Vucitrn who had been imprisoned by Serbs for 21 days and arrived in Kukes, Albania, two weeks ago after being released.

His family is still in Kosovo.

"It's better to sit in tents in Kosovo than tents in Albania," he said, referring to the fact that many homes back home had been destroyed.

Belgraders, exhausted by the war, seemed bitterly accepting of the peace plan.

"All I really wish is that this all ends as quickly as possible," said Draga Milosavljevic, a 56-year-old saleswoman in a Belgrade grocery store.

"But if what was accepted today is the same offer as two months ago, then it was criminal to let the country be crippled and devastated -- so many people got killed, for what?" she said.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in Washington is weighing a war powers issue brought by 31 members of Congress who want him to declare the U.S. bombing of Yugoslavia illegal.

The peace agreement could make the case moot, but U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman promised Thursday to handle it right away.

He is to decide Monday or Tuesday whether to dismiss the suit, but if it survives, a hearing could be set for June 23.