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Context of 'February 1998: State Department Removes KLA from Terrorism List'

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Having already entered into its controversial relationship with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), the US gives in to the organization’s demands that it be removed from the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations. (Kurop 11/1/2001) Near the end of that same month, Robert Gelbard, America’s special envoy to Bosnia, says the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) is an Islamic terrorist organization. (Sebak 6/28/1998) “We condemn very strongly terrorist actions in Kosovo. The UCK [KLA] is, without any question, a terrorist group.” (Agence France-Presse 4/1999) “I know a terrorist when I see one and these men are terrorists,” he says. (Sebak 6/28/1998)

Robert Gelbard, America’s special envoy to Bosnia, says the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) is an Islamic terrorist organization. (Sebak 6/28/1998) “We condemn very strongly terrorist actions in Kosovo. The UCK [KLA] is, without any question, a terrorist group.” (Agence France-Presse 4/1999) “I know a terrorist when I see one and these men are terrorists,” he says. (Sebak 6/28/1998)

The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) says it will send representatives to the peace talks in Rambouillet, France on February 6 (see February 6-23, 1999). Representing the KLA, will be Supreme Commander Hashim Thaci, also known as “The Snake,” and four other Kosovars, all militants. (BBC 2/3/1999) On Febuary 4, the Yugoslav government (essentially Serbia) agrees to join the peace talks. (US Information Agency 4/13/1999)

The US State Department temporarily suspends cooperation between the Bosnian army and the US private mercenary company MPRI. No official reason is given, but media reports indicate that the Bosnian Muslims being trained by MPRI were caught sending weapons to Muslim rebels in the regions of Kosovo and Sandzak in Serbia. Supposedly, millions of dollars of weapons were smuggled to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in Kosovo. (BBC 4/5/1999; Madsen 8/1/1999; Peterson 10/28/2002)


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