print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation
In Focus
News by Date
Federal Facts
West Wing

 Home > News & Policies > June 2001

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 27, 2001

To the Congress of the United States

Pursuant to section 204(b) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1703(b)(IEEPA), and section 301 of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1631, I hereby report that I have exercised my statutory authority to declare a national emergency in response to the unusual and extraordinary threat posed to the national security and foreign policy of the United States by (i) actions of persons engaged in, or assisting, sponsoring, or supporting, extremist violence in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, southern Serbia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), and elsewhere in the Western Balkans region, and (ii) the actions of persons engaged in, or assisting, sponsoring, or supporting acts obstructing imple-men-tation of the Dayton Accords in Bosnia or United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of June 10, 1999, in Kosovo. The actions of these individuals and groups threaten the peace in or diminish the security and stability of the Western Balkans, undermine the authority, efforts, and objectives of the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and other international organizations and entities present in those areas and the wider region, and endanger the safety of persons participating in or providing support to the activities of those organizations and entities, including United States military forces and Government officials. In order to deal with this threat, I have issued an Executive order blocking the property and interests in property of those persons determined to have undertaken the actions described above.

The Executive order prohibits United States persons from transferring, paying, exporting, withdrawing, or otherwise dealing in the property or interests in property of persons I have identified in the Annex to the order or persons designated pursuant to the order by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State. Included among the activities prohibited by the order are the making or receiving by United States persons of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services to or for the benefit of any person designated in or pursuant to the order. In the Executive order, I also have made a determination pursuant to section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA that the operation of the IEEPA exemption for certain humanitarian donations from the scope of the prohibitions would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency. Absent such a determination, such donations of the type specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA could strengthen the position of individuals and groups that endanger the safety of persons participating in or providing support to the United Nations, NATO, and other international organizations or entities, in-cluding U.S. military forces and Government officials, present in the region. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is authorized to issue regulations in exercise of my authorities under IEEPA to implement the prohi-bitions set forth in the Executive order. All Federal agencies are also directed to take actions within their authority to carry out the provisions of the order, and, where appropriate, to advise the Secretary of the Treasury in a timely manner of the measures taken.

I am enclosing a copy of the Executive order I have issued. The order was effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on June 27, 2001.

I have issued the order in response to recent developments in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, southern Serbia, and elsewhere in the Western Balkans region where persons have turned increasingly to the use of extremist violence, the incite-ment of ethnic conflict, and other obstructionist acts to promote irredentist or criminal agendas that have threatened the peace in and the stability and security of the region and placed those participating in or supporting international organizations, including U.S. military and Government personnel, at risk.

In both Macedonia and southern Serbia, individuals and groups have engaged in extremist violence and other acts of obstructionism to exploit legitimate grievances of local ethnic Albanians. These groups include local nationals who fought with the Kosovo Liberation Army in 1998-99 and have used their wartime connections to obtain funding and weapons from Kosovo and the ethnic Albanian diaspora. Guerrilla attacks by some of these groups against police and soldiers in Macedonia threaten to bring down the democratically elected, multi-ethnic government of a state that has become a close friend and invaluable partner of NATO. In March 2001, guerrillas operating on the border between Kosovo and Macedonia attempted to fire upon U.S. soldiers partici-pating in the international security presence in Kosovo known as the Kosovo Force (KFOR). Guerrilla leaders subsequently made public threats against KFOR.

In southern Serbia, ethnic Albanian extremists have used the Ground Safety Zone (GSZ), originally intended as a buffer between KFOR and FRY/Government of Serbia (FRY/GoS) forces, as a safe haven for staging attacks against FRY/GoS police and soldiers. Members of ethnic Albanian armed extremist groups in southern Serbia have on several occasions fired on joint U.S.-Russian KFOR patrols in Kosovo. NATO has negotiated the return of FRY/GoS forces to the GSZ, and facilitated negotiations between Belgrade authorities and ethnic Albanian insurgents and political leaders from southern Serbia. A small number of the extremist leaders have since threatened to seek vengeance on KFOR, including U.S. KFOR.

Individuals and groups engaged in the activities described above have boasted falsely of having U.S. support, a claim that is believed by many in the region. They also have aggressively solicited funds from United States persons. These fund-raising efforts serve to fuel extremist violence and obstructionist activity in the region and are inimical to U.S. interests. Conse-quently, the Executive order I have issued is necessary to restrict any further financial or other support by United States persons for the persons designated in or pursuant to the order. The actions we are taking will demonstrate to all the peoples of the region and to the wider international community that the Government of the United States strongly opposes the recent extremist violence and obstructionist activity in Macedonia and southern Serbia and elsewhere in the Western Balkans. The con-crete steps we are undertaking to block access by these groups and individuals to financial and material support will assist in restoring peace and stability in the Western Balkans region and help protect U.S. military forces and Government officials working towards that end.

                              GEORGE W. BUSH W. BUSH

                              THE WHITE HOUSE,

                              June 27, 2001.

# # #