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|Friday, March 30, 2001, updated at 08:12(GMT+8)|
Putin, Amato Urge Decisive Steps for Ending Macedonian CrisisRussian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato urged the international community Thursday to take an emergency measures to curb the terrorist threat in Macedonia.
The two leaders held that the current crisis in Macedonia is a "serious threat" to the European security and the European countries should take timely, decisive steps to prevent the spread of terrorism and extremism in the Balkans, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told the press after Putin met Amato in the Kremlin.
During their talks, Putin and Amato, who arrived here for a one- day working visit Thursday, discussed the situation in the Balkan region and pledged to make joint efforts to preserve peace and stability in the region.
The ethnic Albanians' separatists in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo intruded into northwest Macedonia in late February after Yugoslavia and Macedonia signed a pact on border demarcation on February 16, which the Albanian extremists regard as "illegal."
The aggressors penetrated into Macedonia's hinterland and launched an expulsion campaign in March. Now the tension and hostilities still stand.
During Thursday's meeting, Putin and Amato also discussed preparations for the upcoming Group-8 summit, due in Genoa in July, as well as issues of international strategic stability and bilateral relations, Ivanov said.
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