From: Nikki Rotsos
Sent: 14 April 1999 16:37
Subject: Novi sad
Decision On Novi Sad Twinning
On behalf of the City Council I would like to express our deep concern at the appalling treatment of the people of Kosovo and the policy of ethnic cleansing by the Serbian leadership.
As a Council twinned with Novi Sad, that has for many years had special relationships with many individuals in that City, and with the Council of Novi Sad which is ruled by the party in opposition to Milosevic, we feel particularly distressed at the events of the last few weeks and we would not want to underestimate the suffering of the Kosovar refugees and our condemnation of those responsible.
We have been asked to consider ending our Twinning Links with Novi Sad by some members if the public and, although we understand the anger and distress felt, we feel we should continue our twinning links as a way of making sure the people of Novi Sad have contact with the outside world.
As a Council in opposition to their Government, in a City that speaks six languages and is truly multi-cultural, they must feel extremely isolated in the present situation. To increase this isolation by ending the contact they get with Norwich would not help the Kosovar people or the people of Novi Sad.
We feel that all efforts should be concentrated on stopping the war and helping the Kosovar refugees. Any discussion about the future of our twinning links with Novi Sad should wait until the future of Kosovo is clearer.
City Councillor Barbara Simpson
Leader of Norwich City Council
City Councillor Ian Couzens
Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Many thanks for sending me the full text of the Council statement, to supplement the information given in the EDP report.
I note the confirmation in the statement that Novi Sad Council is ruled by a party in opposition to Milosevic - which underlines my request that the Council intervene with our Government to stop the bombing of Novi Sad - which can only be counterproductive to their enunciated aims.