This is the second time former leader of Britain's Liberal Democratic Party leader Paddy Ashdown has come face-to-face with Milosevic. The last time was in Belgrade in 1998, when Ashdown said he warned the then-president that he'd end up in The Hague if he didn't stop using "excessive and outrageous" force against Kosovo's ethnic Albanians. "I warned you that if you took those steps and went on doing this, you would end up in this court. And here you are," Ashdown told Milosevic from the witness stand.
Looking squarely at the former president, Ashdown recounted their meeting six months before NATO's 1999 bombing campaign began. "I said to you in specific terms that if you went on acting in this fashion you would make it inevitable that the international community would have to act, and in the end, they did have to act." The whole purpose of the meeting, said Ashdown, was to warn Milosevic that he had seen for himself what was going on, that from that moment on Milosevic couldn't deny the actions if they continued, and to persuade the former leader to take the necessary steps in order to avoid personal and political disaster.
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