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Nearby UA students safe from NATO airstrikes

By Joseph Altman Jr.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 2, 1999
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The ongoing conflict in Kosovo and recent NATO airstrikes in Yugoslavia are having little effect on the UA's international programs, university officials said.

"We do not have any students in the region," said Kirk Simmons, interim executive director of University of Arizona International Affairs.

The region's geography provides satisfactory protection for students in other European countries because the air strikes are confined to the southern area of Yugoslavia, Simmons said. The closest UA students participating in study abroad programs are in Italy and Israel, he said.

"It's a rather isolated area, geographically, with the sea to the west and mountains to the north, east and south," Simmons said. "The topography is such that to have any effects outside the national boundaries of Yugoslavia would. be highly improbable."

An architecture class expected to travel to Greece this summer has made no plans to cancel its trip, Simmons said.

"I don't see there being any danger to students in that program," Simmons said. "The program stays in south Greece, and the coastal regions of Turkey."

Students studying abroad in places like Moscow have observed demonstrations against NATO involvement, but none threatened their safety, Simmons said.

Meanwhile, the UA Office of Study Abroad and Student Exchange Programs will monitor developments "very closely" to protect students, Simmons said.

"We are very cautious," he said. "If they are in danger, we will evacuate them, certainly, and in a timely manner. We have plans (ready) to do so."