Yugoslav President Voislav Kostunica and Macedonian Defence Minister Vlado Buckovski agreed during their Thursday meeting in Belgrade that a regional conference on the Balkans problems would be crucial for maintaining stability in the region, according to the Yugoslav president's cabinet. The cabinet reports that the parties agreed that a regional conference reaffirming the principle of inviolability of the Balkan states' borders and guaranteeing national minorities' rights would make a substantial contribution to maintaining stability in the region. The Yugoslav president and Macedonian defence minister underscored in the course of the negotiations that both states must counter terrorism, "which is now seen as a global threat after the tragic events in the US". Kostunica accentuated the necessity to separate the issues of national minorities' protection from the claims to create ethnically homogeneous areas in the Balkans, related to the interests of organized crime and terrorism. The Macedonian minister also met the interior minister and the deputy foreign minister of Yugoslavia.