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Yugoslav Daily Survey, 98-02-25
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From: Yugoslavia <http://www.yugoslavia.com>
Yugoslav Daily Survey
 GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER PANGALOS WILL VISIT YUGOSLAVIA
Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos will make an official visit to Yugoslavia on March 6 at the invitation of Yugoslav Foreign Minister Zivadin Jovanovic.
It is expected that talks between ministers Jovanovic and Pangalos will focus on major issues of the further development of bilateral cooperation as well as international subjects of common interest.
 KOSOVO IS AN INTERNAL PROBLEM OF SERBIA AND WE DO NOT ACCEPT FOREIGN INTERFERENCE
Zivadin Jovanovic, the Yugoslav Minister for Foreign Affairs, visited Madrid this week in an effort to strengthen economic and political relations deteriorated after three years of war and sanctions. Jovanovic who succeeded Milan Milutinovic, the current President, as the Foreign Minister in January 1998, wishes Spain to help normalize its relations with the EU, but Belgrade does not seem to be ready to change its policy on key issues (problem of Kosovo). Q: What are the results of your visit to Spain? A: Besides other personalities, I have had a very successful talk with the Foreign Minister Abel Matutes with a view to strengthening our bilateral relations and normalizing relations between Yugoslavia and the European Union. I am certain that Spain will support us in these efforts. I would like to draw upon the Spanish experience in transition and for Spain to take part in the privatization process in our economy. So far, the role of Spain was insufficient. We would like to attract direct investment, to modernize our infrastructure and to enhance the tourist trade. Q: Do you consider that Yugoslavia has done enough so far to deserve an end to its international isolation? A: Yugoslavia is not an isolated country. It has many friends and it belongs to various organizations. It membership was "suspended" in some of them, however, it is still a member of the UN, OSCE, etc. We maintain diplomatic relations with 180 countries. Q: But, on its strategic goal of integration into Europe no significant progress seems to have been made. A: That is true, but Yugoslavia has played a positive role in the settlement of the conflict in Bosnia. It was instrumental in signing the Dayton accords and in consolidating Republika Srpska. We believe that the European objectives in the Balkan region will be easier to accomplish if Yugoslavia is accepted in the EU. Q: One of the problems which undoubtedly blocks that eventual integration in Europe is the problem of Kosovo. Why have you rejected the recent Franco*German initiative for dialogue on autonomy for the region? A: Kosovo and Metohija is an autonomous region within Serbia and constitutes an internal problem of Serbia which should be resolved in accordance with its laws. It does not concern anybody, Europe or the rest of the world. Foreign interference is not welcome. The problem is not about ethnic Albanians having no rights but about the desire of some leaders to achieve secession through terrorism. The situation is similar to those prevailing in Corsica, Northern Ireland or the Basque region. Separatist terrorism should be treated the same way everywhere. Q: The situations bear no comparison. The human rights of the Kosovo Albanians (90 per cent of the population) are violated and they, among other things, have to run underground classes to be able to receive instruction in their own language. A: The rights and obligations of Kosovo Albanians are guaranteed. The citizens of that region have the same rights as the Serbs, to elect and be elected. For the last 40 years students from all over Yugoslavia have studied at the University of Pristina. No one is prevented from using the Albanian language. The problem are the leaders who issue threats and blackmail people in order to force them to go to parallel schools and institutions, which is a true ghetto for young people. If there is no separatism, why is that they do not participate in the institutions? It was the Serbs who have been forced to flee Kosovo for decades. Q: Are you suggesting that these are merely the impressions of all the observers who have been to the area and who have reported on the situation in a completely different way from what you have said? A: True, there are some problems, but they must be solved within Serbia. And the impression too constitute a problem. They cannot be blamed for all what is happening, but the problem exists. Q: Do you believe that bringing the war criminals, including Radovan Karad`i} and Ratko Mladic, before the Hague tribunal is a necessary condition for the peace process? A: It is for the Tribunal to decide who is guilty. We cooperate with the Tribunal and have signed an agreement on the establishment of a liaison office in Belgrade. Chief prosecutor Louise Arbour is very satisfied with our role. We want the same treatment of all indicted war criminals, irrespective of their ethnic origin. Q: Are putting pressure on the indictees to surrender or to have them arrested? A: Everybody must be held responsible for his acts and must be tried according to the neutrality of the court. Apart from that, I shall not comment whether there have been, whether there still are or whether there will be, pressures regarding this issue. Q: Does Yugoslavia want to form any kind of union with Republika Srpska? A: Yugoslavia feels that it is its legitimate obligation to defend the rights of the Serbs living outside its territory. The Dayton agreement provides for the two entities comprising Bosnia and Herzegovina to establish "special relations" with the neighbouring countries. Likewise, Yugoslavia has signed some agreements with Republika Srpska, just like Croatia did with the Croat*Muslim Federation. We as a State have undertaken to respect the continuity of Bosnia as a State, but it is a very specific State. It is a union of two self*governed entities having their own foreign policies.
 STRONG REACTIONS TO PRESIDENT TUDJMAN'S STATEMENTS
Croatian President Franjo Tudjman's statements on Bosnia-Herzegovina at the Congress of the Croatian Democratic Union (CDU) in Zagreb continue causing dissatisfaction and strong reactions of the Muslim politicians and media.
Tudjman has said that Bosnia-Herzegovina should be a province within Croatia, that during the war the Muslims aimed to create a Muslim state with laws based on the Koran and that Croatia supported the para-state of the Croatian republic of Herzeg Bosna.
The President of the Muslim Bosniac Organization, Academician Muhamed Filipovic, said that Tudjman's position threatens Bosnia-Herzegovina as a state and the Muslims as a nation.
"Tudjman continues to view Bosnia as a non-existent state, which he claims was created artificially and which thus has not reason for existing," Filipovic said. He accused Tudjman of considering all parts of Bosnia- Herzegovina populated by Croats as Croat national territory.
The Muslim Party of Democratic Action (SDA) of Bosnia-Herzegovina issued a statement expressing great dissatisfaction with Tudjman's statements on Bosnia-Herzegovina. SDA said that these statements can be interpreted only as a clear message to forces within Bosnia-Herzegovina which are acting on its division and against the Dayton Peace Agreement.
 NO JUST SOLUTION IN SIGHT TO THE HOUSING ISSUE IN BOSNIA
The international community has set a deadline to the Federal Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina to repeal by March 3 laws on temporarily abandoned apartments and real estate. The deadline is nearing, with no final solution in sight.
The federal authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, primarily the Muslim side, are trying to dodge the basic demand of the international community and the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina Carlos Westendorp - to allow the return of pre-war tenants to their apartments without further delay and conditions.
The Muslim*Croat Federation is not ready to give in because in Sarajevo, a key city for the return of refugee and displaced Serbs and Croats, now are living 90,000 Muslims who are not displaced persons but who during the war usurped the apartments of pre-war tenants.
The Conference on Refugees, held on February 3, asserted that out of 29.8% of Serbs who lived in Sarajevo before the war only 3% have remained, while out of 6.6% of Croats only 2% have remained. At the same time, Muslims who before the war made up 49.8% of the population, now make up 95%. Another source of concern is that in Sarajevo no longer lives 14.3% of the pre*war population made up of members of other nations, or those who declared themselves as Yugoslavs.
The slogan "Sarajevo multiethnic city" is an outrage for almost 200,000 Sarajevans who lived in the city before the war, and who are now dispersed throughout the world, including the 120,000 Serbs who have found refuge in FR Yugoslavia.
The deadline for passing the new law was February 17, and Carlos Westendorp's office is daily pressing the Sarajevo authorities to allow people to return to their apartments or houses.
In a latest development, the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina are demanding that pre-war tenants receive equal treatment as the current permanent tenants. This practice would mean creating tension between current tenants and returnees, just as is the case in Croatia.
To that end, the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina have proposed the setting up of a commission which will have a final say in deciding who should stay in the apartment - the pre-war tenant or the one living in the apartment as a tenant with a "permanent housing solution".
Bosnia and Herzegovina Federal Prime Minister Ethem Bicajcic confirmed that in this phase the Law on abandoned apartments has been coordinated with the office of Carlos Westendorp and will soon be reviewed at a government session.
If only a halfway solution is adopted, or that new tenants are given two years to leave the apartments, it will be further evidence of the international community's inability to force the Muslim*Croat Federation to comply with the provisions of the Dayton Agreement regarding the creation of conditions for the return of refugees.
 NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMED THE VOLUNTARY SURRENDER OF BOSNIAN
NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana welcomed on Tuesday the decision of Bosnian Serb Simo Zaric to surrender voluntarily to the NATO-led Stabilisation Force (SFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In a statement forwarded to Tanjug, Solana said that Zaric was being processed for immediate transfer to the custody of the Hague-based court "where he will receive a free and fair trial."
"I hope the example of Simo Zaric, as well as that of Milan Simic and Miroslav Tadic who gave themselves up ten days ago, will be followed by other indicted war criminals still at large," the statement said.
 ANOTHER BOSNIAN SERB WAR CRIMES SUSPECT SURRENDERS TO THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL
Bosnian Serb Simo Zaric from Samac, indicted for allegedly violating the Geneva Conventions, surrendered voluntarily on Tuesday to be handed over to the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
In 1995, the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague brought an indictment against Zaric, charging him with having co-organized an expulsion of non-Serbs from the Samac area in the period between April 17 and September 4, 1992. Zaric will plead not guilty.
Zaric is the third Bosnian Serb to have surrendered voluntarily to the tribunal. The other two, Miroslav Tadic and Milan Simic, also from Samac, have turned themselves in earlier this month.
 DODIK AND WESTENDORP SIGN AN AGREEMENT ON ASSISTANCE TO REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
Republika Srpska Premier Milorad Dodik and international community's High Representative for Bosnia Carlos Westendorp signed in Banja Luka on Tuesday an agreement on E.U. assistance to the Republika Srpska.
Dodik and the ambassadors of the Netherlands, Sweden, Great Britain and Canada also signed an agreement on the realisation of their government's assistance to the Republika Srpska.
The E.U. assistance amounts to 11.7 million German marks, the Netherlands has granted the amount of 1.3 million German marks and Sweden 332,000 German marks.
Dodik said that the assistance would be used next week to pay the salaries of teachers, police and customs officers.
Westendorp said that the international community had granted assistance in response to the election of the new Republika Srpska Government and Parliament.
 CROATIA CONTINUES TO PRACTICE POLICY OF ETHNIC CLEANSING
The Association of Serbs of Croatia is following with great concern and apprehension the latest developments in Eastern Slavonija, Western Srem and Baranja, resulting from Croatia's continued policy of ethnic cleansing in these lands, the Belgrade-based Association said on Tuesday.
"The Croatian authorities are implementing tested measures of intimidation, Ustashi rampages, torching of Serb monuments, dismissals from work, and even physical liquidation," said the statement.
All this is done "in plain view of the international community which does not react adequately to the present problems," the Association said, adding that this situation stoked a new exodus of the remaining Serbs form these lands to result in a Croatia which will be "entirely ethnically pure."
 RUSSIA MOST STRONGLY CONDEMNS EXTREMISM IN SERBIA'S KOSMET PROVINCE
Russia most strongly condemns extremist incidents in Serbia's southern province of Kosovo and Metohija and urged the regulation of this problem within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with unconditional respect for its territorial integrity, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Gennady Tarasov told a regular press conference on Tuesday.
Russia believes dialogue between the Yugoslav authorities and the Albanian minority are the best and optimal path for settling this problem, Tarasov said.
He also presented certain details regarding the regular session of the Contact Group set for Wednesday in Moscow at the level of deputy foreign ministers, political directors of foreign ministries. During this meeting the group will consider the implementation of the Bosnia peace accords and a series of other serious problems concerning the situation in the region, he said.
The meeting will be attended by representatives of Great Britain, Germany, Italy, the United States, and France, as well as High Representative of the international community for Bosnia Carlos Westendorp.
Russia will be represented by First Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Deputy Nikolai Afanasyevsky.
Tarasov confirmed earlier reports that Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov would tour the Balkans next month. He said the visit would take place in the second half of March. Diplomatic consultations are currently under way about the tour timetable, he said.
 NON-ARGUMENTED ACCUSATIONS FROM ALBANIA
The Yugoslav Foreign Ministry is surprised and concerned that the recent unrests in northern Albanian towns were used for arbitrary and non- argumented accusations against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Albanian Interior Minister Neritan Ceka was especially engaged in this, as he recently reiterated on a number of occasions in public that Yugoslavia and its organs were responsible for these unrests, without presenting any proof whatsoever.
Yugoslavia resolutely rejects these accusations as untrue, malicious, and aimed at diverting attention from the real causes of the internal problems in Albania.
Yugoslavia welcomes the process of stabilization of the situation in Albania and the readiness of the Government of Prime Minister Fatos Nano to normalize mutual relations, expressed during his talks with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic on the island of Crete in November 1997.
Yugoslavia stands firm in its option to normalize and develop Yugoslav- Albanian relations on the bases of good-neighbour relations, mutual interests, and non-interference in internal affairs, and expects Albania also to confirm in practice its readiness for such a development of relations, which is in the interest of the two countries, peace and stability in the region.
 REPUBLIKA SRPSKA TELEVISION RESUMES BROADCASTING
The Republika Srpska Television studio in Pale resumed broadcasting on Tuesday after its technical sector was made operational again.
The Pale studio did not broadcast for several months after SFOR seized transmitters on October 1 and channelled all programs through the Banja Luka studio.
The studios in Pale, Banja Luka and Bijeljina and technical facilities in Trebinje and Prijedor were interlinked on Tuesday into a single broadcasting network again.
 YUGOSLAV DEPUTY PREMIER RECEIVED HEPO DELEGATION
Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Danko Djunic received in Belgrade on Tuesday Hellenic Foreign Trade Board (HEPO) Foreign Trade Committee President Yannis Tzen.
The Yugoslav Government said in a statement that both sides had expressed interest in the promotion of all forms of bilateral economic cooperation.
Djunic voiced special interest in the experiences of HEPO, which operates under the supervision of the Greek National Economy Ministry and is an official non-profit organisation for the development and promotion of Greek export companies. HEPO is financed from the national budget and through E.U. programmes.
Since the Yugoslav Government is working on the realisation of an idea to set up a similar organisation for the promotion of Yugoslav exports, it was agreed that HEPO should help set up this institution.
Both sides agreed that there existed realistic possibilities to broaden cooperation between the Greek and Yugoslav companies, especially in supporting the increase of Yugoslav exports and the companies' joint appearance on the third markets.
Tzen said that Greece was specially interested in the possibility to invest in Yugoslavia's industrial capacities which are not in operation due to the lack of finances and modern equipment or are not fully employed, as well as in the new industrial capacities necessary for the economic development.
Greek Ambassador in Belgrade Panayotis Vlasopoulos participated in the talks, the statement said.
 DIRECTOR OF THE YUGOSLAV CUSTOMS RECEIVED BRITISH AMBASSADOR
Director of the Yugoslav Customs Administration Mihalj Kertes received Britain's Ambassador to Yugoslavia Brian Donnelly on Tuesday.
During the friendly talks, the two parties conferred about promotion of bilateral relations, in particular business and customs cooperation, said a statement issued by the Customs Office.
It was agreed that there were no outstanding or unresolved issues between the two sides in cooperation.
The officials assessed it was necessary to initiate with competent bodies an accord on customs cooperation and mutual assistance, aimed at expediting the work of customs in both countries in checking the flow of illicit commodities.
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