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Yugoslav Daily Survey, 98-02-27

Yugoslav Daily Survey Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Yugoslavia <http://www.yugoslavia.com>

Yugoslav Daily Survey


CONTENTS

  • [01] PREMIER KONTIC RECEIVED SECRETARY-GENERAL OBASI
  • [02] CONTACT GROUP SESSION PASSED IN A CONSTRUCTIVE ATMOSPHERE
  • [03] OSCE CONCERNED ABOUT THE SITUATION IN EASTERN SLAVONIA
  • [04] DEPARTURE OF SERBS CAUSED BY SAFETY REASONS
  • [05] THE FRY DRAWS THE ATTENTION OF THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL TO A DISTURBING SITUATION IN EASTERN SLAVONIA
  • [06] REFUGEES DEMAND THE RIGHT TO RETURN AND RECOVER PROPERTY
  • [07] SERBIAN MINISTER MET WITH UNICEF AND IOM OFFICIALS
  • [08] PRESIDENT OF YUGOSLAV CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CONFERRED WITH THE BELGIAN AMBASSADOR
  • [09] US-YUGOSLAV ASSOCIATION FOR BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT
  • [10] YUGOSLAV DEFENSE MINISTER SINGLES OUT DEFENSE AS FEDERATION'S PRIORITY
  • [11] RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT YUGOSLAVIA IN MARCH

  • [01] PREMIER KONTIC RECEIVED SECRETARY-GENERAL OBASI

    Tanjug, 1998-02-26

    Yugoslav Prime Minister Radoje Kontic received Secretary-General Godvin Ole Patric Obasi of the World Meteorological Organization in Belgrade on Thursday, a Federal Government statement said.

    The Secretary-General of this specialized U.N. agency said he highly appreciated the contribution of Yugoslavia's science to the development of world meteorology.

    He expressed particular satisfaction with the decades-long successful cooperation between Yugoslavia and the world organization, which rallies 178 member-states.

    This cooperation was not interrupted even during the time of international sanctions against Yugoslavia. The organization accepted the continuity of Yugoslavia's membership, which was of particular importance for the development of Yugoslavia's hydrometeorlogical service.

    Kontic expressed satisfaction with the visit of the senior official. He said it would give a strong impetus to future cooperation between Yugoslavia's service and the World Meteorological Organization. Yugoslavia and its national hydrometeorlogical organization will continue to take active participation in the realization of the world organization's programme.

    Director Slavko Maksimovic of the Federal Hydrometeorlogical Department also took part in the talks, the statement said.

    [02] CONTACT GROUP SESSION PASSED IN A CONSTRUCTIVE ATMOSPHERE

    Tanjug, 1998-02-26

    The regular Contact Group session in Moscow on Wednesday passed in an atmosphere of constructivity and, most important of all, mutual respect in the reaching of all decisions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

    Ministry spokesman Valery Niesterushkin told a press briefing that the participants could once again compare the stands and assessments of the Contact Group members on the implementation of the Dayton Accords and start regulating the situation in the former Yugoslavia.

    The participants "stressed the necessity to establish a normal functioning of joint organs of Bosnia-Herzegovina" and "gave a positive assessment to the developments in the Republika Srpska after the setting up of the Milorad Dodik government," Niesterushkin said.

    In the debate about the refugee problem, the participants in the meeting said that decisive steps aimed at securing the refugees' return to their homes had to be taken in 1998.

    As for the Bosnian general elections in September 1998, the Contact Group favours their holding under the OSCE supervision, while speeding up the adoption of an Election Law and the setting up of a Permanent Electoral Commission, Niesterushkin said.

    [03] OSCE CONCERNED ABOUT THE SITUATION IN EASTERN SLAVONIA

    Tanjug, 1998-02-26

    Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) mission chief in Croatia Ambassador Tim Guldimann said in Vienna on Thursday that the world community was concerned about the delay in the return of refugees to Croatia, and the departure of Serbs from Eastern Slavonia.

    At a press conference, after reporting to the OSCE Permanent Council, Guldimann pointed to the problem of the return of Serb refugees from FR Yugoslavia, Bosnia and other countries to Croatia, because they do not have Croatian citizenship, which is difficult to obtain.

    As a very positive, initial step in the process of the return of refugees, Guldimann pointed to negotiations with about 2,500 Serb families, or 7,500 people, who wish to return from the region of Eastern Slavonia into other parts of Croatia.

    One of the Vice*Presidents of the National Committee for Restoring Confidence, Vojislav Stanimirovic, said that before 1995 in Eastern Slavonia there were 40,000 refugee Serbs who wished to return to their homes in other parts of Croatia, of which only 10,00 have done so.

    About 7,500 displaced Serbs are still in Eastern Slavonia, while 20,000 have left for FR Yugoslavia, Bosnia and other states, Stanimirovic said.

    It was pointed out at the press conference that in the last few months, more that 900 young Serbs have left for Norway alone, citing as the main reason a difficult social-economic situation, and to a lesser degree the political climate.

    Stanimirovic assessed that a better political situation would most probably reduce departure, but would not stop it entirely. "For young people, whether they are Serbs or Croats, there are no prospects, because there are no jobs," he added.

    Stanimirovic, after a briefing in OSCE, told the correspondents of Tanjug and the daily Vesti that a precedent had been made in that institution when he and his Croatian colleague in the Committee for Restoring Confidence Ivica Vrkic took part in the preparatory meeting of the Permanent Council.

    Stanimirovic and Vrkic, as OSCE guests, set out their views of the process of reintegration which is now in a standstill.

    "We explained to the representatives of 54 OSCE member countries the main problems and reasons for the departure of people from Eastern Slavonia, which is a source of concern for the international community. The reasons are of political, security and social-economic nature," Stanimirovic said.

    Representatives of the Committee for Restoring Confidence pointed to the alarming situation in Eastern Slavonia, in order to prevent another exodus. The recent statements of the extreme pro-fascist Croatian Party of Law, and the speech of Croatian President Franjo Tudjman at a Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) assembly, have additionally deteriorated the situation and intensified departure from the region of Eastern Slavonia, Stanimirovic said.

    [04] DEPARTURE OF SERBS CAUSED BY SAFETY REASONS

    Tanjug, 1998-02-26

    The migration of Serbs from the Srem-Barania region has been triggered first by political, and then economic and social reasons, a local Serb official said on Thursday.

    Milos Vojinovic, the President of the Joint Council of Serb Municipalities, said around 5,000 Serbs had moved out to Yugoslavia and other European countries, chiefly Norway, since the UN Transitional Forces left the region in mid-January.

    About 67,000 Serbs remain in Vukovar, Beli Manastir, and other towns, said Vojinovic.

    Part of this number make up refugees from other parts of Croatia, approximately 7,000, and the rest are natives, said Vojinovic adding that 120,000 Serbs inhabited the region before the war.

    Vojinovic said the Croatian authorities refused to accept the stand that Serbs were migrating out of political reasons, persisting in their stand before the international public that the migrations were taking place due to poor economic circumstances.

    Speaking at a meeting of local Serbs with President of the Croatian National Committee for Restoring Confidence Vesna Skare-Ozbolt, held in Zagreb on Wednesday, Vojinovic said it focused on the unfulfilled promises by Croatian President Franjo Tudjman.

    Depending on the fulfilment of Tudjman's promises, which include ensuring the return of refugees, expelling Croatians out of Serb houses, and putting a stop to fascist outrages, depends how long Serbs will hold offices in the Croatian Government after March 15, he said.

    Vojinovic classified incidents that heightened tensions in the region into two groups: those that he described as offenses, and those that at first glance appeared minor, but were nonetheless just as dangerous.

    The former appear to take place regularly, said Vojinovic and described an incident that occurred in the village of Petrovo Selo last Sunday, when about a 100 Croatians wearing fascist symbols shouted fascist slogans, and harassed the local population.

    The latter include daily verbal threats and messages to Serbs, which no one takes note of, but they are efficient in sustaining the tensions, said Vojinovic.

    Serbs who have decided to leave their homes for good seem very interested in settling in Norway. So far around 1,000 Serbs have left for Norway, and more are getting ready to do so, said Vojnovic.

    [05] THE FRY DRAWS THE ATTENTION OF THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL TO A DISTURBING SITUATION IN EASTERN SLAVONIA

    Tanjug, 1998-02-27

    The head of the Mission of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador V. Jovanovic yesterday addressed to the President of the UN Security Council, Ambassador D. Revaki of Ghana an Aide Memoire of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs drawing attention to the disturbing situation in Eastern Slavonia.

    The letter says that following the termination of the UNTAES mission on 15 January 1998, the situation in the Region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium has continued to take alarming proportions resulting in a large wave of exodus of Serbs. While warning that such trends threaten the results achieved by the UN mission, the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs points out that the Croatian Government does not demonstrate the readiness to comply with the Basic Agreement guaranteeing the rights to the Serbs, nor has it fulfilled the obligations undertaken in the Letter of Intent of 13 January 1997.

    Due to such treatment by Croatia, Serbs continue to be subject to various forms of discrimination, pressure, intimidation, an anti*Serb campaign in the media, while they are denied their rights to property, education, culture and other rights. All this has brought about an unstable situation leading to the Serbs leaving the region in large numbers.

    Over the past 40 days alone 5,000 Serbs have fled the area of Eastern Slavonia for the FRY, Republika Srpska, Norway, Britain and Canada.

    Forcible expulsion of the Serbs continues unabated and could soon turn into an ethnic cleansing that will cancel out the concept of a multi*ethnic community in the region, the letter of the Foreign Ministry warns.

    Citing a long list of specific cases where Serbs were exposed to huge pressure, the Aide Memoire, inter alia, states that as many as 175 Serbs have reported threats on their life or physical abuse since 15 January 1998.

    While giving the names of murdered or missing persons in the last month or so, the letter of the Foreign Ministry also cites information about the Serb families driven from their homes and points out the increasingly devastating consequences of the passing of the controversial tenancy rights decree, which was reversed under an international pressure but not before it resulted in 5,000 Serbs leaving the Danube region.

    Croatia has not implemented its amnesty law, either. There is no progress on the implementation of the agreement on cultural and educational autonomy, points out the letter. At the same time, a great number of Serbs have been pressurized into leaving their jobs in the municipal civil administration and other public institutions and companies.

    The refugees from Krajina and Western Slavonia, who are Croatian citizens, have also come under pressure as a result of discrimination in Eastern Slavonia, although the Erdut Agreement guarantees the same rights to all inhabitants in the region.

    Such a policy by the Croatian authorities has caused the Serbs to leave the region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium. That region was previously inhabited by 128,000 Serbs, but that number has come down to 70, 000 and continues to fall, says the Foreign Ministry Aide Memoire forwarded to the President of the Security Council.

    The Yugoslav Ambassador has asked the President of the Security Council to circulate the Aide Memoire as an official document of the Security Council.

    [06] REFUGEES DEMAND THE RIGHT TO RETURN AND RECOVER PROPERTY

    Tanjug, 1998-02-26

    The Association for aid to refugees in Yugoslavia addressed on Thursday a letter to the Council of Europe and Croatian and Bosnian authorities demanding the right to unconditional return to their former places of residence and to recovery of their property or to compensation if it has been destroyed.

    Association representatives said at a press conference that refugees from Croatia felt special concern as the international community has a discriminatory attitude towards them as compared to the refugees from Bosnia.

    The letter addressed to the Council of Europe by the Committee of Refugees from Croatia says that the internationally recognized state of Croatia had expelled 75% of its Serb population, which was a dangerous precedent in Europe.

    Refugees from Croatia appeal to the international community to take steps to stop the exodus of Serbs from Eastern Slavonia, as its former Serb population of 120,000 has dropped to 67,000 due to political pressures by Croatian authorities.

    Refugees from Croatia also ask Europe to force Croatian authorities to restore the tenancy rights to Serb refugees and thus ensure them equal treatment as that of Croats, as they, too, are Croatia's citizens.

    Refugees from Bosnia have also addressed a letter to the High Representative Carlos Westendorp, to local authorities in Sarajevo and international humanitarian organizations, demanding compliance with the resolutions of the Sarajevo conference on free return of former residents of the city and their tenancy rights.

    President of the Association of refugees in Yugoslavia Milorad Muratovic said that Yugoslavia was presently hosting 114,092 refugees from Sarajevo.

    The Association has proposed that 26,650 refugees return to Sarajevo in an initial phase, in line with the Sarajevo declaration adopted by the International Conference on Refugees held this month.

    [07] SERBIAN MINISTER MET WITH UNICEF AND IOM OFFICIALS

    Tanjug, 1998-02-26

    Serbian Family Care Minister and Refugees Commissioner Bratislava Morina met in Geneva on Thursday with UNICEF Central and Southeastern Europe Director John Donohue and International Organisation for Migrations (IOM) Assistant Director-General Gerhard Wirth.

    During the talks at UNICEF, both sides agreed that the Serbian Family Care Ministry and the UNICEF office in Belgrade should improve cooperation in issues important for child protection.

    Donohue praised efforts made by the Serbian Government and Family Care Ministry in the field of social protection of children and families.

    UNICEF representatives praised the programme of activities the Serbian Government plans to organise in 1999, which will be declared the year of fight against child abuse and neglect.

    UNICEF regards as very important the adoption and implementation of a Law on the population and demographic policy.

    The talks at the IOM confirmed mutual wish for the promotion of cooperation, especially in the field of the return of refugees to Croatia and Bosnia- Herzegovina and joint engagement in re*settlement of refugees in third countries, under the family reunion principle. The IOM will specially insist on this in 1998, since the recipient countries have increased their quotas.

    IOM representatives have announced the continuation of the return of trained staff to Bosnia-Herzegovina, especially to the Republika Srpska, medical check-up of repatriates and programmes of assistance to women refugees in collection centres.

    As for the return of refugees to formerly U.N.-protected areas, the IOM announced the opening of four sub-regional offices in Croatia, including Vukovar, whose activities will be financed by the U.S. Administration, for which 13 million dollars have already been secured.

    Morina expressed hope that UNICEF would support Yugoslavia's efforts aimed at its full reintegration in all international institutions, including the financial ones. A final lifting of all unjustified forms of isolation will create more favourable conditions for a better life of all, especially children.

    [08] PRESIDENT OF YUGOSLAV CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CONFERRED WITH THE BELGIAN AMBASSADOR

    Tanjug, 1998-02-26

    President of the Yugoslav Chamber of Commerce Mihailo Milojevic and the Belgian Ambassador to Yugoslavia Joris Couvreur discussed on Thursday the resumption of bilateral economic cooperation on a long-term basis in the interest of both countries.

    Belgian partners are especially interested in cooperation in agriculture, chemical and machine-building industries, and possibly in the power industry, construction and food industry, it was noted during the meeting.

    Yugoslavia wishes to import Belgian technology and know*how, especially as regards final production stages and sales, Milojevic said.

    Bilateral trade is presently far below its potential level, as it used to be worth 300 million dollars in the beginning of the nineties, whereas Yugoslavia's exports to Belgium were worth only 13 million in 1997 and its imports from Belgium 60 million, creating an unfavourable imbalance, Milojevic said.

    As Belgium hosts the headquarters of the European Union, Yugoslavia hopes to develop good diplomatic and economic relations with that country and the EU, Milojevic said.

    Ambassador Couvreur said that the EU was following its own policy, and added in a reference to trade preferences that the EU should be more open towards Yugoslavia.

    The forthcoming visit of a Yugoslav state and business delegation headed by Foreign Trade Minister Borisav Vukovic will provide an opportunity for direct contacts between potential partners, it was noted during the meeting.

    [09] US-YUGOSLAV ASSOCIATION FOR BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT

    Tanjug, 1998-02-26

    A U.S.-Yugoslav Association for Business and Management has been set up in New York, rallying a large number of U.S. businessmen, financial and banking experts and company presidents, and Yugoslav businessmen and firm directors.

    A protocol on the setting up of the Association was signed at a ceremony at the Yugoslav Mission to the United Nations in New York late on Wednesday.

    The Association is presided by U.S. professor and renowned expert on management Jose Ohayon, who has dealt with the strategic planning of restructuring and privatisation in eastern Europe for years. The Association's Vice President is the Dean of the School for International Management in Belgrade and head of the Yugoslav Management Council Milija Zecevic.

    Welcoming numerous U.S. and Yugoslav guests, head of the Yugoslav Mission to the United Nations, Ambassador Vladislav Jovanovic, said that the Association would undoubtedly contribute to a stronger linking of businessmen and the promotion of the overall U.S.-Yugoslav relations, which were traditionally good throughout history.

    After a recent period of stagnation, positive results are visible and they announce the opening of space for the normalisation of bilateral relations and the Yugoslav side is encouraged by these developments, Jovanovic said.

    Ohayon spoke about the Association's goals, stressing a breakthrough of U.S. business to Yugoslavia, strengthening of ties with Yugoslav companies and establishing of closer cooperation among financial, economic and other subjects as well as in the field of management. These links and a new quality of cooperation to be promoted by the Association will undoubtedly help promote overall Yugoslav-U.S. relations, Ohayon said.

    He said that there existed big possibilities for cooperation and that greater engagement and work could achieve a lot in the creation of strong economic and financial relations between the United States and Yugoslavia.

    Ohayon said that the Association would rally and attract a large number of companies from both countries.

    Speaking about the situation in Yugoslavia, Zecevic told U.S. businessmen that Yugoslavia, as the pillar in the Balkans, was safe, stable and rich in natural resources and that great possibilities existed for cooperation between the Yugoslav economy and foreign partners.

    He said that Yugoslavia attached great attention to education of young people in the field of management and modern business and that it was learning much from U.S. experts with whom it cooperates well.

    Zecevic said that a large number of students attended specialist studies at U.S. universities for management and that this cooperation would be promoted in the future.

    In addition to the promotion of the U.S.-Yugoslav cooperation in all fields, the protocol said that the creation of conditions for cooperation and linking of Yugoslavia with international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, would be among its goals.

    The Association Council includes representatives of renowned U.S. companies, financial and management institutions and Yugoslav experts and successful company directors.

    The constituent assembly of the U.S.-Yugoslav Association for Business and Management, which will rally a large number of U.S. businessmen, Americans of Yugoslav descent and Yugoslav businessmen, will be held in Chicago in June.

    [10] YUGOSLAV DEFENSE MINISTER SINGLES OUT DEFENSE AS FEDERATION'S PRIORITY

    Tanjug, 1998-02-26

    Yugoslav Defense Minister Pavle Bulatovic on Thursday qualified as impermissible a Montenegrin party motion that recruits from this Yugoslav republic be prevented from doing military service in the province of Kosovo- Metohija.

    Bulatovic told reporters during a recess of Yugoslav Parliament's Chamber of Citizens (Lower House) session that such an action as proposed by the Social Democratic Party of Montenegro (SDP CG) would disrupt Yugoslavia's single defense system.

    The Yugoslav Constitution clearly defines defense of the country as the Federation's priority, he said.

    Neither career officers nor those doing national service can choose their posting and are sent to places where they are most needed, Bulatovic stressed.

    The Yugoslav Government has not yet reviewed the SDP CG motion and will probably do so next week, he said. He added that the proposal did not carry sufficient weight to be considered, given the political power of that particular party.

    Bulatovic said that the situation in Serbia's southern province of Kosovo- Metohija "leaves much to be desired" because of daily terrorist attacks on civilians and officials in the exercise of their duty, which complicated the situation as concerns personal safety and property.

    He said that the situation in Kosovo-Metohija was under the watchful eye of both Serbian and Yugoslav state bodies and also of the international community, which was of a unanimous opinion that this is Yugoslavia's internal affair.

    Bulatovic also said that secession or terrorism enjoyed no support whatsoever.

    As for the movement of Yugoslav Army units, Bulatovic said that such issues were often manipulated with. He stressed that no one had the right to place in a different context the movement of army troops doing their regular job.

    The army is not making any special preparations in Kosovo-Metohija, Bulatovic underlined. He also said that it was well-known when and under which conditions the army could be involved.

    Commenting on statements about the Yugoslav Army's alleged involvement in an unrest in northern Albania, Bulatovic said that this was not the first lie about the activities of the Yugoslav Army. He said that not even such fabrications could damage Yugoslavia's reputation.

    [11] RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT YUGOSLAVIA IN MARCH

    Tanjug, 1998-02-26

    Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov will pay an official visit to Yugoslavia in the second half of March at the invitation of his Yugoslav counterpart Zivadin Jovanovic.

    The ministers are expected to discuss the promotion of bilateral relations and cooperation and exchange opinions about international issues of mutual interest, especially the promotion of the peace process and stability in the region.


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