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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-05-18

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH
Thessaloniki, May 18, 1999

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GREECE AND ITALY PROPOSE 48-HOUR TRUCE IN YUGOSLAVIA
  • [02] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VARTHOLOMEOS TO VISIT THESSALONIKI
  • [03] POLICE INVESTIGATORS LOCATE "17 NOVEMBER" GETAWAY VEHICLE
  • [04] ABOUT 400 REFUGEES TO ARRIVE IN MACEDONIA ON THURSDAY
  • [05] MOBILE MEDICAL UNIT FOR THE BALKANS PROPOSED BY GREEK MD
  • [06] REPPAS: THE EVIDENCE ON THE TERRORISTS IS BEING EVALUATED
  • [07] THE THREE YUGOSLAV PRISONERS OF WAR WILL BE RELEASED TODAY
  • [08] THE FIRST REFUGEES FROM KOSOVO ARE EXPECTED IN THESSALONIKI ON THURSAY
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [09] GREEK FM WELCOMES ELECTION VICTORY OF ISRAEL'S BARAK
  • [10] GREEK FM MEETS WITH FRENCH COUNTEPRART IN PARIS
  • [11] GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTRY DOES NOT WANT TO AMPLIFY ATTACK
  • [12] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER CONTINUES VISIT TO BULGARIA
  • [13] MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER EMBARKS ON VISIT TO CYPRUS
  • [14] MIKIS THEODORAKIS HONORED IN CYPRUS FOR HIS SOLIDARITY
  • [15] NATO RAIDS AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA CONTINUE, BUT SUPPORT WANES
  • [16] YUGOSLAV FOREIGN MINISTRY: NATO USES BANNED WEAPONS
  • [17] US TO FREE SERB SOLDIERS, BUT SAYS IT'S NOT A GOOD WILL GESTURE
  • [18] BEIJING: ATTACK ON EMBASSY ENCROACHED CHINA'S SOVEREIGNTY
  • [19] SERIES OF BLASTS ROCK ISTANBUL, NO REPORTS OF CASUALTIES
  • [20] FRENCH OFFICERS FIGHT NEXT TO KLA REBELS, ACCORDING TO BELGRADE
  • [21] A NATO PILOT WAS LOCATED ON FYROM TERRITORY
  • [22] FYROM: THE TWO JOURNALISTS ARRESTED FOR ILLEGAL ARMS TRADE ARE US CITIZENS
  • [23] NATO ARMS THE KLA, ACCORDING TO "LA STAMPA"
  • [24] SCHROEDER: THE LIKELIHOOD OF GROUND OPERATIONS IN KOSOVO IS UNTHINKABLE
  • [25] THE YUGOSLAV NAVY STOPPED A CARGO SHIP LOADED WITH FLOUR FROM DOCKING AT THE PORT OF BAR
  • [26] THE YUGOSLAV FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN IS IN FAVOR OF THE GREEK PROPOSAL FOR A 48HOUR STOP TO THE BOMBINGS
  • [27] TURKISH MAPS RECOGNIZE THAT THE SMALL ISLAND OF PLATI BELONGS TO GREECE

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREECE AND ITALY PROPOSE 48-HOUR TRUCE IN YUGOSLAVIA

    Greece and Italy have proposed a 48-hour cease-fire period in Yugoslavia in order to provide an opportunity to diplomatic initiatives, according to alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis.

    Meanwhile, Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari is to hold talks with the Russian President's special Balkans envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin today and US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott today.

    [02] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VARTHOLOMEOS TO VISIT THESSALONIKI

    The Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos will visit the Thessaloniki suburb of Kalamaria on May 31, the feast of the Holy Spirit, accompanied by Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece.

    The Ecumenical Patriarch, the spiritual leader of all of the world's Orthodox Christians, will arrive in Greece on May 20 for a two-week visit as the official guest of the Orthodox Church of Greece.

    Granted all the honors accorded a head of state, upon his arrival the Ecumenical Patriarch will be greeted by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and the Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    [03] POLICE INVESTIGATORS LOCATE "17 NOVEMBER" GETAWAY VEHICLE

    Athens police have discovered the getaway vehicle used by the infamous terrorist group "17 November" during the rocket attack against the German Ambassador's residence on Sunday night.

    The car was found parked on Mesogion Avenue, about one kilometer away from the crime scene.

    The anti-terrorist squad discovered traces of blood in the back seat of the car, thereby confirming the belief that one of the terrorsits was wounded when the rocket was launched.

    The rocket was fired from a fuse within a short distance, but no one was hurt as the weapon failed to explode. Both the Ambassador, Carl Heinz Kuhna, and his wife were inside the house, when the rocket tore a hole in the roof. Following the incident, the Ambassador told reporters that he continues to feel safe in Greece and urged the German citizens to visit Greece fearlessly.

    The "17 November" terrorist group has been active for a great number of years but continues to remain elusive. It first appeared in 1975 when it claimed responsibility for the killing of 20 Greeks and foreigners.

    [04] ABOUT 400 REFUGEES TO ARRIVE IN MACEDONIA ON THURSDAY

    A group of about 400 refugees from Kosovo are expected to arrive at Thessaloniki's "Macedonia" airport, the first group to arrive from the beleaguered Yugoslav province.

    According to radio reports, the displaced persons will make a brief stopover at the airport prior to departing for Australia.

    [05] MOBILE MEDICAL UNIT FOR THE BALKANS PROPOSED BY GREEK MD

    The Alexandroupolis chapter of Greece's Social Services Foundation (IKA) is proposing the creation of a mobile medical unit that will provide health services to the Balkan region throughout, according to the supervisor of the Preventive Medicine Unit of IKA, Constantinos Papoutselis.

    The unit will be compatible with similar centers that operate in the Bulgarian cities of Sofia, Pleven, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora and Varna.

    The Preventive Medicine Centers were founded within the framework of cross-border cooperation and the INTERREG I and II programs, mainly for the purpose of combating hepatitis, AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases.

    [06] REPPAS: THE EVIDENCE ON THE TERRORISTS IS BEING EVALUATED

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas responded to questions by reporters concerning the evidence at the disposal of the Greek anti-terrorist authorities over the terrorist organization "17 November" after the traces of blood found in the car that was used in the latest attack against the residence of the German ambassador to Athens.

    The Greek government spokesman stated that the evidence at the disposal of the authorities is being evaluated but this should not lead to the conclusion that arrests will be made soon.

    [07] THE THREE YUGOSLAV PRISONERS OF WAR WILL BE RELEASED TODAY

    US military officials stated that the three Yugoslav prisoners of war will be released today. They will be handed over to representatives of the International Red Cross in Hungary.

    Meanwhile, British prime minister Tony Blair is on visit to Tirana and already had a meeting with Albanian president Redzep Meidani and prime minister Pandeli Majko. Mr. Blair will visit a refugee camp in Kukes.

    [08] THE FIRST REFUGEES FROM KOSOVO ARE EXPECTED IN THESSALONIKI ON THURSAY

    The first refugees from Kosovo are expected at Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport on Thursday.

    According to information, they are about 400 refugees who will stay at the airport only for a few hours before they depart for Australia. It is not known what means of transportation will be used to bring the refugees to Thessaloniki.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [09] GREEK FM WELCOMES ELECTION VICTORY OF ISRAEL'S BARAK

    Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou saluted the victory of Labor Party leader Ehud Barak in Israel's prime ministerial elections, stating that it "has brought new hope, new light to the Middle East."

    Following the Paris-held talks with his French counterpart Hubert Vedrine yesterday evening, Mr. Papandreou expressed the hope that the result would re-launch the peace process and bring peace and stability to the region.

    Mr. Barak amassed 58% of the votes, while exiting Premier Benjamin Netanyahu garnered 41%.

    [10] GREEK FM MEETS WITH FRENCH COUNTEPRART IN PARIS

    Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou met with his French counterpart Hubert Vedrine, in Paris yesterday evening, with whom he discussed the efforts to achieve a diplomatic solution to the Kosovo crisis.

    Following the two-and-a-half-hour talks with Mr. Vedrine, Mr. Papandreou stated that "we are at the most difficult and sensitive moment of the procedure that could lead to a diplomatic solution through the adoption of a Security Council resolution."

    Mr. Papandreou stressed that the terms for the solution are that the deployment of a multinational force is accepted, all refugees return to their homes and the provisional administration in Kosovo prepares the integration of the area in the European family.

    In turn, Mr. Vedrine stressed the need for the expeditious preparation and adoption of a UN draft resolution which will open the way for an end to the crisis.

    "France and Greece will be cooperating closely, undertaking specific bilateral initiatives in the Balkans," the French FM stated.

    When asked if he agreed with the Greek proposal for a 48-hour truce in Yugoslavia, Mr. Vedrine replied that the adoption of a UN resolution had priority over any other action.

    [11] GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTRY DOES NOT WANT TO AMPLIFY ATTACK

    The German Foreign Ministry neither wishes to "amplify" Sunday night's rocket attack on the German ambassador's residence in Athens nor does it intend to revise the travel "non-advisory" it issued on May 6, which encourages German tourists to visit Greece fearlessly.

    According to press reports, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer was "satisfied" with the relevant statements made by his Greek counterpart George Papandreou. Mr. Fischer has reportedly communicated by telephone with the German Ambassador.

    The May 6 announcement reads that "the Foreign Ministry does not recommend the avoidance of trips to Greece," adding that "the situation prevailing in Kosovo does not have repercussions on tourist regions in Greece."

    [12] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER CONTINUES VISIT TO BULGARIA

    Greece's Minster of Defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos is continuing his two-day, official visit to Sofia, where he is holding talks with Bulgaria's political leadership regarding the initiatives for reaching a diplomatic solution to the Kosovo crisis.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos is scheduled to visit Bulgaria's old capital city of Veliko Turnovo, as well as the military school "Vasil Levski", accompanied by his Bulgarian counterpart Georgki Ananiev. The Defense Minister will also meet with Metropolite Gregorios.

    Commenting on yesterday's episode near the Imia islets, where Turkish boats attempted to approach the rock islets, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos advised Ankara to review its maps and to cease creating problems where there aren't any."

    [13] MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER EMBARKS ON VISIT TO CYPRUS

    The Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis has embarked on a two-day visit to Cyprus, at the invitation of the Cypriot Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Nikos Rolandis.

    Upon his arrival in Nicosia, accompanied by a delegation of local businessmen, Mr. Magriotis stated that the start of Cyprus's accession negotiations with the European Union has paved the way for the solution to the Cyprus issue.

    He added that intends to develop bilateral ties between his ministry and Cyprus on matters concerning sports, culture and the new generation, as reflected by the Thrace-Aegean-Cyprus program.

    Mr. Magriotis will be received by the President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides and the Misnter of Natural Resources and Environment Costas Themistocleus.

    [14] MIKIS THEODORAKIS HONORED IN CYPRUS FOR HIS SOLIDARITY

    The President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides has bestowed a special award on Greece's acclaimed composer Mikis Theodorakis for his support and solidarity with the people of Cyprus in their struggle for justice and freedom.

    According to the Cyprus News Agency, President Clerides paid tribute to Mr. Theodorakis' contribution to Cyprus and his long standing support, by saying that "Cyprus was a source of inspiration to Theodorakis and we would like to express our gratitude and appreciation."

    Accepting the medal, the Greek composer referred to NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia and its consequences and said "it makes the need for national unity and cooperation between Greece and Cyprus even more imperative."

    Mr. Theodorakis assured he will continue to devote his life and work to achieve this goal.

    Today, the composer will be declared honorary citizen of the Turkish-occupied town of Famagusta. He was bestowed the same honor earlier this week from the town of Limassol.

    [15] NATO RAIDS AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA CONTINUE, BUT SUPPORT WANES

    NATO aircraft launched another round of attacks against Belgrade's suburbs and other Yugoslav cities during the early morning hours. According to Serb media, one person was killed and a score of others were injured during the raids.

    Meanwhile, a notable shift has taken place among the U.S. public, according to a poll conducted on behalf of ABC and the "Washington Post". Specifically, 58% of those polled have responded that talks with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is the only way to escape the crisis.

    Concurrently, division abounds in NATO's circles concerning the tactic to be followed in regards to Kosovo. With the exception of the United Kingdom, which continues to press for ground operations, most other Allied stated favor the search of a political solution and flatly reject the option of ground operations in Kosovo.

    [16] YUGOSLAV FOREIGN MINISTRY: NATO USES BANNED WEAPONS

    Yugoslavia's Foreign Ministry has accused NATO of using "inhumane and banned weapons" in its assaults against the country.

    According to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass, the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry published a memorandum today, saying that these weapons are cluster and graphite bombs, and shells containing low- enriched uranium.

    "From March 25 to May 15, 60 canisters each containing 240 cluster bombs have been dropped on Yugoslavia", the statement said, adding that warplanes have dropped about 400 bombs without canisters, thus bringing the total number of cluster bombs to 15,000, of which two-thirds have been dropped on the Kosovo province."

    These bombs have built-in timers which that can delay blasts for hours and even days after having fallen on the ground, according to the memorandum. It is not accidental that victims of "delayed death" included several tens of children who were attracted by orange-colored cylinders landing on parachutes.

    [17] US TO FREE SERB SOLDIERS, BUT SAYS IT'S NOT A GOOD WILL GESTURE

    The United States is planning to release today the two Yugoslav servicemen who were captured by militants of the "Liberation Army of Kosovo" a few weeks ago and who are currently kept at a US military base in Germany, Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon stated yesterday.

    Mr. Bacon stressed that the release of the two servicemen of the Yugoslav army should not be regarded "as a gesture of good will" or a step in return for the recent release of three US servicemen by the Yugoslav side.

    [18] BEIJING: ATTACK ON EMBASSY ENCROACHED CHINA'S SOVEREIGNTY

    Chinese Vice-Premier Li Lanqing has stated that the NATO bomb attack on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade was an encroachment on the sovereignty of China.

    According to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass, Li Lanqing, during his meeting with Australian Vice-Premier Timothy Fisher held yesterday, said that the North Atlantic Alliance, headed by the United States, must assume full responsibility for the incident and give China "exhaustive explanation" of the reasons behind the attack on the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia.

    "China is a peace-loving state, but the Chinese people will never put up with any humiliation," he noted.

    The Chinese vice-premier said that in spite of the attack on the Chinese embassy, his country would, as before, "consistently implement the ongoing reforms and the policy of openness to the outside world." China will "continue to cooperate" with other nations in economy, trade, and science on the principles of peaceful co-existence, Li Lanqing stated.

    [19] SERIES OF BLASTS ROCK ISTANBUL, NO REPORTS OF CASUALTIES

    A series of bomb blasts rocked Istanbul overnight, with explosions at a high school, several bank branches and a cafe, but there were no reports of any casualties, police said.

    According to the French news agency AFP, a bomb went off at a high school in the Maltepe area, in the Asian side of the city, causing significant damage and blowing out the windows of neighboring buildings.

    Explosions also occurred at two bank branch offices also located in the Asian part of the city.

    Unidentified attackers threw explosive devices at a Maltepe cafe, causing damage to the building. Police are searching for two suspects, the Turkish news agency, Anatolia, reported.

    [20] FRENCH OFFICERS FIGHT NEXT TO KLA REBELS, ACCORDING TO BELGRADE

    Officers of France's special paratroopers' unit are fighting on the side of the Kossovo Liberation Army (KLA) rebels, according to Belgrade newspaper "Vecenje Novosti" which also mentions that three of them were killed last Sunday in the battles that took place at the Albanian-Yugoslav borders.

    According to the Yugoslav newspaper, the three officers were killed when together with a group of Albanian separatists tried to cross over to Kossovo, it is also mentioned that the French officers were wearing uniforms with the insignia of the French armed forces.

    Meanwhile, the press spokesman of the French ministry of defense ruled out any involvement of French officers in the activities of the Kossovo Liberation Army.

    [21] A NATO PILOT WAS LOCATED ON FYROM TERRITORY

    The pilot of a NATO aircraft which most likely was shot down during last night's bombings of Yugoslavia was located at a village situated near the city of Veles in central FYROM.

    According to Skopje private television station "A-1", citing eye witnesses' reports, the pilot was located at 8pm last night and managed to escape at a nearby forest.

    The local residents tried to arrest him but two NATO helicopters picked him up immediately. The incident has not been confirmed yet by the command of the NATO forces stationed in FYROM.

    [22] FYROM: THE TWO JOURNALISTS ARRESTED FOR ILLEGAL ARMS TRADE ARE US CITIZENS

    The two journalists, who were arrested at the FYROM-Kossovo borders while trying to bring a large quantity of guns, ammunition and food to FYROM, were employees of the US television channel CNN.

    According to Skopje private television station "SITEL", they are US journalists Dominique Robertson 37 years old and Philip Hiudikurk 42 years old, who worked together with 5 Albanians. The information concerning the whereabouts of the 5 Albanians are conflicting. Private mass media in FYROM maintain that they have escaped, while the newspaper "Makedonia Denes" writes that they were also arrested. The FROM mass media do not clarify if they are Albanian citizens or FYROM citizens with Albanian nationality.

    [23] NATO ARMS THE KLA, ACCORDING TO "LA STAMPA"

    NATO has decided to arm the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), according to the Italian newspaper "La Stampa".

    Based on the news article published by the newspaper, the leadership of NATO has already made a step further supplying with weapons and ammunition the ethnic Albanian rebels who want the independence of Kosovo. The newspaper underlines that NATO aircraft have dropped military supplies in different regions controlled by KLA. There are four such regions, two along the Yugoslav borders with Albania and FYROM and other two inside Kossovo near Podujevo and Urosevac.

    The Italian newspaper also maintains that there are British SAS agents in Albania, who are locating the positions of the Yugoslav army and direct toward them the KLA forces.

    [24] SCHROEDER: THE LIKELIHOOD OF GROUND OPERATIONS IN KOSOVO IS UNTHINKABLE

    German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder characterized the likelihood of ground operations in Kosovo as unthinkable after his meeting in Bari with Italian prime minister Massimo D'Alema.

    At the same time, Russian minister of defense Igor Sergeyev reiterated that NATO prepares for ground operations. Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, who has undertaken a mediating role between NATO and Belgrade, will meet in Helsinki today with Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou, Russian mediator Victor Chernomyrdin and US assistant Secretary of State Strobe Talbot. Mr. Ahtisaari stated that it is too premature to say when he will meet with Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.

    [25] THE YUGOSLAV NAVY STOPPED A CARGO SHIP LOADED WITH FLOUR FROM DOCKING AT THE PORT OF BAR

    In spite last week's decision by Belgrade to lift the blockade it has imposed to the port of Bar, the biggest port of Montenegro, the Yugoslav Navy prevented a cargo ship under Georgian flag from docking at the port to unload 3.100 tons of flour for the market of Montenegro.

    The ship was forced to unload its cargo at the port of Dubrovnik in Croatia and the flour will be transported to Montenegro with trucks.

    [26] THE YUGOSLAV FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN IS IN FAVOR OF THE GREEK PROPOSAL FOR A 48HOUR STOP TO THE BOMBINGS

    Yugoslav foreign ministry press spokesman Mr. Vujovic backed the Greek proposal for a 48-hour stop to the bombings for the promotion of the diplomatic consultations on the issue of Kossovo. Responding to a question by a Greek state television, NET, correspondent, he also pointed out that the G-8 plan for the solution of the Yugoslav crisis is being studied and stressed that he is expecting clarifications to be made to certain points.

    On the occasion of the imminent visit of Russian mediator Victor Chernomyrdin to Belgrade, Mr. Vujovic stressed that specific proposals are expected to which will be given specific responses.

    However, he was clearly in favor of maintaining the existing borders, Kossovo's autonomy and the safeguarding of human rights.

    Meanwhile, the Serb soldiers, who were held by the US forces in Germany, were released today and they were accompanied to Belgrade by representatives of the International Red Cross.

    [27] TURKISH MAPS RECOGNIZE THAT THE SMALL ISLAND OF PLATI BELONGS TO GREECE

    Turkish maps show that the small Aegean island of Plati belongs to Greece, according to Turkish newspaper reports, regarding the diplomatic notice issued to Greek charge d' affaires in Ankara Mr. Christidis.

    Meanwhile, Greek minister of justice Evangelos Venizelos underlined today that Plati is an island that belongs to Greece and Platia is a rocky islet that also belongs to Greece. He also stated characteristically that the Turks apparently do not know how to read.


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