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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-05-26

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 26, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VARTHOLOMEOS TO VISIT THESSALONIKI
  • [02] GREECE TO PRESENT TRUCE PROPOSAL AT NEXT NATO ENVOYS MEET
  • [03] HON. PRESIDENT OF MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY TO VISIT BELGRADE
  • [04] SECOND WAVE OF KOSOVO REFUGEES TO USE THESSALONIKI AIRPORT
  • [05] BLACK SEA TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT BANK TO OPEN JUNE 1
  • [06] ALMOST UNANIMOUSLY, GREEKS OPPOSE NATO RAIDS ON SERBIA
  • [07] MITSOTAKIS WILL MEET WITH MILOSEVIC TOMORROW
  • [08] TSOCHATZOPOULOS ON THE PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN KOSOVO
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [09] NATO INTENSIFIES RAIDS AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA
  • [10] DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS CONTINUE IN YUGOSLAVIA
  • [11] GREEK FM TO MEET WITH US SECRETARY OF STATE TODAY
  • [12] PRESIDENT OF GREECE TO CONDUCT OFFICIAL VISIT TO BULGARIA
  • [13] CHERNOMYRDIN:TODAY'S TALKS SHOULD LEAD TO END OF RAIDS
  • [14] TRIPARTITE HUMANITARIAN AID GIVEN TO RED CROSS IN KOSOVO
  • [15] TALBOTT ADVOCATES STEP-BY-STEP APPROACH TO KOSOVO
  • [16] GREECE'S DEVELOPMENT MINISTER IN SOFIA TOMORROW
  • [17] TALBOTT: BELGRADE HAS NOT MET NATO'S DEMANDS
  • [18] VUJOVIC: WE WILL NOT YIELD TO THE BOMBING
  • [19] PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS IS IN SOFIA
  • [20] BELGRADE: THE TRIAL OF TWO EMPLOYEES OF THE "CARE AUSTRALIA" HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATION HAS OPENED

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] 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, arrived in Greece on May 20 for a two-week visit as the official guest of the Orthodox Church of Greece.

    [02] GREECE TO PRESENT TRUCE PROPOSAL AT NEXT NATO ENVOYS MEET

    Greece will present its joint proposal with the Czech Republic on a 48-hour cease fire in the Yugoslav conflict at the next sitting of NATO envoys, government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas stated yesterday.

    Mr. Reppas added that Greece supports the G-8 proposals on Kosovo, stressing that maximum use should be made of the mediating efforts of Russian special envoy for Kosovo Viktor Chernomyrdin and Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari.

    According to the spokesman, the Greek-Czech proposal will allow for the strengthening of a peace initiative on the strife- torn Kosovo.

    [03] HON. PRESIDENT OF MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY TO VISIT BELGRADE

    The honorary president of Greece's main opposition party, New Democracy's Konstantinos Mitsotakis, is to travel to Belgrade this evening where he will have a personal meeting with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

    It is not know as of yet whether Mr. Mitsotakis will meet with Mr. Milosevic prior to or following the latter's talks with the Russian envoy for Kosovo Viktor Chernomyrdin.

    [04] SECOND WAVE OF KOSOVO REFUGEES TO USE THESSALONIKI AIRPORT

    A second wave of refugees from Kosovo will pass through Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport tomorrow, in transit to Australia where they will be granted temporary shelter.

    They will arrive in Thessaloniki from FYROM by road

    Approximately 400 people, mostly women and children, flew out of Thessaloniki last Thursday headed for Australia. According to reports, a total of 20,000 refugees will depart for various destinations from the Macedonia Airport.

    [05] BLACK SEA TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT BANK TO OPEN JUNE 1

    The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) is to embark on its operation on June 1, with the official inauguration taking place later in the month.

    The bank's budget, which is expected to be 150 million dollars in 1999, will finance projects and programs funded jointly with other credit organizations, such as the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

    The shareholders of the Black Sea Bank are the 11 member-states of the Black Sea Organization of Economic Cooperation: Greece, Turkey, Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldavia and Albania.

    [06] ALMOST UNANIMOUSLY, GREEKS OPPOSE NATO RAIDS ON SERBIA

    With an almost unanimous rate, 99.5% of Greeks are opposed to NATO's air strikes against Yugoslavia, while 99.3% of those polled are against the use of ground forces, according to a survey conducted by the Psychology Department of the Panteios University in Athens.

    According to the survey, conducted between April 29- May 5, 14% of those polled believe that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic should be tried for war crimes, while 25% believe that U.S. President Bill Clinton, British Premier Toni Blair, NATO commander general Wesley Clark and NATO chief Javier Solana should also be prosecuted as war criminals.

    More than half of those who responded to the survey (56%) believe that the Greek government should have vetoed the airstrikes.

    [07] MITSOTAKIS WILL MEET WITH MILOSEVIC TOMORROW

    Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy honorary president Konstantinos Mitsotakis will be in Belgrade this evening.

    Tomorrow, he is scheduled to meet with Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, the Patriarch of Serbia and other Yugoslav officials.

    [08] TSOCHATZOPOULOS ON THE PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN KOSOVO

    Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos stated that the increase in the number of the peacekeeping force is not a guarantee that a solution is imminent and added that there is a behind the scenes conflict of interests which blocks the efforts aimed at finding a political solution.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that the Greek ships do not participate in operations that are associated with war actions, while he clarified that the number of Greek soldiers that will take part in the peacekeeping force will be decided after the Euro- parliament elections.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [09] NATO INTENSIFIES RAIDS AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA

    NATO aircraft continued to pound Yugoslavia last night, targeting the building which houses the state-owned television station in Novi Sad. Seven missile and bomb blows were dealt at the high-voltage power transmission line near the town of Obrenovac, 30 kilometers away from Belgrade. The partially- restored power supply to the Yugoslav capital was again interrupted at dawn.

    Also, three missiles were fired at the building of the Serbian Interior Ministry in the center of the city, although they failed to explode.

    According to the Yugoslav agency Tanjug, one person was killed and five others were wounded during last night's raids in a Serbian village, while a five-year-old child was wounded during NATO raids over Kosovo.

    [10] DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS CONTINUE IN YUGOSLAVIA

    U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott will fly to Moscow today for further consultations over Kosovo. While in Moscow, Mr. Talbott is expected to have talks with Russia's Balkans envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin and Finnish President Marti Ahtisaari.

    Messrs. Ahtisaari and Chernomyrdin will travel to Belgrade tomorrow where they will meet with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic

    Meanwhile, the Allies have ratified a plan that allows for the augmentation of the NATO military presence in FYROM to 45,000- 50,000 troops.

    [11] GREEK FM TO MEET WITH US SECRETARY OF STATE TODAY

    Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou is presently on a four-day visit to the United States, where he will meet with the Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in Washington.

    Mr. Papandreou will brief Ms. Albright on the Greek-Czech initiative for a 48-hour suspension of NATO bombings in Yugoslavia before any relevant resolution by the UN Security Council. China has reportedly welcomed the Greek-Czech initiative.

    [12] PRESIDENT OF GREECE TO CONDUCT OFFICIAL VISIT TO BULGARIA

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos is to embark on an official visit to Bulgaria today, where he will meet with President Petar Stoyanov and Prime Minister Ivan Kostov with whom he will discuss issues of bilateral interest and the latest developments in the Balkans.

    The President's visit to Bulgaria was preceded by an official visit by Greece's Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, May 17, who met with his Bulgarian counterpart Georgi Ananiev, foreign minister Nadezda Michailova, foreign policy parliamentary committee chairman Asen Agov and parliament speaker Jordan Sokolov.

    Messrs. Tsochatzopoulos and Ananiev stated that they ascertained an identity of views concerning the Kosovo crisis.

    Specifically, the two ministers stated that they advocate an expeditious and peaceful settlement of the crisis through diplomatic means.

    Moreover, they stated that they support the deployment of multi-national peace-keeping forces comprising NATO member and non- member states which would guarantee the implementation of a peace agreement.

    [13] CHERNOMYRDIN:TODAY'S TALKS SHOULD LEAD TO END OF RAIDS

    Russian presidential envoy on Yugoslavia Viktor Chernomyrdin has stated that today's trilateral talks in Moscow "should lead to an end to air strikes in Yugoslavia."

    According to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass, Mr. Chernomyrdin said that he will travel to Belgrade tomorrow irrespective of the outcome of talks in Moscow.

    He noted that only two key questions have to be agreed at the talks in Moscow: the withdrawal of Serbian troops from Kosovo and the structure of international presence in that province.

    He stressed that "Belgrade and (Yugoslav President Slobodan) Milosevic are ready to accept many things, including the participation of NATO countries, which are not actively involved in combat actions, such as Greece or Portugal, to take part in the international presence."

    [14] TRIPARTITE HUMANITARIAN AID GIVEN TO RED CROSS IN KOSOVO

    Five trucks with humanitarian aid from Greece, Russia and Switzerland were passed over to the Red Cross Committee in Kosovo yesterday, consisting of foods, hygiene articles and detergents.

    Under the Focus initiative of the three countries, the humanitarian aid is weekly supplied to various regions of Yugoslavia. Yesterday's was the fifth humanitarian convoy. In the previous dispatches of aid, the trucks brought a field hospital of 40 beds, warm clothing and medicines. The field hospital was placed in Prokupje.

    [15] TALBOTT ADVOCATES STEP-BY-STEP APPROACH TO KOSOVO

    United States First Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, presently in Moscow for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, stated today a large amount of important work is yet to be done

    Speaking prior to his meeting with Mr. Ivanov, Mr. Talbott stressed that the sides will proceed step by step, gradually resolving the most important matters.

    "We are working, upon having rolled up our sleeves, and, to my mind, working very well," he said.

    Mr. Talbott added that "the Belgrade leadership, who have taken up a tough stand", should agree to complying with a number of most important demands put forward by the international community as a whole.

    He mentioned demands such as the return of many thousands of refugees to their homes under conditions of safety and the granting of a high degree of autonomy of local authorities.

    [16] GREECE'S DEVELOPMENT MINISTER IN SOFIA TOMORROW

    Greece's Development Minister Evangelos Venizelos will be in Sofia, tomorrow, where he will inaugurate the new processing plant established by Greek fruit juice firm, Florina SA.

    The firm has invested six million dollars on converting the former bakery in a suburb of Sofia, bought for $640,000 in 1997, into a processing plant capable of packaging fruit juices, nectar and pulp. It will have the capacity to package 10,500 one-liter and 250-mg units per hour.

    [17] TALBOTT: BELGRADE HAS NOT MET NATO'S DEMANDS

    Strobe Talbott met in Moscow with Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov. The US assistant secretary of state said after the meeting that Belgrade has not met yet NATO's demands.

    Russian mediator Victor Chernomyrdin, before his decisive meeting this afternoon with Finnish president Maarti Ahtisaari and Strobe Talbott, reiterated Russia's demand for the immediate end of the bombing.

    [18] VUJOVIC: WE WILL NOT YIELD TO THE BOMBING

    In spite of the fact that we want peace more than anything else in order to stop the irrational destruction of our country, we will not yield to the bombing, we will never give way, stated Yugoslav deputy foreign minister Neboisa Vujovic in an exclusive interview to MPA. At the same time, he expressed the discontent of the Belgrade government for the delay in the promotion of the peace process.

    Mr. Vujovic called on the Kosovo refugees to return to their homes, praised Greece's stance in the crisis and the initiatives of the Greek foreign ministry, while he expressed strong concern regarding the likelihood for the conflict to spread to the whole region in case the NATO bombing does not end immediately.

    Mr. Vujovic stated that Belgrade has two strategic goals namely, to safeguard the national sovereignty and work with all its powers for a political solution to the problem in Kosovo. He said that Belgrade's position regarding the initiative by Russian mediator Victor Chernomyrdin is positive, but it is not satisfied with its slow pace.

    He said that the ethnic Albanians must return to their homes because there is no reason for them to continue to be refugees, stressing that since April 6 all action against the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, has stopped and on May 9 a decision was made by the armed forces headquarters for the withdrawal of army and police forces. He said that this decision is being implemented in spite of the fact that the ethnic Albanian rebels continue to bomb the Yugoslav forces. He said that the problem should be resolved within the framework of a broad autonomy that will mean equal rights for all ethnic minorities in Kossovo, adding that the G-8 decisions reached in Bonn have been accepted by Belgrade and constitute a serious basis for the continuation of the negotiations aimed at reaching a diplomatic solution. However, the points that are being mentioned in the Bonn declaration must be further clarified.

    Responding to the question if there will be peace by next week, Mr. Vujovic stated that the facts speak for themselves. The 1.200 people, who lost their lives from the bombing, the 6.000 injured, the 40 bridges that were destroyed as well as the hospitals, universities and schools and the damaged television buildings in Belgrade and Novi Sad, show that there is no real interest in finding a political solution soon.

    Regarding the accusations coming from NATO that the ethnic cleansing of the Albanians in Kosovo continues and the bombing is being held for the protection of their human rights, Mr. Vujovic stated that most of the people who are being killed by the NATO bombs are Albanians and not Serbs, Montenegrans, gypsies or others, wondering who are protecting those bombs. He said that a day before the start of the bombing there was not even one tent, not even one refugee at the borders of Kossovo with FYROM and Albania.

    On the peace initiatives undertaken by the Greek government for the solution of the problem, Mr. Vujovic stated that all the initiatives that seek the end of the bombing are welcomed and added that Greece with the initiative it has undertaken as a member of NATO has opened the way for other countries to follow calling on the alliance to stop the bombing. He said that within NATO the pressure exerted by Washington blocks the development of initiatives by other countries, but the European public opinion is reacting and even in the United States 56% of the population is against the bombing, while in Europe the percentage is bigger.

    On the proposal for the creation of peace zones through which the humanitarian aid will pass, Mr. Vujovic stated that the logic to create specific safe heaven zones outside which the war will go on is irrational. Belgrade is in favor of safe zones if they cover the whole of the country from north to south and from west to the east.

    He concluded that the bombing must end now, while a political solution should be reached that will safeguard the integrity of Yugoslavia and Kossovo, adding that anything else will be dangerous.

    [19] PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS IS IN SOFIA

    President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos is in Sofia and this afternoon he will meet with his Bulgarian counterpart Petar Stoyanov. Mr. Stephanopoulos stated that the Greek-Bulgarian relations are setting an example and that with Mr. Stoyanov he will discuss bilateral issues as well as, the situation in Kosovo.

    At noon today, Mr. Stephanopoulos visited the Alexander Nefski cathedral, while he is scheduled to have meetings with prime minister Ivan Kostov and Greek students studying in Bulgarian universities.

    [20] BELGRADE: THE TRIAL OF TWO EMPLOYEES OF THE "CARE AUSTRALIA" HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATION HAS OPENED

    The trial of two employees of the Australian humanitarian organization "Care Australia" who are accused of espionage opened in Belgrade today.

    Australian nationals Steve Pratt and Peter Wallas were arrested by the Serb authorities on March 31, while trying to cross over to Croatia from Yugoslavia and according to Belgrade, they had confidential documents in their possession that they were going to deliver to NATO.

    Initially, Belgrade had not reported any information on the arrest of the two Australians but 12 days after their capture Steve Pratt went on the Serb state television and admitted that he was working as a spy.


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