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Voice of America, 97-01-28

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [02] ALBANIA DEMO (S ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)
  • [03] ALBRIGHT-EUROPE UNION (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (STATE DEPARTMENT)
  • [04] BELGRADE DEMOS (L-O) BY JULIA GLYN-PICKETT (BELGRADE)
  • [05] BULGARIA ECONOMY BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)
  • [06] CYPRUS SETTLEMENT (L ONLY) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (UNITED NATIONS)
  • [07] EUROPE / EAST AFRICA (S ONLY) BY SCOTT STEARNS (ADDIS ABABA)
  • [08] MILOSEVIC'S FATE BY PAMELA TAYLOR (WASHINGTON)
  • [09] TURKEY/CILLER (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [10] U-S/BOSNIA/WAR CRIMES (S ONLY) BY VICTOR BEATTIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [11] U-S/FRANCE/NATO (L) BY DAVID GOLLUST (PENTAGON)

  • [01] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=01/28/97
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-09994
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=NEAL LAVON
    CONTENT=
    // EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS PERISHABLE MATERIAL AND BECOMES DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T ON TUESDAY JANUARY 28TH //

    INTRO: A QUICK GLANCE AT THE EDITORIAL PAGES OF SOME MAJOR U-S NEWSPAPERS THIS TUESDAY SHOWS THAT MANY EDITORS ARE RUNNING COMMENTARIES ON CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM AND ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT.

    OTHER TOPICS UNDER DISCUSSION INCLUDE THE LATEST IN THE CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING SWISS BANKS WHICH HELD DEPOSITS FROM HOLOCAUST VICTIMS, IMPROVING U-S FOOD SAFETY; HAITI'S NEW POLICE FORCE; HONG KONG'S FUTURE, AND SAUDI COOPERATION IN THE INVESTIGATION OF A 1995 BOMBING INCIDENT.

    NOW, HERE WITH A CLOSER LOOK IS ___________AND TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: BOTH THE NEW YORK TIMES AND WASHINGTON POST ARE AGAIN CRITICIZING THE REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS FOR WHAT THE PAPERS SEE AS ETHICAL LAPSES IN THE WAY THEY RAISE CAMPAIGN MONEY FROM BIG BUSINESS. HERE'S PART OF THE TIMES COMMENTARY:

    VOICE: "GIVE THE TWO MAJOR PARTIES THIS MUCH [CREDIT]. THEY BOTH HAVE THE FAITH OF A MISBEHAVING CHILD IN THE EVERYBODY-DOES-IT DEFENSE, AND INDEED, IN TODAY'S WASHINGTON, DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS ALIKE ARE SLOPPING [EATING] LIKE HOGS AT THE CORPORATE TROUGH. UNDER THE CODE-NAME OF 'CONSTITUENCY OUTREACH PLANS,' THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE WROTE PLAYBOOKS [COMPLEX PLANS] FOR BARTERING FACE TIME [MEETINGS] WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON. MEANWHILE, THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE WAS SELLING ITS RENT-A-STAFFER PLAN TO EXECUTIVES WITH 250-THOUSAND DOLLARS TO PLUNK DOWN [CONTRIBUTE]. .... A WHITE HOUSE TANGLED IN ETHICS INQUIRIES HAS SEIZED ON THE REPUBLICAN SUPERIORITY AS A DEFENSE OF ITS OWN BEHAVIOR, BUT THAT IS AN ADOLESCENT RESPONSE TO A SERIOUS NATIONAL PROBLEM."

    TEXT: THE WASHINGTON POST HAS VERY MUCH THE SAME CRITICISM IN ITS LEAD EDITORIAL.

    VOICE: "BOTH PARTIES RAISED ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF MONEY LAST YEAR BY SELLING WHAT THEY DAINTILY DESCRIBE AS 'ACCESS' TO THEIR INFLUENTIAL MEMBERS. [OPT] IN JUST THE LAST FEW DAYS WE'VE READ OF SESSIONS IN THE WHITE HOUSE IN WHICH BANKERS WERE BROUGHT TOGETHER WITH THE PRESIDENT, BANK REGULATORS AND DNC .... FUND-RAISERS FOR DISCUSSIONS OF WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BE ON EVERYONE'S MIND. THE REPUBLICANS WERE MEANWHILE OFFERING SO-CALLED 'SEASON TICKETS' COMPLETE WITH OFFERS OF 'SUPPORT PERSONNEL' IN WASHINGTON TO WHOEVER MIGHT KICK IN [CONTRIBUTE] 250-THOUSAND DOLLARS OR MORE. [END OPT] IF THE PRESIDENT IS EMBARRASSED ENOUGH AT HAVING PARTICIPATED IN SUCH A SYSTEM NOW TO WANT TO CLEAN IT UP A LITTLE - - AND HE SHOULD BE - - WHO'S TO SAY NO?"

    [OPT]

    TEXT: THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER HAS SOME HARSH WORDS FOR BOTH THE PRESIDENT AND HOUSE SPEAKER NEWT GINGRICH REGARDING ETHICS AND ASKS RHETORICALLY: "HOW IS THE COUNTRY TO FIND CLOSURE ON ETHICS ISSUES WITH THE PRESIDENT AND SPEAKER SO DEEP IN DENIAL?"

    VOICE: "MR. CLINTON HAS URGED THE NATION TO PUT RECENT ETHICS CONTROVERSIES BEHIND IT. WELL, MR. PRESIDENT, UNTIL YOU AND THE SPEAKER SHOW YOU UNDERSTAND RIGHT FROM WRONG, THAT'S GOING TO BE HARD TO DO."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: TURNING TO INTERNATIONAL TOPICS, THE ON-GOING CONTROVERSY ABOUT WHETHER SWISS BANKS KEPT LARGE SUMS OF MONEY FROM HOLOCAUST VICTIMS HAS TAKEN A NEW TURN. THE SWISS AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES HAS RESIGNED AFTER A MEMO HE WROTE BECAME PUBLIC, CALLING THE CONTROVERSY "A WAR" IN WHICH THE OTHER SIDE COULD NOT BE TRUSTED. THE WASHINGTON POST COMMENTS:

    VOICE: "THE PROCESS OF DISCOVERY HAS PRODUCED SOBERING EVIDENCE NOT JUST OF BANKING PATTERNS BUT OF RESIDUAL RESENTMENTS OF JEWS IN SWISS SOCIETY. HIGH OFFICIALS - - BERN'S AMBASSADOR TO WASHINGTON, WHO RESIGNED YESTERDAY, TURNED OUT TO BE IN THIS CATEGORY - - HAVE SOUGHT TO DIVERT THE FOCUS OF INQUIRY FROM SWISS BANKING PRACTICES TO JEWISH QUESTIONS ABOUT THEM. THIS IS A PARTICULARLY UGLY VERSION OF 'BLAME THE VICTIM.' IT IS UNWORTHY OF A NATION WHOSE INTERNATIONAL STANDING AND BANKING EMINENCE REST ON A CLAIM TO NATIONAL INTEGRITY."

    TEXT: PRESIDENT CLINTON'S PROPOSALS TOWARD MAKING THE U-S FOOD SUPPLY SAFER COMES IN FOR COMMENT FROM THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.

    VOICE: "[OPT] IN FACT, THE PRESIDENT'S PROPOSAL IS AIMED LESS AT PREVENTION THAN AT EARLY DETECTION. THERE IS A GROWING ACKNOWLEDGMENT AMONG SCIENTISTS THAT THERE IS NO CERTAIN WAY TO KEEP DEADLY MICROORGANISMS FROM ENTERING THE NATION'S FOOD SUPPLY. [HOWEVER] [END OPT] ... THE DANGER OF DISEASE TRANSMISSION THROUGH FOOD SHOULD DIMINISH MARKEDLY WHEN THE FDA'S NEW ANIMAL FEED REGULATIONS AND THE PRESIDENT'S IMPROVED OVERSIGHT SYSTEM ARE IMPLEMENTED LATER THIS YEAR. THAT'S SOME COMFORT."

    TEXT: A NEW REPORT BY HUMAN RIGHTS AND LIBERAL GROUPS CITE AT LEAST 46 DEATHS IN HAITI AS THE RESULT OF EXCESSIVE FORCE BY POLICE. IT DREW THIS COMMENT FROM THE MIAMI HERALD.

    VOICE: "THE PATH TO DEMOCRACY IS OFTEN LITTERED WITH THE DEAD, AND HAITI'S IS NO DIFFERENT. SO THE REPORT ....OF CONTINUED EXECUTIONS AND TORTURE BY THE 18-MONTH-OLD HAITIAN NATIONAL POLICE FORCE DOESN'T SURPRISE. SADLY, IT WARNS INSTEAD HOW MUCH WORK REMAINS AHEAD FOR HAITI TO FORGE A CIVIL ORDER FROM SPILLED BLOOD."

    TEXT: TODAY'S BOSTON GLOBE HAS SOME THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST FEARS ABOUT THE CHINESE TAKEOVER OF HONG KONG, NOW LESS THAN SIX MONTHS AWAY.

    VOICE: "CHINA'S RECOVERY OF A PARCEL OF ITS OWN TERRITORY CAN HARDLY BE CLASSIFIED AS AN ACT OF IMPERIALISM. THE BRITISH SEIZURE OF HONG KONG WAS A GEOPOLITICAL EXTORTION, AND LONDON'S BESTOWAL OF FREEDOM ON THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG CAME MUCH TOO LATE. YET BEIJING'S INTENTION TO RULE HONG KONG WITH THE SAME AUTHORITARIAN METHODS BRITAIN FAVORED UNTIL THE LAST FEW YEARS MIGHT BEST BE UNDERSTOOD AS COLONIAL DOMINATION WITHOUT FOREIGNERS. "

    TEXT: AND LASTLY, SOME ADDITIONAL CRITICISM FROM THE NEW YORK POST FOR WHAT THE PAPER SAYS IS THE LACK OF COOPERATION BY SAUDI OFFICIALS IN THE JOINT U-S INVESTIGATION OF LAST JUNE'S DAHARAN BOMBING.

    VOICE: "IT'S NO SECRET THAT THE SAUDIS HAVE BEEN PLAYING A DOUBLE GAME - - SUPPORTING A VARIETY OF ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATIONS EVEN AS RIYADH CELEBRATES ITS FRIENDSHIP WITH THE U-S. INDEED, IT'S LIKELY THAT THE SAUDIS HAVE BEEN UNHELPFUL TO THE F-B-I LEST THE G-MEN LEARN TOO [ITALICS FOR EMPHASIS] MUCH ABOUT THE DEGREE TO WHICH RIYADH UNDERWRITES FUNDAMENTALIST TERROR. THE SAUDIS WILL PLAY THIS GAME AS LONG AS WASHINGTON PERMITS. WE THINK 24 DEAD AMERICAN SERVICEMEN IS QUITE ENOUGH ....."

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF SOME EDITORIALS COMMENT FROM TUESDAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/NL
    28-Jan-97 10:53 AM EST (1553 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] ALBANIA DEMO (S ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)

    DATE=1/28/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209315
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A SMALLER THAN EXPECTED CROWD OF PRO-GOVERNMENT SUPPORTERS RALLIED TUESDAY IN THE ALBANIAN CAPITAL, TIRANA. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS THE RULING PARTY ORGANIZED THE RALLY AND ACCUSED THE FORMER COMMUNIST OPPOSITION OF PROVOKING UNREST IN CONNECTION WITH THE COLLAPSE OF SEVERAL FINANCE COMPANIES.

    TEXT: PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA BRIEFLY ADDRESSED SUPPORTERS IN TIRANA'S SKANDERBEG SQUARE, MAKING HIS FIRST PUBLIC COMMENTS SINCE THE UNREST BEGAN MORE THAN A WEEK AGO. MR. BERISHA CALLED ON ALBANIANS TO REMAIN CALM AND ASSURED PEOPLE THAT THE GOVERNMENT WILL RESOLVE THE FINANCIAL CRISIS IN A SERIOUS AND FAIR WAY.

    THE RULING DEMOCRATIC PARTY EARLIER BACKED AWAY FROM ITS CALL FOR A RALLY OUTSIDE THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE OPPOSITION SOCIALIST PARTY.

    THE ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER SAID TUESDAY THAT THE GOVERNMENT WILL BY FEBRUARY FIFTH BEGIN TO COMPENSATE INVESTORS FOR 70 PERCENT OF THEIR FINANCIAL LOSSES.

    THE PROTESTS BEGAN AFTER TWO PROMINENT GET-RICH-QUICK INVESTMENT COMPANIES COLLAPSED, CAUSING PANIC AMONG THE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WHO HAD ENTRUSTED THEIR MEAGER SAVINGS TO INVESTMENT COMPANIES.

    PRESIDENT BERISHA SAID PYRAMID INVESTMENT SCHEMES CAN NO LONGER OPERATE IN ALBANIA. THE PRESIDENT SUNDAY NIGHT BEGAN DEPLOYING ARMY UNITS TO QUELL THE UNREST. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/JWH/KL
    28-Jan-97 10:12 AM EST (1512 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] ALBRIGHT-EUROPE UNION (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (STATE DEPARTMENT)

    DATE=1/28/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209350
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT HAS HELD HER FIRST MINISTERIAL MEETING AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT, THE NEW SECRETARY OF STATE IS MAKING HERSELF KNOWN TO COLLEAGUES AROUND THE WORLD.

    TEXT: THE NEW SECRETARY OF STATE HAS BEEN BUSY INTRODUCING HERSELF TO HER COLLEAGUES AROUND THE WORLD. SHE TELEPHONED BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY MALCOLM RIFKIND AND HAS CONTINUED BY TALKING TO FOREIGN MINISTERS FROM EGYPT, CANADA, CROATIA, UKRAINE, CHILE, BRAZIL AND ISRAEL AS WELL AS SALIM SALIM, THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY AND PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT YASSER ARAFAT.

    THE STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS THERE'S NO PARTICULAR ORDER TO THESE TELEPHONE CALLS. THEY ARE PARTIALLY A FUNCTION OF WHO IS IN THE OFFICE AT THE RIGHT TIME. IN THE CASE OF CANADA, FOREIGN MINISTER LLOYD AXWORTHY WANTS TO SEND A REPRESENTATIVE HERE TO EXPLAIN CANADA'S VIEW OF THE FOREIGN MINISTER'S TRIP TO CUBA. IN THE CASE OF CHILE, PRESIDENT EDUARDO FREI IS EXPECTED HERE FOR A STATE VISIT NEXT MONTH.

    FOR HER FIRST MINISTERIAL MEETING AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT, THE EUROPEAN UNION GOT THE HONOR. DUTCH FOREIGN MINISTER HANS VAN MIERLO AND LEON BRITTAN DISCUSSED A VARIETY OF ISSUES FOR MORE THAN ONE HOUR WITH MRS. ALBRIGHT. ON CHINA, THERE'S A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF STRATEGY AT STAKE. THE EUROPEAN UNION HAS DELAYED A DECISION ABOUT WHETHER IT WANTS TO SPONSOR A RESOLUTION AT THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION CONDEMNING CHINA'S TREATMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS. THE COMMISSION MEETS IN GENEVA FROM MARCH 10TH TO APRIL 18TH.

    IF THE EUROPEAN UNION DECLINES TO SPONSOR A RESOLUTION, MRS. ALBRIGHT MUST DECIDE WHETHER THE UNITED STATES WANTS TO HAVE A CONFRONTATION WITH CHINA. AN AMERICAN DELEGATION IS NOW IN BEIJING DISCUSSING WITH CHINESE OFFICIALS ABOUT WHAT KIND OF GESTURES ARE NECESSARY TO AVOID SUCH A CONFRONTATION IN GENEVA.

    AFTER THE STATE DEPARTMENT MEETING, THE DUTCH FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS THE EUROPEAN UNION WANTS TO WORK TOGETHER WITH THE UNITED STATES ON A COMMON APPROACH.

    /// VAN MIERLO ACT ///

    WE THINK THAT WE SHOULD ON COMMON VALUES OF THE WESTERN WORLD WE SHOULD TRY TO WORK TOGETHER AND AS WE DID IN FORMER YEARS, WE ARE DOING THAT THIS YEAR AS WELL. WE HAVE TO DISCUSS THIS, IT'S A VULNERABLE (SENSITIVE) QUESTION. WE ALL KNOW THAT BUT WE WILL FIND A WAY TO DEAL WITH IT AS WE DID IT IN OTHER YEARS TOGETHER. THAT'S WHAT WE TRY TO DO.

    /// END ACT ///

    SECRETARY OF STATE ALBRIGHT AGREES A COMMON APPROACH IS NEEDED.

    /// ALBRIGHT ACT ///

    WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HOW TO MAKE CLEAR TO THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT OUR COMMON DESIRE FOR THEM TO ABIDE BY CERTAIN STANDARDS AS FAR AS HUMAN RIGHTS ARE CONCERNED.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE CHINESE WILL NOT BE PLEASED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT'S ANNUAL HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT THAT WILL BE ISSUED ON THURSDAY. THAT REPORT WILL ACCUSE CHINA OF WIPING OUT POLITICAL DISSENT IN 1996.

    /// REST OPT ///

    ON OTHER ISSUES, THE STATE DEPARTMENT QUOTES MRS. ALBRIGHT AS TELLING THE EUROPEAN UNION OFFICIALS THAT THEY SHOULD HOLD SERBIAN PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC'S "FEET TO THE FIRE" IN RESPECTING OPPOSITION VICTORIES IN NOVEMBER'S LOCAL ELECTIONS. THEY ALSO DISCUSSED OPTIONS FOR BRINGING INDICTED BOSNIAN WAR CRIMES SUSPECTS TO THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL. AS USUAL, THE EUROPEAN UNION COMPLAINED ABOUT THE AMERICAN LEGISLATION THAT PENALIZES FOREIGN COMPANIES DEALING WITH CUBA. ALSO AS USUAL, THE UNITED STATES CALLED FOR INCREASED PRESSURE ON CUBA TO ALLOW A DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RP/LWM
    28-Jan-97 6:45 PM EST (2345 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] BELGRADE DEMOS (L-O) BY JULIA GLYN-PICKETT (BELGRADE)

    DATE=1/28/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209325
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: IN YUGOSLAVIA TUESDAY, THE PATIENCE OF OPPONENTS TO THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT WAS RUNNING DRY AFTER MONTHS OF LEGAL BATTLES OVER THE RECOGNITION OF VICTORIES IN LOCAL ELECTIONS LAST NOVEMBER. JULIA GLYN-PICKETT REPORTS FROM BELGRADE THE OPPOSITION HAS TAKEN A FIRST STEP TOWARDS FORMING PARALLEL INSTITUTIONS.

    TEXT: TUESDAY MORNING, SOCIALISTS ENTERED THE CITY HALL OF SMEDEREVSKA PALANKA, A SMALL TOWN 70-KILOMETERS SOUTHEAST OF BELGRADE, TO ESTABLISH THE LOCAL COUNCIL AND ELECT A NEW MAYOR. BUT JUST AROUND THE CORNER FROM THE TOWN HALL, LOCAL LEADERS OF THE ZAJEDNO OPPOSITION WERE ALSO BUSY SETTING UP THEIR OWN PARALLEL COUNCIL IN DEFIANCE OF THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT.

    WHILE THE SOCIALISTS WERE VOTING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, ZAJEDNO ELECTED THEIR NEW MAYOR ON THE STREETS ...

    /// SOUND OF STREET CHANTING -- SNEAK UP ABOVE, ESTABLISH IN FULL, THEN FADE OUT AND LOSE ///

    WHEN LEADERS ASKED LOCAL SUPPORTERS TO VOTE WITH THEIR MOUTHS, THE CROWD CHEERED FOR LOCAL ZAJEDNO CANDIDATE, DUSAN NARIC.

    //OPT//

    ZAJEDNO SAYS IT WON THE MAJORITY IN SMEDEREVSKA PALANKA IN THE SECOND ROUND OF LOCAL ELECTIONS LAST NOVEMBER. IT SAYS LATER COURT DECISIONS THAT CANCELLED THEIR SEATS AND GAVE THE MAJORITY TO THE LOCAL SOCIALISTS WERE ILLEGAL. //END OPT//

    ZAJEDNO HAS THE SUPPORT OF THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE, WHICH LISTED SMEDEREVSKA PALANKA AS ONE OF 14 SERBIAN TOWNS WHERE THE OPPOSITION HAD WON.

    BUT THE SERBIAN AUTHORITIES DISAGREE. FROM THE OUTSET, REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT HAVE EMPHASIZED THE ONGOING ELECTION DISPUTE IS A MATTER OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS THAT WILL BE RESOLVED THROUGH SERBIAN INSTITUTIONS. USING THAT ARGUMENT, THE GOVERNMENT ISSUED A STATEMENT TWO-WEEKS AGO IN WHICH THEY REJECTED THE O-S-C-E'S RECOGNITION OF OPPOSITION WINS IN SMEDEREVSKA PALANKA AND OTHER TOWNS IN SERBIA.

    //REST OPT//

    CONFIRMATION THE SERBIAN AUTHORITIES WERE STICKING TO THOSE ARGUMENTS CAME AFTER RUSSIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, IGOR IVANOFF, MET TUESDAY WITH SERBIAN PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC. ALTHOUGH MR. IVANOFF AGREED THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE O-S-C-E REPORT WOULD IMPROVE STABILITY IN THE REGION, HE ECHOED TUESDAY'S STATEMENT FROM THE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE AND STRESSED THE ELECTION DISPUTE WAS ULTIMATELY A MATTER OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS.

    ALSO TUESDAY, ZAJEDNO LEADER VUK DRASKOVIC WELCOMED THE MOVE OF HIS COLLEAGUES IN SMEDEREVSKA PALANKA AS A POSSIBLE MODEL FOR ALL OTHER DISPUTED TOWNS IN SERBIA, INCLUDING BELGRADE.

    WHILE THE SERBIAN AUTHORITIES HAVE MADE PEACEMEAL CONCESSIONS TO THE OPPOSITION IN FIVE OF THE 14 TOWNS IDENTIFIED IN THE O-S-C-E REPORT, THE BATTLES OF BELGRADE AND THE REMAINING EIGHT TOWNS GOES ON. ZAJEDNO WARNS IF THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT RECOGNIZE THEIR VICTORIES SOON, THEY MAY FIND THEMSELVES FACED NOT ONLY WITH MASS STREET PROTESTS, BUT AN ENTIRE PARALLEL STATE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JGP/PCF/RAE
    28-Jan-97 1:11 PM EST (1811 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] BULGARIA ECONOMY BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)

    DATE=1/28/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35549
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BULGARIAN POLITICIANS TUESDAY APPEAR TO HAVE RESOLVED DISPUTES THAT PREVENTED THE FORMATION OF A GOVERNMENT -- ONE WHICH MUST URGENTLY ADDRESS STAGGERING ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL PROBLEMS. BULGARIA'S TROUBLED ECONOMY HAS CAUSED LIVING STANDARDS TO PLUMMET AND INFLATION TO SOAR, AS BARRY WOOD REPORTS.

    TEXT: IT NOW APPEARS AN INTERIM GOVERNMENT WILL BE FORMED. INCOMING PRIME MINISTER NIKOLAI DOBREV SAYS HE IS PRESENTING A CABINET OF TECHNICAL EXPERTS WHO, HE HOPES, WILL RESCUE THE COUNTRY'S BATTERED ECONOMY.

    SOME ECONOMISTS DESCRIBE THAT ECONOMY AS ONE BEING REDUCED TO PRIMITIVE BARTER AND CRIMINALITY WITH A COLLAPSING FINANCIAL SYSTEM. THIS PAST MONTH THE BATTERED CURRENCY HAS LOST ANOTHER 50-PERCENT OF ITS VALUE. IT TAKES ONE-THOUSAND LEV TO BUY A DOLLAR. A YEAR AGO IT TOOK ONLY 70 LEV TO BUY A DOLLAR.

    IN DOLLAR TERMS, BULGARIAN WAGES HAVE PLUMETTED TO ABSURDLY LOW LEVELS, WITH MANY PEOPLE EARNING ONLY 15-DOLLARS A MONTH. INFLATION, WHICH HAD COME DOWN TO 33-PERCENT TWO-YEARS AGO, HAS NOW ROARED BACK TO SEVERAL-HUNDRED PERCENT. THE CENTRAL BANK HAS NO MONEY TO SUPPORT THE CURRENCY. THERE IS NO NATIONAL BUDGET. ECONOMIC OUTPUT IS STEEPLY DECLINING. A DEFAULT ON FOREIGN DEBT IS INCREASINGLY POSSIBLE.

    WHEN THE ECONOMIC CRISIS ERUPTED IN DECEMBER, THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND SAID IT WAS READY TO HELP -- BUT THERE WERE CONDITIONS. THESE INCLUDED AN ALL-PARTY AGREEMENT ON MONETARY STABILIZATION THROUGH A DISCIPLINED SYSTEM LIMITING THE AMOUNT OF CASH IN CIRCULATION; AN IMMEDIATE SELL-OFF OF VIABLE STATE OWNED COMPANIES; AND PARLIAMENTARY PASSAGE OF A BALANCED NATIONAL BUDGET. IF THE CONDITIONS ARE MET, THE I-M-F SAID EMERGENCY LOANS WOULD BE FORTHCOMING.

    SOME FOREIGN INVESTORS ARE CONSIDERING PURCHASING BULGARIAN COMPANIES. AUSTRIA'S "CREDITANSTALT" INVESTMENT BANK HAS BEEN ASSISTING THE BULGARIANS IN PRIVATIZATION. CREDITANSTALT BANK DIRECTOR ERNST GIDEON LOUDON, SAYS EVEN THOUGH THINGS IN BULGARIA ARE TERRIBLE, THEY CAN TURN AROUND RATHER QUICKLY.

    //LOUDON ACT//

    THE BULGARIAN (SOCIALIST) GOVERNMENT OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS HAS LOST TIME AND THEREFORE LOST OPPORTUNITIES. BUT I THINK OVER THE NEXT TWO MONTHS, WE WILL SEE A MORE STABLE SITUATION AND THEN ALL PARTICIPANTS, INCLUDING THE I-M-F, WILL BE HAPPY TO SEE THAT PRIVATIZATION (IN BULGARIA) IS MOVING FORWARD.

    //END ACT//

    SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENTS IN BULGARIA, BOTH CONSERVATIVE AND SOCIALIST, FAILED TO MAKE STRUCTURAL CHANGES TO THE ECONOMY. UNPROFITABLE STATE ENTERPRISES CONTINUED TO RECEIVE GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS, CAUSING BUDGET DEFICITS TO SOAR.

    OBSERVERS BELIEVE THE NEXT FEW WEEKS ARE CRITICAL. THERE WILL HAVE TO BE A DECISION ON THE TIMING OF NEW ELECTIONS, THE PASSAGE OF A BUDGET, AND THE FIRST TANGIBLE STEPS TOWARDS BRINGING ORDER OUT OF BULGARIA'S FINANCIAL CHAOS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/PCF/RAE
    28-Jan-97 1:55 PM EST (1855 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] CYPRUS SETTLEMENT (L ONLY) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (UNITED NATIONS)

    DATE=1/28/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209329
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN SAYS HE WILL PRESS FOR A POLITICAL SETTLEMENT THIS YEAR ON CYPRUS -- WHERE TURKISH AND GREEK COMMUNITIES HAVE BEEN FEUDING FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS AND LIVING SEPARATELY FOR AT LEAST 20. SPECIAL U-N MEDIATOR, HAN SUNG-JOO OF SOUTH KOREA, IS PLANNING TO RETURN TO CYPRUS WEDNESDAY AFTER CONSULTATIONS IN NEW YORK. VOA CORRESPONDENT ELAINE JOHANSON REPORTS:

    TEXT: MR. HAN GOES BACK TO HIS ASSIGNMENT WITH SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS. HE IS TO PREPARE THE CYPRIOT LEADERS FOR FACE-TO-FACE NEGOTIATIONS IN THE COMING MONTHS. U-N SPOKESMAN FRED ECKHARD SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL ANNAN IS VERY CONCERNED OVER GROWING TENSIONS IN THE DIVIDED COUNTRY:

    // ECKHARD ACT //

    THE HEIGHTENED TENSION IN AND AROUND CYPRUS HAVE ADDED URGENCY TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL'S DETERMINATION TO INTENSIFY HIS EFFORTS TO ADDRESS THE SUBSTANCE OF THE CYPRUS ISSUE AND ACHIEVE AN OVERALL POLITICAL SETTLEMENT IN THE COURSE OF THIS YEAR. THIS DETERMINATION ENJOYS THE SUPPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.

    // END ACT //

    EFFORTS OVER THE YEARS BY THE UNITED NATIONS, THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE UNITED STATES HAVE FAILED TO MEND THE DIVISION ON CYPRUS. THE TWO COMMUNITIES HAVE BEEN LIVING SEPARATELY SINCE TURKEY INVADED IN 1974 IN RESPONSE TO A COUP IN NICOSIA BACKED BY GREECE. THE U-N HOPES TO RE-UNITE CYPRUS UNDER A FEDERAL SYSTEM.

    THE GREEK CYPRIOT GOVERNMENT -- THE ONLY ONE RECOGNIZED BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY -- RECENTLY ANNOUNCED PLANS TO DEPLOY RUSSIAN AIR DEFENSE MISSILES LATER THIS YEAR. CYPRUS IS ALREADY HIGHLY MILITARIZED, INCLUDING THE PRESENCE OF AN ESTIMATED 35 OR 40-THOUSAND TURKISH TROOPS IN THE NORTH.

    TURKEY REACTED IMMEDIATELY -- THREATENING SOME SORT OF ACTION TO PREVENT THE MISSILE PLACEMENT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/EJ/LWM
    28-Jan-97 4:33 PM EST (2133 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] EUROPE / EAST AFRICA (S ONLY) BY SCOTT STEARNS (ADDIS ABABA)

    DATE=1/28/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209312
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE EUROPEAN UNION HAS GIVEN MORE THAN 200-MILLION DOLLARS TO HELP IMPROVE REGIONAL INTEGRATION IN EAST AFRICA. AS SCOTT STEARNS REPORTS FROM ADDIS ABABA, EUROPEAN OFFICIALS HOPE IT WILL HELP REDUCE REGIONAL CONFLICT.

    TEXT: THE 245-MILLION-DOLLAR PACKAGE IS DESIGNED TO BOOST REGIONAL TRANSPORT AND TRADE, CONSERVE NATURAL RESOURCES, AND IMPROVE FOOD SECURITY.

    IT WAS ANNOUNCED BY THE EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT COMMISSIONER FOR AFRICA, IN A MEETING WITH MINISTERS AND REPRESENTATIVES FROM EIGHT EAST AFRICAN NATIONS.

    COMMISSIONER JOAO DE DEUS PINHEIRO SAYS STRENGTHENING REGIONAL COOPERATION WILL HELP REDUCE THE LEVEL OF CONFLICT IN EAST AFRICA. HE SAYS RESPONDING TO CONFLICT IS COSTLY AND INSUFFICIENT.

    IF AFRICAN GOVERNMENTS TAKE THE LEAD ON CONFLICT PREVENTION, MR. PINHEIRO SAYS THE EUROPEAN UNION WILL SUPPORT THEIR EFFORTS, PARTICULARLY THROUGH THE ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY.

    THE EUROPEAN UNION IS REVIEWING THE FUTURE OF ITS AID TO AFRICAN, CARIBBEAN, AND PACIFIC NATIONS BEYOND THE YEAR 2000. MR. PINHEIRO SAYS THERE IS AN INCREASING NEED TO LINK RELIEF, REHABILITATION, AND DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE.

    HE MET WITH OFFICIALS FROM DJIBOUTI, ETHIOPIA, ERITREA, KENYA, RWANDA, SUDAN, TANZANIA, AND UGANDA. BURUNDI AND SOMALIA ARE ALSO INCLUDED IN THE AID PACKAGE, BUT WERE NOT REPRESENTED. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SKS/PCF/RAE
    28-Jan-97 9:30 AM EST (1430 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] MILOSEVIC'S FATE BY PAMELA TAYLOR (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=1/28/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35548
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AFTER MORE THAN TWO MONTHS OF STREET DEMONSTRATIONS IN SERBIA, THE OPPOSITION TO PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC SHOWS NO SIGN OF WEAKENING. MANY PEOPLE -- AT HOME AND ABROAD -- SAY THEY BELIEVE MR. MILOSEVIC'S DAYS IN POWER ARE NUMBERED. SOME BELIEVE HIS END WILL COME VIOLENTLY; OTHERS SAY THE SERBIAN PEOPLE WILL ULTIMATELY SUCCEED IN THEIR AIM OF OUSTING HIM BY PEACEFUL MEANS. V-O-A'S PAMELA TAYLOR REPORTS:

    TEXT: ONE ANALYST WHO HAS CAREFULLY WATCHED DEVELOPMENTS IN SERBIA EVER SINCE HE WAS THE LAST U-S AMBASSADOR TO THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA IS WARREN ZIMMERMAN. NOW A PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY IN NEW YORK, MR. ZIMMERMAN SAYS A MAN SUCH AS MR. MILOSEVIC WHO HAS LIVED BY THE SWORD -- AS HE PUT IT -- WILL ALSO DIE BY THE SWORD:

    /// ZIMMERMAN ACT # ONE ///

    MY GUESS IS THAT WHEN MILOSEVIC GOES, IT IS LIKELY TO BE VIOLENT. IT COULD WELL BE BY HAVING A GENERAL OR POLICE CHIEF GOING TO HIM AND TELLING HIM THAT HE'S HISTORY. AND I WOULD NOT BE THE LEAST BIT SURPRISED TO SEE HIM REACT VIOLENTLY (TO THAT). THE LAST THING I CAN IMAGINE IS MILOSEVIC RECLINING ON SOME MEDITERRANEAN BEACH IN A GOLDEN EXILE.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. ZIMMERMAN EVEN GIVES A TIMETABLE FOR HOW SOON HE BELIEVES MR. MILOSEVIC WILL BE REMOVED, ONE WAY OR THE OTHER:

    // ZIMMERMAN ACT # TWO ///

    I WOULD BE VERY SURPRISED IF ON THE FIRST OF JULY OF THIS YEAR, MILOSEVIC IS STILL IN POWER. I THINK HE IS DOOMED TO BE THROWN OUT OF POWER. I DON'T THINK IT WILL BE DONE BY ELECTIONS; I THINK IT WILL BE DONE IN THE STREETS, WHICH IS HOW HE CAME TO POWER.

    /// END ACT //

    THE FORMER AMBASSADOR TO BELGRADE DOESN'T THINK THE SERBIAN LEADER WILL EMBARK ON A SERIOUS CRACKDOWN NOW THAT HE HAS ELEMENTS OF THE ARMY, POLICE AND THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH SIDING WITH THE DEMONSTRATORS. AND HE BELIEVES THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION AND OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING IN SIMPLY URGING PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC TO RECOGNIZE RECENT OPPOSITION ELECTION VICTORIES.

    A U-S SENATOR WHO HAS RECENTLY RETURNED FROM A VISIT TO SERBIA -- CARL LEVIN -- BELIEVES THE SERBIAN PEOPLE WILL OUST MR. MILOSEVIC BY PEACEFUL MEANS SOONER OR LATER. IF NOT IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS, AS MR. ZIMMERMAN SUGGSTS, THAN BY THE NEXT ELECTIONS SCHEDULED FOR LATER THIS YEAR. MEANWHILE, SENATOR LEVIN SAYS THE WEST SHOULD NOT MEDDLE IN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF A SOVEREIGN NATION BY ACTIVELY SUPPORTING SPECIFIC OPPOSITION LEADERS:

    /// LEVIN ACT ///

    I'M NOT SO SURE IT'S OUR ROLE TO IDENTIFY A NEW LEADER. I THINK IT'S UP TO THE SERBIAN PEOPLE THROUGH THEIR ELECTION PROCESS TO PICK THEIR OWN LEADERS. WE ARE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS OF THE SERBIAN PEOPLE. WE'RE NOT THERE TO IDENTIFY WHO THE LEADERS OF SERBIA SHOULD BE -- BUT TO PROTECT AND DEFEND THE RIGHTS OF THE SERBIAN PEOPLE TO PICK THEIR OWN.

    /// END ACT //

    THE MICHIGAN DEMOCRAT SAYS SERBIA'S MORE THAN TWO MONTHS OF DEMONSTRATIONS HAVE SHOWN NOT ONLY THE WORLD BUT THE SERBIAN PEOPLE THEMSELVES THAT THE MAJORITY WANT DEMOCRACY. OUSTING THEIR AUTOCRATIC LEADER IS ONLY THE BEGINNING, HE SAYS, THEN THE REALLY HARD WORK BEGINS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PAM/RRM
    28-Jan-97 12:45 PM EST (1745 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] TURKEY/CILLER (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=1/28/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209318
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: TURKEY'S PARLIAMENT TUESDAY VOTED AGAINST LAUNCHING AN INQUIRY INTO ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION AGAINST DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER TANSU CILLER. MRS. CILLER, WHO IS ALSO TURKEY'S FOREIGN MINISTER, HAS BEEN DOGGED BY ACCUSATIONS THAT SHE ABUSED HER OFFICIAL POSITION FOR PERSONAL FINANCIAL GAIN. FROM ANKARA, AMBERIN ZAMAN HAS THE DETAILS.

    TEXT: THE VOTE WAS EXTREMELY CLOSE WITH 247 MEMBERS OF TURKEY'S PARLIAMENT VOTING AGAINST AN INVESTIGATION AND 242 OTHERS VOTING IN FAVOR OF EXAMINING THE CHARGES -- NAMELY, THAT MRS. CILLER WAS INVOLVED IN CORRUPTION AT THE STATE-OWNED "TURBAN" CHAIN OF HOTELS.

    THE MAIN OPPOSITION "MOTHERLAND" PARTY HAS ACCUSED MRS. CILLER OF USING THE HOTEL'S YACHT AND MARINA FACILITIES FOR HER PERSONAL PURPOSES AND THAT COMPANY EMPLOYEES WERE MADE TO WORK AT THE CILLER FAMILY FARM AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

    EARLIER THIS MONTH, MRS. CILLER NARROWLY AVOIDED BEING TRIED BY TURKEY'S SUPREME COURT ON CHARGES THAT SHE HAD USED ILLEGAL MEANS TO ACCUMULATE HER ESTIMATED 50-MILLION DOLLAR FORTUNE. MRS. CILLER WAS CLEARED MAINLY WITH THE SUPPORT OF DEPUTIES FROM THE PRO-ISLAMIC "WELFARE" PARTY. THE ISLAMISTS HAVE BEEN SHARING POWER WITH MRS. CILLER'S CONSERVATIVE "TRUE PATH" PARTY SINCE JUNE LAST YEAR.

    IRONICALLY, IT WAS "WELFARE" WHICH HAD BROUGHT THE CORRUPTION CASES AGAINST MRS. CILLER IN THE PARLIAMENT LAST YEAR. IT HAS BEEN WIDELY CLAIMED BY THE TURKISH MEDIA THAT THE ISLAMISTS ALLEGEDLY PLEDGED TO DROP THE CHARGES IN EXCHANGE FOR HER POLITICAL BACKING, ENABLING THEM TO FORM A GOVERNMENT WITH ONLY 21 PERCENT OF THE NATIONAL VOTE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/PCF/KL
    28-Jan-97 10:47 AM EST (1547 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] U-S/BOSNIA/WAR CRIMES (S ONLY) BY VICTOR BEATTIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=1/27/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209296
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT

    INTRO: THE UNITED STATES SAYS IT IS CONSIDERING TAKING PART IN A SPECIAL POLICE FORCE IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA WITH THE OBJECTIVE OF APPREHENDING ACCUSED WAR CRIMINALS. V-O-A'S VICTOR BEATTIE REPORTS A WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN SAYS THE FORCE COULD INCLUDE AMERICANS, BUT NOT PERSONNEL FROM THE CURRENT NATO STABILIZATION FORCE IN BOSNIA:

    TEXT: PRESIDENT CLINTON'S SPOKESMAN MIKE MCCURRY (MONDAY) SAYS CREATION OF SUCH A FORCE IS BEING CONSIDERED AS A MEANS OF HELPING THE U-N WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL IN THE HAGUE. MR. MCCURRY SAYS WASHINGTON WANTS TO FIND WAYS TO MAKE THE TRIBUNAL MORE EFFECTIVE IN PROSECUTING WAR CRIMES.

    HE CAUTIONS THAT NO DECISIONS HAVE BEEN MADE AND ANY DECISION WOULD BE IN CLOSE COOPERATION WITH NATO:

    ///MCCURRY ACTUALITY///

    I DON'T KNOW THAT WE'VE SAID WE'D ONLY SEND AMERICANS. WE'VE SAID THAT PERHAPS SOME TYPE OF SPECIAL POLICE FORCE MIGHT BE EMPOWERED TO HELP THE WORK OF THE TRIBUNAL. BUT, THAT'S AN OPTION, NOT AN OPTION THAT WOULD BE EXCLUSIVELY AMERICAN.

    ///END ACTUALITY///

    MR. MCCURRY WAS ASKED IF BOSNIAN SERB COMMANDER GENERAL RATKO MLADIC WOULD BE AMONG THE SUSPECTS SOUGHT:

    ///MCCURRY ACTUALITY///

    GENERAL MLADIC IS ON THE LIST OF THOSE INDICTED BY THE WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL IN THE HAGUE. YES.

    ///END ACTUALITY///

    GENERAL MLADIC AND FORMER BOSNIAN SERB LEADER RADOVAN KARADIC ARE THE HIGH-PROFILE SUSPECTS WHO HAVE BEEN INDICTED FOR WAR CRIMES, BUT REMAIN AT LARGE.

    NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS HAVE DISCUSSED THE POSSIBILITY OF CREATING SUCH A FORCE, BUT HAVE FAILED TO AGREE ON HOW IT WOULD BE CONSTITUTED. THEY HAVE BEEN RELUCTANT TO EXPAND THE EXISTING DUTIES OF THE NATO FORCE NOW IN BOSNIA.

    NATO TROOPS NOW HAVE THE LATITUDE TO ARREST INDICTED WAR CRIMINALS SHOULD THEY BE ENCOUNTERED DURING THE NORMAL COURSE OF DUTY. (SIGNED).
    NEB/PT
    27-Jan-97 9:22 PM EST (0222 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [11] U-S/FRANCE/NATO (L) BY DAVID GOLLUST (PENTAGON)

    DATE=1/28/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209334
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION HAS REJECTED A FRENCH PROPOSAL UNDER WHICH THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPEAN ALLIES WOULD SHARE CONTROL OF NATO'S SOUTHERN COMMAND IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION. THE SOUTHERN-COMMAND ISSUE IS A MAJOR POINT OF CONTENTION BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND PARIS. VOA'S DAVID GOLLUST REPORTS FROM THE PENTAGON.

    TEXT: THE PENTAGON SAYS IT IS VERY INTERESTED IS RESOLVING THE DISPUTE WITH THE FRENCH ON THE SOUTHERN COMMAND -- BUT THE UNITED STATES WILL NOT SHARE AUTHORITY OVER NATO FORCES IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION.

    THE CONTROVERSY BEGAN LAST YEAR WHEN FRANCE PROPOSED THAT THE SOUTHERN COMMAND BASED IN NAPLES, ITALY HAVE A EUROPEAN OFFICER IN CHARGE -- BECAUSE THE UNITED STATES HOLDS THE ALLIANCE'S OTHER TWO TOP COMMAND POSITIONS.

    U-S OFFICIALS, HOWEVER INSIST THAT THE NAPLES COMMAND REMAIN IN AMERICAN HANDS BECAUSE IT INCLUDES THE U-S NAVY'S SIXTH FLEET.

    A HIGH-LEVEL FRENCH DELEGATION IS UNDERSTOOD TO HAVE MADE THE PROPOSAL FOR A SPLIT COMMAND AUTHORITY IN WASHINGTON TALKS LATE LAST WEEK. BUT PENTAGON SPOKESMAN KENNETH BACON MADE CLEAR IT IS NOT THE ANSWER:

    /// BACON ACTUALITY ///

    WE HAVE NOT SEEN A COMPROMISE FORMULA THAT IS ACCEPTABLE TO US AT THIS STAGE. WE'RE CONTINUING TO DISCUSS THIS WITH THE FRENCH. WE'RE VERY INTERESTED IN RESOLVING THIS ISSUE. BUT OUR STANCE ON THIS HAS BEEN CLEAR FROM THE BEGINNING -- AND THAT WAS WHEN PRESIDENT CLINTON SENT A LETTER TO PRESIDENT CHIRAC LAST FALL -- AND OUR VIEW HAS NOT DIFFERED FROM THAT MOMENT. AND THAT IS THAT ALLIED FORCES SOUTH, THE NATO COMMAND, MUST BE UNDER U-S COMMAND.

    /// END ACT ///

    FRANCE -- WHICH WITHDREW FROM NATO MILITARY STRUCTURES IN 1966 -- HAS THREATENED TO HALT ITS RETURN TO A FULL ROLE IN THE ALLIANCE UNLESS REGIONAL COMMANDS, INCLUDING THE NAPLES JOB, ARE ROTATED AMONG EUROPEAN OFFICERS.

    BUT U-S OFFICIALS HAVE SAID IN THE PAST THEY WOULD RATHER RUN THAT RISK THAN YIELD ON THE SOUTHERN COMMAND. IN ADDITION TO NATO DUTIES IN BOSNIA AND ELSEWHERE, ELEMENTS OF THE SIXTH FLEET ALSO CONDUCT OPERATIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST. AND THE OFFICIALS SAY A NON-AMERICAN COMMANDER COULD IMPEDE THE U-S ABILITY TO OPERATE FREELY IN THE REGION.

    THERE IS ALSO INTENSE OPPOSITION FROM REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS TO HAVING ANY U-S MILITARY FORCES UNDER FOREIGN OR UNITED NATIONS CONTROL -- FEELINGS GENERATED BY, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE HEAVY CASUALTIES SUFFERED BY AMERICAN TROOPS IN U-N-LED OPERATIONS IN SOMALIA. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAG/LWM
    28-Jan-97 3:25 PM EST (2025 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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