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Voice of America, 01-08-06

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

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

SLUG: 2-279038 Macedonia/Peace Talks DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

CONTENTS

  • [01] MACEDONIA / PEACE TALKS (S) BY JEFF BIELEY (OHRID, MACEDONIA)
  • [02] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (Washington)
  • [03] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (Washington)
  • [04] MACEDONIA (L-O) BY JEFF BIELEY (OHRID, MACEDONIA)

  • [01] MACEDONIA / PEACE TALKS (S) BY JEFF BIELEY (OHRID, MACEDONIA)

    DATE=08/06/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-279038
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Macedonia's peace talks hit a snag Monday when Macedonian politicians made demands for immediate disarmament of ethnic-Albania rebels. Jeff Bieley reports from Ohrid:

    TEXT: Peace talks in Macedonia to end a five-month ethnic Albanian insurgency broke off unexpectedly Monday afternoon. Negotiations will resume tomorrow (Tuesday), but it was not immediately clear who will take part. Macedonian leaders came to an impasse with international mediators over the timing of a NATO plan to disarm ethnic Albanian guerrillas. The issue is crucial to Macedonian approval of the plan, which involves deploying 3,500 Western troops to collect weapons from the rebels. Some Macedonian leaders had previously raised objections to ratifying a peace agreement in parliament before ethnic Albanian guerrillas demobilized. A NATO official in the Macedonian capital Skopje said the ethnic Albanian side was against linking a political deal in peace talks with a disarmament agreement. Radmila Sekerinska of the Social Democratic Union said the Macedonians were not making new demands, but merely asking for a clarification on how a deal would be implemented. However, one Albanian source said the Macedonians were reconsidering the entire negotiating process, after what they felt were losses at the bargaining table in recent days. Macedonian and Albanian leaders had made significant progress the day before on the difficult issue of police reform and hopes had been running high for a quick conclusion of an overall deal. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JB/MAR SLUG: 6-12414 Monday's Editorials DATE: NOTE NUMBER:


    [02] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (Washington)

    DATE=08/06/01
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-12414
    INTERNET=YES EDITOR=Assignments
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: The debate over the safety of allowing Mexican long-distance trucks to operate throughout the United States continues to be a leading editorial topic this Monday. The other Mexican U-S issue of immigration runs a close second; and there is considerable comment on the latest in the Balkan war crimes tribunal at The Hague. Other editorials as we begin the new workweek include: thoughts on the Middle East; the first six months of the Bush presidency; and Colin Powell in China. Now, here with a closer look and a quote or two is ___________ and today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: As part of the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA], Mexican long-distance trucks should soon be allowed to operate throughout this country. But there is concern in Congress whether they are safe. Today's New York Times says of the debate:

    VOICE: The Bush administration is rightly concerned about the nation's failure to comply with a provision of [NAFTA] ... There is no reason why the United States cannot address legitimate safety issues and comply with its treaty obligations at the same time. The Teamsters union and some of its Congressional allies have grossly overblown the threat to American highway safety...The free-trade agreement has tripled commerce between Mexico and the United States in less than a decade, undeniably benefiting both economies.

    TEXT: California's San Jose Mercury News is upset at Congress as well, noting:

    VOICE: NAFTA does not put Americans in peril from foreign trucks that are less safe than domestic ones. The rule [President] Bush wants to enforce is that Mexican trucks must conform to the same standards as American and Canadian trucks... President ...Bush has threatened to veto the... bill ... unless Mexican trucks are given equal treatment. He should...

    TEXT: On to another contentious U-S Mexican issue: immigration, and a proposal to grant amnesty to the three to four million Mexicans working illegally in the United States. The national daily, USA Today, published in a Washington, D-C suburb says in part:

    VOICE: ... the underlying truth of the immigration system [is] that it's an underfunded fraud with no chance of delivering on its promises. As long as that's true, arguments about amnesty and many other reforms will be more symbolic than effective.

    TEXT: USA Today goes on to cite huge backlogs of immigrants awaiting temporary living permits called green cards, visas and citizenship.

    TEXT: Monday's Chicago Tribune says amnesty amounts to pardoning criminals... but in its final analysis is the fairest way to deal with the issue.

    VOICE: ... at the end of the discussion...amnesty - - conditioned by a number of strict requirements - - is the fairest, most rational step out of the impasse over illegal immigration. Human compassion and fairness ...dictate that people who have been working here for ... years, contributing to the economy ... and have stayed out of legal trouble, ought to have a chance to legalize their status.

    TEXT: The latest development at the Balkan war crimes tribunal at The Hague, a sentence of 46-years to a middle-aged Serbian general convicted of genocide, is drawing praise from a number of papers, among them Ohio's Akron Beacon Journal.

    VOICE: The evidence that should have doomed Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic to what amounts to the rest of his life in prison lies stacked on morgue shelves in the Bosnian town of Tuzla. [It]... consists of the remains of more than 35-hundred Bosnian Muslims ...executed near Srebrenica in July 1995. ... Europe had not known such horrors since Hitler's extermination of Jews during World War Two.

    TEXT: "Justice, when the charge is genocide," approvingly adds today's Charleston [S-C] Post and Courier "reaches beyond boundaries." In another war-related item, today's Boston Globe is calling on President Bush to release and send to the senate for ratification, the 1997 treaty banning the use of land mines...noting "The case for U-S accession to the treaty is overwhelming.' Turning to the increasingly volatile Middle East, today's Orlando Sentinel says of the Israeli-Palestinian situation: "The United States should take bold action to promote Mideast peace."

    VOICE: As Israelis and Palestinians edge closer to... an all-out war - which might prompt regional fighting ...the United States and other nations should stop fretting and step up their diplomatic efforts. ... President George W. Bush should have thought about the consequences when he shied away from the Middle East early in his term ... The United States ...can't afford even to hint of reticence there.

    TEXT: Speaking of President Bush, there are several appraisals of his first six months in office appearing in the editorial spaces, like this moderately favorable review in today's Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.

    VOICE: ... after entering office under an electoral cloud, Mr. Bush has racked up victories on tax cuts, education reform, patients' rights, charitable choice and energy policy. Some of these victories have been realized on behalf of shortsighted policies. ... [And] Mr. Bush has a special obligation to lead on election reform... [helping] remove the cloud over his election by supporting reform that would make sure every vote counts.

    TEXT: Today's Milwaukee [Wisconsin] Journal Sentinel sees the President's first six month in a somewhat less favorable light, calling his victories "Pyrrhic" and his style inflexible.

    VOICE: ... in the president's my-way-or-the highway attitude on some issues, he has deepened party divisions in Congress. ...On missile defense ... campaign finance reform... Kyoto global warming protocol and...several other environmental issues, it is the **way** [Italics for emphasis] [Mr.] Bush and his people stake out their position as much as it is the positions themselves [Editors: understood here "that irritates his critics."]

    TEXT: One of the most controversial and important national issues is energy and the current bill in Congress allowing drilling in a tiny portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Boston's Christian Science Monitor is not impressed with the House version of the bill.

    VOICE: For starters, the bill became a repository for special-interest tax breaks... [with] ... lawmakers [spreading] energy tax advantages to railroad and barge companies, electricity producers, and of course, oil and gas drillers. ... The senators should be ready to downshift. Fiscal responsibility, if nothing else, demands restraint. The national budget, already stretched to accommodate the Bush income-tax cuts, leaves little room for the House tax-break largess. The Senate should also apply the brakes to oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    TEXT: The Kansas City [Missouri] Star is not happy with the House energy bill either, calling it "disappointing," and criticizing approval of Arctic Refuge drilling. "Too many subsidies," in the bill complains the Saint Paul [Minnesota] Pioneer Press, but the Atlanta [Georgia] Journal disagrees.

    VOICE: Exploring the vast resources beneath the Arctic refuge is one essential aspect of a balanced energy policy that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and can, indeed, be implemented in an environmentally responsible manner. Involving just 809 hectares in the 7-million-690-thousand-hectare-plus refuge, it's an economic boost, too...

    TEXT: Lastly, on Secretary of State Colin Powell's recent journey to China, the Milwaukee [Wisconsin] Journal Sentinel discounts the release of three U-S based Chinese-born scholars and suggests:

    VOICE: ... these were hollow gestures when juxtaposed with what [Secretary] Powell himself correctly identified as "the whole process by which these people are detained and put on trial" - - indeed, China's continuing abuse of human rights of all kinds.

    TEXT: On that reflection from Wisconsin, we conclude this editorial sampling from Monday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/RH SLUG: 2-279029 Monday's Editorials DATE: NOTE NUMBER:


    [03] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (Washington)

    DATE=08/06/01
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-12414
    INTERNET=YES EDITOR=Assignments
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: The debate over the safety of allowing Mexican long-distance trucks to operate throughout the United States continues to be a leading editorial topic this Monday. The other Mexican U-S issue of immigration runs a close second; and there is considerable comment on the latest in the Balkan war crimes tribunal at The Hague. Other editorials as we begin the new workweek include: thoughts on the Middle East; the first six months of the Bush presidency; and Colin Powell in China. Now, here with a closer look and a quote or two is ___________ and today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: As part of the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA], Mexican long-distance trucks should soon be allowed to operate throughout this country. But there is concern in Congress whether they are safe. Today's New York Times says of the debate:

    VOICE: The Bush administration is rightly concerned about the nation's failure to comply with a provision of [NAFTA] ... There is no reason why the United States cannot address legitimate safety issues and comply with its treaty obligations at the same time. The Teamsters union and some of its Congressional allies have grossly overblown the threat to American highway safety...The free-trade agreement has tripled commerce between Mexico and the United States in less than a decade, undeniably benefiting both economies.

    TEXT: California's San Jose Mercury News is upset at Congress as well, noting:

    VOICE: NAFTA does not put Americans in peril from foreign trucks that are less safe than domestic ones. The rule [President] Bush wants to enforce is that Mexican trucks must conform to the same standards as American and Canadian trucks... President ...Bush has threatened to veto the... bill ... unless Mexican trucks are given equal treatment. He should...

    TEXT: On to another contentious U-S Mexican issue: immigration, and a proposal to grant amnesty to the three to four million Mexicans working illegally in the United States. The national daily, USA Today, published in a Washington, D-C suburb says in part:

    VOICE: ... the underlying truth of the immigration system [is] that it's an underfunded fraud with no chance of delivering on its promises. As long as that's true, arguments about amnesty and many other reforms will be more symbolic than effective.

    TEXT: USA Today goes on to cite huge backlogs of immigrants awaiting temporary living permits called green cards, visas and citizenship.

    TEXT: Monday's Chicago Tribune says amnesty amounts to pardoning criminals... but in its final analysis is the fairest way to deal with the issue.

    VOICE: ... at the end of the discussion...amnesty - - conditioned by a number of strict requirements - - is the fairest, most rational step out of the impasse over illegal immigration. Human compassion and fairness ...dictate that people who have been working here for ... years, contributing to the economy ... and have stayed out of legal trouble, ought to have a chance to legalize their status.

    TEXT: The latest development at the Balkan war crimes tribunal at The Hague, a sentence of 46-years to a middle-aged Serbian general convicted of genocide, is drawing praise from a number of papers, among them Ohio's Akron Beacon Journal.

    VOICE: The evidence that should have doomed Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic to what amounts to the rest of his life in prison lies stacked on morgue shelves in the Bosnian town of Tuzla. [It]... consists of the remains of more than 35-hundred Bosnian Muslims ...executed near Srebrenica in July 1995. ... Europe had not known such horrors since Hitler's extermination of Jews during World War Two.

    TEXT: "Justice, when the charge is genocide," approvingly adds today's Charleston [S-C] Post and Courier "reaches beyond boundaries." In another war-related item, today's Boston Globe is calling on President Bush to release and send to the senate for ratification, the 1997 treaty banning the use of land mines...noting "The case for U-S accession to the treaty is overwhelming.' Turning to the increasingly volatile Middle East, today's Orlando Sentinel says of the Israeli-Palestinian situation: "The United States should take bold action to promote Mideast peace."

    VOICE: As Israelis and Palestinians edge closer to... an all-out war - which might prompt regional fighting ...the United States and other nations should stop fretting and step up their diplomatic efforts. ... President George W. Bush should have thought about the consequences when he shied away from the Middle East early in his term ... The United States ...can't afford even to hint of reticence there.

    TEXT: Speaking of President Bush, there are several appraisals of his first six months in office appearing in the editorial spaces, like this moderately favorable review in today's Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.

    VOICE: ... after entering office under an electoral cloud, Mr. Bush has racked up victories on tax cuts, education reform, patients' rights, charitable choice and energy policy. Some of these victories have been realized on behalf of shortsighted policies. ... [And] Mr. Bush has a special obligation to lead on election reform... [helping] remove the cloud over his election by supporting reform that would make sure every vote counts.

    TEXT: Today's Milwaukee [Wisconsin] Journal Sentinel sees the President's first six month in a somewhat less favorable light, calling his victories "Pyrrhic" and his style inflexible.

    VOICE: ... in the president's my-way-or-the highway attitude on some issues, he has deepened party divisions in Congress. ...On missile defense ... campaign finance reform... Kyoto global warming protocol and...several other environmental issues, it is the **way** [Italics for emphasis] [Mr.] Bush and his people stake out their position as much as it is the positions themselves [Editors: understood here "that irritates his critics."]

    TEXT: One of the most controversial and important national issues is energy and the current bill in Congress allowing drilling in a tiny portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Boston's Christian Science Monitor is not impressed with the House version of the bill.

    VOICE: For starters, the bill became a repository for special-interest tax breaks... [with] ... lawmakers [spreading] energy tax advantages to railroad and barge companies, electricity producers, and of course, oil and gas drillers. ... The senators should be ready to downshift. Fiscal responsibility, if nothing else, demands restraint. The national budget, already stretched to accommodate the Bush income-tax cuts, leaves little room for the House tax-break largess. The Senate should also apply the brakes to oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    TEXT: The Kansas City [Missouri] Star is not happy with the House energy bill either, calling it "disappointing," and criticizing approval of Arctic Refuge drilling. "Too many subsidies," in the bill complains the Saint Paul [Minnesota] Pioneer Press, but the Atlanta [Georgia] Journal disagrees.

    VOICE: Exploring the vast resources beneath the Arctic refuge is one essential aspect of a balanced energy policy that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and can, indeed, be implemented in an environmentally responsible manner. Involving just 809 hectares in the 7-million-690-thousand-hectare-plus refuge, it's an economic boost, too...

    TEXT: Lastly, on Secretary of State Colin Powell's recent journey to China, the Milwaukee [Wisconsin] Journal Sentinel discounts the release of three U-S based Chinese-born scholars and suggests:

    VOICE: ... these were hollow gestures when juxtaposed with what [Secretary] Powell himself correctly identified as "the whole process by which these people are detained and put on trial" - - indeed, China's continuing abuse of human rights of all kinds.

    TEXT: On that reflection from Wisconsin, we conclude this editorial sampling from Monday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/RH SLUG: 2-279028 Macedonia (L-O) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:


    [04] MACEDONIA (L-O) BY JEFF BIELEY (OHRID, MACEDONIA)

    DATE=08/06/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-279028
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Macedonia's peace talks are said to be nearing a conclusion, after negotiators cleared the last major obstacle to a deal. Jeff Bieley reports from Ohrid, Macedonia that a deal on police reforms was reached only after major compromises by both sides.

    TEXT: A conclusion to nine-days of negotiations in Macedonia was reported to be close, a day after E-U foreign policy chief Javier Solana joined the talks. Participants in the discussions said the handful of remaining issues could be resolved soon. Issues under discussion include official status for university education in the Albanian language, a new constitutional declaration on the identity of ethnic Macedonians, and a new formula for future constitutional amendments. International mediators and the leaders of ethnic-Albanian and Macedonian political parties made major breakthroughs Sunday on a deal to reform the country's police. The agreement calls for the hiring of about one-thousand new ethnic-Albanian police officers during the next two-years to boost their representation on the force from five-percent to 23-percent. One participant in the talks, Aziz Pollozhani, of the Albanian Party for Democratic Prosperity, called it "a typical compromise", with both sides giving ground on key points. While the deal stipulates that the new officers will be deployed in areas where ethnic Albanians live; the central government will retain control over law enforcement. But in a major concession by the Macedonian side, police at border crossings, customs, police stations, and other areas will be subject to monitoring by a force of international observers. Also, new Albanian police will mainly be selected and trained by the Albanian parties and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, scaling back the government's role. Mr. Pollozhani said, "It is not a victory for us, but it is a way to improve the police." NATO special envoy, Pieter Feith, also took part in the negotiations, raising the sensitive subject of what will happen to ethnic-Albanian insurgents after an expected amnesty. Though they have been fighting government forces for five-months, Mr. Pollozhani said the former fighters would quickly be eligible to become law enforcement officers.

    /// OPT ///

    Once a peace deal is achieved, three-thousand NATO troops will go to Macedonia to disarm the ethnic-Albanians insurgents. /// END OPT /// (SIGNED)
    NEB/JB/GE/RAE
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