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Yugoslav Daily Survey 96-02-06

Yugoslav Daily Survey Directory

From: ddc@nyquist.bellcore.com (D.D. Chukurov)

6 February 1996


CONTENTS

[A] FROM THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA

[01] YUGOSLAV PRIME MINISTER MEETS WITH OGATA

[02] YUGOSLAV PRIME MINISTER KONTIC MEETS WITH SLOVAK DELEGATION IN DAVOS

[03] KONTIC STRIVES FOR COUNTRY'S FULL REINTEGRATION INTO INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

[B] C O M M E N T A R Y

[04] PROGRESS MADE IN BELGRADE-WASHINGTON RELATIONS

[C] BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

[05] U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS INVESTIGATOR VISITS SREBRENICA

[D] REFUGEES IN BOSNIA

[06] SERBS CAN RETURN TO MRKONJIC GRAD IN SIX MONTHS

[E] CROATIA

[07] JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS IN ZAGREB THREATEN TO SUE CROATIAN PRESIDENT


[A] FROM THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA

[01] YUGOSLAV PRIME MINISTER MEETS WITH OGATA

Davos, Feb. 5 (Tanjug) - Yugoslav Prime Minister Radoje Kontic conferred on Monday with the UNHCR Sadako Ogata on humanitarian problems in former Yugoslavia. Kontic said the principle of voluntariness should be secured in the return of refugees and that their will to go to third countries should be respected. He gave his support to the plan for the return of refugees to Bosnia-Herzegovina inaugurated by Ogata and which should proceed in three stages. In the first stage, refugees and displaced persons in the territory of Bosnia-Herzgegovina itself should return to their homes before the elections so that they could take cast their vote. The second stage pertains to the return of refugees to Bosnia-Herzegovina from other republics of the former Yugoslavia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Kontic said any reduction of humanitarian aid to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia would be dangerous since it will be necessary until elections are held and organs in Bosnia-Herzegovina constituted, because the return of refugees can begin only then.

Ogata accepted kontic's proposal that refugees in Yugoslavia be registered again, since the UNHCR has figures on 330,000 refugees, while the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia records show 690,000 refugees.

Regarding the third stage, which covers the return of refugees and expelled persons from third countries, Kontic said certain countries were trying to return these people as soon as possible and that this might undermine the implementation of the entire plan.

He on Monday also met with High Representative of the European Union for implementing the civilian aspects of the Dayton peace acords Carl Bildt. They held brief informal talks.

[02] YUGOSLAV PRIME MINISTER KONTIC MEETS WITH SLOVAK DELEGATION IN DAVOS

Davos, Feb. 5 (Tanjug) - Yugoslav Prime Minister Radoje Kontic had a talk Monday with Slovak Minister of Economics Jan Ducki and State Secretary in the Foreign Ministry Jozef Sestak.

Kontic said the two countries had good bilateral relations and their peoples were bound by traditional friendship. He said the two countries needed to resolve as soon as possible the issues of the abolishing of visas and the avoiding of dual taxation. He said Yugoslavia's treatment as an equal was not possible until the sanctions against it were lifted and it was back in international insitutions, including financial organizations. Kontic said Yugoslavia's respective status was a condition for it to act as a stabilizing factor in the Balkans.

[03] KONTIC STRIVES FOR COUNTRY'S FULL REINTEGRATION INTO INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

Davos, Feb 5 (Tanjug) - Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Radoje Kontic said that the Balkan peace issue was crucial to the Balkan nations as well as the international community as a whole. Kontic voiced content with Yugoslavia's equal participation in this major meeting again after a break of a few years.

Kontic told a news conference that Yugoslavia's stepped-up economic development was in the service of the peace process, but this he said was contingent on the international community, notably the world financial and trade organizations. 'For Yugoslavia to be a factor of peace and stability in the Balkans, its full reintegration into the international community is necessary,' said Kontic.

He cautioned that, apparently for political reasons, the international organizations and financial institutions were hesitating to renew cooperation with the Yugoslavia.

Along with this, he added, it was necessary: to lift all sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. and against the Republika Srpska and to consistently implement the peace accords for this former Yugoslav republic and for the Srem-Baranja Region.

Kontic said that Belgrade was in intensive negotiations on the normalization of relations with the former Yugoslav republics, adding that this represented a strategical economic and political question for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Pointing out that Yugoslavia was looking with great enthusiasm at cooperation amongt the Balkan countries, Kontic said the Balkans should seek its place in Europe once the regional integration processes were over. Kontic singled out Yugoslavia's interest in the normalization of relations with the European Union and expressed regret that nothing had been decided as to this effect.

Kontic explained that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia economic system affords exceptional incentives to foreign investors who, as he pointed out, are treated as domestic businessmen and even enjoy still greater facilities than those for domestic enterprises, free transfer of foreign currency included.

Kontic said that Belgrade's principled stand towards every human right violation and genocide was mirroring its readiness to cooperate with the tribunal in the Hague while respecting the Federal Constitution. Since Republika Srpska President Radovan Karadzic and Army Commander Gen. Ratko Mladic are not citizens of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, said Kontic, there is no reason to link Yugoslavia with the question of their extradition to the tribunal.

Kontic pointed to a substitution of theses over the reasons for which the international community imposed its comprehensive and mandatory sanctions on Yugoslavia in May, 1992. The charge about the alleged aggression against the neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the reason for sanctions, had later been denied, but the sanctions remained notwithstanding, for they evidently serve as an instrument to solve certain other questions, Kontic noted.

Kontic said that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia adheres to its stand that it is the country of continuity. He added that this was based on international law and on the statehood of the Yugoslav republics of Serbia and Montenegro which were internationally recognized in the year 1878 as the world's 32nd and 33rd states. We are ready, however, to seek certain pragmatic solutions for the return of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to the international community, Kontic said in conclusion at the news conference in Davos.


[B] C O M M E N T A R Y

[04] PROGRESS MADE IN BELGRADE-WASHINGTON RELATIONS

by Diplomatic Editor Zoran Jevdjovic

Belgrade, Feb. 5 (Tanjug) - Sunday's visit to Belgrade by US Secretary of State Warren Christopher could be described assuccessful. President of Serbia Milosevic and Christopher said that their talks had been open and frank and that the relations between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the United States were progressing step-by-step. Using the full name of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, rather than the earlier formulation 'Serbia and Montenegro', Christopher said that considerable progress had been made in the two countries' relations and that it would gain speed with each stage in the process of implementing the Bosnia agreement.

Christopher was unable to specify when the two countries' relations will be fully normalized but he said that they were heading in the direction which would soon bring them to the high level that existed before 1991, when the crisis in the former Yugoslavia broke out.

Speaking at a press conference in Belgrade at the end of his tour of the former Yugoslavia, Christopher spoke of everyone's responsibility to use this favourable moment to speed up the peace process, which evidently has some obstacles in its way at present. Although Christopher said he had conveyed more or less the same messages to Zagreb, Sarajevo and Belgrade, some differences are evident.

While he supported Belgrade's positive role in the peace process, the messages to Zagreb and Sarajevo seem to be more in the line of warning.

Croatian President Franjo Tudjman was told that his country must adhere to peacefull means of settling the problem of the Srem-Baranja Region and that the return of refugees to Croatia and guarantees for their human and civil rights were of vital importance. It was particularly important for the US to tell Zagreb that it should support the Muslim-Croat Federation in Bosnia because current differences between local Muslims and Croats are causing concern in Washington and threatening the implementation of the Bosnia peace agreement signed in Dayton, Ohio.

On the other hand, Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic is expected to make possible the creation of an open and tolerant community and to send home foreign mujaheddin fighters, as promised. The demand is seen in the light of the views frequently voiced in the US that Izetbegovic must finally chose between Washington and Tehran. Christopher said he had discussed with Izetbegovic the agreed unconditional release of all prisoners and plans for building confindence among fearful Sarajevo Serbs who are due to come under the rule of the Muslim-Croat Federation.

Christopher also spoke about Yugoslavia's cooperation with the international war crime tribunal inthe Hague. He said that, after Dayton, Belgrade stood firmly on the position that each country was obliged to investigate war crimes and that Yugoslavia had a procedure and trials for such cases.

However, Yugoslavia has no reason to reject cooperation with the Hague tribunal in investigating war crimes and collecting evidence.

Christopher urged the respect of human and civil rights in Serbia's province of Kosovo but without mentioning the autonomy that the province enjoyed in the 1980s. He insisted on a status of the people in the region that would ensure their full civil and human rights, including ethnic Albanians' right to use their own language and to be more fully represented in social structures. This right, however, has never been denied to any ethnic minority group in Yugoslavia, including the Albanian minority.

Instead, a great many ethnic Albanians have followed the advice of their separatist leaders, refusing to vote in elections and exercise their other rights guaranteed by the Serbian Constitution.

Although the United States is interested in finding a solution to the Kosovo problem, Christopher repeatedly said in Belgrade that the problem was to be solved solely through dialogue between ethnic Albanians and authorities in Belgrade. This evidently put an end to speculations over the future of the Serbian province and the US position toward it.


[C] BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

[05] U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS INVESTIGATOR VISITS SREBRENICA

Belgrade, Feb. 5 (Tanjug) - The UN Human Rights Investigator said on Sunday that the aim of her visit to Srebrenica was to investigate rumors of mass graves and atrocities, adding that now she had a much better picture of the situation. Elizabeth Rehn toured places that surviving Muslims said could be possible sites of war crimes. She visited a department store and school in Srebrenica and a former UN camp in nearby Potocari, said the Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA. Rehn said there was a document that said human rights had been respected to the moment of transport from Potocari, adding that the UN had monitored the evacuation. Rehn said she was given a task by the UN Security Council in December last year to tour Srebrenica and locations marked as possible mass grave sites, which the Bosnian Serb authorities permitted.

[D] REFUGEES IN BOSNIA

[06] SERBS CAN RETURN TO MRKONJIC GRAD IN SIX MONTHS

Banjaluka, Feb 5 (Tanjug) - The Mayor of Mrkonjic Grad Dragan Celic said Monday after inspecting this town south of Banja Luka, that the return of the expelled Serb population to their ruined homes would be possible only in six months' time.'The water supply network, sewers, the power network, the entire infrastructure in the town as well as houses have been destroyed', Celic said, ruling out any possibility of an earlier return. The situation is made worse by unknown numbers of mines and other explosive devices left in the town, Celic said. Reconstruction of Mrkonjic Grad, which was under Croatian occupation between last October and February 4, will be impossible without extensive international aid. Such aid is needed especially for its formerly very well developed industry, whose installations were looted by Croatian army, he added.

[E] CROATIA

[07] JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS IN ZAGREB THREATEN TO SUE CROATIAN PRESIDENT

Zagreb, Feb 5 (Tanjug) - The representative of Jewish organizations in Zagreb, Slavko Goldstain, has lodged a strong protest with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman who has announced the transformation of the Jasenovac concentration camp memorial complex, where the biggest number of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies were killed during World War II, into a memorial for all Croatian victims of the war.

In an open letter to Tudjman, carried by Split weekly Feral Tribune in its latest issue, Goldstain, a prominent publicist, said that if Tudjman really begins implementing his intention, he would instigate court proceedings against him for desacrating the memorial complex.Goldstain named numerous members of his immediate family who were killed in Jasenovac and recalled that they were killed by the members of the ustasha defense units commanded by notorious Max Luburic. The ustashas were the executive arm of the then Croatian fascist regime. 'They now want to bring the remains of these murderers to Jasenovac to bury them alongside their victims. I will not allow you to do this, and I believe that not a single of the thousands descedents of those whose families or relatives lay buried in Jasenovac will allow you to do so,' Goldstain warned. The War Crimes State Committee of the former Yugoslavia has estimated that 600,000 people died in Jasenovac.

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