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Yugoslav Daily Survey 96-02-23

Yugoslav Daily Survey Directory

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

Yugoslav Daily Survey

23 February 1996


CONTENTS

[A] FROM THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA

[01] YUGOSLAVIA EXPECTS COOPERATION WITH EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

[02] EU CUSTOMS FACILITIES AFTER FORMAL RECOGNITION OF FRY

[03] YUGOSLAVIA AND FRANCE TO EXCHANGE AMBASSADORS

[04] FRANCE VALUES TRADITIONAL FRIENDSHIP WITH YUGOSLAVIA, SAYS AMBASSADOR

[05] EUROPEAN CHURCHES END ECUMENICAL RECONCILIATION DIALOGUE

[B] BOSNIA - HERZEGOVINA

[06] R.S. ARMY RESUMES COOPERATION WITH IFOR

[07] FRANCE WELCOMES NORMALIZATION OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA-IFOR RELATIONS

[08] SERB REFUGEES FROM SARAJEVO SEEK SHELTER

[09] BOSNIAN SERB GENERAL'S COUNSEL BLASTS THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL

[10] BOSNIA ELECTION BOARD MEETS IN SARAJEVO

[C] CROATIA - SERB REFUGEES

[11] BOUTROS-GHALI: CROATIA IS PREVENTING RETURN OF SERB REFUGEES

[12] U.S. AMBASSADOR: CROATIA SLOW IN REVIEWING SERB REQUESTS FOR RETURN TO KRAJINA


[A] FROM THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA

[01] YUGOSLAVIA EXPECTS COOPERATION WITH EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

Belgrade, Feb. 22 (Tanjug) - Yugoslav Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic said Thursday he expected that the Socialist group in the European Parliament will urge the renewal of cooperation between the Federal Yugoslav Parliament and the European Parliament. Milutinovic said this during talks with a delegation of the Socialist group in the European Parliament headed by the Vice-President of the Group and member of the Board of the Social-Democratic Party of the Federal Republic of Germany, Magdalen Hof.

Milutinovic and the delegation, staying in Yugoslavia at the invitation of the Federal Parliament, discussed also the need to renew cooperation between Yugoslavia and the E.U.

The implementation of the Bosnian peace agreement and the active role and contribution of Yugoslavia to the process were also examined at the talks.

[02] EU CUSTOMS FACILITIES AFTER FORMAL RECOGNITION OF FRY

Belgrade, Feb. 22 (Tanjug) - The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (F.R.Y.) can expect customs facilities offered by the E.U. to all other former Yugoslav republics as soon as it is formally recognized, British Embassy Charge d'affairs in Belgrade Ivor Roberts said. The formal recognition of the F.R.Y. will immediately follow the mutual recognition of the Belgrade and Skoplje (F.Y.R.O.M.), Roberts said, who delivered a lecture at the Belgrade Institute for International Politics and Economy about the situation in the former Yugoslavia following the Dayton agreement.

Roberts stressed the determination of the international community to implement fully the agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina and not to allow war to break out again. He added that the military part of the agreement was implemented according to schedule, but that there was still a lot of work to be done on the issue of return of refugees, arms control, upcoming elections and the reconstruction of the country.

Roberts stressed that committed crimes should not be forgotten, but that the tendency should be towards reconciliation and in that context he pointed to the example of Germany and France.

Roberts said that in his view there are three indispensable conditions for reconciliation: good will, impartiality and measures of encouragment. He stressed that the building of peace required courage, flexibility and concessions from all the leaderships in the former Yugoslavia.

Roberts said that a way must be found for reconstructing the respective economies and political cooperation between the states of the former Yugoslavia and their closest neighbours, because that is the only way they can count on E.U. membership.

The British diplomat exressed support to the Yugoslav programme of economic recovery and stressed that its success will allow the F.R.Y. access to European markets and to international capital.

Roberts emphasized the importance of respect of human rights and that the international community does not support any demands for secession from Serbia, or the F.R.Y.

[03] YUGOSLAVIA AND FRANCE TO EXCHANGE AMBASSADORS

Belgrade, Feb. 22 (Tanjug) - The Governments of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and France have decided to upgrade their diplomatic relations to the ambassadorial level. The President of Yugoslavia's Federal Constitutional Court, Bogdan Trifunovic, has been appointed Yugoslavia's new Ambassador to Paris. France's Charge d'affaires in Belgrade Grabriel Keller has been appointed France's Ambassador to Belgrade.

Yugoslavia and France have approved the appointment of the new Ambassadors.

[04] FRANCE VALUES TRADITIONAL FRIENDSHIP WITH YUGOSLAVIA, SAYS AMBASSADOR

Belgrade, Feb. 22 (Tanjug) - France's new Ambassador in Belgrade said on Thursday that France, as the first E.U. state to establish ambassador-level ties with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, proved its lasting devotion to traditional friendship with its peoples. Ambassador Gabriel Keller told Serbian Radio and Television that France was happy that headway made recently in the diplomatic efforts at Dayton, Paris and Rome, with Yugoslavia's active participation, had helped make this important and symbolic step possible.

Keller, former Charge d'affaires of the French Embassy in Belgrade, said that France would continue to cooperate with the Yugoslav Federation on reconciliation among former Yugoslav republics and their mutual recognition. He said that France would help Yugoslavia resume its place in the international community - in the U.N., financial and other international organizations, and especially European organizations.

The reintegration will be made easier and quicker through Yugoslavia's efforts to build a modern state in line with European norms on human and minority rights, and to modernize and liberalize the economy, Keller said.

[05] EUROPEAN CHURCHES END ECUMENICAL RECONCILIATION DIALOGUE

Belgrade, Feb. 22 (Tanjug) - European churches' reconciliation dialogue that ended in Belgrade on Thursday was a good opportunity for people of different cultural traditions to find common ground and help along peace in former Yugoslavia. Secretary General of the European Conference of Churches Jean Fischer was speaking at a news conference. Fischer said that the dialogue, held at the Serbian Orthodox Church's Theological College in Belgrade, had brought to light theological positions on reconciliation from the point of view of the Orthodox Christian, Protestant and Roman Catholic churches. Not all questions have been settled, but the dialogue was a major step along the road to reconciliation, he said.

Dean of the Belgrade Theological College Pribislav Simic said that the ecumenical dialogue was important for peace in former Yugoslavia.

Serbian Bishop Irinej of Backa said that, in line with its mission, the Serbian Orthodox Church had been trying since the outbreak of the conflict in former Yugoslavia to put a s to destruction, war and crime. Bishop Irinej thanked the European Conference of Churches for its initiative to mobilise all religious communities in former Yugoslavia on restoring peace in the Balkans. He added that the Belgrade dialogue had paved the way for an ecumenical conference that should be held in Graz, Austria.

Stockholm Lutheran Church representative Henrik Svenungsson said that not all the participants in the dialogue had had the same interpretation of events that had taken place in the region of former Yugoslavia. Svenungsson, a member of the European Conference of Churches Central Board, said that reconciliation was a long process, every step of which, including this dialogue, was of enormous importance.

The Geneva-based organiser explained that it had been agreed unanimously that the dialogue be held behind closed doors, in order for the participants to be able to work in peace and quiet. Commissions of the Serbian Orthodox Church Council and the Conference of Croatia's Roman Catholic bishops will meet at St.Gallen, Switzerland, it was announced at the news conference.


[B] BOSNIA - HERZEGOVINA

[06] R.S. ARMY RESUMES COOPERATION WITH IFOR

Banjaluka, Feb. 22 (Tanjug) - The Republika Srpska (R.S.) Army Thursday resumed cooperation with IFOR. The R.S. Army Staff said Thursday evening in a communique that 'in line with the decision adopted by the 57th session of the R.S. National Assembly, the cooperation with IFOR is being carried out normally at all levels and in the spirit of the Dayton agreement'.

The R.S. Parliament decided Wednesday to restore full cooperation with international community representatives in line with the Dayton agreement and with the results of the Rome summit on the implementation of that agreement.

Cooperation between R.S. army and IFOR was suspended due to the arrest of two R.S. Army officers by Muslims on January 30 and their subsequent extradition to the Hague International Tribunal for War Crimes in former Yugoslavia.

[07] FRANCE WELCOMES NORMALIZATION OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA-IFOR RELATIONS

Paris, Feb. 22 (Tanjug) - The French Foreign Ministry on Thursday welcomed the normalization of relations between Republika Srpska (R.S.) and the IFOR. A Ministry statement said this strengthened prospects for a real and unbiased realization of the Dayton peace accord for Bosnia-Herzegovina and the lifting of the international sanctions against Republika Srpska.

[08] SERB REFUGEES FROM SARAJEVO SEEK SHELTER

Bratunac, Feb. 22 (Tanjug) - Serbs from Sarajevo districts to be placed under Muslim-Croat Federation control under the Dayton peace agreement are finding it increasingly difficult to find accommodation. A local official of Hadzici municipal authorities Vesna Mrkajic told Tanjug Thursday that it was becoming hard to find accommodation for Serbs from that Sarajevo district in Bratunac, eastern Bosnia. In line with the Dayton agreement, Hadzici is due to come under Muslim-Croat authority on March 6.

According to figures provided by a housing commission, 150 out of 320 families of Republika Srpska Army members killed in combat were provided with accommodation in Bratunac by Thursday. Ten crowded buses left Hadzici for Bratunac Wednesday night, although even those Serb refugees who arrived in Bratunac five days ago have not yet found shelter, Mrkajic said. Another 7,000 refugees from Hadzici are expected in Bratunac shortly, although there is room for 3,000 only.

The president of Srebrenica municipality (eastern Bosnia) Milenko Canic told Tanjug Thursday that preparations were underway in the town to accommodate a part of the population of the Sarajevo district of Ilias.

[09] BOSNIAN SERB GENERAL'S COUNSEL BLASTS THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL

Belgrade, Feb. 22 (Tanjug) - Counsel of Bosnian Serb Gen. Djordje Djukic said Thursday that the Hague War Crimes Tribunal was treating his client as a 'person on remand'. Belgrade's renowned attorney at law Toma Fila said that Djukic, who was extradited to the Hague Tribunal earlier in February, had not been arrested and charged, but was yet not free and was 'a suspect and a witness.'

On his return to Belgrade from the Hague, Fila told reporters that the Tribunal had issued no document pertaining to the arrest of the two Bosnian Serb officers, who he said had in fact been kidnaped. Fila said that the Hague International Tribunal for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia had offered as a possible solution that the officers be returned to the place of arrest where, Fila said, they would be killed by the Muslims.

Fila said that the hands of the Defence Counsel were tied and that the Hague Tribunal was fast showing its true colours, becoming the place for squaring accounts with Serb leaders.

[10] BOSNIA ELECTION BOARD MEETS IN SARAJEVO

Belgrade, Feb. 22. (Tanjug) - The Bosnia Election Board held a meeting in Sarajevo on Thursday which was also attended by representatives of the Republika Srpska. AFP said that with this, the Republika Srpska had practically restored cooperation with representatives of the international community. The Board, whose members come from the Bosnian Muslim-Croat Federation, the Republika Srpska and the OSCE, is entrusted with preparing and supervising elections in Bosnia to be held by Sept. 15 at the latest.

[C] CROATIA - SERB REFUGEES

[11] BOUTROS-GHALI: CROATIA IS PREVENTING RETURN OF SERB REFUGEES

New York, Feb. 22 (Tanjug) - Croatian authorities have done almost nothing, and are doing nothing, to enable Serb refugees to return home unhindered, the U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said in a report to the Security Council.

The Security Council Thursday resumed its debate on violations of human rights of Serbs in Croatia and the hindering of the repatriation of Serb refugees.

Boutros-Ghali's report says that the situation in Croatia had improved somewhat but was still desperate. There is no longer any mass torching of houses, looting or killing of Serbs in the Republic of Serb Krajina (R.S.K.), but individual crimes still occur, the report says. This is probably due to the fact that few Serbs remain there, the report says, noting that only 9,770 Serbs had stayed in R.S.K. following Croatia's aggression, but that their life there is very difficult.

Boutros-Ghali recalls in his report that U.N. had requested several times that the expelled Serbs be allowed to return to their homes, but that Croatia had taken a negative attitude to the request and used administrative measures to obstruct the repatriation of Serb refugees in Krajina.

Of the 200,000 Serbs who fled Croatia and found shelter in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 14,000 have asked to return to their homes. Croatian authorities however say there were only 5,000 such requests and that 1,840 Serbs were authorized to return. The UNHCR says that only 200 Serbs have returned to Krajina so far.

[12] U.S. AMBASSADOR: CROATIA SLOW IN REVIEWING SERB REQUESTS FOR RETURN TO KRAJINA

Vukovar, Feb. 22 (Tanjug) - The U.S. said Croatian institutions were very slow in reviewing Serb requests for return to Krajina, U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith said Thursday. Speaking at a press conference in Vukovar (Srem-Baranja Region), Galbraith said there was too much red tape in reviewing Serb requests for return to Serb Krajina. He said it was not realistic to ask that refugee Serbs have all the necessary documents, and that it would be simpler to refer to the 1991 election lists to see if they had been citizens of Croatia.

Galbraith reiterated the U.S. stand that all people who had a right to Croatian citizenship could return to their homes and live in them in complete safety. He said Croatia had received about 20,000 requests to return so far. He said that he believed Croatia was still a multi-ethnic country.

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