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Yugoslav Daily Survey, 99-01-15

Yugoslav Daily Survey Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Yugoslavia <>

Yugoslav Daily Survey




    Tanjug, 1999-01-14

    Four Serbian police officers were wounded at the village of Ranic, Decan i municipality, at around 10 a.m. local time on Thursday as their car ran across an anti-tank mine laid by ethnic Albanian terrorists in Serbia's southern province of Kosovo and Metohija, local authorities told Tanjug.

    Petar Rudovic, Milos Stosic and Milan Mugosa sustained light head and ch est injuries, while Milorad Dubak's thighbone and right arm are broken, h ead of the Pec hospital surgical department Nebojsa Mihajlovic told Tanju g.

    An investigation into the incident is in progress.


    Tanjug, 1999-01-14

    Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin on Thursday expres sed Russia's disappointment and regret at a U.S. stance during a debate on a Russian d raft of a U.N. Security Council statement that strongly condemned terrori st operations in the Yugoslav Republic of Serbia's Kosovo- Metohija Provin ce.

    Rakhmanin told a news conference in Moscow that Russia had of late initi ated consultations on a sudden deterioration of the situation in Kosovo-M etohija, where ethnic Albanian extremists had launched a series of armed attacks and set ambushes, killing three Yugoslav policemen and abducting eight army soldiers since early January.

    Russia had proposed the drafting of a Security Council statement which w ould harshly condemn the terrorist operations, starting out from a point of view that there is a need to demonstrate a strong determination in sec uring the implementation of Security Council decisions and prevent the si tuation in Kosovo-Metohija from turning into a large-scale armed conflict , he said.

    Russia's stand had been backed by most Security Council member-countries .. Regrettably, the United States strongly opposed an uncompromised condem nation of extremist activities, said Rakhmanin. As a result of the U.S. s tand, the Security Council, as different from the European Union and the OSCE Verification Mission to Kosovo-Metohija, had been placed into a situ ation of being unable to respond to this gross challenge to the internati onal community, he said.

    Rakhmanin said that the feeling of profound disappointment prevented Rus sia from passing over what had happened in silence. He added, however, th at Russia would keep consistently protecting the role of the Security Cou ncil which was delegated under the U.N. Charter with a main responsibilit y to safeguard international peace and security.

    He also stressed that Russia would continue to fight all forms of terror ism firmly and consistently.


    Tanjug, 1999-01-14

    Russian State Duma President Gennady Seleznyov said on Thursday that the draft resolution on Kosovo and Metohija to be proposed at the Vienna par liamentary forum will take into account Russia's views. "After discussin g the draft resolution on Kosovo and Metohija we concluded that our sugge stions had been approved in general," said Seleznyov on arrival in the ca pital city of Austria, where he is heading a Russian delegation at a sess ion of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Standing Committee.

    The President of the Russian Lower House of Parliament also said he beli eved all the points to be included in the agenda of the Vienna forum will certainly be the subject of discussions.


    Tanjug, 1999-01-14

    The Russian Foreign Ministry hailed on Thursday the release of a group o f Yugoslav soldiers who were kidnapped on January 8 by ethnic Albanian te rrorists in Kosovo and Metohija.

    Pointing to the firm position and active mediatory role of OSCE for the peaceful resolution of the incident, as well as the personal contribution of current OSCE Chairman Knut Vollebaek, the Ministry paid special tribu te to the Yugoslav authorities for their "restraint and readiness to reso lve the issue by political means." In a statement read at the news confer ence Thursday by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Vladimir Rakmanin, ho pe was expressed that all terrorists actions would be met with the firm c ondemnation of the leaders of Kosmet Albanians and of international media tors for settling the situation in Kosovo and Metohija.

    Rakmanin repeated at the news conference the assessment that the delay i n the process of settling the situation in Kosovo and Metohija was used b y those who are against the stabilization of circumstances in the Provinc e and warned that unless active political efforts were made, similar terr orist actions could be repeated.

    The same assessment and warning were made two days ago at a joint press conference in Moscow by the Foreign Ministers of Russia and of France, Ig or Ivanov and Hubert Vedrine. Rakmanin repeated on Thursday also their jo int position that the Contact Group should send a strong signal for the n eed to sit down for negotiations to examine concrete aspects for settling the situation in Kosovo and Metohija.


    Tanjug, 1999-01-15

    The European Union's Special Envoy for Kosovo and Metohija, Wolfgang Pet ritch of Austria, has accused ethnic Albanian terrorists in the Yugoslav Republic of Serbia's southern province of provoking Yugoslav authorities. In an interview published by the Vienna weekly News, Petritsch pinned th e responsibility for the latest developments, including the recent murder of three Serbian police officers and abduction of eight Yugoslav Army tr oops, on the ethnic Albanian terrorist organisation calling itself Kosov o Liberation Army (KLA, 1998).

    He said it was evident that the ethnic Albanian side had armed itself, s aying the KLA had taken advantage of the truce to arm and reorganise itse lf. He said he had the impression that the KLA had also improved its stru cture of command.

    He backed the state authorities' actions, like the one taken at Podujevo , saying the state had to react if someone tried to cut off main routes.

    Petritsch said an end should be put to mutual accusations, saying the OS CE Verification Mission to Kosovo and Metohija was in the Province to es tablish the causes of the conflict in the field.


    Tanjug, 1999-01-14

    Two ethnic Albanians were shot dead in a sporting goods store in the tow n of Prizren in the Yugoslav Republic of Serbia's Kosovo-Metohija Provinc e on Thursday evening. Store owner Bujar Godeni and his nephew Edmond God eni were gunned down and killed at 5:30 p.m.

    Serbian police and representatives of the Prizren office of the OSCE Ver ification Mission to Kosovo-Metohija immediately arrived at the scene.

    The Godenis were loyal citizens of Serbia.

    The investigation is in progress.


    Tanjug, 1999-01-14

    Serbian Minister Bogoljub Karic has received Belgian Ambassador to Yugos lavia Joris Couvreur, at the latter's request.

    Karic informed Couvreur about economic reform underway in the Federal Re public of Yugoslavia and its Republic of Serbia and also about the steppe d- up privatization process. During the talk, the need was stressed for t he lifting of sanctions banning investment into this country and hamperin g equal cooperation of Yugoslav and Serbian companies with the rest of th e world.

    Karic underscored the interest of some foreign partners, including those from Belgium, that were already negotiating prospects for investing in l ocal breweries and companies doing business in the areas of agriculture a nd electronic and textile industries.

    It was noted that the scope of economic cooperation with Belgium was ins ufficient considering the possibilities.

    Karic informed Couvreur also about an idea that a local business delegat ion visit Belgium and some other E.U. countries and present prospects for cooperation with Serbian and Yugoslav companies.

    Couvreur voiced interest in the current situation in the Yugoslav Republ ic of Serbia's Kosovo-Metohija Province. Karic briefed the guest about Se rbian Government efforts to solve the Kosovo-Metohija problem by peaceful and political means as soon as possible.

    The Belgian Ambassador upheld the idea of presenting the potentials of t he Yugoslav and Serbian economies, adding that this was the way to bring Yugoslavia back to the European and world markets, because economy was a universal activity.

    He said that local laws and regulations on foreign trade should be in li ne with and adjusted primarily to those of the European Union.


    Tanjug, 1999-01-14

    The U.N. Security Council discussed on Wednesday Secretary General Kofi Annan's report on the issue of Prevlaka promontory proposing that U.N. mi litary observers' mandate be extended for another six months, until July 15. The Security Council supported the proposal and the extended mandate of the U.N. observer mission on Prevlaka (UNMOP, 1999) is expected to be officially adopted by January 15 at the latest.

    Annan welcomed Yugoslavia's and Croatia's efforts to solve the Prevlaka issue through talks, voicing hope that the talks would bear results in th e coming period. He described the situation on Prevlaka as stable reporti ng no significant tensions.


    Tanjug, 1999-01-14

    Yugoslav Foreign Minister Zivadin Jovanovic and Spanish Foreign Minister Abel Matutes condemned on Thursday in Madrid terrorism in Kosovo and Met ohija as an obstacle to a peaceful political solution in that Serbian Pro vince.

    The Spanish Government condemned also on Thursday the terrorism of Alban ian separatists in Kosovo and Metohija.

    Jovanovic paid on Thursday a one-day visit to Spain.

    The two Foreign Ministers, who after two-hours talks held a press confer ence, indicated they fully agreed that a political solution in Kosovo and Metohija by way of dialogue had no alternative.

    Jovanovic and Matutes also pointed to the their mutual agreement on the need for promoting the relations of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia wi th international organizations, particularly with the European Union, con fident that was in their joint interest.

    The two Ministers also expressed their belief that continued dialogue be tween the representatives of the two countries was the right way for the exchange of opinions and the promotion of understanding and cooperation. Matutes and Jovanovic have met four times in the past 12 months, and thei r last two meetings were in September, at the session of the U.N. General Assembly, and in December in Madrid, during the conference on Bosnia.

    The Yugoslav Foreign Minister said he held with Matutes detailed, cons tructive and useful talks. In the talks were reviewed issues of bilateral cooperation, relations between Yugoslavia and the European Union and oth er international organizations, and a part of the talks was devoted to th e current situation in Kosovo and Metohija.

    At the press conference, Jovanovic voiced satisfaction that identical vi ews had been expressed in the talks about the need to promote bilateral c ooperation, particularly economic and cultural, and about the finalizing of the agreement on defining legal frameworks for regulating mutual coope ration, where significant results have already been achieved.

    Yugoslavia is particularly interested in the inclusion of Spanish busine ssmen in the process of privatization which is underway in the country, J ovanovic said. "We have also agreed on the need to promote relations betw een Yugoslavia and other European organisations, especially the European Union," Jovanovic said. The Federal Minister said that "Yugoslavia has a positive approach and it looks to the normalization of relations with the European Union, confident that is a joint interest and also confident th at traditionally good cooperation makes possible its continuous progress in all spheres, which is a political and economic interest."

    In the talks with Matutes, Jovanovic explained that diplomacy and dialog ue were the only way that guarantee a peaceful and lasting solution to al l issues relating to Kosovo and Metohija.

    Jovanovic recalled that the Serbian Government was pressing for a politi cal solution which would guarantee the equality of all national and ethni c communities, the equality of all inhabitants of Kosovo and Metohija, re gardless of their ethnic origin or their religion, as well as their civil and human rights in conformity with international standards, while at th e same time guaranteeing the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Yug oslavia. The Federal Minister pointed to the huge importance of condemnin g terrorism, the actions of ethnic Albanian terrorists in Kosovo and Meto hija, which Spain has done, and the cutting off of their sources of finan cing, particularly those from some countries in the region.

    "We are firmly in favour of a political solution and consider that a dia logue could be continued without delay," Jovanovic said.

    The Yugoslav Foreign Minister, taking the questions of journalists, said that Yugoslavia was fully complying with the commitments and the agreeme nt signed in October with the OSCE. He also said that the Yugoslav Army h ad a constitutional right to defend the international borders of the coun try, particularly with Albania. He recalled the reports of foreign journa lists that Albania was a springboard for introducing terrorists into Yugo slavia, and also a training ground for terrorists, mujaheddins and Islami c terrorists.

    Jovanovic said that the terrorist character of Albanian separatists was clear from the number of terrorist actions which they carried out since O ctober, or since the Milosevic-Holbrooke Agreement. There have been over 500 such actions, and since New Year alone the terrorists have committed 12 murders, or one murder every day.

    Jovanovic said that nothing will change in Yugoslavia's treatment of eth nic Albanian terrorists in Kosovo and Metohija after the release of Yugos lav soldiers. Terrorists will always be terrorists and double standards t owards terrorism will backfire in the countries that fail to condemn it, Zivadin Jovanovic said.

    Spanish Foreign Minister Abel Matutes specified twice at the press confe rence Spain's positions on Kosovo and Metohija, condemning terrorist acti ons and stressing that "the only way for achieving a solution to the prob lem of Kosovo was in urgent dialogue and by way of diplomacy."

    That is not only a way for resolving "that difficult and bitter problem" but also for bringing closer Yugoslavia to the European Union, Matutes s aid. The Spanish Foreign Minister assessed that since the time of the sig ning of the agreement of the international community with Serbia and Yugo slavia the situation in Kosovo and Metohija had deteriorated, pointing to the terrorist actions and the condemnation of those actions made by the Spanish Government. Matutes called for the urgent opening of dialogue bet ween the leaders of ethnic Albanian political parties and the Serbian aut horities.

    Taking part in the talks between Jovanovic and Matutes was the Yugoslav Ambassador to Spain Ratomir Vico.

    The Yugoslav Foreign Minister during his visit to Madrid gave interviews to the news agency Europa Press and the influential Madrid daily El Pais ..


    Tanjug, 1999-01-14

    The Yugoslav Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the A lbanian Parliament had recently passed a document titled "The Resolution on Kosovo", advocating a foreign military intervention, by means of lies and insults against Yugoslavia.

    With such stands, as well as with constant aggressive terrorist provocat ions from Albanian-based terrorist centres against the Federal Republic o f Yugoslavia, Albania continues to pursue its policy of flagrant violatio n of the U.N. Charter and principles of the OSCE, basic international nor ms and U.N. Security Council resolutions, being the only country to have recognized the phantom "Kosovo Republic" in an October 1991 parliament re solution.

    Activities of the ethnic Albanian terrorist organizations calling itself the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA, 1999), self-styled representatives of t his criminal organization and other ethnic Albanian separatists have late ly received top-level Albanian support.

    At those meetings, the Albanian President, Prime Minister and Foreign Mi nister have most openly admitted their destructive, anti-Yugoslav role in the Balkans by saying that "Yugoslavia cannot survive", while Albania is ready to act as a force that will unite all Albanians in the Balkans.

    The Yugoslav Foreign Ministry therefore expects all countries, internati onal factors and organizations to urgently and most strongly take adequat e steps and condemn such Albanian policy, including terrorism and separat ism it supports, the statement said.


    Tanjug, 1999-01-14

    The Yugoslav Government held a session on Thursday chaired by Prime Mini ster Momir Bulatovic and reviewed and approved a report on the current si tuation in Serbia's southern province of Kosovo-Metohija and on the endea vors and measures for holding a dialogue with political representatives o f the ethnic Albanian minority aimed at finding a political solution for the Province.

    The report was addressed to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Raci al Discrimination. The report underlines that Yugoslavia's Constitution g uarantees equal treatment to all ethnic communities and all citizens.

    The Government noted that the endeavors and measures undertaken by the R epublic of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for establishing meaningful dialogue with political representatives of the ethnic Albania n minority had not produced results so far because separatist ethnic Alba nian political parties and their leaders keep postponing dialogue and pro viding support and incentives to terrorists who continue committing crime s, murders and abductions of innocent citizens.

    Human rights in Kosovo-Metohija are being violated only by ethnic Albani an separatists and terrorist gangs, who carried out nearly 2,000 acts of terrorism between 1991 and the end of 1998. Yugoslav Army border guards p revented in 11 months of 1998 a total of 2,646 illegal crossings of the s tate border between the FR of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Albania.

    The territory of the Republic of Albania is being used for the recruitin g, organizing, arming and training of terrorists from Kosovo-Metohija and of members of Islamic and other international terrorist organizations, s ome of whom have joined ethnic Albanian terrorist gangs in Kosovo-Metohij a. The terrorist organization calling itself "Kosovo Liberation Army" has direct ties with radical Islamic countries, which provide it with funds for purchasing arms and military equipment, as well as with drug cartels and organized international crime in general.

    It is imperative that the international community as a whole and all cou ntries individually, in line with UN Security Council resolutions, clearl y and decisively condemn terrorist attacks, provocations, killings and ab ductions, and firmly cut off the channels used to provide the terrorists with funds, arms and equipment.

    The FR of Yugoslavia remains an open country, ready for cooperation with the international community and for finding the best possible solution f or Kosovo-Metohija. Cooperation between state institutions with the OSCE mission and with international humanitarian organizations is good and ful l safety and freedom of movement are guaranteed to their personnel.

    The government adopted a platform for Yugoslavia's participation in nego tiations on the Article 5 of the Annex 1-B of the Dayton Agreement starti ng on January 18, 1999 in Vienna.

    The platform is based on the view that the forthcoming negotiations do n ot constitute only compliance with some of the commitments contained in t he Dayton Agreement, but also a contribution to promoting cooperation, go od- neighbourly relations, and consolidation of regional stability.

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