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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-03-05

From: Macedonian Press Agency <mpa@philippos.mpa.gr>

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, March 5, 1998


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] ARCHBISHOP OF AMERICA SPYRIDON TO MEET WITH GREEK-AMERICANS

  • [02] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT BELGRADE TOMORROW

  • [03] ARCHBISHOP SERAPHIM’S STATE OF HEALTH IS MARKED BY IMPROVEMENT

  • [04] FOUR-DAY SEMINAR FOR DIPLOMATS TO BE HELD IN THESSALONIKI

  • [05] NEW TENSION IN NEW DEMOCRACY - STATEMENTS BY MITSOTAKIS

  • [06] D. REPPAS: GREECE SUPPORTS GOOD RELATIONS WITH SKOPJE


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [07] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER REFERS TO KOSSOVO DURING ESP CONFERENCE

  • [08] NATO’S LARGEST EXERCISE TO START MONDAY IN NORTH ATLANTIC

  • [09] ANOTHER EPISODE ERUPTS IN PRISHTINA

  • [10] GOVERNMENT DELEGATION FROM FYROM IN ATHENS TODAY

  • [11] COMMISSIONER VAN DEN BROEK IN CYPRUS, TO MEET WITH CLERIDES

  • [12] ALBANIA’S FORMER PRESIDENT IS WELL, TO RETURN HOME THIS WEEK

  • [13] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER ATTENDS EUROPEAN SOCIALIST PARTY MEETING

  • [14] EUROPEAN SOCIALIST DEFENSE MINISTERS TO MEET IN RHODES IN MAY

  • [15] US THREATEN MILOSEVIC WITH MILITARY INTERVENTION

  • [16] THE ISSUE OF FYROM’S NAME IS NOT BEING DISCUSSED TODAY

  • [17] THE HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH CONDEMNS THE USE OF FORCE IN KOSOVO

  • [18] NEW TENSION IN KOSOVO

  • [19] THE BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER IS VISITING BELGRADE

  • [20] MEETING OF BALKAN MINISTERS ABOUT CRIMINALITY

  • [21] DIPLOMATIC FEVER IN BELGRADE


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] ARCHBISHOP OF AMERICA SPYRIDON TO MEET WITH GREEK-AMERICANS

    The Archbishop of America Spyridon is to meet with Greek- American leaders on March 10 in Washington, with whom he will discuss religious, national and international issues.

    Specifically, the Archbishop will refer to the maintenance of the religious education, language and Greek culture among the young Greeks living in the United States, while he will also speak on issues related to religious freedom, human rights and, more specifically, the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the re-opening of the Theological School of Chalki.

    [02] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT BELGRADE TOMORROW

    Government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas stated yesterday that Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos' visit to Belgrade tomorrow represents Greece’s presence in the region and had been planned in advance.

    Mr. Reppas added that Mr. Pangalos will discuss the rights of the ethnic Albanians of Kossovo and Yugoslav sovereignty in the region.

    Moreover, referring to today’s visit of a FYROM government delegation, headed by Foreign Under-secretary Ognuen Malefski, to Athens, Mr. Reppas stated that talks will focus on bilateral issues, trade, economic relations, while he also added that it would be "logical" to discuss the Kossovo crisis.

    [03] ARCHBISHOP SERAPHIM’S STATE OF HEALTH IS MARKED BY IMPROVEMENT

    Archbishop of Athens and All of Greece, Seraphim, is in a better state of health, according to his treating physicians at Athens’ Laiko Hospital, where he is being treated since last Tuesday.

    Hospital officials stated that the Archbishop will remain in the hospital until his therapy has been completed and until it is ascertained that his improvement will continue in the next few days.

    Archbishop Serapheim was visited yesterday by the Archbishop of Tirana and All Albania Anastasios, and by members of the Holy Synod and other clergymen.

    The Archbishop was hospitalised with a viral infection and respiratory problems, was marking a "slow but steady improvement" and was "responding to treatment.”

    The Archbishop, a long-time kidney sufferer, underwent dialysis treatment yesterday.

    [04] FOUR-DAY SEMINAR FOR DIPLOMATS TO BE HELD IN THESSALONIKI

    Twenty diplomats and high-ranking officials from central and Eastern European countries are to attend a four-day seminar between March 8-11, organised by the Centre of International and European Economic Law, in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry.

    The seminar is to provide the participants with information on the activities of the European Union following the signing of the Amsterdam Accord and Agenda 2000, in light of the community’s expansion.

    The seminar will be conducted by Foreign Ministry officials, and representatives from the European Commission.

    The Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos is to declare the official inauguration of the seminar on Sunday morning.

    [05] NEW TENSION IN NEW DEMOCRACY - STATEMENTS BY MITSOTAKIS

    A new circle of tension has opened for right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy in view of the party parliamentary group meeting on Monday, March 9, while the Athens daily “Imerisia” has published an interview of ND honorary president Konstatinos Mitsotakis that brought him again to the limelight.

    Mr. Mitsotakis stated in the interview that all those, who attempt to turn the political parties into “party concentration camps” should be condemned by the electorate. He stated characteristically that the party mechanisms existing today unfortunately, appear to be more interested in power itself than in its reliable administration. Therefore, said Mr. Mitsotakis, there are many officials in those mechanisms, who are ready to break any rule of in-party democracy in order to get closer to party power.

    [06] D. REPPAS: GREECE SUPPORTS GOOD RELATIONS WITH SKOPJE

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stressed today that under no circumstances would Greece accept the term “Macedonia” or a derivative as the name of FYROM.

    Responding to a question about the term “Macedonia of Skopje” which he used yesterday referring to FYROM, mr Reppas described it as a “phrasal error” and regarding president of FYROM Kiro Gligorov’s stating, yesterday, that he feared dismemberment of his country by neighbours in case of deterioration of the Kosovo crisis, he said that Greece wanted FYROM to continue existing within its borders. [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [07] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER REFERS TO KOSSOVO DURING ESP CONFERENCE

    Greece’s Defense Minister, Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who is also the European Socialist Party’s vice-president, addressed the ESP conference in Brussels yesterday where he referred tot he current crisis in Kossovo.

    “The international community must intervene decisively to ensure that certain people will not be able, in the context of any adventurist pursuits, to exploit the situation in which minorities in the Balkans find themselves,” he stated.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos added that the situation there “carries the seed of anomaly if account is taken of the armed clashes in northern Albania and the concern among other sections of the Albanian minority in other parts of the Balkans. "

    [08] NATO’S LARGEST EXERCISE TO START MONDAY IN NORTH ATLANTIC

    NATO's largest exercise of the year, "Strong Resolve '98", is to take place in the North Atlantic and the Iberian Peninsula between March 9-21. The exercise is aimed at testing NATO's ability to concurrently tackle two crises developing in two different geographic regions.

    Greece will participate in the exercise in the Iberian Peninsula with the frigate "Spetsai", four F-16 aircraft, as well as with a number of officers for the staff of the joint combined force.

    All NATO member-states will participate in this massive military exercise, while seven countries observing NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP) initiative will also take part for the first time, including Austria, Bulgaria, FYROM, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden.

    [09] ANOTHER EPISODE ERUPTS IN PRISHTINA

    Another episode erupted in Prishitna last night, where armed Albanian-speaking civilians and Serb policemen clashed. Two persons armed with automatic rifles opened fire against the police station.

    Meanwhile, Great Britain, as the term president of the European Union, has taken a diplomatic initiative and will hold an extraordinary meeting of Foreign Ministers from the United States, Russia France, Germany and Italy. The Greek government’s spokesperson Dimitris Reppas has reiterated that Greece is willing to assist in any way possible in order to defuse the crisis in Kossovo.

    [10] GOVERNMENT DELEGATION FROM FYROM IN ATHENS TODAY

    A government delegation from FYROM is to arrive in Athens today in order to hold talks with Greek government officials on bilateral and Balkan-related issues.

    The delegation, headed by Foreign Under-secretary Ognuen Malevski, is visiting Athens after a similar visit conducted by Greek officials to Skopje last year in February.

    Meanwhile, FYROM President Kiro Gligorov has expressed concern that his country might be divided due to the turmoil in Kossovo and the “grandiose” policies of Bulgaria. Mr. Gligorov stated that only Greece can help.

    [11] COMMISSIONER VAN DEN BROEK IN CYPRUS, TO MEET WITH CLERIDES

    European Union’s Foreign Affairs Commissioner Hans van den Broek arrived in Cyprus yesterday evening embarking on a two-day visit to the island. Mr. Van den Broek will be received by the President of Cyprus Glafkos Clerides today and the island’s foreign affairs Minister Yiannakis Kasoulides with whom he will discuss matters related to Cyprus and the island’s accession to the community.

    The Commissioner has stated that the refusal of Turkish- Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to see him was “regrettable” and expressed the hope he will change his position soon.

    Yesterday, Mr. van den Broek met with Greece’s Foreign Under- secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis with whom he discussed the issue of the Turkish-Cypriots’ participation in the delegation that is to appear before the EU during Cyprus’s accession talks which are scheduled for March 31.

    In turn, Mr. Kranidiotis stated that he briefed Mr. van den Broek on the Greek government’s positions and on his recent visit to Cyprus.

    [12] ALBANIA’S FORMER PRESIDENT IS WELL, TO RETURN HOME THIS WEEK

    Former Albanian president Ramiz Alia is to return home at the end of this week after his recovery from quadruple by-pass surgery performed last month at Thessaloniki's Papanikolaou Hospital.

    Mr. Alia, who was recently discharged from hospital, suffered his first heart attack six years ago while serving an eight-year prison sentence for abuse of power and violation of the people's rights after assuming power following the death of dictator Enver Hoxha in 1985.

    He was later freed after an appeals court ruling only to be rearrested and charged with killing or ordering the deportation of dissidents who tried to flee the country illegally. He escaped from jail along with hundreds of others during an armed uprising in March last year and was finally cleared of all charges in October.

    [13] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER ATTENDS EUROPEAN SOCIALIST PARTY MEETING

    Greece’s ruling socialist party PASOK was represented at the European Socialist Party summit, held in Brussels yesterday, by National Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, the party's vice-president, and Foreign Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis who is also deputy secretary of PASOK's international relations department.

    The meeting’s agenda included preparations for the party's conference in early 1999, the drafting of its platform for the European Parliament elections in June 1999 and its positions regarding the enlargement of the European Union.

    Following the meeting, the ESP’s presidium issued an announcement on the situation in Kossovo, wherein it expressed its serious concern over the escalation of violence in the region.

    The ESP announcement also stressed that a deterioration of the situation in Kosovo could pose an immediate threat to stability in the broader region, while it expressed regret at the use of violence by some extremist groups in the region's mostly ethnic Albanian population.

    At the same time it condemned “the massive and violent police operations to suppress peaceful demonstrations.”

    “A settlement of the Kosovo crisis”, the ESP announcement maintains, “should be based on respect for basic human rights, as well as on safeguarding cultural and political autonomy and avoiding changes in existing European borders.”

    For this reason, it called on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and representatives of Kossovo’s Albanian-speaking population to urgently open talks for the region's future.

    [14] EUROPEAN SOCIALIST DEFENSE MINISTERS TO MEET IN RHODES IN MAY

    The European Socialist Party presidium has endorsed a proposal submitted by the Greek delegation, attending yesterday’s meeting in Brussels, for a meeting of Europe's socialist defence ministers on the island of Rhodes on May 9 and 10.

    This meeting is to precede a Western European Union ministerial meeting, as well as the ESP conference on security and stability in the Balkans, to be held in Thessaloniki between June 25-27.

    [15] US THREATEN MILOSEVIC WITH MILITARY INTERVENTION

    The United States are threatening the President of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic with military intervention in the case he does not accept resolution of the Kossovo crisis through peaceful means and dialogue.

    According to diplomatic circles, the State Department is exerting intense pressure on Belgrade to make concessions to the Albanian speaking minority in order to restore stability in the region.

    Special envoy to Bosnia, Robert Gelbard, who recently visited Belgrade, has alluded that the Clinton Administration is determined to proceed to tough measures against Yugoslavia, while Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in her address before Congress, stated that “we have made it clear to Milosevic that achieving progress in the issue of Kossovo constitutes a prerequisite for the lifting of the second package of sanctions imposed on his country.”

    However, Ms. Albright added that “we also expect the Albanian- speaking minority’s leaders in Kossovo to distance themselves from the factions that engage in violence for political reasons.”

    [16] THE ISSUE OF FYROM’S NAME IS NOT BEING DISCUSSED TODAY

    Greek deputy foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou met in Athens today with FYROM’s undersecretary of foreign affairs Ognen Malevski.

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that the issue of FYROM’s name will not be discussed in the meetings Mr. Malevski will have in Athens.

    [17] THE HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH CONDEMNS THE USE OF FORCE IN KOSOVO

    The Human Rights Watch condemned the Serb security forces accusing them of committing serious human rights violations during the military operations that took place in Kosovo on February 28 and on March 1.

    Also, the Human Rights committee urged the US government, the European Union and the OSCE to coordinate their efforts and intensify the diplomatic pressures they exert on the Yugoslav authorities in order to avert the use of armed force.

    The Human Rights Watch recognizes that authorities need to resort to the use of force when they have to deal with an armed attack but this must be done within the strict framework of their duties, while it has made it clear that citizens not participating in the attacks must be protected.

    It should be noted, that the Human Rights committee has issued an appeal to the Yugoslav government to allow international monitors in the region of Drenica to determine the nature of the violations committed, while it has also requested that the names of those arrested should be made public as well as, the accusations against them.

    [18] NEW TENSION IN KOSOVO

    New armed clashes erupted in Kosovo as Serb forces opened fire in three villages early in the morning today injuring a member of the Albanian-speaking population. The news was made public by an announcement of Kosovo’s Albanian Democratic Association, while the information has not been confirmed yet by the Serb authorities.

    According to the Belgrade news agency BETA, an exchange of gun shots took place when a group of young people opened fire against the Prisitina police station, but no injuries were reported.

    Albanian circles in Kosovo maintained today that during the night police forces targeted the Albanian-speaking population in the region of Sirbica, scene of last Saturday’s bloody clashes.

    Meanwhile, the Belgrade press mentions that in the past few days the isolated armed attacks, launched by Albanian-speaking extremists on Serb families, mainly at the western part of Kosovo, have increased. Those attacks, according to press reports in Belgrade, have forced the Serb families to organize foot-patrols for their safety.

    [19] THE BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER IS VISITING BELGRADE

    British foreign minister Robin Cook is in Belgrade today for talks with Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic concerning the situation in Kosovo.

    Mr. Cook will also meet with representatives of the Albanian- speaking population in Kososvo, while he will have a telephone communication with their leader Ibrahim Rugova. Mr. Cook, as president of the EU council of foreign ministers, will stress to Mr. Milosevic the immediate need to start an initiative aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the Kosovo problem.

    Mr. Cook stated yesterday from the town of Banja Luka, where he had talks with president of Serb Republic in Bosnia Ms. Biliana Plavsic and prime minister Milorad Dodik, that Kosovo should become self-ruled within the framework of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The British minister stressed that extreme armed actions by the Albanian-speaking population in Kosovo or the use of force against the Albanian-speaking population by the Serb authorities can not be justified. [20] MEETING OF BALKAN MINISTERS ABOUT CRIMINALITY

    A meeting of ministers of Public Order of Greece, Rumania and Bulgaria is due to take place in Thessaloniki on Saturday during which issues concerning drug, arms and nuclear material smuggling, car thefts and any other illegal activity of international criminal gangs in Greece will be discussed.

    Head of the Greek delegation in the trilateral meeting will be the minister of Public Order Giorgos Romeos while the ministers of Internal Affairs Bogogmil Bonev of Bulgaria and Gavril Dejeu of Rumania will represent their countries.

    [21] DIPLOMATIC FEVER IN BELGRADE

    British Foreign Minister Robin Cook is in Belgrade today for talks with the Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic concerning the situation in Kosovo.

    Meanwhile the US threaten President Milosevic with military intervention in case he does not accept to proceed with the settlement of the conflict through peaceful means and dialogue with ethnic Albanians of Kosovo.

    The leader of the ethnic-Albanian population of Kosovo Ibrahim Rugova is on a visit to Belgrade where he will meet with mr Cook.


    Complete archives of the Macedonian Press Agency bulletins are available on the MPA Home Page at http://www.mpa.gr/ and on the U.S. mirror at http://www.hri.org/MPA/

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