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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-06-10

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH
Thessaloniki, June 10, 1999

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] CONTINGENT OF US MARINES DISEMBARKS IN PORT OF LITOCHORO
  • [02] BSTDB TO COMPLETE STRATEGIC PLANNING IN AUGUST
  • [03] OVER 2,500 TONS OF BELGIAN FOODS CONFISCATED IN GREECE
  • [04] FIRST PHASE OF US MARINES LANDING IN LITOCHORO COMPLETED
  • [05] MR. PAPANDREOU'S STATEMENTS ON THE KOSSOVO PEACE AGREEMENT
  • [06] ATHANASAKIS: THE GREEK FORCE THAT WILL BE SENT TO KOSSOVO IS IN THE HIGHEST STATE OF READINESS
  • [07] THE CYPRUS PROBLEM IS LIKELY TO BE DISCUSSED IN THE G-8 SUMMIT
  • [08] STATEMENTS ON THE PEACE AGREEMENT BY MR. PAPANDREOU
  • [09] GREECE PROTESTED AGAINST THE TWO ABDUCTIONS IN ALBANIA
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [10] SECURITY COUNCIL CONVENES TO VOTE ON KOSOVO PEACE PLAN
  • [11] YUGOSLAVS JUBILANT OVER THE END OF THE WAR
  • [12] UCK DECLARES IT'S NOT GOING TO LAY DOWN ITS ARMS IN KOSOVO
  • [13] PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN KOSOVO TO INVOLVE 60,000 TROOPS
  • [14] ANCIENT OLYMPIA STONE TO GRACE SYDNEY OLYMPIC STADIUM
  • [15] PEACE HAS ARRIVED, SIRENS SIGNAL END OF WAR IN YUGOSLAVIA
  • [16] SOLANA ORDERED THE END OF THE NATO AIR STRIKES ON YUGOSLAVIA
  • [17] NATO HAS NOT CONFIRMED THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE SERB FORCES
  • [18] THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL MEETS TODAY ON KOSOVO
  • [19] THE REFUGEES WILL RETURN TO KOSOVO BY SEPTEMBER
  • [20] NEW CLASHES BETWEEN PKK AND THE TURKISH ARMY
  • [21] THE TALKS BETWEEN TALBOTT AND CHERNOMYRDIN WERE FRUITLESS
  • [22] THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE SERB FORCES FROM KOSOVO WILL BEGIN FROM THE NORTHERN PART OF THE PROVINCE

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] CONTINGENT OF US MARINES DISEMBARKS IN PORT OF LITOCHORO

    A contingent of 2,200 US Marines joining the Kosovo implementation force (KFOR) began disembarking early today in the port of Litochoro, in order to travel to Skopje before being deployed in Kosovo.

    The marines had waited for several days aboard two ships and a helicopter-carrier off-shore. Minor episodes erupted this morning at the port where a group of Communist Party of Greece supporters had spent the night demonstrating against US forces and their involvement in air strikes against Yugoslavia.

    [02] BSTDB TO COMPLETE STRATEGIC PLANNING IN AUGUST

    The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB), which embarked on its operation on June 1, will complete its strategic planning by the end of August, while projects already in the works are to begin materializing at the start of next year.

    According to the Bank's chairman, Ersoy Volkan, one of the BSTDB's foremost priorities is a program to facilitate trade among the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization's (BSEC) 11 member-states.

    Moreover, Bank officials have embarked on a series of activities in search of co-financing sources, having already netted contacts with credit organizations such as the World Bank, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank.

    These efforts have apparently borne results, as the first program to be hammered out by the BSTDB, with the assistance of the World Bank, concerns the modernization of customs offices of the BSTDB's 11 members, a project amounting to $70 million and which will be financed by the BSTDB at a rate of 7-10%.

    Concerning the project funding, BSTDB is participating mainly at a two-digit rate, while its contribution to the loan sector does not surpass the 35% rate of the overall projects. However, when it comes to funding trade, the BSTDB's participation can potentially amount to 100%.

    "Our aim is to facilitate the entrance of the BSEC's weaker states into the free market, through the strengthening of healthy investments and the fortification of regional cooperation," Mr. Volkan said.

    The BSTDB's shareholders are Greece, Turkey, Russia, (which hold the majority share capital at 16.5% each) Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, (13.5% each) Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldavia and Albania (with a two-percent rate each).

    The Bank's official inauguration ceremony will take place on the 21st of June at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Thessaloniki.

    [03] OVER 2,500 TONS OF BELGIAN FOODS CONFISCATED IN GREECE

    More than 2,500 tons of foodstuffs imported to Greece from Belgium have been confiscated, according to the Development Ministry's consumer department which assured Greek shoppers that the Greek government has taken the stringent measures among all of Europe.

    The department's secretary-general Christina Papanikolaou stated that the extent of the dioxin-contaminated products has yet to be assessed, while she added that some of the Belgian products removed from the Greek shelves are still available in their country of origin.

    She added that, while there is no cause for concern over the Greek products, the ministry is to conduct checks on domestically- made basic food items.

    [04] FIRST PHASE OF US MARINES LANDING IN LITOCHORO COMPLETED

    The first phase of the US marines disembarking at the port of Litochoro was completed at 10 a.m. today, having gotten underway about three hours earlier when the 26th Brigade of Special Forces was transported with hover-craft from two warships and a helicopter-carrier off-shore.

    The contingent is to proceed to Skopje and possibly Kosovo, while, according to reports, the landing of about 1,600 troops will be completed by noon. An additional 500 men will remain aboard the warships for administrative support roles.

    Approximately 30 personnel transport vehicles were also delivered by hover-craft to the port and were, in turn, loaded onto civilian trucks and departed for Skopje.

    At about eight a.m., 200 US Marines left the port by buses en route to Skopje while the landing operation's second phase got underway three hours later, with the arrival of additional marines and military jeeps.

    Another section of the 26th Brigade took off from the helicopter-carrier for FYROM.

    Minor episodes erupted during the landing operation when a group of about 300 individuals, mostly members and supporters of the Communist Party of Greece who had camped out at the port since last night, gathered to protest.

    A strong police force asked them to leave and, after they rerouted their protest to the road leading to the national highway, they began leaving the area.

    The mayor of Litochoro told the Macedonian Press Agency that since the peace agreement has been signed, the local community consents to the passage of the military troops.

    Moreover, a unit of 350 Canadian troops destined for the Kosovo peacekeeping force passed through Thessaloniki's port at 4:30 a.m. for Skopje.

    The Canadians, with a convoy of 45 vehicles, were accompanied by policemen and Greek military troops.

    [05] MR. PAPANDREOU'S STATEMENTS ON THE KOSSOVO PEACE AGREEMENT

    Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou, in statements he made upon his departure for Cologne to attend the procedures for the signing of the Balkan stability pact, characterized today as a joyous day after the signing of the peace agreement between Yugoslav and NATO generals in Kumanovo.

    However, Mr. Papandreou pointed out that the signing of this military-technical agreement does not mean that the problems in Yugoslavia have ended, while he also referred to the innocent victims of the tragedy, both the Kosovars and the Serbs.

    Greece, stated Mr. Papandreou, is called to bear significant part of the responsibility for the day after which concerns the reconstruction of the Balkans, the reconciliation of the peoples and the development of regional cooperation. Also, the Greek foreign minister clarified that Yugoslavia should take part in the reconstruction because the Serb people should not be isolated from the course toward the European Union.

    On the Greek proposal for the reconstruction organization to be based in Thessaloniki, Mr. Papandreou stated that it is an issue that will be discussed in today's meeting, pointing out that the German and Finnish presidencies have a positive stance in principle.

    [06] ATHANASAKIS: THE GREEK FORCE THAT WILL BE SENT TO KOSSOVO IS IN THE HIGHEST STATE OF READINESS

    Acting Greek government spokesman Nikos Athanasakis stated that the Greek government welcomes the signing of the peace agreement on Kossovo. He said that the Greek force that will be sent to the region is in the highest state of readiness and consultations are underway with the rest of the countries on the time of its departure.

    Commenting on the protests against the passing through Greek territory of NATO military forces in Litochoro, near Thessaloniki, he expressed regret and said that certain individuals had invested in the war to have political gains and now that it is over they are displeased.

    [07] THE CYPRUS PROBLEM IS LIKELY TO BE DISCUSSED IN THE G-8 SUMMIT

    The Cyprus problem is likely to be discussed by the G-8 foreign ministers who are meeting in Cologne today to prepare the summit meeting in Bonn.

    Regarding the Greek-Turkish relations, it is the first time that the Greek side has informed Turkey on the EU summit meeting results through the Greek ambassador to Ankara. According to circles close to the Greek foreign ministry, the direct briefing of the Turkish side by Greece is regarded as advisable and useful in order to avoid the hide-and-seek game played by certain EU member-states behind Greece's back.

    [08] STATEMENTS ON THE PEACE AGREEMENT BY MR. PAPANDREOU

    The signing of the agreement on the withdrawal of the Serb forces confirmed the view which was backed by Greece from the beginning namely, that a political solution is feasible, stated Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou.

    Mr. Papandreou will be in Cologne where the G-8 will discuss the stability pact for the Balkans. Greece, pointed out the foreign minister, is called on to bear a significant part of the responsibility for the day after which concerns the reconstruction of the Balkans, the reconciliation of the peoples and the development of regional cooperation.

    [09] GREECE PROTESTED AGAINST THE TWO ABDUCTIONS IN ALBANIA

    The Greek government requested from the Albanians to take measures in order to deal in an effective way with the increased number of abductions recorded in Albania.

    On the occasion of the two latest kidnappings, involving a 4yearold girl and a Greek businessman in Tirana, the Greek foreign ministry protested to the Albanian undersecretary of foreign affairs while at the same time, it has instructed the personnel of the Greek consulate in Girokastra how to deal with the problem.

    The Albanian side has pledged to reinforce the presence of the special police forces in the regions of the ethnic Greek minority.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [10] SECURITY COUNCIL CONVENES TO VOTE ON KOSOVO PEACE PLAN

    The North Atlantic Council has approved the military agreement signed by Yugoslav and NATO military commanders in Kumanovo yesterday, while the UN Security Council is convening today in order to vote on the resolution.

    NATO Secretary General Javier Solana said the bombing of Yugoslavia would be stopped once NATO confirms the start of the pullout of Serbian forces out of Kosovo, expected today.

    The resolution will give a go-ahead to the deployment of the international security force in Kosovo province. The peace accord stipulates a phased withdrawal of Serbian military, police and paramilitary forces within 11 days, a broader leeway compared with seven days NATO initially urged for.

    Under the military-technical agreement, Serbian forces are to withdraw from Kosovo's specified sectors, with the southern sector to be cleared first within 24 hours.

    Yugoslav troops are to stop fighting and using of air defense system to allow NATO's verifying fly-overs, within three days. The agreement allows a Serb police force to return to Kosovo someday to guard Serbian sanctuaries.

    [11] YUGOSLAVS JUBILANT OVER THE END OF THE WAR

    Yugoslavs throughout their war-torn country jubilantly celebrated the end of the conflict last night.

    State-owned media characterized the agreement forged between Yugoslav and NATO military commanders in Kumanovo yesterday as Yugoslavia's victory over NATO, a breakthrough they attributed to President Slobodan Milosevic.

    [12] UCK DECLARES IT'S NOT GOING TO LAY DOWN ITS ARMS IN KOSOVO

    The Kosovo Liberation Army is not going to lay down its arms in Kosovo's area that will be in charge of Russian peacekeepers, the Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported, quoting a "diplomatic representative of the government of Hasima Taci" in Germany, Sabri Kicmari, who until recently called himself an official representative of the KLA.

    According to Itar-Tass, Mr. Kicmari told the German daily "Die Saarbruekker Zeiting" that Russia was on the side of Serbs during NATO's military operation against Yugoslavia, and for this reason the KLA would not recognize Russian command over parts of Kosovo province.

    Mr. Kicmari was critical of the accord generated by Group of Eight foreign ministers at their Koeln meeting, under which the Yugoslav army will be allowed to control Kosovo's outer rim.

    The Kosovo Liberation Army will only lay down arms when all of the Serbian military leave the province, he said, adding that the KLA would not stage provocations during the Serbian withdrawal.

    [13] PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN KOSOVO TO INVOLVE 60,000 TROOPS

    The peacekeeping operation "Joint Guardian" to be deployed in Kosovo will involve a total of 50,000 NATO troops and 10,000 Russian soldiers and officers, the Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported.

    According to military sources, Britain is to send to the peacekeeping force 13,000 troops, Germany 8,000, the United States 7,000, France 7,000, Italy 5,000, the Netherlands 2,000, Spain 1,200, Belgium 1,100, Greece 1,000, Norway 900, Poland 800, Canada 800, Portugal 300 and Hungary 200.

    Turkey, Iceland, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic are to also participate in the force, although the sizes of their peacekeeping contingents has yet to be decided.

    Other countries to contribute to Operation Joint Guardian are Finland, Sweden, Ukraine, Romania, Austria, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Slovakia and FYROM, while forces deployed in FYROM are on alert and ready to move into Kosovo within 24 hours.

    [14] ANCIENT OLYMPIA STONE TO GRACE SYDNEY OLYMPIC STADIUM

    A stone from the site of ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games, is to grace this Saturday's opening ceremony of Sydney's Olympic Stadium where the 2000 Olympics will be held.

    The ancient stone, weighing 1.5 tons, was sponsored by the Greek government to the Australian people in light of the new millennium's first games and as a symbol of the Olympic Idea.

    The chairman of the "Athens 2004" organization, which oversees the organizing of the 20004 Olympics to be held in Athens, Stratis Stratigis will represent Greece at the opening ceremony.

    [15] PEACE HAS ARRIVED, SIRENS SIGNAL END OF WAR IN YUGOSLAVIA

    Sirens screeched at 9:27 a.m. today in every city of Kosovo, this time not warning the residents to duck for cover, but, instead, to signal the end of the war.

    According to Prishtina's information center, the sirens made their last warning call last Saturday morning, staying in effect for over 120 hours.

    NATO last strike against targets in Kosovo occurred yesterday evening at 7:35 local time when five missiles hit the wider region of Urosevac.

    NATO aircraft hovered over Kosovo's air region throughout the night, but no strike was made.

    [16] SOLANA ORDERED THE END OF THE NATO AIR STRIKES ON YUGOSLAVIA

    NATO secretary-general Javier Solana gave the order to general Whesley Clark to stop the bombing of Yugoslavia as soon as confirmation was received that the Serb forces had begun their withdrawal from Kossovo. The UN Security Council should meet now to approve the draft resolution for peace in Yugoslavia.

    Mr. Solana stated that he made the decision after meeting with the NATO council and after receiving the confirmation by general Clark that the Serb forces are withdrawing from Kossovo.

    At the same time, the NATO secretary-general made an appeal to all sides to give a chance to peace and meet their obligations for the implementation of the agreement. He also called for the immediate end of the violence and added that all armed forces should be disarmed.

    [17] NATO HAS NOT CONFIRMED THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE SERB FORCES

    NATO awaits for the verification of the withdrawal of the Serb forces from Kosovo before the secretary-general of the alliance signals the suspension of the bombings. The UN Security Council will meet afterwards to approve the draft resolution on Kosovo.

    According to the commander of the 3rd Yugoslav army regiment, Nebojsa Paskovic the withdrawal of the Serb forces is underway. However, NATO has not announced yet that the Serb forces have begun leaving the province.

    [18] THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL MEETS TODAY ON KOSOVO

    The UN Security Council will meet today to vote on the draft decision that will ratify officially the peace agreement on Kosovo. The meeting will begin as soon as NATO confirms that the withdrawal of the Serb forces from Kosovo has started and the bombings have ended.

    China has already notified the UN Security Council that it wants to modify parts of the draft decision but its intention meets the reaction of the rest permanent members of the council. British foreign minister Robin Cook has stated that it is no time for celebrations but for hard work.

    [19] THE REFUGEES WILL RETURN TO KOSOVO BY SEPTEMBER

    At least 400.000 Albanian refugees will return to their homes in Kosovo by September, according to the UN High Commissioner on Refugees.

    In an interview with the French newspaper "Le Figaro", Ms. Ogata stressed that the return of the Kosovars should be made gradually and priority should be given to those living in countries bordering with Kosovo.

    [20] NEW CLASHES BETWEEN PKK AND THE TURKISH ARMY

    Ten Workers Party of Kurdistan, PKK, rebels and two civil guards were killed in clashes in south-eastern Turkey in spite of the rumoured ceasefire decided by the PKK.

    Meanwhile, Six rebels were killed near the town of Guktsekova in the province of Hakari at the borders of Turkey with Iran and Iraq and 4 PKK rebels and 2 civil guards lost their lives in an operation at the village of Ulukale in the province of Tunceli.

    [21] THE TALKS BETWEEN TALBOTT AND CHERNOMYRDIN WERE FRUITLESS

    Russian mediator Victor Chernomyrdin and US assistant secretary of state Strobe Talbot were unable to reach an agreement regarding the command of the peacekeeping force that will be deployed in Kossovo.

    The Russian side insists that its own force, that will be sent to the region, should not be placed under NATO command but it should be deployed in a separate region, as opposed to the United States that want a joint command structure for the peacekeeping force.

    Mr. Talbott underlined that if Kossovo is divided into command districts this would constitute a form of partition of the province but Moscow remains firm on its stance.

    After the meeting was completed the two men appeared optimistic that a solution will be found and the issue will be settled, while already military officials are looking for ways in order to deal with the problem.

    [22] THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE SERB FORCES FROM KOSOVO WILL BEGIN FROM THE NORTHERN PART OF THE PROVINCE

    The procedure for the withdrawal of the Yugoslav army and police, as provided by the technical-military agreement that was signed in Kumanovo yesterday, will start from the north and will move to the southern part of Kossovo to avert any likelihood for the Serb forces to be hit by the Kossovo Liberation Army, KLA, rebels.

    The Serb forces withdrawal from Kossovo will be completed within 11 days instead of 7 initially requested by NATO. The change in the timetable achieved by the Yugoslav side and the fact that the peacekeeping force that will be deployed in Kossovo will be under the UN command and not under NATO were interpreted by Belgrade as a victory.

    NATO sources in FYROM stated to the BBC radio that the deployment of the international force will begin with British paratroopers, who will be sent 15 kilometers inside Kossovo territory and their main duty will be to clean the region from the land mines, opening the way to the peacekeeping force with final destination the regional capital of Pristina where general Jackson will set up his command headquarters.

    Regarding the stance of KLA, a NATO source in FYROM stated to BBC that an agreement has been reached with the alliance not to attack the Serb forces while they withdraw and to surrender its weapons to the international peacekeeping force that will be deployed in Kossovo.


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