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Voice of America, 12 May 1996

Voice of America Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKMEN RAIL (S) CORRECT BY DOUG BAKSHIAN (ASHGABAT)
  • [02] TURKMEN RAIL (L) CORRECT BY DOUG BAKSHIAN (ASHGABAT)
  • [03] BOSNIA/BANJA LUKA (L ONLY) BY DAVID FOLEY (BANJA LUKA)
  • [04] BOSNIA/MOSTAR (L ONLY) BY DOUGLAS ROBERTS (MOSTAR)

  • [01] TURKMEN RAIL (S) CORRECT BY DOUG BAKSHIAN (ASHGABAT)

    DATE=5/12/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-197068
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///// CORRECTS SPELLING TO SARAKHS IN TEXT GRAF 1. /////

    INTRO: IRAN AND TURKMENISTAN LINK THEIR RAIL LINES MONDAY IN A MOVE THAT WILL INCREASE INTERNATIONAL TRADE TO LAND-LOCKED CENTRAL ASIA. V-O-A'S DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN HAS MORE ON THIS STORY FROM ASHGABAT, TURKMENISTAN.

    TEXT: A JUNCTION POINT FOR THE RAIL LINE IS SARAKHS, ON THE BOUNDARY LINE OF TURKMENISTAN AND IRAN. CEREMONIES WILL BE HELD ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER.

    THE MAJOR INAUGURAL EVENT WILL BE IN MASHAD, IRAN, WHERE 12 REGIONAL HEADS OF STATES TAKE PART. THE FIVE CENTRAL-ASIAN STATES WILL BE REPRESENTED ALONG WITH IRAN, PAKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN, AZERBAIJAN, TURKEY, GEORGIA, AND ARMENIA.

    POLITICAL OBSERVERS SAY THE IRAN-TURKMENISTAN RAIL LINE WILL GIVE LAND LOCKED CENTRAL ASIA, WHICH WAS LONG BEEN DEPENDENT ON MOSCOW, VITAL NEW TRADE LINKS TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD. GOODS CAN NOW BE SENT BY TRAIN TO TURKMENISTAN FROM THE THRIVING IRANIAN PORT OF BANDAR ABBAS, WHERE MERCHANDISE FROM THE MIDEAST, FAR EAST, AND SOUTH ASIA POURS IN.

    ACCORDING TO A PAMPHLET BY IRANIAN AND TURKMENISTAN GOVERNMENTS, THE NEWLY-ESTABLISHED RAIL LINK IS TO CARRY TWO-MILLION TONS OF GOODS DURING ITS FIRST YEAR. LATER THAT IS TO INCREASE TO EIGHT-MILLION TONS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RAE
    12-May-96 8:59 AM EDT (1259 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] TURKMEN RAIL (L) CORRECT BY DOUG BAKSHIAN (ASHGABAT)

    DATE=5/12/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-197069
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///// CORRECTS SPELLING TO SARAKHS IN TEXT GRAF 2. /////

    INTRO: IRAN AND TURKMENISTAN ESTABLISH A VITAL RAIL LINK MONDAY IN A MOVE THAT WILL OPEN LAND-LOCKED CENTRAL ASIA TO A MAJOR INTERNATIONAL PORT. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN, IN ASHGABAT, TURKMENISTAN REPORTS THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STEP IN BREAKING THE ISOLATION OF EMERGING COUNTRIES IN THE REGION.

    TEXT: MONDAY IS A DAY OF CEREMONIES IN TURKMENISTAN AND IRAN MARKING THE NEW RAIL CONNECTION.

    THERE WILL BE EVENTS AT THE SARAKHS BORDER JUNCTION WHERE THE RAIL LINES MEET. CEREMONIES WILL BE HELD IN TWO CITIES, EACH NAMED SARAKHS, ONE IN IRAN AND THE OTHER IN TURKMENISTAN.

    THE MAJOR EVENT WILL BE IN MASHAAD, IRAN, WHERE 12 REGIONAL HEADS OF STATES TAKE PART IN INAUGURAL ACTIVITIES. THE FIVE CENTRAL-ASIAN STATES WILL BE REPRESENTED ALONG WITH IRAN, PAKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN, AZERBAIJAN, TURKEY, GEORGIA, AND ARMENIA.

    IRAN AND TURKMENISTAN HAVE CONSTRUCTED ONLY ABOUT 300-KILOMETERS OF NEW RAIL LINE. BUT THIS LINKS THE MUCH LARGER EXISITING RAIL SYSTEMS OF THE COUNTRIES. THOSE SYSTEMS CONNECT WITH RAILROADS IN OTHER COUNTRIES.

    POLITICAL OBSERVERS SAY THE IRAN-TURKMENISTAN RAIL LINE WILL GIVE LAND LOCKED CENTRAL ASIA, WHICH WAS LONG BEEN DEPENDENT ON MOSCOW, VITAL NEW TRADE LINKS TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD. . THIS IS IMPORTANT AS THE REGION DEVELOPS ECONOMICALLY AND POLITICALLY.

    GOODS CAN NOW BE SENT BY TRAIN TO TURKMENISTAN FROM THE THRIVING IRANIAN PORT OF BANDAR ABBAS. THIS OPENS UP INTERNATIONAL TRADE TO CENTRAL ASIA WITH MERCHANDISE FROM THE MIDEAST, FAR EAST, AND SOUTH ASIA POURING IN.

    ACCORDING TO A PAMPHLET BY THE IRANIAN AND TURKMENISTAN GOVERNMENTS, THE NEWLY-ESTABLISHED RAIL LINK IS TO CARRY TWO-MILLION TONS OF GOODS AND 500-THOUSAND PASSENGERS DURING ITS FIRST YEAR. LATER THAT IS TO INCREASE TO EIGHT-MILLION TONS AND ONE-MILLION PASSENGERS. MANY GOODS ARE NOW TRUCKED INTO CENTRAL ASIA, WHICH TAKES MUCH LONGER THAN SHIPPING BY RAIL. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RAE
    12-May-96 8:58 AM EDT (1258 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] BOSNIA/BANJA LUKA (L ONLY) BY DAVID FOLEY (BANJA LUKA)

    DATE=5/12/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-197080
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE BOSNIAN-SERB PRIME MINISTER HAS TOLD THE VOICE OF AMERICA HE WANTS TO REPLACE GOVERNMENT MINISTERS WHO DO NOT SUPPORT THE DAYTON PEACE AGREEMENT. IF CARRIED OUT, THE MOVE COULD SET THE STAGE FOR A POWER STRUGGLE WITH THE HARD-LINE BOSNIAN-SERB LEADER RADOVAN KARADZIC. DAVID FOLEY REPORTS FROM BANJA LUKA IN NORTHERN BOSNIA.

    TEXT: THE STREETS ARE CROWDED WITH PEDESTRIANS AND CARS IN BANJA LUKA, THE LARGEST CITY IN THE SERB HALF OF BOSNIA KNOWN AS REPUBLIKA SRPSKA. THE ACTIVITY IS IN MARKED CONTRAST TO PALE, THE SMALL SKI RESORT VILLAGE OUTSIDE SARAJEVO THAT DURING THE WAR SERVED AS THE HEADQUARTERS FOR THE BOSNIAN-SERB NATIONALISTS LED BY RADOVAN KARADZIC.

    INTERNATIONAL OFFICIALS IN BOSNIA HOPE TO ISOLATE AND MARGINALIZE MR. KARADZIC AND OTHER SERB HARD-LINERS BY SUPPORTING MORE MODERATE MEMBERS OF THE BOSNIAN-SERB LEADERSHIP BASED IN BANJA LUKA.

    THE KEY FIGURE IN THIS EFFORT IS RAJKO KASAGIC, THE PRIME MINISTER OF THE BOSNIAN SERBS. THOUGH HE IS A MEMBER OF MR. KARADZIC'S HARD-LINE NATIONALIST S-D-S PARTY, AND WHILE IN OFFICE ONLY A FEW MONTHS, HE IS SEEN AS A MORE MODERATE FIGURE AND IS UNTAINTED BY ALLEGATIONS OF WAR CRIMES. IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE VOICE OF AMERICA, PRIME MINISTER KASAGIC SAYS HE NOW WANTS TO REPLACE SOME BOSNIAN-SERB MINISTERS.

    /// ACT - KASAGIC IN SERBIAN, FADE UNDER ///

    HE SAYS AFTER 100 DAYS OF WORK HE HAS FOUND SOME OF HIS MINISTERS ARE TRYING TO STOP THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DAYTON AGREEMENT, AND HE SAYS HE WILL CHANGE THEM IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

    INTERNATIONAL OFFICIALS POINT TO SEVERAL DEPUTY PRIME MINISTERS IN THE BOSNIAN-SERB LEADERSHIP WHO COULD BE TARGETS OF SUCH A MOVE. ANY CHANGE,WILL LIKELY BE RESISTED BY RADOVAN KARADZIC, WHO IS TRYING TO KEEP A FIRM HOLD ON POWER.

    IT IS NOT CLEAR IF THE PRIME MINISTER WILL BE ABLE TO REPLACE HARD-LINE MINISTERS, OR EVEN IF SUCH A MOVE WOULD BE GENUINE.

    MEANWHILE INTERNATIONAL OFFICIALS, IN AN EFFORT TO REACH OUT TO THE BOSNIAN-SERB POPULATION, INSIST THERE WILL BE NO COLLECTIVE GUILT FOR WAR CRIMES, DESPITE THE INDICTMENTS OF MR. KARADZIC AND BOSNIAN-SERB ARMY COMMANDER RATKO MLADIC FOR GENOCIDE.

    A STRONG EFFORT IS UNDER WAY TO ENSURE INTERNATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION FUNDS FLOW QUICKLY TO SERB COMMUNITIES THAT SUPPORT THE DAYTON AGREEMENT. TOWNS WHERE LOCAL OFFICIALS OBSTRUCT IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PEACE PLAN HAVE ALREADY SEEN A CUT OFF OF FUNDS.

    INTERNATIONAL OFFICIALS SAY THE PRIORITY IS TO ENSURE REFUGEES ARE ABLE TO MOVE FREELY ACROSS THE INTER-ETHNIC BOUNDARY LINES IN BOSNIA, AND THEY SAY THEIR AGGRESSIVE NEW POLICY IS PAYING OFF. WITH ELECTIONS ONLY MONTHS AWAY, THEY SAY SERB OFFICIALS ARE QUICKLY SEEING THE BENEFITS OF COOPERATION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DF/DW/RAE
    12-May-96 1:36 PM EDT (1736 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] BOSNIA/MOSTAR (L ONLY) BY DOUGLAS ROBERTS (MOSTAR)

    DATE=5/12/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-197081
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE THREAT OF A BOYCOTT IS LOOMING OVER THE FIRST POST-WAR ELECTIONS IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. VOTERS IN THE SOUTHERN TOWN OF MOSTAR ARE DUE TO GO TO THE POLLS MAY 31ST FOR MUNICIPAL COUNCIL ELECTIONS ORGANIZED BY THE EUROPEAN UNION, WHICH HAS ADMINISTERED MOSTAR FOR THE PAST 22-MONTHS. BUT LOCAL MUSLIM LEADERS ARE THREATENING A BOYCOTT UNLESS THOUSANDS OF REFUGEES WHO FLED THE TOWN ARE ALSO ALLOWED TO CAST BALLOTS. FROM MOSTAR, V-O-A'S DOUGLAS ROBERTS FILED THIS REPORT.

    TEXT: THE ELECTIONS ARE INTENDED TO BE THE FINAL STAGE IN THE E-U'S EFFORT TO RE-BUILD AND RE-UNITE MOSTAR, BATTERED AND TORN APART BY MONTHS OF BLOODY FIGHTING BETWEEN CROAT AND MUSLIM FORCES IN 1993.

    THE E-U ADMINISTRATION IN MOSTAR HAS SPENT AROUND 130-MILLION DOLLARS TO RESTORE ESSENTIAL SERVICES AND BEGIN THE PROCESS OF RECONSTRUCTION. BUT THE EUROPEAN EFFORT TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN THE TWO COMMUNITIES IN THIS STILL-DIVIDED TOWN HAS MET WITH ONLY LIMITED SUCCESS.

    THE PLAN FOR MUNICIPAL COUNCIL ELECTIONS WAS PART OF AN AGREEMENT ON MOSTAR WORKED OUT ON THE FRINGES OF THE DAYTON PEACE CONFERENCE LAST NOVEMBER.

    THE PLAN APPEARS TO DENY VOTING RIGHTS TO THE THOUSANDS OF MOSTAR RESIDENTS WHO FLED DURING THE FIGHTING -- MOST OF THEM MUSLIMS. THAT IS HOW E-U OFFICIALS AND CROAT LEADERS INTERPRET THE ACCORD, BUT THIS HAS BEEN BITTERLY CONTESTED BY MUSLIM LEADERS.

    THE MAYOR OF MUSLIM EAST MOSTAR, SAFET ORUSEVIC, SAYS ALL REGISTERED RESIDENTS OF THE TOWN SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO VOTE REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY ARE PHYSICALLY PRESENT AT THE TIME OF THE BALLOTING.

    HE NOTED REFUGEES WILL BE ALLOWED TO VOTE IN THE NATIONWIDE ELECTIONS EXPECTED LATER THIS YEAR.

    /// ORUSEVIC ACT, IN SERBO-CROAT ///

    MR. ORUSEVIC AND OTHER MUSLIM LEADERS HAVE LAID OUT THEIR POSITION IN A LETTER TO EUROPEAN UNION FOREIGN MINISTERS, WHO ARE DUE TO DISCUSS THE SITUATION AT A MEETING MONDAY IN BRUSSELS.

    BRIEFING REPORTERS LATE LAST WEEK, THE MAYOR REPEATED HIS WARNING MUSLIM VOTERS WILL STAY AWAY FROM THE POLLS UNLESS THE EUROPEAN UNION AGREES TO ALLOW MOSTAR'S REFUGEES TO VOTE IN THE COUNCIL ELECTIONS.

    E-U OFFICIALS IN MOSTAR SAY SOME EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS FAVOR TERMINATING THE UNION'S INVOLVEMENT IN MOSTAR UNLESS THE ELECTIONS ARE HELD ON SCHEDULE. BUT OTHERS MAINTAIN IT WOULD BE POINTLESS TO GO AHEAD WITH THE VOTING IN THE FACE OF A MUSLIM BOYCOTT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DBR/DW/RAE
    12-May-96 1:45 PM EDT (1745 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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