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Voice of America, 97-12-22

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] CLINTON / BOSNIA / S BY DAVID GOLLUST (SARAJEVO)
  • [02] CLINTON / BOSNIA / TALKS / S BY DAVID GOLLUST (SARAJEVO)
  • [03] CLINTON / SARAJEVO SPEECH / S-ONLY BY DAVID GOLLUST (SARAJEVO)
  • [04] CLINTON / U-S TROOPS (S) BY DAVID GOLLUST (SARAJEVO)
  • [05] CLINTON BOSNIA WRAP (L) BY DAVID GOLLUST (TUZLA)
  • [06] E-U SPURNS TURKEY BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [07] EURO STOCKS (S ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)
  • [08] GREECE / TURKEY (L ONLY) BY ANTHEE CARASSAVA (ATHENS)
  • [09] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [10] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [11] SERBIA ELECTION (L) CQ BY JULIA GLYN-PICKETT (BELGRADE)
  • [12] SERBIA VOTE (S) BY ART CHIMES (PRAGUE)
  • [13] YEARENDER: BRITISH POLITICS '97 BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)
  • [14] YEARENDER: RUSSIA FOREIGN POLICY '97 BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [15] YEARENDER: WORLD ECONOMY BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] CLINTON / BOSNIA / S BY DAVID GOLLUST (SARAJEVO)

    DATE=12/22/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224408
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: PRESIDENT CLINTON HAS BEGUN A ONE-DAY VISIT TO BOSNIA- HERZEGOVINIA TO PAY CHRISTMAS TRIBUTE TO AMERICAN TROOPS AND TO UNDERSCORE THE NEED FOR A CONTINUED U-S PEACEKEEPING PRESENCE. DAVID GOLLUST REPORTS FROM SARAJEVO.

    TEXT: MR. CLINTON ARRIVED BEHIND SCHEDULE, AFTER BAD WEATHER FORCED HIS PLANE TO MAKE AN INTERIM STOP IN GERMANY INSTEAD OF ITALY, AS ORIGINALLY PLANNED. BUT HE KEPT KEY APPOINTMENTS, INCLUDING A MEETING AT SARAJEVO'S NATIONAL MUSEUM WITH THE BOSNIAN MUSLIM, CROAT AND SERB LEADERS WHO MAKE UP THE COUNTRY'S JOINT PRESIDENCY.

    THE VISIT COMES ONLY A FEW DAYS AFTER MR. CLINTON ANNOUNCED A DECISION, IN PRINCIPAL, TO CONTINUE THE U-S PEACEKEEPING PRESENCE IN BOSNIA BEYOND THE JUNE WITHDRAWAL DATE FOR NATO'S STABILIZATION FORCE. THE ISSUE IS BOUND TO BE CONTROVERSIAL IN CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT BROUGHT WITH HIM A BIPARTISAN DELEGATION OF SENATORS AND HOUSE MEMBERS -- INCLUDING SOME PROMINENT REPUBLICAN CRITICS OF HIS BOSNIA POLICY.

    MR. CLINTON IS HOPING TO CONVINCE THEM TO FOLLOW THE LEAD OF FORMER SENATOR BOB DOLE -- HIS REPUBLICAN OPPONENT IN LAST YEAR'S ELECTION -- WHO HAS COME OUT IN SUPPORT OF KEEPING U-S TROOPS HERE AND IS ALSO PART OF THE PRESIDENTIAL DELEGATION.
    NEB /TM-T / WD
    22-Dec-97 3:46 AM EST (0846 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] CLINTON / BOSNIA / TALKS / S BY DAVID GOLLUST (SARAJEVO)

    DATE=12/22/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224409
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: PRESIDENT CLINTON -- ON A BRIEF VISIT TO BOSNIA -- HAS HELD TALKS WITH THE THREE LEADERS OF THE COUNTRY'S JOINT PRESIDENCY. AND -- AS DAVID GOLLUST REPORTS -- IS PREPARING TO MAKE A DIRECT APPEAL TO THE PEOPLE OF BOSNIA TO RECONCILE THEIR DIFFERENCES.

    TEXT: MR. CLINTON WILL ADDRESS A MULTI-ETHNIC AUDIENCE IN THE NATIONAL THEATER IN CENTRAL SARAJEVO. HE WILL APPEAL TO THE PEOPLE OF BOSNIA TO RETURN TO THE KIND OF COOPERATION THAT MARKED BOSNIAN SOCIETY BEFORE THE START OF THE CIVIL WAR.

    THE PRESIDENT HAS AGREED, IN PRINCIPAL, TO KEEP U-S TROOPS HERE AFTER THE MANDATE FOR THE CURRENT NATO PEACEKEEPING FORCE ENDS IN JUNE. BUT, WHITE HOUSE AIDES SAY MR. CLINTON WILL STRESS THE COUNTRY'S FUTURE WILL BE DECIDED NOT BY FOREIGN TROOPS BUT BY THE WILLINGNESS OF BOSNIA'S MUSLIM, CROAT AND SERB COMMUNITIES TO LOOK TO THE FUTURE AND RECONCILE, AFTER THEIR BITTER FOUR-YEAR CONFLICT.

    THE PRESIDENT BEGAN HIS BRIEF VISIT WITH A MEETING WITH THE COUNTRY'S THREE-MEMBER JOINT PRESIDENCY AND LEADERS OF THE MUSLIM CROAT FEDERATION. HE WILL ALSO MEET SEPARATELY WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOSNIAN SERB REPUBLIC, BILJANA PLAVSIC. (SIGNED).
    NEB / TM-T / WD
    22-Dec-97 3:54 AM EST (0854 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] CLINTON / SARAJEVO SPEECH / S-ONLY BY DAVID GOLLUST (SARAJEVO)

    DATE=12/22/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224417
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: PRESIDENT CLINTON -- ON A ONE-DAY VISIT TO BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINIA -- HAS MADE A DIRECT APPEAL TO THE COUNTRY'S MUSLIM, CROAT AND SERB COMMUNITIES TO RECONCILE DIFFERENCES AND RETURN TO A MULTI-ETHNIC SOCIETY. V-O-A'S DAVID GOLLUST IS IN SARAJEVO.

    TEXT: MR. CLINTON ANNOUNCED JUST A FEW DAYS AGO U-S TROOPS WILL REMAIN IN BOSNIA PAST NEXT JUNE. BUT HIS MESSAGE HERE IS IT WILL BE THE BOSNIAN PEOPLE -- AND NOT FOREIGN TROOPS -- WHO WILL DECIDE WHETHER THE COUNTRY ENJOYS PEACE OR SLIDES BACK INTO CIVIL WAR.

    IN AN ADDRESS AT SARAJEVO'S NATIONAL THEATER, MR. CLINTON SAID BALKAN LEADERS MADE A FATEFUL CHOICE FOR PEACE WHEN THEY SIGNED THE DAYTON ACCORD TWO YEARS AGO. HE SAYS THEY NOW MUST MAKE THE CHOICE A REALITY.

    // CLINTON ACTUALITY //

    YOUR RESPONSIBILITY IS TO TURN THE DOCUMENT SIGNED AND DATE INTO A LIVING REALITY -- TO MAKE GOOD ON A PLEDGE TO BRING BOSNIA TOGETHER AS ONE COUNTRY WITH TWO MULTI-ETHNIC PARTS SHARING A COMMON DESTINY. THOSE WHO RISE TO THAT RESPONSIBILITY WILL HAVE THE FULL SUPPORT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. THOSE WHO SHIRK IT WILL ISOLATE THEMSELVES.

    ///////////END ACTUALITY//////

    MR. CLINTON SAID THE REAL DIFFERENCES ARE NOT BETWEEN BOSNIA'S ETHNIC COMMUNITIES BUT BETWEEN THOSE WHO LOOK TO THE FUTURE AND THOSE WHO ARE LOCKED IN THE PAST. (SIGNED).
    NEB / TM-T / WD
    22-Dec-97 6:59 AM EST (1159 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] CLINTON / U-S TROOPS (S) BY DAVID GOLLUST (SARAJEVO)

    DATE=12/22/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224422
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: ALMOST TWO-YEARS AGO, TO THE DAY, AFTER U-S TROOPS ENTERED BOSNIA, PRESIDENT CLINTON AND HIS FAMILY TOOK A STROLL IN THE RECOVERING CITY, SARAJEVO. CORRESPONDENT DAVID GOLLUST HAS DETAILS FROM THE BOSNIAN CAPITAL.

    TEXT: IT WAS NOT ON THE PRESIDENT'S ADVANCE SCHEDULE, BUT MR. CLINTON, HIS WIFE HILLARY, AND DAUGHTER CHELSEA LEFT THE MOTORCADE FOR A STROLL IN SARAJEVO'S OLD TURKISH QUARTER AND COFFEE AT A SIDEWALK CAFE.

    THE CLINTON'S WERE WARMLY APPLAUDED BY PASSERS-BY AND, FROM YOUNG CUSTOMERS IN THE CAFE, MR. CLINTON SAID HE HEARD PRAISE FOR THE CONTINUED U-S TROOP COMMITMENT IN BOSNIA.

    /// CLINTON ACTUALITY ///

    I WENT AROUND THE TABLE AND LET EACH ONE OF THEM TELL ME WHAT THEY WANTED TO SAY. THEN I SAID -- NOW, WHAT IS THE MOST-IMPORTANT THING THE UNITED STATES COULD DO TO HELP YOU ON YOUR WAY? AND, IN UNISON, THEY SAID -- STAY FOR A LITTLE WHILE LONGER.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. CLINTON ANNOUNCED LAST WEEK HIS DECISION, IN PRINCIPLE, TO KEEP U-S FORCES IN BOSNIA PAST NEXT JUNE. HE BROUGHT A BIPARTISAN DELEGATION, INCLUDING OPPONENTS OF HIS BOSNIA POLICY, TO TAKE PART IN TALKS WITH BOSNIAN POLITICAL LEADERS. (SIGNED)
    NEB / WD-T / RAE
    22-Dec-97 8:21 AM EST (1321 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] CLINTON BOSNIA WRAP (L) BY DAVID GOLLUST (TUZLA)

    DATE=12/22/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224439
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: PRESIDENT CLINTON HAS COMPLETED A ONE DAY VISIT TO BOSNIA WHERE HE PRESSED LEADING POLITICANS TO SPEED UP THE PROCESS OF IMPLEMENTING THE DAYTON PEACE ACCORDS. V-O-A'S DAVID GOLLUST HAS DETAILS FROM THE U-S PEACEKEEPING HEADQUARTERS IN TUZLA.

    TEXT: THE PRESIDENT'S VISIT CAME ONLY A FEW DAYS AFTER HE ANNOUNCED A DECISION IN PRINCIPLE TO EXTEND THE U-S PEACEKEEPING PRESENCE IN BOSNIA BEYOND THE JUNE EXPIRATION OF THE CURRENT NATO FORCE. BUT IN A SERIES OF APPEARENCES HE STRESSED THAT ACHIEVING A STABLE PEACE IN THE COUNTRY DEPENDS NOT ON FOREIGN TROOPS BUT THE WILLINGNESS OF BOSNIA MUSLIM, CROAT AND SERB COMMUNITIES TO CARRY OUT THE DAYTON ACCORDS.

    IN AN ADDRESS AT SARJEVO NATIONAL THEATER BROADCAST ON BOSNIAN TELEVISION AND RADIO HE SAID THE COUNTRY'S LEADERS OWE THE PEOPLE FULL COMPLIANCE WITH THE DAYTON PEACE ACCORDS.

    /// CLINTON ACT ///

    YOU ARE TAKING THE POLICE OUT OF THE HANDS OF WARLORDS, NOW YOU MUST HELP TO REFORM, RETRAIN AND RE-EQUIP A DEMOCRATIC FORCE THAT FOSTERS SECURITY NOT FEAR. YOU HAVE PLEDGED TO ISOLATE AND ARREST INDICTED WAR CRIMINALS NOW YOU MUST FOLLOW THROUGH ON THAT COMMITTMENT BOTH FOR THE SAKE OF JUSTICE AND IN THE SERVING OF LASTING PEACE. MOST OF ALL, THE LEADERS HERE, YOU OWE IT TO YOUR COUNTRY TO BRING OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE, ACTING IN CONCERT NOT CONFLICT OVERCOMING OBSTACLES NOT CREATING THEM, RISING ABOVE PETTY DISPUTES NOT FUELING THEM.

    //END ACT ///

    THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE LINED THE STREETS OF SARJEVO TO WELCOME MR. CLINTON IN WHAT ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS SAID WAS AN EXTRAORDINARY OUT POURING OF EMOTION. MR. CLINTON LEFT HIS MOTORCADE AT ONE POINT TO GREET WELL WISHERS AND SHARE COFFEE WITH BOSNIAN YOUTHS OF VARIOUS ETHNIC BACKGROUNDS WHO UNANIMOUSLY ENDORSED HIS DECISION TO KEEP U-S FORCES IN BOSNIA UNTIL A SELP SUSTAINING SOCIETY COULD BE ESTABLISHED.

    THE PRESIDENT CONCLUDED THE VISIT HERE BY SHARING A PRE CHRISTMAS DINNER WITH SOME OF THE EIGHTY FIVE HUNDRED U-S TROOPS WHO MAKE UP ABOUT ONE FOURTH OF NATO STABLIZATION FORCE, S-FOR. (SIGNED)
    NEB/WDC-T/PT
    22-Dec-97 5:12 PM EST (2212 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] E-U SPURNS TURKEY BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/22/97
    TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-10500
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: THE RECENT DECISION BY THE EUROPEAN UNION TO REJECT MEMBERSHIP FOR TURKEY HAS HAD A GOOD DEAL OF REACTION IN THE U-S PRESS. WE GET A SAMPLING NOW FROM ___________________IN TODAY'S U-S OPINION ROUNDUP.

    TEXT: THIS IS NOT A HAPPY TIME IN TURKEY. AFTER YEARS OF SEEING CLOSER COOPERATION AND ECONOMIC TIES WITH EUROPE, THE CONTINENT'S LARGEST ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL ORGANIZATION, THE EUROPEAN UNION, LAST WEEK VOTED TO REJECT TURKEY FOR MEMBERSHIP.

    EDITORIALLY, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" CALLED IT NOTHING LESS THAN A THINLY VEILED CASE OF ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS RACISM, AND OTHER PAPERS HAVE SUGGESTED THE E-U'S ERROR WILL COME BACK TO HAUNT IT. IN ANKARA, THERE WERE A GOOD DEAL OF HURT FEELINGS, ALTHOUGH SOME TURKISH BUSINESSMEN AND ECONOMISTS SUGGESTED THAT TIES WITH THE CONTINENT ARE INEVITABLE, AND WILL CONTINUE, EVEN WITHOUT FORMAL E-U MEMBERSHIP.

    WE BEGIN OUR SAMPLING IN OHIO, WHERE "THE DAYTON DAILY" NEWS RAN THIS COMMENT BY A FORMER EDITOR OF "THE MIAMI NEWS" HOWARD KLEINBERG, WHO HAD A DIRE SUGGESTION OF WHAT THE DECISION COULD MEAN.

    VOICE: THE EUROPEAN UNION [E-U], BY REJECTING TURKEY AT LAST WEEKEND'S SUMMIT, MAY HAVE PUSHED THE TURKS CLOSER TO THE CAMP OF ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM. TURKEY HAS FOR SOME TIME TEETERED BETWEEN WESTERN DEMOCRACY AND STRICT ISLAMIC PRINCIPLES. HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR THE SECULARIST MILITARY, THE TURKS CERTAINLY WOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE ANTI-WESTERN ISLAMIC CAMP. NOW, WITH THE DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION TO OVERLOOK THE TURKS AS A PARTNER IN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS, AN ANGRY ANKARA IS HINTING THAT IT WILL LOOK IN ANOTHER DIRECTION. ... IT HAS TO BE A STRANGE DICHOTOMY WHEN TURKEY IS SEEN AS ACCEPTABLE ENOUGH TO BE A MEMBER OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION, BUT NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION.

    TEXT: "THE BOSTON GLOBE" SEES THE DECISION AS WILDLY HYPOCRITICAL, NOTING:

    VOICE: HYPOCRISY IS HARDLY A RARE PHENOMENON IN THE AFFAIRS OF STATES, BUT THE EUROPEAN UNION'S REJECTION OF TURKEY'S APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP REPRESENTS A FLAGRANT EXAMPLE OF A FAMILIAR SYNDROME. THERE IS NO LACK OF GRAVITY IN THE REASONS STATED FOR GIVING A GREEN LIGHT [ACCEPTANCE] TO THE ELEVEN OTHER APPLICANTS AND A RED LIGHT [REJECTION] TO ANKARA. TURKEY'S CONFLICTS WITH GREECE WERE INVOKED, AS WAS ITS OCCUPATION OF A SECTION OF CYPRUS. AND IN AN UNUSUAL STATEMENT BEREFT OF EUPHEMISM, THE HOST OF LAST WEEKEND'S E-U SUMMIT, PRIME MINISTER JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER OF LUXEMBOURG, SAID: 'IT CANNOT BE THAT THE REPRESENTATIVES OF A COUNTRY IN WHICH TORTURE IS STILL GOING ON CAN SIT AT THE TABLE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION.' HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS AND MANY TURKS COULD ONLY APPLAUD THIS CONDEMNATION OF TURKEY'S HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES, PARTICULARLY IN ITS DIRTY WAR AGAINST KURDISH SECESSIONISTS. BUT THIS IS THE SAME EUROPEAN UNION THAT JUST DISGRACED ITSELF BY SENDING ITS AMBASSADORS SCURRYING BACK TO TEHRAN A FEW SCANT MONTHS AFTER A GERMAN COURT FOUND THE CLERICAL RULERS OF IRAN GUILTY OF HAVING IRANIAN KURDS MURDERED IN A BERLIN RESTAURANT. ... NOT TO WELCOME TURKEY INTO A EUROPEAN CLUB THAT BECOMES LESS AND LESS EXCLUSIVE IS TO SUBORDINATE VITAL STRATEGIC INTERESTS TO PAROCHIAL PREJUDICE. // OPT // ... IT IS AN OPEN SECRET THAT THE E-U'S BLACKBALLING [REJECTION] OF TURKEY WAS PRIMARILY GERMANY'S DOING. THERE ARE TWO MILLION TURKS IN GERMANY, AND THE GERMANS DREAD THE PROSPECT OF AN INFLUX OF MORE UN-CHRISTIAN, UN-WESTERN FOREIGNERS. THIS DISPLAY OF HYPOCRISY ILLUSTRATES WHY GERMANY HAS BEEN SLOW TO TAKE ON A POLITICAL ROLE IN EUROPE COMMENSURATE WITH ITS ECONOMIC STATUS. // END OPT //

    TEXT: "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL," IN BEMOANING BOTH GERMANY'S ROLE IN THE REJECTION, AND THE DECISION IN GENERAL, CITES TURKEY'S CRITICAL STRATEGIC LOCATION AS A KEY REASON WHY THE COUNTRY IS SO IMPORTANT TO THE WEST.

    VOICE: EUROPE -- CHIEFLY GERMANY -- HAS TWO BASIC OBJECTIONS. ONE, APPARENTLY, IS THAT THE TURKS WORK TOO HARD, OR MAYBE TOO WELL. TURKEY HAS A POPULATION OF 62-MILLION, SOME TWO-MILLION OF WHOM ARE DILIGENT ENOUGH TO PUT UP EVEN WITH LIVING IN GERMANY IN EXCHANGE FOR THE CHANCE TO PROVIDE SERVICES THAT AVERAGE GERMANY APPARENTLY VALUE ENOUGH TO PAY FOR. THE OTHER PROBLEM IS THAT IN WHAT TURKISH PRIME MINISTER YILMAZ DESCRIBES AS THE E-U'S 'CHRISTIAN CLUB,' THE TURKS ARE NOT WELCOME BECAUSE 99-POINT-EIGHT OF THEM ARE MUSLIMS. BUT THAT IS PRECISELY WHAT MAKES TURKEY ESPECIALLY ATTRACTIVE. ALL IT TAKES IS A LOOK AT THE MAP NEARBY TO SEE THAT THIS IS THE COUNTRY BEST PLACED -- IN MANY WAYS -- TO ACT AS A BADLY NEEDED BRIDGE BETWEEN THE WEST AND THE ISLAMIC WORLDS. ...AT A RECENT GLOBAL ISLAMIC SUMMIT IN TEHRAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT SULEYMAN DEMIREL WALKED OUT ON A RESOLUTION CONDEMNING MUSLIM NATIONS' TIES TO ISRAEL. NOW WE SEE THE TURKISH PRIME MINISTER RECOVERING FROM THE E-U'S SNUB BY SEEKING CLOSER TIES TO WASHINGTON. IN OUR BOOK, [OUR OPINION] ANY COUNTRY THAT RESPONDS TO INTOLERANCE BY MAKING COMMON CAUSE WITH ISRAEL AND THE U-S PROBABLY HAS A LOT GOING FOR IT.

    TEXT: TURNING AGAIN TO THE MIDWEST, "THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE" SAYS DESPITE TURKEY'S HISTORY OF JAILING JOURNALISTS, AND ITS BRUTAL SUPPRESSION OF THE KURDS, THE EUROPEAN UNION MADE A BIG MISTAKE.

    VOICE: THERE'S NO DENYING THAT TURKEY HAS A SERIOUS HUMAN-RIGHTS PROBLEM. BUT THE EUROPEAN UNION WAS LESS THAN CONVINCING WHEN IT CITED TURKEY'S SHORTCOMINGS IN THIS AREA AS JUSTIFICATION FOR NOT CONSIDERING IT FOR FUTURE MEMBERSHIP. TURKEY IS CORRECT WHEN IT COMPLAINS THAT ETHNIC, RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL BIAS PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN THE E-U'S SHORTSIGHTED DECISION. FOR ALL ITS PROBLEMS, TURKEY DESERVES TO BE TREATED BETTER. // OPT

    // AS A RELIABLE MEMBER OF NATO, IT STOOD FIRMLY WITH THE WEST AGAINST THE SOVIET UNION THROUGHOUT THE COLD WAR. AT THE SAME TIME, IT HAS BEEN A FAITHFUL U-S ALLY IN THE VOLATILE MIDDLE EAST. ... MORE TO THE POINT, //
    END OPT // THE WEST CANNOT AFFORD TO ALIENATE TURKEY, WHICH SERVES AS A STEADY, MODERATING FORCE IN THE OFTEN UNPREDICTABLE ISLAMIC WORLD. ...TURKEY HAS EMERGED IN THE POST-SOVIET ERA AS A VITAL BRIDGE BETWEEN EUROPE AND THE ENERGY RESOURCES OF THE CASPIAN SEA BASIN AND CENTRAL ASIA. EUROPE SHOULD HEED PRESIDENT CLINTON'S ADVICE AND 'DO EVERYTHING REASONABLE TO ANCHOR TURKEY TO THE WEST. ...AT THIS PAINFUL MOMENT, THE TURKS NEED TO BE REASSURED THAT REAL PROGRESS ON HUMAN RIGHTS WOULD BE NOT JUST A HUMILIATING CONCESSION TO EUROPE BUT ALSO A MAJOR STEP FORWARD FOR THEIR COUNTRY. THAT MEANS, FIRST AND FOREMOST, RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF THE KURDISH MINORITY.

    TEXT: AND LASTLY, A BIT OF THE EDITORIAL TO WHICH WE ALLUDED IN THE

    INTRODUCTION FROM "THE NEW YORK TIMES" WHICH USES UNUSUALLY FRANK LANGUAGE TO CONDEMN THE DECISIONS.

    VOICE: THE EUROPEAN UNION ERRED THIS WEEK BY REBUFFING TURKEY'S LONGSTANDING MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FOR POORLY DISGUISED REASONS OF ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS PREJUDICE. TURKS ARE RIGHT TO BE ANGERED BY A DECISION THAT HAD AS MUCH TO DO WITH HISTORIC GREEK ANTIPATHY, GERMAN OBJECTIONS TO TURKISH IMMIGRANTS AND A PAROCHIAL VISION OF EUROPE AS IT DID WITH TURKEY'S REAL BUT SOLVABLE HUMAN RIGHTS PROBLEMS. ...AMERICA SHOULD DO WHAT IT CAN TO HELP TURKEY BUILD A BETTER RELATIONSHIP WITH EUROPE AND SECURE ITS FUTURE WITH THE WEST. BUT THOSE WORTHY GOALS CAN BE ACHIEVED ONLY IF TURKISH LEADERS LOOK MORE CRITICALLY AT THEIR OWN PROBLEMS.

    TEXT: WITH THAT COMMENTARY FROM "THE NEW YORK TIMES, WE CONCLUDE THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF EDITORIALS ON THE RECENT REJECTION OF TURKEY FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE EUROPEAN UNION.
    NEB/ANG/RAE
    22-Dec-97 1:50 PM EST (1850 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] EURO STOCKS (S ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)

    DATE=12/22/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224433
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES WERE MIXED IN TRADING MONDAY ON EUROPEAN MARKETS. EDITOR JACK HUIZENGA HAS THE CLOSING MARKET REPORT FROM LONDON.

    TEXT: THE MARKETS IN EUROPE WERE MIXED IN SLUGGISH PRE-CHRISTMAS TRADING, WITH MANY TRADERS APPARENTLY ALREADY SHUT DOWN FOR THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS.

    THE ONLY MAJOR MARKET GAIN WAS IN PARIS. THE CAC-40 INDEX CLOSED UP ALMOST 47-POINTS, ABOUT ONE-AND-SIX-TENTHS PERCENT OF THE PARIS MARKET'S TOTAL VALUE.

    IN FRANKFURT, THE DAX-30 INDEX CLOSED DOWN ALMOST 42-POINTS, JUST MORE THAN ONE-PERCENT. IN LONDON, THE FOOTSIE-100 INDEX EDGED UP, BUT THEN REVERSED, TO END MARGINALLY LOWER, DOWN TWO-POINTS.

    ON THE LONDON CURRENCY EXCHANGE, THE VALUE OF THE DOLLAR ROSE AGAINST THE GERMAN MARK, THE JAPANESE YEN, AND THE BRITISH POUND.
    NEB/JWH/RAE
    22-Dec-97 1:23 PM EST (1823 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] GREECE / TURKEY (L ONLY) BY ANTHEE CARASSAVA (ATHENS)

    DATE=12/22/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224429
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: GREECE HAS ORDERED THE EXPULSION OF A TURKISH DIPLOMAT AFTER TURKEY ORDERED THE OUSTER OF A GREEK DIPLOMAT ON CHARGES OF SPYING. ANTHEE CARASSAVA IN ATHENS REPORTS THE LATEST INCIDENTS FURTHER AGGRAVATE TENSE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES.

    TEXT: THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN (DIMITRIS REPPAS) SAID A TURKISH DIPLOMAT WOULD BE SENT BACK TO ANKARA BY THE END OF THE DAY. HE SAID THE ORDER WAS A TIT-FOR-TAT MOVE TO WHAT HE CALLED "PREPOSTEROUS LIES AND SPY CHARGES" AGAINST A GREEK DIPLOMAT BASED IN THE TURKISH CITY OF ISTANBUL.

    THE SPY CHARGES SURFACED OVER THE WEEKEND WHEN THE TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY ACCUSED A GREEK ADMINISTRATIVE DIPLOMAT OF ENGAGING IN INTELLIGENCE GATHERING OPERATIONS. A TURKISH NEWSPAPER LATER REPORTED THE GREEK ENVOY WAS ALLEGEDLY RELAYING THE INFORMATION TO KURDISH SEPARATISTS.

    TURKISH MEDIA FREQUENTLY REPORT ALLEGATIONS THAT GREECE TRAINS MEMBERS OF THE EXTREMIST KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY, THE P-K-K.

    GREECE REPEATEDLY DENIES THE ALLEGATIONS. BUT THE P-K-K HAS A POLITICAL OFFICE IN THE GREEK CAPITAL, ATHENS, AND THE GREEK GOVERNMENT HAS NEVER CONDEMNED THE P-K-K'S ATTACKS IN TURKEY.

    THE LATEST SPY INCIDENT HAS AGGRAVATED RELATIONS BETWEEN NATO ALLIES GREECE AND TURKEY. JUST LAST WEEK, TURKEY BLAMED GREECE FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION'S DECISION TO FREEZE THE TURKISH APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE 15-NATION E-U.

    GREECE AND TURKEY HAVE BEEN AT ODDS FOR YEARS OVER A RANGE OF ISSUES RANGING FROM HUMAN RIGHTS AND AIRSPACE VIOLATIONS TO THE 23-YEAR OLD DIVISION OF CYPRUS.

    JUST LAST YEAR. THE TWO NATO ALLIES CAME CLOSE TO WAR OVER CONFLICTING CLAIMS TO A GROUP OF SMALL BARREN ISLANDS IN THE SOUTHEASTERN AEGEAN SEA. BOTH COUNTRIES LATER PULLED BACK THEIR FORCES, BUT THE SQUABBLING CONTINUES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AC/JWH
    22-Dec-97 11:02 AM EST (1602 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/99/97
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10499
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ///// ED'S: DATED AFTER 10 P-M EST ! ! /////

    INTRO: AS THE NATION'S ENTERS CHRISTMAS WEEK, NEWSPAPERS ARE FOCUSING ON THE EXTENSION OF U-S PEACEKEEPING TROOPS IN BOSNIA ON THEIR EDITORIAL PAGES. OTHER TOPICS INCLUDE THE NEW PRESIDENT IN SOUTH KOREA; MORE THOUGHTS ON GLOBAL WARMING; U-S CUBAN POLICY; AND ANGER AT EFFORTS BY THE GOVERNMENT TO CENSOR THE VOICE OF AMERICA. NOW, HERE IS ______________ WITH A CLOSER LOOK AND A QUOT OR TWO IN TODAY'S U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: TODAY'S "WASHINGTON TIMES" LEADS ITS COMMENTARIES WITH AN EDITORIAL ENTITLED "CHRISTMAS IN BOSNIA."

    VOICE: THIS WILL BE THE THIRD CHRISTMAS THAT AMERICAN TROOPS WILL BE CELEBRATING IN BOSNIA, COMFORTED PERHAPS THAT THEY ARE PREVENTING FURTHER SLAUGHTER AND ATROCITIES AMONG THE COUNTRY'S THREE ETHNIC GROUPS. STILL, BY NOW, THEY MUST SURELY BE WONDERING IF THEY ARE CONTRIBUTING MUCH MORE THAN A REASONABLY SECURE ENVIRONMENT TO BOSNIA'S FUTURE. CERTAINLY, OTHERS ARE, PARTICULARLY AFTER LAST WEEK'S ANNOUNCEMENT THAT MR. CLINTON HAS DECIDED NOT TO SET A DEADLINE FOR THE DEPARTURE OF THE 85-HUNDRED AMERICAN TROOPS IN BOSNIA. ... MR. CLINTON LEFT SUNDAY FOR BOSNIA TO MEET THE TROOPS AND REDEDICATE THEM TO THEIR MISSION. AT SOME POINT HE WILL HAVE TO EXPLAIN TO THEM, AND TO THE REST OF US, WHY NO MORE PROGRESS IS BEING MADE, AND WHAT THE ADMINISTRATION IS PLANNING TO DO ABOUT IT. HE SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER WHAT THE U-S MESSAGE SHOULD BE TO THE EUROPEANS, TO THE U-N AND TO THE BOSNIANS THEMSELVES.

    TEXT: THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER SAYS -- RISKING U-S LIVES FOR A BETTER WORLD ORDER CAN WORK [IN BOSNIA] EVEN IF IT DIDN'T IN SOMALIA.

    VOICE: WHY? BECAUSE, IN BOSNIA, AMERICA HAS LEARNED WITH MINIMAL BLOODSHED THE SAME LESSON THAN SOMALIA TAUGHT THROUGH PAIN AND CHOCK: NATION-BUILDING IS HARD AND ... TAKES TIME. THE TRICK IS KNOWING WHEN THE LONG-TERM CHALLENGE IS IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO AMERICAN INTERESTS TO BE ATTEMPTED. ... THE LESSON OF MOGADISHU SHOULD NOT BE THAT THE UNITED STATES CAN NOT BEAR TO RISK AMERICAN TROOPS IN ANYTHING SHORT OF A CRISIS OF NATIONAL DEFENSE.

    TEXT: TURNING TO ASIA, SEVERAL PAPERS ARE COMMENTING ON THE ELECTION OF LONG-TIME DISSIDENT KIM DAE JUNG, INCLUDING "THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR."

    VOICE: PRESIDENT-ELECT KIM DAE JUNG ... FACES A STAGGERING AGENDA. BUT HE MAY BE UNIQUELY PREPARED , BY DECADES OF FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRACY AGAINST ALL ODDS, TO STEER HIS COUNTRY TOWARD MORE ENDURING STABILITY AND PROGRESS. MR. KIM'S PRIORITY, CLEARLY, IS SOUTH KOREA'S CURRENT FINANCIAL CRISIS. ... [MR.] KIM'S EFFORTS TO GUIDE THE COUNTRY THROUGH ITS ECONOMIC STORMS WILL GO HAND IN HAND WITH EFFORTS TO BUILD POLITICAL CONSENSUS AND BROADEN HIS SUPPORT BEYOND ITS REGIONAL CORE IN THE COUNTRY'S SOUTHWEST.

    /// OPT ///

    ... THUS HIS STARTLING MOVE TO BACK [SUPPORT] THE PARDON OF TWO FORMER LEADERS, ROH TAE WOO AND CHUN DOO HWAN, IMPRISONED FOR VIOLENTLY REPRESSING PAST DISSENT AND FOR CORRUPTION. IT WAS A MOVE THAT DISGUSTED SOME OLD COLLEAGUES, BUT IT PROBABLY RAISED [MR.] KIM'S STOCK WITH CONSERVATIVES AND THE MILITARY.

    TEXT: "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL" IS ALSO PLEASED WITH MR. KIM'S FIRST ACTIONS IN OFFICE, CALLING THEM PROMISING STEPS AND ADDING:

    VOICE: SINCE HIS ELECTION, HOWEVER, HE HAS BEGUN TALKING LESS LIKE A POPULIST AND MORE LIKE A STATESMAN. ... VICTORY FOR THE FORMER DISSIDENT, LIKE THE RECENT FIRST-TIME OPPOSITION WIN IN TAIWAN'S MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS, IS A SIGN THAT ASIANS ARE BEGINNING TO FEEL CONFIDENT ENOUGH TO BREAK THE OLD MOLD. IT IS STILL POSSIBLE THE NEW PRESIDENT WILL ALLOW HIMSELF TO BE DISTRACTED FROM TACKLING THE MAIN BUSINESS OF RESTRUCTURING THE SOUTH KOREAN ECONOMY. BUT HIS FIRST STEPS GIVE REASON TO HOPE THAT KIM DAE JUNG WILL PROVE THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE TIMES.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: THE TOPIC OF GLOBAL WARMING AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT, DISCUSSED EARLIER THIS MONTH IN KYOTO, JAPAN, IS STILL VERY MUCH ON THE MIND OF "THE NEW YORK TIMES."

    VOICE: THE GLOBAL WARMING ACCORD WAS BARELY SIGNED ... WHEN CRITICS PRONOUNCED ITS CHANCES OF SENATE RATIFICATION TO BE NIL. IF THAT IS TRUE, THEN THE SENATE HAS CLEARLY MISREAD THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, WHICH IN EVERY SURVEY HAS EXPRESSED AN APPETITE FOR DECISIVE ACTION. THE SENATE'S ATTITUDE ALSO DEFINES WHAT COULD BE PRESIDENT CLINTON'S BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN THE NEW YEAR -- LEADING THE SENATE WHERE THE PUBLIC WANTS IT TO GO.

    // OPT //

    ... EVEN BEFORE KYOTO, THE SENATE HAD VOTED 95 TO 0 TO REJECT ANY TREATY THAT DAMAGED THE AMERICAN ECONOMY OR DID NOT REQUIRE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TO HAVE THEIR OWN ENERGY CONSERVATION PROGRAMS. ... ANY SERIOUS AMERICAN EFFORT TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GASES WILL REQUIRE SACRIFICE. ... THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT WOULD BE MAKING A MISTAKE TO BELITTLE THE ANXIETY AMERICANS FEEL ABOUT SUCH WARNINGS. BUT CRITICS OF THE TREATY WILL MAKE AN EVEN GREATER MISTAKE IF THEY UNDERESTIMATE THE PUBLIC'S ANXIETIES ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING - - AND THEIR RESOLVE TO ADDRESS IT. // END OPT //

    TEXT: TODAY'S "LOS ANGELES TIMES" IS SUGGESTING IT IS TIME FOR A NEW APPROACH TO CUBA, AND SUGGESTS:

    VOICE: THE TIME COMES WHEN THE BROKEN RELATIONS BETWEEN NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES DEMAND A HARD LOOK AND CONSIDERATION OF CHANGE. THAT TIME IS NOW FOR THE UNITED STATES AND CUBA. THIRTY-NINE YEARS AGO WHEN FIDEL CASTRO BROUGHT SOVIET-STYLE COMMUNISM TO THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE, WASHINGTON'S HARD TRADE EMBARGO MADE SOME SENSE POLITICALLY. NOT NOW. NOW [MR.] CASTRO AND CUBA STAND IN THE INTERNATIONAL SHADOWS. THE CUBAN PEOPLE DESERVE A BREAK [SOME SUPPORT]. "// OPT // CONGRESS SHOULD PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT POPE JOHN PAUL THE SECOND HAS BEEN ABLE TO ACHIEVE EVEN BEFORE HIS PLANNED VISIT TO CUBA IN JANUARY. HUNDREDS OF WESTERN JOURNALISTS WILL BE ROAMING THE COUNTRY ... CUBAN AMERICANS WILL BE PERMITTED ENTRY TO VISIT THEIR RELATIVES. CHRISTMAS WILL BE CELEBRATED AS AN OFFICIAL HOLIDAY. THIS MAY BE A CHANGING CUBA, AND WASHINGTON WOULD DO WELL TO LOOK FOR POSITIVE OPPORTUNITIES. // END OPT //

    TEXT: BRIEFLY, LOOKING AT THE MIDEAST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" SEES A NEW GLIMMER OF HOPE.

    VOICE: THOUGH THE EFFORT HAS NOT YET YIELDED TANGIBLE AGREEMENTS, THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION HAS REAWAKENED THE QUEST FOR MIDEAST PEACE. THROUGH REPEATED MEETINGS WITH ISRAEL'S PRIME MINISTER, BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, AND THE PALESTINIAN LEADER, YASSER ARAFAT, AND USEFUL PUBLIC EXHORTATIONS, SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT HAS NUDGED THE PARTIES TOWARD CONSTRUCTIVE ACTION. THEY MUST NOW ACT ON THAT IMPULSE AND END THE PUBLIC ARGUMENTS THAT ERUPTED OVER THE WEEKEND ABOUT HISTORIC CLAIMS TO THE WEST BANK.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: IN MAINE, "THE PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" TALKS ABOUT SOUTH AFRICA AFTER NELSON MANDELA, NOTING ABOUT THE RECENT AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS CONVENTION:

    VOICE: JUST AS [THABO] MBEKI NOW HAS SUCCEEDED [MR.] MANDELA AS ANC PRESIDENT, IT IS EXPECTED HE WILL SUCCEED [MR.] MANDELA AS SOUTH AFRICA'S PRESIDENT WHEN THE LATTER'S TERM EXPIRES IN 1999. [MR.] MBEKI QUICKLY ASSURED DELEGATES HE WOULD NOT FORSAKE THE AMBITIOUS GOALS THE PARTY SET WHEN IT ASSUMED POWER IN THE COUNTRY'S FIRST MULTIPARTY, ALL-RACE ELECTION IN 1994. HE ALSO TURNED THE CHALLENGE OF HELPING SOUTH AFRICA'S IMPOVERISHED MASSES BACK ON THE PARTY. 'YOU ARE THE ANC, AND YOUR ONLY PURPOSE THEREFORE IS TO SERVE THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH AFRICA,' HE SAID. [MR.] MBEKI THUS SHOWED SOME OF THE STEEL AMERICAN NEWSPAPER EDITORS WONDERED IF HE HAD AFTER AN APPEARANCE BEFORE THEM THIS SPRING. .... SOUTH AFRICA NOW HAS ENTERED THE FIRST PHASE OF LIFE-AFTER-[MANDELA, AND INITIAL SIGNS ARE PROMISING.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: AND LASTLY "THE PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" EXPRESSES CONCERN AT WHITE HOUSE' UNSUCCESSFUL EFFORTS TO CENSOR THE VOICE OF AMERICA, IN SEEKING TO CANCEL OR SHORTEN A CHINESE LANGUAGE INTERVIEW WITH DISSIDENT WEI JINGSHENG.

    VOICE: ... IT IS DISTURBING TO US, AS IT SHOULD BE TO ALL WHO SUPPORT THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM, THAT THE CLINTON

    ADMINISTRATION SOUGHT TO INTERFERE WITH A RECENT VOA

    BROADCAST. ... THE U-S INFORMATION AGENCY AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT SOUGHT TO PRESSURE V-O-A INTO NOT BROADCASTING THE WEI INTERVIEW IN CHINA. OFFICIALS FROM THOSE AGENCIES FEARED THE BROADCAST WOULD OFFEND THE CHINESE AND MAKE IT HARDER FOR OTHER DISSIDENTS TO WIN THEIR FREEDOM. THE U-S INFORMATION AGENCY AND STATE DEPARTMENT ARE DOUBLY WRONG. BY SEEKING TO EXERT GOVERNMENT CONTROL OVER V-O-A, THEY THREATEN TO TURN THIS INDEPENDENT, UNCENSORED NEWS SOURCE INTO EXACTLY THE KIND OF OFFICIAL NEW OUTLET THAT REPRESSIVE REGIMES USE TO CONTROL INFORMATION. ... WHEN THE U-S GOVERNMENT INTERFERES WITH THE VOICE OF AMERICA, IT HURTS THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM. THE U-S INFORMATION AGENCY AND STATE DEPARTMENT WOULD DO WELL TO REMEMBER THAT.

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF OPINIONS FROM MONDAY'S U-S PRESS. NEB/ANG/
    22-Dec-97 11:33 AM EST (1633 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)

    DATE=12/22/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224441
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE UP TODAY (MONDAY) IN REBOUND FROM FRIDAY'S DECLINE. V-O-A'S CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 78 HUNDRED 19, UP 63 POINTS. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 953, UP SEVEN POINTS.

    ANALYSTS SAY BARGAIN HUNTERS WERE BUYING STOCKS AFTER FRIDAY'S DECLINE WHICH FEATURED A 90 POINT DROP IN THE INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE.

    SEVERAL MAJOR CORPORATE ACQUISITIONS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED. THE AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY WILL PAY ABOUT SIX AND ONE-HALF BILLION DOLLARS FOR THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST CORPORATION. THE COMBINED ELECTRIC UTILITY WILL HAVE MORE THAN EIGHT MILLION CUSTOMERS IN THE UNITED STATES AND FOUR OTHER NATIONS.

    TWO LARGE U-S INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE COMBINING. THE AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP WILL PAY TWO POINT TWO BILLION DOLLARS FOR THE AMERICAN BANKERS INSURANCE COMPANY.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG ///

    THE HOMESTAKE MINING COMPANY OF THE UNITED STATES WILL PAY 640 MILLION DOLLARS FOR PLUTONIC RESOURCES OF AUSTRALIA. HOMESTAKE SAYS IT PLANS TO EXPAND AUSTRALIAN GOLD PRODUCTION FROM ABOUT 800 THOUSAND OUNCES THIS YEAR TO ONE MILLION OUNCES BY 1999.

    COCA-COLA WILL PAY 840 MILLION DOLLARS TO ACQUIRE THE ORANGINA BRAND FROM THE PERNOD (PER-NO) COMPANY OF FRANCE. THE ORANGINA SOFT DRINK IS QUITE POPULAR IN EUROPE AND COKE HOPES TO INCREASE ORANGINA'S POPULARITY AROUND THE WORLD.

    THE MONSANTO CHEMICAL COMPANY SAYS IT HAS DEVELOPED A NEW NO CALORIE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER THAT IS EIGHT THOUSAND TIMES SWEETER THAN SUGAR. MONSANTO IS ASKING U-S FOOD REGULATORS TO APPROVE THE SALE OF THE NEW PRODUCT WHICH IS CALLED NEOTAME.

    THE PRICE OF MERCK PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY STOCK ROSE ON NEWS THAT U-S REGULATORS HAVE APPROVED A NEW MERCK DRUG TO FIGHT BALDNESS.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    22-Dec-97 5:27 PM EST (2227 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [11] SERBIA ELECTION (L) CQ BY JULIA GLYN-PICKETT (BELGRADE)

    DATE=12/22/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224435
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    //// FIXES REPORTER NAME IN INTRO OF CR2-224432. /////

    INTRO: SERBIA'S RULING SOCIALISTS ARE CLAIMING VICTORY IN THE COUNTRY'S PRESIDENTIAL RUN-OFF ELECTION -- WITH ONLY A HANDFUL OF VOTES STILL TO BE COUNTED. BUT AS JULIA GLYN-PICKETT REPORTS FROM BELGRADE, THE LOSING CANDIDATE IS CHARGING ELECTION FRAUD.

    TEXT: SERBIA'S SOCIALIST PARTY CELEBRATED THE VICTORY OF ITS CANDIDATE -- MILAN MILUTINOVIC. SUNDAY'S POLL WAS THE FOURTH ATTEMPT IN THREE MONTHS TO ELECT A NEW SERBIAN PRESIDENT. AND THERE WAS A LOOK OF RELIEF ON MR. MILUTINOVIC'S FACE AS HE TOLD STATE MEDIA WHAT HE THINKS THE WIN WILL MEAN FOR THE COUNTRY.

    /// MILUTINOIVC ACT - SERBIAN - FADE UNDER ///

    MR. MILUTINOVIC SAID IT WAS A GREAT DAY FOR SERBIA. HE SAID THE SOCIALISTS HAD FINALLY WON THE VOTE, AND THAT NOW IT IS TIME TO GET TO WORK.

    THE GOVERNMENT ELECTION COMMISSION HAS CONFIRMED MR. MILUTINOVIC'S WIN. MOST IMPORTANTLY, THE COMMISSION ALSO SAID THAT ENOUGH VOTERS HAD TURNED OUT TO MAKE THE ELECTION VALID. HOWEVER, THE LOSING CANDIDATE -- THE ULTRA-NATIONALIST LEADER OF THE SERBIAN RADICALS, VOJISLAV SESELJ -- SAYS THE ELECTION WAS RIGGED AND THAT THERE WAS WIDESPREAD BALLOT STUFFING. MR. SESELJ ACCUSED THE SOCIALISTS OF STEALING ABOUT 100-THOUSAND VOTES.

    HIS CLAIM APPEARED TO GAIN SOME SUPPORT FROM THE EUROPEAN ORGANIZATION THAT MONITORED THE POLL, THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (O-S-C-E). BUT LOCAL ANALYSTS SAY THERE IS LITTLE THE O-S-C-E CAN DO ABOUT MR. SESELJ'S COMPLAINTS. AND ALTHOUGH THE O-S-C-E PRESENTED NEWS REPORTERS WITH A LIST OF WHAT IT SAID ARE ELECTION IRREGULARITIES, IT STOPPED SHORT OF IMPOSING A FINAL VERDICT ON THE ELECTION.

    /// O-S-C-E STATEMENT ///

    WE ARE NOT HERE TO VALIDATE OR TO INVALIDATE THE RESULTS. WE HAVEN'T HAD THAT KIND OF AN OPERATION. WE ARE FOLLOWING THE PROCESSES. WE HAVE SEEN FAULTS IN THE PROCESSES FOR THE LAST THREE ROUNDS, AND INCLUDING EVEN THE ONE YESTERDAY (SUNDAY).

    /// END ACT ///

    SERBIA'S ELECTION COMMISSION IS EXPECTED TO GIVE FINAL FIGURES FOR THE VOTE IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JGP/JWH
    22-Dec-97 2:09 PM EST (1909 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [12] SERBIA VOTE (S) BY ART CHIMES (PRAGUE)

    DATE=12/22/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224419
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: SERBIA'S RULING SOCIALIST PARTY HAS CLAIMED VICTORY IN SUNDAY'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. BUT AS V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ART CHIMES REPORTS, OPPOSITION POLITICIANS ARE CHARGING FRAUD.

    TEXT: THE SOCIALIST PARTY SAYS ITS CANDIDATE, MILAN MILUTINOVIC, EASILY OUTDISTANCED THE CHALLENGER, ULTRANATIONALIST VOJISLAV SESELJ, AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, MORE THAN HALF THE ELIGIBLE VOTERS CAST A BALLOT. A 50 PERCENT TURNOUT IS REQUIRED TO VALIDATE THE ELECTION, AND A PREVIOUS RUNOFF IN OCTOBER WAS INVALIDATED WHEN NOT ENOUGH VOTERS CAME TO THE POLLS.

    OFFICIAL RESULTS ARE NOT EXPECTED FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS. MEANTIME, A SPOKESMAN FOR THE OPPOSITION CANDIDATE, MR. SESELJ, ACCUSED THE SOCIALISTS OF STUFFING THE BALLOT BOXES IN KOSOVO PROVINCE, WHERE THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN MAJORITY BOYCOTTS THE SERBIAN ELECTIONS.

    INDEPENDENT ELECTION MONITORS FROM A STUDENT GROUP AND A LOCAL PRO-DEMOCRACY ORGANIZATION CALLED CESID ALSO SAID THERE WAS EVIDENCE OF IRREGULARITIES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ART/JWH
    22-Dec-97 7:09 AM EST (1209 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [13] YEARENDER: BRITISH POLITICS '97 BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)

    DATE=12/22/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-38505
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BRITAIN'S OPPOSITION LABOUR PARTY WAS SWEPT TO POWER THIS PAST YEAR, OUSTING THE CONSERVATIVES WHO LED THE COUNTRY FOR 18 YEARS. V-O-A'S ANDRE DE NESNERA LOOKS BACK ON THE EVENTFUL YEAR IN BRITISH POLITICS.

    TEXT: IT WAS THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY'S GREATEST GENERAL ELECTION TRIUMPH IN ITS HISTORY. AFTER 18 YEARS IN OPPOSITION, THE LABOUR PARTY WAS RETURNED TO POWER, GAINING A LANDSLIDE VICTORY IN THE MAY ELECTIONS -- A VICTORY TRANSLATED INTO A RECORD-BREAKING 179-SEAT MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.

    ADDRESSING SUPPORTERS SHORTLY AFTER BECOMING PRIME MINISTER, LABOUR PARTY LEADER TONY BLAIR BEGAN TO LOOK AHEAD.

    /// BLAIR ACT ///

    THIS WAS NOT A MANDATE FOR DOGMA OR FOR DOCTRINE OR FOR A RETURN TO THE PAST, BUT IT WAS A MANDATE TO GET THOSE THINGS DONE IN OUR COUNTRY THAT DESPERATELY NEED DOING FOR THE FUTURE OF BRITAIN. AND THIS NEW LABOUR GOVERNMENT WILL GOVERN IN THE INTEREST OF ALL OUR PEOPLE, THE WHOLE OF THIS NATION. THAT I CAN PROMISE YOU.

    /// END ACT ///

    FOR THE CONSERVATIVES -- THE PARTY OF FORMER BITISH PRIME MINISTER MARGARET THATCHER -- IT WAS A DEVASTATING DEFEAT. FINAL ELECTION RESULTS SHOWED IT HAD NOT WON A SINGLE PARLIAMENTARY SEAT IN EITHER SCOTLAND OR WALES. SOME EXPERTS NOW DESCRIBE THE CONSERVATIVES AS "A MINOR ENGLISH PARTY."

    FOLLOWING THE ELECTION, OUTGOING PRIME MINISTER JOHN MAJOR -- IN OFFICE FOR SIX-AND-ONE-HALF YEARS -- SAID HE WOULD NOT EVEN STAND FOR THE LEADERSHIP OF THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY.

    /// MAJOR ACT ///

    WHEN THE CURTAIN FALLS, IT IS TIME TO GET OFF THE STAGE. AND THAT IS WHAT I PROPOSE TO DO. I SHALL, THEREFORE, ADVISE MY PARLIAMENTARY COLLEAGUES THAT I BELIEVE THAT IT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR THEM TO CONSIDER THE SELECTION OF A NEW LEADER OF THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY TO LEAD THE PARTY THROUGH OPPOSITION DURING THE YEARS THAT LIE IMMEDIATELY AHEAD.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY ULTIMATELY ELECTED 36-YEAR-OLD FORMER CABINET MINISTER WILLIAM HAGUE AS ITS LEADER. THE RIGHT-OF-CENTER POLITICIAN IS FACED WITH THE DAUNTING TASK OF REBUILDING A DEMORALIZED PARTY WHICH MANY EXPERTS BELIEVE WILL BE YEARS IN OPPOSITION.

    GEORGE JONES IS PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT AT THE LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS. HE SAYS THE MAIN REASON TONY BLAIR ACHIEVED SUCH SUCCESS, WAS THAT THE BRITISH PEOPLE NO LONGER PERCEIVED THE LABOUR PARTY AS ESPOUSING LEFT-WING, RADICAL POLICIES AND THUS WAS NO LONGER CONSIDERED A THREAT.

    /// JONES ACT ///

    TONY BLAIR'S LEADERSHIP OF THE LABOUR PARTY MOVED IT MUCH MORE TO THE CENTER OF BRITISH PUBLIC OPINION AND THAT ENABLED HIM TO REASSURE VOTERS THAT THEY COULD HAVE A CHANGE WITHOUT ANYTHING FRIGHTENING HAPPENING. THAT, I THINK, WAS THE SIGNIFICANCE. IT WAS REALLY A MAJOR CHANGE IN THE LABOUR PARTY THAT ENABLED IT TO WIN AGAINST A DISCREDITED CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT AND A GOVERNMENT THAT ABOVE ALL WAS DISUNITED. AND ONE CONTRASTED THIS DIVISION WITH THE UNITY OF THE LABOUR PARTY AND THE CLEAR LEAD THAT TONY BLAIR WAS GIVING.

    /// END ACT ///

    /// OPT ///

    PROFESSOR JONES SAYS TONY BLAIR ALSO OWES HIS VICTORY TO U-S PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON.

    /// OPT // 2ND JONES ACT ///

    THE MAN WHO REALLY WON THE GENERAL ELECTION FOR LABOUR WAS PRESIDENT CLINTON BECAUSE TONY BLAIR DELIBERATELY COPIED THE CAMPAIGNING METHODS AND TECHNIQUES OF CLINTON. THE LABOUR PARTY PEOPLE WENT OVER, THEY WATCHED WHAT WAS BEING DONE, AND THEY WERE VERY, VERY IMPRESSED. AND THEY WENT BACK AND COPIED IT TECHNIQUE BY TECHNIQUE. SO THAT LABOUR -- I THINK -- GAVE US THE MOST PROFESSIONAL CAMPAIGN WE HAVE EVER SEEN IN BRITISH POLITICS. IT DID NOT PUT A FOOT WRONG, AND THE CONSERVATIVES WERE STAGGERED AT THE PROFESSIONALISM OF THAT CAMPAIGN, ADOPTING THE PRESIDENTIAL METHODS OF CLINTON. HE (CLINTON) WAS SEEN AS THE LEADING CAMPAIGNER. HE SHOWED HOW TO WIN, AND BLAIR COPIED HIM -- ADOPTING THE SAME SORT OF PHRASES, THE SAME SORT OF WORDS, BEING PHOTOGRAPHED IN THE SAME SORT OF WAY, ADOPTING THE SAME SORT OF SOUND BITES, THE SAME MESSAGE WAS COMING OVER.

    /// END ACT // END OPT ///

    ONE OF THE LABOUR GOVERNMENT'S MAIN POLICIES IS CALLED "DEVOLUTION" -- IN OTHER WORDS, GIVING MORE POWER TO THE REGIONS. REFERENDUMS IN SCOTLAND AND WALES THIS PAST YEAR HAVE SHOWN THE PEOPLE'S DESIRE TO HAVE PARLIAMENTS WITH A MODICUM OF INDEPENDENCE FROM LONDON.

    CRITICS OF "DEVOLUTION" -- SUCH AS THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY -- BELIEVE SUCH POLICIES WILL LEAD TO THE BREAK-UP OF THE UNITED KINGDOM.

    /// OPT ///

    CONSTITUTIONAL EXPERT DAVID STARKEY FROM THE LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS SAYS THE LABOUR "DEVOLUTION" SCHEME COULD POSE A SERIOUS THREAT TO THE BRITISH MONARCHY, SINCE IT QUESTIONS THE FUNDAMENTAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE COMPONENT PARTS OF THE BRITISH ISLES.

    /// OPT // STARKEY ACT ///

    AND IF SCOTLAND DOES WITH ITS OWN PARLIAMENT, WITH ITS OWN GOVERNMENT, WITH ITS OWN FIRST MINISTER, WHAT IN AN EXACTLY ANALOGOUS SITUATION THE QUEBECOIS HAVE DONE, AND MOVE TOWARDS INDEPENDENCE OR PERPETUALLY TEETER ON THE BRINK OF IT -- AT THAT POINT, I THINK THAT THE COZY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE QUEEN AND THE GOVERNMENT WOULD SEVER. THE REASON THEY WOULD DO SO IS THE QUEEN KNOWS WHAT THE CONSEQUENCES OF THAT WOULD BE. THAT WOULD BE THE MOST SERIOUS THREAT TO THE THRONE, BECAUSE SCOTLAND WOULD PROBABLY BECOME A REPUBLIC AND EVEN ENGLAND WILL BE FACED WITH A CHOICE WOULD IT REINVENT ITSELF, BECAUSE IT WOULD HAVE TO REINVENT ITSELF. WOULD IT REINVENT ITSELF AS A REPUBLIC OR AS A MONARCHY?

    /// END ACT // END OPT ///

    THE NEW BRITISH GOVERNMENT HAS MADE ONE OF ITS PRIORITIES RE-DRAWING THE COUNTRY'S CONSTITUTION -- MAKING IT MORE MODERN, IN THE WORDS OF BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BLAIR.

    IN AN EFFORT TO GET A BROADER POLITICAL INPUT, MR. BLAIR HAS BROUGHT IN MEMBERS OF THE SMALLER OPPOSITION LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY INTO A GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE EXPLORING CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION.

    PROFESSOR JONES SAYS THAT EXPERIMENT IN CLOSE POLITICAL COOPERATION COULD ULTIMATELY SPELL DISASTER FOR THE MAIN OPPOSITION CONSERVATIVE PARTY.

    /// 3RD JONES ACT ///

    IN MANY WAYS, YOU CAN SAY THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS HAVE BEEN BROUGHT INTO GOVERNMENT -- WE HAVE A COALITION GOVERNMENT ON THE CONSTITUTION. THIS IS THE FIRST STEP, BECAUSE IF YOU CAN GET USED TO WORKING TOGETHER AS COLLEAGUES ON ONE MATTER, WHO KNOWS? YOU CAN BUILD UP TRUST AND CONFIDENCE. I AM SURE THIS IS THE OBJECTIVE, BECAUSE ULTIMATELY IF THIS HAPPENS, THEN THE CONSERVATIVES CAN NEVER GET BACK IN OFFICE. IT IS VERY BAD NEWS FOR THE CONSERVATIVES, AND I DO NOT THINK THAT THEY ARE SHOWING ANY SIGN OF REALLY RECOGNIZING THIS -- NOTHING RADICAL SEEMS TO BE HAPPENING.

    /// END ACT ///

    LOOKING AHEAD, PROFESSOR JONES SAYS THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY -- UNDER NEW LEADER WILLIAM HAGUE -- MUST LEARN THE BITTER LESSONS FROM ITS ELECTORAL DEFEAT.

    /// 4TH JONES ACT ///

    WHAT THE CONSERVATIVES HAVE TO DO IS A VERY LONG HAUL. THEY HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE PROCESS THAT LABOUR WENT THROUGH -- A RADICAL RETHINK, A MAJOR TRANSFORMATION. THERE HAS GOT TO BE NEW THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT BEING CONSERVATIVE MEANS IN AN ERA WHERE THE LABOUR PARTY HAS ADOPTED ALL THE BEST POLICIES OF THE CONSERVATIVES.

    /// END ACT ///

    AS FOR THE RULING LABOUR PARTY, EXPERTS SAY IT MUST GUARD AGAINST THE ARROGANCE A 179-SEAT PARLIAMENTARY MAJORITY MIGHT BRING. ALREADY CRACKS ARE APPEARING IN PARTY UNITY.

    PRIME MINISTER BLAIR HAS MADE CLEAR HE WILL ACT DECISIVELY AGAINST ANY LABOUR MEMBER SHOWING DISLOYALTY TO THE PARTY. BUT IF DISSENT CONTINUES, EXPERTS BELIEVE THE LABOUR PARTY COULD FACE POTENTIALLY DAMAGING INFIGHTING WHICH MAY RESULT IN A LOSS OF PRESTIGE AMONG THE BRITISH PUBLIC. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ADEN/JWH
    22-Dec-97 9:14 AM EST (1414 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [14] YEARENDER: RUSSIA FOREIGN POLICY '97 BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=12/22/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-38504
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: RUSSIA MADE GREAT STRIDES IN DIPLOMACY DURING THE PAST YEAR, PATCHING UP OUTSTANDING BILATERAL DISPUTES, WINNING MEMBERSHIP IN IMPORTANT INTERNATIONAL BODIES, AND EVEN PLAYING A DECISIVE ROLE IN EASING TENSIONS BETWEEN THE UNITED NATIONS AND IRAQ. BUT AS V-O-A MOSCOW CORRESPONDENT PETER HEINLEIN REPORTS, RUSSIA'S FOREIGN POLICY STRATEGISTS STILL ARE STRUGGLING TO ESTABLISH A POST-SOVIET IDENTITY.

    TEXT: FROM THE BEGINNING, 1997 LOOKED LIKE A TOUGH YEAR FOR RUSSIA. PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN WAS ILL, AND THE COUNTRY'S DIPLOMATS WERE DESPERATELY TRYING TO PREVENT THE INEVITABLE -- THE EASTWARD EXPANSION OF NATO.

    BUT AT AN END-OF-YEAR NEWS CONFERENCE, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE IN RUSSIA'S PARLIAMENT, VLADIMIR LUKIN CALLED IT A BREAK-EVEN YEAR.

    /// LUKIN ACT - RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER VOICE OVER ///

    ON THE WHOLE, THE RESULTS OF THIS YEAR HAVE BEEN FIFTY-FIFTY. WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED SOME THINGS, BUT IN MANY IMPORTANT DIRECTIONS, WE HAVE FAILED TO ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING.

    /// END ACT ///

    MANY OF THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS WERE THE RESULT OF PRESIDENT YELTSIN'S PERSONAL DIPLOMACY. THE RUSSIAN LEADER REMAINED HEALTHY MOST OF THE YEAR, AND KEPT UP A HECTIC SCHEDULE OF FOREIGN TRAVELS.

    BUT THERE WAS A DOWN-SIDE TO MR. YELTSIN'S HIGH-PROFILE DIPLOMATIC FORAYS. HE SOMETIMES MISSPOKE. AT A NATO SUMMIT IN PARIS, AND LATER DURING A VISIT TO SWEDEN, HE SURPRISED EVEN HIS OWN STAFF WITH IMPROMPTU DECLARATIONS ON NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT.

    IN BOTH CASES, THE STATEMENTS PROVED TO BE INACCURATE. AFTER THE STOCKHOLM COMMENT, SPOKESMAN SERGEI YASTRZHEMBSKY SUGGESTED THE PRESIDENT WAS SIMPLY TIRED.

    SOME WESTERN DIPLOMATS, HOWEVER, SAY MR. YELTSIN'S BLUNDERS MAY ACTUALLY HAVE A POSITIVE EFFECT. SUCH DRAMATIC GESTURES HELP TO SOFTEN RUSSIA'S TRADITIONALLY CONFRONTATIONAL IMAGE. MOREOVER, ANALYSTS POINT OUT, THERE APPEARS TO BE A LOT OF TRUTH IN WHAT THE RUSSIAN LEADER SAYS, SINCE HE IS THE ULTIMATE FOREIGN POLICY DECISION-MAKER.

    BUT VICTOR KREMENYUK OF MOSCOW'S PRESTIGIOUS U-S-A / CANADA INSTITUTE SAYS MR. YELTSIN'S IMPROMPTU REMARKS GIVE AN IMPRESSION OF CONFUSION IN THE KREMLIN.

    /// KREMENYUK ACT ///

    LIKE FOR EXAMPLE HIS STATEMENT IN STOCKHOLM ABOUT UNILATERAL CUTS IN STRATEGIC FORCES AND CONVENTIONAL FORCES. EVIDENTLY THAT WAS AIMED AT HIS AUDIENCE IN STOCKHOLM, BUT AT THE SAME TIME LEAVING THE IMPRESSION THAT IN SUCH JUMPS OR LEAPS, HE DOES NOT ALWAYS CONSIDER REAL POSSIBILITIES OR THAT THE REPORTS HE RECEIVES FROM HIS PEOPLE ARE WRONG.

    /// END ACT ///

    STILL, THERE IS A BROAD CONSENSUS MR. YELTSIN'S TRAVELS HAVE BEEN OVERWHELMINGLY SUCCESSFUL. FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN LUKIN SAYS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT RESULT WAS IMPROVED TIES WITH EASTERN NEIGHBORS CHINA AND JAPAN.

    /// 2ND LUKIN ACT - RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER VOICEOVER ///

    I CAN SAY THE MAIN PLUS HAS BEEN OUR RELATIONS WITH COUNTRIES OF THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION. WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED A STRATEGIC BREAKTHROUGH BY CONCLUDING A TREATY WITH CHINA ON DEMARCATION OF THE BORDER.

    /// END ACT ///

    RUSSIAN DIPLOMACY ALSO WORKED HARD TO IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH FORMER SOVIET REPUBLICS. IN A BIG STEP TOWARD ENDING YEARS OF MISTRUST WITH UKRAINE, PRESIDENT YELTSIN MADE A MUCH-DELAYED TRIP TO KIEV TO SIGN A TREATY ON CONTROL OF THE BLACK SEA FLEET.

    MR. YELTSIN ALSO FORMALIZED A DEAL WITH BELARUSSIAN PRESIDENT ALEXANDER LUKASHENKO ESTABLISHING A LOOSE UNION BETWEEN MOSCOW AND MINSK.

    /// OPT ///

    BUT FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN LUKIN CALLED THE ACCORD WITH THE AUTHORITARIAN BELARUS LEADER A MISTAKE.

    /// OPT //

    3RD LUKIN ACT - IN RUSSIAN -- FADE UNDER VOICE OVER
    ///

    THE PROBLEM OF BELARUS IS A HEADACHE TO US ALL REGARDLESS OF POLITICAL AFFILIATIONS BECAUSE WE ALL SENSE SOME IMPROPER THINGS ARE GOING ON THERE.

    /// END ACT // END OPT ///

    DIPLOMATIC OBSERVERS SAY MR. YELTSIN'S WIDE-RANGING INITIATIVES HIGHLIGHT A DIFFICULT CHOICE FACING MOSCOW'S FOREIGN POLICY STRATEGISTS. SHOULD RUSSIA'S TOP PRIORITY BE BETTER TIES WITH INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES, OR SHOULD IT ATTEMPT TO STRIKE AN INDEPENDENT COURSE AS A WORLD LEADER.

    VICTOR KREMENYUK OF THE U-S-A CANADA INSTITUTE SAYS THE KREMLIN LACKS A CLEARLY ARTICULATED GLOBAL STRATEGY.

    /// 2ND KREMENYUK ACT ///

    RUSSIA STILL HAS NO FOREIGN POLICY GOALS. THAT STILL IS SOMETHING ONLY IN THE FUTURE. SO FAR, WHAT RUSSIA HAS IS EITHER REMNANTS OF THE SOVIET EMPIRE AND REMNANTS OF SOVIET OBLIGATIONS OR COMMITMENTS, OR THE NEWLY CREATED PROBLEMS WHICH ARE NOT YET SOLVED.

    /// END ACT ///

    AMONG THOSE REMNANTS OF THE SOVIET EMPIRE IS RUSSIA'S CLOSE TIES WITH PARIAH GOVERNMENTS SUCH AS IRAQ, AND IN PARTICULAR RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER YEVGENY PRIMAKOV'S LONG FRIENDSHIP WITH IRAQI LEADER SADDAM HUSSEIN.

    THAT CONNECTION GAVE RUSSIA AN OPPORTUNITY DURING THE YEAR TO MEDIATE THE DISPUTE BETWEEN IRAQ AND THE UNITED NATIONS.

    WESTERN DIPLOMATS CREDIT MOSCOW WITH PLAYING A CONSTRUCTIVE ROLE IN AVERTING A MILITARY CONFRONTATION. BUT FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN LUKIN SAYS SUCH INVOLVEMENT CARRIES WITH IT ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES.

    /// 4TH LUKIN ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER VOICE OVER ///

    DURING THE LATEST CRISIS WITH IRAQ, RUSSIAN DIPLOMACY WAS QUICK TO DERIVE THE MAXIMUM IT COULD FROM THE CRISIS. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS REMAIN WHETHER WE HAVE MANAGED TO PREVENT A MILITARY CONFLICT.

    /// END ACT ///

    AND ON WHAT BEGAN THE YEAR AS RUSSIA'S MAJOR FOREIGN POLICY CHALLENGE, NATO EXPANSION, THE GENERAL CONSENSUS IS THE OUTCOME WAS GENERALLY POSITIVE. THE NATO-RUSSIA FOUNDING ACT SIGNED IN PARIS WAS CONSIDERED A KEY STEP FORWARD IN SETTING A NEW RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FORMER COLD WAR ADVERSARIES..

    ALL IN ALL, AS VLADIMIR LUKIN EXPRESSED IT, THE YEAR ENDED FIFTY-FIFTY. ANOTHER OBSERVER, A WESTERN DIPLOMAT, PREFERRED TO USE THE ANALOGY OF A CARD GAME. HE SAID "RUSSIA MADE THE BEST OF A BAD HAND." (SIGNED)
    NEB/PFH/JWH
    22-Dec-97 5:34 AM EST (1034 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [15] YEARENDER: WORLD ECONOMY BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/22/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-38516
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: DESPITE THE FINANCIAL CRISIS IN ASIA, THE WORLD ECONOMY DID WELL IN 1997 AND IS LIKELY TO DO RELATIVELY WELL IN 1998 ALSO. HOWEVER, V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS RECENT PROJECTIONS FOR GLOBAL ECONOMIC ACTIVITY HAVE BEEN SCALED BACK BECAUSE OF ASIA'S CURRENCY TURMOIL.

    TEXT: WORLD OUTPUT HAS BEEN EXPANDING AT A FOUR PERCENT RATE FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS. GROWTH ACCELERATED SLIGHTLY IN 1996 AND AGAIN IN 1997. UNTIL SIX MONTHS AGO MOST FORECASTERS HAD EXPECTED A FURTHER ACCELERATION IN 1998. BUT NOW OVERALL GROWTH IS EXPECTED TO BE ONLY THREE AND A HALF PERCENT NEXT YEAR. MICHAEL MUSSA, THE CHIEF ECONOMIST AT THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, SAYS THE ASIAN CRISIS WILL HAVE A SIGNFICANT IMPACT ON THE WORLD ECONOMY.

    ///MUSSA ACT///

    FOR 1998 THE DOWNWARD REVISION IN PROJECTED WORLD GROWTH IS A SIGNIFICANT EIGHT TENTHS OF ONE PERCENT. WITH SUBSTANTIAL FURTHER WRITEDOWNS OF THE FORECASTS FOR A NUMBER OF ASIAN EMERGING MARKET ECONOMIES. AND A SIGNIFICANT ONE PERCENT WRITEDOWN IN THE FORECAST FOR JAPAN TO A PROJECTED GROWTH RATE OF JUST ONE POINT ONE PERCENT FOR 1998.

    /// END ACT ///

    ASIA'S FINANCIAL CRISIS IS EXPECTED TO REDUCE GROWTH IN THE ECONOMIES OF THE FOUR BIGGEST ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS TO ONE POINT SEVEN PERCENT NEXT YEAR. THEY HAD BEEN EXPECTED TO GROW BY SIX PERCENT.

    BUT NOT ALL ECONOMIES HAVE BEEN ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY THE ASIAN CRISIS. GROWTH IS PICKING UP IN AFRICA AND IS EXPECTED TO REACH NEARLY FIVE PERCENT NEXT YEAR, A MORE THAN ONE PERCENT INCREASE FROM 1997. THE COUNTRIES MAKING THE TRANSITION FROM COMMUNISM TO CAPITALISM ARE PROJECTED TO GROW BY THREE AND HALF PERCENT COMPARED TO ONLY TWO PERCENT THIS YEAR. THERE WILL BE GROWTH IN RUSSIA FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE COLLAPSE OF COMMUNISM IN 1991. JOHANNES LINN, THE WORLD BANK VICE-PRESIDENT FOR EUROPE, SAYS THE TRANSFORMATION IN RUSSIA HAS TAKEN LONGER THAN EXPECTED.

    /// LINN ACT ///

    IT IS ONLY TWO YEARS SINCE STABILIZATION TOOK SERIOUSLY HOLD IN RUSSIA. AND IN THE I-M-F CROSS COUNTRY EXPERIENCE, IT IS CLEAR THAT IT TAKES ABOUT TWO YEARS AFTER STABILIZATION FOR THE START OF GROWTH TO TAKE PLACE.

    /// END ACT ///

    RUSSIA AND THE FORMER SOVIET REPUBLICS OF CENTRAL ASIA AND THE TRANS-CAUCASUS REGION ARE EXPECTED TO REGISTER GROWTH OF THREE POINT THREE PERCENT IN 1998. EUROPEAN UNION COUNTRIES ARE EXPECTED TO GROW BY NEARLY THREE PERCENT AND THE UNITED STATES BY TWO POINT FOUR PERCENT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/MGB
    22-Dec-97 4:31 PM EST (2131 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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