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Voice of America, 98-11-07

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KURDS / IRAQ (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [02] EASTERN EUROPE / FLOODS (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

  • [01] KURDS / IRAQ (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=11/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-241353
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE LEADER OF ONE THE MAIN KURDISH FACTIONS IN NORTHERN IRAQ SAYS HE IS OPPOSED TO U-S PLANS TO OVERTHROW IRAQI PRESIDENT SADDAM HUSSEIN. MASSOUD BARZANI, LEADER OF THE KURDISTAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY, OR K-D-P, SAYS HIS PARTY DOES NOT AGREE WITH THE U-S GOVERNMENT'S HANDLING OF OPPOSITION GROUPS IN IRAQ. AMBERIN ZAMAN REPORTS FROM ANKARA.

    TEXT: SPEAKING THROUGH AN INTERPRETER AT A NEWS CONFERENCE IN ANKARA SATURDAY, MR. BARZANI SAID HIS TRIP TO WASHINGTON IN OCTOBER DID NOT MEAN THAT HIS PARTY WOULD END ITS DIALOG WITH BAGHDAD.

    //BEGIN BARZANI ACT I//

    IT DOESN'T MEAN WHEN I GO TO WASHINGTON THAT OUR POSITION WILL SHIFT ACCORDINGLY. NO, WE LIVE IN IRAQ AND OUR FUTURE WILL BE DECIDED IN THAT COUNTRY EVEN IF WE ARE AT WAR WITH THE GOVERNMENT, HAVE DIFFERENCES WITH THE GOVERNMENT AND WE HAVE TO SEEK A SETTLEMENT WITHIN THE IRAQI STATE.

    //END BARZANI ACT //

    SOURCES CLOSE TO THE K-D-P LEADER SAY MR. BARZANI DESCRIBES AS "UNREALISTIC" U-S PLANS AS OUTLINED IN THE "IRAQ LIBERATION ACT" THAT WAS RECENTLY PASSED BY THE U-S CONGRESS.

    K-D-P SOURCES SAY THE IRAQI OPPOSITION MOVEMENT -- A LOOSE COALITION OF SUNNI AND SHIA MUSLIMS, CHRISTIANS, ARABS AND KURDS REMAINS DEEPLY SPLIT ALONG IDEOLOGICAL, ETHNIC AND SECTARIAN LINES. THEY SAY THE U-S GOVERNMENT MUST COME UP WITH A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO SADDAM HUSSEIN'S REGIME BEFORE SUPPORTING ANY MOVES TO OVERTHROW THE IRAQI LEADER.

    MR BARZANI ADDED THAT HE DOES NOT FAVOR A MILITARY CONFRONTATION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND IRAQ OVER BAGHDAD'S CONTINUED REFUSAL TO ALLOW U-N WEAPONS INSPECTIONS. HE SAID HE HOPED THE CRISIS WOULD BE RESOLVED THROUGH PEACEFUL MEANS.

    MR. BARZANI ALSO REPEATED ASSURANCES THAT A PEACE AGREEMENT HE SIGNED WITH RIVAL IRAQI KURDISH LEADER JALAL TALABANI IN WASHINGTON LAST MONTH WAS NOT A FIRST STEP TOWARD KURDISH INDEPENDENCE. TURKEY WAS DEEPLY ANGERED BY ITS EXCLUSION FROM THE U-S-BROKERED AGREEMENT, WHICH BRINGS TO AN END MORE THAN FOURS YEARS OF FACTIONAL FIGHTING BETWEEN MR. BARZANI'S K-D-P AND MR. TALABANI'S PATRIOTIC UNION OF KURDISTAN, THE P-U-K. TURKEY WAS ESPECIALLY CONCERNED BY A PROVISION IN THE AGREEMENT SETTING UP A KURDISH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WITHIN IRAQ.

    ANKARA FEELS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SUCH A GOVERNMENT WOULD ENCOURAGE SEPARATIST ASPIRATIONS AMONG TURKEY'S ESTIMATED 12-MILLION KURDS. MR. BARZANI SAID HE HAD REASSURED TURKISH LEADERS THAT THE AGREEMENT WAS PRIMARILY CONCERNED WITH RECONCILIATION AND POSED NO THREAT TO ANY COUNTRY. HE ADDED THAT TURKEY'S SUPPORT WOULD BE "CRUCIAL" IN IMPLEMENTING THE AGREEMENT.

    MR. BARZANI ADDED THAT BOTH HIS PARTY AND THE P-U-K WERE COMMITTED TO STOPPING TURKISH KURD REBELS OF THE OUTLAWED KURDISTAN WORKER'S PARTY -- THE P-K-K -- FROM LAUNCHING ATTACKS AGAINST TURKEY FROM NORTHERN IRAQ.

    MR. TALABANI IS TRAVELING TO TURKEY FOR A MEETING WITH MR. BARZANI SUNDAY TO DISCUSS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WASHINGTON PEACE AGREEMENT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/DW/GE
    07-Nov-98 12:12 PM EST (1712 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] EASTERN EUROPE / FLOODS (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=11/6/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-241336
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN EVACUATED FROM THEIR HOMES IN EASTERN EUROPE, WHICH IS EXPERIENCING ITS WORST FLOODING IN YEARS. STEFAN BOS REPORTS FROM BUDAPEST THAT THE SITUATION IS ESPECIALLY SERIOUS IN HUNGARY, ROMANIA AND UKRAINE.

    TEXT: THOUSANDS OF RESIDENTS HAVE BEEN EVACUATED FROM MORE THAN 100 TOWNS AND VILLAGES IN ROMANIA AND UKRAINE AFTER WHAT EXPERTS CALL THE MOST SERIOUS FLOODS IN DECADES. ON FRIDAY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT LEONID KUCHMA INSPECTED HEAVY FLOOD DAMAGE IN UKRAINE'S CARPATHIAN MOUNTAIN AREA, WHERE SEVERAL PEOPLE DIED AND UP TO FIVE-THOUSAND PEOPLE WERE EVACUATED.

    THE GOVERNMENT HAS PLEDGED 350-THOUSAND DOLLARS TO HELP CLEAN-UP EFFORTS IN THE REGION, WHERE ROADS AND RAIL LINES HAVE BEEN FLOODED AND POWER AND TELEPHONE LINES CUT OFF.

    BUT PANIC STRICKEN VILLAGERS LIVING IN THE IMPOVERISHED AREA TOLD REPORTERS THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE DONE MORE TO PREVENT THE FLOODS.

    // VILLAGER ACT IN HUNGARIAN, FADE UNDER //

    "NOTHING IS DONE BY THE AUTHORITIES, THE DAM IS BROKEN BUT NOBODY CARES," THIS VILLAGERS SAYS. AND HE ADDS: "WE ARE NOT PREPARED FOR THE FLOODS, WE DON'T RECEIVE ANY EQUIPMENT TO PROTECT OUR HOUSES FROM THE RISING WATER. WE CANNOT EVEN COMMUNICATE WITH THE NEIGHBORING FLOODED VILLAGE WHERE OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE LIVING BECAUSE THE TELEPHONE LINES ARE NOT WORKING AND WE DON'T HAVE A BOAT. SO WE DON'T KNOW IF THIS PEOPLE ARE STILL ALIVE."

    HEAVY RAINS ALSO CAUSED FLOODING IN VILLAGES ALONG THE TISZA RIVER, WHICH FORMS PART OF THE BORDER BETWEEN ROMANIA AND UKRAINE AND FLOWS THROUGH EASTERN HUNGARY.

    REGIONAL AUTHORITIES REPORTED THAT IN ROMANIA, SIX-THOUSAND PEOPLE AFFECTED BY THE FLOODS TOOK SHELTER IN THE HILLS, BUT OFFICIALS SAID SOME ELDERLY PERSONS REFUSED TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES.

    IN NEIGHBORING HUNGARY, SOLDIERS WERE TRYING TO PREPARE FOR A POSSIBLE EVACUATION OF UP TO 50-THOUSAND PEOPLE FROM THE EASTERN PART OF THE COUNTRY. FOUR VILLAGES ALREADY HAVE BEEN EVACUATED. (SIGNED) NEB/SB/RRM(SIGNED)
    NEB/SB/RRM
    06-Nov-98 7:16 PM EST (0016 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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