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Voice of America, 99-03-11

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO FIGHTING (L/S VER) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)
  • [02] KOSOVO / MILOSEVIC REJECTS (S&L) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (BELGRADE)
  • [03] KOSOVO / U-S (L ONLY) BY KYLE KING (STATE DEPARTMENT)
  • [04] CONGRESS-KOSOVO DEBATE (L) BY PAULA WOLFSON (CAPITOL HILL)
  • [05] TURKEY / PALESTINIANS (L ONLY) BY DEBORAH TATE (JERUSALEM)
  • [06] TURKEY ISLAM-WOMEN BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ISTANBUL)
  • [07] REACTION MOSTLY NEGATIVE TO SKI LIFT VERDICT BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [08] BANANA TRADE WAR HEATS UP BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [09] E-U-AGRICULTURE (L ONLY) (BRUSSELS)
  • [10] GERMAN MINISTER RESIGNS (L-ONLY) BY JONATHAN BRAUDE (BERLIN)
  • [11] BRITAIN-FRANCE / AFRICA (L-ONLY) BY JOHN PITMAN (ABIDJAN)
  • [12] U-S/IRELAND (L-ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [13] NATO / NEW MEMBERS BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [14] NATO/BALTICS BY PETER HEINLEIN (TALLINN)
  • [15] RUSSIA / NATO BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)
  • [16] U-S / NATO / ROLE BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (PENTAGON)
  • [17] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [18] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] KOSOVO FIGHTING (L/S VER) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)

    DATE=3/11/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246513
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: WITH PROSPECTS FOR A PEACE AGREEMENT IN KOSOVO CONTINUING TO FALTER, MORE FIGHTING HAS BROKEN OUT ACROSS THE SERBIAN PROVINCE THURSDAY. MEANWHILE, A KEY ETHNIC ALBANIAN REBEL LEADER IS REPORTEDLY ANXIOUS TO HOLD A MEETING AND SIGN UP TO THE NATO-BACKED PEACE DEAL. PHILIP SMUCKER REPORTS FROM THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL, PRISTINA.

    TEXT: SERBIAN FORCES ARE PRESSING MORE TANKS AND ANTI-AIRCRAFT WEAPONS INTO ACTION AGAINST ETHNIC ALBANIAN REBELS IN KOSOVO. THE TEAM MONITORING KOSOVO'S BATTERED TRUCE REPORTED HEAVY FIGHTING THURSDAY NEAR THE TOWN OF PRIZREN IN THE SOUTHWEST OF THE PROVINCE.

    KOSOVO VERIFICATION MISSION SPOKESMAN BEATRICE LACOSTE SAYS YUGOSLAV FORCES OPENED UP WITH TANKS AND ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUNS ON VILLAGERS NEAR PRIZREN THURSDAY MORNING. FIGHTING CONTINUED THROUGH THE DAY AS THE TRUCE VERIFIERS DISCOVERED THE DEAD BODIES OF TWO ALBANIANS. MEANWHILE, REBEL CHIEFS OF THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN "KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY," THE K-L-A, PREPARED TO MEET FOLLOWING THE CALL BY ONE OF THEIR KEY LEADERS, WHO IS REPORTEDLY ANXIOUS TO SIGN THE NATO-BACKED PEACE DEAL NEGOTIATED LAST MONTH NEAR PARIS.

    ///REST OPT FOR SHORT VERSION ///

    THE MEETING COMES AS KOSOVO'S PEACE PROCESS STANDS ON THE VERGE OF COLLAPSE, WITH YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC MAINTAINING HIS DEFIANT STAND IN OPPOSITION TO HAVING NATO-LED PEACEKEEPING TROOPS IN THE SERBIAN PROVINCE.

    ETHNIC ALBANIAN REBELS SAY THEY'RE PLEASED WITH THE DIPLOMATIC FAILURE BY U-S SPECIAL ENVOY RICHARD HOLBROOKE TO CONVINCE MR. MILOSEVIC TO CHANGE HIS STANCE. NEITHER THE SERBIAN NOR ALBANIAN SIDE HAS SIGNED ON TO THE INTERIM PEACE PLAN NEGOTIATED LAST MONTH NEAR PARIS. THE EDITOR OF PRISTINA'S ENGLISH-LANGUAGE "K-D TIMES," DUKAGJIN GORANI, SAYS THE K-L-A FEARS THAT MR. HOLBROOKE WILL MAKE A DEAL WITH THE YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT THAT COULD RELEGATE THEIR ARMED STRUGGLE TO OBLIVION.

    REBEL LEADER HASHIM THAQI, THE HEAD OF THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY'S POLITICAL DIRECTORATE, HAS RETURNED TO KOSOVO. SLIPPING IN CLANDESTINELY FROM ACROSS THE ALBANIAN BORDER, MR. THAQI, KNOWN TO HIS COMRADES AS "THE SNAKE," TELEPHONED ASSOCIATES IN PRISTINA WEDNESDAY TO ACKNOWLEDGE HIS INTENTION TO PUSH FOR APPROVAL OF THE PEACE DEAL.

    K-L-A OFFICIALS SAY THAT IF THE ONGOING FIGHTING DOES NOT OVERWHELM PEACE EFFORTS, THEY ARE PREPARED TO SIGN UP FOR THE DEAL THAT WOULD PUT SOME 28-THOUSAND NATO-LED TROOPS ON KOSOVO SOIL. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PS/PCF
    11-Mar-99 1:34 PM EST (1834 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] KOSOVO / MILOSEVIC REJECTS (S&L) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (BELGRADE)

    DATE=3/10/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246480
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S ENVOY RICHARD HOLBROOKE APPARENTLY HAS FAILED TO CONVINCE YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TO ACCEPT A KOSOVO PEACE DEAL. SPEAKING TO REPORTERS IN BELGRADE LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT, AFTER MORE THAN EIGHT HOURS OF TALKS WITH MR. MILOSEVIC, THE AMERICAN ENVOY SAID THE YUGOSLAV POSITION HAS NOT CHANGED. PHILIP SMUCKER HAS MORE FROM THE YUGOSLAV CAPITAL.

    TEXT: MR. HOLBROOKE SAYS MR. MILOSEVIC'S OPPOSITION TO THE PEACE DEAL IN KOSOVO HAS NOT CHANGED.

    MR. MILOSEVIC'S OWN STATE NEWS AGENCY, TANJUG, QUOTES HIM AS SAYING "FOREIGN TROOPS HAVE NO BUSINESS ON OUR SOIL."

    NATO IS OFFERING TO SEND 28-THOUSAND PEACEKEEPERS TO KOSOVO, WHICH HAS BEEN TORN BY A CIVIL WAR BETWEEN THE PROVINCE'S ETHNIC ALBANIANS AND SERBS. THE WESTERN ALLIANCE HAS THREATENED SERBIA WITH AIR STRIKES IF ALBANIANS ACCEPT THE PEACE DEAL AND MR. MILOSEVIC REJECTS IT.

    A FRESH ROUND OF PEACE TALKS IS SCHEDULED NEAR PARIS EARLY NEXT WEEK.

    MR. HOLBROOKE -- WHO APPARENTLY DID NOT THREATEN NATO AIR STRIKES AGAINST THE SERBIAN LEADER IF HE DID NOT ACCEPT THE PEACE DEAL -- SAYS HE BELIEVES MR. MILOSEVIC UNDERSTOOD THAT A NATO ACTIVATION ORDER FOR BOMBING REMAINS IN EFFECT.

    MR. HOLBROOKE SAID HE DID NOT DISCUSS NATO AIR STRIKES AS HE WAS ON A MISSION FROM THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT ONLY.

    /// REST OPT ///

    WITHOUT MR. MILOSEVIC'S APPROVAL OF A PEACE PLAN FOR KOSOVO, THE SERBIAN PROVINCE FACES THE PROSPECT OF MORE ETHNIC BLOOD-SHED.

    WESTERN PEACE MONITORS REPORTED FRESH FIGHTING ALL DAY WEDNESDAY IN CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN KOSOVO. THOUSANDS OF ETHNIC ALBANIAN REFUGEES HAVE FLED RECENT FIGHTING. MEN IN CIVILIAN CLOTHES HAVE BEEN DIVIDED FROM WOMEN AND CHILDREN AND TAKEN PRISONER BY THE SERBIAN AUTHORITIES.

    WESTERN DIPLOMATS SAY THE YUGOSLAV ARMY'S MOVES IN SOUTHERN KOSOVO ARE AIMED AT PREPARING FOR BOTH NATO AIR STRIKES AND NATO GROUND TROOPS. WESTERN OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE ALSO DESIGNED TO SECURE THE BORDER AREAS AND REMOVE UNWANTED ALBANIAN VILLGERS.

    WESTERN DIPLOMATS SAY MR. HOLBROOKE'S HANDS WERE TIED DURING HIS TALKS WITH MR. MILOSEVIC, BECAUSE ETHNIC ALBANIAN REBELS HAVE NOT YET MADE GOOD ON THEIR PROMISE TO SIGN UP FOR THE KOSOVO PEACE DEAL. WITHOUT THE ALBANIANS' AGREEMENT, MR. MILOSEVIC CAN NOT BE FORCED TO ACCEPT IT, THEY SAY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/WTW
    10-Mar-99 8:17 PM EST (0117 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] KOSOVO / U-S (L ONLY) BY KYLE KING (STATE DEPARTMENT)

    DATE=3/11/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246520
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S OFFICIALS SAY EFFORTS TO REACH A SETTLEMENT IN KOSOVO ARE BEING HAMPERED BY THE RELUCTANCE OF ETHNIC ALBANIAN LEADERS TO SIGN THE U-S BACKED PEACE PLAN. FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT, VOA'S KYLE KING REPORTS.

    TEXT: ETHNIC ALBANIAN LEADERS FROM KOSOVO HAD PROMISED THEY WOULD SIGN THE WESTERN BACKED PEACE PLAN ON SUNDAY. BUT, WITH JUST DAYS TO GO BEFORE PEACE TALKS ARE DUE TO RESUME IN FRANCE, THEY STILL HAVE NOT DONE SO.

    STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN JAMES RUBIN SAYS THAT FACT HAS HURT EFFORTS TO PRESSURE THE SERBS TO ACCEPT THE PLAN.

    // RUBIN ACT //

    I THINK ALL OF US WOULD BE IN A BETTER POSITION TO PUT MILITARY PRESSURE ON THE SERBS AND THEREFORE BE ABLE TO CONVINCE PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC TO ALLOW NATO IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS AGREEMENT, IF THE KOSOVO ALBANIANS WERE TO SIGN THE AGREEMENT. IT IS THE SIGNING OF THAT AGREEMENT THAT ALLOWS THE MILITARY PRESSURE TO BUILD UP ON PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC, WITHOUT WHICH IT IS HARD TO IMAGINE HIM ALLOWING THE NECESSARY NATO FORCES TO HAVE A PEACE AGREEMENT.

    // END ACT //

    NATO HAS THREATENED TO USE MILITARY FORCE AGAINST PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC IF HE FAILS TO ACCEPT THE TERMS OF THE AGREEMENT. THE THREAT HAS NOT BEEN INVOKED, BECAUSE NEITHER SIDE HAS SIGNED.

    THE STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS IT CAN NOT FORCE AN AGREEMENT ON THE TWO PARTIES, THEY MUST MAKE THE DECISIONS THEMSELVES.

    PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC HAS STEADFASTLY REJECTED A KEY MILITARY ANNEX TO THE PEACE PLAN, THAT CALLS FOR THE PRESENCE OF 28-THOUSAND NATO PEACEKEEPING TROOPS IN KOSOVO.

    U-S SPECIAL ENVOY RICHARD HOLBROOKE ENDED TWO DAYS OF TALKS WITH MR. MILOSEVIC ON SUNDAY, SAYING HE HAD FAILED TO WIN ANY CHANGE IN THE SERBIAN LEADER'S POSITION.

    IN ANOTHER SETBACK FOR THE ADMINISTRATION, SOME MEMBERS OF THE CONGRESS HAVE BECOME INCREASINGLY CRITICAL OF U-S DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS. WEDNESDAY, SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT FAILED TO PERSUADE THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO DELAY A VOTE ON WHETHER U-S TROOPS SHOULD PARTICIPATE IN ANY KOSOVO PEACEKEEPING FORCE. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN JAMES RUBIN SAYS SUCH A DEBATE SHOULD COME AFTER AN AGREEMENT IS REACHED.

    // RUBIN ACT TWO //

    WE BELIEVE THAT THIS COULD BE A COMPLICATING FACTOR THAT COULD DESTROY THE ABILITY OF THE PEACE PROCESS THAT WE HAVE INSTITUTED TO WORK. WE HAVE MADE CLEAR TO MEMBERS OF CONGRESS THAT THERE WILL BE TIME TO DEBATE THIS ISSUE.

    // END ACT //

    SECRETARY OF STATE ALBRIGHT SAYS ANY SHOW OF CONGRESSIONAL OPPOSITION TO THE USE OF AMERICAN TROOPS TO ENFORCE THE PLAN, COULD GIVE A GREEN LIGHT TO THE PARTIES TO RESUME FIGHTING.

    DESPITE THE APPARENT SETBACKS, OFFICIALS SAY THEY HAVE TO KEEP PUSHING FOR A SETTLEMENT TO PREVENT EVENTS IN KOSOVO FROM SPINNING BACK OUT OF CONTROL AS THE WINTER ENDS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/ENE/PT
    11-Mar-99 3:46 PM EST (2046 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] CONGRESS-KOSOVO DEBATE (L) BY PAULA WOLFSON (CAPITOL HILL)

    DATE=3/11/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246515
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: MEMBERS OF THE U-S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ARE DEBATING THE POSSIBLE DEPLOYMENT OF AMERICAN PEACEKEEPERS TO KOSOVO. THEIR DECISION IS NOT BINDING ON PRESIDENT CLINTON. BUT AS V-O-A'S PAULA WOLFSON REPORTS, DEMOCRATS WORRY THAT A POLITICALLY-CHARGED DEBATE COULD HARM EFFORTS TO BROKER AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN SERBS AND KOSOVO'S ETHNIC ALBANIAN MAJORITY.

    TEXT: REPUBLICANS SAY THEY HAVE A DUTY TO DEBATE A PENDING DEPLOYMENT. DEMOCRATS ARGUE THE TIMING OF THE DEBATE MAY DAMAGE PROSPECTS FOR PEACE. SPEAKER (OF THE HOUSE) DENNIS HASTERT DENIES THAT POLITICS IS DRIVING THE HOUSE TO ACT.

    ///HASTERT ACT///

    WE ARE HERE TO DISCUSS SENSITIVE ISSUES OF POLICY, AND NOT PERSONALITY.

    ////END ACT/////

    THE TOP DEMOCRAT IN THE HOUSE - - RICHARD GEPHARDT - - IS SKEPTICAL.

    ////GEPHARDT ACT////

    TO CONDUCT A DIVISIVE DEBATE IN CONGRESS AND PERHAPS FAIL TO SUPPORT OUR GOVERNMENT'S EFFORTS IS THE HEIGHT OF IRRESPONSIBILITY AND THREATENS THE HOPE FOR AN AGREEMENT TO HALT THE BLOODSHED AND PREVENT THE WIDENING OF THIS WAR.

    ////END ACT////

    TENSIONS INCREASED THROUGHOUT THE OPENING HOURS OF THE DEBATE, AS SPEAKER HASTERT'S APPEAL FOR A SOLEMN DISCUSSION FELL VICTIM TO PARTISANSHIP.

    SOME REPUBLICANS QUESTIONED THE PRESIDENT'S MOTIVES, SAYING MR. CLINTON WOULD LIKE TO SHUT CONGRESS OUT OF THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS. PORTER GOSS OF FLORIDA SAID IF LAWMAKERS WANT A VOICE, THEY MUST SPEAK OUT NOW.

    /////GOSS ACT/////

    WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO DEBATE THE ISSUE? THE ANSWER IS BEFORE OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM ARE PLACED IN HARM'S WAY

    /////END ACT/////

    (OPT) AT TIMES, THE DEBATE TURNED PERSONAL. OHIO DEMOCRAT TONY HALL'S HOME TOWN WAS HOST TO THE BOSNIAN PEACE TALKS. HE URGED CONGRESS TO DELAY.

    //HALL ACT//

    THE TIME IS NOT TODAY. WE IN DAYTON, OHIO KNOW ABOUT PEACE NEGOTIATIONS IN KOSOVO AND SERBIA. WE KNOW HOW SENSITIVE THEY CAN BE. WE KNOW HOW IMPORTANT THEY CAN BE BECAUSE FOR A BRIEF MOMENT THE NEGOTIATIONS OF THE 1995 ACCORD LIVED IN MY COMMUNITY.

    ///END ACT (END OPT)///

    THERE IS A WIDE VARIETY OF VIEWS ON KOSOVO IN CONGRESS AND THE OUTCOME OF THE DEBATE IS UNCERTAIN. THE SENATE IS EXPECTED TO TAKE UP THE ISSUE NEXT WEEK. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PW/ENE/GE
    11-Mar-99 2:06 PM EST (1906 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] TURKEY / PALESTINIANS (L ONLY) BY DEBORAH TATE (JERUSALEM)

    DATE=3/11/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246505
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE SPEAKER OF TURKEY'S PARLIAMENT, HEKMET CETIN, IS UNDERSCORING HIS COUNTRY'S SUPPORT FOR AN INDEPENDENT PALESTINIAN STATE. HIS COMMENTS CAME THURSDAY DURING A VISIT TO THE WEST BANK COME. THEY ALSO COME AS PALESTINIAN LEADER YASSER ARAFAT IS WEIGHING WHETHER TO MOVE AHEAD WITH A PLANNED UNILATERAL DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE IN TWO MONTHS. V-O-A'S DEBORAH TATE REPORTS FROM JERUSALEM.

    TEXT: MR. CETIN IS IN THE REGION PRIMARILY TO MEET WITH ISRAELI OFFICIALS AS ISRAEL AND TURKEY SEEK CLOSER RELATIONS.

    ON THURSDAY, HE MET WITH PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU AND HIS ISRAELI COUNTERPART, KNESSET SPEAKER MAXIM LEVY, TO REVIEW A RANGE OF ISSUES FROM DEFENSE COOPERATION TO ECONOMIC ISSUES.

    BUT THE TURKISH OFFICIAL ALSO MADE TIME FOR A MEETING WITH A TOP PALESTINIAN OFFICIAL, ABU ALA, OF THE PALESTINIAN LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL.

    SPEAKING IN RAMALLAH, MR. CETIN MADE CLEAR HIS COUNTRY'S SUPPORT FOR PALESTINIAN INDEPENDENCE.

    // CETIN ACTUALITY //

    WE HAVE ADDITIONAL REASON TO BE PLEASED WITH A PALESTINIAN INDEPENDENT STATE. I THINK THE MIDDLE EAST WILL HAVE ANOTHER MODERN, DEMOCRATIC AND SECULAR COUNTRY IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD, WHICH BENEFIT NOT ONLY PALESTINE AND OTHERS BUT WILL BENEFIT THE WHOLE REGION.

    // END ACT //

    WHILE TURKEY'S POSITION ON THE ISSUE IS NOT NEW -- IT WAS AMONG THE FIRST COUNTRIES TO EXPRESS SUPPORT WHEN MR. ARAFAT RAISED THE STATEHOOD ISSUE IN TUNIS IN 1989 -- MR. CETIN'S COMMENTS ARE ATTRACTING ATTENTION BECAUSE OF THE TIMING.

    MR. ARAFAT IS WEIGHING WHETHER TO POSTPONE A UNILATERAL DECLARATION OF STATEHOOD ON MAY FOURTH -- THE DATE SET IN INTERIM ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE ACCORDS FOR THE COMPLETION OF A FINAL PEACE TREATY.

    PALESTINIAN OFFICIALS SAY HE WILL AGREE TO DO SO ONLY IF EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES PROMISE TO RECOGNIZE STATEHOOD AT A LATER DATE.

    //REST OPT//

    MR. ARAFAT IS CURRENTLY IN BRITAIN TO DISCUSS THE ISSUE WITH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR. HE ALSO PLANS TO MEET WITH U-S PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON ON THE MATTER MARCH 23RD.

    ON WEDNESDAY, THE U-S AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL, EDWARD WALKER, SAID WASHINGTON HAS ASKED MR. ARAFAT TO POSTPONE THE DECLARATION.

    ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU OPPOSES PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD, AND HAS MADE IT A KEY CAMPAIGN ISSUE AHEAD OF ELECTIONS MAY 17TH. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAT/PCF
    11-Mar-99 11:56 AM EST (1656 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] TURKEY ISLAM-WOMEN BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ISTANBUL)

    DATE=3/11/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42827
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: TURKEY'S ISLAMIST "VIRTUE PARTY" IS RUNNING WOMEN CANDIDATES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS SCHEDULED TO BE HELD ON APRIL 18TH. THE DECISION IS IN LINE WITH THE RELIGIOUS PARTY'S EFFORTS TO MOVE TO A MORE CENTRIST POSITION. BUT VIRTUE'S RIVALS ARGUE THAT BECAUSE SOME OF ITS WOMEN CANDIDATES STILL WEAR THE ISLAMIC-STYLE HEADSCARVES, THEIR GOAL IS CONTRADICTED. AMBERIN ZAMAN INTERVIEWED SEVERAL FEMALE VIRTUE CANDIDATES ABOUT THE PARTY'S MOVE AND FILED THIS REPORT FROM ISTANBUL.

    TEXT: SITTING BELOW A PICTURE OF THE FOUNDER OF MODERN TURKEY, KEMAL ATATURK, A U-S-TRAINED COMPUTER ENGINEERING GRADUATE NAMED MERVE KAVAKCI EXUDES CONFIDENCE AS SHE EXPLAINS WHY SHE IS RUNNING FOR PARLIAMENT ON THE ISLAMIST "FAZILET" OR "VIRTUE" PARTY'S TICKET.

    ///KAVAKCI ACT///

    FAZILET PARTY IS A VERY NEW PARTY WHICH FIGHTS FOR DEMOCRACY IN ALL PLATFORMS AND ADVOCATING HUMAN RIGHTS AND ALL KINDS OF FREEDOM. AND WHEN IT COMES TO RELIGION, ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT EVERYBODY IS EQUAL FOR FAZILET PARTY. //OPT// IF HE IS A MUSLIM AND NON-MUSLIM, ALEVI OR NOT, OR JEWISH OR NOT -- IT DOES NOT MATTER THE BACKGROUND THEY ARE COMING FROM. EVERYBODY IS WELCOME TO FAZILET PARTY. //END OPT//

    /// END ACT ///

    MISS KAVAKCI SAYS SHE COVERS HER HEAD IN DEFERENCE TO THE ISLAMIC HOLY BOOK THE KORAN. SHE SAYS IT IS HER PERSONAL CHOICE AND DOES NOT REFLECT ANY POLITICAL VIEWS.

    BUT VIRTUE'S PRO-SECULAR CRITICS DISAGREE. THEY BELIEVE THAT THE HEADSCARF BANNED NEARLY THREE-QUARTERS OF A CENTURY AGO BY ATATURK REFLECTS WHAT THEY CALL VIRTUE'S "REAL AGENDA" -- WHICH THEY SAY IS TO INTRODUCE ISLAMIC POLITICAL RULE.

    AMID CLAIMS THAT IT WAS SEEKING TO DO JUST THAT, VIRTUE'S PREDECESSOR -- THE ISLAMIST "WELFARE" PARTY -- WAS FORCED OUT OF POWER BY TURKEY'S RIGIDLY PRO-SECULAR ARMED FORCES TWO YEARS AGO.

    //OPT//

    LAST YEAR, THE WELFARE PARTY WAS BANNED BY THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT ON SIMILAR CHARGES. WELFARE PARTY LEADER NECMETTIN ERBAKAN WAS BARRED FROM POLITICS FOR THE COMING FIVE YEARS. //END OPT//

    FEW ANALYSTS BELIEVE THAT THE VIRTUE PARTY WILL BE INVITED TO FORM THE NEXT GOVERNMENT, EVEN IF IT WINS THE ELECTIONS.

    NAZLI ILICAK, A PROMINENT RIGHT-WING JOURNALIST WHO DOES NOT COVER HER HEAD, IS ALSO RUNNING FOR A SECURE SEAT ON VIRTUE'S TICKET FROM ISTANBUL. MRS. ILICAK SAYS SHE JOINED VIRTUE BECAUSE SHE BELIEVES IT STANDS FOR WHAT SHE DESCRIBES AS "MORAL INTEGRITY" RATHER THAN ISLAMIC PRINCIPLES AND BECAUSE SHE IS OPPOSED TO THE MILITARY'S ROLE IN POLITICS.

    /// ILICAK ACT IN TURKISH -- ESTABLISH AND FADE UNDER TEXT ///

    MRS. ILICAK ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THE MAJORITY OF VIRTUE MEMBERS ARE DEVOUT MUSLIMS. BUT THIS, SHE ARGUES, MAKES THEM IN HER WORDS "GOOD PEOPLE" AND NOT ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISTS WHO ARE OUT TO OVERTURN THE SECULAR ORDER. MRS ILICAK AGREES THAT SECULARISM CALLS FOR A SEPARATION BETWEEN RELIGION AND POLITICS. BUT IT ALSO GUARANTEES FREEDOM OF WORSHIP, SHE SAYS.

    //OPT//

    MRS ILICAK SAYS SECULARISM IN TURKEY, HOWEVER, ONLY ACCOMMODATES THOSE WHO CONFORM TO THE MILITARY-LED SECULAR ELITE'S IDEA OF WHAT EVERY TURK SHOULD ACT AND LOOK LIKE. IT EXCLUDES OVERT EXPRESSION OF PIETY SHE SAYS. //END OPT//

    BANS ON THE ISLAMIC HEADSCARF IN STATE UNIVERSITIES AND GOVERNMENT OFFICES ARE BEING MORE RIGIDLY ENFORCED THAN EVER UNDER THE MINORITY LEFT-WING GOVERNMENT OF PRIME MINISTER BULENT ECEVIT. BUT BOTH MRS ILICAK AND MISS KAVAKCI ARGUE THAT THE BANS ARE UNDEMOCRATIC AND SHOULD NOT BE EXTENDED TO THE TURKISH PARLIAMENT. SHOULD SHE BE ELECTED NEXT MONTH, MISS KAVAKCI WILL BECOME ONE OF THE FIRST COVERED WOMEN IN TURKISH HISTORY TO SIT IN THE 550-MEMBER TURKISH LEGISLATURE.

    /// SECOND KAVACKI ACT ///

    //OPT//

    THE PARLIAMENT OF TURKEY IS THE PARLIAMENT OF THE NATION OF TURKEY. IF THEY WANT TO SEE ME THERE THEY SEND ME THERE BY VOTING (FOR) ME. AND IF THEY WANT TO SEE ME THERE, THEN THEY WILL. //END OPT// OF COURSE I WILL BE OBEYING THE RULES OF THE DRESS CODE AND ALL THAT, AND I DO NOT SEE ANY PROBLEM IF WE ARE CHOSEN TO BE A MEMBER OF THE PARLIAMENT, SINCE THE PARLIAMENT IT IS THE PARLIAMENT OF THE TURKISH NATION. //OPT// AND IT IS ONLY THE NATION OF TURKEY WHOM CAN DECIDE TO SEND US THERE OR NOT. //END OPT//

    /// END ACT ///

    ANALYSTS SAY IT IS TOO EARLY PREDICT JUST HOW TURKEY'S PARLIAMENT WILL REACT, IF WOMEN LIKE MISS KAVACKI ARE ELECTED. WHAT IS CLEAR, THEY SAY, IS THAT FOR THE MAJORITY OF TURKS WHO REMAIN FIRMLY WEDDED TO THE PRO-SECULAR PRINCIPLES LAID DOWN BY ATATURK, THE HEADSCARF REMAINS A SYMBOL OF RELIGIOUS OPPRESSION -- NOT THAT OF THE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, SUCH AS MISS KAVACKI AND HER FELLOW VIRTUE MEMBERS INSIST THEY ARE SEEKING TO INTRODUCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/PCF
    11-Mar-99 11:42 AM EST (1642 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] REACTION MOSTLY NEGATIVE TO SKI LIFT VERDICT BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=03/11/99
    TYPE=WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-11187
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: WORLD PRESS REACTION IS OVERWHELMINGLY NEGATIVE TO LAST WEEK'S COURT-MARTIAL VERDICT OF NOT GUILTY FOR THE PILOT OF A MARINE CORPS JET THAT CLIPPED A SKI-LIFT GONDOLA CABLE IN ITALY LAST YEAR, SENDING 20 SKIERS TO THEIR DEATHS.

    WE GET A SAMPLING NOW FROM ______________ IN THIS WEEK'S WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP.

    TEXT: IT WAS LAST FEBRUARY THAT A MARINE CORPS PROWLER JET WITH FOUR CREWMEN, FLYING WELL BELOW ESTABLISHED NATO FLIGHT MINIMUMS AND FASTER THAN REGULATIONS ALLOW, CUT THE CABLE OF AN ITALIAN SKI LIFT NEAR CAVALESE. A CABLE CAR FILLED WITH SKIERS FELL SEVERAL HUNDRED METERS TO THE GROUND, KILLING EVERYONE ABROAD, WHILE THE DAMAGED JET RETURNED TO AVIANO AIR BASE.

    AFTER A TRIAL IN NORTH CAROLINA, A MARINE COURT-MARTIAL BOARD DECIDED THE PILOT, CAPTAIN RICHARD ASHBY, WAS NOT GUILTY OF 20 COUNTS OF MANSLAUGHTER. THE U-S PRESS HAS DEMANDED THAT THE GOVERNMENT SPEED UP AND INCREASE ITS SETTLEMENT OFFERS TO THE VICTIM'S FAMILIES. BUT NEWSPAPERS AROUND THE WORLD ARE EVEN MORE UPSET, SUGGESTING THE INCIDENT COULD FRACTURE U-S - EUROPEAN RELATIONS.

    AS YOU WOULD EXPECT, THE MOST OUTRAGE IS IN ITALY. IN THE NORTH, HOWEVER, MILAN'S "CORRIERE DELLA SERA" SEES TWO SIDES OF THE PROBLEM.

    VOICE: AS THE MOST INTELLIGENT AMERICANS HAVE IMMEDIATELY REALIZED, THE MILITARY JURY AT CAMP LEJEUNE HAS MANAGED TO CAUSE MORE DAMAGE TO ITS COUNTRY THAN ALL THE TERRORIST GROUPS -- ISLAMIC OR NOT -- CURRENTLY AT WAR AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. ... THE LONELY SUPERPOWER, NOW THAT THE GLOBAL THREAT HAS DISAPPEARED, CAN NOT BUT PROVOKE GROWING IMPATIENCE ON THE PART OF ITS TRADITIONAL ALLIES. ... NOW WE COME TO THE SECOND ASPECT OF THE PROBLEM -- EUROPEAN CHILDISHNESS. THE EUROPEANS CONTINUE TO DEPEND ON THE UNITED STATES FOR THEIR SECURITY. ... UNTIL THEY ARE IN A POSITION TO ... TAKE CARE OF THEIR OWN SECURITY, THEIR COMPLAINTS ABOUT AMERICAN ARROGANCE WILL CONTINUE TO BE RIDICULOUS...

    TEXT: FARTHER SOUTH, ROME'S "IL MESSAGGERO" COMMENTED:

    VOICE: THE MILITARY JURY ... HAS ACTED UNFAIRLY. BUT EVEN MORE UNFAIR WAS BILL CLINTON WHEN ... HE THOUGHT HE COULD WASH HIS HANDS OF THIS MATTER BY PROMISING A SUBSTANTIAL ECONOMIC COMPENSATION FOR THE FAMILIES OF THE VICTIMS. THE U-S PRESIDENT SPOKE AS THE HIGHEST REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SOCIETY OF THE DOLLAR -- THAT SOCIETY WHICH HIDES ALL OF AMERICA'S ARROGANCE...

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: MILAN'S "IL SOLE-24-ORE" SAYS ALL POLITICAL FACETS OF THE ITALIAN POPULATION ARE UNITED ON THIS ISSUE.

    VOICE: NEVER IN THE HISTORY OF REPUBLICAN ITALY HAS ... [A] PRIME MINISTER GONE TO THE WHITE HOUSE WITH A UNITED NATION BEHIND HIM, ANGRY AND ASKING AMERICA FOR A SIGN OF JUSTICE. ... THERE IS NO ITALIAN - - FROM THE LEFT TO THE RIGHT, CATHOLIC, PACIFIST OR COMMUNIST -- WHO DOES NOT FEEL HUMILIATED BY THE VERDICT...

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: AND IN BOLOGNA, "IL RESTO DEL CARLINO" FUMED:

    VOICE: WE REJECT THE "NOT GUILTY" MESSAGE FROM CAMP LEJEUNE. EVERY COUNTRY HAS ITS OWN LEGISLATION AND PUNISHES THOSE WHO DO NOT RESPECT IT. BUT NO LEGAL SYSTEM WOULD EVER CONVINCE US THAT THOSE WHO MAKE A MISTAKE SHOULD NOT PAY FOR IT.

    TEXT: JUST OVER THE ALPS, WHERE THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED, GERMAN REACTION IN MUNICH, FROM "SUEDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG," COUPLED THIS CASE WITH OTHER U-S FAILINGS.

    VOICE: ...THE MORE THE WORLD THINKS IT IS DEPENDENT ON THE WELL-BEING OF THE UNITED STATES, THE MORE THE COUNTRY FOCUSES ON ITSELF. ... THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE AMERICANS FROM THE GLOBAL THEATER, THE IGNORANCE OF THE COUNTRY OF EVERYTHING THAT IS FOREIGN HAS FATAL CONSEQUENCES. FOREIGN-POLICY DECISIONS ARE MADE WITH A VIEW TO DOMESTIC POLICY IMPLICATIONS. A GOVERNOR DOES NOT FEEL OBLIGED TO ABIDE BY INTERNATIONAL LAW [EDS: A REFERENCE TO THE RECENT EXECUTION IN ARIZONA OF TWO GERMAN NATIONALS CONVICTED OF MURDER] AND NEED NOT EVEN RECKON WITH CRITICISM BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE. ... AT THE SAME TIME, THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE DARES TO GIVE GRADES ON RESPECT OF LAW AND ORDER IN THE WORLD. MEANWHILE, A WEST AFRICAN IS RIDDLED WITH BULLETS IN A CASE OF POLICE BRUTALITY IN NEW YORK...

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: IN GERMANY'S FINANCIAL CENTER, THERE IS NO SYMPATHY FOR THE MARINES, EITHER. FROM THE "FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU":

    VOICE: THE IRRESPONSIBLE RULING AND THE TRIUMPHANT BEHAVIOR OF THE PILOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE KILLINGS ARE A MOCKERY TO THE RELATIVES OF THE VICTIMS. RIGHT FROM THE START, U-S AUTHORITIES SEEMED TO BE MORE INTERESTED IN GETTING ONE OF THEIR OWN OFFICERS OUT OF THE MESS THAN IN CREATING CLARITY AND JUSTICE...

    TEXT: AND IN SMALLER BAYREUTH, "NORDBAYERISCHER KURIER" EXCLAIMS:

    VOICE: WITH SUCH THOUGHTLESS, CHAUVINIST BEHAVIOR, ACCORDING TO THE MOTTO "MY COUNTRY RIGHT OR WRONG," CERTAIN CIRCLES IN THE UNITED STATES ARE CARELESSLY SACRIFICING THE REPUTATION WHICH THE UNITED STATES HAS GAINED FOR ITS SUPPORT OF HUMAN RIGHTS, ITS FIGHT AGAINST IRAQ, AND FOR ITS PEACE EFFORTS IN THE BALKANS. ... THE RESPONSIBLE NARROW-MINDED PEOPLE DO NOT EVEN REALIZE WHAT KIND OF FOREIGN POLICY DAMAGE THEY ARE CREATING...

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: IN A FINAL NOTE FROM GERMANY, A COMMENTATOR IN BAVARIA'S "MUENCHENER MERKUR" SUGGESTS:

    VOICE: ...IN THEIR FIGHT FOR JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS ALL OVER THE WORLD, THE AMERICANS SHOULD NOT FORGET THEIR OWN COUNTRY.

    TEXT: TURNING TO RUSSIA, THERE IS ANOTHER, VEILED REFERENCE TO THE TWO GERMANS EXECUTED IN ARIZONA, IN A COMMENTARY ABOUT THE SKI-LIFT TRAGEDY BY MOSCOW'S "KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA."

    VOICE: IT APPEARS THAT IN THE UNITED STATES, KILLING A PERSON IN A BANK ROBBERY WILL [EARN] YOU A LETHAL INJECTION IN PRISON. BUT IN EUROPE, AN AMERICAN CAN GET AWAY WITH KILLING 20 PEOPLE.

    TEXT: IN NEARBY AUSTRIA, VIENNA'S "DIE PRESSE" COMMENTS ON ITS FRONT PAGE:

    VOICE: THE IMPRESSION IS THAT THE U-S [PLANE AND ITS CREW] ... DID NOT BEHAVE AS (NATO) ALLIES DO, BUT RATHER LIKE OCCUPYING TROOPS. ONE DOES NOT NEED TO PONDER FURTHER WHAT THIS WILL MEAN FOR NATO'S REPUTATION AND ITS INTERNAL COHESION.

    TEXT: IN POLAND, WARSAW'S "ZYCIE WARSZAWY" HAS ONLY MORE QUESTIONS FOLLOWING THE VERDICT.

    VOICE: ...THE FAMILIES OF THE VICTIMS ... ASK WHY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS DID NOT TREAT SERIOUSLY THE STORIES TOLD BY THE SKI-LIFT PERSONNEL ON THE SCENE ABOUT BRAVADO SHOW-OFFS OF NATO'S PILOTS, AND CONTESTS IN WHICH THE WINNER WAS THE ONE WHO COULD FLY AT THE LOWEST POSSIBLE ALTITUDE. THEY ALSO WONDER WHY THE PILOT IGNORED THE LAW OF A HOST COUNTRY THAT FORBIDS FLYING AT LOW ALTITUDES. THEY WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHO WILL FINALLY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CATASTROPHE IN THE DOLOMITE MOUNTAINS.

    TEXT: WITH THAT, WE CONCLUDE THIS WEEK'S WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP, ABOUT THE NOT-GUILTY VERDICT FOR THE MARINE FLIER IN LAST YEAR'S ITALIAN SKI-LIFT ACCIDENT.
    NEB/ANG/WTW
    11-Mar-99 4:54 PM EST (2154 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] BANANA TRADE WAR HEATS UP BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=03/11/99
    TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-11186
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: A TRADE WAR BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE EUROPEAN UNION OVER BANANAS THAT BEGAN SIMMERING ABOUT SIX YEARS AGO HAS SUDDENLY BURST INTO FLAMES AND THREATENS COMMERCIAL RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO. THERE ARE MANY EDITORIALS IN THE U-S PRESS ON THE DISPUTE, AND WE GET A SAMPLING NOW FROM ____________ IN TODAY'S U-S OPINION ROUNDUP.

    TEXT: THE DISPUTE BEGAN WHEN THREE LARGE, U-S FRUIT COMPANIES, CHIQUITA BRANDS, DOLE AND DEL MONTE, WHO ALL GROW HUGE AMOUNTS OF BANANAS IN CENTRAL AMERICAN PLANTATIONS COMPLAINED TO THE U-S GOVERNMENT THAT THEY WERE BEING SHUT OUT OF THE EUROPEAN MARKET. THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION THEN BROUGHT THE DISPUTE TO THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION [W-T-O].

    THE EUROPEAN UNION WAS GIVING TRADE PREFERENCE TO BANANA GROWERS IN FORMER COLONIAL AREAS OF THE CARIBBEAN AND AFRICA. WHEN THE W-T-O CONSISTENTLY RULED IN FAVOR OF THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPE STILL REFUSED TO BUDGE, THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION RETALIATED. WASHINGTON RECENTLY ANNOUNCED 100-PERCENT RETALIATORY TARIFFS ON A VARIETY OF EUROPEAN GOODS, MOSTLY LUXURY ITEMS, FROM ITALIAN SHEEP CHEESE TO SCOTTISH CASHMERE SWEATERS, AND, IN A RELATED MOVE, SOUGHT TO BAN THE EUROPEAN SUPERSONIC JETLINER, THE CONCORDE, FROM LANDING IN THIS COUNTRY.

    MOST U-S PAPERS TAKE THE POSITION THAT THINGS ARE RAPIDLY GETTING OUT OF CONTROL AND ARE URGING THAT A COMPROMISE BE WORKED OUT SOON. WE BEGIN OUR SURVEY IN SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, NEXT TO THE MEXICAN BORDER, WHERE THE "SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE" PROPOSES:

    VOICE: NO ONE ON EITHER SIDE OF THE ATLANTIC CAN POSSIBLY LOOK FORWARD TO A TRADE WAR BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE EUROPEAN UNION, WHETHER IT IS OVER BANANAS OR ANY OTHER COMMODITY. THE SENSIBLE SOLUTION, WHICH COULD BE WORKED OUT AS W-T-O OFFICIALS DELIBERATE ON THE BANANA DISPUTE OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL WEEKS, IS FOR U-S AND EUROPEAN TRADE REPRESENTATIVES TO GET TOGETHER ON THEIR OWN AND CRAFT AN AGREEMENT THAT AVERTS A COUNTERPRODUCTIVE TRADE WAR.

    TEXT: IN SOUTH FLORIDA, "THE MIAMI HERALD," WHICH CAREFULLY WATCHES DEVELOPMENTS IN BOTH THE CARIBBEAN AND LATIN AMERICA, FEELS THE U-S IS OVERREACTING.

    VOICE: THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION WAS WRONG TO AGGRAVATE WORRIES ABOUT THE WORLD'S SHAKY ECONOMY BY RISKING A TRADE WAR OVER THIS ISSUE. DOING SO SHOWS EITHER QUESTIONABLE JUDGMENT -- OR UNDUE DEFERENCE TO THE CLOUT [POWER] OF POLITICAL DONOR CARL LINDNER, WHO CONTROLS ... CHIQUITA [BRANDS]. MOREOVER, THE PUNITIVE TARIFFS ON CERTAIN EUROPEAN GOODS FROM FRENCH PURSES TO ITALIAN CHEESE, ARE A MISTAKE, EVEN IF THE W-T-O ULTIMATELY FINDS THAT THE UNITED STATES IS CORRECT IN THE BANANA DISPUTE. AFTER ALL, CARIBBEAN PRODUCERS ACCOUNT FOR ONLY FOUR PERCENT OF THE WORLD'S CROP -- AND ONLY TEN PERCENT OF EUROPE'S BANANA IMPORTS. SO IMPOSING PUNITIVE TARIFFS AND THEREBY RISKING AN ESCALATING TRADE WAR IS OUT OF PROPORTION TO THE HARM DONE THE UNITED STATES. /// OPT /// ... CONGRESS IS ON MUCH FIRMER FOOTING IN CONSIDERING A WELL-TARGETED RETALIATION FOR A MORE-ONEROUS EUROPEAN POLICY. A BILL ... WOULD BAR THE CONCORDE SUPERSONIC JETLINER FROM ... THE UNITED STATES IF THE EUROPEAN UNION PERSISTS IN IMPOSING NEW NOISE RESTRICTIONS THAT ... WOULD BAR MANY AMERICAN-MADE PLANES.

    TEXT: "THE BOSTON GLOBE" IS HOPEFUL THAT SOME SORT OF COMPROMISE MAY STILL PREVAIL BEFORE ALL THESE MEASURES AND COUNTERMEASURES ACTUALLY GO INTO EFFECT.

    VOICE: MAYBE IT WILL ALL BLOW OVER. TRADE FIGHTS HAVE A WAY OF SEEMING UNSOLVABLE UNTIL THE LAST MOMENT, AND THE UNITED STATES HAS SAID IT WON'T IMPOSE THE TARIFFS UNTIL THE W-T-O HAS RULED ON THE MODIFIED BANANA RULES [OFFERED BY THE E-U AS A COMPROMISE TO THE U-S COMPLAINT]. BUT THE MANEUVER ALONE FEEDS EUROPEAN PROTECTIONISTS WHO ACCUSE THE UNITED STATES OF BULLYING. AND IT HAS PROMPTED PROTESTS FROM OTHERS THAT IT'S GETTING IN THE WAY OF REAL ISSUES. ONE MIGHT THINK THE TIME HAS COME TO GET SOME ADULTS DEALING WITH THESE PROBLEMS. ENOUGH WHINING EVERYONE.

    TEXT: TAKING A HARDER LINE IN FAVOR OF THE U-S POSITION IS "THE ATLANTA [GEORGIA] CONSTITUTION" WHICH BELIEVES THE E-U BANANA RESTRICTIONS ARE WORTH FIGHTING.

    VOICE: TIME AND AGAIN, THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION HAS RULED AGAINST THE EUROPEAN UNION IN THIS DISPUTE. ... THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN FAIR ... ASKING ONLY FOR LOWER TARIFFS AND LARGER QUOTAS FOR ALL BANANAS TO HELP EXPAND THE GLOBAL MARKET FOR THE POPULAR FRUIT. GROWERS IN AFRICA AND THE CARIBBEAN COULD STILL SELL PLENTY OF BANANAS IN EUROPE, BUT FARMERS IN POOR COUNTRIES IN CENTRAL AMERICA WOULD GET A FAIR SHOT [OPPORTUNITY] AT EXPANDING THEIR BUSINESSES, TOO. AND GLOBAL TRADE WILL NOT EXPAND UNLESS ALL COUNTRIES ACCEPT THE RULINGS OF THE W-T-O. ... BOTH EUROPEANS AND AMERICANS HAVE TO LEARN TO LIVE WITH DECISIONS THEY DON'T LIKE IF THIS ARBITRATION SYSTEM IS TO WORK. THAT'S WHY THE UNITED STATES NEEDS TO RETALIATE AGAINST THE EUROPEAN UNION.

    TEXT: IN TEXAS, WHERE TRADE WITH MEXICO, AND, TO A LESSER EXTENT, CENTRAL AMERICA, IS IMPORTANT, "THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS" SAYS, IN PART:

    VOICE: THERE IS MORE TO THE ESCALATING TRANS-ATLANTIC FOOD FIGHT OVER BANANAS .... IT IS FUNDAMENTALLY ABOUT WHETHER COUNTRIES WILL RESPECT THE RULES GOVERNING INTERNATIONAL TRADE -- OR SLICE THEM AS THEY SEE FIT AND THEREBY ENCOURAGE A RETURN TO THE LAW OF THE JUNGLE WHERE NO RULES APPLY. THE UNITED STATES RIGHTLY ARGUES THAT EUROPE IS MAKING A MASH OF THOSE RULES. ... IF ANYONE CAN BE ACCUSED OF MONKEYING AROUND WITH THE WORLD TRADE SYSTEM, IT'S EUROPE. ... [AND] THE CARIBBEAN BENEFICIARIES OF EUROPE'S DISCRIMINATORY POLICY HAVE ONLY MADE MATTERS WORSE BY SUSPENDING DRUG COOPERATION WITH THE UNITED STATES, WHICH IS A PARTICULARLY SELF-DESTRUCTIVE WAY OF REGISTERING ONE'S UNHAPPINESS.

    TEXT: THIS TRADE WAR IS "CHILDISH," POTENTIALLY VERY DESTRUCTIVE, AND SOLVABLE BY COMPROMISE, IN THE OPINION OF BOSTON'S "CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR."

    VOICE: THREE HUGE ISSUES LIE BEYOND THE RELATIVELY SMALL MATTER OF WHETHER THE E-U [EUROPEAN UNION] IS FREEZING OUT [EXCLUDING] BANANA IMPORTS FROM U-S FIRMS IN CENTRAL AMERICA'S 'BANANA REPUBLICS' IN FAVOR OF [UNDERSTOOD: "BANANA IMPORTS FROM"] EUROPE'S FORMER COLONIES: ONE: THE WORLD'S TWO LARGEST ECONOMIC POWERS ARE ON THE BRINK OF A TIT-FOR-TAT TRADE WAR THAT CAN EASILY SPREAD AND DAMAGE NOT JUST THE BIG GUYS BUT MANY INNOCENT BYSTANDERS. TWO: SUCH A BATTLE COULD QUICKLY UNDERMINE THE STILL-FLEDGING WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION ... THREE: IT WOULD ALSO SAVAGE PROSPECTS FOR A NEW ROUND OF NEGOTIATIONS TO FURTHER CUT GLOBAL TRADE BARRIERS AND EXTEND 'LEVEL PLAYING FIELD' RULES.

    TEXT: THAT CONCLUDES THIS SAMPLING OF COMMENT ON THE TRADE DISPUTE BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE EUROPEAN UNION OVER BANANAS.
    NEB/ANG/KL
    11-Mar-99 2:15 PM EST (1915 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] E-U-AGRICULTURE (L ONLY) (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=3/11/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246499

    CORRESPONDENT=RON PEMSTEIN CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: EUROPEAN UNION AGRICULTURE MINISTERS REACHED AGREEMENT EARLY THURSDAY ON HOW TO REFORM WHAT'S CALLED THE COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY -- THE MOST EXPENSIVE ITEM IN THE E-U'S BUDGET. AS V-O-A'S RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM BRUSSELS, THE AGREEMENT DID NOT PLEASE EVERYONE AND COULD STILL UNRAVEL AT THE EUROPEAN UNION'S SUMMIT MEETING LATER THIS MONTH.

    TEXT: THE AGREEMENT IS SLIGHTLY LESS AMBITIOUS THAN THE PLAN TO CUT AGRICULTURE SUBSIDIES SUGGESTED BY THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION -- THE EUROPEAN UNION'S EXECUTIVE BODY. IN FACT, IT COSTS OVER ONE-AND-HALF-BILLION DOLLARS MORE THAN THE FARM MINISTERS WERE SUPPOSED TO SPEND IN THEIR BUDGET THROUGH THE YEAR 2006.

    THERE IS NO PLAN TO SHIFT PART OF THE AGRICULTURE BUDGET TO THE 15 MEMBER STATES. THERE IS NO PLAN TO CUT THE PAYMENTS (SUBSIDIES) TO EUROPEAN FARMERS OVER TIME. THE FARM MINISTERS DID AGREE TO MAKE MORE MODEST CUTS IN GUARANTEED PRICES FOR THE MAJOR CROPS.

    THE EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR AGRICULTURE, FRANZ FISCHLER, INSISTS THE FARM MINISTERS DID ACHIEVE A COMPROMISE WHICH ALMOST ALL E-U COUNTRIES (EDS: EXCEPT PORTUGAL, WHICH SAYS IT CANNOT SUPPORT THE COMPROMISE) CAN ACCEPT. HE TELLS REPORTERS THROUGH AN INTERPRETER, THIS REFORM WILL STOP THE RAPID RISE IN PAYMENTS FOR THE MAIN ITEMS.

    ///FISCHLER ACT THROUGH INTERPRETER///

    BASICALLY, THIS COMPROMISE IS THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE, MOST FAR-REACHING REFORM THAT WE HAVE EVER HAD IN THE E-U SINCE THE COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY WAS INTRODUCED IN THE 1960S. THE REFORM AIMS THAT WE SET FOR OURSELVES HAVE BEEN ACHIEVED VIA THIS REFORM. THERE HAS BEEN A REFORM IN ALL THE MAIN SECTORS WHICH HAD TO BE REFORMED: CEREALS, OIL SEEDS, IN THE BEEF SECTOR, IN THE DAIRY SECTOR, THE WINE SECTOR.

    ///END ACT///

    WHILE COMMISSIONER FISCHLER BELIEVES THE REFORM IS HISTORIC, THE EXTRA COSTS OF AGRICULTURE WILL BE PASSED UP TO THE EUROPEAN UNION LEADERS, WHO MEET IN BERLIN ON MARCH 24TH. THEY MUST AGREE ON THEIR TOTAL BUDGET THROUGH THE YEAR 2006. THE MORE MONEY SPENT ON AGRICULTURE MEANS LESS MONEY FOR HELPING POORER COUNTRIES. IT ALSO MEANS LESS CHANCE THAT GERMANY, AUSTRIA, SWEDEN AND THE NETHERLANDS CAN ACHIEVE THEIR DESIRED REDUCTION IN HOW MUCH THEY PAY TO SUPPORT THE EUROPEAN UNION.

    AN OVERALL AGREEMENT ON THE BUDGET IS NEEDED AT THE SUMMIT TO ALLOW ENOUGH MONEY TO HELP NEW MEMBERS FROM CENTRAL EUROPE THAT HOPE TO JOIN THE EUROPEAN UNION IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS.

    //REST OPT//

    MR. FISCHLER SAYS COUNTRIES SUCH AS POLAND MUST HAVE TRANSITION PERIODS BEFORE THEY CAN FULLY SHARE IN EUROPE'S AGRICULTURAL POLICY.

    /// SECOND FISCHLER ACT -- THRU TRANSLATOR ///

    WE ARE COMING TO HAVE EVEN MORE DIVERSITY WHEN WE ENLARGE, PARTICULARLY VIS-A-VIS THE DIFFERENT STRUCTURES THAT WE HAVE. AND AT THE MOMENT, WE DON'T HAVE A MEMBER STATE LIKE POLAND -- WHERE 25 PERCENT OF THE ACTIVE POPULATION IS WORKING IN THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR. SO WHEN YOU PURSUE YOUR ADAPTATION AND ADJUSTMENT POLICY, WHICH IS NECESSARY, WE WILL HAVE TO THINK ABOUT WHAT INSTRUMENTS ARE BEST SUITED TO ACHIEVE OUR AIMS. WE'LL HAVE TO THINK ABOUT WHAT PRIORITIES HAVE TO BE SET. AND THAT IS THE SUBJECT, PAR EXCELLENCE, OF ENLARGEMENT NEGOTIATIONS.

    ///END ACT///

    IN THEIR AGREEMENT THAT CAME IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS OF THURSDAY, THE E-U FARM MINISTERS DID NOT MAKE THE HARD DECISIONS ABOUT CUTTING SUBSIDIES FOR AGRICULTURE. THAT'S WHY THEIR LEADERS -- THE HEADS OF GOVERNMENT -- MAY BE WORKING EVEN HARDER INTO THE EARLY MORNING HOURS LATER THIS MONTH IN BERLIN TO REACH AGREEMENT ON THE EUROPEAN UNION'S OVERALL BUDGET. (SIGNED)
    11-Mar-99 9:52 AM EST (1452 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] GERMAN MINISTER RESIGNS (L-ONLY) BY JONATHAN BRAUDE (BERLIN)

    DATE=3/11/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246516
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: GERMANY'S HIGH-PROFILE FINANCE MINISTER, OSKAR LAFONTAINE, HAS RESIGNED WITHOUT WARNING AND WITHOUT EXPLANATION. AT THE SAME TIME, HE STEPPED DOWN FROM THE LEADERSHIP OF THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY. JONATHAN BRAUDE REPORTS FROM BERLIN.

    TEXT: THE FINANCE MINISTER RESIGNED WITH A NOTE TO CHANCELLOR GERHARD SCHROEDER, WHO IMMEDIATELY ISSUED A STATEMENT EXPRESSING SURPRISE AND REGRET AT MR. LAFONTAINE'S MOVE AND THANKING HIM FOR HIS WORK.

    THERE HAS BEEN NO NEWS SO FAR OF A SUCCESSOR AT THE FINANCE MINISTRY OR WHETHER MR. SCHROEDER WILL TAKE OVER AS THE HEAD OF THE PARTY.

    BUT WHILE THE GERMAN LEADER'S INITIAL REACTION WAS SHORT AND REVEALED LITTLE, THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE MARKETS REACTED POSITIVELY.

    //OPT//

    THE "EURO," AFTER DAYS OF WEAKNESS AGAINST THE DOLLAR, ROSE ON THE NEWS -- AND ANALYSTS SAY THE EUROPEAN STOCK MARKETS ARE ALSO LIKELY TO IMPROVE IN FRIDAY'S TRADING. //END OPT// THAT, COMMENTATORS ARE SAYING, COULD BE A SIGN OF WHAT PROMPTED THE RESIGNATION. MR. LAFONTAINE HAD BEEN CRITICIZED BOTH WITHIN HIS OWN PARTY AND INTERNATIONALLY FOR PUTTING PRESSURE ON THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK TO CUT INTEREST RATES.

    HE HAD ALSO BROUGHT THE GOVERNMENT INTO CONFLICT WITH BIG BUSINESS THROUGH CONTROVERSIAL TAX REFORMS. //OPT// SOME MAJOR FIRMS, ESPECIALLY THE INSURANCE GIANT "ALLIANZ," WERE THREATENING TO MOVE THEIR OPERATIONS OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY AND POSSIBLY OUTSIDE THE EURO-ZONE. //END OPT//

    AND THE FINAL STRAW (PROBLEM) MAY HAVE COME THIS WEEK WHEN OFFICIALS ADMITTED THE COST OF TAX REFORM TO THE ELECTRICITY GENERATING INDUSTRY WOULD BE MORE THAN DOUBLE THE FIGURES MR. LAFONTAINE HAD BEEN CLAIMING. CHANCELLOR SCHROEDER HAD ACCUSED MR. LAFONTAINE OF A STRATEGIC ERROR IN RAISING TAXES ON THE ELECTRICITY INDUSTRY, JUST AS THE GOVERNMENT WAS LOCKED IN NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE POWER COMPANIES ON PHASING-OUT NUCLEAR ENERGY.

    MR. SCHROEDER, ANALYSTS SAY, IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS' MODERNIZING, PRO-BUSINESS FACTION, WHILE MR. LAFONTAINE DREW HIS SUPPORT FROM THE TRADITIONAL LEFTIST OLD GUARD. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JB/PCF/GE
    11-Mar-99 2:20 PM EST (1920 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [11] BRITAIN-FRANCE / AFRICA (L-ONLY) BY JOHN PITMAN (ABIDJAN)

    DATE=3/11/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246514
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE FOREIGN MINISTERS OF BRITAIN AND FRANCE HAVE CONCLUDED THEIR FIRST JOINT TOUR OF WEST AFRICA. LAST DECEMBER IN FRANCE, THE FORMER COLONIAL POWERS SIGNED AN AGREEMENT TO COOPERATE MORE CLOSELY IN AFRICA AND END DECADES OF ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL COMPETITION ON THE CONTINENT. V-O-A'S JOHN PITMAN HAS MORE FROM ABIDJAN -- THE FINAL STOP ON THE MINISTERS' TOUR.

    TEXT: IN THE YEAR 1898, NEAR A SMALL TOWN CALLED FASHODA ON THE NILE RIVER, FRENCH AND BRITISH WARSHIPS FACED OFF OVER WHICH POWER WOULD CONTROL THE SUDAN.

    THIS COLONIAL-ERA MILITARY SPARRING HELPED CREATE A LASTING RIVALRY BETWEEN FRANCE AND BRITAIN THROUGHOUT THE 20TH CENTURY -- A COMPETITION THAT SAW PARIS AND LONDON SPAR OVER ECONOMIC, POLITICAL AND EVEN LINGUISTIC ISSUES ON THE AFRICAN CONTINENT. HOWEVER, ON THURSDAY IN AN AIRPORT LOUNGE HERE IN ABIDJAN, BRITAIN'S FOREIGN SECRETARY, ROBIN COOK, DECLARED THE RIVALRY DEAD.

    /// COOK ACT ///

    IT'S VERY SIMPLE. FAREWELL TO FASHODA. FROM NOW ON, WE WORK TOGETHER IN A SPIRIT OF COOPERATION TO BUILD AN AFRICA OF STABILITY, AN AFRICA OF DEMOCRACY AND AN AFRICA OF DEVELOPMENT.

    /// END ACT ///

    THIS NEW FRANCO-BRITISH PARTNERSHIP FOR AFRICA DATES BACK TO LAST DECEMBER, WHEN THE TWO COUNTRIES -- LED BY THEIR SOCIALIST AND LABOR PARTY GOVERNMENTS -- SIGNED A FORMAL DECLARATION TO COOPERATE, RATHER THAN COMPETE, IN AFRICA.

    NAMED AFTER THE FRENCH TOWN OF SAINT MALO WHERE IT WAS SIGNED, THE DECLARATION CALLS FOR THE TWO GOVERNMENTS TO ESTABLISH COMMON POLICIES TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, GOOD GOVERNANCE, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND DEBT RELIEF IN AFRICA.

    /// OPT ///

    UNDER THE TERMS OF THE ST. MALO DECLARATION, THE TWO COUNTRIES ALSO AGREED TO SHARE MORE DIPLOMATIC INFORMATION IN AFRICA, AND POSSIBLY SHARE EMBASSY SPACE IN COUNTRIES WHERE ONE OF THE PARTNERS IS NOT ALREADY REPRESENTED. /// END OPT ///

    FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER HUBERT VEDRINE SAID HE AND MR. COOK WERE PLEASED WITH THE RESULTS OF THEIR FIRST JOINT VISIT, WHICH INCLUDED MEETINGS WITH THE PRESIDENTS OF GHANA AND THE IVORY COAST, AND A CONFERENCE FOR BRITISH AND FRENCH AMBASSADORS SERVING IN AFRICA.

    SPEAKING TO REPORTERS IN ABIDJAN, MR. VEDRINE SAID BOTH COUNTRIES ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING MORE TOGETHER.

    /// VEDRINE ACT -- IN FRENCH; ESTABLISH AND FADE UNDER ///

    MR. VEDRINE SAID THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF A PROCESS, NOT AN ISOLATED EVENT. HE SAID THE TWO PARTNERS WILL FOLLOW-UP WITH CONCRETE STEPS TO IMPROVE FRENCH AND BRITISH COOPERATION WITH EACH OTHER AND WITH THEIR AFRICAN PARTNERS.

    //REST OPT//

    MR. VEDRINE ADDED THAT HE BELIEVES THE NEW PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN LONDON AND PARIS WILL ALSO HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE WORK BEING DONE IN AFRICA BY OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES AS WELL AS THE UNITED STATES.

    ASKED FOR SPECIFICS ABOUT THEIR COMBINED DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS IN AFRICA, MR. COOK SAID THE TWO COUNTRIES WOULD NOW WORK TOGETHER ON THE SIERRA LEONE ISSUE. HE ADDED THAT LONDON AND PARIS BOTH SUPPORT WHAT HE CALLED A "DUAL STRATEGY" POLICY FOR SIERRA LEONE THAT IS, MAINTAINING MILITARY PRESSURE ON THE REBELS THROUGH THE WEST AFRICAN, ECOMOG, PEACEKEEPING FORCE, WHILE ALSO SUPPORTING NEGOTIATIONS TO RECONCILE THE WARRING SIDES POLITICALLY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JP/PCF
    11-Mar-99 1:41 PM EST (1841 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [12] U-S/IRELAND (L-ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=3/11/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246508
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NORTHERN IRELAND'S PEACE PROCESS REMAINS STALLED OVER THE ISSUE OF DISARMING OR "DECOMMISSIONING" PARAMILITARY GROUPS THERE. NOW BRITISH AND IRISH OFFICIALS ARE PINNING THEIR HOPES ON PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON'S EFFORTS TO BREAK THE DEADLOCK WHEN PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC LEADERS MEET HIM NEXT WEEK IN WASHINGTON. MORE FROM V-O-A CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN IN LONDON.

    TEXT: PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC LEADERS WILL MEET PRESIDENT CLINTON NEXT WEEK DURING THEIR SEPARATE U-S TOURS TO CELEBRATE SAINT PATRICK'S DAY. BRITAIN'S MINISTER FOR IRISH AFFAIRS, MO (MARJORIE) MOWLAM, SAYS THEIR MEETINGS WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON COULD HELP REBUILD TRUST AND CONFIDENCE.

    /// MOWLAM ACT ///

    I'M SURE THAT BY JUST PROVIDING AN ENVIRONMENT FOR PEOPLE TO MEET AND TALK IN A RELAXED FASHION WILL HELP BUILD SOME OF THE CONFIDENCE WE NEED TO MOVE FORWARD IN THE WEEKS AHEAD.

    /// END ACT ///

    BRITAIN WAS TO HAND OVER HOME RULE POWERS TO NORTHERN IRELAND'S NEW ASSEMBLY THIS WEEK. BUT THE DISPUTE OVER THE TIMING OF DECOMMISSIONING CAUSED MISS MOWLAM TO POSTPONE THE HAND-OVER UNTIL THE WEEK OF MARCH 29TH -- COINCIDING WITH THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THE GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT.

    MISS MOWLAM DISMISSES SUGGESTIONS THE PEACE PROCESS IS ON THE BRINK OF COLLAPSE.

    /// SECOND MOWLAM ACT ///

    I'VE FOUND IN THE PAST THAT IT IS DEEPLY UNHELPFUL TO PLAN FOR FAILURE. I'M NOT PLANNING FOR FAILURE. I'M PLANNING TO CALL A MEETING OF THE ASSEMBLY THE WEEK OF 29TH (OF MARCH).

    /// END ACT ///

    PROTESTANT FIRST MINISTER DAVID TRIMBLE INSISTS THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY MUST START HANDING OVER ITS WEAPONS BEFORE ITS POLITICAL WING, SINN FEIN, CAN JOIN THE NEW CABINET. SINN FEIN LEADER GERRY ADAMS SAYS THERE ARE NO PRECONDITIONS TO PARTICIPATING IN THE NEW GOVERNMENT.

    NORTHERN IRELAND'S GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT CALLS FOR ALL PARAMILITARY GROUPS TO TURN IN THEIR WEAPONS BY NEXT YEAR. SO FAR THE I-R-A REFUSES TO DO SO.

    BOTH SIDES ARE LOOKING FOR A FACE-SAVING COMPROMISE TO END THE DEADLOCK. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/PCF
    11-Mar-99 12:24 PM EST (1724 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [13] NATO / NEW MEMBERS BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=3/11/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42822
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 17 YEARS, NATO IS EXPANDING ITS MEMBERSHIP, THIS TIME TO THREE FORMER MEMBERS OF THE SOVIET-LED WARSAW PACT. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT RON PEMSTEIN IN BRUSSELS REPORTS ON HOW THE CHANGE AFFECTS THE NATO ALLIANCE AND WHAT THE PROSPECTS ARE FOR FUTURE ENLARGEMENT.

    TEXT: THE CEREMONY WILL TAKE PLACE AT NATO HEADQUARTERS ON TUESDAY MORNING (MARCH 16TH). THE WHITE AND RED FLAG OF POLAND, THE GREEN, RED, AND WHITE HUNGARIAN FLAG, AND THE RED WHITE, AND BLUE BANNER OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC WILL BE RAISED TO FLY ALONGSIDE THE FLAGS OF NATO'S EXISTING 16 MEMBERS .

    THE MOVE TO 19 NATIONS IS THE FIRST EXPANSION OF THE WESTERN MILITARY ALLIANCE SINCE SPAIN JOINED NATO IN 1982. POLAND, HUNGARY, AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC WERE, UNTIL 1990, MEMBERS OF THE SOVIET-LED WARSAW PACT. THEIR MILITARY EQUIPMENT WAS COUNTED AGAINST NATO'S WHEN THE TWO ALLIANCES AGREED TO MAKE CONVENTIONAL ARMS REDUCTIONS IN THAT YEAR.

    WITH THE CHANGES IN EASTERN EUROPE, THE THREE COUNTRIES IN 1994 JOINED NATO'S PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE, A COOPERATION PROGRAM THAT INCLUDED ALL PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS FROM FORMERLY COMMUNIST COUNTRIES.

    JOURNALIST FREDERICK BONNART RECALLS THAT NATO ENLARGEMENT MET INITIAL RESISTANCE.

    /// BONNART ACT ///

    THERE WAS CONSIDERABLE OPPOSITION TO FURTHER EXPANSION OF NATO FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS WHICH WERE QUITE VALID AT THE TIME, PARTLY TO DO WITH THE SITUATION WITH RUSSIA, PARTLY TO DO ALSO WITH THE CORE STRENGTH OF NATO BECAUSE BY CONTINUING TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF MEMBERS QUITE A NUMBER OF COMMENTATORS, INCLUDING MYSELF, CONSIDERED THAT ONE WAS INVITING A WEAKNESS, A WEAKENING OF THE ORGANIZATION.

    /// END ACT ///

    TO SOFTEN RUSSIAN OPPOSITION TO NATO'S EXPANSION INTO CENTRAL EUROPE, NATO PLEDGED THAT IT SEES NO NEED NOR HAS ANY INTENTION TO STATION NUCLEAR WEAPONS ON THE TERRITORY OF ANY NEW MEMBER.

    MR. BONNART HAS REPORTED ON NATO SINCE IT MOVED TO BRUSSELS IN THE 1960'S. HE SAYS HE BELIEVES THE ADDITION OF THE THREE COUNTRIES WILL NOT AFFECT NATO'S BASIC MISSION.

    /// BONNART ACT ///

    THE MAIN PURPOSE REMAINS WHAT IS CALLED THE CORE PURPOSE WHICH IS THE DEFENSE AND INTEGRITY OF THE MEMBER COUNTRIES OF WHICH THERE ARE NOW THREE MORE, BUT THAT ALTHOUGH IT IS THE UNDERLYING CORE PURPOSE, IT IS OF SECONDARY IMPORTANCE BECAUSE THERE IS NO THREAT TO ANY OF THEM INCLUDING THE THREE NEW ONES .

    /// END ACT ///

    THE CHAIRMAN OF NATO'S MILITARY COMMITTEE, GENERAL KLAUS NAUMANN, SAYS THE NEW MEMBERS CANNOT BE EXPECTED TO BE READY TO OPERATE FULLY WITH THE EXISTING MEMBERS AS SOON AS THEY JOIN.

    /// NAUMANN ACT ///

    THIS IS A PROCESS WHICH WILL GO ON FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS IF NOT YEARS. WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET IT TOOK ALL THE ALLIANCE NATIONS ALSO QUITE A TIME TO GET USED TO AN INTEGRATED COMMAND STRUCTURE AND TO THE PECULIARITIES OF INTERGRATED MILITARY FORCES WHICH AS I FAR AS I KNOW IS A FIRST TIME EVENT CREATED BY NATO. I AM NOT AWARE OF ANY COALITION BEFORE THAT HAS CREATED A PEACE TIME STANDING INTEGRATED MILITARY STRUCTURE.

    /// END ACT ///

    HE SAYS ALL THREE COUNTRIES HAVE FULFILLED THEIR COMMITMENTS TO INCREASE DEFENSE SPENDING DESPITE THEIR OTHER PRESSING ECONOMIC NEEDS.

    GENERAL NAUMANN -- WHO IS GERMAN -- SAYS THE ADVANTAGE OF NATO MEMBERSHIP FOR POLAND, HUNGARY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC IS THE ALLIANCE'S RESTRAINT ON NATIONALISM.

    /// NAUMANN ACT ///

    YOUNG OFFICERS LEARN HERE THAT IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO FIND THE COMMON DENOMINATOR OF 19 DEMOCRATIC NATIONS THAN TO PURSUE NARROWLY DEFINED NATIONAL INTERESTS. AND THIS IS A FACTOR OF INTEGRATION WHICH COULD HELP US EUROPEANS IN PARTICULAR TO OVERCOME MANY LEGACIES OF THE PAST.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE ENTRY OF POLAND, HUNGARY, AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC TO NATO HAS ENCOURAGED SLOVENIA, ROMANIA, AND THE BALTIC COUNTRIES TO HOPE THEY WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE NEXT ROUND OF NATO EXPANSION. MR. BONNART FEELS THE NATO SUMMIT MEETING NEXT MONTH IN WASHINGTON TO CELEBRATE THE ALLIANCE'S 50TH ANNIVERSARY WILL BE TOO SOON TO OPEN NATO'S DOOR AGAIN.

    /// BONNART ACT ///

    THERE IS MUCH TALK INSIDE NATO NOW ABOUT CONSOLIDATION, IN OTHER WORDS TO ABSORB THESE THREE COUNTRIES TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT THIS IS GOING TO WORK, WELL, TO SHOW THAT IT WILL WORK AND TO SHOW THEM HOW IT WILL WORK AND THAT WILL TAKE QUITE A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF TIME. SO I DO NOT EXPECT A FURTHER INVITATION TO ENLARGEMENT TO ANY OTHER COUNTRY TO BECOME A MEMBER OR EVEN TO PREPARE IMMEDIATELY FOR MEMBERSHIP.

    /// END ACT ///

    INSTEAD, NATO WILL BE TRYING AT THE WASHINGTON SUMMIT TO DEVISE A NEW FORMULA TO HELP PREPARE PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS SO THEIR FLAGS TOO MAY SOMEDAY FLY AT NATO HEADQUARTERS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/JWH
    11-Mar-99 8:44 AM EST (1344 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [14] NATO/BALTICS BY PETER HEINLEIN (TALLINN)

    DATE=3/11/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42829
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO'S EXPANSION IS BEING VIEWED WITH SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE BALTIC COUNTRIES, WHERE MEMORIES ARE STILL FRESH AFTER FIVE DECADES OF SOVIET RULE. FROM THE ESTONIAN CAPITAL, TALLINN, V-O-A'S PETER HEINLEIN REPORTS THE BALTICS ARE HOPING NATO WILL SOON BE READY FOR A SECOND ROUND OF ENLARGEMENT THAT WOULD TAKE THE ALLIANCE RIGHT UP TO THE BORDER OF THE RUSSIAN MAINLAND.

    TEXT: ///SFX OF FOOTSTEPS, PEOPLE TALKING, THEN UNDER TO...///

    THE COBBLESTONE STREETS OF TALLINN'S OLD CITY TELL A DIZZYING TALE OF ELEVEN CENTURIES OF CONQUEST. THIS STRATEGIC TRADING CENTER HAS BEEN INVADED BY DANES, SWEDES, GERMANS AND POLES, NOT TO MENTION THE RUSSIANS, WHO FIRST CAPTURED ESTONIA DURING THE TIME OF PETER THE GREAT.

    INDEPENDENCE HAS ALWAYS BEEN TENUOUS HERE. THE BALTIC NATIONS ARE SMALL. //OPT// SEVEN YEARS AFTER THE END OF SOVIET OCCUPATION, ESTONIA'S ENTIRE MILITARY STRENGTH STANDS AT ABOUT 25-HUNDRED SOLDIERS AND ONE-THOUSAND OFFICERS. //END OPT//

    SO ON THE BUSTLING STREETS OF TALLINN, THERE IS ALMOST UNANIMOUS AGREEMENT: ESTONIA NEEDS NATO PROTECTION. FIFTY-YEAR-OLD WRITER AND AMATEUR SOCIOLOGIST RAIVO JUUROK SAYS DECADES OF SOVIET RULE HAVE LEFT A LEGACY OF DEEP SUSPICION.

    ///JUUROK ACT///

    MANY ESTONIANS HOPE RUSSIA WILL GO THE SAME WAY WE HAVE GONE. BUT OF COURSE THERE ARE AGAIN, MAYBE 30 PERCENT OF ESTONIANS WHO SAY YOU CANNOT TRUST THEM. NEVER. NEVER TRUST RUSSIA.

    ///END ACT///

    //OPT// ///

    ESTABLISH SFX OF PORT, BOXES BEING LOADED, THEN UNDER TO...///

    AT TALLINN'S PORT, HUGE CRANES ARE BUSY SHIPPING CARGO TO AND FROM DESTINATIONS ALL OVER THE WORLD. THAT IS WHY PETER THE GREAT CALLED THE BALTICS RUSSIA'S WINDOW TO THE WEST. //END OPT//

    HISTORIAN AKSEL KIRCH OF THE CENTER FOR EUROPEAN RESEARCH IN TALLINN SAYS IT IS HARD TO IMAGINE RUSSIA SIMPLY ACCEPTING THE PRESENCE OF NATO FORCES HERE.

    ///KIRCH ACT IN ESTONIAN, THEN UNDER TO TRANSLATOR ///

    THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT STRATEGIC CHANNEL FOR RUSSIA. FOR THEM, THE BALTICS AND THE GULF OF FINLAND HAVE ALWAYS MEANT ACCESS TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD. LOSING IT IS PROBABLY NOT SO MUCH A MILITARY BLOW AS A PSYCHOLOGICAL ONE. SOMETHING HAS BEEN TAKEN AWAY FROM THEM.

    ///END ACT///

    BALTIC STRATEGIC PLANNERS UNDERSTAND NATO MEMBERSHIP IS PROBABLY STILL SEVERAL YEARS AWAY. BUT THE PRESIDENTS OF THE THREE BALTIC STATES MET RECENTLY TO URGE THE ALLIANCE TO NAME SPECIFIC CANDIDATE COUNTRIES AND PROVIDE A ROAD MAP FOR PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS AT ITS WASHINGTON SUMMIT NEXT MONTH.

    SULEV KANNIKE, DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE POLITICAL DEPARTMENT AT ESTONIA'S FOREIGN MINISTRY, SAYS SUCH A COMMITMENT WOULD CALM THE FEARS OF SMALL COUNTRIES NERVOUSLY WATCHING THE POLITICAL TURMOIL AROUND THEM.

    ///KANNIKE ACT///

    WE SEE WHAT IS IN THE BALKANS. WE KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON IN RUSSIA, WHICH IS OUR GOOD NEIGHBOR. BUT NOBODY, I THINK NOT EVEN RUSSIAN POLITICIANS COULD DENY, NOBODY WOULD PREDICT WHAT COULD HAPPEN IN RUSSIA DURING THE NEXT THREE YEARS. SO WE ARE SPEAKING NOT ABOUT HARD SECURITY, BUT GUARANTEES AGAINST THE GENERAL INSTABILITY IN THE WORLD AND EUROPE, AND ABOUT THE FULL SCALE INTEGRATION OF EUROPE AS WELL.

    ///END ACT///

    //OPT//

    MR. KANNIKE SAYS HE IS GREATLY DISTURBED BY THE ARGUMENT THAT NATO SHOULD NOT BE EXTENDED TO COVER THE TERRITORY OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION.

    ///SECOND KANNIKE ACT///

    BUT THERE IS NO SOVIET UNION. THIS IS EXAMPLE OF ARGUMENT COMING FROM (THE) PAST. AND WE COULDN'T ACCEPT IT. WE ARE (A) REPUBLIC OF ESTONIA, NOT A PART OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION.

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

    SO AS NATO TAKES IN THREE NEW MEMBERS, ESTONIANS SEE CAUSE FOR HOPE. AFTER MORE THAN A THOUSAND YEARS OF UNCERTAINTY, THIS LITTLE COUNTRY AND ITS BALTIC NEIGHBORS MAY FINALLY FEEL THE COMFORT OF A LONG-TERM GUARANTEE OF INDEPENDENCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PFH/PCF
    11-Mar-99 12:50 PM EST (1750 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [15] RUSSIA / NATO BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=3/11/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42826
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE OFFICIAL INCLUSION INTO NATO OF FORMER WARSAW PACT ALLIES POLAND, THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND HUNGARY IS A FURTHER REMINDER THAT RUSSIA'S STATUS AS A SUPERPOWER HAS EVAPORATED. VOA'S EVE CONANT REPORTS FROM MOSCOW ON WHY RUSSIA IS QUIETLY, BUT NOT HAPPILY, RESIGNED TO ITS FATE.

    TEXT: ASK ANYONE IN RUSSIA HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT NATO EXPANSION, AND YOU WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY GET A NEGATIVE RESPONSE. MOSCOW'S OFFICIAL POSITION IS THAT NATO EXPANSION HARMS ITS SECURITY INTERESTS AND PUSHES RUSSIA OUT OF EUROPE'S SPHERE OF INFLUENCE. YET DESPITE YEARS OF ANTI-EXPANSION RHETORIC, THERE IS LITTLE MOSCOW CAN DO AS THE HOUR FOR THE NATO EXPANSION NEARS.

    ///OPT///

    IN 1955, THE SOVIET UNION AND SEVERAL EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES -- INCLUDING CZECHOSLOVAKIA, HUNGARY AND POLAND -- SIGNED THE WARSAW PACT. THAT MILITARY ALLIANCE WAS FORMED TO COUNTERACT NATO EXPANSION IN EUROPE, SPECIFICALLY THE INTEGRATION OF WEST GERMANY. NOW, 44 YEARS LATER, THE THREE FORMER WARSAW PACT COUNTRIES ARE JOINING NATO, FORMING THE EASTERN EDGE TO THEIR FORMER ENEMY. ///END OPT.///

    KNOWING THAT WARSAW, BUDAPEST AND PRAGUE WOULD BECOME NATO CAPITALS, MOSCOW IN 1997 SIGNED WHAT WAS KNOWN AS THE "FOUNDING ACT" WITH NATO. IT GRANTS RUSSIA SOME SECURITY PLEDGES, SUCH AS NO NUCLEAR WEAPONS PLANTED NEAR RUSSIAN BORDERS. RUSSIA AND NATO ALSO FORMED A "JOINT PERMANENT COUNCIL" FOR CONSULTATIONS IN WHICH RUSSIA WOULD HAVE A VOICE -- BUT NOT A VETO -- OVER SECURITY MATTERS.

    DESPITE THESE AGREEMENTS, THE RUSSIAN LEADERSHIP CONSISTENTLY FEELS ITS OPINIONS ARE IGNORED WHEN CONFLICTS FLARE UP IN COUNTRIES SUCH AS YUGOSLAVIA AND IRAQ. RUSSIA'S FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN VLADIMIR RAKHMANIN TELLS V-O-A THE ENTRY OF THREE EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES INTO NATO JUST MAKE MATTERS WORSE.

    //OPT// ///RAKHMANIN ACT///

    WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT NATO ENLARGEMENT WILL HELP MUCH TO NATO SECURITY. IT WILL BRING US BACK TO THE SITUATION WITH NEW DIVIDING LINES, AND IT WILL BRING THE NATO MILITARY INFRASTRUCTURE TO RUSSIA'S BORDERS.

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

    BUT MR. RAKHMANIN UNDERLINES RUSSIA'S ACCEPTANCE OF THE INEVITABLE.

    ///SECOND RAKHMANIN ACT///

    WE ARE AGAINST NATO ENLARGEMENT AND THIS IS QUITE OBVIOUS TO OUR PARTNERS. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, WE UNDERSTAND THAT NATO IS THE REALITY OF TODAY. AND WE ARE GOING TO COOPERATE WITH NATO IN THE AREAS WHERE OUR INTERESTS COINCIDE.

    ///END ACT///

    NO OTHER ISSUE SO UNITES RUSSIA'S DIVIDED POLITICIANS AS THEIR OPPOSITION TO NATO EXPANSION. FROM LIBERALS TO HARD-LINE COMMUNISTS, NATO ENLARGEMENT IS VIEWED WITH SUSPICION AND FEAR.

    //OPT//

    IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CZECH TELEVISION, OUTSPOKEN ULTRANATIONALIST VLADIMIR ZHIRINOVSKY TOLD THE INTERVIEWER THAT WHEN THE CZECH REPUBLIC JOINS FRIDAY, IT WILL BECOME AN "ENEMY STATE." HE PROPOSES AN ECONOMIC BLOCKADE AGAINST THE FORMER COLD WAR ALLY. //END OPT//

    RUSSIA'S NEXT CONCERN IS POSSIBLE NATO INTEGRATION OF THE THREE BALTIC STATES -- ESTONIA, LATVIA AND LITHUANIA. BUT DIMITRY TRENIN OF MOSCOW'S CARNEGIE INSTITUTE POINTS OUT THAT POST-SOVIET ECONOMIC REALITY HAS LEFT RUSSIA NO MILITARY OPTION TO BACK UP ITS OPPOSITION.

    ///TRENIN ACT///

    RUSSIANS REALIZE HOW LIMITED THEIR FINANCIAL RESOURCES ARE, HOW DEPENDENT THEY ARE ON THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS, ON THEIR CREDITORS IN THE WEST. RUSSIANS DON'T WANT TO SHUT THEMSELVES OUT OF THIS WORLD. IT ALSO HELPS THAT THERE IS PRECIOUS LITTLE RHETORIC THIS TIME ABOUT IMMINENT MEMBERSHIP IN NATO FOR THE THREE BALTIC STATES. WHAT THEY STILL FIND IMPOSSIBLE TO ACCEPT IS THAT ANY FORMER SOVIET REPUBLIC JOINS NATO.

    ///END ACT///

    //OPT//

    BUT THERE ARE THOSE WHO SAY RUSSIA'S RESOLVE MAY STIFFEN IN THE WAKE OF NATO EXPANSION. THE CHIEF DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT FOR RUSSIA'S "SEVODNYA" MAGAZINE, PAVEL FELGENHAUER, EXPECTS THAT ONCE REALITY SETS IN, RUSSIA'S SILENT STANCE MAY CHANGE.

    /// FELGENHAUER ACT///

    NATO EXPANSION IS UNACCEPTABLE OF COURSE TO RUSSIA. IT ALWAYS WAS. IT SOURED RELATIONS BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE WEST FOR THE COMING DECADES. IT'S A MAJOR IRRITANT. IT'S CAUSING GROWING ANTI-WESTERN FEELINGS THROUGHOUT RUSSIA'S RULING ELITE AND SOCIETY AND, OF COURSE, THAT WILL CONTINUE AS NATO EXPANSION GOES FROM THE VIRTUAL WORLD OF TREATY SIGNING TO THE ACTUAL REDEPLOYMENT OF FORCES, POSSIBLY ALONG RUSSIA'S BORDERS.

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

    ON THE EVE OF EXPANSION CEREMONIES, RUSSIA'S FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS THE ENTRY OF POLAND, THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND HUNGARY INTO NATO IS "A MOVEMENT IN THE WRONG DIRECTION." INTERVIEWS WITH OTHER POLICYMAKERS REVEAL A GROWING SENSE OF FRUSTRATION AS RUSSIA WATCHES ITS FORMER ALLIES JOIN WHAT MANY STILL SEE AS THE ENEMY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/EC/KL
    11-Mar-99 9:57 AM EST (1457 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [16] U-S / NATO / ROLE BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (PENTAGON)

    DATE=3/11/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42828
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AS NATO PREPARES TO CELEBRATE ITS 50TH BIRTHDAY, THE WESTERN ALLIANCE IS TRYING TO REDEFINE ITS ROLE IN A WORLD NO LONGER DOMINATED BY TWO SUPERPOWERS . IN THIS REPORT FROM THE PENTAGON, V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ANDRE DE NESNERA LOOKS AT NATO'S NEW ROLE AND ASKS WHETHER THE U-S ROLE IS ALSO CHANGING.

    TEXT: THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION -- OR NATO -- WAS CREATED 50 YEARS AGO ESSENTIALLY AS A RESPONSE TO THE GROWING POWER OF THE SOVIET UNION AND THE MILITARY THREAT IT COULD POSE TO WESTERN EUROPE. WITH THE UNITED STATES AS THE DOMINANT PLAYER IN NATO, IT MEANT COMMITTING U-S POWER TO PRESERVING STABILITY AND SECURITY ON THE EUROPEAN CONTINENT FOLLOWING THE RAVAGES OF WORLD WAR TWO.

    SINCE THE END OF THE COLD WAR AND THE DEMISE OF THE SOVIET UNION, NATO HAS BEEN IN THE PROCESS OF REINVENTING ITSELF. NATO PLANNERS ARE TRYING TO COME UP WITH A NEW STRATEGIC CONCEPT AND NEW MISSIONS FOR THE WESTERN MILITARY ALLIANCE, NOW THAT MOSCOW NO LONGER POSES A DIRECT MILITARY THREAT.

    IVO DAALDER IS A NATO EXPERT AT THE (WASHINGTON-BASED) "BROOKINGS INSTITUTION." HE BELIEVES NATO'S NEW PURPOSE SHOULD BE TO EXTEND THE SECURITY AND STABILITY ITS MEMBERS HAVE ENJOYED TO OTHER COUNTRIES IN EUROPE.

    // DAALDER ACT //

    IT WILL DO SO NOT NECESSARILY BY PRESENTING A MILITARY ALLIANCE AGAINST AN IDENTIFIABLE THREAT, BUT RATHER BY OPENING UP ITS DOORS TO FUTURE MEMBERS AND BY BECOMING AN INSTRUMENT TO ENFORCE THE RULES, NORMS AND KINDS OF CODES OF CONDUCT, OF BEHAVIOR IN EUROPE THAT PEOPLE HAVE SIGNED UP TO, BUT NOT NECESSARILY ADHERED TO OVER THE YEARS -- AS WE ARE SEEING IN THE BALKANS RIGHT NOW.

    // END ACT //

    MR. DAALDER SAYS NATO IS CLEARLY MOVING FROM A COLLECTIVE DEFENSE ALLIANCE GEARED TO DEFEND TERRITORIES AGAINST AN IDENTIFIABLE THREAT TO AN ALLIANCE THAT IS ABLE TO PROJECT MILITARY POWER -- INCLUDING THE DEPLOYMENT OF PEACEKEEPERS.

    NATO PEACEKEEPERS ARE ALREADY IN BOSNIA AND COULD BE SENT TO SERBIA'S ETHNIC ALBANIAN REGION OF KOSOVO. DESPITE AMERICA'S LEADING ROLE IN NATO, THE KOSOVO FORCE WILL ESSENTIALLY BE MADE UP OF EUROPEANS. PAUL BEAVER -- SENIOR ANALYST WITH THE BRITISH PUBLICATION "JANES'S DEFENSE WEEKLY" -- SAYS THE PROJECTED FIVE BRIGADES WILL BE LED BY A BRITISH SENIOR OFFICER -- NOT AN AMERICAN.

    // BEAVER ACT //

    THE AMERICANS ARE NOT THAT EXPERIENCED IN PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS. THEY DO NOT HAVE AS MUCH EXPERIENCE IN THE BALKANS AS THE BRITISH AND THE FRENCH. WE ARE VERY HAPPY TO BE RUNNING THIS. THERE IS A FEELING THE EUROPEANS SHOULD BE TAKING THEIR SHARE. THE AMERICANS HAVE DONE A LOT IN OUR BACKYARD. WE FEEL THAT WE NEED TO PULL OUR WEIGHT HERE AND THAT IS WHY IT IS A PREDOMINANTLY EUROPEAN OPERATION WITH THE GERMANS, THE ITALIANS, THE FRENCH AND THE BRITISH IN THE FOREFRONT.

    // END ACT //

    MR. BEAVER BELIEVES AS NATO'S NEW STRATEGIC CONCEPT IS FASHIONED, THE ROLE OF PEACEKEEPERS WILL BECOME MORE AND MORE IMPORTANT.

    MANY ANALYSTS BELIEVE WHILE THE ROLE OF NATO IS CHANGING, SO IS THE ROLE OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE MILITARY ALLIANCE. SIMON SERFATY -- DIRECTOR OF EUROPEAN STUDIES AT THE (WASHINGTON-BASED) "CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES" -- SAYS THAT IS DUE TO THE FACT THAT WASHINGTON IS NOW AN INTEGRAL PART OF EUROPE.

    // SERFATY ACT //

    WE HAVE IN A SENSE BUILT A PRESENCE IN EUROPE OVER THE PAST 50 YEARS WHICH IS FRANKLY COMPARABLE TO THE PRESENCE OF THE LARGEST -- OR SOME OF THE LARGEST -- EUROPEAN STATES ON THE CONTINENT. WE HAVE BECOME A POWER IN EUROPE AND TO THAT EXTENT OUR ROLE HAS CHANGED: IT HAS BECOME MORE ACTIVE, IRREVERSIBLE, BECAUSE OUR INTERESTS HAVE BEEN TRANSFORMED SO VERY DRAMATICALLY -- ECONOMICALLY, POLITICALLY, SECURITY-WISE. // OPT // I THINK IT COULD BE ARGUED THAT THE COLD WAR HAS MADE AN AMERICAN WITHDRAWAL FROM EUROPE UNTHINKABLE -- AND IN FACT, WITHDRAWAL FROM EUROPE FOR THE UNITED STATES WILL NO LONGER BE MEANINGFUL, PRECISELY BECAUSE WE HAVE LITERALLY MOVED INTO THE EUROPEAN CONTINENT WHILE THE EUROPEAN STATES THEMSELVES -- ECONOMICALLY AND OTHERWISE -- WERE MOVING UNTO THE UNITED STATES. // END OPT //

    // END ACT //

    AS NATO PREPARES TO CELEBRATE ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY, ANALYSTS SAY THE "LOOK" OF THE WESTERN ALLIANCE IS FAR DIFFERENT NOW THAN IT WAS HALF A DECADE AGO. BUT AS NATO REDEFINES ITS ROLE AND FINDS NEW MISSIONS FOR ITSELF, MANY ANALYSTS ASK WHETHER THAT NEW ROLE AND NEW MISSIONS WILL BE SUFFICIENT TO MAINTAIN THE WESTERN ALLIANCE INTO THE FUTURE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ADEN/ENE/KL
    11-Mar-99 12:55 PM EST (1755 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=3/11/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246525
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE UP STRONGLY TODAY (THURSDAY) WITH MAJOR AVERAGES CLOSING AT RECORD HIGHS BUT THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE FELL SHORT OF THE 10 THOUSAND LEVEL. V-O-A BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT A RECORD HIGH 98 HUNDRED 97, UP 124 POINTS, OR MORE THAN ONE PERCENT. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT A RECORD HIGH 12 HUNDRED 97, UP 10 POINTS. THE NASDAQ INDEX GAINED A FRACTION OF ONE PERCENT.

    THERE WAS MUCH EXCITEMENT ON WALL STREET AT MID-SESSION WHEN THE INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE MOVED TO WITHIN 65 POINTS OF 10 THOUSAND. BUT THE INDEX RETREATED SOMEWHAT LATER IN THE DAY.

    ANALYSTS SAY THERE WAS A GENERAL SENSE OF OPTIMISM, WITH SOME OF THAT FEELING SPARKED BY THE LATEST U-S RETAIL SALES FIGURES. THE GOVERNMENT SAYS RETAIL SALES ROSE IN FEBRUARY BY ALMOST ONE PERCENT, INDICATING AMERICAN CONSUMERS ARE STILL VERY CONFIDENT.

    ///BEGIN OPT///

    JOHN RIDING OF THE BEAR STEARNS INVESTMENT COMPANY SAYS THE OVERALL U-S ECONOMY IS LOOKING EXTREMELY GOOD AT THE MOMENT.

    ///OPT///RIDING ACT///

    THE U-S ECONOMY IS CREATING JOBS. WAGE RATES ARE RISING FASTER THAN INFLATION, THE STOCK MARKET REMAINS STRONG AND CONSUMER CONFIDENCE REMAINS VERY HIGH.

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

    THERE WAS A NEGATIVE ECONOMIC REPORT THOUGH. THE GOVERNMENT SAYS THE U-S TRADE DEFICIT HIT A RECORD 233 BILLION DOLLARS IN 1998, LARGELY DUE TO A DROP IN U-S EXPORTS BECAUSE OF SLOWDOWNS IN INTERNATIONAL MARKETS, ESPECIALLY IN ASIA.

    /// REST OPT ///

    OIL COMPANY STOCKS GAINED FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT DAY ON INDICATIONS THAT MAJOR OIL PRODUCING NATIONS WILL CUT PRODUCTION. AT THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS, WHERE OIL MINISTERS ARE MEETING, THE SAUDI OIL MINISTER PREDICTED WHAT HE CALLED A "SUBSTANTIAL CUT" IN PRODUCTION VERY SOON.

    INVESTOR CARL ICHAN IS ASKING FELLOW STOCK HOLDERS TO VOTE AGAINST THE PLAN BY R-J-R NABISCO TO SPLIT ITSELF INTO TWO SEPARATE COMPANIES, ONE FOR FOOD AND ONE FOR TOBACCO. MR. ICHAN, WHO OWNS ALMOST EIGHT PERCENT OF R-J-R'S STOCK, DOES NOT LIKE THE WAY THE SPLIT IS BEING PROPOSED, ARGUING THAT THE PLAN DOES NOT MAXIMIZE SHAREHOLDER VALUE.

    IT IS COSTING MAJOR CORPORATIONS HUGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY TO GET THEIR COMPUTER SYSTEMS READY FOR THE YEAR 2000. GENERAL MOTORS SAYS IT WILL SPEND ALMOST 800 MILLION DOLLARS TO MAKE ITS COMPUTERS YEAR 2000 COMPLIANT. LIKE G-M, MOST AMERICAN COMPANIES ARE PAYING WHATEVER IT COSTS BECAUSE THE ALTERNATIVE COULD LEAD TO BUSINESS CHAOS AND HUGE LOSSES.

    GENERAL MOTORS SAYS IT IS IN TALKS WITH AVTOVAZ OF RUSSIA AIMED AT CREATING A JOINT VENTURE. G-M SAYS SAYS, IF ALL GOES WELL, THE TWO COMPANIES COULD START PRODUCING A REDESIGNED OPEL MODEL CAR IN RUSSIA BEFORE THE END OF THIS YEAR.

    THE STRONG U-S ECONOMY HAS LED FORD AND DAIMLER CHRYSLER TO RAISE SALES FORECASTS. BOTH COMPANIES AGREE THAT TOTAL U-S VEHICLE SALES THIS YEAR WILL BE IN THE RANGE OF 15 AND ONE-HALF MILLION, A FIGURE FORECAST LAST WEEK BY GENERAL MOTORS.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    11-Mar-99 5:11 PM EST (2211 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [18] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=03/11/99
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11185
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    //// EDS: MATERIAL DATED AFTER 10 P-M EST ////

    INTRO: THERE IS GROWING CONCERN IN U-S EDITORIAL COLUMNS ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY THAT CHINESE SPYING ON U-S NUCLEAR SECRETS HAS GAINED THAT NATION A BIG ADVANCE IN MAKING NUCLEAR WEAPONS. THERE ARE OTHER EDITORIALS ABOUT THE PRESIDENT'S TRIP TO CENTRAL AMERICA; CONGRESSIONAL INTERVENTION IN THE BELEAGUERED KOSOVO PEACE EFFORT; THE UNSPOKEN UP-GRADING OF AN AIR WAR WITH IRAQ: THE BANANA TRADE WAR; INDIAN-PAKISTANI RELATIONS THAW; AND ELIZABETH DOLE APPEARS HEADED FOR A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDACY. NOW, HERE WITH SOME EXCERPTS ON THESE AND OTHER COMMENTARIES FROM THURSDAY'S U-S PRESS IS _________________ AND THE EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: REPORTS OF ALLEGED SPYING FOR MORE THAN A DECADE BY CHINA AT ONE AND POSSIBLY MORE U-S NUCLEAR LABS IS A GROWING TOPIC IN THE NATION'S EDITORIAL COLUMNS. TODAY'S "WASHINGTON TIMES" CALLS IT "THE MOTHER OF ALL SCANDALS," NOTING THE EFFORT TO PLACE POLITICAL BLAME IS ALREADY IN ACTION:

    VOICE: ... THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION WASTED LITTLE TIME UNVEILING ITS 'BLAME RONALD REAGAN FIRST' STRATEGY. VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE WILL BE THE MAN TO DEAL WITH ANY ELECTORAL REPERCUSSIONS ... SO THE WHITE HOUSE DISPATCHED HIM TO C-N-N [CABLE NEWS NETWORK] ... TO SPREAD WHATEVER DISINFORMATION HE COULD. ... MR. GORE'S PERFORMANCE MET THE LOW STANDARDS HE LONG AGO PERFECTED.

    /// OPT ///

    ... ECHOING THE NONSENSE SPOKEN BY MR. GORE, MR. [SANDY BERGER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER] BERGER TUESDAY EVENING AUDACIOUSLY DECLARED, 'I REJECT THE NOTION THERE WAS ANY DRAGGING OF FEET.' /// END OPT
    ///

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL" SEES THE ALLEGED SPYING BY THE CHINESE AS ESPECIALLY SIGNIFICANT WHEN PUT IN CONTEXT OF WHAT ELSE WAS HAPPENING IN THIS COUNTRY.

    VOICE: THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION'S INACTION ... DID NOT OCCUR IN A VACUUM. IT CAME IN THE THICK OF [MIDDLE] A 1996 REELECTION EFFORT WE NOW KNOW INCLUDED CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THOSE WITH TIES TO THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT, ITS MILITARY AND EVEN ITS INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATIONS. ... THE REAL SCANDAL MAY NOT BE WHAT THE CHINESE WERE ABLE TO STEAL, BUT WHAT THEY WERE ABLE TO BUY.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES," WORRYING THAT THE ISSUE HAS ALREADY BECOME TOO POLITICIZED AND NOTING THAT REPUBLICANS ARE USING IT TO ATTACK THE WHOLE CLINTON CHINA POLICY, CONCLUDES:

    VOICE: IT WOULD BE IRRESPONSIBLE TO LET POLITICS DIRECT AND DOMINATE WHAT MUST BE A SOBER AND OBJECTIVE INQUIRY INTO THE LOS ALAMOS SECURITY BREAKDOWN.

    TEXT: PRESIDENT CLINTON'S TOUR OF HURRICANE-RAVAGED CENTRAL AMERICA, DRAWS THIS RESPONSE FROM "THE NEW YORK TIMES," WHICH RECALLS RONALD REAGAN'S 1982 TRIP TO THE REGION WHEN CIVIL WARS, AGAINST INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, WERE RAMPANT.

    VOICE: ... PRESIDENT CLINTON IS VISITING A VERY DIFFERENT CENTRAL AMERICA AND CARRIES A VERY DIFFERENT MESSAGE. HIS TRIP IS A BELATED RECOGNITION OF THE REGION'S PROGRESS AND IMPORTANCE TO THE UNITED STATES. BUT WASHINGTON'S SUPPORT FOR WARS IN CENTRAL AMERICA 15 YEARS AGO IS NOT BEING MATCHED BY ITS SUPPORT FOR PEACE TODAY. ... THAT IS WHY PRESIDENT CLINTON'S VISIT, IMPORTANT AS IT IS, IS A MISSED OPPORTUNITY. /// OPT

    /// MR. CLINTON IS DOLING OUT HIS CELEBRATED COMPASSION, BUT LITTLE ... MONEY. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: A DEBATE SCHEDULED TO BEGIN IN CONGRESS (TODAY) WHETHER U-S TROOPS SHOULD BE PART OF A KOSOVO PEACE-KEEPING FORCE IS WORRYING "THE WASHINGTON POST," COMING, AS IT DOES, WITH THE PEACE EFFORT IN LIMBO.

    VOICE: IT IS A BAD TIME FOR CONGRESS TO DEBATE WHETHER THE UNITED STATES SHOULD SEND TROOPS TO ... KOSOVO. BUT THERE IS NO BETTER TIME LEFT, AND CONGRESS HAS GOOD REASON TO PROCEED. ... WE HAPPEN TO THINK ... THE FOREIGN POLICY CONSIDERATIONS ... REQUIRE AND JUSTIFY CAREFUL AMERICAN PARTICIPATION ... WE THINK THE STAKES ARE SUFFICIENT TO MAKE IT HIGHLY DESIRABLE THAT THE PRESIDENT'S POLICY BE SUPPORTED BY A STRONG BIPARTISAN VOTE IN CONGRESS.

    TEXT: COMPLAINING THAT THE NEW "LOW-PROFILE WAR IN IRAQ LEAVES [THE] PUBLIC IN [THE] DARK [SLANG: FOR "UNINFORMED"], "USA TODAY," THE NATIONAL DAILY PUBLISHED IN ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, SAYS:

    VOICE: SADDAM'S REGIONAL APPETITES MUST BE CONTAINED, AND IT'S POSITIVE THAT THE ADMINISTRATION RECOGNIZES THAT'S A JOB FOR THE LONG HAUL. BUT THAT VERY FACT DEMANDS ENDURING PUBLIC SUPPORT .... BY FAILING TO PREPARE THE PUBLIC FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF ITS MILITARY STRATEGY, THE ADMINISTRATION PLACES ITS ENTIRE IRAQ POLICY IN DANGER.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: THE UNITED STATES "NEEDS TO RETALIATE AGAINST THE EUROPEAN UNION," COMMENTS "THE ATLANTA [GEORGIA] CONSTITUTION" THIS THURSDAY ABOUT THE ESCALATING BANANA TRADE WAR BETWEEN THE U-S AND EUROPE.

    VOICE: AT FIRST GLANCE, THIS FOOD FIGHT SEEMS CHILDISH. BUT THE UNITED STATES CAN'T AFFORD TO SLIP ON THIS BANANA PEEL. THE NATION MUST STAND FIRM. ... BECAUSE EUROPEAN COUNTRIES HAVE INSISTED ON BUYING BANANAS FROM FORMER EUROPEAN COLONIES IN CARIBBEAN AND AFRICAN COUNTRIES. [TO THE EXCLUSION OF U-S CENTRAL-AMERICAN-GROWN BANANAS.] ... TIME AND AGAIN, THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION HAS RULED AGAINST THE EUROPEAN UNION IN THIS DISPUTE. ... GLOBAL TRADE WILL NOT EXPAND UNLESS ALL COUNTRIES ACCEPT THE RULINGS OF THE W-T-O [WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION, SUCCESSOR TO G-A-T-T (GENERAL AGREEMENT ON TARIFFS AND TRADE)]. ...THAT'S WHY THE UNITED STATES NEEDS TO RETALIATE AGAINST THE EUROPEAN UNION.

    TEXT: TODAY'S CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR FROM BOSTON IS BUOYED BY THE RECENT THAW IN INDIAN-PAKISTAN RELATIONS, WRITING:

    VOICE: THE PROCESS IS NOTABLE FOR TWO REASONS: ONE THE WORLD HAS PAID A LOT OF ATTENTION TO INDO-PAK CRISES, VERY LITTLE TO GOOD NEWS IN SMALL PACKAGES. TWO: THE TWO NATIONS ARE MENDING RELATIONS IN A PARTICULARLY SENSIBLE WAY. ... BETTER TO IMPROVE RELATIONS THROUGH SMALL STEPS THAT CHANGE ATTITUDES. THEN TALK ABOUT THE BIG ISSUES - - KASHMIR PEACE ... AND [CURBING] NUCLEAR RISKS. THAT'S A WISE APPROACH ... [DESERVING] SUPPORT FROM OTHER WORLD LEADERS.

    TEXT: "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL," NOTING JAPAN'S FAMED REVULSION TO WAR, AFTER THE ATOMIC BOMBINGS THAT ENDED WORLD WAR TWO, REMARKS ABOUT A NEW TREND IN TOKYO.

    VOICE: ... WHEN TALK ABOUT PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKES AGAINST NORTH KOREA STARTS EMANATING FROM TOKYO, YOU KNOW THAT SOMETHING SERIOUS IS GOING ON. ACCORDING TO A JAPANESE NEWSPAPER [SANKIE SHIMBUN] REPORT, DEFENSE AGENCY CHIEF HOSEI NOROTA BELIEVES THE THREAT OF MISSILE ATTACK FROM NORTH KOREA IS NOW SO GREAT THAT TOKYO OUGHT TO CONSIDER ... A PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE COULD BE A CONSTITUTIONALLY PERMITTED FORM OF SELF DEFENSE.

    TEXT: THE PAPER CONCLUDES THAT, WITH CONFIDENCE IN THE U-S NUCLEAR SHIELD OVER BOTH JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA ERODING, "IT'S NO WONDER

    JAPAN IS THINKING ABOUT WHAT IT CAN DO TO PROTECT ITSELF."

    /// END OPT ///

    AND LASTLY, ELIZABETH DOLE HAS ANNOUNCED FORMATION OF AN EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE FOR THE PRESIDENCY, A FIRST STEP TO FORMALLY PROCLAIMING HER CANDIDACY, AND ONE THAT ALLOWS HER TO BEGIN FUND RAISING. THERE IS THIS COMMENT FROM "THE NEW YORK TIMES."

    VOICE: ... ELIZABETH DOLE IS ... MAKING HISTORY AS THE FIRST WOMAN TO ENTER THE PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY SEASON AS ONE OF THE FRONT-RUNNERS ... THE WOMEN ... MOVING UP THE POLITICAL LADDER BEHIND HER MAY BE ABLE TO ENTER THE COMPETITION ON A MORE EVEN BASIS BECAUSE ELIZABETH DOLE GOT THE PUBLIC USED TO THE IDEA OF ... A WOMAN RUNNING FOR THE WHITE HOUSE. IF THAT HAPPENS, HER OWN CANDIDACY WILL BE A SUCCESS NO MATTER WHO WINDS UP AS THE .... NOMINEE ...

    TEXT: THAT CONCLUDES THIS SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL COMMENT FROM THURSDAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/GE
    11-Mar-99 11:20 AM EST (1620 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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