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Voice of America, 99-03-14

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO TALKS ONITER (S/L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (PARIS)
  • [02] TURKEY BOMB BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [03] TURKEY/FIREBOMB (S&L) BY TOM KANKKONEN (ISTANBUL)
  • [04] TURKEY/U-S AIRSTRIKES (S ONLY) BY AMBARIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [05] E-U FOREIGN MINISTERS (L) (ELTVILLE, GERMANY)
  • [06] ISRAEL/E-U (L ONLY) BY ROSS DUNN (JERUSALEM)

  • [01] KOSOVO TALKS ONITER (S/L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (PARIS)

    DATE=3/14/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246613
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: SERB AND ETHNIC-ALBANIAN DELEGATIONS HAVE ARRIVED IN PARIS FOR THE NEXT ROUND OF KOSOVO PEACE TALKS, WHICH BEGINS (MONDAY) IN PARIS. CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN REPORTS FROM THE FRENCH CAPITAL THE ETHNIC-ALBANIAN DELEGATION IS EXPECTED TO SIGN THE PEACE SETTLEMENT, BUT SERBS STILL OPPOSE THE PRESENCE OF NATO PEACEKEEPERS TO GUARANTEE A PEACE AGREEMENT.

    TEXT: THE PEACE TALKS RESUME WHILE HEAVY FIGHTING CONTINUES IN SERBIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE. THAT PUTS MORE PRESSURE ON WESTERN MEDIATORS TO RESOLVE THE CRISIS QUICKLY.

    THE ETHNIC-ALBANIAN DELEGATION HAS INDICATED IT IS WILLING TO SIGN THE THREE-YEAR AUTONOMY AGREEMENT, BUT MAY WANT SOME ADJUSTMENTS BEFORE DOING SO.

    THE SERB DELEGATION REJECTS THE SECURITY PROVISION WHICH CALLS FOR NATO-LED FORCES IN KOSOVO TO GUARANTEE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PEACE ACCORD.

    BUT FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER HUBERT VEDRINE SAYS THE MEDIATORS WILL NOT LET NEGOTIATIONS DRAG ON, LIKE THE FIRST ROUND. DIPLOMATS CLOSE TO THE TALKS DO NOT EXPECT THIS SESSION TO LAST MORE THAN THREE OR FOUR-DAYS. THE FIRST-ROUND OF TALKS HELD LAST MONTH AT A LUXURIOUS CHATEAU IN THE TOWN OF RAMBOUILLET, LASTED 17-DAYS WITHOUT CONCRETE RESULTS.

    /// OPT THE REST FOR LONG CR ///

    THE TALKS WERE SUSPENDED FEBRUARY 23RD AFTER THE KOSOVAR DELEGATION SAID IT WANTED TO HOLD CONSULTATIONS BACK HOME BEFORE SIGNING AN AGREEMENT.

    ETHNIC-ALBANIAN REBEL LEADERS OF THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY HAVE INDICATED THEY ARE WILLING TO SIGN THE AGREEMENT. MEDIATORS ARE HOPING THEY WILL DO SO QUICKLY AFTER THE TALKS RESUME (MONDAY).

    THAT WOULD PUT MORE PRESSURE ON THE SERB DELEGATION, WHICH ARRIVED SUNDAY. THE SERBS SAY "NO" TO A NATO PEACEKEEPING FORCE. BUT FOREIGN MINISTERS OF THE SIX-NATION CONTACT GROUP ON KOSOVO, WHICH IS SPONSORING THE PEACE TALKS, SAY THE DEAL MUST INCLUDE NATO-LED PEACEKEEPERS. THE 83-PAGE DOCUMENT OUTLINES THREE-YEARS OF LIMITED AUTONOMY FOR THE SERB PROVINCE, WHERE ETHNIC ALBANIANS MAKE UP ABOUT 90-PERCENT OF THE POPULATION. ETHNIC-ALBANIAN REBELS WHO HAVE BEEN FIGHTING SERB DOMINATION OF THE PROVINCE HAVE INSISTED ANY PEACE PLAN SHOULD LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN TO THE POSSIBILITY OF FUTURE INDEPENDENCE FOR THE PROVINCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/RAE
    14-Mar-99 2:13 PM EST (1913 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] TURKEY BOMB BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=3/13/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246588
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    TEXT: AT LEAST THIRTEEN PEOPLE DIED SATURDAY IN ISTANBUL, TURKEY, AFTER UNIDENTIFIED ASSAILANTS HURLED THREE GASOLINE BOMBS AT A CROWDED DEPARTMENT STORE. FROM ANKARA, AMBERIN ZAMAN HAS DETAILS.

    TEXT: TURKISH SECURITY OFFICIALS SAY THE VICTIMS DIED IN A FIRE WHICH ERUPTED AFTER THE BOMBS WERE TOSSED AT THE STORE LOCATED IN AN UPSCALE RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD ON THE ASIAN SIDE OF THE CITY..

    EYEWITNESSES SAY MOST OF THE VICTIMS DIED BECAUSE THEY WERE UNABLE TO BE EVACUATED FROM THE BUILDING WHICH DID NOT HAVE ANY FIRE EXITS. ACCORDING TO THE EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS, MANY OF THE CUSTOMERS PANICKED AND FLED TO THE SECOD FLOOR OF THE BUILDING WHERE MOST OF THE CASUALTIES OCCURRED.

    THE ATTACK IS THE LATEST IN A SERIES OF BOMBINGS WHICH HAVE TAKEN PLACE SINCE THE ARREST LAST MONTH OF KURDISH SEPARATIST REBEL CHIEF ABDULLAH OCALAN. AN EXTREME LEFT-WING GROUP KNOWN AS TIKKO AND WHICH HAS CLOSE TIES WITH MR. OCALAN'S OUTLAWED KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY (PKK), HAS CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR SOME OF THE ATTACKS

    MR. OCALAN IS AWAITING TRIAL ON TREASON CHARGES -- AN OFFENSE THAT IS PUNISHABLE BY DEATH IN TURKEY. THE PKK HAS BEEN WAGING A 14 YEAR LONG ARMED CAMPAIGN FOR SELF RULE IN TURKEY'S MAINLY KURDISH SOUTHEAST PROVINCES WHICH HAS CLAIMED OVER 30-THOUSAND LIVES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SD
    13-Mar-99 8:27 PM EST (0127 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] TURKEY/FIREBOMB (S&L) BY TOM KANKKONEN (ISTANBUL)

    DATE=3/14/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246607
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: TURKISH AUTHORITIES SAY THEY ARE DETERMINED TO HUNT DOWN THE PERPETRATORS OF SATURDAY'S FIREBOMBING THAT CLAIMED 12 LIVES IN ISTANBUL. TOM KANKKONEN HAS THIS REPORT FROM ISTANBUL.

    TEXT: THERE IS STILL NO FIRM INFORMATION ON WHO CARRIED OUT THE FIREBOMBING AT A BUSY DEPARTMENT STORE, ALTHOUGH POLICE SAY KURDISH GUERRILLAS ARE CONSIDERED THE MOST LIKELY SUSPECTS.

    MOST TURKISH NEWSPAPERS AGREE THE KURDISTAN WORKERS' PARTY, THE P-K-K, IS BEHIND THE ATTACK. BUT A LOCAL TV-STATION REPORTEDLY RECEIVED A PHONE CALL LATE SATURDAY FROM A PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN KURDISH GROUP CLAIMING IT WAS RESPONSIBLE

    // OPT //

    SUSPICION ALSO FALLS ON A SMALL LEFTIST GUERRILLA GROUP CALLING ITSELF "THE WORKERS AND PEASANTS LIBERATION ARMY" WHICH IS THOUGHT TO HAVE CO-OPERATED WITH KURDISH GUERRILLAS EARLIER.

    VIOLENCE HAS INCREASED MARKEDLY IN THE CITIES OF WESTERN TURKEY SINCE THE ARREST OF P-P-K LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN. THE MAYOR OF ISTANBUL SAYS THERE HAVE BEEN MORE THAN 200 FIREBOMBINGS IN THE CITY SINCE MR. OCALAN WAS ARRESTED LAST LAST MONTH.

    MR. OCALAN IS CURRENTLY AWAITING TRAIL AT A WELL GUARDED PRISON ISLAND NEAR ISTANBUL. // END OPT ///

    THE GASOLINE BOMB THROWN INTO A CROWDED ISTANBUL DEPARTMENT STORE SATURDAY DESTROYED THE BUILDING. MOST OF THE DEAD WERE TRAPPED ON THE ROOF.

    AFTER THE ATTACK IT EMERGED THE DEPARTMENT STORE LACKED FIRE ESCAPES. THE FIRST FIRE ENGINES TO ARRIVE DID NOT CARRY LADDERS AND COULD DO NOTHING TO RESCUE THOSE TRAPPED IN THE UPPER PART OF THE BUILDING. (SIGNED)
    NEB/TK/DW/RAE
    14-Mar-99 11:23 AM EST (1623 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] TURKEY/U-S AIRSTRIKES (S ONLY) BY AMBARIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=3/14/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246602
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S WAR PLANES TAKING OFF FROM A NATO BASE IN SOUTHERN TURKEY POUNDED IRAQI DEFENSES SUNDAY IN THE NO-FLY ZONE OVER KURDISH-CONTROLLED NORTHERN IRAQ. FROM ANKARA, AMBERIN ZAMAN HAS THE DETAILS.

    TEXT: A SPOKESMAN AT THE INCIRLIK AIRBASE SAID THE AMERICAN PLANES MADE AN UNSPECIFIED NUMBER OF ATTACKS AFTER IRAQI ANTI-AIRCRAFT ARTILLERY TRACKED THEM WITH RADAR. HE SAID THE BOMBINGS WERE CARRIED OUT FOR DEFENSIVE PURPOSES.

    U-S AND BRITISH FIGHTER JETS HAVE BEEN STATIONED AT THE TURKISH BASE SINCE THE PERSIAN GULF WAR ALLIES DECLARED THE AIR EXCLUSION ZONE OVER NORTHERN IRAQ IN APRIL, 1991. THEIR MISSION IS TO PREVENT IRAQ GOVERNMENT FORCES FROM MOUNTING ATTACKS AGAINST THE ESTIMATED THREE-MILLION KURDS WHO ARE LARGELY CONCENTRATED IN THE SO-CALLED "KURDISH SAFE HAVEN" IN NORTHERN IRAQ.

    COALITION PLANES ALSO ENFORCE A NO-FLY ZONE IN THE MAINLY SHI-ITE MUSLIM SOUTH OF IRAQ.

    IN RECENT MONTHS IRAQ HAS STEPPED UP ATTACKS AGAINST THE COALITION PLANES, SAYING THEY ARE VIOLATING IRAQ'S TERRITORIAL SOVEREIGNTY. NO PLANES HAVE BEEN LOST. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/DW/RAE
    14-Mar-99 9:34 AM EST (1434 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] E-U FOREIGN MINISTERS (L) (ELTVILLE, GERMANY)

    DATE=3/14/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246605

    CORRESPONDENT=RON PEMSTEIN CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: EUROPEAN UNION FOREIGN MINISTERS HELD A FINAL DAY OF DISCUSSIONS AT THEIR MEETING IN GERMANY'S RHINELAND. THIS ONE WAS DEVOTED MAINLY TO EXAMINING BUDGET ISSUES AHEAD OF THE E-U SUMMIT MEETING IN BERLIN IN 10-DAYS. RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM ELTVILLE, GERMANY, THAT ELEMENTS OF A MULTI-YEAR BUDGET DEAL ARE TAKING SHAPE.

    TEXT: FOR THE FIRST TIME THERE IS OPTIMISM THAT WHEN EUROPEAN LEADERS MEET IN BERLIN ON MARCH 24TH THEY WILL HAVE THE PROSPECT OF REACHING A COMPROMISE ON THEIR BUDGET THROUGH THE YEAR 2006.

    A BUDGET AGREEMENT IS VITAL FOR EUROPEAN UNION PLANS TO EXPAND IN CENTRAL EUROPE.

    THE OPTIMISM IS BASED ON THE DEAL REACHED LAST WEEK BY AGRICULTURE MINISTERS. BRITAIN AND FRANCE HAVE RAISED OBJECTIONS TO THE COST OF THE FARM PACKAGE THAT EXCEEDS BUDGET GUIDELINES.

    GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER JOSCHKA FISCHER TELLS REPORTERS THROUGH AN INTERPRETER, THE LEADERS MAY MAKE SOME CHANGES, BUT NO ONE WANTS TO BREAK THE FARM COMPROMISE.

    /// FISCHER ACT W/ INTERPRETER ///

    WE DO FEEL THAT SUBSTANTIAL PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE. FIRSTLY, IN THE AGRICULTURE COMPROMISE IT WAS RECOGNIZED BY ALL THAT AGRICULTURE MINISTERS MADE A DECISIVE STEP FORWARD, EVEN THOUGH A LOT OF PROBLEMS ARISE IN THIS CONNECTION, BUT IT WAS RECOGNIZED NEVERTHELESS. IT WOULD MAKE NO SENSE TO RE-OPEN THE AGRICULTURAL PACKAGE. I THINK IT WOULD MEAN YOU WOULD NEVER GET IT BACK TOGETHER AGAIN .

    /// END ACT ///

    IT IS CLEAR E-U LEADERS WILL TRY TO MAKE SOME BUDGET SAVINGS IN AGRICULTURE AT THE BERLIN SUMMIT.

    THE FOREIGN MINISTERS OF BRITAIN AND FRANCE AGREE THE PROSPECTS ARE GOOD FOR AN OVERALL BUDGET DEAL IN BERLIN, DESPITE THEIR REMAINING DIFFICULTIES WITH THE FARM DEAL.

    THE MINISTERS DEALT BRIEFLY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS IN CHINA BUT MADE NO DECISION ABOUT WHETHER TO SPONSOR A RESOLUTION CONDEMNING CHINA AT THE U-N HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION IN GENEVA.

    FOREIGN MINISTER FISCHER ACKNOWLEDGES THERE WILL BE NO MINISTERIAL MEETING BETWEEN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST-ASIAN NATIONS. A MEETING WAS SCHEDULED FOR THE END OF THE MONTH, BUT THE EUROPEAN UNION HAS REFUSED TO HOLD THE MEETING UNLESS BURMA'S HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD CAN BE DISCUSSED.

    ASEAN WANTS TO LIMIT THE MEETING TO ECONOMIC MATTERS AND REFUSES THE EUROPEAN CONDITION. EFFORTS CONTINUE TO ARRANGE A MORE LIMITED MEETING EXCLUDING BURMA.

    IN THEIR PREVIOUS DISCUSSION SATURDAY, THE MINISTERS APPEALED TO BOTH SERBS AND ALBANIANS IN KOSOVO TO SIGN THE DRAFT AGREEMENT AT THE PEACE CONFERENCE THAT RESUMES MONDAY IN FRANCE.

    BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY ROBIN COOK TALKED ABOUT WHAT HE AND FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER HUBERT VEDRINE EXPECT FROM THIS ROUND.

    /// COOK ACT ///

    WHAT WE WANT IN THIS ROUND IS TO GET DOWN TO HARD, SERIOUS TALKING ABOUT HOW WE IMPLEMENT THAT AGREEMENT. AND THAT IS WHY THE OPENING MESSAGE OF BOTH MYSELF AND THE FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER WILL BE THIS IS NOT A CONFERENCE OF CEREMONY, THIS IS NOT A CONFERENCE OF LONG DEBATE WE WANT REAL WORK AND REAL PROGRESS AND WE WANT IT RAPIDLY.

    /// END ACT ///

    BECAUSE THE WAY AHEAD IN THE KOSOVO TALKS IS STILL UNCLEAR, ONE MONITOR OF THE MINISTERS' DISCUSSION ON KOSOVO DESCRIBES IT AS A LOT OF HAND-WRINGING. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/DW/RAE
    14-Mar-99 11:09 AM EST (1609 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] ISRAEL/E-U (L ONLY) BY ROSS DUNN (JERUSALEM)

    DATE=3/14/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246608
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: ISRAEL'S CABINET INSISTS THAT JERUSALEM WILL REMAIN THE UNDIVIDED CAPITAL OF THE JEWISH STATE. ROSS DUNN REPORTS FROM JERUSALEM ON THE LATEST DISPUTE OVER THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE HOLY CITY.

    TEXT: THE CABINET ISSUED A STRONG STATEMENT AT ITS SUNDAY MEETING THAT UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WOULD ISRAEL EVER DIVIDE ANY PART OF JERUSALEM OR ALLOW IT TO COME UNDER INTERNATIONAL SUPERVISION.

    THE MOVE CAME IN RESPONSE TO THE EUROPEAN UNION'S STATEMENT IT DOES NOT ACCEPT ISRAELI RULE OVER THE WHOLE OF THE CITY.

    THE ISRAELI CABINET SAID THE E-U APPARENTLY STILL RELIES ON U-N GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTIONS PASSED IN 1947 -- BEFORE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF ISRAEL -- WHICH CLASSIFY JERUSALEM AS A SEPARATE ENTITY FROM THE JEWISH STATE.

    ISRAEL ALSO INTERPRETED THE E-U DESCRIPTION OF JERUSALEM AS A SEPARATE ENTITY AS A CALL FOR THE CITY, HOLY TO MUSLIMS, JEWS AND CHRISTIANS, TO COME UNDER INTERNATIONAL CONTROL.

    THE ISRAELI CABINET SAID IN ITS STATEMENT THIS POSITION IS BOTH INCORRECT FROM A FACTUAL AND LEGAL POINT OF VIEW AND IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE TO ISRAEL.

    THE ISSUE CAME TO THE FORE AFTER THE EUROPEAN UNION REJECTED AN ISRAELI REQUEST TO STOP DIPLOMATS FROM MEETING PALESTINIAN OFFICIALS AT ORIENT HOUSE, THE UNOFFICIAL P-L-O HEADQUARTERS IN EAST JERUSALEM.

    THIS PART OF THE CITY CAME UNDER ISRAELI RULE AFTER BEING CAPTURED FROM JORDAN DURING THE 1967 MIDDLE EAST WAR. THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HAS NEVER ACCEPTED ISRAEL'S ANNEXATION OF EAST JERUSALEM, HOME TO MOST OF THE CITY'S ARAB RESIDENTS.

    THE E-U POSITION IS ALSO SEEN BY ISRAEL TO FAVOR THE P-L-O IN ITS DEMAND EAST JERUSALEM BE DECLARED THE FUTURE CAPITAL OF A INDEPENDENT PALESTINIAN STATE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RD/DW/RAE
    14-Mar-99 12:11 PM EST (1711 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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