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Voice of America, 99-08-01
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From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>
 RUSSIANS - K-L-A (L ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)DATE=7/31/1999
INTRO: Russian peacekeepers in Kosovo have detained and released the commander in chief of Kosovo Liberation Army forces in Kosovo. The incident sparked an angry reaction from the K-L-A's appointed prime minister. We have details from Philip Smucker in Pristina.
TEXT: the rebel-appointed Prime Minister of Kosovo
says the detention of his commander in chief is an
outrage. Prime Minister Hashim Thaci accuses the
Russians and their Serbian interpreters of harassing
the Kosovo Liberation Army - or K-L-A.
Mr. Thaci said that the Russians had illegally
detained the K-L-A's Commander in Chief, General Agim
Ceku, on a highway in the central part of the
NATO officials downplayed the incident as a
bureaucratic hangup that the K-L-A commander brought
upon himself because he was not carrying his NATO
identity card that authorizes him to carry weapons.
Most of the K-L-A forces have been disarmed, but 13 K-
L-A commanders are permitted to travel with armed
bodyguards in Kosovo.
Canadian Major Roland Lavoie said the detention of
General Ceku proved that NATO's K-FOR mission is
working efficiently to control weapons.
Prime Minister Thaci blasted what he called Russian
and Serbian speaking gangs for harassing and insulting
the Commander-in-Chief. (signed)
31-Jul-1999 15:42 PM LOC (31-Jul-1999 1942 UTC)
 KOSOVO CHURCH (S-L) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)DATE=8/1/1999
INTRO: Serbian church leaders have condemned an attack early Sunday on their main cathedral in Pristina. They have asked NATO for more protection of holy sites. Philip Smucker reports from Kosovo's provincial capital.
TEXT: Serbian church leaders are demanding better protection for Serbian civilians and sacred places after an attack (early Sunday) on the main Orthodox cathedral in the capital of Kosovo. NATO and U-N officials condemned what they called a cowardly attack against a place of worship. One church official said he had warned British commanders only days earlier that the church was a likely target for Albanian extremists. Father Sava Janjic said he had been assured the site would be protected. The Serbian priest stopped short of directly accusing the ethnic-Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" - the K- L-A - of the attack. But he said the church and other targets were in areas still vulnerable to attacks by the K-L-A. The bomb attack caused some structural damage to the as-yet-unfinished cathedral. There were no injuries.
///REST OPT FOR LONG///
NEB/PS/DW/RAE 01-Aug-1999 12:53 PM LOC (01-Aug-1999 1653 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
 NATO SECRETARY/GENERAL CQ BY JIM RANDLE (UKRANE)DATE=7/31/1999
INTRO: Defense Secretary William Cohen says the next leader of the NATO Alliance will probably be British Defense Minister, George Robertson, V-O-A'S Jim Randle reports.
TEXT: British Defense Minister Robertson is one of at
least three candidates for the job of NATO Secretary
General. The others are Denmark's Defense Minster
Hans Haekkerup, and Germany's Rudolph Scharping.
U-S Defense Secretary Cohen says Mr. Robertson has
probably secured support of most NATO governments and
would get backing from Washington.
On a recent visit to Denmark, Mr. Cohen said Mr.
Haekkerup is a good defense minister and a strong
candidate for NATO's top job. But Mr. Cohen has not
endorsed him, publicly.
The current Secretary General of NATO -- Spain's
Javier Solana -- will finish his term soon and is
expected to move on to another high-level diplomatic
Mr. Cohen's comments came on a flight to Ukraine,
where he is to meet with President Leonid Kuchma and
other top officials on defense issues. (signed)
31-Jul-1999 11:19 AM LOC (31-Jul-1999 1519 UTC)
 NATO-SECRETARY GENERAL (L-O) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)DATE=8/1/1999
INTRO: NATO ambassadors meet Monday at NATO headquarters to consider Britain's nomination of Defense Secretary George Robertson as their new Secretary-general, succeeding Javier Solana. Ron Pemstein reports from Brussels on NATO's road to new leadership.
TEXT: When European leaders named former Italian
Prime Minister Romano Prodi as the new president of
the European Commission, they ensured that the next
Secretary General of NATO will be a northern European.
That is because Europe's two major political
appointments are normally geographically balanced.
The current Secretary General -- Spain's Javier Solana
was planning to leave his post at the end of the
year. In June, the European leaders named Mr. Solana
their special representative for joint foreign and
defense policies. At the same meeting in Cologne, his
expected successor at NATO, German defense minister
Rudolf Scharping, declined interest in moving to
Mr. Scharping's refusal to become NATO Secretary
General was supported by German Chancellor Gerhard
Schroeder. That left Europe without any other
Belgium offered Jean-Luc Dehaene; the Prime Minister
defeated in national elections in June following a
food contamination scandal. There was little
enthusiasm for picking another Belgian Prime Minister
after Willy Claes was forced to resign as NATO
Secretary-General because of his involvement in a
Belgian corruption scandal.
There was discussion about Denmark's Defense Minister
Hans Haekkerup. His chances disappeared when
objections were raised about selecting a Dane, because
Denmark does not belong to the "West European Union"
There was also limited enthusiasm for Britain's
initial suggestions. They included Paddy Ashdown, the
leader of the British "Liberal Democratic Party".
While Mr. Ashdown is a former paratrooper, he has
never held a major foreign or defense post.
The absence of an obvious candidate for NATO Secretary
General became an embarrassment. That is why British
Prime Minister Tony Blair's suggestion of Defense
Secretary George Robertson was so welcomed by NATO
During NATO's 78-days of bombing Yugoslavia, Mr.
Robertson's passionate denunciations of Serbian ethnic
cleansing became a daily feature of the Ministry of
Defense briefings in London. Those briefings raised
the profile of the former Scottish labor union leader
among NATO ambassadors.
The British Ambassador to NATO has called the meeting
of ambassadors to discuss Mr. Robertson's nomination.
The reason, according to NATO officials, is not
because the nominee is British, but because the
British Ambassador is the senior Ambassador of the 19
NATO members. (signed)
 FRANCE-ALGERIA (L-O) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)DATE=8/1/1999
INTRO: France's foreign minister, in Paris after a visit to Algiers, says a new air of liberty is sweeping through the north African state that has been rocked by civil war for seven-years. Julian Nundy reports from Paris, France is hailing improvement in its usually tense relations with its former north African colony.
TEXT: French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine is just
back from what he describes as an extremely cordial
series of talks with Algeria's new president Abdelaziz
Bouteflika. The French minister says he believes
Algeria is emerging from years of tragedy.
In an interview with the weekly newspaper "Le Journal
du Dimanche", Mr. Vedrine confirmed, what he called --
a new opening towards Algeria. He said French
president Jacques Chirac plans to visit Algiers soon,
sometime after a Paris meeting with Mr. Bouteflika in
This follows a rebuke by Mr. Bouteflika towards the
French head of state, asking why he had visited all of
Algeria's neighbors but not Algeria itself.
Mr. Bouteflika was elected president in a
controversial election in April. He has criticized
France for questioning the conditions of his election
all the other candidates withdrew just before
saying the vote had been fixed. He said then that
France was no longer the power it had been in Algeria
and it should not interfere in Algerian affairs.
But during the past few weeks, Mr. Bouteflika has been
working on improving ties with Paris. Mr. Vedrine was
the first French foreign minister to visit in four
years. Before him, the French interior minister went
to Algeria and announced easier visa requirements for
Algerians wishing to visit France.
Now Air France, which stopped its flights to Algeria
after one of its planes was hijacked in Algiers in
December 1994, is examining security arrangements at
Algerian airports with a view to resuming flights.
The French government is also reopening two
French specialists on Algeria say they believe Mr.
Bouteflika considers peace in his country will only
come if it is more open to the outside world. They
say it is natural for him to start with the former
Despite the apparent new atmosphere in Algeria, the
Islamic extremist violence that is judged responsible
for 100-thousand deaths continues. Friday, a car bomb
exploded in the south of the country, killing seven
Mr. Vedrine said, although the violence persists,
Algerians seem to be less frightened than before
because, in his view, Algerian security forces are
gaining the upper hand. (SIGNED)
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