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Voice of America, 99-11-05

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

From: The Voice of America <gopher://>





    INTRO: The chief of the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, said today (Friday) that more money is desperately needed for rebuilding efforts. At the United Nations, V-O-A Correspondent Breck Ardery reports.

    TEXT: Mr. Kouchner says 25-million dollars is needed for the Kosovo budget by the end of this year and 110- million dollars more will be required for next year. He says it is unrealistic to expect people who are trying to rebuild Kosovo's infrastructure to work for free. Mr. Kouchner spoke to reporters immediately following his private briefing for the U-N Security Council.

    /// Kouchner Act ///

    Without the money it will be impossible to convince the people not to go back to the black market or to the mafia because they have to feed, help and support their families. That was my main message (to the Security Council) and it was very well received.

    //// End Act ///

    An international conference on Kosovo is set for November 17th in Brussels, Belgium, and donor nations will receive a detailed document on funding needs. Mr. Kouchner said protection of ethnic minorities in Kosovo is a major priority and he expressed thanks to the United Nations for sending more police officers. Regarding the slaughters that took place during Serbian attacks in Kosovo, Mr. Kouchner said there is still no way to tell how many people were buried in mass graves.

    /// Kouchner Act ///

    We are discovering mass graves every week. But the numbers are difficult to announce. It is certainly in-between five and six thousand to, some have said, 20 thousand and more. I do not know, I don't know, it is very difficult.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Kouchner did close his meeting with reporters on a positive note, pointing out that 90 percent of the schools in Kosovo are now open again.(Signed) NEB/UN/BA/LSF/ENE/JP 05-Nov-1999 17:29 PM EDT (05-Nov-1999 2229 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were up today (Friday), helped by what analysts called benign news on the U-S economy. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 64 points, closing at 10-thousand-704. The Industrials lost 25 points for the week. The Standard and Poor's 500 index rose seven points to 13-hundred-70. And the technology-led Nasdaq index, in another record close, gained one and one-half percent. U-S unemployment fell to a 30-year low of four-point- one percent and job creation in October accelerated. But wage increases were held to a mere one-tenth of one percent, showing no inflationary pressure. Wages account for about two-thirds of consumer prices.

    /// Opt ///

    Many analysts believe the U-S Federal Reserve Board (central bank governors) should feel less pressure at this point to raise interest rates when it meets November 16. But, the stock market is going up again. Yields on the long bond are starting to fall back toward six percent, after reaching a high of six-point-four percent last week. Some economists suggest the Federal Reserve and its chairman, Alan Greenspan, might decide to increase short-term rates anyway to prevent the stock market from becoming too exuberant. Maury Harris, chief economist at the Paine Webber investment house, says that is not the job of a central bank:

    /// Harris Act ///

    I think the most important thing for the Fed is economic results. And you are getting a slowdown in the average monthly job growth. The average hourly earnings are being well- contained. The employment cost index is well- contained. And I just think those arguments are more important.

    /// End Act ///

    /// End Opt ///

    Walt Disney, the second-largest media company, reported disappointing earnings. Sales are down at Disney stores. And, the company says, its two-year slump will probably continue for another year.

    /// Rest Opt ///

    Tension grows in the U-S pharmaceutical industry. Drug-maker Warner-Lambert has rejected a more than 80- billion dollar takeover bid from Pfizer. Warner- Lambert says it will go ahead with plans to merge with American Home Products to form the world's biggest drug company. Pfizer is challenging part of that merger deal in court. (signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/JP 05-Nov-1999 17:10 PM EDT (05-Nov-1999 2210 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: A U-S official says he believes an agreement will be signed next month on a multi-billion-dollar pipeline to carry Caspian Sea oil from Azerbaijan to Turkey. But as Amberin Zaman reports from Ankara, the U-S special adviser on Caspian Basin energy resources, John Wolf, says some technical hurdles remain.

    TEXT: The pipeline would carry petroleum from Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, to Turkey's southern Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. Ambassador Wolf told a news conference in Ankara he is confident an agreement on the pipeline will be signed next month, at a meeting of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe in Istanbul.

    /// 1st WOLF ACT ///

    I think that this project is accelerating, and the negotiators are well engaged in the process and they know what the target is for signature of this, and they are working in all good faith to get there. And I am very hopeful that they're going to get there.

    /// END ACT ///

    Construction of the pipeline -- running almost two- thousand kilometers from the Azeri capital through Georgia to Turkey -- is among the U-S government's major energy goals. Experts say pumping Azerbaijan's vast offshore Caspian crude reserves through a main export line to Turkey would significantly reduce the former Soviet republic's dependency on Russia. And Mr. Wolf says it also would prevent Iran from gaining influence in the region.

    /// 2nd WOLF ACT ///

    We do not see any advantage at all for any countries or any companies in this region to be giving Iran additional influence in the region or additional influence over the world's energy supplies.

    /// END ACT ///

    Turkish, Georgian and Azeri officials, as well as members of the Western consortium developing three offshore oil fields in Azerbaijan, have been meeting in Ankara this past week to iron out final details of the agreement. Ambassador Wolf says these include a set of issues pertaining to property laws in Georgia.

    /// 3rd WOLF ACT ///

    They'll be looking at issues like, are there differences on what could be expected on land acquisition, for instance. On land acquisition in Azerbaijan, all land is public; in Georgia it's private.

    /// END ACT ///

    Analysts say another, more difficult, problem is continuing Russian opposition to the pipeline. A Russian official traveled to Azerbaijan Friday to try to persuade Azeri President Heidar Aliyev to abandon the Turkish project and use a route through Russia instead. An existing pipeline from Baku to Russia's Black Sea port of Novorossiisk was shut down this summer after an explosion on a section running through the southern Russian republic of Daghestan. Oil and security analysts say continuing violence in the breakaway republic of Chechnya, combined with pressure from the United States, persuaded Western oil companies to finally endorse the Turkish route, even though it is much more costly than other proposed options, including one through Iran. (Signed)
    NEB/AZ/JWH/WTW 05-Nov-1999 12:52 PM EDT (05-Nov-1999 1752 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Mehmet Recai Kutan, the leader of the main opposition party in Turkey, Fazilet Partisi, or Virtue Party, is on a one-week trip (Oct. 30 - Nov. 7) to the United States. He visited Washington earlier this week and gave a speech (November 1) at the Woodrow Wilson Center about his party and its role in the country. VOA's Ninie G. Syarikin has this report.

    TEXT: Mr. Kutan became chairman of pro-religious Virtue Party in 1997, the year that party was established. Though it is only two years old, in general elections last April, the party won 110 seats in the 550-member parliament. Part of the reason for his trip to the United States, Mr. Kutan says, is to explain what the young party stands for.

    /// FIRST KUTAN ACT ///

    We are aware of some circles in Turkey are trying to introduce us in a way other than what we are. One of the purpose of our trip to Washington, D-C and New York City, is to let the opinion makers in this country know us as we are, know us by interacting face to face with the leadership of our party.

    /// END ACT ///

    According to Mr. Kutan, the Virtue Party has five basic principles: it supports democracy, liberty, human rights, the rule of law, and economic growth. Support for the party, he says, is particularly strong among the country's middle-class, including farmers, workers, businessmen, and entrepreneurs, groups that value stability, continuity and the opportunity to improve their economic situation. Because it is at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, Mr. Kutan says, Turkey has good strategic and geopolitical advantages. It can play an important role as a bridge between the East and West - and is an ideal base of operation for joint ventures and foreign investments. In addition, he says, it is a young country - with 35 million people -- or 55 percent of its population -- under the age of 24. Mr. Kutan also believes that a close and stable relationship between Turkey and the United States is very important for peace and stability in the troubled areas in the world, the Middle-East, Balkan, and Caucasus. He says the state should not interfere with religious affairs. As a pro-religious party in a secular but overwhelmingly Muslim Turkey, he says the Virtue Party opposes banning headscarves in schools and public offices.

    /// SECOND KUTAN ACT ///

    We demand that everybody be free in their religious beliefs and practices. We demand and prefer the application of secularism which exists in Anglo-Saxon tradition and in the United States. Our standing up against the existing (secular system) in Turkey has been interpreted by some people as our opposition to secular systems in principle.

    /// END ACT ///

    Recai Kutan describes his party's aim as follows:

    /// THIRD KUTAN ACT ///

    We demand a fair income distribution; we are against exploitation of people in any way. We call for social security for all. We feel that we are the voice of the poor and the oppressed. In short, Fazilet Party/Virtue Party demands that such principles, mentioned in the constitution, be applied in practical life as they are described in universal norms.

    /// END ACT ///

    When it comes to economics, Mr. Kutan says, he is a strong believer in the free market. Government should not take a leading role in guiding the economy, it does, he says, have a regulatory and supporting role. (Signed)
    NEB/NGS/KL 05-Nov-1999 17:51 PM EDT (05-Nov-1999 2251 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America
    Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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