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Voice of America, 00-02-19

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] ALBRIGHT - ALBANIA (L) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA, ALBANIA)
  • [02] ALBRIGHT / ALBANIA (L-UPDATE) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)
  • [03] ALBRIGHT / THACHI (L) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)
  • [04] TURKEY/KURDS (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [05] FRANCE/MUSLIMS (L-ONLY) BY PAUL MILLER (PARIS)

  • [01] ALBRIGHT - ALBANIA (L) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA, ALBANIA)

    DATE=2/19/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-259339
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has been given a warm welcome in Albania, where she used an address to parliament to urge ethnic Albanians in Kosovo to rise above the temptation for violence. V- O-A's Kyle King has this report from Tirana where the secretary met with top officials to discuss regional security and development issues.

    TEXT: Secretary of State Albright told the Albanian parliament there is a great struggle going on in Kosovo between those who want a peaceful and multi- ethnic democracy and those who want to drag the nation back into a cycle of violence and hatred. Recent violence between ethnic Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo have left several people dead, and the secretary urged Albania to do what it could to ease the tensions. The secretary also had a warning for those who would like to redraw regional maps and make Kosovo a part of Albania.

    /// ALBRIGHT ACT ///

    Attempts to expand boundaries are an invitation to violence, not peace and stability. And certainly, the international community would no sooner accept a greater Albania than it would a greater Serbia or Croatia.

    /// END ACT ///

    The secretary thanked Albanians for the support they provided NATO during the conflict in Kosovo and for the assistance they provided to the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees. In addition to talks with top Albanian leaders, Ms. Albright also met with Kosovo Albanian leader, Hashim Thaci. In her address to parliament, Ms. Albright said the United States would work with European nations to support the stability pack for the region that she said would bring a rising tide of democracy and prosperity. She urged Albanian leaders to work out their domestic political problems and make progress in the fight against crime and corruption.

    /// ALBRIGHT ACT ///

    To join Europe's mainstream, Albanians needs to adopt the patterns of transparency, accountability and responsibility that are the guideposts of Europe in the new century. Each Albanian leader must contribute to this effort whether you're in the government or outside it, in the ruling coalition or the opposition.

    /// END ACT ///

    Albania is due to hold elections later this year, but the process has been hampered by bickering over electoral committee rules. Ms. Albright said it would take a combined effort to ensure that this year's local elections are free and fair. She called on the parties to put an electoral framework into place within the next six to eight weeks. Albanian leaders are hoping they can use the secretary's brief visit to push for continued U-S support, something Ms. Albright said she wanted.
    NEB/WTW/TVM-T/JP 19-Feb-2000 09:53 AM EDT (19-Feb-2000 1453 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] ALBRIGHT / ALBANIA (L-UPDATE) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)

    DATE=2/19/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-259345
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: Updates 2-259339. New Albright quotes, details ///

    INTRO: U-S Secretary of State Madeline Albright was greeted by hundreds of cheering supporters in Albania where she pledged continuing U-S support and expressed concern about recent violence in Kosovo. V-O-A's Kyle King has this report from Tirana, where the secretary met with government leaders Saturday and addressed parliament following her one-day visit to Croatia.

    TEXT: In both her speech to Parliament and later at a news conference with Prime Minister Ilir Meta, the secretary said she was concerned about recent violence in Kosovo. Mrs. Albright said there is a great struggle going on between those who want a peaceful, multi-ethnic democracy and those who want to drag Kosovo back into a cycle of violence and hatred. Recent clashes between ethnic Serbs and Albanians in the (Kosovo) town of Mitrovica have left several people dead and the secretary urged Albania to do what it could to ease the tension. Ms. Albright also had a warning for those who would like to see Kosovo become a part of Albania -- a suggestion former president Sali Berisha is reported to have made last year.

    /// Albright Act ///

    Attempts to expand boundaries are an invitation to violence, not peace and stability. And certainly, the international community would no sooner accept a greater Albania then it would a greater Serbia or Croatia.

    /// End Act ///

    Following her speech, the secretary briefly addressed a crowd of about one-thousand supporters gathered near the prime minister's office. She urged the people to support democracy and again thanked Albania for the assistance provided to NATO during the conflict in Kosovo. She said the United States also appreciated the assistance Albania provided to the hundreds of thousands of Kosovar refugees. In addition to talks with top Albanian leaders, Mrs. Albright also held an unscheduled meeting with Kosovo- Albanian Leader Hashim Thaci. During a news conference with Prime Minister Meta, Ms. Albright said her visit marked a new phase in relations and she called Albania a valuable partner. She said the Clinton administration would seek to increase support for Albania - one of Europe's poorest countries. The secretary said foreign investment would only be possible if the government continued its efforts to battle corruption and strengthen the rule of law.

    /// Albright Act ///

    We all understand that corruption is corrosive to the Democratic evolution of Albania and that every effort has to be taken in order to get rid of it.

    /// End Act ///

    Prime Minister Meta said the country had been living with great corruption for the last decade and he pledged to continue efforts to root it out. In her address to parliament, Mrs. Albright said the United States would work with European nations to support the stability pact for the region, which she said would bring a rising tide of democracy and prosperity. Ms. Albright said the United States would support Albania's efforts to join the World Trade Organization and she urged Albanian leaders to work out their domestic political problems. Albania is due to hold elections later this year, but the process has been hampered by bickering over electoral rules. Ms. Albright said it would take a combined effort to ensure that this year's local elections are free and fair. She called on the parties to put an electoral framework in place within the next six to eight weeks. Albanian leaders pledged to continue their reform efforts and backup the peace process in Kosovo. (Signed)
    NEB/KK/ENE-T/JP 19-Feb-2000 11:48 AM EDT (19-Feb-2000 1648 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] ALBRIGHT / THACHI (L) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)

    DATE=2/19/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-259346
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has urged Kosovo-Albanian leader Hashim Thaci to use his influence to try to halt the latest outbreak of violence in Kosovo. Ms. Albright met the Kosovo- Albanian leader during her brief visit to Tirana. V- O-A's Kyle King has this report.

    TEXT: Secretary of State Albright has expressed alarm at the rising tide of extremism in Kosovo, especially recent clashes between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in Mitrovica. A senior U-S official said Ms. Albright used her previously unscheduled meeting with Mr. Thaci to urge tolerance and cooperation with international peacekeeping troops. She also urged him to expel extremists from Kosovo. The U-S official said the United States is concerned because there are indications that the latest violence in Kosovo could spread across the border. Mr. Thaci, the former leader of the now disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army, told the secretary that he had traveled to Mitrovica to urge moderation. Next week, Mrs. Albright is also planning to meet in Washington with moderate Serb Bishop Artimije to discuss the situation. U-S officials blame extremists from both sides for creating the volatile situation. (Signed)
    NEB/KK/JP 19-Feb-2000 12:46 PM EDT (19-Feb-2000 1746 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] TURKEY/KURDS (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=2/19/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-259352
    CONTENT=
    Voiced at :
    /// Re-running w/new number and correction in intro and spelling in first graph of Text ///

    INTRO: Two Kurdish mayors were arrested Saturday over their alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party also known as the PKK. As Amberin Zaman reports from Ankara, Western diplomats and Human rights groups say the arrests will likely undermine Turkey's efforts to become a full member of the European Union and harm its image abroad. Text: Feridun Celik mayor of the largest Kurdish dominated city in the southeast was arrested late Saturday after meeting with Canadian diplomats in D-I- y-a-r-b-a-k-I-r . Selim Ozalp mayor of Siirt, another town in the mainly Kurdish southeast region, was also arrested on charges of helping the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, the P-k-k. Turkish officials confirm the mayors were detained after they received information from captured PKk rebels that the men had "acted in coordination with the PKK." The mayors are also being accused of transferring funds to the rebels and attending their meetings in Europe. Mr. Celik and Mr. Ozalp are among a group of Kurdish mayors, who were swept to power during nationwide elections held last April on the ticket of the pro- Kurdish People's Democracy party or Hadep for short. Hadep officials rejected the charges as "a total fabrication" and said the arrests constituted a serious setback to ongoing efforts for a lasting peace in the largely Kurdish southeast region. Nearly 40-thousand people have died in the civil conflict. Hopes for peace have been steadily rising following the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan by Turkish special forces in Kenya a year ago. Ocalan who has been handed the death sentence on treason charges by a Turkish court has called an end to his bloody 15 year long armed rebellion, shelved his demands for Kurdish autonomy and independence. Clashes in the Kurdish region have all but ceased and stringent security measures have been relaxed creating an unprecedented atmosphere of peace. Western observers say the mayors'arrests mark a shift from the government's earlier overtures towards Hadep, which makes no secret of its sympathy for Ocalan and the PKK. Last September Turkish President Suleyman Demirel met with a delegation of ethnic Kurdish mayors led by Mr Celik, who pledged his commitment to the unity of the Turkish state. Recent moves by Turkey's Left of center prime minister, Bulent Ecevit, to raise democratic standards in his country were given a further boost when European Union leaders agreed to include Turkey in the list of countries with which it will open full membership talks. Some Western diplomats in Ankara say Saturday's arrests may have been orchestrated by what they term forces within the Turkish establishment who are opposed to Turkey's European Union membership. (Signed)
    NEB/PT 19-Feb-2000 15:30 PM EDT (19-Feb-2000 2030 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] FRANCE/MUSLIMS (L-ONLY) BY PAUL MILLER (PARIS)

    DATE=2/19/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-259343
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The government of France, which has criticized Austria for taking the extreme right Freedom Party into its ruling coalition, is now under attack from its own right wing. Paul Miller reports from Paris that an extreme-right party has accused the country's interior minister of betraying his own people by proposing government funding to build mosques.

    TEXT: Interior Minister Jean Pierre Chevenement called for closer relations between the government and moderate Islamic organizations in France. The minister urged the Islamic groups to seek government aid -- including money to build more mosques. The government has noted there are four times as many Muslims as the one-million Protestants in France, but far fewer mosques than the estimated 950 Protestant churches. The government has pursued a policy of cracking down on Islamist extremists, while encouraging moderate Muslims. Muslims today are the second largest religious group in France after Roman Catholics. Many Muslims in France are originally from North Africa. Right-wing parties have fanned (encouraged) resentment against them and have called for stricter immigration controls and even the expulsion of foreign-born residents. The leader of the extreme right National Republican Movement said Minister Chevenement was mad to propose state funding for mosques. Bruno Megret said it was a clear violation of the principal of separation of church and state. And he said it amounted to a declaration of war on France which would lead to the country becoming Islamic. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PM/DW/JP 19-Feb-2000 11:02 AM EDT (19-Feb-2000 1602 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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