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Voice of America, 01-08-01

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

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

SLUG: 2-278888 CQ Macedonia Agreement (CQ) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

CONTENTS

  • [01] MACEDONIA--AGREEMENT CQ BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)
  • [02] MACEDONIA--AGREEMENT BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)
  • [03] MACEDONIA (L ONLY) BY JEFF BIELEY (SKOPJE)
  • [04] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] MACEDONIA--AGREEMENT CQ BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=08/01/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-278888
    INTERNET= CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// RERUNNING TO TAKE OUT SECOND PARAGRAPH OF TEXT -- INFORMATION IS OUTDATED -- NO OTHER CHANGES ///

    INTRO: Western mediators say Macedonian political leaders have agreed on greater official use of the Albanian language. The language issue was seen as a major stumbling block on the road to peace in the troubled former Yugoslav Republic. But as Stefan Bos reports United States and European Union mediators have already cautioned that several other difficult issues have yet to be resolved to end Macedonia's five-month old ethnic conflict.

    TEXT: After five days of tense negotiations, at a Presidential retreat in the lakeside city of Ohrid, political leaders agreed to make the Albanian language a more important part of Macedonian society. Speaking by telephone, U-S envoy James Pardew described the language agreement as an important step toward peace in the troubled Balkan nation.

    /// PARDEW ACT 1 ///

    We are not out of the woods yet. But we have gotten past, I think, the most difficult issue to be resolved.

    ///END ACT ///

    Mr. Pardew says that finalizing an agreement on ending five months of ethnic conflict in Macedonia hinges on the outcome of talks on ethnic Albanian demands to have more control over local police, in regions where they form a majority.

    /// PARDEW ACT 2 ///

    The next difficult issue is the nature of the police. Will they be locally controlled or centrally controlled from the Capital? And what will be the composition of the police force? We expect also this to be a very difficult negotiation.

    /// END ACT ///

    Albanian political parties have made it clear that Macedonia's estimated 600-thousand ethnic Albanians should have more say over who leads the police in areas where they form a majority. But leaders of the Macedonian majority seem to fear that ethnic Albanian gunmen known as the National Liberation Army, or N-L-A, could change their uniforms and join local police forces if these are no longer under central Government control. They are concerned that this will lead to the further break up of Macedonia. Government officials insist the N-L-A wants to merge the largely ethnic Albanian areas of northern Macedonia with neighboring Kosovo. But N-L-A leaders assert their struggle is for equal rights for Macedonia's Albanian minority and say they are ready to continue their battle if no final peace agreement is reached. N-L-A and Macedonian forces have been clashing since February. Western mediators have tried to convince all sides that time to avoid a full-scale civil war is running out. NATO has said it is ready to send about three-thousand peacekeepers to Macedonia, on the condition that representatives of ethnic Albanians and Macedonia's majority sign and respect a final peace agreement and political settlement. Although violence has diminished in recent days -- as both sides observe a cease-fire -- sporadic attacks continue, as reminders that Macedonia remains volatile and a hotbed for ethnic hatred. /// REST OPT /// At least one Macedonian police officer was killed early Wednesday, outside a police checkpoint near the city of Tetovo. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SB/FC SLUG: 2-278880 Macedonia/Agreement (L-O) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [02] MACEDONIA--AGREEMENT BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=08/01/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-278880
    INTERNET= CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Western mediators say Macedonian political leaders have agreed on greater official use of the Albanian language. The language issue was seen as a major stumbling block on the road to peace in the troubled former Yugoslav Republic. But as Stefan Bos reports United States and European Union mediators have already cautioned that several other difficult issues have yet to be resolved to end Macedonia's five-month old ethnic conflict.

    TEXT: After five days of tense negotiations, at a Presidential retreat in the lakeside city of Ohrid, political leaders agreed to make the Albanian language a more important part of Macedonian society. It is still unclear if Albanian will be recognized throughout Macedonia -- or, as previously proposed by Western mediators -- only in areas where ethnic Albanians make up at least 20 percent of the population. But speaking by telephone, U-S envoy James Pardew described the language agreement as an important step toward peace in the troubled Balkan nation.

    /// PARDEW ACT 1 ///

    We are not out of the woods yet. But we have gotten past, I think, the most difficult issue to be resolved.

    ///END ACT ///

    Mr. Pardew says that finalizing an agreement on ending five months of ethnic conflict in Macedonia hinges on the outcome of talks on ethnic Albanian demands to have more control over local police, in regions where they form a majority.

    /// PARDEW ACT 2 ///

    The next difficult issue is the nature of the police. Will they be locally controlled or centrally controlled from the Capital? And what will be the composition of the police force? We expect also this to be a very difficult negotiation.

    /// END ACT ///

    Albanian political parties have made it clear that Macedonia's estimated 600-thousand ethnic Albanians should have more say over who leads the police in areas where they form a majority. But leaders of the Macedonian majority seem to fear that ethnic Albanian gunmen known as the National Liberation Army, or N-L-A, could change their uniforms and join local police forces if these are no longer under central Government control. They are concerned that this will lead to the further break up of Macedonia. Government officials insist the N-L-A wants to merge the largely ethnic Albanian areas of northern Macedonia with neighboring Kosovo. But N-L-A leaders assert their struggle is for equal rights for Macedonia's Albanian minority and say they are ready to continue their battle if no final peace agreement is reached. N-L-A and Macedonian forces have been clashing since February. Western mediators have tried to convince all sides that time to avoid a full-scale civil war is running out. NATO has said it is ready to send about three-thousand peacekeepers to Macedonia, on the condition that representatives of ethnic Albanians and Macedonia's majority sign and respect a final peace agreement and political settlement. Although violence has diminished in recent days -- as both sides observe a cease-fire -- sporadic attacks continue, as reminders that Macedonia remains volatile and a hotbed for ethnic hatred. /// REST OPT /// At least one Macedonian police officer was killed early Wednesday, outside a police checkpoint near the city of Tetovo. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SB/FC SLUG: 2-278870 Macedonia (L only) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [03] MACEDONIA (L ONLY) BY JEFF BIELEY (SKOPJE)

    DATE=08/01/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-278870
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Macedonia's political leaders are reportedly making progress in their efforts to end fighting between government forces and ethnic-Albanian rebels. Jeff Bieley reports from Skopje.

    TEXT: The closed-door talks between representatives of Macedonia's political parties are said to be near agreement on one of the key issues: language. Imer Imeri, the leader of one Albanian party involved in the talks, said (Tuesday) the two sides were close to a deal on greater official use of the Albanian language. Mr. Imeri said "most of the work has been done" on a compromise formula that would grant the Albanian language semi-official status in the local and central governments. The language issue has been the toughest problem for the negotiators. In the past, Macedonian leaders have said giving the minority language equal status would lead to an ethnic division of the country. About one-third of Macedonia's two-million people speak Albanian as their mother tongue. But though the two sides may be drawing closer, agreement on the language issue is by no means assured. Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski's spokesman said (Tuesday) that Macedonia "already has a liberal language policy" for non-official use of Albanian in print and broadcast media. Reports of progress in the peace talks comes as more than 100 U-S troops and support personnel have been withdrawn from Macedonia and about another 100 are expected to leave by the end of the week. A Pentagon spokesman said the move was made for security reasons, citing recent mob violence against Western targets in Skopje, including the U-S embassy. Three-hundred troops will remain at the Skopje airport as part of a logistics and surveillance base that supports U-S peacekeepers in Kosovo, and provides intelligence on movements of Albanian guerrillas in Macedonia. Meanwhile, although violence has diminished in recent days, a Macedonian police officer was killed early Wednesday outside a police checkpoint near Tetovo, a town in western Macedonia where Albanians are in the majority. (Signed)
    NEB/JB/KL/JWH SLUG: 6-12410 EDITORIAL DIGEST (08-01) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:


    [04] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=08/01/01
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-12410
    INTERNET=YES EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: Another controversy is developing regarding the Bush administration's attitude toward an international treaty convention, this time on racism. There are several editorials in Wednesday's U-S press on the issue. Other editorials deal with the energy bill in congress and the related discussion of automobile gasoline [petrol] fuel efficiency. Voting reform gets attention with a new report on improving it; and campaign finance reform is also discussed. Still other editorials deal with the Mexican truck issue: Peru's new president; and Argentina's economic woes. Now, here with a closer look is ____________ and today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: A goodly number of editorials are commenting on the possibility that this country will boycott a pending international conference on racism in South Africa. In Utah, Salt Lake City's Deseret [Dez-ur- ret] News, owned by the Mormon Church says:

    VOICE: The Bush administration is right in opposing some of the items that may be on an upcoming U-N conference on race and discrimination ...[including] reparations for slavery and ...[equating] Zionism with racism. The ... administration is wrong, however, in declaring it will boycott the ... August ...conference... in Durban, South Africa ... if those ...items are on the final agenda. ... Whatever final form the conference's agenda takes, the most powerful nation in the world needs to be there.

    TEXT: In the Midwest, today's Saint Louis Post-Dispatch says the attempt of Arab leaders to equate Zionism with racism is being made to subvert the conference and make a mockery of the United Nations. The paper agrees with a U-S boycott unless the objectionable language is removed from the draft declaration. The Chicago Tribune says - Neither reparations nor Zionism should be used to hijack the Durban conference ...[but] President Bush ought not bow out of this forum... Today's Boston Globe is even more critical.

    VOICE: Coming on the heels of Bush administration efforts to dilute, undermine, or ignore international treaties on a broad range of topics from global warming ... to germ warfare to anti-ballistic missiles... the threatened snub of the racism summit is myopic at best.

    TEXT: There is plenty of comment on a new energy bill being debated in Congress, with the New York Times calling the measure - ... a mishmash of ... tired ideas favoring the coal, oil and gas industries. Today's Washington Post says the bill wants to - waste your tax dollars - and then criticizes the section proposing to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which, The Post says:

    VOICE: ... involves environmental risks that exceed the likely economic gain. The House should vote to prohibit it. The second [issue]...concerns fuel efficiency standards for vehicles. Members will be able to choose between a token increase in efficiency ... backed by the Republican leadership and a real one contained in an amendment...They should back the [amendment]...

    TEXT: In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is upset because such an important bill - deserves a full and open debate - but the paper fears it may not get one. In Michigan, The Detroit News calls for ending what it calls the relatively ineffective federal fuel economy standards for U-S automobiles... as an energy conservation measure...but the Austin [Texas] American Statesman says - Gas mileage can and should be improved. A special voting reform commission headed by former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford delivered its report to President George W. Bush Tuesday, drawing several comments. In New Jersey's capital, The [Trenton] Times says:

    VOICE: Some light was shed ...[on] How to fix it ... with the ... report ...[which] recommended a major overhaul of the nation's election system, along with adequate federal aid to help pay for it. ... the panel correctly concluded ... that each state [should] set a standard for what percentage of errors it will accept for each kind of [voting] machine, and ... adopt uniform statewide standards...

    TEXT: Boston's Christian Science Monitor says the report should - ...help nudge foot-dragging states and counties to fix their voting processes. The Boston Globe says the proposals - would improve democracy for voters and candidates alike. But it should have gone further. Internationally, the debate over allowing Mexican long-distance trucks free access to this country, beyond the 32-kilometer border zone, to which they are now restricted continues, with today's Seattle [Washington] Post-Intelligencer proposing:

    VOICE: Mexican trucks are welcome in this country - so long as they meet the same safety criteria required of all other vehicles... These are simply common-sense requirements. However, care must be taken in implementation to avoid having them become a bogus trade barrier.

    TEXT: Chicago's Sun-Times calls the debate - A poor excuse for a trade block - and adds - this is a battle [Mr.] Bush should press to the fullest and, we hope, win. In other Latin American affairs, Alejandro Toledo was sworn in recently as Peru's president, but Tuesday the full-blooded ethnic Indian was also blessed by an Indian shaman (holy man) at the sacred Inca capital of Machu Picchu. The Los Angeles Times is impressed.

    VOICE: The Stanford-educated economist honored his Indian heritage with the gesture. But he will also need help from the World Bank, where he used to work, the International Monetary Fund ... and the United States...which...has a vested interest in the well-being of Peru.

    TEXT: Just how tough a job President Toledo faces is laid out by today's Columbus [Ohio] Dispatch - ... the economy is in ruins... because it was rigged and looted by an oligarchy at the expense of the populace... Still with Latin finances, The New York Times casts a furtive glance at Argentina's perilous economic condition, and notes:

    VOICE: Argentina took an important symbolic step ... in its struggle to avoid financial collapse ... passing a law committing itself to a balanced budget [and] paving the way for wage cuts for public employees and tax increases. ... the country's new "zero deficit" law ... will work only if the provinces cooperate by restraining spending.

    TEXT: Noting the dramatic downturn in the U-S economy, today's Louisville [Kentucky] Courier-Journal says:

    VOICE: As recently as last year, federal budget forecasters were talking happily about 200-billion dollar surpluses as far as the eye could see. But as in the case of the infinite string of deficits predicted during the 1980's, it turns out that the eye can not see very far - even with the aid of powerful computers.

    TEXT: Internationally, Indonesia's peaceful change in government does not escape the attention of the Charleston [South Carolina] Post and Courier, which suggests - A continuation of the democratic trend that Mr. [Abdurraham] Wahid introduced ... cannot be guaranteed under [new president] Ms. Megawati [Sukarnoputri] ... There is reason to fear ... she may abandon democracy and attempt to impose an authoritarian government. On that thought, we conclude this editorial sampling from Wednesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/RAE


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