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Voice of America, 01-08-13

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

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

SLUG: 5-49939 Macedonian/Agreement DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

CONTENTS

  • [01] MACEDONIA AGREEMENT BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)
  • [02] TURKEY/AZERBAIJAN/OIL (L-Only) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [03] U-S Macedonia (S-only) BY David Swan (Washington)
  • [04] MACEDONIA (S) BY JEFF BIELEY (SKOPJE)
  • [05] MACEDONIA (L ONLY) BY JEFF BIELEY (KOPJE)
  • [06] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (Washington)

  • [01] MACEDONIA AGREEMENT BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=08/13/01
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-49939
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The peace agreement signed Monday in Skopje is intended to end a six-month ethnic Albanian insurgency and return peace and stability to Macedonia. But serious doubts that the accord will succeed are already being voiced. V-O-A's Barry Wood has more from Washington.

    TEXT: NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson says the accord is a huge step forward that will bring normal life back to Macedonia. The accord gives official status to the Albanian language and more rights and autonomy to the country's ethnic Albanian minority, something the rebels said they were fighting for. The accord was signed by Macedonia's principal Albanian and Macedonian political parties. But the rebels did not take part in the peace negotiations and did not sign the draft document, although some rebel commanders endorsed it. Jonathan Benton is the deputy director of the U-S state department's office of southern European affairs. He says the critical next step is achieving the viable cease-fire that NATO is insisting upon, before it dispatches a disarmament mission to Macedonia.

    /// BENTON ACT ///

    A key to the accord will be rapid deployment of a NATO force, and the key to that is the continued holding of the cease-fire. And working out any remaining issues related to the deployment of a NATO force.

    /// END ACT ///

    NATO is working out plans to send 35-hundred troops, under a British commander, to disarm the rebels. The NATO mission could involve troops from a dozen countries and last 30 days. However, skepticism remains in Macedonia about whether the rebels, known as the N-L-A, will abide by the agreement, and whether the accord can truly bring peace to a country where six months of fighting has embittered both sides. Sam Vaknin, a political analyst in Skopje who has advised the Macedonian government, sees the agreement as weighted in favor of the Albanians. He says it was imposed by NATO and the European Union on a reluctant and weak Macedonian government.

    /// VAKNIN ACT ///

    With the exception of the provision for disarmament of the rebels, this country or part of it, is under the occupation of a foreign power, the N-L-A (National Liberation Army). Yet it has been forced to sign a peace agreement with the propagators of this breach of sovereignty and territorial integrity. I call this a repeat of the Sudeten situation (in 1938, when the major powers forced Czechoslovakia to cede its German populated border regions to Hitler).

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Vaknin says most of the rebels come from the neighboring Serbian province of Kosovo, which is predominantly ethnic Albanian. He believes the insurgency will continue. And he is concerned about recent signs of splits within the rebel movement.

    /// VAKNIN ACT ///

    The N-L-A has been fracturing consistently within the past two months. And splinter groups of the N-L-A, very akin to the (dissident group) Real I-R-A in Ireland, have taken arms and have commenced operations in Montenegro, in south Serbia in the Presevo valley, and, in the last few days, here in Macedonia, in Tetovo. The fighting is likely to spread to the Albanian border, in Debar and to Gostivar. And the villages around Skopje are prime targets. So I don't think the fighting is over.

    /// END ACT ///

    However, the peace accord could open the way to new economic aid and investment. The World Bank and European Union are promising to convene a donors conference for Macedonia. And a suspended loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund could soon be re-instated. The head of the E-U-sponsored Stability Pact for the Balkans, Bodo Hombach, hailed the accord, calling it the conciliatory political signal we all waited for. (signed)
    NEB/BW/TW SLUG: 2-279290 Turkey/Azerbeijan/Oil (L0 DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [02] TURKEY/AZERBAIJAN/OIL (L-Only) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=08/13/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-279290
    INTERNET= CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Turkey is warning Iran and Azerbaijan against any escalation in the row over Caspian Sea oil exploration rights. As Amberin Zaman reports from Ankara, the Turkish warning follow threats from Azerbaijan that it will open fire on Iranian warplanes overflying areas of the inland sea it regards as its own.

    TEXT: The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Monday urged its neighbors, Iran and Azerbaijan, to solve their differences through dialogue, not threats of violence. The Turkish call comes amid mounting tensions between Azerbaijan and Iran over territorial rights in the oil rich Caspian Sea. The war of words between the two countries escalated Monday, after Azerbaijan's Army Chief of Staff said his forces would open fire on Iranian war planes that violate air space over territory claimed by Azerbaijian. Azerbaijani officials say Iranian warplanes have been overflying their territory in recent days in an apparent attempt to deter Azerbaijan from further oil exploration and production activity in the Caspian Sea. Azerbaijan and Iran remain at loggerheds over the Caspian Sea, which has huge reserves of oil and gas. Last month, an Iranian gunship and a military plane ordered two Azerbaijani research vessels hired by the oil giant B-P Amoco to retreat from an offshore Caspian oilfield, which both Iran and Azerbaijan claim as their own. The dispute over Caspian exploration and production rights began in the early 1990's, following the collapse of the former Soviet Union.

    /// OPT ///

    The five states bordering the Caspian Sea -- Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran -- remain divided over the legal status of the inland sea. Turkmenistan and Iran say the Caspian Sea is a lake and should be divided into five equal national sectors. The remaining Caspian neighbors say it should be treated as a sea. Under that scenario, Turkmenistan and Iran would each get less than the 20 percent of the sea which they claim as their own, because part of the sea would then be considered international waters. /// END OPT /// Iran and Turkey have been locked in a fierce battle to extend their influence over Azerbaijan and the land-locked Muslim states in Central Asia. Analysts say the country which succeeds in becoming the main transit route for the region's vast oil and gas reserves will be the victor in that battle. Turkey has close ethnic and cultural ties with Azerbaijan . The two countries are also bound by a military cooperation and training agreement.

    /// REST OPT ///

    The United States is backing construction of a multi-billion dollar oil pipeline to carry offshore Azerbaijani crude oil from the capital Baku to loading terminals at Turkey's southern Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. (signed)
    NEB/AZ/TW SLUG: 2-279284 U-S Macedonia (S-only).rtf DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [03] U-S Macedonia (S-only) BY David Swan (Washington)

    DATE=8/13/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-279284
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The United States has welcomed the Macedonian peace accord and called on both the government and the ethnic Albanian minority to follow through. V-O-A's David Swan has details.

    TEXT: The signing of the peace agreement is good news for the United States and its European allies, who worked to stop the violence and head off a wider Balkan war. At his ranch in Texas, President Bush called the deal a "good sign," and urged the government and ethnic Albanian gunmen to lay down their arms so the pact can take effect. State Department spokesman Philip Reeker sharply criticized the Albanians who launched heavy attacks this past weekend.

    // Reeker act //

    We utterly condemn the recent attacks by extremists. There is absolutely no justification and no excuse for this type of action by the armed extremists in Macedonia. We urge the government forces to act with restraint. It's important now that the government open the way to reconciliation by offering an amnesty.

    // end act //

    The accord recognizes Albanian as an official language in some regions of Macedonia and calls for more ethnic Albanians to be part of the national police force. It also clears the way for 35-hundred NATO troops to move in and disarm the gunmen. However, the alliance warns it will not act unless the cease-fire holds. (Signed)
    NEB/DS/RH SLUG: 2-279281 Macedonia (S) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [04] MACEDONIA (S) BY JEFF BIELEY (SKOPJE)

    DATE=08/13/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-279281
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: CORRECTS NEB 2-279280 SLUG TO REFLECT IT IS A SHORT. A LONG WILL BE FILED. ///

    INTRO: Macedonia's political leaders today (Monday) signed a deal intended to end six months of ethnic fighting. The final approval of the accord comes after eleven days of negotiations with international mediators that concluded last week. Jeff Bieley has more from Skopje.

    TEXT: Leaders of Macedonia's four largest political parties have signed a compromise package of reforms to grant greater rights to the country's ethnic-Albanian minority.

    /// OPT ///

    The signing, which took place at the official residence of President Boris Trajkovski, came after an hour and a half wait, described as a "technical delay" by an official of one of the parties.

    /// END OPT ///

    The international mediators who brokered the deal, E-U representative Francois Leotard and U-S envoy James Pardew, were on hand to witness the signing, as were NATO Secretary General George Robertson and the E-U's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana. The signing comes after five days of heavy fighting that ended early Monday morning. Some diplomats and Macedonian leaders are wary that a hard-line faction of the ethnic-Albanian insurgents may continue fighting despite the deal. Immediately after the accord was initialed last Wednesday, guerrillas ambushed a convoy of Macedonian soldiers, killing ten. The deal is also unpopular with many Macedonians who believe the country was forced by violence to give in to ethnic-Albanian demands.

    /// OPT TO END ///

    Demonstrations by Macedonian hard-liners are set to begin late Monday in front of parliament. (Signed)
    NEB/JB/KL/RH SLUG: 2-279280 Macedonia (L only) 8-13-01.rtf DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [05] MACEDONIA (L ONLY) BY JEFF BIELEY (KOPJE)

    DATE=08/13/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-279280
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Macedonia's political leaders today (Monday) signed a deal intended to end six months of ethnic fighting. The final approval of the accord comes after eleven days of negotiations with international mediators that concluded last week. Jeff Bieley has more from Skopje.

    TEXT: Leaders of Macedonia's four largest political parties have signed a compromise package of reforms to grant greater rights to the country's ethnic-Albanian minority.

    /// OPT ///

    The signing, which took place at the official residence of President Boris Trajkovski, came after an hour and a half wait, described as a "technical delay" by an official of one of the parties.

    /// END OPT ///

    The international mediators who brokered the deal, E-U representative Francois Leotard and U-S envoy James Pardew, were on hand to witness the signing, as were NATO Secretary General George Robertson and the E-U's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana. The signing comes after five days of heavy fighting that ended early Monday morning. Some diplomats and Macedonian leaders are wary that a hard-line faction of the ethnic-Albanian insurgents may continue fighting despite the deal. Immediately after the accord was initialed last Wednesday, guerrillas ambushed a convoy of Macedonian soldiers, killing ten. The deal is also unpopular with many Macedonians who believe the country was forced by violence to give in to ethnic-Albanian demands.

    /// OPT TO END ///

    Demonstrations by Macedonian hard-liners are set to begin late Monday in front of parliament. (Signed)
    NEB/JB/KL/RH SLUG: 6-12423 Monday's Editorials DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [06] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (Washington)

    DATE=08/13/01
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-12423
    EDITOR=Assignments
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: Discussion of President George W. Bush's stem cell decision continues to reverberate in Monday's editorial columns. Other topics include: proposed changes in the U-S military; the Northern Ireland peace unraveling; the Mid East; and ongoing strife in Afghanistan. Other editorials deal with Fidel Castro at 75 and the high price journalists pay for reporting the news. Now, here is __________ with a closer look and some quotes in today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: President Bush's decision to approve limited federal funding of some stem cell research is drawing additional comment this Monday. Today's Orlando [Florida] Sentinel feels the President did not go "far enough."

    VOICE: President Bush's stem-cell decision, though courageous, falls short. ... in trying to appease his party's conservatives, Mr. Bush may have wasted valuable time and left the living to suffer unnecessarily.

    TEXT: In Minnesota, however, The Saint Paul Pioneer Press is pleased with the president's decision.

    VOICE: ... the president deserves credit for deliberating carefully on a complex policy issue, then breaking with social conservative orthodoxy. He made a reasonable compromise that serves well for now.... the most prudent choice he could ...

    TEXT: But in Georgia, The Atlanta Constitution feels the decision is "much too tepid," complaining:

    VOICE: President Bush could find the moral courage neither to endorse stem-cell research nor to ban it. So rather than take a strong stand, he chose to make everyone equally miserable. ...By limiting federally funded research... the president guarantees that private companies will leap ahead with their own research and will [,] consequently own the resulting treatments.

    TEXT: In Alabama, on the other hand, the Mobile Register finds the president's decision "reasonable" although its editorial board adds, it would have "preferred that Mr. Bush go further and allow federal funding for all such [stem cell] research..." And in Charleston, South Carolina, the Post and Courier is calling it a "good and morally defensible position..." On the separate, but closely aligned topic of cloning, there is also ongoing debate. The Deseret News, the paper owned by the Morman Church in Salt Lake City, Utah, complains:

    VOICE: Despite warnings that human cloning experiments could lead to deformed babies or premature death, three researchers representing two different groups intent on cloning a human, defended their desire to proceed at a symposium sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences. That is depressing news both from ethical and medical perspectives. ... The price to perfect human cloning, if indeed it is possible, isn't worth it.

    TEXT: In the Midwest, The Kansas City Star agrees, suggesting:

    VOICE: Renegade researchers - - one hesitates to use the honored term "scientists" - - say they are moving ahead in their efforts to clone human beings. If so, they are arrogantly heading for moral and scientific disaster.

    TEXT: Big changes are being contemplated in the U-S military by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, but, as today's Los Angeles Times notes, a group of high ranking officers and their Congressional allies are resisting.

    VOICE: Secretary ... Rumsfeld has thrown admirals, generals and Congress into an uproar with his sweeping look at reforming the institution. ... [The] ...attempt to trim and modernize the military is overdue. Mr. Bush should publicly endorse [Secretary] Rumsfeld's efforts to reinvent the military, specifically by ending reliance on outmoded heavy weapons.

    TEXT: Internationally, the latest news from Northern Ireland is not good, and draws this gloomy comment from today's Fresno [California] Bee.

    VOICE: After a moment of hope, when a break in the sectarian impasse in Northern Ireland seemed possible, the Catholic-Protestant power-sharing coalition is back on the verge of collapse.

    TEXT: And in South Carolina, Charleston's Post and Courier observes:

    VOICE: The Irish Republican Army has at last crossed the Rubicon with a plan that has been accepted by the international disarmament commission to place its weapons permanently beyond use. Northern Ireland's Protestants have made a double misjudgment by showing distrust for the commission and by rebuffing the I-R-A when it turned away from violence.

    TEXT: Turning to another, seemingly intractable conflict, Florida's Orlando Sentinel says that "President Bush should convene a Middle East-wide conference..." adding:

    VOICE: As awful as the Jerusalem bombing was, and as terrible as the death toll - - mostly Palestinians - - during months of fighting has been, the two sides haven't shed all restraint. They can't afford to do that. Rather, Israelis and Palestinians need to begin moving back toward the peace table, which once held so much promise. It can again.

    TEXT: And in still another longtime conflict, the radical religious moves of Afghanistan's Taleban rulers draw this observation from Ohio's Cleveland Plain Dealer.

    VOICE: Last week brought more reasons for the international community to condemn the Taliban - - as if more were needed. This time, Afghanistan's radical Islamic overlords have detained 24 people involved in Shelter Now International, a German-based Christian relief organization... [accused] of proselytizing, a capital crime. The Taliban ... has hinted that the eight Westerners held ... may be sentenced to jail for a few days and then deported. ... Meanwhile, the 16 Afghanis ... working with Shelter Now may face the death penalty.

    TEXT: To Latin American developments now, and this plea for support of Bolivia's new president, U-S educated Jorge Quiroga, from The [Akron, Ohio] Beacon Journal.

    VOICE: [Mr.] Quiroga became president of South America's poorest country last week after Hugo Banzer resigned to undergo cancer treatments in the United States. ... Educated in Texas, where he worked for I-B-M ... [President] Quiroga understands how the U-S Congress works better than any Latin American leader ... In turn, Congress and U-S officials should try to understand Bolivia's problems and how to help a country that [with its coca eradication program] is helping the United States.

    TEXT: In Asian affairs, as a result of that collision of a U-S Navy spy plane and a Chinese jet fighter, the United States has paid China more than 34-thousand dollars. The San Francisco Chronicle comments, when overall relations with China are taken into account, the:

    VOICE: ...34-grand is a bargain.

    TEXT: This is birthday week in Cuba, as Fidel Castro, the longest-lived current Communist turns 75 today, drawing this response from today's Boston Globe.

    VOICE: [President] Castro ... [is] convinced that the Cuban revolution is his legacy. But ... His most remarkable achievements are his survival in power for 42 years and his successful defiance of the United States.

    TEXT: Lastly the high price journalists pay, in many countries, as they try to cover the news, is food for thought at today's Augusta [Georgia] Chronicle.

    VOICE: Worldwide, 96 journalists are in jail, according to the [Paris-based] ...organization Reporters Without Borders... Eighteen of those ... in ...Burma. ...until the press is free to do its illuminating work in Myanmar, the nation will remain a global pariah.

    TEXT: On that note from Georgia's Augusta Chronicle, we conclude this editorial sampling from Monday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/RH


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