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Voice of America, 01-08-14

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

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

SLUG: 2-279329 Bush / Macedonia (L) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

CONTENTS

  • [01] BUSH / MACEDONIA (L) BY PAULA WOLFSON (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [02] MACEDONIA REBELS (L) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)
  • [03] BUSH MACEDONIA (S) BY PAULA WOLFSON (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [04] MACEDONIA BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (Washington)
  • [05] U-N-Macedonia (L Only) BY Breck Ardery (United Nations)
  • [06] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [07] TURKEY / ISLAMIC PARTY (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

  • [01] BUSH / MACEDONIA (L) BY PAULA WOLFSON (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=8/14/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-279329
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: President Bush is praising the Macedonia peace deal reached on Monday. V-O-A's Paula Wolfson reports Mr. Bush called Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski Tuesday and offered congratulations.

    TEXT: President Bush says Mr. Trajkovski showed courage and leadership during the long negotiating process that led to the political agreement. In a written statement released after their conversation, Mr. Bush had nothing but warm words for the Macedonian president. He called Boris Trajkovski "a friend," and offered his strong support for efforts to ensure the peace and put Macedonia on the road to recovery. President Bush said the peace deal signed Monday by Macedonian and ethnic Albanian political leaders promises to strengthen democracy and avert civil war, while protecting Macedonia's territorial integrity and political unity. He said it is now up to Macedonia's Assembly to adopt the constitutional amendments and legislation necessary to implement the settlement. The deal is designed to end a six-month insurgency that threatened regional stability. Mr. Bush talked about the danger of a wider conflict during a visit last month with American soldiers serving as peacekeepers in neighboring Kosovo. The President carried on that theme in his written comments on the Macedonian peace deal. He said the United States stands strongly against those armed extremists who have tried to take democracy hostage in Macedonia. President Bush said it is time for these insurgents to turn over their weapons to NATO. That may have been a reference to a pledge issued just hours earlier by ethnic Albanian militants who said they are ready to lay down their arms. (signed)
    NEB/KBK SLUG: 2-279328 Macedonia Rebels (L) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:


    [02] MACEDONIA REBELS (L) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=8/14/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-279328
    INTERNET= CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO officials say ethnic Albanian guerrillas in Macedonia have agreed to hand over their weapons to a NATO peacekeeping force, which is soon to be deployed in the troubled former Yugoslav republic. But as Stefan Bos reports, new fighting has raised doubts that Tuesday's agreement will bring peace to Macedonia.

    TEXT: A NATO official says ethnic Albanian gunmen agreed to disarm, after securing wide-ranging promises. Under the deal, Macedonian President Boris Trajkosvki agreed not to prosecute the guerillas. Those liable for prosecution at the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague will be excluded. News reports from the region say the gunmen were also promised political reforms, which are expected to give Macedonia's ethnic Albanian minority more influence over local Government and the police forces. With these key demands met, the ethnic Albanian guerilla's agreed to hand over their weapons to up to three-and-a-half-thousand NATO peacekeepers who are to be deployed as part of a new peace agreement. Ethnic Albanian and Macedonian parties signed the peace agreement Monday. The deal is aimed at ending the 6 month old conflict and preventing an all out civil war. To prepare for an eventual peace mission, about 15 special NATO experts were expected in Skopje, as the 19 NATO member states would meet Wednesday to weigh whether conditions were ripe for the weapons-collecting "Operation Essential Harvest." NATO Secretary General George Robertson has already made it clear however that the NATO troops will only arrive in the troubled Balkan country, if the circumstances are right.

    /// ROBERTSON ACT ///

    NATO laid down four pre-conditions before the troops of the NATO countries would come here to collect the arms from the insurgents.

    /// END ACT ///

    Although Monday's peace accord and Tuesday's disarmament agreement address two key demands, NATO has also said ethnic Albanian gunmen must withdraw to their previous positions of July 5th. That would mark a significant retreat from areas around the Capital Skopje and Macedonia's second largest northern city of Tetovo. Hardline elements within the rebel National Liberation Army or N-L-A, are expected to oppose such a move. Another stumbling block is what NATO calls a "durable cease-fire". There was renewed fighting Tuesday between Macedonian security forces and the N-L-A around Tetovo. Clashes were also reported earlier near the Capital Skopje.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Just across the border in Kosovo, Polish and Ukrainian troops came under fire Tuesday when they tried to arrest sixteen armed ethnic Albanian rebels who NATO said tried to enter into Macedonia. Politicians representing Macedonia's majority have accused the N-L-A of fighting to seize northern territories as part of a new Balkan state with Albania and Kosovo. But N-L-A leaders say their struggle is for equal rights for Macedonia's ethnic Albanian minority, which makes up about one third of the country's total population of two million. (signed)
    NEB/KBK SLUG: 2-279327 BUSH / MACEDONIA (S) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [03] BUSH MACEDONIA (S) BY PAULA WOLFSON (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=08/14/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-279327
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: President Bush is praising the peace deal in Macedonia. V-O-A's Paula Wolfson reports Mr. Bush says he called Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski Tuesday and offered his personal congratulations.

    TEXT: President Bush says Mr. Trajkovski showed courage and leadership during the long negotiations that lead to the political agreement. In a written statement released after their telephone conversation, Mr. Bush said the deal signed by Macedonian and ethnic Albanian political leaders (Monday) promises to strengthen democracy and avert civil war, while protecting Macedonia's territorial integrity and political unity. The deal seeks to end a six-month old insurgency that threatened regional stability. During a visit last month to American troops serving as peacekeepers in neighboring Kosovo, Mr. Bush stressed the need to reach a political solution in Macedonia and condemned those who turned to bloodshed to force change. In his written comments on the peace deal, the President continued that theme. He said the United States stands strongly against those armed extremists who have tried to take democracy hostage in Macedonia. (signed)
    NEB/PW/RH SLUG: 6-12426 Macedonia DATE: NOTE NUMBER:


    [04] MACEDONIA BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (Washington)

    DATE=08/14/01
    TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-12426
    EDITOR=Assignments
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: A peace agreement aimed at ending abut six months of civil war in Macedonia is drawing the editorial attention of the American press. We get a sampling now from ______________ in today's U-S Opinion Roundup.

    TEXT: For the better part of half a year, a well-armed guerilla force of ethnic Albanian fighters has been challenging the Macedonian Army. Some U-S journalists feel this National Liberation Army [N-L-A] is actually the Kosovo Liberation Army [K-L-A] from Yugoslavia's neighboring province, fighting under a new name. The guerillas say they are fighting for the civil rights, and equality of Macedonia's significant ethnic Albanian minority. The Macedonian government however, worries that they want to annex Albanian-speaking parts of the tiny Balkan Country, and Kosovo province, with present-day Albania. Now, under Western pressure, a peace deal has been signed by most of the warring parties. ///OPT /// It grants wider use of the Albanian language, improved higher education, and inclusion in the Macedonian police for ethnic Albanians. The rebels are supposed to surrender their arms to NATO forces. /// END OPT /// There is some question in the U-S press whether this agreement can work, and fear that a full-fledged civil war may still be in the offing. We begin in the Rhode Island capital, where The Providence Journal suggests the situation is now "The Mess in Macedonia."

    VOICE: The situation in the small Balkan country of Macedonia (population two million) remains up in the air. Sometimes, it appears that the sporadic violence will erupt in outright civil war between the Slav-dominated government and extremist elements of the ethnic Albanian minority. At other times, there seems to be a chance that the intermittent truces can lead to a peaceful outcome. The Western powers are pressing for changes to satisfy the more moderate ethnic Albanians by bolstering their status and power. Unfortunately, this may end up giving the rebels of the National Liberation Army cause to continue their fight in hopes of being able to wrest even more gains at the expense of the Slavs. ... The Western nations have decent intentions: They hope to avert a civil war. But let's face it, the rebels have embarked on their battle, and they mean to win.

    TEXT: Excerpts from an editorial in The Providence Journal. For its part, The New York Times calls the situation in this part of the Balkans "A Fragile Peace..."

    VOICE: The conclusion of a national peace accord usually comes with fanfare and publicity. But in an indication of the perils awaiting Macedonia's new peace pact, ethnic Slav and Albanian politicians signed the agreement virtually under cover of darkness yesterday to avoid protests from Slavs. The accord also came during the worst week of fighting of the six-month guerrilla conflict. ... The peace deal will finance Albanian-language higher education, give the language limited official status along with Macedonian, and reserve jobs in the police force for Albanians. In return, the guerrilla groups must disband and turn in their weapons to NATO troops.

    TEXT: From a New York Times editorial. In Colorado, a quite pessimistic view on the agreement comes from Holger Jensen, foreign affairs columnist of The Rocky Mountain News in Denver. He feels the pact is not likely to end the fighting or prevent an all-out war. He cites the feeling of many Macedonian Slavs that they are being betrayed by their government due to Western pressure. And he cites as another key reason the pact will not work:

    VOICE: The peace plan ... does not grant amnesty to N-L-A [National Liberation Army] and this may break the accord. ... Nearly every attack that caused Slav deaths provoked anti-Albanian riots in which homes, shops and mosques were burned and foreign property was attacked in the belief that the West is pro-Albanian. ...Senator Joseph Biden, [Democrat of Delaware] chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, says we've been here before. "How many times," he asks, "have we watched a simmering crisis erupt into open conflict while standing aside and waiting for Europe to take the lead?"

    TEXT: The views of Holger Jensen in Denver's [Colorado] Rocky Mountain News. In Ohio, The [Akron] Beacon Journal is also rather pessimistic, and recalls the U-S effort to bring peace to Somalia as an example of what can go wrong.

    VOICE: If the [NATO] alliance hesitates, the fragile peace agreement ... will unravel, plunging the country deeper into fighting that began six months ago. ... The days of heavy fighting that proceeded signing of the agreement captured how remarkable a sustained peace would be. NATO faces the steep task of disarming ethnic Albanian rebels. The international community knows the troubles that loom. In Somalia, factions committed themselves to disarmament, only to resist when the hour arrived. They returned to bloodshed. Northern Ireland has watched peace stall on the question of how to disarm. Macedonia poses as many obstacles, on the ground and in the minds of the combatants. Offering hope, oddly, is the example elsewhere in the wreckage of the Balkans. NATO has 20-thousand troops in Bosnia-Herzegovina and 40-thousand in Kosovo. The lesson for the alliance is the benefit of a large contingent, especially if the mission is separating rebels from their means of gaining attention.

    TEXT: Turning to the Wall Street Journal, in an editorial written before this week's peace pact was signed, tries to explain why the situation is so unstable. It is not, says the Journal, just about using more Albanian in Macedonia.

    VOICE: The issue isn't just about language. If armed insurgencies write their own tickets in trade for "cease-fires," imitators world-wide are certain to absorb the secret about terrorism, and the explanation for why it never seems to go away: It works.

    TEXT: On that glum appraisal of the forces at work in Macedonia from The Wall Street Journal, we conclude this editorial sampling on the latest from that Balkan trouble spot.
    NEB/ANG/RH SLUG: 2-279318 U-N-Macedonia (L Only) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:


    [05] U-N-Macedonia (L Only) BY Breck Ardery (United Nations)

    DATE=08/14/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-279318
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: United Nations officials are welcoming Monday's peace agreement in Macedonia but warn that those who continue to incite violence have no international support. V-O-A Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from the United Nations.

    TEXT: In a statement read by U-N Security Council President Alfonso Valdiviezo of Colombia, members welcomed the agreement between leaders of the majority Macedonian population and the minority ethnic Albanians in that Balkan nation. The deal, which provides for greater representation for ethnic Albanians, is aimed at ending six months of fighting between rebels and Macedonian government troops. Speaking through an English interpreter, Mr. Valdiviezo said the Council is calling on all parties to live up to the agreement.

    ///INTERPRETER ACT///

    The Council calls again on all those concerned, including on leaders of ethnic Albanian communities in the region, publicly to condemn violence and ethnic intolerance and to use their influence to secure peace. It reiterates its call to all who have contact with extremist groups to make clear to them that they have no support from any quarter in the international community.

    ///END ACT///

    In a separate statement, U-N Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he is very gratified that the European Union and NATO played an important role in helping reach the peace agreement in Macedonia. On Wednesday, NATO ambassadors are expected to discuss the deployment of 35-hundred troops to collect arms from rebels in Macedonia. The peace agreement has apparently already had a positive effect on the refugee situation. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees says the number of people fleeing into neighboring Kosovo has fallen sharply since Sunday evening. The refugee agency expressed hope that the peace agreement will allow for the return of about 125-thousand people displaced during the six months of fighting in Macedonia. (Signed)
    NEB/UN/BA/RH SLUG: 6-12425 Tuesday's Editorials DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [06] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=08/14/01
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-12425
    INTERNET=YES EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: U-S newspapers are commenting in editorials about three of the world's flash points -- Macedonia, Northern Ireland, and the Middle East. Other editorials comment about the 75th birthday of Cuban President Fidel Castro, the Taleban arrest of Christians in Afghanistan, and the Vatican's rejection of a request by scholars to search Vatican archives for more information about the church's actions in World War Two. Here is __________ with a closer look and some quotes in today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Several U-S newspapers comment on a peace agreement signed by most of the parties in the Macedonian fighting. For example, the New York Times calls the situation in Macedonia "A Fragile Peace..."

    VOICE: The conclusion of a national peace accord usually comes with fanfare and publicity. But in an indication of the perils awaiting Macedonia's new peace pact, ethnic Slav and Albanian politicians signed the agreement virtually under cover of darkness yesterday to avoid protests from Slavs. The accord also came during the worst week of fighting of the six-month guerrilla conflict. ... The peace deal will finance Albanian-language higher education, give the language limited official status along with Macedonian, and reserve jobs in the police force for Albanians. In return, the guerrilla groups must disband and turn in their weapons to NATO troops.

    TEXT: A pessimistic view on the agreement comes from foreign affairs editor Holger Jensen, writing in the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado. He feels the agreement will not end the fighting:

    VOICE: The peace plan ... does not grant amnesty to N-L-A (National Liberation Army) and this may break the accord.

    TEXT: Mr. Jensen contends that the N-L-A is really the Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army by another name and says its eventual goal is independence for a greater Albania, including parts of Serbia and Macedonia.

    TEXT: Editorials about the latest peace efforts in Northern Ireland focus mainly on the British government's move to delay the collapse of the local government for six more weeks. They were written before the Irish Republican Army (on Tuesday) withdrew its earlier offer to disarm. In Ohio, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer says of the six-week extension:

    VOICE: ... The way the sides are talking now, participants may need that long merely to calm down from their current froth. ...(However) not all is grim. Irish and British leaders have crafted a new peace plan that answers concerns of both sides.

    TEXT: In Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says President Bush is not likely to try to mediate the Northern Ireland dispute.

    VOICE: President Bush ... lacks his predecessor's fascination with Northern Ireland. And the Bush administration is understandably fixated on the escalation of political and military conflict between Israelis and Arabs. That doesn't mean the administration, and prominent American political figures like Senator Edward Kennedy, shouldn't press the parties ... to pull back from the brink.

    TEXT: And, on the continuing Israeli-Palestinian violence, the Omaha (Nebraska) World Herald quotes one of Nebraska's senators.

    VOICE: ... Senator Chuck Hagel describes Israel and the Middle East as more volatile than at any time since 1973, the year of the last broad Arab-Israeli war. As is often the case with international relations, he's basically right. And his concern that the United States might be asked to unilaterally send in peacekeeping troops...is not a pleasant prospect.

    TEXT: The Chicago Sun-Times voices concern that the Bush administration is confused about its Middle East policy, although Mr. Bush has said repeatedly that the violence must stop before talks can resume.

    VOICE: Unfortunately, the State Department ... issues conflicting signals, such as one day endorsing the bad idea of international observers for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the next day scaling back. Other times, it sends just a wrong signal...(as) when it denounced Israel's seizure of ...the P-L-O headquarters in Jerusalem. ... Washington's foreign affairs ministry only encourages (Chairman) Arafat to press onward with his criminal war on Israel.

    TEXT: In California, the San Jose Mercury News suggests that President "Bush needs to step in as mediator...(because) ... the two sides seem locked in a mutual escalation pact...(with) no solution ...in sight. The Christian Science Monitor seconds that idea, suggesting: "Renewed Mideast talks are possible, with U-S urging. ... Standing too far off on the sidelines could allow conflict to grow until there's little opening to step in and help facilitate peace." On another matter, Cuban President Fidel Castro turned 75 this week, and on that occasion, the Houston (Texas) Chronicle says he is "still fooling a lot of people."

    VOICE: Many over the years have been charmed by Fidel's charisma. In evaluating the man who will die neither good nor young, many seek to define him in terms of his ongoing relationship -- or lack thereof -- with the United States. ... A fairer evaluation of this destiny of despotism, however, would be in the true calculation of how many people his regime has murdered, unjustly imprisoned and deprived of basic liberties.

    TEXT: In North Carolina, the Fayetteville Observer describes Mr. Castro as:

    VOICE: The bearded visage (who) has long since become a cultural and historical icon -- and a symbol of one of this country's longest-running foreign policy failures.

    TEXT: In Afghanistan, Taleban officials have arrested 24 people on charges they tried to convert Muslims to Christianity, a capital offense. The Boston Globe comments:

    VOICE: To Americans, the horror of the situation is deepened because it is so unfathomable. The very idea that a religion ... protects itself by outlawing differing thoughts is antithetical to America's most basic values...

    TEXT: The Vatican recently rejected a request from a join Jewish-Catholic historical commission to study Roman Catholic church records about the role of Pope Pius the Twelfth during World War Two. The Minneapolis Minnesota Star Tribune notes:

    VOICE: The scholars may be losing their patience, but who can blame them? They can't tell history's tale without access to the facts, and the Vatican won't grant it.

    TEXT: Both the Star Tribune and the Washington Post note that the Vatican is taking steps to make Pope Pius a saint of the church, making things even more contentious. And, here in the United States, the latest figures suggest that the number of people in U-S jails and prisons is dropping for the first time in years. The Honolulu (Hawaii) Advertiser comments: "Be careful. The numbers, while interesting, hardly add up to a trend." But the Atlanta Georgia Journal is pleased and suggests the "prison statistics show...the wisdom of the determination to fight crime with the gloves off...

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this editorial sampling from Tuesday U-S newspapers.
    NEB/ANG/JWH SLUG: 2-279309 Turkey / Islamic Party (L only) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:


    [07] TURKEY / ISLAMIC PARTY (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=08/14/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-279309
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A popular former mayor of Istanbul has announced the formation of a new Islamic-leaning political party in Turkey. Amberin Zaman in Ankara reports the new Justice and Development Party is expected to mount a serious challenge to its secular political rivals.

    TEXT: A former mayor of Istanbul, Recep Tayyib Erdogan, declared that nothing would be quite the same in Turkey with the launch of his new party. With a lightbulb as its emblem, the Justice and Development Party is seeking to become the country's leading party on the right -- an ambition that analysts say it may well fulfill. Turkish opinion polls consistently place Mr. Erdogan ahead of most of his political rivals, many of whom are tainted by allegations of corruption. Like Mr. Erdogan, many of the party's founding members belonged to the now-banned Islamic Virtue Party. Mr. Erdogan and a group of Virtue lawmakers who see themselves as reformers broke away from the Virtue Party. The remaining members of Virtue last month formed their own party called Felicity. Mr. Erdogan says his party's aim is -- unlike the Felicity Party -- to embrace all Turks rather than simply religiously pious ones. As if to prove that point, one of the founding members of the Justice and Development party is a female Turkish singer. Analysts say a key issue facing the new Islamic party is whether Turkey's powerful armed forces will be prepared to believe that it is not opposed to Turkey's secular order. The military played a central role in bringing down Turkey's first ever Islamist government in 1997, only one year after it came to power. Mr. Erdogan was stripped of his mayoral title, banned from politics, and served four months in jail in 1999 for reciting a nationalist poem deemed to incite a religious rebellion. Mr. Erdogan says a controversial amnesty law passed last year allows his return to politics. But analysts warn Mr. Erdogan's legal status is not clear. (Signed)
    NEB/AZ/GE/JWH


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