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Voice of America, 01-09-07

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

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

SLUG: 2-280173 U-N / Cyprus (L Only) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

CONTENTS

  • [01] U-N / CYPRUS (L ONLY) BY BRECK ARDERY (UNITED NATIONS)
  • [02] EUROPE/MACEDONIA (L-ONLY) BY ROGER WILKISON (BRUSSELS)
  • [03] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [04] TURKEY/ISLAM BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ISTANBUL)

  • [01] U-N / CYPRUS (L ONLY) BY BRECK ARDERY (UNITED NATIONS)

    DATE=09/07/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-280173
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: United Nations officials are expressing regret over the decision by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash not to attend a meeting next week in New York. V-O-A Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from the United Nations.

    TEXT: U-N officials had hoped to resume the Cyprus negotiations next Wednesday and President Glafcos Clerides, the Greek Cypriot leader, had accepted the invitation to come to New York. U-N Secretary-General Kofi Annan has been sponsoring a series of so-called "proximity talks" in which Mr. Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash have met separately with the special U-N envoy for Cyprus. Another round of talks was set but Mr. Denktash says the proper groundwork has not been developed that could justify a resumption of the talks. Last November, Mr. Denktash left the talks, saying that a U-N working paper was one-sided, reflecting only a Greek Cypriot plan for the unification of Cyprus. U-N spokesman Manoel Almeida e Silva expressed regret over Mr. Denktash's decision not to resume the talks next week.

    ///ALMEIDA e SILVA ACT///

    We regret this development. We hope this is not Mr. Denktash's final position. There is a lot of work that needs to be done and efforts must get back on track without delay and in earnest.

    ///END ACT///

    For several years, U-N officials have been attempting to lay the groundwork for a final agreement on a united Cyprus with some autonomy for the Greek and Turkish communities. Cyprus has been split into the Turkish north and the Greek South for 26 years with U-N peacekeeping forces maintaining a cease-fire between the two sides. (Signed)
    NEB/UN/BA/RH SLUG: 2-280172 Europe/Macedonia DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [02] EUROPE/MACEDONIA (L-ONLY) BY ROGER WILKISON (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=9/7/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-280172
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: European Union (E-U) foreign ministers will gather outside of Brussels Saturday to discuss the future of Macedonia. V-O-A correspondent Roger Wilkison reports E-U's concern is how to prevent a security vacuum from occurring in Macedonia once NATO troops complete collecting weapons from ethnic Albanian guerrillas and withdraw later this month.

    TEXT: The leaders of France and Germany agreed this week that they are ready to prolong their countries' military involvement in Macedonia once the current NATO arms collection mission ends. But Germany may have difficulty in doing so because such an extension requires parliamentary approval, and opposition legislators have hinted they may oppose keeping 500 German soldiers in Macedonia. Britain, too, is considering various options for a follow-up Western security force. A British diplomat in Brussels says his country, which is the lead player in NATO's so-called Operation Essential Harvest, says London would prefer that any Western military presence remain under the alliance's command. NATO said this week that it has no plans to extend its presence in Macedonia beyond September 26th. The alliance, which already has open-ended commitments in Bosnia and Kosovo, appears reluctant to become involved over the long term in Macedonia as well. Still, many Western European governments are anxious about the peace deal in Macedonia unraveling after NATO leaves, and diplomats say privately a security presence there is desirable. But they stress that any new international mission must be requested by the Macedonian government. Analyst Mike Taylor, of the Economist Intelligence Unit, a London-based research institute, says the Macedonian government is cool to an extension of NATO's presence.

    ///TAYLOR ACTUALITY///

    There seems to be a certain amount of interest in Western circles in having some sort of continuing presence, but, I think, one of the problems they're up against is the ethnic Macedonians, a lot of them are pretty antagonistic to NATO. There's quite a lot of anti-Western feeling being whipped up.

    ///END ACTUALITY///

    Mr. Taylor says many Macedonians believe NATO is sympathetic to their country's ethnic Albanian minority, who are supposed to get improved rights in exchange for the guerrillas laying down their weapons. He says the ethnic Albanians, too, assume that the West is on their side and fear that the departure of the NATO force will lead to abuses by Macedonian security forces trying to reassert control over areas now held by the guerrillas. If NATO withdraws, the question is who will protect unarmed international observers and assure stability in Macedonia? The E-U is not yet equipped for a security role, and a United Nations-mandated military force could take a long time to deploy. Diplomats in Brussels say the most likely option is a coalition of countries -- such as Britain and France -- willing to station troops in Macedonia. Whatever the E-U ministers come up with will have to be approved by the Macedonian government. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RW/GE/MAR SLUG: 6-12446 Friday's Editorials DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [03] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=09/07/01
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-12446
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: As Mexico's president Vicente Fox concludes his official visit to Washington, many newspapers are editorializing on his immigration proposals given to President Bush. The other popular topic is a major move in the Federal government's lawsuit against computer software giant Microsoft. Other editorials deal with the Durban Racism conference; China's communications trade with the U-S; and a Nicaraguan Sandinista leader makes a comeback. Now, here is ___________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Mexican President Vicente Fox addresses the Organization of American States [O-A-S] today on the final day of his trip to this country. In the press, there are varying views on his immigration proposals made to President Bush. Portland's Oregonian is against granting them blanket amnesty.

    VOICE: Mexican immigrants who've come illegally to the United States are extremely unlikely to earn blanket amnesty for their actions. They shouldn't - - no matter how persuasive Mexican President Vicente Fox is being during this week's ... visit.

    TEXT: California's San Jose Mercury News says:

    VOICE: We support legalizing the status of longtime, tax-paying undocumented immigrants and providing work visas to reduce future illegal crossings. But expediting the change in policy is unrealistic given how divided Congress is on any overhaul. ... Ultimately, [President] Bush must lead this country toward a more humane and realistic policy toward undocumented workers.

    TEXT: There is no mistaking the views of today's Chattanooga Free Press which calls any compromise: "President Bush's first big mistake."

    VOICE: ... what is most inappropriate is Mr. Bush's suggestion that Mexicans who have entered the United States illegally now be rewarded with "legal" status. ...Who can blame poverty-stricken Mexicans ...for wanting to come to America for jobs that may pay them more for an hour of work than they can earn in a day at home? But our nation cannot survive and maintain our hallowed institutions by becoming a sponge to soak up every disadvantaged or unfortunate person in the world's six billion population.

    TEXT: The Boston Globe hails the visit and the substantive talks as "a welcome new turn in the U-S-Mexico relationship," while today's Atlanta Journal Constitution suggests the two presidents should "pursue [an economic and political] union similar to Europe." The big domestic topic of the day is the government's decision to drop legal efforts to break up the giant Software Company Microsoft. The Chicago Tribune, for one, is elated.

    VOICE: The decision is most welcome. It should--it must--allow for a quick resolution of the antitrust case, one that will focus less on punishment and more on open competition and benefits to Microsoft's customers. ...The Justice Department ...will now pursue a negotiated settlement that seeks "prompt, effective and certain relief for consumers." That is precisely what they should be doing.

    TEXT: The Detroit [Michigan] News calls the decision "a victory for the company ... [and] an even bigger victory for free enterprise and its chief beneficiaries: consumers." Taking a more cautious view, The New York Times warns:

    VOICE: While that decision may be a pragmatic move, it must n o t turn into a wholesale retreat from efforts to curb Microsoft's monopolistic practices. Alternative remedies are available and should be pursued...

    TEXT: While in Texas, The Dallas Morning News suggests the "Justice Department [was] wise to scale back." Internationally, the Durban U-N Conference on Racism continues to draw comment, like this from The [Bergen County, New Jersey] Record, which laments:

    VOICE: The United States should not have walked out of the ... Conference ... Instead, the American delegation should have stayed and tried to work out its disagreements with other nations. ... Secretary of State Colin Powell ... should have been there, representing the United States and leading the fight to make the declaration's language less offensive and more fair.

    TEXT: Taking the opposite view, today's Houston Chronicle calls the conference "a farce from the start," and goes on to suggest:

    VOICE: A United Nations conference ... that ends today was supposed to have highlighted these and other problems in a meaningful way. Unfortunately, and as predicted, the conference was made into a political extension of the Middle East conflict, and the United States' delegation was absolutely right to abandon the farce before it ended. ...let's be realistic. This conference was never going to be more than what it turned out to be.

    TEXT: Turning to the Orient, a recent announcement of a media trade deal between the United States in China, in presenting each other's media to their respective people, is drawing criticism from Boston's Christian Science Monitor, which calls it tantamount to "extortion."

    VOICE: China's leaders want their government's English-language television channel ... to be broadcast in the United States in return for allowing A-O-L-TimeWarner... and News Corporation... to broadcast directly into ...southern China. ... Should U-S journalistic organizations play along with Beijing's commercial coercion? No U-S media company would accept a dictate from Washington to distribute 24 hours of government broadcasts in return for a commercial license. Why do it with China?

    TEXT: Adds the Wall Street Journal:

    VOICE: ... what concerns us most is not what's in the contract, but what is left unsaid. For Beijing will have some expectations that will threaten the integrity of journalists in these media empires. ... A-O-L Time Warner needs to be on its guard.

    TEXT: Today's Los Angeles Times is harshly critical of Australian Prime Minister John Hunt, who has refused a Norwegian ship's request to off-load 430 Afghan refugees in his nation. The Norwegian freighter plucked the Afghans from the sea when their ferry sank near Christmas Island, controlled by Australia. Says the Times:

    VOICE: How embarrassing it must be for ... Prime Minister ... Hunt to be seen worldwide refusing even temporary entrance to Asia's latest bedraggled boat people. Especially since Australia's original newcomers were themselves exiles...

    TEXT: And on a final note from Central America, a resurrected communist Sandinista leader, Daniel Ortega, currently running for president of Nicaragua, draws this retort from the Chicago Tribune.

    VOICE: What's brought [Mr.] Ortega back to life is not public nostalgia for the Sandinista salad days, but desperation. Rampant corruption under the current government ... has been compounded by natural calamities - - first a hurricane and now a drought- - a crushing external debt and plunging coffee prices ... the economy is in ruins, and reportedly tens of thousands of Nicaraguans don't have enough to eat.

    TEXT: ON that eerie déjà vu political note, we conclude this editorial sampling from Friday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/RH SLUG: 5-50089 Turkey/Islam DATE: NOTE NUMBER:


    [04] TURKEY/ISLAM BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ISTANBUL)

    DATE=09/07/01
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-50089
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Turkey's most popular politician finds himself in court on charges of promoting Islamic fundamentalism, only days after he established a new political party. Amberin Zaman (in Istanbul) interviewed the leader of the newly founded Justice and Development Party, Tayyib Erdogan, and filed this report.

    TEXT: Political bans are nothing new for Tayyib Erdogan. He was forced to step down as Istanbul's first Islamic mayor in 1998 after the constitutional court ruled that he had sought to provoke a religious rebellion by publicly reciting a nationalist poem. Mr. Erdogan was banned from politics for life. Mr. Erdogan spoke this week with V-O-A about his political future.

    /// ACT 1 ERDOGAN, IN TURKISH, FADE UNDER ///

    Mr. Erdogan insists that his conviction had been expunged under a controversial amnesty law passed last year. But Turkey's pro-secular chief prosecutor, Sabih Kanadoglu disagrees and has asked the constitutional court to have Mr. Erdogan removed from the leadership of the party he founded last month. Analysts see the move as part of an ongoing campaign led by Turkey's militantly pro-secular armed forces to snuff out political Islam.

    /// ACT 2 ERDOGAN, IN TURKISH, FADE UNDER ///

    Mr. Erdogan strenuously denies being an Islamist even though he spent all his political career working for Islamic parties. He says his Justice and Development Party does not want to establish an Islamic state and is a party for all Turks, religious or not. Mr. Erdogan says the world has changed and so, too, have his views. Mr. Erdogan says that religion is a personal freedom that has no place in politics. He also spoke about Turkey's efforts to join the European Union (E-U).

    /// ACT 3 ERDOGAN, IN TURKISH, FADE UNDER ///

    Mr. Erdogan says European Union membership is among his party's chief priorities. Recent opinion polls show that Mr. Erdogan could sweep up to 30 percent of the national vote. According to the same polls, none of his pro-secular rivals, splintered as they are, would make it into the parliament if an election were held today. As Turkey grapples with the worst economic crisis in its modern history, analysts say Mr. Erdogan's populist rhetoric and clean image are especially appealing to voters. Mr. Erdogan says his party will push through all the reforms being demanded by the European Union in exchange for Turkey's inclusion. E-U conditions include easing bans on education and broadcasting in the Kurdish language as well as reducing the role of the military in internal politics.

    /// REST OPT ///

    The military played a pivotal role in 1997 in unseating Turkey's first Islamic government. Then-Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan was banned from politics for five years, and his Welfare Party was outlawed on charges of seeking to introduce Islamic rule during a turbulent year in office. In a further setback for political Islam, Virtue, the party in which the Islamic activists regrouped, was banned in June. Its chief offense consisted of seeking to have a female lawmaker become the first clad in an Islamic-style headscarf to take the oath of office. Mr. Erdogan seized the opportunity to woo away about 50 former Virtue deputies and set up his own party. Meanwhile, 48 other former Virtue lawmakers loyal to Mr. Erbakan formed their own party, Felicity. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/GE/MAR
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