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Voice of America, 01-09-12

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

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

SLUG: 2-280416 Macedonia / Weapons (L Only) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

CONTENTS

  • [01] MACEDONIA WEAPONS (L Only) BY BARRY WOOD (ARACINOVO, MACEDONIA)
  • [02] ALBANIANS / U-S SYMPATHY BY BARRY WOOD (SKOPJE)

  • [01] MACEDONIA WEAPONS (L Only) BY BARRY WOOD (ARACINOVO, MACEDONIA)

    DATE=09/12/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-280416
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO's 30 day mission in Macedonia to collect 3300 weapons voluntarily being handed over by ethnic Albanian insurgents is half over. V-O-A's Barry Wood reports from Aracinovo (Ar-ah-chee-no-vo) that while the NATO mission is on track, tensions remain between minority Albanians and majority Macedonians.

    TEXT: Police at roadblocks check all vehicles entering this predominantly Albanian town not far from Skopje. Two months ago Aracinovo was occupied by over 100 Albanian insurgents. They were subsequently escorted out of the town to safety by American soldiers, an action which infuriated the Macedonians. The town itself is badly damaged from the shelling it endured from the Macedonian army. On Wednesday NATO troops from Italy established a new weapons collection facility a few kilometers north of Aracinovo. NATO spokesmen say they are encouraged by the initial results. But there are tensions between NATO soldiers and Macedonian police and paramilitaries near weapons collection points close to Tetovo in the west. NATO spokesman Mark Laity reminds the Macedonians that they agreed in writing to retreat from the vicinity of collection points if asked to do so by NATO.

    ///LAITY ACT///

    These are restrictions agreed by the government of Macedonia to assure that our joint endeavor succeeds. But it is inevitable that in a complex, difficult operation that some issues will arise.

    ///END ACT///

    With the cease-fire generally holding and the weapons collection on track, the pace of constitutional change and extending the NATO withdrawal deadline are major issues. The Macedonians say they will agree to NATO staying on past the end of September if it becomes part of a United Nations force. Russia has also come out in favor of a broadened U-N led military presence in Macedonia. (signed)
    NEB/BW/RH SLUG: 2-280412 Albanians / Sympathy (L Only) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [02] ALBANIANS / U-S SYMPATHY BY BARRY WOOD (SKOPJE)

    DATE=09/12/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-280412 (L Only)
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: There was a significant expression of sympathy Wednesday for the victims of terrorism in America from ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and Macedonia. V-O-A's Barry Wood reports from Skopje.

    TEXT: In Kosovo's capital of Pristina ten thousand ethnic Albanians marched in respectful silence outside the American diplomatic mission. The head of the mission came outside to acknowledge the tribute and became emotional as he thanked the crowd on behalf of the American people. There were offers of blood donations for the victims. And there were banners, one of which read, America we share your sorrow. Albanians in Kosovo are strongly pro-American. They regard the United States as their key ally against former Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic whose expulsion of Albanians triggered NATO's intervention in Kosovo two years ago. Here in the Macedonian capital of Skopje nearly 200 ethnic Albanians came to the American embassy Wednesday evening to express their sympathy for the American victims of terror. Each person carried a lighted candle as a single file procession made its way past the embassy building. Amarete from the town of Debar carried a bouquet of flowers.

    //AMARETE ACT//

    It's been a terrible day for me and the Albanian nation. I come here for the American nation, for the best people, who are American.

    ///END ACT///

    One by one the marchers were permitted into the lobby of the heavily guarded embassy to sign a guest book. Stepping past a window cracked by anti-American protesters weeks earlier, the ethnic Albanians were greeted by a somber American diplomat. Several marchers deposited their candles and flowers in front of the building in tribute to the Americans who died on Tuesday. (signed)
    NEB/BW/RH
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