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Voice of America, 01-09-14

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

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

SLUG: 2-280536 Macedonia/NATO DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

CONTENTS

  • [01] MACEDONIA/NATO (L-O) BY JEFF BIELEY (SKOPJE)
  • [02] EUROPE / ARRESTS (L ONLY) BY DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN (LUXEMBOURG)

  • [01] MACEDONIA/NATO (L-O) BY JEFF BIELEY (SKOPJE)

    DATE=9/14/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-280536
    CONTENT: VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO's Secretary General George Robertson visited Macedonia today/Friday, praising progress on a peace plan for the Balkan country. Jeff Bieley reports from Skopje that NATO's political leader says Macedonia remains high on the alliance's agenda, despite Tuesday's terrorist attacks in the United States.

    TEXT: Following meetings with government officials, NATO's Secretary General George Robertson expressed his optimism that Macedonia's six-month ethnic conflict will come to a peaceful end.

    /// ROBERTSON ACT ONE ///

    In this week of grim tragedy for the whole world, I believe Macedonia offers a ray of hope for how conflicts can be resolved without violence and through politics.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Robertson spent the day meeting with Macedonia's president, prime minister and other political leaders in support of peace agreement signed last month. He said that, despite the tragic events this week in the United States, Macedonia remains important to the alliance and NATO would remain engaged there.

    /// ROBERTSON ACT TWO ///

    "The very fact that I'm here 48 hours after the declaration of an Article 5 is clear and visible and unmistakable evidence that Macedonia still matters and still remains high on the agenda."

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Robertson said he also discussed the importance of peace in Macedonia on Thursday in a phone conversation with U-S President George Bush.

    /// ROBERTSON ACT THREE ///

    I hope the people of Macedonia will recognize that the president of the United States is thinking of them at this time of tragedy and that they should continue to think about their future and the opportunities that the Americans and the other NATO countries have provided to them.

    /// END ACT ///

    Many obstacles remain to be cleared in Macedonia's peace process. Parliament must now begin detailed consideration of a package of constitutional amendments now on the table. Mr. Robertson stressed that an amnesty, already proposed by Macedonia's president, must also be quickly put into law.

    /// ROBERTSON ACT FOUR ///

    But clearly that now has got to be the subject of legislation and legislation that must come into effect by the end of the disarmament process. I'm confident that the legislation will be passed, because without clearly there will be a serious crisis that will develop.

    /// END ACT ///

    Discussions were also held on the key issue of security for an expected force of international monitors who will oversee a return of government security forces to rebel-held areas. Mr. Robertson said he received new proposals from the Macedonian government on the issue, but declined to give details. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JB/MAR SLUG: 2-280506 Europe / Arrests (L only) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [02] EUROPE / ARRESTS (L ONLY) BY DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN (LUXEMBOURG)

    DATE=09/14/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-280506
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Police in Belgium and the Netherlands have arrested six suspected Islamic extremists in a sweep on a network thought to be planning attacks against U-S targets in Europe. Douglas Bakshian reports from Luxembourg.

    TEXT: Belgian authorities say they arrested two men belonging to a radical Islamic movement in Brussels (Thursday) and confiscated two Uzi machine pistols during a house search. A government spokesperson says the move followed a tip from Belgian security that one of the suspects might be preparing attacks against U-S targets in Europe. In the Netherlands, the Dutch prosecutors' office says four suspected Islamic extremists were arrested in Rotterdam (Thursday night). Officials say passports and materials to make false credit cards were found during searches. However, authorities in both countries say there is no apparent connection between those arrested and the devastating attacks in the United States earlier this week. Meanwhile, Germany has released an airport worker held for 24 hours in connection with the attacks in New York and Washington. At the same time, German investigators are continuing a probe into Hamburg-based extremists allegedly involved in the attacks. European leaders have vowed to do everything possible to track down and bring to justice those responsible for the attacks in New York and near Washington. In a statement, the European Union declared that organized terrorism will not be able to find refuge anywhere. (Signed)
    NEB/DB/GE/JWH


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