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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) [2], 97-03-18

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From: The Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at <http://www.telpress.it/ata>

Albanian Telegraphic Agency

CONTENTS

  • [01] REFUTATION OF U.S EMBASSY IN TIRANA
  • [02] DEFENCE MINISTER MEETS WITH EU DELEGATION
  • [03] EXPERTS OF MINISTRY OF LABOUR MEET EU EXPERTS
  • [04] DIRECTORS OF MAIN PAPERS IN ALBANIA MEET DEFENCE STAFF OF TIRANA
  • [05] ALBANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MEETS WITH EU DELEGATION
  • [06] ALBANIAN DEFENCE MINISTER MEETS WITH GREEK MILITARY ATTACHE
  • [07] ALBANIAN DEFENCE MINISTER MEETS U.S. GENERAL OF AIRCRAFT FORCES
  • [08] SECURITY IS A VERY IMPORTANT ELEMENT FOR THE ASSISTANCE - D'Amsembourg
  • [09] LETTER OF PJETER ARBNORI TO MRS LENI FISCHER
  • [10] WHILE ARMS ARE BEING COLLECTED THE SITUATION CONTINUES TO BE TENSE IN KORCE
  • [11] PRESS RELEASE OF THE ALL-NATIONAL SALVATION COMMITTEE

  • [01] REFUTATION OF U.S EMBASSY IN TIRANA

    TIRANA, MARCH 18 (ATA) - The U.S. Embassy in Tirana denies categorically the false news which reports that the organizers of pyramid schemes, Bashkim Driza and Rrapush Xhaferri, as well as their family members are evacuated outside Albania by U.S. helicopters.

    In its statement, the U.S. embassy says that it has not taken any request from any of these persons, or at least none of their family members has asked for help and evacuation. /a.ke/kei/mt/k

    [02] DEFENCE MINISTER MEETS WITH EU DELEGATION

    TIRANA, MARCH 18 (ATA) - By A. Keko: In the meeting of Defence Minister Shaqir Vukaj held Tuesday with the delegation of the European Union was widely treated the current situation in the conditions of the state of emergency, and particularly the work done to reorganize the army and to create the conditions for security in the country.

    In this context, the European Union took into consideration the most urgent needs for Albania.

    Attending the meeting were the Defence State Secretary, Ali Kazazi, Chief of the Army General Staff, general mayor Ademaopani and the deputy Minister Alfred Moisiu.

    Vukaj thanked at the beginning the representatives of these countries for the help they have given and give to Albania in the conditions of this grave situation, spokesman of the Defence Ministry reports.

    Further on, he stressed that the Government of National Reconciliation, with its policy, is lowering the tension and is trying to help Albania and the Albanian people.

    Vukaj made a broad description of the situation in the army, of the great damages done recently in its structures, in armament, technics and mainly in logistics.

    "Actually, along with the work to reorganize the military units and create conditions for security in the country, we are working intensively to establish an Albanian national army, based on the ancient tradition of our people in accordance with the land and based on the experience of the international military structures, NATO and other countries," he said.

    "In these conditions, stressed Minister Vukaj, we have prepared the most urgent requests for assistance and support in logistics, mainly in food articles, garments, etc, in order to start the activity in the military units which are damaged".

    The representatives of the EU delegation stressed that they would do their best to support the Government of National Reconciliation and the Albanian people.

    Along with the economic and financial requests, they presented as an important point the issue of securing airports, ports, streets, etc, to make possible the realization of different programs to help Albania. /a.ke/kei/mt/k

    [03] EXPERTS OF MINISTRY OF LABOUR MEET EU EXPERTS

    TIRANA, MARCH 18 (ATA) A group of experts of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, headed by Minister Elmaz Sherifi met Tuesday in this Ministry with a group of European Union experts.

    This meeting aimed at the inventarization of the most urgent requests regarding social issues created recently and the opportunities on a rapid restructuration of employement and local structures of the social issues.

    After the description made by Sherifi and the other experts of the Ministry on the created situation and the opportunities for the quickest and most effective intervention, the specialists of the European delegation expressed the oppinion that an assistance both alimentary and financial can be very effective to lessen the social problems in whole the country.

    The poor families and the institutions of social assistance will be the main beneficiaries of this assistance.

    At the end of the meeting, Sherifi thanked the EU specialists for the assistance they are giving to Albania in this difficult situation. /A.KE/kei

    [04] DIRECTORS OF MAIN PAPERS IN ALBANIA MEET DEFENCE STAFF OF TIRANA

    TIRANA, MARCH 18 (ATA) By Eva Allushi: In a meeting held Tuesday between the directors of main newspapers in Albania and the defence staff of Tirana was discussed on the possibility to issue and distribute the papers in the country.

    In the meeting held in the Rogner Hotel, the editors in chief of the papers asked the removal of the law on state of emergency for press, which received a positive answer by the defence staff.

    In the meeting held Monday , the directors of the main papers Koha Jone, Albania, Zeri i Popullit, Dita Informacion, etc, asked the Government of National Reconciliation to give guarantees for the security of the editorial offices and the journalists by the police.

    With regard to this request, the defence staff of Tirana reported that the security of editorial offices is possible, but there are difficulties on the measures to protect the journalists.

    At the end of the meeting, many of the directors of the papers reported that they did not consider reasonable the publication of paper as long as the journalists are in danger. /eva/mt/k

    [05] ALBANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MEETS WITH EU DELEGATION

    TIRANA, MARCH 18 (ATA) By Agim Bazi: The Albanian Foreign Minister, Arjan Starova, met Tuesday in the Foreign Ministry with the delegation of the European Union headed by the Ambassador D'Ansembourg.

    At the beginning of the meetinng, the Ambassador D'Ansenbourg made known the aim of the mission of the delegation he heads, that is to restore order and security, gather weapons and prepare normal conditions for the new elections.

    Starova stressed that to come out of the difficult situation created in Albania, the international community should immediately accord an urgent humanitarian, economic and financial aid. Parallel with this, measures should be taken to restore order and tranquility, mainly to normalize the situation in airport, ports and national roads.

    Further on, Starova stressed that the political parties have reached an agreement which should be considered as the widest compromise ever realized among them, and the respecting of the agreement should be considered as a sign of seriousness and will of each political party to support the Government of National Reconciliation, to lower the tension and to disarm the population, as well as to lead the country towards the democratic, free and fair elections.

    At the end of the meeting, the Ambassador D'Ansembourg ensured Starova for the help of EU to Albania in these difficult moments, in the humanitarian, economic and financial plan, as well as in the stability of order and creation of conditions for free and fair elections, because "Albania is part of the great European family". /kei/mt/k

    [06] ALBANIAN DEFENCE MINISTER MEETS WITH GREEK MILITARY ATTACHE

    TIRANA, MARCH 18 (ATA) By A. Keko: Albanian Defence Minister Shaqir Vukaj, in the meeting held Tuesday with t he Greek military attache, colonel Aleksander Kairos, thanked for the support given by the Greek government to the Government of National Reconciliation, spokesman of the Defence Ministry reports.

    "Based on the urgent needs we have, we expect and are convinced that the Greek government will give the necessary aid, said Vukaj. The military experts are working and will present soon their concrete requests for help".

    Kairos conveyed the greeting of Greek Defence Minister and the complete support his government is giving to the Government of National Reconciliation, and stressed the importance of good neighbouring between both countries, the readiness of Greece for help in all the fields and the predisposition to reconstruct the destroyed objects.

    Vukaj stressed that the Government of National Reconciliation would do its best to restore order and tranquility in the country. /a.ke/kei/mt/k

    [07] ALBANIAN DEFENCE MINISTER MEETS U.S. GENERAL OF AIRCRAFT FORCES

    TIRANA, MARCH 18 (ATA) By A Keko: Albanian Defence Minister Shaqir Vukaj held Tuesday a particular meeting with the U.S. General of the Aircraft Special Forces, Brooks.

    Vukaj explained to Brooks the current situation, underlining the military measures taken to gather the weapons and reorganize the military units, to start the activity and create the conditions for the security of ports, airport and the most important zones in Albania.

    Brooks expressed the support of his government for the Government of National Reconciliation and the Albanian Army and the readiness to work together to prevent any incident.

    Vukaj took the respective measures that the operational activity of the U.S. Army aircraft forces to protect the diplomatic corp in Albania to be held normally, always in cooperation with Albanian military experts./A.KE/kei

    [08] SECURITY IS A VERY IMPORTANT ELEMENT FOR THE ASSISTANCE - D'Amsembourg

    TIRANE, MARCH 18 (ATA) - By Agim Baci: The first EU and OSCE joint delegation, led by Ambassador D'Ansembourg today had a number of meetings with main leaders of central institutions in Albania.

    "The discussions were of a great interest. We have set up three working groups: the first group is that for humanitarian questions, the second for economic and financioal matters, the third deals with the questions of security," said in an interview D'Ansembourg, who is a representative of the third group.

    D'Ansembourg said he had gathered ample information for separate questions which are linked with security, concretely about the fact what can EU do on the one hand and what can the Albanian Government do on the other.

    "We came here to make recommendations, and for this we need a lot of information, and this was one of the questions we discussed. We put many questions, took notes and received the requests for assistance. Through a report we shall present this information to the Dutch EU President and then to the European Ministers, to continue with the respective procedures," said D'Ansembourg.

    D'Ansembourg underlined the security as the most important element. "Without security we cannot give any assistance," said D'Ansembourg. He stressed that the questions of the aid for Albania could not be separated, but the most indispensable ones would be a priority.

    "The World Bank and IMF have long term plans, whereas we are specialised in matters which demand an urgent solution and in a short period of time. Naturally the World Bank and the IMF will continue their activities, but for these a stable situation is necessary and very important, and a special attention must be attached to this. Our results will be coordinated with other institutions, WB, IMF, CE, OSCE, for instance, for a normal conduct of the fresh elections," said D'Ansembourg.

    He also stressed the role of the neighbouring countries, Greece and Italy.

    "Your neighbours are directly interested in the situation, because insecurity here brings about many problems to them. For this reason there are representatives from these two countries as well," said D'Ansembour. He added that they would keep frequent contacts with the Government of the National Reconciliation. xh/

    [09] LETTER OF PJETER ARBNORI TO MRS LENI FISCHER

    TIRANE, MARCH 18 (ATA) - The Chairman of the Presidency of the People's Assembly, Pjeter Arbnori, has sent a letter to the chairwoman of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, Leni Fischer, in which he writes:

    "Considering the quickest possible overcome of the present crisis as a vital need, the Albanian Parliament has welcomed the round table of the political parties with the President of Albania and is committeed to the realisation of all the points of the political agreement reached in it.

    As you may know, the Parliament approved unanimously the vote of confidence for the Government of National Reconciliation. In implementation of the signed agreement, it adopted a general amnesty for civilians and military. In addition, the deadline for the handing in of arms by the people was postponed and it was agreed that the coming general elections be held within June. We also support an all-sided and complete observation of the electoral process, and agree to make the necessary amendments to the electoral law. Within a few days, we shall examine possibilities to ease the state of emergency.

    But despite this constructive and serious commitment, which has been supported and encouraged by EU and the U.S., and although there is a relative improvement of the general situation of the public order, unfortunately, there are some negative developments which intend a coup d'etat, which would be a threat to the constitutional order.

    Some military committees directed by former Security people and former senior officers of the communist regime are aiming to leave aside all the legitimate institutions at central and local level, by presenting in the form of ultimatums requests for the resignation of the President until March 20, 1997 and his replacement by a presidential council, in which they would be a third party. This runs completely counter to the main constitutional provisions and would lead to a coup d'etat.

    In face of this situation, despite the efforts to reduce the role of and to dissolve the Parliament, we are resolute to defend to the end the constitutional order and expect a greater commitment and no indifference on the part of some political parties that have signed the agreement reached.

    We consider very important for the Albanian democracy your support for the political agreement of the parties for national reconciliation, for the restoration of the public order, the defence of the constitutional law, the overcome of the present crisis which threatens our existence as a state and as a nation," says the letter of Arbnori in conclusion. ake/xh/

    [10] WHILE ARMS ARE BEING COLLECTED THE SITUATION CONTINUES TO BE TENSE IN KORCE

    KORCE, MARCH 18 (ATA) - Situation in the city of Korca, despite the collection of some arms by citizens, continues to be tense due to the acts of some criminal armed gangs. Although police have collected over 100 arms so far, criminal armed groups have caused panic among citizens of Korce. Sources from this city say that masked people have stormed the Medieval Museum and forces of police are clashing with them.

    Today various groups of people have rioted private trade units and homes. The gangs are asking traders to give them money if they do not want their shops be ruined.

    "They wanted from me 4 million lek not to riot my shop," said a shop assistant from the city quarter "Sporti," the most hit by these acts. The situation in the city is alarming. The prefecture, the district council and the National Salvation Committee have asked the Government Fino to send there special forces to help.

    There are 21 people killed from uncontrolled fire of arms and many others are wounded and taken to the city hospital for medical treatment. xh/

    [11] PRESS RELEASE OF THE ALL-NATIONAL SALVATION COMMITTEE

    TIRANE, 18 MARCH (ATA) - The All-National Salvation Committee, centered in Tirane and with affiliates in all northern districts and Central Albania is a military organization members of which are intellectuals, citizens and patriots. Its objective is to defend the freedom, democracy and the territorial integrity of the homeland. The Committee considers Albania a single trunk from Konispol to Vermosh, therefore, any attempt for its territorial truncation from anyone is considered a national treachery and runs counter to the interests of all the Albanians.

    The Committee notes with concern that the activity of the so-called "Military Committee of the South" is assisting in the chauvinist ideas and recalls that committee that the Albanians, from the north to the south, have shed blood for these territories and that they will, again, not allow that a group of irresponsible people violate national sentiments.

    The All-National Salvation Committee is resolute to defend, in any circumstance, the democratic institutions of the country, the property and freedom of the citizens in case of a possible military revenge.

    The All-National Salvation Committee considers President Berisha a factor for national, political and social equilibrium in the country and a guarantor of the continuation of the democratic processes. The ultimatum for the resignation of President Berisha runs counter to the democratic principles and the formulae of the national reconciliation signed by all political parties.

    So far, the All-National Salvation Committee has backed up and will back up the Government of National Reconciliation, but in the moment this government considers as a party the Military Committee of the South and in a direct or indirect way makes talks with it considering it a party in the talks, our Committee will not recognize this government as legitimate and will blame it for anything that may happen in the country and region.

    The All-National Salvation Committee appeals to the Government of National Reconciliation, which was formed with the consensus of all political parties under the chairmanship of President Berisha, not to try to push aside the legitimate institutions of the Albanian state, such as the President of the Republic, the Albanian Parliament which gave the vote of confidence to this government, the local government elected by free votes and accepted unanimously by all international monitoring institutions. In other case, this committee, which consists of thousands of armed Albanians, will use all its existential force to halt at any cost and by every manner of means the violation of the constitutional order, the legitimate institutions and the truncation of the Albanian political state and it will challenge any subversive violence and ultimatum made by elements and groups paid by historic enemies of the Albanians.

    The All-National Committee denounces the reactivation of the Forum for Democracy, which it considers as an instigator of the national catastrophe and reminds the government of Mr Fino that also the political parties, which participated in it, have distanced themselves from that forum according to a declaration read by a leader of the Democratic Alliance Party in the round table discussion with President Berisha during which the agreement of March 9, 1997 was signed.

    The All-National Salvation Committee has evidenced the names and people who have stirred up and carried out torching, destructions and anti-national activity, who will bear responsibility conformed to the war laws as traitors to the Albanian nation.

    In view of the local situation, the All-Albanian National Committee calls on the U.S., the European Union member countries and other democratic countries to denounce the communist ultimatums for the resignation of the President as an illegal act of dangerous consequences for the country and the region.

    The All-National Salvation Committee supports the declaration of President Berisha for his resignation depending on the result of the general political elections. The All-National Salvation Committtee invites all the diplomatic corps in Albania to inform as soon as possible the governments of their countries for the escalation of the tension in Albania and the stands of the Military Committee of the South, because our Committee holds that in case of any extension of the armed conflict with broad consequences, the democratic countries will bear their own responsibility. xh


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