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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 98-01-30

Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

Albanian Telegraphic Agency

CONTENTS

  • [01] Press review
  • [02] The question of elimination of red mercury soon to be investigated - Prosecutor
  • [03] Reports published in papers, an assistance for the prosecutor's Office
  • [04] Investigations into April 2 event to continue
  • [05] Interrogation on events of Shkoder when needed by probe - Chief of Investigation
  • [06] VLORE, Jan 29 (ATA) - By Harilla Koci: Forty five people, victims of depression were registered in the last year's statistics of the health department in the district of Vlore.
  • [07] Greek hospitals treat 135 people injured by fire weapons in 1997
  • [08] It is high time that labour contracts be signed - Radio-Tirane director
  • [09] Albanian Government approves increase of salaries and pensions for around 1 million Albanians
  • [10] British Foreign Affair Minister to visit Tirana on February 4- 6
  • [11] Parliament expected to examine draft budget next Monday
  • [12] Albania's Justice Minister to visit USA
  • [13] 500 people to profit from the salary increase in Albania
  • [14] Ngjela commission to report in Parliament on Thursday
  • [15] Constitutional court to carry out rotation soon
  • [16] Cultural activity on Albania be held in Rome
  • [17] Monopoli Mayor proposes creation of Adriatika province
  • [18] Albania's president to visit United States
  • [19] Master of Albanian painting presents book of Italian new talents
  • [20] Albanian judges end hunger strike
  • [21] Albania's president urges creation of Albanian-American lobby
  • [22] UNESCO plans rehabilitation of cultural, educative works
  • [23] DP leader says we moved forward to discuss return to parliament
  • [24] European commission recognises current parliament, Van den Broek
  • [25] Albania, U.N. - no problem on Macedonia denomination

  • [01] Press review

    TIRANE, Jan 30 (ATA) - Some of the Friday papers cover the confirmation by Attorney's General office that the case of April 2, 1991 in Shkoder will be reopened.

    Koha Jone writes that "The Yugoslav UDB has a finger in the event of April 2 in Shkoder." According to it, the chief of investigation Agim Tirana cited by ATA has said that "In some declarations for the press the attorney of the victims of the tragedy, Nafiz Bezhani, raises charges for the involvement into the event also of agents of the Yugoslav secret service." The hypothesis by Bezhani which Tirana refers to according the same paper, is related with a "visit" of five Yugoslav nationals to Shkoder from March 26 to April 2, 1991, who were accommodated in Hotel Rozafa.

    Gazeta Shqiptare explains further on about the event, citing Tirana, that "It is a great chance that the dossier for the April 2 event has not been eliminated during the March events of last year. The dossier which is complete, will serve us to learn the truth." According to this paper, for attorney Bezhani, the presence of UDB officers in Shkoder was not spontaneous. "I think that these agents have had relation with Albanian elements recruited long time ago and working for that service. In my work for the verification of figures, I will see whether any of those, whose figure is being scrutinized, has served these agencies and in what concrete case," Bezhani has said.

    With regard to the reopening of this process also Dita Informacion writes on Friday stressing that "the investigators will see the possibility to repeat the trial," while Zeri i Popullit mentions Attorney's General office referring to another inquiry into the April 2 event, etc. Today's dailies pay special attention to the disappearance eight years ago of the red mercury, a strategic substance, guarded by the army in the districts of Elbasan and Gramsh.

    Koha Jone writes that a group of specialists from the General Prosecutor's Office has started investigations, based on the material it has at disposal, in order to throw light on the truth of this profitable business in Albania, carried out at the beginning of '90. Sources from the above body report that "the aim of attorneys is to uncover where did the quantity of the red mercury go and who are the persons responsible of favoring the traffic."

    To complete this problem, Gazeta Shqiptare, under the title "Albanian mercury for Sadam," underlines that "The strategic substance is thought to have been taken in large quantities eight years ago and has passed through Turkey in Iraq." Further on, it explains that it was the time when the region was involved in the fight of the Persian Gulf and the nuclear missiles played a great role in the fate of the conflict, and the red mercury was the necessary element for their production.

    Bringing facts, according to an inquirer, only 1 kg of red mercury was sold then at 90 000 dollars in the foreign market, Koha Jone concludes that the Prosecutor's Office has decided now to start the expensive adventure, meanwhile that it is still unknown who will be the persons to be interrogated in this complicated history with millions of dollars.

    Zeri i Popullit, regarding this problem, quotes the Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), to which the director of investigations in the General Prosecutor's Office, Agim Tirana, had declared on Thursday "A similar case could have started before and suspended later." According to Tirana, the penal case for the disappearance of the red mercury might have not started, because it was not to the interest of several people. Also, Tirana stressed that "it is not a matter of sporadic theft, but of an organized one." /s.sh/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] The question of elimination of red mercury soon to be investigated - Prosecutor

    TIRANE, Jan 29 (ATA) - By Th Thanasi: There has been a considerable red mercury in Albania which is being found nowhere now.

    "As far as I have been chief of investigation in the General Attorney's Office I don't know that there has existed any penal case about the red mercury. There might have been such a case which might have been ceased," Agim Tirana, director of Investigation in General Attorney's Office told ATA.

    According to Tirana, the penal case for the red mercury which has disappeared might not have started because this was not in the interest of some people. If we draw the conclusion that dossiers for this question are missing, the soon a penal case must start because there is a theft of the state assets in great proportions."

    "This kind of theft is absolutely not included in the provisions on the amnesty, because the theft has been a result of the abuse of office, which is not amnestied," stressed Tirana, adding that "it is not a spontaneous case but an organized theft."

    The claims that the red mercury has been sold "by decision of the government," will not be convincing because "as a strategic substance, the state has no right to make such a trade."

    The red mercury which has disappeared, and which was previously administered by the state as a strategic material mainly in the zones of Elbasan-Gramsh, is considered as a quantity of a great value estimated at some hundreds of thousands of dollars. The red mercury was kept in high security places of army objects. /a.ke/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] Reports published in papers, an assistance for the prosecutor's Office

    TIRANE, Jan 29 (ATA) - By Th Thanasi: The Prosecutor's Office is interested that the reports published in the press about corruption or arms- trafficking in the recent years be handed to it, and of special interest are the reports covering the events from 1992 and on.

    "It is a fact that Koha Jone has published a photo of a plane being loaded with armament in the military airfield of Gjadri. To some extend, this is a proof until verification is made," Agim Tirana, chief of Investigation department in the General Attorney's Office told ATA.

    "According to Tirana, the General Attorney's Office will retrieve as soon as possible the reports of this character printed in various papers, thus helping inquiries, especially the reports on the arms-trafficking conducted in Albania."

    "If there has been an arms trading and not arms-trafficking, then it must become known whether all the loads have been declared and where is the money made from each of the loads," explains Tirana.

    If arms-trafficking was not accepted previously, former leaders of the Defence Ministry and ex-senior state officials, have admitted that arms trading was approved in Albania. /a.ke/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] Investigations into April 2 event to continue

    TIRANA, Jan. 29 (ATA) - By Th. Thanasi: The General Prosecutor's Office is making efforts to provide the necessary documents on the Shkoder event on April 2, 1991. The opinion of the staff is to hold a trial with scientific proofs and not as during the 50-year tradition, when accusations were brought only with witnesses.

    With regard to the event of April 2, 1991 in Shkoder, the prosecutor's office finds in the statements of Nafiz Bezhani, actually chairman of scrutiny commission, "interesting data which will help uncovering the truth, " the investigation director in the General Prosecutor's Office, Agim Tirana, told ATA. According to him "charges are raised for the involvement into the event also of the Yugoslav secret service, related with a "visit" of five Yugoslav nationals to Shkoder from March 26 to April 2, 1991, who were accommodated in Hotel Rozafa.

    To Tirana, it is a fact that after many files were torched in Shkoder, the file of April 2 event was completely stored. "It will be surely investigated," he stated.

    "The Prosecutor's Office is interested in carrying on investigations into the April 2 event, but to uncover the truth, without being influenced by the political forces," said Tirana.

    After the first pluralist elections of March 31, 1991, four supporters of the Democratic Party were killed in Shkoder. /a.ke/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] Interrogation on events of Shkoder when needed by probe - Chief of Investigation

    TIRANE, Jan 29 (ATA) - By Th Thanasi: Operations for the recent events in Shkoder will continue gradually, with a possible interrogation of DP deputies not ruled out.

    "Each of them will be interrogated when this is in the interest of the inquiry. Not chronology but importance of the fact is observed in investigation. They will be interrogated when this process does not harm inquiries," director of Investigation department in the General Attorney's Office Agim Tirana told ATA.

    Asked if ex-president Berisha would be interrogated for the event in Shkoder, since, according to some papers, he had visited Shkoder prior to the event, Tirana responded that "he (Berisha) is the chairman of a political force and the Prosecutor's office is influenced by none of the political forces. Whoever is proven to have been involved in the event, will be interrogated, either as witness, or as penalized and this will depend on the proofs."

    According to Tirana, the prosecutor's office has to ensure "no less than two proofs" for those who will be penally prosecuted.

    On January 20, 1998, a group of ten people formerly working in the Police Department of Shkoder, opened fire by automatic rifles in the boulevard of that city and ioted the district police department, wounding gravely two RENEA force members. For several days, the group was demanding the discharge of the head of the police department, colonel Mitat Havari, who had said that some incriminated people would be expelled from the ranks of police.

    On January 19, the Shkoder district prosecutor's office had started a penal case against some ex-members of criminal police, who a day after caused the terror in Shkoder.

    On January 21, masked and armed people and some DP deputies, had taken the prefect of Shkoder, Gezim Podgorica, hostige, forcing him to resign from the post. /a.ke/pas/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] VLORE, Jan 29 (ATA) - By Harilla Koci: Forty five people, victims of depression were registered in the last year's statistics of the health department in the district of Vlore.

    Forty five people - victims of depression during 1997 in Vlore Sources of this department told ATA that these people averaged between 45-50 years of age. The main causes of their death have been among others the psychic disorders resulting from uncontrolled firing of arms. The majority of the cases came as a result of the great economic losses caused by the collapse of the loan taking firms which functioned in the city of Vlore.

    According to evidence gathered so far, Vlora district registers 62 thousand creditors who lost their savings in the collapsed pyramid investment schemes. /a.ke/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] Greek hospitals treat 135 people injured by fire weapons in 1997

    VLORE, Jan. 29 (ATA) - By H. Koci: Some 135 persons from the district of Vlore, who were gravely injured during the unrest in 1997, were treated in Greek hospitals. Most of them were hospitalized in the hospital of Ioannina, and its whole staff was in complete readiness to receive the injured from Albania, mainly from southern districts.

    The injured by fire weapons were airlifted through an accelerated procedure after an agreement signed between the hospitals of Vlore and Ioannina with the mediation of the Greek consulate in Gjirokaster.

    All the services for the injured, from operations to further treatments were afforded by the Greek state.

    Some 1000 persons were hurt by fire arms due to the riots that swept Vlore and the whole country last year. /a.ke/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] It is high time that labour contracts be signed - Radio-Tirane director

    TIRANE, Jan 30 (ata) - By Flora Nikolla: "It is high time that labour contracts be introduced," Martin Leka, director of Radio-Tirane, the only state-run radio, proposed recently, considering it "an important factor to face with the competition by private radios which have been functioning in Albania recently."

    "The contract increases the professional demands, makes the reporters more dynamic throughout the year and helps avoid incapability," said Leka in a meeting of the Leading Council of Albanian state-run Radio-Television, held some days ago.

    The head of Radio Tirane, with a four year mandate to this post, is actually directing the strategy of the Radio-Rirane programs conformed to the platform of the Leading Council. On the basis of a special status, he is entitled the right to elect his staff, the college and the heads of departments.

    According to Leka, who was appointed to that post six months, "after the heads of departments have signed two-year contracts with the Radio- Tirane directorate, they may also sign one-year contracts, with the right of renewal, with their editors." /s.s/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] Albanian Government approves increase of salaries and pensions for around 1 million Albanians

    TIRANE, Jan 30 (ata) - A meeting of the Albanian Government which ended today, took a decision on the increase of the salaries and pensions. Beginning with February 16, 1998, about 1 million Albanians will have an average 20 per cent increase of their salaries and pensions.

    A table with details on the increased salaries and pensions will be published later. (more) /a.ke/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] British Foreign Affair Minister to visit Tirana on February 4- 6

    TIRANA, Jan. 30 (ATA) - Mr. Tony Lloyd, the Minister of State at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with particular responsibility for the Balkans, will visit Tirana on 4/5 February. Mr Lloyd, aged 47, is the Labour Party Member of Parliament for the industrial district of Manchester central. He has been in Parliament for 14 years, before which, he was a University lecturer in business administration.

    Mr Lloyd will arrive at Rinas airport at 12:00 on February on a British charter aircraft where he will be met by Mr Lakrori, State Secretary for Euro-Atlantic integration, and the British ambassador Mr Andrew Tesorire. He will be available to meet the press briefly on arrival and will also give a final press conference at the Rogner Europark Hotel at 1600 on Friday, 5 February.

    Besides talks with senior Government Minister, he will meet with a wide range of opposition political leaders and civic society figures, including non-government organizations, religious and trade union leaders. He will hold a coordination meeting with international organizations such as the OSCE and WEU, which the United Kingdom is supporting in a number of ways, including the rent free provision of OSCE's Headquarters, "Villa 6," which is owned by the British Government, the British Embassy in Tirana reports.

    Mr. Lloyd will also visit the areas of Kamza and Kombinat to meet ordinary Albanian citizens, and get a first-hand impression of life at the grass-roots. He will be able to see for himself the senseless destruction at the Kamza Agricultural College and talk with former politically- persecuted prisoners at the European financed apartments in Kombinat. /mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] Parliament expected to examine draft budget next Monday

    TIRANE, Jan 30 (ATA) - By Keida Kostreci: The debate on the examining and approval of the draft state budget for 1998 is expected to start the coming Monday.

    On Friday, the chairman of the Presidency of the People's Assembly, Skender Gjinushi, the heads of the parliamentary groups and permanent parliamentary commissions discussed the draft budget and the problems aroused after it was discussed in commissions.

    "Today, all problems and claims of the commissions will be discussed, so that the Parliament start debating the draft in a parliamentary session, " the People's Assembly spokesman told ATA, referring to the Parliament Speaker.

    The representative of the Parliamentary Commission for Agriculture and Food, Ibrahim Baci, presented the claim of that commission to lift the customs taxes for agricultural inputs or "at least to reduce them as much as possible."

    In the mean time, the Commission of Industry, Transport, Public Affairs and Trade is coordinating some problems with the Commission of Economy, such as the question of expropriation, which, according to this commission, asks for more funds than envisaged.

    The representative of the Commission of Education, Culture and Science, Limoz Dizdari, claim that the budgetary index for the Academy of Sciences and the National Centre of Cinematography must be greater than envisaged. /s.s/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] Albania's Justice Minister to visit USA

    TIRANA, Jan. 30 (ATA) - By Th. Thanasi: Albania's Minister of Justice, Thimjo Kondi, will hold talks during his visit in USA with senior officials of the Justice Department in the United States of America.

    "This is the first official contact established between the two justice institutions of both countries," said Kondi.

    The agenda of meetings of Albania's Justice Minister will also include the meeting with number one of the U.S. Justice Department, the General Attorney, Mrs. Janet Reno, spokesman of Justice Ministry reports.

    In the context of the preparation of the law "On the organization of the Justice Ministry," "thoughts will be exchanged regarding the U.S. experience for the role of the Justice Ministry in the establishment of the state based on respecting the law," underlined Kondi.

    Albania's Justice Ministry considers with interest the ratification of conventions on the mutual juridical assistance in the civil, commercial and penal field, as well as in the field of extraditing dirty money, added Minister Kondi.

    According to the spokesman, the Albanian Minister will also ask aid from the U.S. justice authorities in training our experts for the fight against the organized crime and for the improvement of judicial structures.

    The Minister of Justice, Thimjo Kondi, is invited, together with Albania's President Rexhep Meidani, by the chairman of the organizing committee of the annual ceremony of the U.S. Congress, senator Daniel Akaka.

    Attending this ceremony, along with senior personalities of USA, are also high ranking officials from the world. /s.s/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] 500 people to profit from the salary increase in Albania

    TIRANE, Jan 30 (ATA) - Beginning with February 16, 1998, the lowest pension will be 4 000 lek, while the lowest salary in the state system jobs will be at 5.7 thousand lek, the Council of Ministers of Albania decided today.

    The Government passed the highest growth of salaries to police. Beginning with the next month, policemen will be paid 50-80 per cent more. The highest percentage of the salary increase will be for those police units which are exposed in the fight against crime.

    Around 254 thousand pensioners will profit a 17-23 per cent increase of their pensions. The minimal pension level will be 4 thousand lek. The lowest paid pensioners will have the highest increase, 23 per cent. A more than 20 per cent increase of the salaries will be for those working in judiciaries and finance. Hence, the salaries of the judiciary workers will be 50 per cent higher while for those in finance up to 30 per cent.

    For the high state administration, from the President to the heads of departments, the salary growth will be only 20 per cent, whereas the decision envisages for this category of leaders another increase beginning from April 1, to the amount of 40-100 per cent, more than the previous payment.

    Today the government decided that compensation, to start from February 1, will be attached to the basic salary and paid as one.

    About 500 thousand people will have a direct profit from the reform in the salaries that the Albanian Government decided upon today. /s.s/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] Ngjela commission to report in Parliament on Thursday

    TIRANA, Jan. 30 (ATA) - By A. Simoni: The report of the parliamentary investigation commission on events of January-March 1997 will be presented to Parliament on Thursday, the chairman of this commission, Spartak Ngjela, told ATA after a meeting held on Friday.

    "In today's meeting, we discussed the structures of the report which will be presented to Parliament, said Ngjela, and we will hold another meeting on Monday to give the finishing stroke to the report."

    "We will try to uncover the truth, said chairman Ngjela. We have received only the first information and the work of the commission is ongoing."

    The deputy of the Legality Movement Party did not accept to give details regarding the report, which, according to him, is "secret," but the report will speak with concrete names regarding the implication of the main state institutions in the events of January-March, 1997.

    According to a commission member, the commission has not examined yet the name of former President Sali Berisha, accused of causing the riots by the then opposition. /s.sh/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] Constitutional court to carry out rotation soon

    TIRANA, Jan 30 (ATA) - By A.Simoni: Conflict between parliament and constitutional court will be resolved within the next three days, Fehmi Abdiu, head of the parliamentary commission for laws, said to ATA.

    "I have said that the conflict will be resolved within January, but this month has other two working days," Abdiu said adding "as I have declared the crisis or dispute between parliament and constitutional court on a constitutional amendment, though it seemed to be left in oblivion, continues to be a serious problem."

    "I have believed that this dispute can be resolved and I am still believing that unless a common language is found to observe the constitutional law in order to enable the rotation in this court, then other legal solution will be found," he said.

    "But, I hope that this court will act now to carry out the rotation soon," Abdiu said.

    "If the court refuses to do the rotation, it will be out of operation, like a suspended body," he said adding that "he believes the constitutional court will find a solution because it understands that it cannot confront the constitutional laws."

    Abdiu negated any possible link between his words and the latest decision of the commission on Scrutiny of figures.

    "I do not know if there is any link between the decision and solution to the problem on the part of the Constitutional court, I do not want to deal with it," said Fehmi Abdiu. s.sh./ak/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] Cultural activity on Albania be held in Rome

    TIRANA, Jan 30 (ATA) - A big cultural activity on Albania is planned to be held in Rome soon.

    The idea on this project came out in a gathering in the Italian capital with the participation of publishers, authors, producers and various sponsors, in which Visar Zhiti, the cultural adviser at the Albanian Embassy in Italy is also present.

    Other ideas on cultural exchanges between the two countries were also presented there, press and information directorate at the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

    The works of the dramaturg Genaro Francioni will be put on stage in Albania and the Italian new producer Fabrizio Maria Cortese will produce an Italian-Albania film whose script is ready. s.s/kled/ak/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] Monopoli Mayor proposes creation of Adriatika province

    TIRANA, Jan 30 (ATA) - By Agim Haxhiu: A two-day activity on Albania was held recently in the city of Monopoli, in Puglia area, Italy, to mark the establishment of sister relations between the city of Vlora and that of Monopoli.

    A film on the activity of sister relations between two cities was shown and greeting speeches of the Albanian Foreign minister Paskal Milo and Italian Ambassador to Tirana Marcello Spatafora were read to the audience.

    The Monopoli mayor presented the idea for the creation of an Adriatika province which will be based in twinned relations between Monopoli and Vlora.

    This idea aims at developing both port cities in the coasts of Italy and Albania, with the support of European Union. s.sh/ak/sh/

    TIRANA, Jan 30 (ATA) - By Agim Haxhiu: A two-day activity on Albania was held recently in the city of Monopoli, in Puglia area, Italy, to mark the establishment of sister relations between the city of Vlora and that of Monopoli.

    A film on the activity of sister relations between two cities was shown and greeting speeches of the Albanian Foreign minister Paskal Milo and Italian Ambassador to Tirana Marcello Spatafora were read to the audience.

    The Monopoli mayor presented the idea for the creation of an Adriatika province which will be based in twinned relations between Monopoli and Vlora.

    This idea aims at developing both port cities in the coasts of Italy and Albania, with the support of European Union. s.sh/ak/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] Albania's president to visit United States

    TIRANA, Jan 30 (ATA) - By Keida Kostreci: Albania's President Rexhep Meidani will leave Albania for an informal five-day visit to the United States to attend an annual ceremony of the U.S. Congress on the invitation of the Senator Daniel Akaka, head of the organisation committee.

    Meidani is expected to meet with the U.S. president Bill Clinton and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.

    The U.S. high-ranking administration and leaders from 160 countries of the world will attend the annual ceremony.

    "President of the Republic replied positively to the invitation seeing it a possibility to meet and exchange views with representatives of the U.S. Congress and Administration," Sotiraq Hroni, adviser to president for public relations told a news conference on Friday.

    Meidani is expected to meet the U.S. deputy secretary of State Thomas Pickering, Attorney General Janet Reno and Richard Shifter, adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

    During the talks in the State Department in Washington, D.C., Meidani will discuss the situation in Albania and region, as well as the Kosova issue.

    Meidani sees this visit as a first possibility of the president of the Republic to contact with the Albanian community in the United States, Boston and New York. ake/ak/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] Master of Albanian painting presents book of Italian new talents

    TIRANA, Jan 30 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: Great master of the Albanian painting Ibrahim Kodra presented the book of the Italian new talents in Milan.

    An album-book is a luxurious publication of the Artisti & Artisti publishing house in Rome, which includes creations and works in 15 genres.

    Selected works of the Albanian surrealist painter Artur Hoxha, a student of master Kodra, were displayed. ake/ak/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [20] Albanian judges end hunger strike

    TIRANA, Jan 30 (ATA) - By Manjola Hodo: Eight Albanian judges ended on Friday their hunger strike after 25 days, Luan Daci, head of the strike told today's news conference.

    The OSCE representative, the ambassador Daan Everts mediated an agreement between a representation of judges and minister of Justice Thimio Kondi on January 29.

    "A solution to conflicts cannot be reached to secure partial political advantages but should be achieved on the national interests," Daan Everts, the OSCE ambassador said in a press release.

    After the initiative of the OSCE representative office in Tirana, support of president of the Republic Rexhep Meidani, coalition government and opposition as well as the Council of Europe's cooperation and the Justice Ministry, the judges found a wayout on some aspects of the law on organisation of judicial system.

    Everts said that the accord reached on January 29 is a professional solution and a dignified affair.

    "The law, Everts said, is an achievement, eventually a very important step towards an independent judicial system in Albania, in conformity with the European standards."

    "Together with the Council of Europe I hope that the law should undergo examination and dialogue on expert level," the press release said.

    Everts said that it was important that such issues "should not be exploit for partial political aims" and the health of the people concerned "should not be endangered." ake/kled/ak/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [21] Albania's president urges creation of Albanian-American lobby

    TIRANA, Jan 30 (ATA) - By Keida Kostreci: President of the Republic Rexhep Meidani will ask that the efforts of the Albanian-American community in the United States be unified in creating a powerful Albanian lobby in the interest of Albania and Albanian national issue.

    President Meidani will start an informal five-day visit to the United States during which he is expected to meet the Albanian community in Boston and New York.

    "Maybe, this powerful lobby has not had a call from the President's institute that all the efforts of all Albanians in the United States irrespective of political distinctions, divisions, affinities join a certain political force in Albania," Sotiraq Hroni, adviser to president for public relations, told a news conference on Friday.

    President will ask that the Albanian lobby be turned into an encouraging factor to help establish a strategic and lasting partnership between the United States and Albania.

    Hroni said that the meetings with the Albanian-American community represent a very important stage of the president's visit.

    President Meidani will attend a meeting of representatives of all Albanian organisations and associations in New York, United States.

    The Albanian-American national council has enabled a meeting of the president with all representatives of the Albanian-American community.

    "Albanians' fundamental efforts should be unified in the framework of the need either Albania or national issue in region has, especially for the Kosova problem, Albanians in Macedonia and everywhere," Hroni said. ake/ak/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [22] UNESCO plans rehabilitation of cultural, educative works

    TIRANA, Jan 30 (ATA) - UNESCO's director for Central and Eastern Europe Horst Godik told on Friday Albania's president Rexhep Meidani the aims of a big rehabilitation plan for cultural and educative works in Albania, a country seen as one out of two UNESCO priorities.

    Godik praised the message of the Albanian Education minister Ethem Ruka to one of the latest UNESCO meetings which issued a special resolution on Albania, and the role of the ambassador Jusuf Vrioni in promoting cooperation between Albania and UNESCO.

    President Meidani praised the UNESCO efforts in Albania and expressed belief that resumption of its cooperation with Albania after an interruption period will be very fruitful in culture.

    "Despite social problems, Albania needs a strong culture free of ideologies," Meidani said. "I believe that if an ideology should exist, the only one should be that of respecting human rights. ake/kled/ak/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [23] DP leader says we moved forward to discuss return to parliament

    TIRANA, Jan 30 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: Presence of deputies of the Democratic party (DP) to a meeting of the parliamentary defence commission with an NATO delegation is a step forward to discuss return to parliament, Sali Berisha, the DP leader told a news conference on Friday.

    Berisha said that the drawing out of constitution is a fair and legal request.

    In all his briefings, Berisha has favoured a constitutional dialogue, but this term continues to be an unclear alternative by the latter.

    So far, the DP has refused to be present in the commission on constitution.

    Berisha hailed the accord reached between the judges, who were on hunger strike and the OSCE ambassador Daan Everts, as an OSCE commitment to find a way-out for existing dispute on some amendments to the law on the judiciary in Albania.

    Referring to the illegal traffic of arms in Albania when the DP was in power, a problem highlighted by the press, Berisha said that "weapons traffic is done according to all international rules and that the financial procedures are carried out through a banking system."

    Concerning the unrest last year, Berisha called absurdity the work of this commission because the assessment of the situation should be done by investigation bodies and not by a parliamentary commission. ake/ak/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [24] European commission recognises current parliament, Van den Broek

    TIRANA, Jan 30 (ATA) - By Keida Kostreci: The European Commission fully recognises the current Albanian parliament coming out from the elections of June-July 1997 as the legitimate representatives of the Albanian people with the power to adopt laws and the draft constitution.

    The European Commissioner Hans van den Broek rejected on Friday the reports that he had called for new elections.

    "I hope that the work in the constitutional committee will be supported by a broad political base in the spirit of national reconciliation and I call especially on the opposition to play a constructive role in this process. The European Union applauds the government's ambition to finalize the constitutional process in 1998," Van den Broek has told the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels.

    The Albanian press siding with the Democratic party reported on Friday "the constitutional process in Albania will have its phase even after the elections."

    The Commission said in the press release that it found the procedure followed by the Albanian government for the adoption of a constitution in conformity with internationally accepted standards of democracy.

    "The adoption of constitution does not need supplementary steps what means that there will be not future parliament to adopt it," said Van den Broek.

    The Commission recalls its support to the Albanian people and their government and has committed ECU 100 million at the recent donor conference, "a sign of confidence in the country's future."

    An additional ECU 40 million will be engaged for 1998.

    ak/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [25] Albania, U.N. - no problem on Macedonia denomination

    TIRANA, Jan 30 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: Latest press reports about a meeting of the ambassador of the Republic of Albania Fatmir Kumbaro and the representative of the United Nations Secretary General in Skopje, Sokalski, in which the latter criticized the denomination of "Macedonian government" used by the Albanian side in the recent accords signed during the visit of the Albanian prime minister Fatos Nano in Skopje, were not true, said a spokesman to the Albanian Foreign Ministry.

    The U.N. representative has praised the policy the Albanian government followed with neighbours and the progress in relations between Albania and Macedonia, and begged his pardon, that for objective reasons, he had not been able to meet prime minister Nano there.

    The U.N representative said that absolutely no claims had risen on the denomination "Macedonian government" used in accords signed between the sides.

    "The Albanian government has consulted before it signed the above agreements all the international practice currently applied in relations with the Macedonian side, using the same terminology with those used by other states, which are developing relations with our Eastern neighbours," the statement of the Foreign ministry said.

    There is no problem between Albania and the U.N. on the specter of relations with the Macedonian state, but on the contrary, the U.N. on its part, considered the improvement of this relations as a guarantee for safeguarding peace and stability in the region and broader, the spokesman said. ak/


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


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