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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 98-03-09

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] Albanian government backs no kind of terrorist actions -Albanian Foreign Minister meet Russian Ambassador-
  • [02] OSCE ambassador surveys Albania's border with Kosova
  • [03] President Meidani leaves for Greece
  • [04] Diplomats, reporters and representatives of International Red Cross visit Skenderaj
  • [05] Massive protests staged in Prishtine and other cities of Kosova
  • [06] Number of Albanians killed in Drenice is larger than reported so far
  • [07] Calm situation in Has
  • [08] Rally held in Burrel to support Kosova Albanians
  • [09] Vlore holds rally to support Kosova people
  • [10] Kosova Albanians hold peaceful protests against Serbian terror
  • [11] Rally of Albanians in Paris
  • [12] DP ends 5-month boycott of Parliament

  • [01] Albanian government backs no kind of terrorist actions -Albanian Foreign Minister meet Russian Ambassador-

    TIRANE, March 8 (ATA)-Albanian Foreign Minister on Sunday met the ambassador of the Russian Federation, Igor Saprikin, at the latter's request, according to the Foreign Ministry's press and information office.

    "I am assigned to verbally convey to you a message, in response to a letter of Prime Minister Fatos Nano on March 6, addressed to the Foreign Ministers of the Contact Group powers," the Russian ambassador said.

    "We are attaching great and the proper importance to the London meeting due on March 9, aiming at coordinating actions to prevent escalation of tensions in Kosova. I would like to stress that in the present tense situation, the Albanian government bears a special responsibility."

    "Responding to our demands the government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia confirms that it has no plan to employ armed forces, except in the case of an outside intervention. In this regard, we hold that reports on deployments of Albanian army formations along the border with the FRY cannot but aggravate the situation further," said Saprikin.

    "There is concern at reports also confirmed by western countries on constant and increasing penetration of arms and terrorist group from the Albanian territory to Kosova," he said further on.

    "We expect the official Tirane not to allow statements and acts that might be regarded as interference into the internal affairs of the FRY. We also hope that the Albanian leadership not only condemns but allows no gesture, either indirect, that supports separatism and terrorism," he said.

    Foreign Minister Paskal Milo, after listening to the message brought by the Russian ambassador said: "I am obliged to express regret at the message addressed to Prime Minister Fatos Nano in response to a sincere letter he sent to Mr. Primakov through which he expressed concern over the dramatic developments in Kosova. We consider the response completely biassed, groundless. We think it does not contribute to finding equilibriums which are so indispensable in the region".

    "We categorically reject any insinuation addressed to Albania that so- called terrorists from Kosova have allegedly been trained in Albania, that weapons have allegedly been sent to Kosova from Albania consciously and deliberately," said Milo.

    "The Albanian government has very clearly and repeatedly stated that it backs no kind of terrorist action. The Albanian government is sovereign in its decisions and politics and in the relations with any other country it only considers Albania's interests".

    Referring to the deployment of the Albanian forces along the Albanian- Yugoslav border, Milo told the Russian ambassador in Tirane that it is a measure to check the border, to avoid any kind of incident that might occur there, deliberate or not, to evade possible provocations.

    "We believed the Russian government should have been informed that the Yugoslav side had deployed military forces in the border, that the Belgrade authorities had used not only police but also military and premilitary forces in their brutal attack against the population of Drenice zone," Milo said.

    "We believe that facts testifying to killed children, women and old, who are not and cannot be branded as terrorists, have already been made known. It is regrettable that your answer contains no phrase or word testifying to the Serb terrorism, which has claimed around 100 lives among innocent Albanians."

    Further on Milo told the Russian ambassador that "We have nourished hopes and continue to believe that the relations between our two countries should neither be shaken nor questioned from the already known chauvinistic acts of the Belgrade authorities against the Kosova Albanians which the Russian side has criticised and joined the efforts of the international community for the Albanians in this region be recognised their human and national rights."

    "These rights have been recognised and officially and publicly declared also by my colleague, Primakov, during my visit to Moscow last year," Milo said.

    "On behalf of the Albanian government, I express my wish and I want to believe that the Russian government will join its efforts with those of the whole international community, especially with the Contact Group powers, which, in London on Monday, through constructive and balanced stands, will realistically influence in the solution of the crisis in Kosova, which risks to turn into a second Bosnia."

    "We hold that urgent measures and actions should be taken to correctly resolve the internationally already known issue of Kosova," Milo told the Russian ambassador in Tirane.

    Saprikin promised he would immediately convey the message of official Tirane on the Kosova issue to the Russian government. /a.ke/das/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] OSCE ambassador surveys Albania's border with Kosova

    TIRANE, March 8 (ATA)-Head of OSCE Presence to Albania, ambassador Daan Everts, accompanied by the European Community Observers' Mission and OSCE officials, carried out a reconnaissance mission in Northeastern Albania on Sunday.

    A press release of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Tirane says that the visit was made at the request of several governments and OSCE's current chairman, Polish Foreign Minister Bronislaw Geremek, for an urgent unbiassed report on the situation in the Albanian zone bordering Kosova.

    The release says the Albanian government backed the visit by the material basis.

    Everts considered the situation mainly from the point of view of the police and the army. He met with officials in Kukes and Bajram Curri and travelled by helicopter over the surrounding mountainous zone.

    He was made aware of a possible refugee influx as well as of the fear and need to prevent a possible militant demonstration of Albanian solidarity beyond the border, the release says.

    Everts noticed the wisdom with which the Albanian military and police forces acted, not to be involved in any activity that might be regarded as a provocation by the other side and which might trigger more violence.

    The release says that ambassador Everts has prepared a detailed report on his visit for the OSCE current chairman. The report will be transmitted to the mostly concerned countries, and will be discussed at the Contact group meeting, due on March 9, the release concludes. /a.ke/das/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] President Meidani leaves for Greece

    TIRANE, March 9 (ATA)-President of the Republic of Albania Rexhep Meidani on Monday left for a formal two-day visit to Greece, at the invitation of Greek President Stephanopoulos, the President's press and information office reports.

    Meidani is accompanied by Parliment's deputy speaker Namik Dokle, several Government members and a group of legislators and businessmen. /s.s/das/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] Diplomats, reporters and representatives of International Red Cross visit Skenderaj

    PRISHTINE, March 9/ ATA correspondent Belul Jashari reports:

    A group of diplomats accredited to Belgrade visited Skenderaj today to closely get to know war developments and consequences in Drenice. Foreign reporters were present as well.

    Skenderaj was visited today also by representatives of the Red Cross International Committee.

    Meanwhile an amount of medicine and other aid was sent there. But, it is not sure whether the Serb forces would allow it to reach the Albanian population, as it happened yesterday when two truckloads of aid were sent to Serb settlement.

    Representatives of the Human Rights Council in Skenderaj were hardly allowed to talk for only few minutes with Red Cross representatives, in the presence of Serb forces.

    Albanian representatives have asked the Red Cross representatives to intervene to allow the functioning of bake-houses, shops and other vital services. /la/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] Massive protests staged in Prishtine and other cities of Kosova

    PRISHTINE, March 9/ ATA correspondent Belul Jashari reports:

    More than 200 000 people staged a massive peaceful protest today under the motto:"For peace, against Serb violence and terror".

    Inhabitants of Prishtine and surrounding villages packed the Kosova's main and other roads shouting:"Drenica, Drenica", "Kosova-Drenica", "Halt to ethnic cleansing by Serbs" and other slogans.

    Meanwhile heavy police forces were deployed in the Prishtine roads.

    Similar protests were staged in many other cities of Kosova as well. /das/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] Number of Albanians killed in Drenice is larger than reported so far

    PRISHTINE, March 9/ ATA correspondent Belul Jashari reports:

    More than 60 Albanian bodies, loaded on two trucks, have been transferred from the Prishtine hospital's morgue to Skenderaj.

    The Human Rights Council in Kosova has addressed itself to the U.S. office in Prishtine to mediate to create the conditions to organise the funeral ceremony.

    Albanian sources from Drenice say that there have remained more killed and massacred on the killing spot.

    Two Albanians from Llaushe last night left for Skenderaj to take and bury the body of a relative of theirs, but they did not come back, and according to the same source they are thought to have been killed by Serb snipers.

    The Human Rights Council reports that Serb forces' military operations continued in Drenice today and crackles of gunfire have been heard throughout the zone since in the morning. /cela/das/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] Calm situation in Has

    HAS, March 9 (ATA)-By Riza Hoxha, The situation in Has, northeastern district bordering the former Yugoslavia, is calm.

    The chief of the district police commissariat, Sali Gera, says that all measures have been taken to cope with any situation emerging as a result of the violence exercised against the Albanian population of Kosova.

    He says that the five border points along the district's 25.6 km long border have been put on high alert.

    Over the last three days only three persons have crossed to this district from Kosova. No refugee influx is yet being noticed in this zone, he said.

    Azem Dema, the army and order inspector at the Kukes prefecture says that the situation in the three districts of this prefecture is calm.

    He adds that Albania's airspace has not been violated as reported by some paper on Sunday and measures have been taken to cope with any emerging situation. /s.s/das/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] Rally held in Burrel to support Kosova Albanians

    BURREL, March 9 (ATA) - By H. Ruspi: The political forces and bodies of local government in Burrel (Northern Albania) organized Monday a rally to say "No to the Serbian violence and terror in Kosova."

    "When it is a matter of national aspirations, the Albanians put down the party flags and are together," this was the message conveyed in the meeting by representatives of the government coalition, opposition and different associations.

    The joint statement, read in this rally, urged the European diplomacy and UNO to urgently intervene to halt the violence and terror of Belgrade and create possibilities for a peaceful solution of the problem. /s.sh/mima/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] Vlore holds rally to support Kosova people

    VLORE, March 9 (ATA) - By H. Koci: The political forces, representatives of local government and associations held early on Monday in the Flag Square of Vlore a rally to strongly condemn the Serbian aggression in Kosova.

    The meeting called on USA and the European Community to take measures to stop violence against the peace-loving people of Kosova. The participants, who took the floor in the rally, said that Kosova should not be turned into a second Bosnia in the Balkans. /a.ke/mima/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] Kosova Albanians hold peaceful protests against Serbian terror

    PRISHTINE, March 9 (ATA) - By Belul Jashari: More than one million Albanians protested Monday along the streets and squares of Kosova "for peace and against violence, war and Serbian terror." More than 200 000 Albanians protested in Kosova capital, Prishtina, in the main street "Mother Teresa," in the square "July 2," and others.

    The peaceful protests, headed by outstanding intellectuals, representatives of state and political subjects and students, were held despite the curfew, detentions and barbarous interventions of armoured Serbian forces, reinforced later by new forces which came to Kosova from Serbia late on Sunday and early on Monday.

    The groups of Albanian protestors were all the time in the target of Serbian snipers, put in tops of many buildings of Prishtine and other towns where rallies of protests were held.

    Serbian civilians and police forces fired towards the Albanian protesters in Peje and Istog, but there were no reports on casualties.

    The protesters powerfully expressed their support for the peaceful policy of Kosova and addressed an alarming appeal to the international community to urgently halt the shambles of crime and war of Belgrade in Kosova. /rxh/mima/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] Rally of Albanians in Paris

    TIRANA, March 9 (ATA) - Albanians, who live in France, held recently a rally to support Kosova. Sources from the Albanian Foreign Ministry report that along with different associations of Albanians, attending the meeting were also representatives of the French Socialist Party, politicians, leaders of the French Committee for the Defence of Rights of Kosova people and others.

    Different messages were read in the meeting, which were addressed to the French President Jacques Chirac and the French Foreign Ministry, urging France, as member of the Contact Group, to urgently intervene for a peaceful solution of the Kosova issue. /a.ke/mima/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] DP ends 5-month boycott of Parliament

    TIRANA, March 9 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: The National Council of the Democratic Party decided Monday to put an end to the five-month boycott of Parliament.

    "The DP parliamentary group will join parliament to defend the stands and alternatives of this party," says a statement of the DP National Council.

    The DP considers vital "the implementation from the government of the European Troika recommendations," and declares that "if these recommendations are not applied, the National Council of the Democratic Party will take respective decisions, for which the government coalition should bear the responsibility."

    In Monday proceedings, the Council pointed out that the DP is a party in the program of which parliamentary government is a fundamental principle. It considered very important the engagement of the German Foreign Minister, Klaus Kinkel and the OSCE current rotating chairman, Tony Lloyd, to urge the government coalition observe troika recommendations.

    The DP boycotted parliament since September 18, 1997, after an armed incident that occured in the parliament hall, where former socialist deputy Gafurr Mazreku wounded DP deputy Azem Hajdari. /mima/mt/


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


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