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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 99-03-18

Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at <>

Albanian Telegraphic Agency


  • [01] Parties must sign the political accord - Kljusev on Kosove
  • [02] Speaker says Albania welcomes cooperation with Russia
  • [03] Ambassador of Greece visits Albanian Telegraphic Agency, ATA
  • [04] Albanian youth to have their law soon
  • [05] Government committed to open communication with public - Ulqini
  • [06] Snowfalls in Korça city
  • [07] Heavy snow in Gjirokaster
  • [08] Products from glass houses to meet Albania's needs in 2003
  • [09] Albanian Foreign Minister waiting in Paris for deal signing
  • [10] Albanian premier leaves for Greece to attend PASOK congress
  • [11] New enterprise on road maintenance in Saranda
  • [12] Djindjic and Draskovic on Kosova issue
  • [13] Soros completes reconstruction of a kindergarten in Sarande
  • [14] Budgetary deficit amounts to 3.8 billion lek in January-February
  • [15] Monsignor Prenushi honored with "City pride" title
  • [16] LDK asks NATO's urgent intervention in Kosova
  • [17] Rinas police turn back 43 foreign nationals
  • [18] Tirana currency rate
  • [19] Private sector engages 102 thousand employees
  • [20] Facilities for Albanian businessmen in Kakavije customs house
  • [21] Four years old girl returns from England completely recovered.
  • [22] "We favour NATO presence in Kosova," President
  • [23] Students of Fair Arts Academy prepared for exhibition "Eastern 1999"
  • [24] Russia shows interest to invest in Albania
  • [25] NATO, the only guarantee for implementation of Rambouillet accord
  • [26] NATO - the only institution which can prevent catastrophe in Kosove, Majko
  • [27] Delegation of Russian Duma meets with DP head
  • [28] Premier Majko meets representatives of IMF mission
  • [29] Albania President meets initiators of Peace Bell

  • [01] Parties must sign the political accord - Kljusev on Kosove

    TIRANE, March 17 (ata) - Albanian Defence Minister Luan Hajdaraga accompanied by the deputy chief of the General Staff Colonel Mehmet Musai, started an official visit in Macedonia on March 17, 1999.

    The Ministry of Information reports that in the meeting with the Defence Minister of Macedonia, Nikola Kljusev, they underlined the achievements reached so far and the fields in which the cooperation may be promoted.

    In his address, the Macedonian minister of Defence stressed they wanted to increase the contacts in the field of security and to develop the system of information between the two ministries.

    After making a panorama of the successes in the Albanian army in the past two years, Minister Hajdaraga stressed the need for more contacts at all levels between the two armies, such as the exchange of delegations at the level of army staffs or the participation of experts of the two countries in the exercises that the respective armies organize.

    With regard to the crisis of Kosove, Mr Kljusev said that we are for the signing of the political accord by the two parties, and have accepted the deployment of NATO troops, although we have had critical stands by our northern neighbors.

    With regard to the crisis in Kosove, Mr Hajdaraga said that we have made clear we are for a political solution of the problem of Kosove and have the opinion that Rambouillet is a step forward in this direction.

    "Our opinion is that only the deployment of NATO forces will ensure the implementation of the political accord and the establishment of a lasting peace in Kosove," said Mr Hajdaraga.

    Albanian Defence Minister had a separate meeting today with the Macedonian Prime Minister, Ljubco Georgevski in which they stressed once more the good relations existing between the two countries in the field of defence. /dast/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] Speaker says Albania welcomes cooperation with Russia

    TIRANA, March 17 (ATA) - Albanian parliamentary speaker held talks on Wednesday with the delegation of the Russian State Duma (lower house) saying that both parliaments were interested in boosting relations.

    Gjinushi said that backing good neighbourliness, Albania was active in all regional initiatives in order to speed up rates of integration into Europe.

    Saying that there was no problem in bilateral relations, parliamentary speaker said that we saw that both sides shared the same will to promote them.

    Gjinushi said that there were conditions for investments and Albania welcomed the cooperation with Russia.

    He also focused on the developments in Kosova and the position of the Albanian parliament which he described as realistic. The population of Kosova like all other peoples of former Yugoslavia deserved to have same standards of freedom and rights.

    "Albania has supported the will of the Albanian population in Kosova for self-rule and backed a negotiated solution with international guarantees," Gjinushi said.

    Parliamentary speaker said that was the reason why we had supported the process of Rambouillet and the Albanian delegation of Kosova in signing the accord with all its annexes, including the NATO military guarantees.

    We would like, he said, that the other side responded to the Kosova delegations in signing the accord.

    Head of the Duma delegation Sergey Baburin said that both parliaments had influenced the resumption of relations between the two countries and there existed all possibilities to cooperate in all fields.

    Later, he said that the promotion of interparliamentary relations would serve wide ranging cooperation in the economic, education, scientific fields.

    As regards the development in Kosova, Baburin said that his country backed a peaceful solution to the conflict and reiterated Russia's stand against the presence of NATO forces in Kosova. /dast/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] Ambassador of Greece visits Albanian Telegraphic Agency, ATA

    TIRANE, March 17 (ata) - In the context of his meetings in institutions of the Albanian media, the Ambassador of the Republic of Greece in Tirane, Alexandros P.Mallias, had Wednesday a visit to the Albanian Telegraphic Agency and met with the General Director of ATA, Frrok Çupi.

    In his talk with ATA General Director, Ambassador of Greece, who was accompanied in this visit by the press consul in the Greek Embassy, Nikos Vlahakis, took interest in the work of the Albanian news agency.

    Explaining the role of ATA in the Albanian world of information, Mr. Çupi said that "the agency has a gradual increase in its technical and transmission capabilities, with a higher level reached in the professional point of view." The Albanian Telegraphic Agency is the most reliable institution of the information in the country, said Çupi.

    The Greek Ambassador in Tirane, Mallias, took also interest in the relations that ATA has with the most powerful agencies in Greece such as ANA and MPA. Attention was devoted to the role of information in the democratization of the policy in the Balkans. "Democratization of the policy is still lacking and the Balkans needs it," was the remark made in today's meeting between the ATA General Director and the Ambassador of Greece in Tirane. /dast/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] Albanian youth to have their law soon

    TIRANA, March 17 (ATA) - By K.Shehu: Directorate of coordination of youth policies at the Ministry of Culture is working for the preparation of a law on youth.

    The preparation for a law on youth aims at securing their participation in civil society as individuals and in organised groups, improving structures and government policies as regards youth affairs, recognizing the role of the youth as part of society as well as its contribution in the social and cultural life of the Albanian society.

    The work for the draft law has started months before with debates in the Council of Albanian Youths as well as the collection of materials on youth policies and legislation for youths in different countries.

    Two round tables with youth associations as well as donors have been organised to work out the draft law. The first meeting of the working group will be held on March 20.

    Sources of the Youth directorate said that "the aim of the directorate is to prepare the draft as soon as possible and the youth have their law, which will institutionalize the state policy and relations between the state and youth."

    The youth directorate is cooperating with non governmental youth organisations, U.N. Children's Fund, Soros Foundation and the parliamentary sub commission on youth and women affairs to work out a draft law on youth. /ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] Government committed to open communication with public - Ulqini

    TIRANE, March 17 (ATA)-A workshop with journalists and representatives from the Balkan media independent centers is holding proceedings at the Media Institute in Tirane, as part of the project "Joint Strategies for Journalists' Education", financed by the Swiss government.

    At this seminar Minister of Information Musa Ulqini provided information about legislation in the field of media and the government's approach towards independent media, sources from this institution says.

    Ulqini responded to the interest shown by the participants about the Albanian government's commitment to create an open system of communication with the public and provide information for the media.

    Ulqini also referred to the latest developments in Kosova and the engagement of the Albanian government in resolving the crisis as soon as possible. /dast/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] Snowfalls in Korça city

    KORCE, March 18 (ATA) - By B. Fejzullai: Korça region is covered again by fresh snow marking the restart of heavy winter in the city.

    The thickness of snow was 35 cm on Thursday at 11.00. a.m. in the Korça city while in the mountainous regions its thickness was over 50 cm. Snow falls were accompanied by low temperatures what had caused difficulties in heating system and power supply in the city.

    Heavy snowfall also created difficulties in road traffic. The inspectorate of road traffic said that the road axis of Qafe Thana, Qafe Qarri, Plloce, Pogradec and Kapshtice were covered by snow and no vehicles moved by.

    The road maintenance enterprise has intervened to sweep snow clear but still the traffic is very difficult. Snowfall continues intensively. /s.s/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] Heavy snow in Gjirokaster

    GJIROKASTER, March 18 (ATA)-By H. Cani, Dawn found Gjirokaster on Thursday covered with snow.

    The heavy snow falls have mainly hindered road traffic and the supply of the district with electricity.

    In the low-land areas the snow has been 20-25 cm thick while in the mountains 30-40 cm.

    The situation is difficult in the area of Pogon and Zagori which include about 15 villages.

    According to officials of the prefecture the heavy snow has also suspended all kinds of communication of these two communes with the city's centre.

    Sources from the Power Generation and Distribution Firm (KESH) say that the snow falls have also damaged the high-voltage electric cables, leaving without electric power the whole Gjirokaster and Tepelene districts. Trouble-shooters are trying to bring the situation back to normal. /s.s/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] Products from glass houses to meet Albania's needs in 2003

    TIRANE, March 18 (ata) - By E Xhajanka: Specialists of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food envisage that the sector of glass houses in Albania will meet the needs of the local consumer in 2003.

    During 1991-1996, 67 hectares of land have been covered by glass houses but they have not been able to meet the needs of the local population. According to specialists this is explained with the deficit in the trade of the products from glass houses which for 1995-1996 has been respectively 7380 tons and 5816 tons, thus reaching an average yearly yield of 800 quintals per hectare.

    Proceeding from these, specialists of glass houses in the Ministry of Agriculture draw the conclusion that there is a need for about 95 hectares of new glass houses and if the annual average rate for the construction of glass houses is maintained, that is nearly 13 hectares a year, the sector of glass houses will be able to meet the needs of the local consumers in 2003.

    The higher number of glass houses is recorded in Lushnje, Tirane, Vlore and Fier. There is a tendency recently among farmers to construct small family glass houses which require a small investment. /xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] Albanian Foreign Minister waiting in Paris for deal signing

    TIRANE, March 18(ATA)-By I. Luto, Albanian Foreign Minister Paskal Milo will stay for another 24 hours in Paris, waiting for the signing of the peace agreement by the Kosova delegation, Albania's ambassador to France Luan Rama told ATA on Thursday.

    Rama said that "the Albanian Foreign Minister is staying in the French capital also today to attend the signing ceremony of the peace agreement on Kosova which the Albanian delegation has pledged to realise today".

    On the same day, according to ambassador Rama, Milo is expected to meet with mediators Petrisch and Hill.

    Milo met yesterday with the Kosova Albanians' delegation, which is expected to take part in a cocktail extended by the Albanian embassy in Paris today.

    Milo met yesterday with negotiator Hill, who assured the chief of the Albanian diplomacy that the agreement proposed to the parties in talks is complete and integral and there is no reason for change.

    The Kosova Albanians' delegation agreed to sign the agreement since the beginning of the second round of peace talks in Paris, while the international officials who are closely following the talks have advised the Kosovar delegation "not to make haste" with the ceremony so as to give the Serbs another chance to change their mind. /pas/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] Albanian premier leaves for Greece to attend PASOK congress

    TIRANA, March 18 (ATA) - By I. Luto: Albanian prime minister Pandeli Majko left for Athens on Thursday to attend the 5th congress of the Pan- Hellenic Socialist party of Greece (PASOK).

    Majko was invited by his Greek counterpart Kosta Simitis, who is also the leader of the PASOK, to attend the proceedings of the congress scheduled from March 18 to 21, a communique of the Ministry of Information obtained by ATA said.

    During his one-day stay in Athens, Albanian prime minister will also have separate talks with other Greek senior personalities.

    Fatos Nano, Arta Dade and Bashkim Fino are also invited to attend the 5th congress of PASOK, according to today's press. /ake/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] New enterprise on road maintenance in Saranda

    SARANDE, March 18 (ATA) - By Sh. Hajno: Rural roads in the Saranda district will be maintained by a new enterprise, Thoma Papagjika, head of the district council said to ATA.

    He said that the council decided in its Thursday meeting to create a new enterprise, which will administrate and maintain all rural roads linking centers with communes.

    The district council elected the director and approved a structure of 23 employees.

    The new enterprise will have under its administration and maintenance 65 km rural roads extended in six communes of Saranda and Konispol town hall. /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] Djindjic and Draskovic on Kosova issue

    PRISHTINE, March 18 (ATA)-"With Milosevic in power Serbia is not likely to strengthen and its laws to rule in Kosova," said Zoran Djindjic, chairman of the Serb Democratic Party at a meeting on Kosova, the Kosova Information Centre (KIC) told ATA.

    Djindjic said that "over the next three years of international protectorate in Kosova the question to be raised will be who will do more on the ground, who will strengthen and who will have a greater influence".

    He who will have a greater influence will probably assume powers later from the international community, said Djindjic.

    On the other hand, the chairman of the Serb Revival party, Vuk Draskovic, who is also deputy-head of the Federal Government, is convinced that Belgrade will defend Kosova in Paris "at the green table".

    According to Draskovic, a good political agreement has been reached and the removal of all sanctions on Belgrade and Yugoslavia's integration into the international financial organisations and institutions will be part of it.

    Draskovic is especially "glad of the fact" that there will be no referendum in Kosova, and the National Liberation Army (KLA) will be disarmed completely.

    "If during the coming days our delegation manages in several segments to improve the final version of the Rambouillet text, we might say that a good political agreement has been reached," said Draskovic, adding that for the eventual implementation of the agreement the Albanian side "has nothing to ask for", because this is an affair of "our state and international community". /p.ta/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] Soros completes reconstruction of a kindergarten in Sarande

    SARANDE, March 18 (ata) - By Sh Hajno: The reconstruction of a kindergarten with funds from Soros foundation was completed in Sarande recently. The coordinator of this foundation for the AEDP projects for the region of Sarande and Himare, Xhorxhi Vasili told ATA that Soros invested a fund of 80 thousand USD for the reconstruction of the kindergarten No.2.

    According to AEDP sources, the kindergarten is a preschool institution included in the Step By Step program. At present, work is going on to furnish it with all necessary equipment and didactic instruments.

    Over the past three years, Soros has invested in the district of Sarande over 700 thousand USD on different projects in the field of education and the reconstruction of schools. /pas/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] Budgetary deficit amounts to 3.8 billion lek in January-February

    TIRANE, March 18 (ata) - By E Metaj: The budgetary deficit over the first months of 1999 amounted to 3.8 billion lek, sources of the Finance Ministry report.

    During January-February, the expenses have been worth 17.4 billion lek. The expenses of the first two months of the current year are about 10.4 per cent of the total expenses envisaged for 1999. The law "On the state budget for 1999" adopted by the People's Assembly, envisages the total expenses to be as much as 165.593 billion lek.

    While the incomes for the first two months have been nearly 13.6 billion lek or about 12.2 per cent of the total envisaged for this year. The law on the budget envisages that the total incomes for 1999 will be 111.752 billion lek.

    The budgetary deficit in the first two months, January-February has been about 3.8 billion lek, while the general budgetary deficit at the end of the year will be 53.841 billion lek.

    The internal finance of the budgetary deficit is planned to be covered in the amount of 4 billion lek through direct credits from the Bank of Albania and 23.9 billion lek through treasury bills, hence with the monetary savings of the population. While the "real deficit" of the budget is expressed as a difference between the total incomes and the current expenses, which include expenditures for interest rates presumed to be 15.049 billion lek.

    The objectives of the budget for 1999, outlined also with the IMF, are an economic growth of 8 per cent, a norm of inflation at the end of the year by 7 per cent, increase of the foreign currency reserve by imports in a 4 month period, the level of the budgetary deficit financed by inner sources which takes 5.2 per cent of the Gross Domestic Production (GDP). /xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] Monsignor Prenushi honored with "City pride" title

    DURRES, March 18 (ATA) - By S. Gjordeni: Durres municipality council honored Monsignor Vincens Prenushi, prelate of the Catholic church, poet, folklorist and well-known Albanian publisher, with the title "City pride"

    Prenushi born in Shkodra in 1895 has been bishop of Durres from 1940 to 1946. He was arrested in '46 and died in 1949 in communist prisons.

    The municipality council assessed Prenushi as "a distinguished figure of Catholicism, Albanian culture particularly in folklore, poetry, translations and publications."

    He was also known for his efforts on the harmony and understanding between Albanian religious communities. /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] LDK asks NATO's urgent intervention in Kosova

    PRISHTINE, March 18 (ATA)-The leadership of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) has called for "NATO's urgent intervention in Kosova to prevent the tragedy which is threatening the people as a result of the Serbian offensive".

    Given the grave situation caused in Kosova as a result of the Serbian offensive against the Albanians people, the LDK calls on NATO, on the basis of the clearly declared stands, to immediately intervene against the Serb military and police targets to avoid the tragedy threatening the Kosova people and not only them, says a statement issued in Prishtine yesterday and made public by the LDK. /pas/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] Rinas police turn back 43 foreign nationals

    TIRANE, March 18 (ATA)- By Th. Thanasi, The Rinas Police on Wednesday turned back 43 foreign nationals.

    Most of the foreign citizens had no valid documents, whereas others did not have or claim sufficient amounts of money to justify their stay in Albania, the spokesman of the Tirane Prefecture Police department told ATA.

    He said that during this year the Rinas police have also other times turned back foreign nationals for invalid or lack of documents or for being suspected of prostitution.

    Foreign citizens, mainly coming from Turkey (kurds), Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria and other states stay in Albania temporarily with the aim to illegally cross to West European countries. /s.s/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] Tirana currency rate

    TIRANA, March 18 (ATA) - By L. Thanasi: Following are the buying and selling rates of the foreign currencies against the lek in the Bank of Tirana.
    US$1.00			142.20
    German mark		 80.00
    Italian lire (1000)	 80.60
    Greek drachmas (100)	 48.30
    EURO			155.50
    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] Private sector engages 102 thousand employees

    TIRANA, March 18 (ATA) - By L. Thanasi: The state inspectorate of labour said that the number of employees engaged in the private sector all over Albania is estimated at some 102 thousand, 68 thousand of which are employed as physical persons.

    Some 25 thousand of them are not included in the scheme of social insurances by private firms.

    The surveys and contracts reached with the social insurance offices say that the number of employees declared by businesses is lower than the number of those employed by economic firms.

    A control launched in 6 thousand firms in the Tirana district showed that 32 thousand persons had been employed, while some 4. 425 firms had been registered in the social insurance office. Only 23. 580 individuals have been included in the scheme of social insurances.

    In private firms, which employed 5.470 persons, only 2 100 of them pay social insurances. /pas/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [20] Facilities for Albanian businessmen in Kakavije customs house

    GJIROKASTER, March 18 (ATA) - By H.Çani: Representatives of the Chamber of Commerce in Gjirokaster, the chairman Ilir Gushi as well as the secretary Spiro Kaçi, held a workshop on Wednesday with the director of Greek custom house in Kakavije, Aristotel Cekas, the chief of border police of Kakavije, Niko Jorgjiu, and with the representative of the Greek consulate of Gjirokaster, Panajotis Papas.

    The scope of the meeting was the creation of facilities for the Albanian businessmen in Kakavije custom house. They have to wait for at least four hours in queue to pass the border point.

    According to Mr. Gushi both parts agreed in the meeting to adopt a new special procedure, according to which, each businessman should have the passport bearing a visa for Greece, and a certificate from the Albanian Chamber of Commerce. They agreed also in the extending of the stay in Greece from 6 months in 180 days. /pas/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [21] Four years old girl returns from England completely recovered.

    SHKODER, March 18 (ATA) - By M.Malja: Marigona Krasniqi, 4, from village Nec of the commune of Gjakove, Kosova, turned back in the city of Shkoder after an operation on the eye. She went in England with the aid of the "Monstar angel", Sally Becker, and was operated there last year.

    Marigona, risked to get blind in both eyes, is one of the children leaving Kosova due to the traumas caused during the Serb attacks and send to be cured abroad (mainly in USA and England).

    Marigona, aged four, was operated on February in a private clinic in the city of Brightal, near London, by the distinguished doctor Krislew. Her health condition is good and she has joined her family after coming from England. Her family is settled in the refugees' center in Shkoder.

    Marigona came to Albania during the last summer together with a group of 20 children. /s.s/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [22] "We favour NATO presence in Kosova," President

    TIRANA, March 18 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: Albania President Rexhep Meidani met Thursday with the high ranking delegation of the Russian Duma, headed by its deputy Speaker, Sergej N. Baburin. The Russian delegation is holding an official visit in Albania.

    The presentation of viewpoints of both countries for the political solution of the Kosova problem and strengthening of bilateral cooperation were in the center of talks.

    Reacting towards the position of the Russian delegation, which is against the military solution of the Kosova matter, President Meidani presented another viewpoint, far from the traditional and historic mentalities.

    "Europe is going towards an open process of integration and elaboration of realistic stands, far from the divisions of the old geopolitics by putting an end to the cold war. The continuation of murders, crimes, ethnic cleansing and genocide in the center of Europe is unacceptable for the European civil opinion and the intervention of Euro-Atlantic mechanisms in restoring peace and stability in this region is a necessity," stressed Meidani.

    Referring to the role of different mechanisms in Kosova, the President of the Republic said that Albania has supported the presence of OSCE mission in Kosova, but the dramatic situation there proved that this mission is not enough to prevent the conflict and bloodshed.

    President Meidani urged the Russian delegation to influence on Belgrade, so that it allows the military presence, headed by NATO, by increasing the chances for stability, not only in Kosova and the region, but also in Serbia. /dast/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [23] Students of Fair Arts Academy prepared for exhibition "Eastern 1999"

    TIRANA, March 18 (ATA) - By R. Skifteri: The students of the Academy of Fair Arts are making preparation for the exhibition "Eastern 1999," which is organized by the association the Youth of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania, in cooperation with the association S.A.V.

    "The artistic concept will be completely free. The creativity of participants should convey eastern as a sacrilege seen from the contemporary point of view and being based in our tradition of Byzantine art", the chairman of S.A.V association, Irena Buzi, told ATA on Wednesday.

    All the students have the right to take part in this exhibition with not more that two works, while the deadline for handing over these works will be March 25.

    The participants in the exhibition "Eastern 1999" are to get diplomas, while all the works in the exhibition are to be involved in a catalogue.

    This exhibition is thought to be opened at the beginning of April in the Gallery of Fair Arts Academy. /dast/mt/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [24] Russia shows interest to invest in Albania

    TIRANA, March 18 (ATA) - By M. Pupa: The Albanian Minister of Public Works and Transport, Ingrid Shuli, held Thursday a meeting with the deputy Speaker of the Russian Duma, Sergej Baburin, who showed the interest of his country to invest in the field of infrastructure and transport in Albania.

    According to the spokesman, Minister Shuli stressed that there are two agreements with Russia, on the air and road transport. She expressed the desire that the bilateral cooperation be widened in the future.

    While, the head of the Russian delegation promised that Russia will be economically present in Albania. /dast/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [25] NATO, the only guarantee for implementation of Rambouillet accord

    TIRANA, March 18 (ATA) - By I. Luto: The Albanian State Secretary for the Euro-Atlantic Integration, Maqo Lakrori, held Thursday a meeting with the delegation of the Russian Duma, which is on an official visit in Albania, press office close to the Foreign Ministry reported to ATA.

    The crisis in Kosova was in the center of this meeting. With regard to this, Lakrori reiterated to the Russian parliamentary delegation the attitude that the Albanian government considers the Rambouillet Accord as the document which defines the temporary solution of the crisis, with the tendency for its final and viable solution. According to Lakrori, this document would have only one instrument that would guarantee its implementation, the presence of NATO in field.

    In regard to this stand, the Russian delegation, headed by the deputy Speaker, Sergej Baburin, expressed his reserves. According to him, this would mean enlargement of NATO influence in Europe and its engagement in crisis in ex-Yugoslavia.

    "In such cases, it belongs to the peoples to decide," said Baburin. /dast/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [26] NATO - the only institution which can prevent catastrophe in Kosove, Majko

    TIRANE, March 18 (ATA) - By Enkelejda Koraqi: Albania Prime Minister, Pandeli Majko, addressed a letter recently to the NATO Secretary General, Mr. Havier Solana, where he hails the readiness of the Kosove delegation in Paris to sign an interim accord as a really positive thing.

    The Ministry of Information quotes Majko pointing out in the letter: "Let me take advantage of the opportunity and stress once more the stand of the government I am ruling, which forcefully backs the interim accord and insists that the accord can be reached only through the settlement of NATO troops in Kosove.

    Stressing the huge concern of the Albanian government on the actual situation in Kosove created due to the Serb offensives on the Albanian population and on the actual presence of about 40.000 Serb military troops settled within and outside Kosova, actions which are in full rejection with the agreement of October 1998, Albanian Premier highlights:

    "I feel rather concerned that Belgrade can start a general offensive in Kosove at the time when peace negotiations continue in Paris. If such an undertaking will be free to operate, it can have catastrophic consequences for Kosova people, my country and the whole region. I really believe that especially now that the Kosovars have accepted the accord, they can rely on the support and engagement of international community, and I do forcefully believe that NATO in the only institution which can prevent a catastrophe in Kosove". /dast/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [27] Delegation of Russian Duma meets with DP head

    TIRANA, March 18 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: The delegation of the Russian Duma met Thursday with the head of the Albanian Democratic Party, Sali Berisha.

    The Kosova problem and the efforts of the international community to solve this problem were in the center of talks.

    Berisha urged the Russian parliamentarians to be seriously engaged and cooperate with the representatives of the European countries regarding this matter, despite the divergences of thoughts on the solution of the Kosova issue .

    The democratic leader stressed the necessity of recognising the independence of Kosova, as the only final solution of the problem.

    "Only the independence of Kosova would create the conditions for a stability not only in Serbia, but in the entire region," said Berisha. /dast/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [28] Premier Majko meets representatives of IMF mission

    TIRANE, March 18 (ATA) - By D.Koça: Albania Prime Minister, Pandeli Majko, accompanied by the Finance Minister, Anastas Angjeli, and the Minister of Information Musa Ulqini, held a meeting on Wednesday with the representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, headed by Mr. Korker, the spokesman reports.

    Regarding the cooperation existing between the Albanian government and IMF, Premier Majko thanked the leaders of the mission for the support this international institution is giving to Albania to help the country in its long road of reforms and expressed the engagement of Albanian government to continue this road.

    On his side Koker said that the macroeconomics indexes of Albania are positively assessed by the International Monetary Fund. He added that the mission agrees in principal with the objectives of the "Letter of Intent" for the second 6 month period of 1999. "We will support the Albanian government in implementation of this agreement", said Korker.

    Representatives of IMF mission hold meetings during the two last weeks in the Ministry of Finance on issues regarding the development of the agreement ESAF 2 for this year, and the content of the "Letter of intend" for the second six month period of 1999. This document will be presented to the IMF Board of Directors in June. /dast/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [29] Albania President meets initiators of Peace Bell

    TIRANA, March 18 (ATA) - By E. Riza: Albania President Rexhep Meidani met Thursday with a group of children, teachers and parents from Zadrima in Lezhe, missionaries of the catholic church there to celebrate together the beginning of work for casting the Bell of Peace, which will be placed in Tirana and will toll on 1 January 2000 during a big manifestation of children from the whole country.

    "This will be the Bell which will open the new millinery for the Albanians," said Meidani.

    President Meidani hailed during a meeting all the children of Zadrima, and in particular, Don Antonio Sharra for the fruitful initiative regarding the disarmament, collection of shells, cartridges from the crisis of 1997, as well as for the idea of casting the Bell of Peace. /dast/mt/

    From the Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at

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