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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 99-03-26

Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

Albanian Telegraphic Agency


  • [01] Nearly 96 Kosova children, eyewitnesses in execution of 20 teachers in Dobrune village
  • [02] Extension of conflict in Kosova puts off state of emergency, official
  • [03] Solana says NATO exerts pressure on Belgrade to accept political solution in Kosova
  • [04] Cleaning of bomb shelters continues
  • [05] Albanian foreign ministry reacts against actions of official Belgrade
  • [06] Order minister appeals to ministry's structures
  • [07] Albanian Speaker carries on U.S. visit
  • [08] National information service becomes state information service
  • [09] Tense situation in border zone
  • [10] Kukes, Tropoja to have telephone connection
  • [11] Prefecture of Diber prepared for emergency situation
  • [12] Over 1600 inhabitants of Llapi moved to Shale, Bajgore
  • [13] President meets senior officials to discuss Kosova situation
  • [14] Albanian Govt. discusses measures to accommodate Kosova refugees
  • [15] Considerable foodstuff reserves in Kukes prefecture
  • [16] Calm situation in border with Montenegro
  • [17] Attacks of Serb forces escalated
  • [18] International community denounces those responsible for humanitarian catastrophes
  • [19] AERF to support Albanian small and medium enterprises
  • [20] Museum of National History under tight security measures
  • [21] Religious communities support just solution for national question
  • [22] Tirane municipality asks aid from construction companies to cope with emergency situation
  • [23] Albanian producer awarded "Enrica Fulchignoni" prize
  • [24] Four Italian speedboats accorded to Albanian custom houses
  • [25] OSCE representatives discuss justice problems
  • [26] There are no Kosova refugees trying to leave for Italy, Vlore
  • [27] Albania's air space at full disposal of NATO - Minister
  • [28] Tens of passengers arrive in Vlore
  • [29] President of Republic addresses message to Albanian nation
  • [30] Ulqini says situation in Kosova extremely dramatic
  • [31] Normal situation on border point of Kakavije, tougher control measures
  • [32] Berisha asks NATO direct military intervention in Kosova
  • [33] Police services in Albania continue to be on high alert
  • [34] Serb military attacks against undefended Kosovar population intensified

  • [01] Nearly 96 Kosova children, eyewitnesses in execution of 20 teachers in Dobrune village

    TIRANA, March 25 (ATA) - By E. Nepravishta: The Albanian Minister of Information, Musa Ulqini, informed on Thursday evening in the private television KLAN that some 176 Kosova refugees, who crossed the Albanian border in the district of Kukes, have testified a new massacre, carried out by the Serb military and police forces.

    The Kosova refugees, among whom 96 children, were eyewitnesses of this massacre, where the Serb military and police forces executed in Dobrune village 20 teachers and the director of a school in the presence of their pupils. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] Extension of conflict in Kosova puts off state of emergency, official

    TIRANA, March 25 (ATA) - By E. Nepravishta: The adviser of the President of the Republic for the Defence Policy, Sabit Brokaj, foresaw Thursday an extension of the conflict in Kosova, during his statement in the private television KLAN.

    Brokaj said that the extension in time of the state of emergency in the country would become slothful and would demoralize the structures that will implement it.

    For this reason, according to Brokaj, the state of emergency in the country can not be imposed in this moment, but later on. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] Solana says NATO exerts pressure on Belgrade to accept political solution in Kosova

    (adds quotes of Albanian foreign minister in NATO meeting)

    TIRANE, March 25 (ATA)-By E. Nepravishta, The alliance has and is pressuring Belgrade to force it to accept the political solution in Kosova, the NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana, stated at a meeting of the North Atlantic Council held in Brussels this afternoon with the participation of Albania.

    This meeting was held in the framework of article 8 of the basic Document of Partnership for Peace, based on the 19+1 formula, the Foreign Ministry told ATA.

    Before the meeting began, Foreign Minister Paskal Milo, who led the Albanian delegation, and deputy minister of Defence Ilir Bocka, had brief meetings with the NATO Secretary-General, Javier Solana.

    Afterwards the meeting of the North Atlantic Council began. Solana, addressing the meeting stressed that "the alliance has and is pressuring Belgrade to force it to accept the political solution in Kosova".

    Solana especially evaluated the contribution of the Albanian government to the unification of the Albanian factor of Kosova which led to the signing of the "Peace Agreement" by the Albanian Delegation.

    Solana referred to the close cooperation between Albania and the North Atlantic Alliance, especially in the framework of the current activity of the Alliance in Kosova.

    He asked from the Kosova Albanians to show self-restraint and not fall prey to Serbia's provocations.

    Solana reiterated NATO's commitment and the response it will give to any efforts by Belgrade that intends to violate the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Albania.

    Addressing the NATO meeting the Albanian Paskal Milo thanked NATO member states, especially United States, NATO Secretary General Javier Solana and General Wesley Clark for everything they have done to stop the massacres against the civilian population in Kosova in favour of peace and stability in the Balkan region.

    Chief of the Albanian diplomacy assessed the signing of the peace agreement by the Albanian side though it did not meet their maximum requirements and wished this action be undertaken soon by the Serb side in order to stop the violence.

    At the same time, he expressed the strong support of the Albanian government on the NATO decision to intervene and persuade Milosevic (Yugoslav president Slobodan) to accept the agreement.

    Minister Milo voiced the concerns of the Albanian government over the guarantee of stability, security and inviolability of Albania's territory.

    "The increased number of Serb provocations, which reached their climates on Thursday with artillery attacks against villages within our territory, represents a great danger for a spill-over of the conflict," Majko said to the Council.

    Representatives of member countries, among which the United States, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Great Britain, Germany, France and the like, who took the floor after Milo confirmed the evaluation of their countries for the policy followed by the Albanian government towards Kosova and the Albanian factor there. They stressed the fact that the Albanian policy continued to be moderated even in present moments what could be an indisputable advantage for Albania.

    They stressed the importance the Alliance devoted to the relations with Albania and said that its integrity and sovereignty were of major interest for the Alliance.

    As regards the situations, which could be created the NATO member states confirmed their full and overall support for Albania. /lh/lm/ak/


    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] Cleaning of bomb shelters continues

    ELBASAN, March 25 (ATA) - By M. Lulja: The Defence Council in the district of Elbasan, which convened with the participation of local officials, chairmen of communes, after discussing the grave situation in Kosova, assigned a series of duties, which should be immediately fulfilled.

    The meeting defined immediate duties for cleaning all bomb shelters in the town and villages, with the participation of inhabitants, the chairman of the district council, Ilir Balliu, told ATA.

    Right after the meeting, work has begun for cleaning the bomb shelters in neighbourhoods, which will be used for the defence of civil population in any case of emergency.

    The action is extended in the four districts of this prefecture. /pas/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] Albanian foreign ministry reacts against actions of official Belgrade

    TIRANA, March 26 (ATA) - By E. Nepravishta: Albanian Foreign Ministry reacted on Thursday against the latest actions of official Belgrade, which decided to cut diplomatic ties with the United States, Great Britain, Germany and France due to "the criminal attacks against Yugoslavia" (as it pretends).

    It had also warned other regional states such as Rumania, Bulgaria and Albania that it was going to cut the relations with them, too, "for their will in cooperating with NATO in strikes against Yugoslavia."

    A ministry spokesman said to ATA that the Ministry considered these actions, which increased intransigence of official Belgrade to cooperate with the international community for a political solution to the Kosova crisis.

    "Instead of cooperation, Milosevic has chosen isolation and conflicting policies with the international community, which has led Yugoslavia in a totally dramatic situation," the statement of the Foreign Ministry said.

    The Albanian side handed over on Thursday a harsh protest note to the charge d'affairs of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to Tirana Stranimir Vukicevic for yesterday's incident against Albania's embassy in Belgrade. /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] Order minister appeals to ministry's structures

    TIRANA, March 25 (ATA) - By E. Nepravishta: Minister of Public Order Petro Koçi issued an appeal on Thursday night to all units, officers, non- commissioned officers, police, soldiers and civil employees of all the structures of the ministry to face the situation with the maximum patriotism.

    The appeal, obtained by ATA, said that the martyr people of Kosova (and not only it) were still under the threat of the Serb wounded beast and it was facing difficult and decisive moments.

    "Half of the Albanian nation has the historical chance of gaining the freedom, which has been deprived by the Serb aggressor. Our minds, hearts, weapons and fortifications be in unison with our Kosova brothers. Yesterday's and today strikes against Serb military targets show that the Albanian people are not alone in its right cause. The international community is with us and will continue to be until peace and liberty triumph in Kosova.

    "The Serb cruel hand can try even in Albania to attack people or blow up important state or social buildings.

    "We should not give that chance to Milosevic.

    "In full harmony and cooperation with the population, army, local government and other state and social bodies should be able to face this situation and maintain order, law and security in Albania.

    "The historical moment urges a maximum, patriotic, moral and professional contribution. Now it is time for everyone to demonstrate patriotism. The people and police units in the Northern Albania, which traditionally have experienced anti patriotism and Serb aggressions, more than any other else, should be ready to face any possible situation.

    "Border troops, police avant-garde, which have faced Serb challenges and provocations for many decades, should be mobilized in this final war to fulfil successfully the sacred task being delegated for the defence of Albania's borders," the appeal said. /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] Albanian Speaker carries on U.S. visit

    TIRANA, March 26 (ATA) - By I. Luto: The visits of the Albanian parliamentary delegation, headed by Speaker Skender Gjinushi, in Washington, started Wednesday in one of the grounds of the senate with the participation in a meeting, organized by representatives of the Albanian diaspora with several U.S. congressmen to hail NATO military strikes against Belgrade.

    Parliament press office reported that in this meeting, Gjinushi greeted NATO air strikes and the support of the United States for the peace process in Kosova and said that "We live a very important moment for the peace of Kosova, for the stability in the region, for our national issue."

    On Thursday, Gjinushi held a meeting with the deputy State Secretary for Democracy and Human Rights, Bennet Freeman in which he informed him about the commitments of the Albanian Parliament for legislative reforms in support of the institutional and economic reforms of the government.

    Speaker Gjinushi stressed in particular the necessity of Albania for a solid infrastructure regarding elections, because, according to Gjinushi, "the Albanian crisis has started from the manipulation of elections in 26 May 1996."

    Freeman on his side, appreciating the efforts of the Albanian Parliament and Government for normality and stability in the country, said that the return to Parliament would influence on easing the tensions. All the parties should join parliament and represent democracy as the only way to cope with the situation, he added.

    The Albanian Parliament Speaker also met on the same day with the President of the U.S. Republican Institute, whom he thanked for the support given by this institute to the Parliament infrastructure in the legislative process.

    The President of the U.S. Republican Institute expressed his assessments for the progress in the field of legislation and voiced the engagement of this institution to support the reform carried out by the Albanian Parliament. /mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] National information service becomes state information service

    TIRANA, March 25 (ATA) - Council of Ministers held a meeting late on Thursday under the prime minister Pandeli Majko. to approve a draft-law on several amendments to the law on National Information Service. With the approval of the new Albanian Constitution, which envisages several amendments to the denomination of several institutions, it becomes necessary to name this institution the State Information Service.

    The meeting also adopted the draftlaw on the ratification of the credit agreement between Albania and the International Development Agency (IDA), regarding a project on public, works worth $17.4 million. This project includes civil works on infrastructure, creation of new jobs, mainly in those areas where unemployment and poverty are very high, and others.

    It was also approved a draft-law on competencies in defining wages, as well as the draft-law on several amendments to the law on the industrial property, and that on the ratification of the Consular Convention between the Republic of Albania and the Republic of Croatia."

    The draft-law on several amendments to the law on maintenance of order and law, as well as the draft-law, according to which the function of the State Secretary for the European Integration is abolished and the function of the Minister of Euro-Atlantic Integration is introduced. /pas/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] Tense situation in border zone

    KUKES, March 26 (ATA) - By R. Hoxha: The situation in the border zone between Albania and Yugoslavia is tense though overnight and in the early hours of Friday there have been recorded no provocations of the Serb army and police.

    Vice director of the local police department said to ATA that seven armoured carriers loaded with ammunition approached overnight the border in Qafe Prush, Has district.

    The situation has also been tense near Morini, the Kukes district, because shootings have been audible overnight and fighting erupted in Vermice village some 400 meters from the border line.

    Given this situation, the border police forces were in high alert to face any situation. /s.s/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] Kukes, Tropoja to have telephone connection

    KUKES, March 26 (ATA) - By Riza Hoxha: Telephone connection, interrupted since last August, will be established between Kukes and Tropoja districts, director of the Telecom division Ali Braha told the meeting of

    the emergency staff on Friday.

    Present at the meeting were a group of officers of the army general staff who urged a speed-up of measures and making the public opinion aware of the situation.

    Given the possibility of an influx in the coming days, the director of hospital Bajram Cena said that they could treat 286 patients within a short time. He said that measures had been undertaken to accommodate the patients in case of air raids and supply with food and medicaments. /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] Prefecture of Diber prepared for emergency situation

    DIBER, March 26 (ATA) - By Hysni Ruspi: Prefecture of Diber, northeast of Albania, is closely following the situation in the area following NATO air strikes against Serbia.

    In Thursday meeting the emergency staff urged the officials of the local government, order and army to take immediate measures to face any emergencies.

    Measures have been taken to guard special important targets, aqueducts, telecommunication, major roads and the like.

    Prefect Xhelil Cibaku asked the officials of the local government to speed up measures for the cleaning and preparation of all bomb shelters in cities and institutions.

    Measures should be taken to accommodate people arriving from Kosova. /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] Over 1600 inhabitants of Llapi moved to Shale, Bajgore

    MITROVICE, March 26 (ATA) - Serb forces deployed in Frasher i Vogel attacked for one hour and a half the village of Kçiç following NATO air strikes on Thursday against the Mitrovice military barracks while a large number of people fleeing Llap had been moved to villages of Shale of Bajgore, Kosovapress news agency said.

    The same source said that "the number of the displaced is over 6.000 while their situation is very difficult."

    Most of population, who left the area, have stayed in the open on Thursday overnight because over 80 percent of the houses in Shale of Bajgore have been burnt down last summer.

    Kosovapress reported that fighting between Serb forces and the Kosova Liberation Army erupted early on Friday in Pasom while seven villages in the region were under artillery attack. /pta/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] President meets senior officials to discuss Kosova situation

    TIRANA, March 26 (ATA) - President of Albania Rexhep Meidani held a meeting early on Friday with senior government officials including the prime minister Pandeli Majko, Defence minister Luan Hajdaraga, Order minister Petro Koçi and chief of the general staff Aleks Andoni.

    The officials briefed Meidani on the latest developments and the situation in Kosova, the people arriving in Albania, their situation and accommodation, press office at the presidency said.

    The meeting also focused on measures to be taken in order to improve the military readiness, army organisation in facing any situation. A special attention was devoted to the preparation for an influx of refugees from Kosova.

    Present at the meeting was also president's adviser for National Defence and Security Sabit Brokaj. /s.s/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] Albanian Govt. discusses measures to accommodate Kosova refugees

    TIRANA, March 26 (ATA) - The Council of Ministers convened Friday under the direction of PM Pandeli Majko and discussed about the measures taken by the government to face a possible flux of Kosova refugees in the Albanian northern border, the Ministry of Information reported.

    The increasing Serb repression, the massacres and violence exercised on our brothers in Kosova, will probably force scores of Kosovars to enter Albania.

    Further on, the meeting approved seven important decisions, such as the decision on an extra fund of 10 million leks to the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food for 1999.

    Today's meeting also adopted the decision "On the approval in principle of the protocol of talks of the first session of the Albanian- Egyptian joint inter-government commission, on the economic, industrial and technic cooperation," "On defining the fund for the administration expenses for 1999, for the Central Commission "On the status of veteran."

    Also, the meeting approved the decision on an amendment to the decision of the Council of Ministers "on the treatment with food articles of the active military officials who serve in the army structures." /pas/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] Considerable foodstuff reserves in Kukes prefecture

    KUKES, March 26 (ATA) - By Riza Hoxha: Districts of the prefecture of Kukes have considerable reserves in food to face an emergency situation, the emergency staff said in its Friday meeting.

    An inspector of agriculture and food at the prefecture Bukurosh Jonuzi said that some 2.500 tons of wheat was stock in the state reserve warehouses.

    All private firms dealing with trade have considerable quantities of flour, rice, sugar and oil. The bakeries in cities have reserves of flour for a few months period.

    The tense situation in the area bordering Albania's northeastern districts has forced local dealers to take measures in order to provide considerable reserves on widely consumed goods. /s.s/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] Calm situation in border with Montenegro

    KOPLIK, March 26 (ATA) - By M. Malja: The staff of the state of emergency in the district of Malesi e Madhe discussed Friday about the measures taken until now by the local government and leaders of different institutions to cope with the difficult situation that might be created in the state borders.

    Leaders of the district police commissariat stressed that the situation along the border with Montenegro has been calm and non-stop patrols have been organized in the border line.

    Senior officials of local government stressed that some 70% of bomb shelters have been prepared for the civil population and work is going on to clean several others.

    The leaders of telecom and aqueduct reported on the measures taken to keep into operation the communication network and supply the population with water. /pas/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] Attacks of Serb forces escalated

    TIRANE, March 26 (ATA) - The Albanian villages of Podujeve, Kline and Gryka e Llapushit are engulfed since the first hours of Friday by a wide wave of attacks.

    Kosovapress agency reports that the attacks between the Serb forces and Kosova Liberation Army forces are concentrated in Llapashtice e Eperme, Llapashtice e Poshtme, Peran, Godishnjak, Baic, Obranë, and Katundishte, while other Serb forces are making reprisals in about 10 villages situated in the vicinity of the administrative border line between Kosova and Serbia. In Suareke, the Serb forces continue to attack towards Sllapuzhani, Reshtani, and Retice. Serb forces have also attacked four villages of Kline - Ujmir, Qabiç, Cerovike and Plloçice, while the attacks are momentarily erupted in Drenice. The attacks are concentrated in the villages of Mlean, Cerovik, Siçeve, Jelloc and Turiqec.

    Attacks continue as well in Gryka e Llapushnikut and the neighbouring villages, especially in Negorc, where the KLA forces are trying not to allow the Serb forces to penetrate in the village. The same source reports that the Serb tanks have attacked village Krajkove, while the Serb infantry forces have entered into the villages of Vukofc, and Poterke of Llapushnik and are burning them. /P.Ta/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] International community denounces those responsible for humanitarian catastrophes

    TIRANE, March 26 (ata) - By R Xhuvani: Latest reports from Kosove, mainly eye-witnesses and local and foreign medias show of a very dramatic situation throughout Kosova, accompanied by massive massacres against the Albanians. They tell of the execution of 20 teachers in Goden in front of their pupils and family members, or about 150 000 Albanian civilians who have been taken hostage by the Serbian army in the region of Drenice and are surrounded by 300 Serb tanks and other heavy weaponry.

    Such inhuman acts against unprotected people are considered a blind revenge by Serb national-chauvinism, said the press and information director in the Foreign Ministry Sokol Gjoka. They are continuation of the unique massacres in Drenice, Recak or those in Bosnia, they are a concrete expression of the policies of ethnic cleansing that Belgrade is implementing in Kosove for a long time, he added.

    In stead of cooperating with the international community to find a political solution to the crisis in Kosove and to democratize the Yugoslav society, Belgrade wants to impose on it primitive revenges. Such inhuman acts are condemnable by all international norms and documents, continued Gjoka.

    The Contact Group, the U.N. Security Council, the CE etc., have issued a number of resolutions denouncing categorically this policy of genocide. The road of nationalistic revenge, the road of isolation of Belgrade from the international community, the road of confrontation with all the international community have proved now to be abortive, therefore the policy of genocide of Milosevic is taking the merited punishment by the NATO forces. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] AERF to support Albanian small and medium enterprises

    Tirana, March 26 (ATA) - By Dorian Koça - "AREF program, (Albanian Reconstruction Equity Fund)", will support the investments in the industrial small and medium enterprises that operate in Albania, being native or foreign ones", stated the organizers of this program in a press conference hold in the frame work of the fair "Spring '99".

    The enterprises operating in Albania or intersted to operate in Albania have in disposal a new financial instrument, AREF. The fond takes part as a partner in capitals by putting new capitals against the buying value of share-certifications.

    AREF fond marks the value of 14 million dollars and it is financed equally by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Italian Government. Beginning from December 1998 AREF has the right to act for ten years.

    AREF might invest in many productive activities and services excluding armament, super alcoholic products, fate games, etc. The Fond cannot finance activities that harm the environment, as well. The total sum of the completed investment varies from 100 000 dollars to 14 million dollars.

    The Fond participation in the companies will be paid within a period of 3-5 years by selling the share-certifications of other common owners and interested investors.

    AREF is administrated by Economisti Associati, a financial company of Bolonja, which operates for EBRD. Economisti Associati is supported by Banca Popolare of Bari in the position of common investitures. This bank put in disposal an additional sum of 500 000 dollars./linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [20] Museum of National History under tight security measures

    TIRANE, March 26 (ATA)-By K. Shehu, The Museum of National History, the most important museum institution in Albania which is near the "Skenderbej" square in Tirane, is put under tight security measures since NATO began air strikes against Serbia.

    The director of the Museum of National History, Moikom Zeqo, told ATA that "this institution is an institution of special importance, therefore the security measures adopted under the situation created are tight".

    He said a whole file has been prepared for the functioning of the museum during this period.

    Among the measures Zeqo mentioned the 24-hour service in this institution, the protection especially of the unique objects in the museum, the preparation of the workers in the event of a fire and other measures.

    The museum was inaugurated in 1981. Its building makes up the key element of the urbanistic and architectural complex of the capital's centre. /lh/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [21] Religious communities support just solution for national question

    TIRANE, March 26 (ata) - By A Haxhiu: Prime Minister Pandeli Majko had a special meeting on Friday with representatives of the main religious communities in Albania, His Excellency Haxhi Sabri Koci, the chairman of the Albanian Moslem Community, My Lord Rrok Mirdita, the chairman of the Bishopric Conference of the bishopric of Durres and Tirane, the Chief of the World Bektashian Centre, Haxhi Dede Reshat Bardhi, and Father Justin from the Albanian Autochephalous Orthodox Church.

    PM Majko briefed the senior representatives of the main religious communities in Albania of the tragedy going on in Kosove. "I invited you to talk because you are representatives of the spiritual part of the Albanian nation and I can clearly see in you the spokesmen of hope, revival and unity which must characterise the entire Albanian nation in these moments. I do greatly appreciate your influence in the awakening our national sentiment because we feel today to be more Albanians. I would also like we all pray for the innocent victims of the war, for those women, children and aged people, the fighters for freedom, who have lost their lives in Kosove, " said Majko.

    The representatives of the main religious communities in Albania gave their full support to PM Pandeli Majko and the government he is leading for what is being made in support of the correct solution to the national question. /lh/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [22] Tirane municipality asks aid from construction companies to cope with emergency situation

    TIRANE, March 26(ATA) - By R. Xhuvani, The Tirane municipality on Friday called on construction firms, active in the capital, to cooperate to make the damaged bomb-shelters functional again.

    The Tirane municipality, for three days now, has been working with the enterprises under its dependance and in cooperation with communal- housing enterprise, to make ready all the city's shelters, a press release of the municipality says. /lh/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [23] Albanian producer awarded "Enrica Fulchignoni" prize

    TIRANE, March 26 (ATA) - By K.Shehu: The International Council of Cinematography, Television and Audio-visual Communication awarded the prize "Enrico Fulchignoni" for 1999 to the Albanian distinguished producer Kujtim Çashku for his film "Colonel Bunker". The prize was handed over to Çashku in the meeting "For a culture of peace against violence", organized recently in Paris, France, sources from the Ministry of Culture told ATA on Friday.

    The meeting "For a culture of peace against violence" was organized by the Albanian representatives in UNESCO, and the International Council of Cinematography, Television and Audio-visual Communication in collaboration with the Mediterranean of UNESCO and the Association of veterans under the direction of the Albanian Minister of Culture, Edi Rama. /lh/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [24] Four Italian speedboats accorded to Albanian custom houses

    TIRANE, March 26 (ATA) - By D.Koça: The Italian government donated to the Albanian Ministry of Finance four speedboats. The protocol on delivery of these speedboats by the Albanian Finance Ministry was signed on Friday by the Colonel, Salvatore Mistretta, and by the Albanian Custom House General Director, Ardian Maçi, in the context of the Well-understanding Protocol between the Italian and Albanian Ministries of Finance.

    A group of 20 persons employed in the Albanian custom houses were trained in the Naval Academy of Guardia di Financia in GAETA, Italy.

    Minister Angjeli thanked the Italian government, the Bilateral Finance Mission and all the other collaborators. He expressed his believe that the Albanian crews will realize their duty to observe the Albanian territorial waters and to fully implement the law against smuggling. /lh/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [25] OSCE representatives discuss justice problems

    GJIROKASTER, March 26 (ATA) - By H.Cani: OSCE missionaries in Gjirokaster held Friday a meeting in the Prosecutor's office of this district to discuss problems on justice. The OSCE officials were concerned mainly for a decision the Gjirokaster district lawcourt took only some days ago. The decision regarded the release of a person rather wanted by the police forces.

    The representative of the Gjirokaster Prosecutor's office said that "the accuses were not legally proved and that the only accusation for the person was the stealing of 5000 leks from a citizen".

    OSCE representatives said that the decision of releasing of the accused citizen "was not hailed by the population of this district" and that such a thing "was not at all in favor of order security in general".

    The prosecutor of the district told OSCE representatives that "the police forces must work harder to collect the legal proves before adopting the arrest measures", but he did not through light upon the issue they were interested and asked this meeting for. /lh/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [26] There are no Kosova refugees trying to leave for Italy, Vlore

    VLORE, March 26 (ATA) - By Harilla Koçi: Official Sources from the Vlore Prefecture Police Directory report that there are no fluxes of Kosova refugees tenting to smuggle towards the Italian coast through Vlore.

    They say that they have taken all the measures to keep the situation under control in every case of casualty, while the police structures of this city are on high alert.

    Police patrols, are investigating all the regions of Vlore city, and no heavy incident is reported to have happened during the last four days. /lh/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [27] Albania's air space at full disposal of NATO - Minister

    TIRANE, March 26 (ata) - By Enkelejda Koraqi: The air space of Albania has been put at the complete disposal of the NATO aircraft to carry out the mission that NATO has already started, the Minister of Information of Albania, Musa Ulqini said in a news conference on Friday.

    The Albanian Government, said Ulqini, through a special law adopted some time ago by the Parliament, allowes air and sea facilities to be available for the military operations by NATO aircraft, while there is no decision adopted for the deployment of NATO ground troops in the north of Albania.

    Asked about the use of Albania's military bases in service of the NATO strikes, Ulqini replied that "there are possibilities for the landing of some NATO aircraft on the Albanian land, but the time and location for this is not yet determined."

    Minister Ulqini also said that an important meeting was held about the present situation between the President, the Defence Minister and the Chief of the Army General Staff on the measures to be adopted in defence of the civil population and to accommodate refugees from Kosove. /lh/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [28] Tens of passengers arrive in Vlore

    VLORE, March 26 (ATA) - By Harilla Koçi: The ferryboats coming from Italy have landed tens of passengers and vehicles of different kinds on Friday in Vlore.

    "Artemisa" and "Skanderbeg" ferryboats are anchored in the port of Vlore, a senior official from Vlore port told ATA on Friday. He explained that the ferryboats have underwent all the procedures as usual. He added that the Italian port of Brindisi, place where the ferryboats leave for Vlore, was opened even today. No other Italian ports are reported to be opened today. lh/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [29] President of Republic addresses message to Albanian nation

    TIRANE, March 26 (ATA)-President of Albanian Republic Rexhep Meidani on Friday addressed a message to the Albanians "in Albania, Kosova and wherever they are", regarding the NATO bombardments for achieving peace in Kosova.

    "The president of rump Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, is the number one responsible for this course of events. He and his country not only refused the peace offered by the Contact Group nations at the Rambouillet Conference, but continued and are continuing the military-police genocide in Kosova against another people, against Albanians, just as they have often done during this century.

    The history of martyr Kosova under Serbia is a cycle of ethnic cleansing, killing, destructions and massive expulsions of Albanians from their lands and hearths. These atrocities almost forgotten in today's Europe, have reached extreme proportions by the Belgrade regime during the last ten years, especially during the last year, months and days," the message says.

    Meidani adds that the Albanian state and nation have constantly asked the civil and military intervention of the international community in Kosova.

    "We worked with our Euro-American partners for a political solution to the problem. The delegation of the Kosova Albanians at the Rambouillet Conference joined the political solution, although people were being killed in Kosova and their demand for a referendum after three years was not accepted.

    We preferred peace through negotiations as a lower cost solution. But Milosevic preferred violence and massacres on the Albanians. The NATO bombs on Serb military facilities are the response of the free world to the bloody and occupying regimes.

    We fully support these NATO actions and determination of President Clinton and other NATO nations to achieve peace at all cost.

    Today, while the NATO actions are underway, melodramatic vices are being heard, seeking to present the indispensable military intervention in another light. There have been no such voices before with Albanians' houses being set to fire by Serb grenades, with women and children being massacred, with them fleeing to mountains without bread and shelter, to escape death, with thousands upon thousands of undefended civilians undertaking biblical exoduses because of life insecurity, with hundreds upon hundreds of people being killed in cold-bloodiness by the Serb police, military and paramilitary troops.

    By identifying the main responsibility for everything that has happened and is happening, the Albanian people have expected, if not a resolute and immediate opposition, at least a reflection and a repentance "in the Serb language" for Kosove. There can but be noble and sober personalities in the fold of the Serbian society.

    Who reacted for the ethnic cleansing of the Albanians? Who reacted when Milosevic curbed Kosova's autonomy in 1989?

    Who raised his voice when Kosova was put under a barracks regime for years in succession?

    Who demanded solutions different from violent ones? How can one claim, at the end of the 20th century to keep hostage a two-million people in the name of an illegitimate sovereignty?

    Dear compatriots, we have now clear that the opening, as a great European and world development, has created new circumstances to throw light on the truth of Kosove, on its right. We must rely on the opening, time is working for the opening and not for the closure. We must understand this moment well, let us speak out and defend our truth everywhere, let us be always on the side of the democratic states, on the side of the countries and peoples that, by defending the others' life and freedom, are developing the freedom and democracy for themselves and the whole mankind.

    Peace will triumph in Kosove, whatever the price.

    We are on feet and prepared for any situation. We have kept our country out of provocations and charges which would divert the attention from Kosove in the region. At this moment Albania is supporting all international acts to solve the conflict," writes the message of president Meidani, who calls on the Albanians to keep cool and encourage the civil and national sentiments and responsibility.

    "I demand from state institutions, the structures of the public order and defense and the local government at all levels, to carry out their tasks correctly and devotedly.

    I invite political subjects to avoid the unnecessary acts and to revalue the political strife leaving aside issues that can wait.

    Kosova is a problem above problems. A great development is occurring in front of our eyes. Let us be worthy to keep pace with this development," ends the message of President Meidani to the Albanian nation. /pas/lm/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [30] Ulqini says situation in Kosova extremely dramatic

    TIRANE, March 26 (ATA)-By I.Luto, Minister of Information Musa Ulqini on Friday considered the situation in Kosova extremely grave. He also considered extremely anguishing the upcoming developments.

    "The massacre against 20 teachers is similar to that of Drenice or Bosnia," said Ulqini, who also harshly condemned the act of taking hostage 15 000 civilians by the Yugoslav military and police forces. This act is being used as a means of threat and pressure for NATO to stop the striking action.

    Ulqini reports that the Albanian government has closely followed the latest developments in Kosova and taken measures to cope with any situation, especially the hosting of the Kosova refugees.

    He told reporters of a meeting of Prime Minister Pandeli Majko on Friday with the Greek ambassador in Tirane, Mallias, who guaranteed that Albania will be provided with an emergency aid package to cope with the influx of Kosovar refugees. /lh/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [31] Normal situation on border point of Kakavije, tougher control measures

    KAKAVIJE, March 26 (ata) - By H Çani: Movements in the border point of Kakavije of various nationals and merchants has been normal.

    "Although the intensity of entries or departures has not changed, still we have applied strict control procedures," said the police commander of Kakavije, Ferit Mici. "We have taken special instructions from the Public Order Ministry for our daily operations, especially following the deterioration of the events in Kosove."

    In the mean time, there is no change in the control procedures on the Greek side of this border crossing and the presence of police and military forces is the same, said Mici.

    After the NATO air strikes on Serbia, Greece reinforced its state border in two border points in its north for fear of a possible influx of refugees from Kosove. The border point of Kakavije is not included in the special measures because its distance from Macedonia and the north of Albania is great. The Greek Government has been realising a plan of measures to take care of possible refugees from Kosova coming from the Macedonian state, Greek government officials told local media. /lh/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [32] Berisha asks NATO direct military intervention in Kosova

    TIRANE, March 26 (ATA)-By A. Haxhiu, The Democratic Party on Friday called on the NATO forces to plan and undertake direct military intervention in Kosova.

    "Such action is the safest way to prevent further developments of a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions against innocent population in Kosova," the Democratic Party chairman, Sali Berisha, told a news conference on Friday.

    Berisha asked that North Atlantic Alliance troops be established in Albania in all its seaports and airports.

    The democrat leader condemned the intensification of the Serb military acts against the undefended Albanian population, after the beginning of the NATO attacks on Yugoslavia.

    Berisha, referring to the situation in the north of Albania which, he said, "is not as presented", asked from the Prime Minister to declare himself on the situation at the country's northern border.

    The Council of Ministers, presided by Prime Minister Pandeli Majko, met Friday and discussed the measures underway by the government to ensure the country's integrity and cope with a possible influx at Albania's northern border of the Kosovar brothers. /lh/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [33] Police services in Albania continue to be on high alert

    TIRANE, March 26 (ata) - By Th Thanasi: Albanian police continues to be on high alert throughout the territory and especially in northeastern zone, the spokeswoman of the Public Order Ministry told ATA.

    According to her, Public Order Minister Petro Koci accompanied by senior officials of his ministry, inspected Friday for about 3 hours all police services in special important institutions such as in the president's compound, ministries, embassies, hospitals, banks, the Police Department of the Prefecture of Tirane, special forces centre and all police commissariats.

    The aim of this unexpected control was to verify the preparedness and the responsibility to face any situation, said spokeswoman.

    She added that such controls from the ministry will continue in Tirane and throughout the territory of Albania. /lh/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [34] Serb military attacks against undefended Kosovar population intensified

    TIRANE, March 26 (ATA)-By E. Nepravishta, Sources from the Kosova Liberation Army on Friday told ATA that the intensification of the NATO attacks on the Serb military facilities is being associated by an increase of the Serb military attacks, mainly against the undefended Kosovar population.

    Hence, Drenica and almost all villages around the communes of Gllogovc and Skenderaj have been under siege since several days ago by numerous Serb military and paramilitary forces, also backed by tanks.

    Meanwhile, several displacements are being observed among the population (15 000 people) who have left their homes to escape Serbian massacres. These are more pronounced in the commune of Gllogovc, at Gryke e Vucakut and the Tushil village.

    The same sources report that fighting between the KLA and the Serb troops are intensively continuing on the fighting lines such as Skenderaj- Runik, Skenderaj-Gllogoc, Suareke-Shtimje as well as at the villages of Bajice, Damenek, Llaushe and the communes of Suareke and Rahovec.

    Meanwhile, the Serb troops in the Kline zone have also made use of the military aviation of the Yugoslav army. /lh/lm/

    From the Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at

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