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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 99-03-28

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] We are on the side of those who will win this battle - Premier
  • [02] Inter-ministerial Committee for people coming from Kosova established - Council of Ministers
  • [03] Serb snipers open fire in the direction of Albanian territory
  • [04] Customs house of Morine, Kukes, reopens
  • [05] Public Appeal of Albanian Government
  • [06] Influx of Kosovars through customs point of Qafe Prush - at 11.40 a.m. sirens sounded in Kukes -
  • [07] High alert in the hospital of Kukes
  • [08] First meeting of Inter-Ministerial Commission to overcome the situation created in northern Albania held
  • [09] Korca people ready to donate blood
  • [10] Serbs expel Kosovars towards Albania
  • [11] Kosova refugees also in Tropoja
  • [12] Albania President hails stand of USA, France, Britain, German for preventing Kosovar tragedy
  • [13] Ministry of Transport calls on subjects of travellers' transport
  • [14] Council of Ministers sets up Government Commission to face emergent situation
  • [15] UNHCR, WFO, ready to help people coming from Kosova
  • [16] Operation, public information offices set up close to town-halls for Kosova newcomers
  • [17] Tirana mayor calls on local structures for maximal commitment to accommodate Kosova people
  • [18] Different countries ready to help Albania face present situation
  • [19] Announcement of spokesman of Ministry of Public Order
  • [20] President calls on international opinion to help Kosova people
  • [21] Health ministry ready to respond emergency situation
  • [22] KLA reacted on attacks against anti-NATO embassies
  • [23] European commission ready to help Albania
  • [24] Tirana holds protest rally in support of Kosova people
  • [25] Attacks on Albania's embassy shows Belgrade's aggressive policy
  • [26] Serb soldiers open gunfire in direction of Dobrun village
  • [27] 1 500 Kosova people arrive in Has on Sunday
  • [28] Berat ready to accommodate 4.000 Kosova people
  • [29] 25 thousand Kosovars arrive in Kukes until 15.30
  • [30] Other Kosovars from Peje arrive in Kuke

  • [01] We are on the side of those who will win this battle - Premier

    TIRANE, March 28 (ata) - By Eranda Nepravishta: Albanian Prime Minster Pandeli Majko in a news conference held on 2.00 a.m. on Sunday pointed the civil obligation of everyone who calls himself Albanian to be close to the people coming in Albania from Kosove.

    "The situation has worsened soon and this can be overcome by the whole nation and not only by one government," said Majko.

    According to the Prime Minister, this is a very delicate moment but decisive at the same time. "We are close to those who will win this battle against Milosevic, I believe the conflict will be settled soon but we Albanians must pay our share," said Majko.

    He reconfirmed in the conference that the sovereignty of Albania is guaranteed.

    PM Majko told the reporters that a few moments ago he had had a telephone talk with the NATO Secretary General, Javier Solana, and had discussed with him the grave situation created in Kosove as a result of the attacks of the Serb army on civil population there and the support that Albania must have to overcome the situation created as a result of the great influx of the displaced from Kosove.

    In the mean time, said PM Majko, the U.S. Government has accorded 8.5 million USD in the form of aid for Albania and Macedonia to face the influx of people from Kosove. /s.s./xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] Inter-ministerial Committee for people coming from Kosova established - Council of Ministers

    TIRANE, March 28 (ata0 - By E Nepravishta: In order to follow step by step the situation created as a result of the people coming from Kosove, the Council of Ministers from Albania, in its meeting held on 3 a.m. on Sunday, decided to create an inter-ministerial committee to be headed by deputy Prime Minister Ilir Meta.

    The grave situation and the distribution of the displaced from Kosove has been the exclusive points of the meeting of the Government.

    The Ministry of Transport has guaranteed 100 buses which will leave for Kukes on Sunday morning on the basis of a plan for the distribution of the refugees in some prefectures of Albania.

    The Council of Ministers considered as indispensable the continuous supply with food, especially in the zones of Kukes, Has, Shkoder and Tropoje.

    Those present in the meeting reiterated the demands for assistance from foreign donors, mainly with medicaments, food items, beds and other necessary infrastructure. /s.s/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] Serb snipers open fire in the direction of Albanian territory

    HAS, March 26 (ata) - By Riza Hoxha: Snipers of the Serb army supported by groups of soldiers opened fire on Friday in the direction of village Zogaj, Tropoje district.

    The chief of the district police of Has, Ramiz Cahani, told ATA that snipers of the Serb army supported by other military groups, and placed near border point C/13 have opened fire in 9.30 a.m. on Friday in the direction of city quarter Xhuxhe of village Zogaj.

    Albanian border police, said Cahani, went immediately to assist the border forces of this zone, and after 15 minutes Serb soldiers withdraw deep in their territory.

    Now the situation in that region, added Cahani, is stable. /s.s/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] Customs house of Morine, Kukes, reopens

    KUKES, March 28 (ata) - By Riza Hoxha: On Sunday at about 04.00 a.m. the customs house of Morina in Kukes reopened and until 8 a.m. 1 500 Kosovars have crossed the border to Albania.

    On Saturday afternoon, about 10 000 people have come on this side of the border with some scores of thousands of others waiting to cross the border.

    The situation over the morning on Sunday in the city of Kukes has been dramatic. On the streets of the city, there are hundreds of people coming from Kosove, accompanied by local people who have sheltered them in their houses a night before.

    Sources in the Kukes prefecture told ATA that no incidents have been recorded in the last night over the border.

    The emergency state staff of the prefecture is closely following the situation, especially helping find shelter for the displaced, who keep coming from Kosove.

    The displaced tell of terrible massacres made on the people there from the Serb military forces, especially towards the young girls, whom, after they separate them from the group for some moments, bring them back again to join their relatives. There have been some wounded people in the group.

    Serb police blocked at about 21.30 on Saturday evening the crossings through the customs house of Morine. /a.ke/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] Public Appeal of Albanian Government

    TIRANE, March 27 (ata) - Reports reaching the Council of Ministers from the staff of the prefecture of Kukes, the local government ministry, the public order ministry and that of defence, say that along the border line from Qafe Morine to Kukes and Kamenice-Tropoje, since the moment when NATO started bombardments, the Serb army has been perpetuating real massacres. The criminal troops are the notorious groups of Arkan.

    Over the past 72 hours, Information Ministry reports, Serb forces have provoked a number of incidents in Tropoje (old part) Kamenice, Zogaj, Pogaj, Dobrune and Morine.

    Knowing the fact that the border line in that areas was considered to be mined by thousands underground mines, until today at 13.30 only 176 refugees had crossed the border in Dobrune of Has, because their village was completely ruined and after 21 men and the school director were massacred.

    After 1 p.m. 146 refugees reached the border point of Morine and later 150 others came until 8.30 p.m and this figure is considered to amount to about 20 000 people.

    From our observation points have seen a long convoy of trucks and people directed to the border point of Morine from Prizren and 17 villages of that zone. The number of the trucks which could be counted until night came was 400.

    The villages of the zone of Prizren and the city of Prizren are witnessing a quick cleansing and thousands of other inhabitants have left from the zone of Suhareke and Rahovec and the number of the displaced may reach to 50 000 people.

    They show how Serb army are forcing them out of their homes, plundering everything, separating girls from boys who are presumed to have relations with the Kosove Liberation Army, while others, amidst an unprecedented violence, under the flames of the houses set on fire, are directed for Kukes. The outskirts of Rahovec and Suhareke in particular, according to the testimonies by the Kosovars who have come here, have been burnt and ruined by the bombing and massacres of the Serb army, which have continued in the past 72 hours. Some thousands of men are believed to have been massacred.

    Most the refugees coming to Kukes are children, women and aged people. The staff of the Prefecture of Kukes in cooperation with the civil population are trying to put the situation under control.

    The Albanian Government calls on the people of Kukes city and its outskirts to keep cool, to cooperate with the Prefecture Staff of Kukes and the local government structures to open the doors of their homes so that they be accommodated this night without problems and the people coming from Kosove have the first emergency aid.

    The greatest assistance for the people so frightened in these moments is the hospitality on the part of the people of Kukes.

    The Albanian Government calls on the international community to make urgently a strong pressure on the regime of Milosevic to stop this unprecedented genocide on the civil population. The Albanian Government calls especially on the international specialized organizations to be close to Albania in these difficult moments to face this situation and to avoid any humanitarian catastrophe or destabilization of the situation in the country. /pas/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] Influx of Kosovars through customs point of Qafe Prush - at 11.40 a.m. sirens sounded in Kukes -

    KUKES, March 28 (ata) - By Riza Hoxha: In the morning hours of Sunday, there has been a massive influx of Kosovars through Qafe Prush customs house in Kukes. According to police sources, so far about 800 people have crossed the border.

    The displaced people are taken quickly to deep zones of the district of Has and in the town of Krume. The people are mainly women, children and old people who, in a traumatic state, show of the terrible massacres by Serb forces on the civil population. They show that some young girls have been seduced, while men are separated from their families and nobody knows about their fate.

    At 11.40 a.m. on Sunday, the sirens were sounded for the first time these days in Kukes city. /a.ke/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] High alert in the hospital of Kukes

    KUKES, March 28 (ata) - By Riza Hoxha: The hospital of Kukes continues to be on high alert.

    The director of the civil hospital of the city, Bajram Cenaj, told ATA that over the early morning hours on Sunday, two dead people were sent to the hospital, one of them 65 and the other 29, with many wounds in their bodies.

    At present there are four Kosovars hospitalised there with different injuries and one of them is paralysed. Cenaj said that that there are many people from Kosove mostly women and children, who had received medical treatment in the civil hospital. The children are cold mainly because they have been in the mountains for a long time, while women are manifesting signs of neurosis and traumas they have experienced.

    Cenaj said that so far, there are over 40 Kosovars who have appeared in the hospital of the city and received various medical treatments. /a.ke/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] First meeting of Inter-Ministerial Commission to overcome the situation created in northern Albania held

    TIRANE, March 28 (ata) - At 8 a.m. on Sunday under the direction of Albanian Deputy Premier and Minister of Government Coordination, Ilir Meta, in the capacity of the chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Commission for the situation created as a result of the displacement of Albanian population from Kosove, summoned the first meeting of this Committee.

    Sources from the Information Ministry told ATA that the ministers, members of this commission, reported of the measures taken to overcome the difficult situation created from the arrival of thousands of Kosovars in the Prefecture of Kukes.

    Meta demanded from all the members of the Commission concrete commitments and set deadlines for the realisation of the charged tasks.

    The Public Order and Transports minister, Ingrid Shuli, pointed out that all all the measures have been taken by her ministry for the transportation of a considerable number of people from Kosove who have reached the prefecture of Kukes, to other zones of the country.

    All the ministries have appointed their representatives who will go to the Prefecture of Kukes to coordinate the work and to follow closely the problems and the difficulties created to overcome the situation. /pas/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] Korca people ready to donate blood

    KORCE, March 28 (ata) - By B Fejzullai: Many citizens of Korce have voiced their desire to donate blood in a form of assistance for Albanian Kosovars from Kosove.

    Ahmet Hoxhallari, director of the civil hospital of Korce, told ATA that the blood bank in Korce has sufficient amount of blood for any emergency situation.

    According to him, the permanent blood donors have come to the blood centre as usually but many other people have registered their names to be ready to give blood if necessary in cases of emergency. /a.ke/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] Serbs expel Kosovars towards Albania

    - testimonies from Kosovars -

    MORIN, March 28 (ata) - By Riza Hoxha: Serb authorities are implementing an extreme bureaucracy also with regard to ethnic cleansing. Serbs closed on Saturday evening, at 9.30, the border with Albania, while on Sunday at 4 a.m. it was opened again with thousands of Kosovars displaced from their territories.

    Sources of border police of Morin told ATA that until 12.00 on Sunday, over 400 vehicles have crossed the border. One of the Kosovars, Hysni Susuri said that Serb police are controlling the people, tearing their passports or removing number plates of the vehicles and saying: "Go to Albania because you are Albanians, the land is ours."

    Serb soldiers have taken from Kosovars their valuables before allowing them to go to Albania. Along the road Morin-Kukes one can see scores of vehicles of different kinds, motor-cultivators, other agricultural means, cars travelling towards Kukes.

    Today's people who have reached Albania are from the city of Zhur, about 7 km from Morin. Arif Kurtaj, resident of Zhur with a 10 thousand population, said that in early hours of Sunday Serb police had warned through loud speakers: "If you don't leave within an hour, we will bombard."

    The people who are leaving hastily are mostly women, children and aged people, because as they say, in general they are divided by police on the border between young and old men, perhaps to kill them.

    On the border line one can easily see the reinforced concrete blocks removed only for one vehicle to pass, while on the ground there is a heap of number plates removed from the vehicles.

    Now in the commune of Prizren, only the city residents over 120 people, have not moved, the same happens with Vermica with 4 thousand people.

    The chairman of the commune of Bardhoc, Myftar Nerguti, told ATA that the villages of this commune are packed with displaced people from Kosove.

    The same situation continues in Qafe Prush, Has district, with the number of the displaced increasing every moment.

    In the hospital of Kukes, the number of the Kosovars who have come to receive first medical aid was over 150. There are also 20 injured people in that hospital. /a.ke/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] Kosova refugees also in Tropoja

    BAJRAM CURRI, March 28 (ATA) - By R. Hoxha: The flux of newcomers from Kosova started also in the district of Tropoje (Northern Albania).

    Sources from the Kukes prefecture told ATA that their number is more than 50 until now and they have come to the area of Padesh.

    The same sources reported that there is a large concentration of Kosova inhabitants beyond the border, who want to enter the Albanian territory. /a.ke/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] Albania President hails stand of USA, France, Britain, German for preventing Kosovar tragedy

    TIRANA, March 28 (ATA) - Albania President Rexhep Meidani has sent recently a letter to the U.S. President, Bill Clinton, the French President, Jacques Chirac, British Prime Minister, Toni Blair and the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, President press office reported to ATA.

    President Meidani, on behalf of the Albanian people, has expressed the profound and sincere gratitude for the very active engagement of these countries in preventing the Kosovar tragedy.

    President Meidani appreciates this stand as an esteem expression of the ideals of freedom and democracy and a direct contribution for the peace and stability of the Balkans. /a.ke/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] Ministry of Transport calls on subjects of travellers' transport

    TIRANA, March 28 (ATA) - By R. Xhuvani: As a result of the great flux of Kosova refugees in Albania, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport called Sunday on all subjects of travellers' transport to go to Kukes to help their transportation towards the other destinations.

    The expenses of travel will be covered by the United Nations High Commissioners for Refugees (UNHCR).

    The main problem, discussed in the government meeting on Sunday at 03:00 was the distribution of Kosova refugees in different host centers. The Ministry of Transport has put at disposal 100 busses, which started early on Sunday for Kukes. /pas/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] Council of Ministers sets up Government Commission to face emergent situation

    TIRANA, March 28 (ATA) - By I. Luto: The Council of Ministers of Albania decided Sunday to set up the Government Commission to cope with the emergent situation created in the country, due to the great flux of displaced Kosovars.

    The Ministry of Information reported to ATA that the main duty of this Commission will be the organization, information and administration of the emergent situation. This commission, in cooperation with other government and non government bodies, will prepare and realise a series of measures, aiming at creating facilities for the transport of the Kosova refugees towards the other zones of the country, creating the conditions for their accommodation as well as taking of concrete measures in providing food and financial assistance for the newcomers.

    Hosting commissions will be set up close to each prefecture to cope with the emergent situation.

    The decision of the Council of Ministers no. 127, dated 28.3.1999, gives competencies to the Government Commission to coordinate the work with the bodies of local government, with non government bodies and with the other international institutions, as well as to issue respective orders to adopt the program of emergency.

    The Government Commission is chaired by the deputy PM, Ilir Meta and is made up of almost all members of the Cabinet. /a.ke/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] UNHCR, WFO, ready to help people coming from Kosova

    TIRANA, March 28 (ATA) - By E. Koraqi: In the meeting, held Sunday with the deputy Prime Minister, Ilir Meta, the representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Food Organization (WFO) expressed their complete readiness to help the Kosova refugees, the Ministry of Information reported to ATA.

    As the chairman of the Government Commission for facing the situation created by the influx of Kosova refugees, Meta urged the representative of UNHCR, Thamrongsar Meechubot and the WFO representative, John Murrau, the maximal engagement to help the Albanian government to cope with the situation created by the people coming from Kosova in the prefecture of Kukes.

    UNHCR has at disposal equipment and accommodation for nearly 10 000 refugees, meanwhile that equipment for the accommodation of 20 000 others is expected to arrive soon. After receiving the information about the places where the newcomers will be sheltered, the delivery of the first aid will end today, as well as the equipment for the accommodation of the newcomers.

    While the representative of the World Food Organization, Murrau, said that this organization has taken all measures to fulfill in time the demands, presented by the Albanian competent bodies. /a.ke/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] Operation, public information offices set up close to town-halls for Kosova newcomers

    TIRANA, March 28 (ATA) - By E. Koraqi: The Government Commission, set up to cope with the situation created in the country as a result of the flux of Kosova refugees, decided Sunday upon a special decision to set up the operation and public information offices close to all town-halls.

    The aim of setting up these offices is to accommodate as soon as possible the Kosova people, who came in Albania due to the Serb repression.

    According to this order, the operation and public information office will be headed by the secretary of the town-hall. /pas/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] Tirana mayor calls on local structures for maximal commitment to accommodate Kosova people

    TIRANA, March 28 (ATA) - By I. Luto: The chairman of the Association of Mayors of Albania, who is also the mayor of Tirana, Albert Brojka, called Sunday on all structures of local government in the country to show maximal engagement for the creation of conditions to accommodate the displaced Kosovars.

    Also, during the meeting of the Government Commission, set up especially to cope with the situation created in the country, the Minister of Local Government and the Minister of Transport reported on the measures taken by the respective ministries to accommodate the Kosova newcomers, whose number reached thousands only on Saturday in the district of Kukes.

    Another meeting of this commission with the governors of the country is expected to be held on Sunday. /pas/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] Different countries ready to help Albania face present situation

    TIRANA, March 28 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: Deputy prime minister and head of the intergovernment commission dealing with the situation created by the arrival of Albanians from Kosova, Ilir Meta, held a meeting on Sunday with representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Tirana.

    Deputy prime minister Meta briefed the representatives of the diplomatic corps on measures adopted by the Albanian government in order to provide the first aid and accommodate as soon as possible our brothers arriving from Kosova.

    Meta urged them to influence their respective governments and different international organisations in order to be near the Albanian government and people in these difficult moments.

    The foreign minister Paskal Milo urged the representatives of the diplomatic corps to implement and put into practice as soon as possible all programs foreseen for Albania what would be a great help in this situation.

    Ambassadors of Germany, Greece, Italy, France, Turkey briefed on the initiatives undertaken by their governments to help Albania face this situation.

    The Greek government has accorded a fund worth 100 million Drachmas to face the influx of Kosova people. /ake/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] Announcement of spokesman of Ministry of Public Order

    TIRANA, March 28 (ATA) - A big wave of displaced Kosovars has started early on Sunday in the border crossings in northeastern zones of Albania, due to the intensification of the Serb violence.

    The spokesman of the Ministry of Public Order reported to ATA that some 8000 Kosovars have crossed the Albanian border from 04:00 until now. The refugees, mainly women, children and elders, have crossed from the border checks points of Morina and Qafa e Prushit and have been accommodated in Kukes.

    According to the spokesman, 13 busses and several IFA vehicles have left for Kukes to help the movement of the Kosova people. Two Kosovars have died until now without reaching the hospital of Kukes. One 70 and the other 39 years old were in a very serious situation. All the measures have been taken to accommodate the newcomers.

    The situation beyond the border continues to be dramatic, added the spokesman. The shelling by heavy artillery has started and Dobrun village, 5 km far from the Albanian border is burning. There are no reports on incidents in our border, along with the fact that the influx of displaced Kosovars continues. /a.ke/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [20] President calls on international opinion to help Kosova people

    TIRANA, March 28 (ATA) - By Ylli Pata: President of Albania Rexhep Meidani called Sunday on international public opinion to help Albanian people of Kosova flee savage massacres carried out by the military regime of Milosevic (Yugoslav president Slobodan).

    In a news conference president Meidani called on foreign journalists to inform the citizens of their countries deprived of every information on Kosova that "Milosevic has put Kosova into the quarantine of massacres, destruction, ethnic cleansing and depopulation from the Albanian population."

    Albanian head of state urged NATO to speed up actions and find forms of resistance on the ground. He stressed the measures adopted by the Albanian government to accommodate the people of Kosova.

    "Some 300 buses have bound for Kukes to distribute the Kosova people all around Albania," Meidani said.

    Meidani ended his appeal saying "Albanians of Kosova will never abandon Kosova, their land where their forerunners are buried, their motherland where they have lived in an absolute majority since the ancient times." /lh/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [21] Health ministry ready to respond emergency situation

    TIRANA, March 28 (ATA) - By R. Xhuvani: Ministry of Health continues to adopt measures to face the situation created due to a stream of people arriving to Albania from Kosova.

    A spokesman of the ministry Artur Rada said to ATA that a team of the ministry went on Saturday to visit the area of Kukes and Has defining at the same time the measures to face any possible situation with an increasing influx of people from Kosova, who need medical help.

    A fund worth 50 million leks will be used to provide supplies in medicaments and equipment for northern areas of Albania and medical teams for Tirana are in readiness to help people in need. /ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [22] KLA reacted on attacks against anti-NATO embassies

    TIRANA, March 28 (ATA) - Ministry of Information issued a press statement late on Sunday saying that the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA) was concerned over the information that legal demonstrations in support of Kosova issue, NATO air strikes against ethnic cleansing carried out by Milosevic would be used by certain groups to protest with attacks against some embassies, which were not backing the NATO intervention against Yugoslavia.

    The KLA said that such actions are really compromising the signing of the Rambouillet agreement by Albanians and its observance by the KLA. /lh/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [23] European commission ready to help Albania

    TIRANA, March 28 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: The third meeting of the Albania-European Union joint commission was held in Brussels on March 26 under the trade agreement and cooperation and presided over by co-chairmen Maqo Lakrori for Albania and Fabrizio Barbaso for the European Commission.

    The commission evaluated the fact that the Albanian side despite present situation managed to attend the major activity of the year with the E.U. The meeting stressed that the international community was punishing the dictator of Belgrade and his regime in order to establish peace and calm and pave way for national development not only in Kosova but all over the Balkan region.

    It expressed the readiness of the European Commission to start a process of reconstruction in Kosova after the introduction of peace. The commission hailed and greeted the attitude of the Albanian government as regards the Kosova crisis, its help for the implementation of the interim agreement for Kosova as well as assured for its support in face of aggravated situation in Kosova.

    Albanian Secretary of State Lakrori stressed the priority importance the Albanian government devoted to the promotion of relations between Albania and the European Community and hailed the election of Romano Prodi as president of the European Commission.

    The meeting made a detailed analysis of the cooperation between Albania and European Union in the economic, trade and privatisation during one-year period from the latest meeting held in Tirana in March '98.

    A joint communique was approved at the end of the meeting highly regarding the efforts and determination of the Albanian government since October 1998 in speeding up process of stability in Albania, approval of constitution and measures to reinforce legal framework following the approval, reform in judiciary applying the plan for a joint action with the Council of Europe.

    The commission presented a project for the accordance of a new preferential trade regime for industrial and agricultural products which was going to be submitted to the Council of Ministers.

    The meeting welcomed the progress for Albania's membership in the World Trade organization (WTO), which was expected to be finalised within this year.

    A program of activities between Albania and the E.U. for this year, including the need to extend common working groups in order to boost cooperation and raise the level of contractual relations. /lh/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [24] Tirana holds protest rally in support of Kosova people

    TIRANA, March 28 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: Dozens and hundreds of citizens of Tirana held a protest rally on Sunday in the Skenderbeg square in support of the national issue of Kosova.

    On behalf of Albanian journalists, the initiator of the rally, the journalists Ylli Rakipi and Nikolle Lesi condemned the policy of ethnic cleansing against the Albanian population in Kosova, a policy followed by Milosevic. They hailed the resistance of the Kosova Liberation Army as well as the NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia.

    Present at a meeting were also officials of Albanian political forces.

    The minister of Information Musa Ulqini said that it was necessary for NATO to speed-up attacks against Milosevic to stop Serb massacres against Albanian population of Kosova. Albania would always support its brothers in Kosova.

    "Now it is time to act more than ever under the motto 'one nation, one attitude'," Ulqini said.

    Arta Dade, addressing the rally on behalf of the Socialist party, hailed the determined stance of NATO especially that of the United States against the chauvinists policies of Milosevic and mentioned measures adopted by the Albanian government to face the influx of refugees from Kosova as well as any attacks or aggressions against the Albanian integrity.

    The rally was also addressed by leaders of different political forces such as the Democratic leader Sali Berisha, Republican leader Fatmir Mehdiu and Liberal party leader Teodor Lašo.

    "NATO should undertake immediately military ground attacks in Kosova to stop the policy of Belgrade. Otherwise Albanians will not be indifferent but, wherever they are in or out of Albania, will sacrifice their lives to defend their nation," Berisha said.

    Later the protesters left the square calmly. /lh/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [25] Attacks on Albania's embassy shows Belgrade's aggressive policy

    TIRANA, March 28 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: The embassy of the Albanian Republic in Belgrade came under two attacks of Serb vandalist nationalist groups on Sunday at 12.35 and 15. 30. p.m. who forced their way into the main gate of the embassy.

    They broke all the windows of the first and second floor and threw flammable substances in the building causing damages, Albanian foreign ministry said in a statement.

    The Ministry considered it a grave incident, an unprecedented act in diplomatic relations between the two countries which ran contrary to the Vienna Convention and other international documents.

    The attacks against the Albanian embassy took place two days after official authorities in Tirana protested against a similar act.

    "Such actions demonstrate the known anti Albanian nationalist psychosis revealed now by Belgrade in an extreme form," the statement said.

    The ministry said that primitive acts blamed their authors who were demonstrating their comprehensive international, political crisis and isolation.

    The attack with inflammable substances against the Albanian embassy in Belgrade which is a sovereignty and intangible institution of the Republic of Albania is another sign of aggressive policies of the Belgrade regime and its determination to spread the conflict in the region and ignite all the Balkans.

    The Albanian government will closely follow the attitudes of the Belgrade authorities and will adopt proper actions to face them, the statement said. /lh/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [26] Serb soldiers open gunfire in direction of Dobrun village

    HAS, March 28 (ata) - On Sunday afternoon, Serb soldiers opened automatic gunfire in the direction of village Dobrun, Has district.

    The event, according to the head of the council of elders of the village, Dem Mulaj, happened at 5.40 p.m. on Sunday. "A group of about 20 Serb soldiers, said Mulaj, have entered in the Albanian territory and have opened automatic gun fire for about 10 minutes in the direction of the houses of village Dobrun."

    Later they retreated in their territory.

    Mulaj said that there were no casualties because the villagers have had evacuated days ago from the villages. /lh/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [27] 1 500 Kosova people arrive in Has on Sunday

    HAS, March 28 (ATA) - By Riza Hoxha: The number of people, who have arrived from Kosova in Has, Albania on Sunday is estimated at 1.500 people.

    Sources of the police commissariat of the Has district said that some 1. 500 people from Kosova, including women, children and elderly people, have crossed the border of Qafe Prush to the Has area, Albania.

    The same sources said that the influx of newcomers continued until late in the evening.

    In Kukes, the number of people who arrived until Saturday noon is estimated over 20 thousand people. They have come from areas near the Albanian state border such as Prizren, Suhareka, Rahovec and the like.

    Several of them have been accommodated in the Kukes district, while thousands of others have been transported late on Saturday with military vehicles towards other areas of Albania.

    The city of Kukes is running short of foodstuffs due to a large influx of newcomers on Saturday and Sunday, particularly wheat, because the people are buying considerable quantities of food. /lh/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [28] Berat ready to accommodate 4.000 Kosova people

    BERAT, March 28 (ATA) - By Ilir Manka: The prefecture of Berat is ready to accommodate some 4.000 people arriving from Kosova, sources of the prefecture said to ATA on Sunday.

    Local emergency staffs are preparing buildings for the accommodation of people from Kosova and they are ready to welcome them providing all necessary things.

    The Directorate of Public Health has all conditions and reserves for a possible first aid.

    The Berat prefecture has sent 5 buses to Kukes to help transport the newcomers. /lh/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [29] 25 thousand Kosovars arrive in Kukes until 15.30

    TIRANA, March 28 (ATA) - By I. Pašo: Albanian Ministry of Information said on Sunday that 25 thousand Kosovars had arrived in Kukes until 15.30. p.m.

    The ministry, which is referring to local government sources, said in a press statement late on Sunday that "the number of refugees driven from their homes in Kosova was expected to be 40 thousand."

    Some 15 thousand Albanians of Kosova had arrived in the early hours of Sunday in the Prefecture of Kukes. Local authorities said that the refugees from the villages of Prizren had been warned "to leave their homes as soon as possible because their villages are going to be pounded. Your land is in Albania and if you want to claim about that, go to Clinton."

    The Ministry of Information said that local authorities could see from observation points the flames in some villages of Kosove near the border with Albania, especially near Prizren of Gjakove.

    The Kosovars have arrived on the border with different travel means and they are mainly women, children and aged people. The ministry said that the number of the wounded coming to the prefecture of Kukes is increasing, with some of them in a grave state.

    It is also reported of the measures that the Government has taken for the situation created in northern zones.

    Three successive meetings of the government have determined the most emergent measures so that to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe of great proportions.

    A great number of vehicles have been sent to Kukes today to evacuate the Kosovars. Other vehicles are also demanded to be sent to Kukes from other prefectures.

    The Ministry of Agriculture, in cooperation with UNHCR has sent a convoy of trucks loaded with considerable amounts of food articles.

    The Government had a meeting today at 1 p.m. with all prefects to see the possibilities existing to give shelter to the displaced Kosovars, such as in Shkoder 1 thousand, in Durres and Kruje - 2 thousand, in Golem - 430, in the Prefecture of Kurbin - 1 thousand, in the prefecture of Diber - 1 thousand, etc.

    The Premier has asked the prefects to be prepared to create accommodation for up to 100 thousand people from Kosove.

    UNHCR representatives and those of FAO have met today with the deputy premier Ilir Meta who has demanded from them to make their maximal commitment to help the Albanian government overcome the situation.

    The UNHCR representative said in the meeting they had sleeping and accommodation means for only 10 thousand people but soon facilities for 20 thousand others will arrive soon.

    The ambassadors of Germany, Italy, France, Turkey and Greece have been asked to exert their influence in their respective governments to assist the Albanian government in these difficult moments. /a.ke/ak/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [30] Other Kosovars from Peje arrive in Kuke

    s KUKES, March 28 (ata) - By Riza Hoxha: Other Kosovars have arrived in Kukes at about 9.30 p.m. on Sunday. They are from Peje, Albanian city about 100 km from the customs house of Morine, with nearly 120 thousand inhabitants.

    Nexhat Bojku, one of the Kosovars in this latest group, told ATA that "we were forced to leave under the threats of Serbs who kept telling us that if you don't leave in five minutes we will eliminate you all."

    According to Bojku, the new comers, whose number is not yet confirmed, "have travelled by cars, tractors and trucks."

    Eye witnesses said that "in the moment they have left they have seen Serb chetniks plundering and setting on fire the whole city. /f.n./xh/


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


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