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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 99-03-30

Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

Albanian Telegraphic Agency


  • [01] Majko, Jervolino discuss ways to face humanitarian catastrophe
  • [02] Albanian govt. takes emergent decisions to deal with situation - Draftlaw on competencies of President of the Republic as General Commander of the Armed Forces approved-
  • [03] UNHCR appeals for solidarity
  • [04] Appeal of Albania's Writers' and Artists' League addressed to intellectuals and writers' associations
  • [05] This moment is a great responsibility not only for politics but also for international justice - committee
  • [06] Albanian Institute of Monuments of Culture in alarm for destruction of cultural heritage in Kosove
  • [07] Kosova refugees arrive in Vlore
  • [08] 3000 Kosovars arrive in Durres
  • [09] 3 000 people from Kosova arrived in Kukes from Kosove
  • [10] Exchange rate of lek with foreign currencies
  • [11] Albanian hands over final responses after Geneva round of talks - World Trade Organization
  • [12] Italian, Swiss army allocates vehicles for displaced Kosovars
  • [13] Some 22 000 displaced Kosovars evacuated from Kukes
  • [14] Artillery missiles attack Albanian territory
  • [15] KLA representatives call on youths to return to their soil
  • [16] UNICEF to help Kosova people
  • [17] 620 Kosovars arrive in Shkoder
  • [18] Businessmen, people help Kosova brothers
  • [19] Stories of people who escaped from Serb slaughterhouse
  • [20] German mark drastically falls in Kukes
  • [21] Pelikan agency distributes blankets to Kosova people
  • [22] Ministry of Education prepares places to give shelter to 200 Kosovars
  • [23] Group on emergency management set up
  • [24] First contingent of displaced Kosovars arrive in Elbasan
  • [25] Dollar marks 146.3 lek
  • [26] President says justice, peace, liberty to win in Kosova
  • [27] People demonstrate in support of Kosovars
  • [28] About 5.000 Kosovars arrived in Tirana
  • [29] Croatia offers aid worth US$6 million for Kosovars
  • [30] War's terror in people's faces
  • [31] Ministry of Agriculture to check bread provision in Kukes
  • [32] Saranda to welcome 300 kosovars
  • [33] Jervolino says Italy will sensitise other EU countries to help Albania
  • [34] Minister says Kosova Albanians to strongly resist Serb genocide
  • [35] Meidani interested in health system readiness in Albania's north and nationwide
  • [36] DP leader urges recognition of Kosova's independence
  • [37] First busses from Saranda to Kuksi
  • [38] Family of 21 among Kosova refugees in Vlore
  • [39] Ministry of Agriculture: Exist manipulation risk of food prices
  • [40] Drenica is Saranda and Saranda is Drenica
  • [41] Some 300 Kosovars accommodated by Vlore families
  • [42] International organizations to support Kosova comers
  • [43] Peaceful demonstrations by Albanians living in London
  • [44] Albanian Businessman ready to support Kosova comers
  • [45] Italian Deputy Interior Minister visits Durres
  • [46] Simitis says Serbs should stop operations in Kosova
  • [47] Papandreou says the Balkans is of all its peoples
  • [48] Serb police maltreat Turkish TV journalists
  • [49] Cook meets with Albanian community representatives in Europe
  • [50] International bodies should help management of crisis, Meta
  • [51] More than 350 Kosovars have been visited in Kukes hospital

  • [01] Majko, Jervolino discuss ways to face humanitarian catastrophe

    TIRANA, March 29 (ATA) - Albania Prime Minister Pandeli Majko met Monday with the Italian Interior Minister, Roza Russo Jervolino and the deputy state secretaries, Umberto Ranieri and Franco Berberi, accompanied by a large number of senior officials of Italy, PM spokesman reported.

    They discussed about the humanitarian catastrophe created in Albania due to the arrival of thousands of Kosova refugees, as well as about the identification of ways to deal with this very grave situation.

    PM Majko considered the visit of Minister Jervolino as necessary in one of the most difficult moments the Albanian nation is facing through.

    The Albanian Premier urged the Italian party to mainly bring aid in food items, medicaments, logistic and the like.

    The Albanian Foreign Minister, Paskal Milo, present in the meeting, said that in these difficult moments it would be emergent the creation of an air corridor through an Italian base, which would be used for the transportation of the humanitarian aid, accorded by other countries.

    Minister Jervolino stressed the complete solidarity of the Italian government to cope with the situation.

    "The aim of our visit is to closely know the real situation, exactly in the zones mostly affected by the arrival of refugees. Thus, a group of our delegation will visit North of Albania on Tuesday and another group will inspect the centers where the refugees will be sheltered," said Jervolino.

    She explained that during the meeting of the Italian government today, the concrete ways of how this aid will be realised were discussed. /s.s./mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] Albanian govt. takes emergent decisions to deal with situation - Draftlaw on competencies of President of the Republic as General Commander of the Armed Forces approved-

    TIRANA, March 30 (ATA) - By E. Koraqi: The Albanian government, during the meeting held in the early hours of Tuesday, took a series of important and emergent decisions to enable establishing and functioning of structures for the management of the situation, created in the country after the arrival of the Kosova refugees, the Ministry of Information reported to ATA.

    The Council of Ministers, in its Monday meeting at 22:00, also approved the draft-law on the competencies of the President of the Republic, as General Commander of the Armed Forces and of the National Security Council. The approval of this draft-law is necessary for the creation of the legal base, functioning and approval of those principles, which are sanctioned in the new Albanian Constitution, defence of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Albania and the national security.

    After the immediate measures of the government for the evacuation of the new arrivals from Kosova towards the other districts of Albania, nearly 21 000 persons were distributed within 30 hours who were accommodated in 12 districts of the country. Some 645 vehicles were put at disposal over the last 24 hours to distribute the Kosova refugees. Some 5000 persons have moved privately. Nearly 10 000 other refugees are expected to be evacuated from Kukes on Tuesday.

    Intensive work is going on in the prefecture of Kukes to create the necessary conditions for the displaced Kosovars. Along with two large camps, work is going on to install 21 other camps in the entire country.

    Premier Majko met on Monday morning with Friends of Albania and conveyed to them the demand of the Albanian Government for the immediate intervention of the international community to cope with the situation created in Albania.

    At the same time, NATO is expected to play the primary role in dealing with this humanitarian crisis. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] UNHCR appeals for solidarity

    TIRANE, March 30 (ata0 - The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Albania notes with extreme concern the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Kosove and the resulting huge influx of Kosovar refugees into Albania. UNHCR staff who is present in the Northern prefecture of Kukes is just doing its best to assist the new arrivals in close cooperation with the local and central authorities.

    UNHCR Office in Albania however realised that the number of the refugees in the last couple of days has increased drastically. From the latest reports some 75 000 persons have already crossed through Morina and several thousands more are expected. Refugees are coming from Peje, Gjakove, Prizren, Suhareka, Uahoova. More people are expected from Lasheva, Klina and Glogovc. If this trend continues we are expecting 100 000 more in the next hours or days.

    UNHCR office in Albania is coordinating efforts with the Albanian government to find immediate solutions to the emergent needs of the refugees and is now calling the assistance for 150 000 refugees in Albania.

    Problems are being dealt with the absolute priority. The sheltering of the refugees, the provision of food and non-food items is bing coordinated with all relevant bodies. The exhaustion of the local capacities in the Prefecture of Kukes necessitated the re-location of the refugees to other parts of the country. The process is however very difficult, but UNHCR would like to express its gratitude to the Albanian local population who is generously offering its support to shelter in large numbers of refugees. The accommodation centers prepared by UNHCR though its implementing partners are receiving refugees and are providing to them all the needed supports.

    UNHCR and other UN agencies is deploying in the country large quantities of food and non-food items. Today morning UNHCR met with the Albanian Prime Minister and the foreign embassies in the country and other international organizations. An appeal has been addressed to the international community to assist in handling the refugees crisis. The response is immediate. Many countries such as Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, the USA, Turkey, Norway, Great Britain are offering their immediate support. A lot of relief items mobilized from the UNHCR stocks in the neighbouring countries as well as the assistance offered by different countries would make it possible to alleviate somehow the suffering of the refugees.

    UNHCR would like to take this opportunity to appeal to the Albanian population, to central government and to the local authorities to join again forces to confront this grave situation. We are convinced that together we will be able to respond to this situation. /xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] Appeal of Albania's Writers' and Artists' League addressed to intellectuals and writers' associations

    TIRANE, March 29 (ata) - Albania's Writers' and Artists' League addressed Sunday to intellectuals, associations of writers and artists of the entire world an appeals which says: One of the worst and most monstrous crimes of the century is occurring in front of the civilized world. Serb barbarians commanded by the chief butcher of the Balkans, Slobodan Milosevic are eliminating half of the Albanian people in Kosove.

    They are attacking children and old people, youths and women, the unprotected people through every means, through fire, tanks and aircraft, with all the arsenal which a sick and inhuman mind of professional criminals may invent to expel them from their century long hearths and leave them without a homeland. It is century now that martyr Kosove is shedding blood. Serb chauvinists have taken up, instead of the cross, the swords, instead of peace they have chosen war.

    The writers and artists, the intellectuals wherever they are, like the entire Albanian people are protesting for this great disaster occurring.

    Addressing the intellectuals of the civilized world, the appeal stresses: "Defend the life of an innocent people, defend today your dignity and honour from the mediaeval barbarism that is maiming the world and European civilization." /pas/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] This moment is a great responsibility not only for politics but also for international justice - committee

    TIRANE, March 29 (ata) - By E Nepravishta: Proceeding from the new and dangerous turn that events in Kosove have taken, the Albanian Helsinki Committee appealed on Monday to all its counterparts to readmit jointly the condemnation for this new wave of terror by the Serb military machine and suggested to the International Helsinki Federation, with its headquarters in Vienna, to be the initiator of a pronunciation at the level of NGO community.

    According to this committee, all must be aware that this is a moment of a great historic responsibility and not only for politics but for international justice.

    The Albanian Committee of Helsinki joins the protest of all the Albanian people against Serb genocide in Kosove.

    The Albanian Helsinki Committee highlighted on Monday the unity manifested by all the Albanian opinion to condemn the Serb miseries and hailed the commitment of all political forces on the side of the Kosovar people in this difficult moment. /pas/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] Albanian Institute of Monuments of Culture in alarm for destruction of cultural heritage in Kosove

    TIRANE, March 29 (ata) - By K Shehu: The Institute of the Monuments of Culture issued a communique on Monday sounding the alarm on the dramatic situation of the cultural heritage and especially of the architectural and urban ones in the region of Kosove, which are witnessing its full destruction with each passing day.

    Informing all the Serb opinion, specialists and scientists, the Institute of Monuments through this press communique addresses to them appeal to protest to the Serb government for this great damage caused not only to Kosove but also the the scientific reputation of Serbia and the Balkans in general.

    Referring to these ruining, the department of the Institute of Monuments points out that 'this is an ordinary cleansing of the material heritage in Kosove. The torching of many objects once declared by the government of Tito as 'monuments of culture' in Kosove is the direct index of this destruction." /dast/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] Kosova refugees arrive in Vlore

    VLORE, March 30 (ATA) - By Harilla Koçi: The Prefect of Vlore district, Tare Hamo, told ATA that about 300 people arrived in Vlore at about 02.30 on Tuesday. Some six buses of Vlore private associations carried these refugees to the city of Vlore. Hamo declared that the displaced Kosovars are settled close to the University, where they are offered the necessary aid.

    Vlore prefect confirmed that some 300 other refugees are traveling by bus towards Vlore. The train carrying 1500 persons is also on the way to Vlore. He added that the town-hall is taking all the measures to create the necessary living conditions for the Kosovars. /dast/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] 3000 Kosovars arrive in Durres

    DURRES, March 30 (ata) - By S Gjordeni: Over Monday and the Tuesday night over 3000 Kosovars, violently evicted from their territories by the Serb regime, arrived in the district of Durres.

    The spokesman of the Prefecture of Durres, Gezim Dervishi, told ATA that until 8.50 today, over 3 000 displaced Kosovars have arrived the district of Durres.

    Some of the Kosovars were sheltered in Golem and in some private hotels.

    The chief of the UNHCR coordination office for Durres and Kavaje, Trifon Llupo, said to ATA the 2 000 folding beds and mattresses were distributed yesterday.

    The storehouses of UNHCR in the port of Durres have a great amount of food items, clothes and other facilities to face with a flow of refugees up to 20 000 people. While in the state reserve storehouses in Durres there are considerable amounts of wheat, flour, rice, sugar, cooking oil and others to meet the needs of the Kosovars. /dast/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] 3 000 people from Kosova arrived in Kukes from Kosove

    KUKES, March 30 (ata) - By Riza Hoxha: Also last night the flow of the displaced people from Kosove towards Kukes has continued.

    Sources from the customs house of Morine in Kukes district told ATA that about 3000 people have arrived in that point over the past night hours, to escape the Serb repression. They have been mostly old people, women and children, a part of whom have reached the border by their vehicles, and the rest have come on foot. These people were transported to Kukes immediately.

    The new contingent of Kosovars brought the total number of the Kosovars who have come to Kukes in the past few days to about 77 thousand. /dast/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] Exchange rate of lek with foreign currencies

    TIRANE, 30 March (ata) By D.Koça - According to the exchange rate of the Bank of Tirane, one USD is changed at 146.3 leke, 1 DM is bought at 81 lek, Italian lira at 81.3 lek, 1 drachma is exchanged at 48.2 lek and one EURO at 156.9 lek.

    The exchange rate of Lek with foreign currencies:

    Kind of currency The exchange rate USD 146.3

    DM 81 LIT(1000) 81.2

    GRD(100) 48.2

    EURO 156.9


    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] Albanian hands over final responses after Geneva round of talks - World Trade Organization

    TIRANE, March 30 (ata) - By E Metaj: Albania handed over the final responses regarding the round of talks held in Geneva in January 1999 for its membership in the World Trade Organization (WT).)

    Over a visit to Albania for negotiations with EU bodies, the Albanian Minister for Economic Cooperation and Trade Ermelinda Meksi has handed over the responses of the Albanian party for this round of talks with the WTO General Secretariat.

    Over the bilateral and multilateral negotiations in January in Geneva on Albania's acceptance in WTO, the achievements in the elimination of limits, differences of obstacles in the foreign trade have been highlighted. Albania has also adopted the Strategy of Privatization and the laws "On unification of excises," "On standardization," "On anti-dumping" and the Customs Code. /dast/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] Italian, Swiss army allocates vehicles for displaced Kosovars

    DURRES, March 30 (ATA) - By G.Kabashi: The Italian and Swiss army has accorded an aid for the Albanian government. The aid, consisting in several vehicles to be used for transferring the displaces Kosovars from the northeastern region of Albanian in other parts of the country, has begun to be unloaded in the Durres port.

    The military ship "San Marko", one of the three biggest ships of Italian military marine, is anchored in Durres port at 8.45 a.m.

    According to the spokesman of Italian Delegation of Experts, Swiss army has given four buses, while the Italian counterpart has allocated 30 military lorries, as well as two cranes, 2 buses and 1 car for the Albanian government. There is also a considerable amount of milk and medicaments loaded in the ship, the spokesman added.

    Some 25 Italian journalists have landed from the ship. /dast/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] Some 22 000 displaced Kosovars evacuated from Kukes

    KUKES, March 30 (ATA) - By Riza Hoxha: Some 22 000 Kosovars settled primarily in Kukes, left for other cities of Albanian during the whole Monday and the first hours of Tuesday.

    Qemal Parllaku, chief of commission for evacuation of displaced Kosovars in other regions of Albania, told ATA that some 22 000 people coming from Kosova are evacuated so far, and in the meantime the work for quick evacuation of other Kosovars is going on.

    Parllaku said that tens of busses from Vlore, Berat, Skrapar, Diber and Mat as well as tens of other transpot means from different districts of Albania have come today in the city of Kukes.

    The number of Kosove refugees during the last three days is approximately 77 000. /dast/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] Artillery missiles attack Albanian territory

    KUKES, March 30 (ATA) - By R. Hoxha: Two artillery missiles attacked early on Tuesday the Albanian territory, police sources of the prefecture of Kukes said.

    The same sources added that the first missile landed in Pogaj village and the other in Qafe Barak of Kruma, which is inland the Albanian territory.

    The Albanian border police forces are in alert but did not respond to the artillery fire because they came from inland the border.

    It has happened several times recently that the Serb army continues provocations using different automatic weapons and artillery fire against the Albanian border since the NATO air strikes have started against the positions of the Yugoslav army.

    There are no reports on casualties by the provocations with the exception of the commander of the border post who has been wounded in the hand.

    Nevertheless, the Albanian police forces have not responded to the fire in order not to be prey of Belgrade's trap, which aims at dragging Albania into a conflict. /ypa/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] KLA representatives call on youths to return to their soil

    KUKES, March 30 (ATA) - By Riza Hoxha: Kosova Liberation Army appealed Monday and today to all the youths from Kosova settled in the city of Kukes during the last days, to return to their motherland and to become members of KLA in order to protect the place of their forefathers from the Serb occupation.

    KLA appeals are stuck to the facades of palaces and institutions of the city of Kukes.

    An appeal of KLA addressed to all Kosova inhabitants was read through a loudspeaker on Tuesday before thousands of Kosova refugees gathered in the center of the city.

    "Don't leave your country, but return because your life and your future is only there. Don't abandon your Homeland", was said in the appeal. /dast/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] UNICEF to help Kosova people

    TIRANA, March 30 (ATA) - By E. Nepravishta: Office of the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Tirana sent a working team including project coordinators on emergency and health to the northern zones where Kosova people arrive.

    UNICEF is assisting the mobile units in psycho-social rehabilitation of traumatized women and children to reduce ever so little the stress and war trauma they are experiencing.

    Four doctors trained by UNICEF have left for Kukes to help as soon as possible mothers and children with problems.

    Tirana-based UNICEF office has sent equipment, antibiotics, a considerable quantity of medicaments for respiratory apparatus and others. /dast/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] 620 Kosovars arrive in Shkoder

    SHKODER, March 30 (ata) - By M Malja: Nearly 620 people from Kosove have arrived at about 02.30 on Tuesday in the city of Shkoder.

    The Secretary of the city-hall of Shkoder, Bardhyl Shaqiri, told ATA that the people from Kosove had travelled from Kukes to Shkoder by 18 vans and 9 buses sent there by the prefecture.

    The Kosovars are welcomed by representatives of the local government and are sheltered in two acceptance centres prepared for them. About 1 000 people will be accommodated in these two centres.

    In the mean time about 1 500 other Kosovars are expected to reach the city of Shkoder today.

    The situation in the three districts of the prefecture of Shkoder is calm. /dast/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] Businessmen, people help Kosova brothers

    DURRES, March 30 (ATA) - By S. Gjordeni: Businessmen and people of Durres are helping the Kosova brothers, who arrived on Monday and early on Tuesday in the city, offering food and clothing.

    The dealer Igli Care provided two vans loaded with foodstuffs for them. He said to ATA that he would open a canteen to feed 50 people every day.

    Perikli Goga, a businessman, offered on Tuesday a quantity of food worth 100 thousand leks. The association "Help for families in need" has distributed food and clothing worth 50 thousand leks.

    Private firms and businessmen in Durres district have offered emergency aid in food and clothing worth 10 million leks.

    In Katund i Ri, Agim Bleta and Gezim Agastra have provided a warehouse of 1.200 square meters to house Kosova people, while Hysen Duka and Ganir Muka in Shijak have offered their site of 500 meters to settle Kosovars. /dast/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] Stories of people who escaped from Serb slaughterhouse

    DURRES, March 30 (ATA) - By Gezim Kabashi: "You wanted NATO to intervene, here it is" - this is the refrain of Serb ethnic cleansing at the end of the millinery. It is accompanied by all the war inhuman arsenal. People who have survived and arrived in Durres tell the horrors of a war, where the aggressors do not save anything.

    Melit Bugari, settled in the hosting center of refuges in Durres on early Monday, is so havoced from the horrors of war that he can not stutter his regret. He buried his son Halil, aged 26, only 500 meters after he passed the border point in Qafe-Morine. His two other sons helped him to give the farewell to his dear person. "He was wounded two days ago in the surrounding of Suareke", Rexhep Rusi tells. We have passed through horror when passing the border line. Halili passed away soon after entering the Albanian border.

    Rusi, aged 74, lost his son, Bajram. His family members have not heard of him since the time he left towards the border point.

    More than 30 lorries and busses charged with Kosovars arrived in Durres on late Monday. A part of them are taken by Durres citizens in their families. Only an infant, born ten days ago in his Homeland did not survive.

    Lulezim Kryeziu has come in the morning by a ferryboat from Italy. He has been working in Grac, Austria, for two years, and he communicated with his father for the last time when he was in Kukes. He met several people from his village, but no one knows anything for his father and his uncles. /dast/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [20] German mark drastically falls in Kukes

    KUKES, March 30 (ATA) - By Riza Hoxha: The German mark has drastically fallen recently in the city of Kukes with a mark costing 70 leks while in Tirana is 81 leks.

    The large influx of people from Kosova in the city resulted in a fall of the German mark. The new arrivals are forced to change the foreign currency, mainly the German mark, to meet some of their needs in food or other things.

    Money changers are profiting by this situation. /dast/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [21] Pelikan agency distributes blankets to Kosova people

    DURRES, March 30 (ATA) - By S. Gjordeni: Albanian agency "Pelikan" in the Durres port started on Tuesday the distribution of two thousand blankets for the people of Kosova.

    Chief of the regional office dealing with the Kosova new arrivals Todi Llupo said to ATA that they would be sent in major collection centers in Kavaja, Maminas and Kruje. The same agency is preparing a delivery of foodstuffs in these areas.

    Prefect of Durres Martin Cukalla held talks with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees official Yasaka Shimiziu, who was interested in the situation of Kosova people and their needs.

    The UNHCR official presented a proposal of the German government to improve the conditions in the collection center of Maminas by investing for the construction of a canteen, showers and toilets.

    Cukalla said that 5.600 tents would be erected in Bisht Palle to help accommodate about 16 thousand of people from Kosova. /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [22] Ministry of Education prepares places to give shelter to 200 Kosovars

    TIRANE, March 30 (ata) - By P Shuteriqi: On the basis of order by Minister of Education and Science, Et'hem Ruka, some storehouses of the school books trade enterprise have been adopted for the accommodation of about 200 Kosovars.

    This ministry has set 4 buses for the transportation of refugees from Kukes to Tirane.

    According to the same order by the Minister, work is going on for the improvement of the conditions in the bomb shelters in all school and university compounds, said to ATA Siri Carcani, chief of civil defence in the Ministry of Education and Science. /pas/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [23] Group on emergency management set up

    TIRANA, March 30 (ATA) - By E. Koraqi: The emergency commission convened early on Tuesday under prime minister Pandeli Majko to discuss the latest situation in the prefecture of Kukes and in all districts in Albania where the Kosova people were accommodated.

    The emergency commission, according to a statement of the Ministry of Information, decided to set up a group of emergency management including three separate teams. The first one will coordinate the work with local authorities and inform on the need of prefecture, areas where the foodstuffs would be delivered according to the number of people settled there.

    The second team will coordinate its work with the ministries and other institutions. In cooperation with the persons responsible for these issues in every ministry, the group will give a quick and operational solution to all the problems emerging, for all procedures, the transport and the accommodation of the new arrivals.

    The third team will coordinate the work with foreign institutions that want to offer their assistance and cooperation. All foreign organizations interested to make their contribution in these difficult moments must contact this team in order to take information about the needs, the location where these assistance must be sent, the coordination of the work between the two sides to organize the transportation of the aid. /s.s./ak/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [24] First contingent of displaced Kosovars arrive in Elbasan

    ELBASAN, March 30 (ATA) - By M.Lulja: The first group of 60 Kosovars arrived in Elbasan at about 9.10 p.m on Monday and this contingent was followed by 452 other persons who arrived at about 24.30.

    Leaders of the local government welcomed them, and Kosovars were afterwards accommodated in the building of the humanitarian association "Koplling", and in the agricultural and pedagogic general high schools' building.

    The director of the public health in Elbasan, Pajtim Çela, said that the group of medical service is treating about 40 people suffering from diarrhea, diabetes and others.

    As much as 219 families from Elbasan have registered their names in the office of public information in the town-hall to shelter the displaced Kosovars. /pas/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [25] Dollar marks 146.3 lek

    Tirana,March 30 (ATA) - By Dorian Koça- According to the fixed rate of Tirana Bank on Tuesday the dollar marks 146.3 lek. While the other foreign currencies against the Albanian one mark the following values:


    USD 146.3

    DM 81 LIT(1000) 81.2

    GRD(100) 48.2

    EURO 156.9


    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [26] President says justice, peace, liberty to win in Kosova

    TIRANA, March 30 (ATA) - Press office at the Albanian presidency issued on Tuesday a statement of the President of Albania Rexhep Meidani voicing his deep sorrow and indignation about the news, which he did not want to believe.

    Following is the text of the statement of president Meidani:

    "With deep sorrow and indignation I have heard news, which my heart does not want to believe. I have heard on Monday about the killing of my dear friend and colleague Fehmi Agani, a distinguished intellectual, great patriot, politician devoted to liberty of Kosova. I still hope it is not true.

    "The Serbian quarantine in Kosova is hindering the world information centers to learn the exact names of those killed. But one thing is sure. The Serbian regime, which has committed appalling crimes and massacres against the Albanian people of Kosova, has executed some distinguished intellectuals of Kosova.

    "These Nazism-type executions committed in the run up to the capitulation of the bloody regime of Slobodan Milosevic aim at killing the future of Kosova and terrorize the Kosova population.

    "Strongly denouncing the killings in Kosova, barbarism and genocide against the people, ethnic cleansing and forced depopulation, the practice of "burnt land" and macabre acts, which are added to the list of Serbian crimes against humanity, I want to express my condolences on behalf of the Albanian state and me personally to those families and relatives, who have missed their dears as well as the Albania people, who deeply feel these murders and massacres.

    "In this painful and difficult moments, I am addressing the Kosova intelligentsia, fighters of the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA) and the whole people of Kosova: "Be strong. Albania and the whole Albanian people is with you. The world democratic opinion and the largest military power, which guarantees peace, develop democracy and political and human rights, are backing you. The alliance of the most democratic countries in the world is with Kosova. Justice, peace and liberty will win in Kosova.

    "I am also addressing the Albanian citizens to do their best to challenge with generosity, hospitality, correctness and wisdom the latest efforts of Belgrade's chetniks to ethnically cleanse Kosova and spread the fire burning their house to the whole region.

    "NATO is not going to withdraw until justice and peace is introduced in Kosova. Our task and wisdom is to be united in order to facilitate the NATO mission in achieving peace," Meidani said. s.s/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [27] People demonstrate in support of Kosovars

    GJIROKASTER, March 30 (ATA) - By H. Çani: Some thousand citizens of Gjirokastra and surrounding villages demonstrated on Tuesday midday in support of the people of Kosova and against the massacres of the Serbian criminal regime.

    The rally, organized by political forces and local government officials, voiced gratitude to NATO, the United States and president Clinton for the strikes against the Serbian barbarous military machine.

    "Every house in Gjirokastra is a welcoming place for our forcibly displaced brothers from Kosova," Ylli Asllani, Gjirokastra mayor told the crowd.

    Local leader of the Socialist party Besnik Shehu said that the execution of the distinguished intellectuals of Kosova undoubtedly was a mere political act ordered by the regime of Belgrade.

    Roland Bejko, local leader of the Democratic party said that the Serbian machine would continue its efforts until the dictator Milosevic ran out of oxygen in his Stalinist bunker. This could be better done by NATO, he added.

    The demonstration lasted one hour and was considered as the biggest ever organised in the latest years in Gjirokaster. /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [28] About 5.000 Kosovars arrived in Tirana

    TIRANA, March 30 (ATA) - By Th. Thanasi: The number of Kosova people who have arrived in Albanian capital, Tirana, on Tuesday is about 5.000.

    The figure is thought to be higher because about 5.000 people from Kosova had arrived in Tirana on Monday, Shkelqim Ahmetaj, prefecture official and member of the welcoming commission at the palace of sports Asllan Rusi said to ATA on Tuesday.

    Ahmetaj said that some small groups had directly found shelter in Tirana families because they had precise addresses and their registration was not done yet.

    More than half of the Kosova new arrivals have been settled in Tirana families.

    Ahmetaj said that though there were one thousand beds in the palace of sports, the number of Kosova people was small.

    This is a temporary collection center where the new arrivals are registered, get the necessary medical help and food and leave then to families or other accommodation centers. About 1.500 people are being accommodated in a camp erected in the premises of the "Dinamo" sports center.

    A group of specialized doctors is on duty around the clock.

    No huge influx has been recorded today but there are reports on others, who are expected to arrive in Tirana. /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [29] Croatia offers aid worth US$6 million for Kosovars

    TIRANA, March 30 (ATA) - By M. Pupa: Croatia has offered an aid in food and necessary equipment for the Kosova people worth US$6 million through the "AMERICARES" humanitarian association.

    The aid includes children food, medicaments of high quality and hospital equipment.

    The Croatian association sent a fax to the Ministry of Public Economy and Privatisation on Tuesday noon voicing its readiness to contribute to the Kosova people, who have arrived in Albania.

    The Croatian side has said that the aid would be airlifted to Albania. /lh/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [30] War's terror in people's faces

    Shkoder, March 30 (ATA) - By M.Malja - On Tuesday afternoon nearly at 02.30 o'clock came from Kukes in Shkodra the first 620 kosovars. They are placed in the welcome center of the high veterinary school, recently reconstructed by UNCHR fonds.

    The UNCHR employee Fatmir Mani said that 260 is the number of the kosovars sheltered in this center and provide the most needed materials.

    The new comers are mainly women, children and old people, who are so tired from the traveling. All of them are inhabitants of Peja town (near the border with Albania) and the region around it, which according to them is completed burned and uninhabited.

    Xhevahire Tastanaqi, 25, who came in Albania with her family talked about the genocide of the Serb police-military on the kosovars.

    "Serb bands with masks ordered us to leave immediately our homes and frightened us by saying they were going to kill all of us. Immediately our neighborhood of 70 houses moved toward Prizren town and traveled nearly 21 hours hungry and in difficulties".

    While Marka Berisha, 70, from Peja tells about their way from Peja to Kuksi. "I drove the tractor with 19 persons", said Berisha. He said that he had seen a lot of killed people in their way, and while speaking tears cover his eyes thinking for his relatives he left there.

    " The police came and took out all of us young and old. Go in Albania they said to us. Many houses are left in fire. There is no one there", said Agron Krasniqi. He is a pupil of six forms, but his mind is in Kosova.

    " One day my parents and I will come back to our motherland", said he.

    The crying of a baby 6 months old hurts everybody. A mother 21 years old is holding in her arm under the sun. She came with her people from Millonica, Peja town. Her name is Sabaet Berisha. She is here with her two children, and she does not know anything about the fate of her husband and father. She is told that they are killed by the Serbs as many other kosovars, but as many others she hopes that her husband will come one day.

    The new comers want to know about the fate of their relatives. They ask the journalists and Tirana Radio to help them with telephone numbers to know more about those who are still in Kosova./pas/linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [31] Ministry of Agriculture to check bread provision in Kukes

    Tirana, March 30 (ata) - By E.Xhajanka - The work groups of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture have to control the food provision and mainly bread provision in the areas of Northern Albania, where the number of the new comers from Kosova is so high", said for ATA the spokesman of this ministry.

    Specialists from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture directed by the vice minister Selim Dedej traveled on Tuesday to Kukes and Shkodra to check the way of distribution of the aids in these districts for the comers from Kosova.

    The Albanian Ministry of Food and Agriculture in cooperation with other associations sent to these districts nearly 9 000 breads, 10 000 meat cans, 400 quintals flour and 500 quintals' wheat from the public food reserves. Ready for use are two bakeries of this town with the capacity of 15 quintals' bread./pas/linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [32] Saranda to welcome 300 kosovars

    Tirana, March 30 (ATA) - By Sh.Hajno - Saranda is ready to welcome the first 300 kosovars.This is announced by the emergence group of this district in the meeting hold with the initiative of its head Thoma Papagjika.

    Sources from this group inform also that it is taking into consideration the possibility of sheltering the new comers in the former building of tourism hotel, former holiday camp and in the child's hospital "Shen Luka".

    Meanwhile it is announced that in six communes of this district and in that of Konispoli municipality the emergence groups are established to welcome the kosovars.

    According to the sources of Konispoli municipality it is declared the number of the new comers to be sheltered in this town. There are 100 kosovars to be settled in Saranda. This is the number of the kosovars to be sheltered in coast communes of Lukova based upon the detail program of the respective emergence groups.

    According to the Dutch coordinator Andre Van Grol the Albanian Christianity association "LIDIA" will offer in disposal of the emergence groups of the district nearly 60 beds and clothes for different ages./lh/linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [33] Jervolino says Italy will sensitise other EU countries to help Albania

    KUKES, March 30 (ATA)-By R. Hoxha, Italian Interior Minister Rosa Jervelino today by midday went to Kukes to closely get to know the situation created following a large influx of Kosovars into this town.

    At the Kukes prefecture she met with the Albanian government's plenipotentiary, deputy Prime Minister Ilir Meta, as well as with leaders of the local government structures.

    Meta, after acquainting Jervelino with the ongoing performance to cope with the created situation, asked that aid be sped up so as to lessen the pain in this difficult area of the country.

    "We admire your courage in coping with this situation in your country's northeastern zone," Jervelino said.

    Food reserves should be secured to minimize disorders in the market, she said, adding that many Italian businessmen have expressed readiness to help Albania in these difficult moments.

    She also said that Italy will bring tents to accommodate around 25 000 refugees from Kosova.

    "The Italian government will also sensitise other EU countries to help Albania cope with this situation, as we know you are undergoing difficult moments," she stressed.

    In this visit Jervelino was accompanied by senior officials of the Italian Interior Ministry and Albanian Minister of Public Order Petro Koci. /lj/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [34] Minister says Kosova Albanians to strongly resist Serb genocide

    TIRANA, March 30 (ATA) - By I. Luto: Albanian Foreign minister Paskal Milo told a news conference on Tuesday that the Kosovars should not abandon their houses because this was the aim of Belgrade but the Albanian government would continue to welcome everyone who felt threatened.

    "It would have been better for Albanians of Kosova to strongly resist the Serb genocide and not abandon Kosova," Milo said, adding that "this is a war for survival and if it continues like this it would be won by Belgrade, whose aim is to ethnically cleanse Kosova."

    Minister Milo said that he had been in constant contacts with all his counterparts in the last two days in order to provide humanitarian aid for the people of Kosova. He said that Turkish aid was expected to arrive today (Tuesday) followed by Israelis and Greek aid tomorrow and Italian aid later.

    Milo voiced reserves towards the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Albania saying "it was completely unprepared in face of a huge influx of Kosova people for which the Albanian government had long since warned of."

    "I have asked the NATO council to put into operation a directorate of civil emergency and hope that NATO will decide today on direct contribute to the humanitarian aspect in Albania." /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [35] Meidani interested in health system readiness in Albania's north and nationwide

    TIRANE, March 30 (ATA)-By R. Xhuvani, President of the Republic Rexhep Meidani called Minister of Health Leonard Solis at a special meeting on Tuesday.

    The President's office told ATA that the head of state asked the minister to inform him about the readiness of the health system in the Albania's north and nationwide to cope with the problems emerging from the arrival of tens of thousands of Kosova refugees, especially about the ambulant service for the little children and the aged.

    They also discussed the possibility of a fair handling of the medicaments to arrive as humanitarian aid. /pas/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [36] DP leader urges recognition of Kosova's independence

    TIRANA, March 30 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: Deputy leader of the Democratic party (DP) Genc Pollo told a news conference on Tuesday that Kosova's independence should be recognized and time has come for another Rambouillet agreement as the Paris accord signed by the Albanian delegation has become outdated under the Serbian genocide.

    Pollo, speaking for his party, thanked all the people of Tirana and Albania who had offered their aid for the forcibly displaced people by the Serbian regime whose number is estimated at 80.000 people.

    As regards the diplomatic relations between official Tirana and Belgrade, the Democratic leader said that the level of these relations was the same as ten years ago and it was shameful that these relations continue now that the United States and Western powers had closed embassies.

    "We called on Albanian government to close our embassy in Belgrade and evacuate diplomatic personnel and freeze bilateral relations," Pollo said. /lh/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [37] First busses from Saranda to Kuksi

    Tirana, March 30 (ata) - By Sh.Hajno - The first six busses make their way from Saranda to Kuksi to welcome the new comers from Kosova as a result of the repression of serb military-police, informs for ATA the sources from the town municipality.

    The vice head of the town municipality Qirjako Martiko said that these busses of "Trans Butrinti" are put in disposal by the Government emergence group concerning the moves of the kosovars from the Northern Albania toward the other Albanian regions.

    According to Martikos other buss owners are ready to put in disposal their busses to fulfill this aim.

    The head of the town municipality Çapajev Zera told for ATA that the busses will be used for the new comers transport in the line Kukes-Tirana and elsewhere or even to bring in Saranda the number of the kosovars to be sheltered there. We have taken all the measure for their reception./pas/linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [38] Family of 21 among Kosova refugees in Vlore

    -Great grandfather, 84, I. Haxhiu, accounts war horrors-

    Vlore, March 30 (ATA)-By H. Koci, A family of 21 members are among the Kosova refugees in the city of Vlore. They have come from Peje and their surname is Haxhiu. The eldest is 84 and the youngest two months.

    The Kosovar family entered Albania on Monday afternoon and after several hours, on Tuesday night, arrived in Vlore. Horror is still evident in their tearful faces. There are only two old people, 84 and 60, while the others are women and children. The youngest was born only two months ago.

    The 84-year-old man says that the horrors are undescribable. "Only killings and massive expulsions from homes. We were not allowed to take anything with ourselves," he said.

    "The young men have all remained there and we know nothing of their destiny," he said.

    "We only know they are among the KLA ranks," he says adding that while leaving they saw masked men setting fire to their houses. All our way we saw killed and massacred people."

    Armed men massacred in their eyes two young men, whom they hit with rifle butts and later shot them dead. /pas/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [39] Ministry of Agriculture: Exist manipulation risk of food prices

    Tirana, March 30 (ATA) - By E.Xhajanka - "There is any anomalies till now, but exists the manipulation risk of the food prices because it is obvious the fall of the flux of the imported food and there is a demand increase, as well", inform for ATA sources from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

    The Ministry of Food and Agriculture in cooperation with the General Directory of State Reserves sent to the District Board of Has 30 tons flour, one ton sunflower oil, 0,5 ton sugar, 1250 packets of spagetti and 3000 pieces of soap.

    While in Kuksi District Board 0,5 ton sugar, 0,3 ton sunflower oil, 20.000 pieces of soap and 50 tons flour. To Kuksi Prefecture it is predicted to be sent nearly 500 tons wheats to be used mainly for the new comers from Kosova./lh/linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [40] Drenica is Saranda and Saranda is Drenica

    Saranda, March 30 (ATA) - By Sh.Hajno - "Drenica is Saranda and Saranda is Drenica" was the motive of the meeting hold on Tuesday in Saranda town in support of the kosovars brothers.

    In this meeting initiated by the town municipality took part thousand citizens of this town, representatives of political powers of district, representatives of the journalist association and representatives of "Drenica" association and hospitals' representatives, as well.

    They denounced the crimes of the Serbs on the innocent population of Kosova and expressed their readiness to welcome and help the kosovars families to be placed in this town.

    They hailed the contribution of the European Community and especially of the American President Bill Clinton concerning the Kosova situation.

    After the meeting the participant as a protest against the Serb repression marched in demonstrative way in the main street of the town and called for a support for the kosovars./lh/linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [41] Some 300 Kosovars accommodated by Vlore families

    VLORE, March 30 (ATA)-By H. Koci, The first 300 Kosova refugees, who arrived in Vlore at around 02.30, have been accommodated in few hours by the Vlore families, who presented themselves at the registration commission to take the Kosova brothers to their homes.

    The arrivals have received medical and food aid.

    According to governor Tare Hamo, a train with 1 500 people is expected to arrive in the evening, whole 300 others have arrived at the Novosele commune.

    Hamo said that all measures are taken that they be accommodated in the students' dormitories, the new port's ware houses near Zverneci, as well as in those of state reserves, which are ready for this purpose.

    The district council today approved a fund of one million leks to buy the necessary items. /lh/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [42] International organizations to support Kosova comers

    Tirana, March 30 (ATA) - By E.Xhajanka - The Albanian Ministry of Food and Agriculture informs that to stand the food needs in Kuksi district after the coming of the great number of the kosovars it corporates and coordinates the work with the international organizations that operate in Albania.

    Several meetings are hold with the international organizations such as UNCHR, ECHO, etc.

    Nearly 10 tons' biscuits are sent in Kuksi by UNCHR, 22 tons flour by the European Baptiste Federate, 1500 packets with food, (22 kilos each).

    In corporation with ECHO, UNCHR and Tirana bakery 15 000 breads are sent in Kuksi for the new comers from Kosova.

    Special meetings are hold with ECHO and in cooperation with it are provided 12,5 tons meats, which are spread in Kuksi and Shkodra./lh/linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [43] Peaceful demonstrations by Albanians living in London

    TIRANE, March 30 (ATA)-Albanians living in London on Monday gathered in central London to chant their full support for the NATO operations in former Yugoslavia and to protests against Serbian genocide in Kosova.

    The Albanian Foreign Ministry press department reports that the demonstrators carried in their hands our national flag, the KLA flag and those of the NATO nations. The main slogans launched during this protest were "KLA, KLA, An end to genocide in Kosova, NATO, NATO, Freedom or death" and other slogans.

    The demonstrators decided that the protest continues today on March 30, at 18.00, as well as on March 31 at 12.00. /lh/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [44] Albanian Businessman ready to support Kosova comers

    Tirana, March 30 (ATA) - By Elton Metaj - Members of the Trade and Industry Chamber of Tirana expressed their willingness to support in all ways with accommodation and transport the kosovars families expelled by the Serbs, inform for ATA the spokesman of this Chamber.

    According to the source in a special meeting hold by this Chamber denounced Beograd ethnic cleansing policy in Kosova, the terror in all Kosova towns. They considered this as "a barbaric and genocide act of the Serbs in Kosova".

    Trade Chamber "totally support the measures taken by the state structures, central and local power, to support the Kosova brothers"./lh/linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [45] Italian Deputy Interior Minister visits Durres

    DURRES, March 30 (ATA)-By G. Kabashi, Italian Deputy Interior Minister for Civil Defence Franco Barberi visited the Durres district Tuesday. Accompanied by Albanian defence officers and the 28th Maritime group, he visited the two extreme points of the Durres Bay, Kepi i Rodonit and Bishti i Palles.

    The Albanian and Italian authorities, taking into account the large influx of Kosovars into the Durres district, have thought to prepare a camp to host 10 000 refugees at the Bishti i Palles area, some 11 km north of the Durres city.

    Some 1 500 military tents which, according to the Durres prefecture sources are stored in Maminas, will be used for the camp.

    Later, Barberi left for Tirane which is also being visited by the Italian Interior Minister, Rosa Russo Jervolino. /pas/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [46] Simitis says Serbs should stop operations in Kosova

    TIRANE, March 30 (ATA)-By E. Nepravishta, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Monday, referring to the crisis in Kosova, reconfirmed Greece's opposition to the continued Serb operations there, the Greek Embassy in Tirane told ATA.

    "Greece has already decided to send humanitarian aid to Skopje and Albania, with the aim to meet the first needs of the refugees, just as we have decided to sent pharmaceutical material to Serbia," said Simitis at the First Session of the PASOK Central Committee.

    He said that the Greek government keeps constant contacts with the Inter-Balkan Cooperation nations (Bulgaria, Romania, Skopje, Turkey, Albania) "to activate the mechanism of handling the refugee problem and humanitarian aid, as the Inter-Balkan Cooperation Ministers decided in Bucharest on March 19". /lh/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [47] Papandreou says the Balkans is of all its peoples

    TIRANE, March 30 (ATA)-By E. Nepravishta, Greek Foreign Ministers George Papandreou on Monday pronounced himself on the crisis in Kosova at a news conference, the Greek embassy in Tirane told ATA.

    Reiterating the basic principles of the Greek government, Papandreou spoke of consolidation of democracy, respect for human rights, respect for the minorities' rights, respect for the borders and for the territorial integrity.

    "In this framework we continue to advance the idea of a Balkans of all its peoples, having as a perspective the close cooperation of these peoples, the peoples of the Balkan Penisula, for a powerful and unique Balkan voice," said Papandreou.

    "Although this seems distant today this is the sole necessary perspective and historically the sole realistic perspective. This is a romantic hope, but the only way if we really wish to guarantee peace, cooperation and stability in the region.

    Over the last weeks Greece has been active in this direction, first of all with our tour several weeks ago of five capitals, Skopje, Tirane, Sofia, Bucharest and lately Belgrade, with our systematic contacts at the European Union Summit to provide the Greek views on the region.

    We advanced the Inter-Balkan summit in Bucharest as a result of which a coordinating group, a working group was created to cope with humanitarian problems that might be created and which unfortunately are created in the most tragic way due to the Kosova crisis.

    "We joined the International Community initiative to find a solution in the Rambouillet framework with the Serbian side, contacting Foreign Minister Zivorad Jovanovic and surely also with President Slobodan Milosevic.

    Recently Greece has shown its twofold role. Despite what might have been heard, Greece's role is twofold. We are member of the NATO alliance and we have totally met our obligations.

    We have another pecularity which we consider valuable and which should be respected by all. We are a Balkan country and because of this pecularity we decided not to take part in military operations in Kosova. Second, we have expressed readiness to take part, if a political agreement is reached, in the implementation of this peaceful agreement; third we have a special political role and consider that our role may result crucial in an appropriate moment." /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [48] Serb police maltreat Turkish TV journalists

    TIRANE, March 30 (ATA)-Sources from the Turkish TRT TV channel report that Serb police forces have stopped a team of this television in Prishtine and maltreated them, according to the Albanian Foreign Ministry press department.

    The sources say that "the three journalists were severely beaten by the police and were stripped of their cameras, identity documents, passports, money and all they had with themselves. The vehicle they were traveling in was destroyed".

    After this barbarous act, the journalists were stopped for the second time by the police on their way out from Prishtine and were further maltreated.

    The journalists were kicked, hit with fists and rifle butts. A cameraman was hit with his camera in the head.

    This is one of the numerous barbarous treatments by the Serbian police, which have undertaken to maltreat all those who do not think like the Belgrade regime does. /lh/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [49] Cook meets with Albanian community representatives in Europe

    TIRANE, March 30 (ATA)-British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, during a meeting with Albanian community representatives in Europe and Britain on Tuesday, stressed the indispensability of continuing NATO's military operations against the Serbian targets "to limit the killing capacity of Milosevic".

    According to the Foreign Ministry press department, the British Foreign Minister, at a news conference right after the meeting, stressed that it is the Serb violence and genocide that is forcing the civilian population to flee and not the NATO air strikes against the Yugoslav military targets.

    "It is the Serbian army, police and paramilitary gangs which are committing murders, massacres and imposing this ethnic cleansing in Kosova. They are responsible for the refugees who we see crossing the borders," said Cook.

    During the meeting, the representatives of the Albanian community totally supported NATO's military intervention and expressed themselves in favour of the continuation of these operations until their successful ending, the ministry reports. /s.s/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [50] International bodies should help management of crisis, Meta

    KUKES, March 30 (ATA) - By R. Hoxha: The deputy Prime Minister, Ilir Meta, the government's plenipotentiary close to Kukes prefecture, held Tuesday a news conference.

    The influx of Kosova refugees in the prefecture of Kukes, risks to be turned into a humanitarian catastrophe, said Meta. He asked the management of the crisis to avoid this.

    The Albanian deputy Premier said that this humanitarian crisis needs the engagement of the European Union and the United States, in cooperation with the Albanian government. According to Meta, the number of refugees is estimated at 80 000 persons, meanwhile that thousands of others are expected to come.

    "This is a strategy of Milosevic for ethnic cleansing in Kosova. We are convinced that the crisis is not the result of the NATO strikes, because the ethnic cleansing from the regime of Milosevic has started times before," said Meta.

    Asked by ATA whether we have to do with hunger crisis in this area, as several mediae have reported, Meta responded: "Kukes has economic problems, but they are faced by the deep patriotism which characterizes the people of this region. While the international bodies should help for the management of the crisis."

    With regard to his opinion about the arrival of new aged persons from Kosova, Meta said that "along with women, children and elders, who should be assisted, the task of men and youngsters is to save Kosova from this massacre and also save their properties and history. /pas/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [51] More than 350 Kosovars have been visited in Kukes hospital

    KUKES, March 30 (ATA) - By R. Hoxha: With the increase of the number of new arrivals in Kukes, the number of persons who have been visited and were medically treated in the Kukes hospital has also increased.

    Sources from this institution told ATA that the number of persons who were treated in this hospital is estimated at 350 persons. Some 50 of them were wounded by fire arms from the Serb military and police forces.

    Four persons died, two of them were women, added the same source. /

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