Through this letter Majko also thanks the catholic community, missionaries of all Albanian Catholic Associations who are doing their utmost to alleviate the sufferings and pain of our brothers from the martyred Kosova. /dast/lm/
Around 15 000 Kosova Albanians arrived in Kukes prefecture on Saturday, according to the Ministry of Information.
During the day the influx has been decreasing and 6 000 refugees are estimated to have entered Kukes through the Morine crossing point.
Today, around 700 vehicles transported some 13 000 refugees from Kukes to other districts of the country. /dast/lm/
The NATO humanitarian operations will mainly serve to ship aid and other emergency materials to Kukes and Has and on their way back will fly Kosova refugees to other districts, inside the country, Xhufi stressed.
Prime Minister Majko, through a letter addressed to NATO Secretary General Solana, asked help from this organisation to increase the humanitarian aid.
According to Xhufi, "all chances exist that with the approval of our request from the NATO Council, helicopters will begin transporting tents and food to Kukes and flying many of the Kosova refugees to other districts of Albania. /dast/lm/
In the morning he will meet with his Albanian counterpart Pandeli Majko and discuss the situation created following an influx in Albania of over 160 000 Kosovars, forcibly driven from their lands by the Milosevic regime, as well as measures to cope with this situation.
As it is already known, the Italian government since several days ago has launched the "Arcobaleno" mission in aid of Albania to cope with the grave humanitarian situation.
By midday D'Alema will attend a Mass at the Catholic Church in the capital on Easter holidays.
He will also visit the Kukes town, to closely get to know the difficult situation created there. /dast/lm/
According to the airport's customs' director, Arben Kokomani, aid for the displaced families of Kosova was brought by two Polish planes, two American, one Danish, one Swiss, one Pakistani, one Latvian, one Romanian and one German.
The unloaded aid was immediately distributed to the areas where the Kosova refugees are settled. /dast/lm/
Swedish ambassador covering Albania, with residence in Rome, Goran Berg, at a meeting on Saturday with Albanian Minister of Information Musa Ulqini, expressed solidarity with the Albanian people and government and expressed the readiness of the Swedish Government to provide immediate humanitarian aid.
Berg also informed Ulqini that two planes with Swedish aid have just landed in the Salonika airport on the way to Albania as well as 30 trucks with aid are travelling in the direction of the port of Ancona. The trucks carry 60 000 blankets, 120 big tents, 60 five-litre water containers and other materials. /dast/lm/
Over 1200 of them have been accommodated in the district of Korce, 400 in the distrcit of Pogradec, 170 in the distrcit of Kolonje and 100 others in the distrcit of Devoll, sources from this prefecture told ATA. /p.sh/lm/
Only in the past two days, during Friday and Saturday 372 children, women and old people from Kosova have reached this prefecture.
212 Kosovars who arrived in the district of Diber in the past two days have been lodged in the hotels of the centres of Llixha (Spa) and in the gymnasium of the secondary school of the city of Peshkopi.
The 100 Kosovars in Bulqize were accommodated in the secondary technical school, while 60 others who arrived on Saturday were placed in the sport palace of the city.
The greater number of the Kosovars in the past days has been lodged in the Mat district, 1 520 people. Most of them are settled in village Komsi, in suburb of the city, in a facility reconstructed before by UNHCR. /s.s./xh/
Since the first hours when the first contingent of the displaced from Kosove arrived there, leaders of the Red Cross, the Independent Association of Woman, Association for Democratic Culture, Blood Donors, gathered and determined concrete tasks to help Kosova brothers. Thousands of citizens have joined them in their action to help the Kosovars displaced in Albania and whose number keeps increasing. The pupils of schools are also taking part in the initiatives to assist Kosovars.
The district council provided a reserve fund of 200 thousand lek to be used mainly for food for the people from Kosove. /s.s./xh/
Mr D'Alema will pay a one-day visit to Tirane, and will have talks with his Albanian counterpart, Pandeli Majko, the President of Albania, Rexhep Meidani and will visit refugees camps of the Kosovars.
In the port of Durres, D'Alema was welcomed by Albaniam PM Majko, some cabinet members and local authorities. Also present were respective ambassadors of the two countries, Çuci and Spatafora.
The two heads of government visited for 15 minutes the Italian naval group of the Navy deployed in the port of Durres. PM D'Alema wished the Italian militaries the Catholic Easter and greeted them for their mission. /dast/xh/
Mr D'Alema arrived today in the port of Durres on the board of the military ship San Giusto, which was carrying in its cargo about 125 tons of aid for Kosova refugees and a field hospital. /dast/xh/
The inspector of the public order and army in the prefecture of Kukes, Azem Tema told ATA that in the first hours of Sunday, over 1 000 Kosovars have crossed the border through Morin and Pradesh crossing points. In the mean time, there are over 20 000 others from the suburbs of Decan and Gjakove, he added, near the border waiting to come on this side of the border. /s.sh/xh/
Albanian PM Majko considered the Italian assistance for Albania as "very important, because the problem of Kosove is a problem to be coped by all the region.
While the chief of the Italian government, D'Alema considered the present situation as a great challenge. According to him, the flow of the refugees to Albania amounts to 187 thousand people and "we are in front of a threat for a humanitarian disaster of great proportions." D'Alema considered as very positive the decision of the Albanian Government to receive the refugees in Albania so that they find here accommodation, not encouraging their illegal trafficking to other countries. This decision, according to PM D'Alema, was important in two aspects: from the humanitarian and the political points of view. From the humanitarian viewpoint, it is a fraternal choice, while from the political point of view, it has to do with the consistency of our demand that these refugees must go back to their lands not to allow an ethnic cleansing, something which would not be realised if they were spread throughout Europe.
The Italian Prime Minister said that the Italian Government is making all efforts to meet the immediate needs of the Kosovars coming to Albania. /dast/xh/
Only in the past night, about 120 000 Kosovars have crossed the border here carrying to nearly 190 000 the total number of the Kosovars coming into Albania, said to ATA the spokesman of the prefecture, Emri Peca.
In the mean time, the evacuation of the Kosovars to other districts of Albania continues. /dast/xh/
"We understand the position of the Macedonian government, but Kosova refugees cannot live in those conditions," said PM Majko, voicing the readiness of his government to accept even those refugees if Albania is offered aid from the International Community. /y.pa/xh/
The aim of the visit is to be acquainted with the situation resulting from the huge influx of people from Kosova and the immediate needs to cope with such a situation.
The Italian prime minister D'Alema held talks with the president of Albania Rexhep Meidani and the Albanian prime minister early on Sunday. Later both officials held a news conference at
the Council of Ministers. /s.sh/ak/
The new arrivals were from Peja city, a spokesman of police station of Malesia e Madhe said to ATA. The police forces accompanied the Kosovars, who were driving their cars, to the collection center in Shkodra. They were settled in with Shkodra people, the spokesman said.
About 2.100 Kosovars, most of them sent to other districts, have passed this border crossing in the last five days. s.sh/ak/
Protesters holding slogans chanted support for the NATO airs strikes and condemning regime of Miloshevic.
The rally ended without incidents, Greek reporters said. s.sh/ak/
Press office at the presidency said that Meidani hailed the German aid, that of the European Union which is presided over by Germany and of all the international factor.
President Meidani urged the use of big cargo helicopters to remove the refugees from the border areas and asked them to mediate at the Macedonian authorities to shelter that part of displaced people, who were at the border between Kosova and Macedonia.
He stressed the need to help those people who were in Kosova in order to reduce ever so little the consequences of the humanitarian catastrophe there.
The German Interior Minister Schilly guaranteed aid of the German people and state, specialised bodies, European Union for Albania in this difficult situation.
Both officials agreed on keeping the displaced people in the region in order to speed up their return in Kosova "with or after NATO," as Meidani said. /s.sh/ak/
Briefing on the situation resulting from a huge stream of people from Kosova, Majko said that "the government and institutions are coping with the emergency situation and there is a powerful cooperation among Albanians, who are reacting as a nation."
Albanian prime minister expressed the need for an urgent intervention of the international community in such a situation, which risked to turn into a humanitarian catastrophe.
"It is very important to set up camps and provide all necessary living conditions to these people," Majko said.
He mentioned the establishment of a special unit on crisis management which would coordinate and run the work of donors with institutions' officials.
"This is an unknown experience for us but Albania is doing its best," Albanian prime minister said.
The German minister said that the German government is close to Albania in these moments.
Regarding the catastrophic situation of refugees, who are in border between Kosova and Macedonia, and a possible movement to Albania, Majko said that Albania would do its best for its compatriots.
"We would not forget those who were going to be close to us in these moments and would not forget anything," Majko said. /s.sh/ak/
Both prime ministers visited the camp being set up with the assistance of the Italian side in Rexhepaj, a village 4 km from Kukes.
Later they visited the civil hospital in Kukes which was coping with an increased number of wounding people from Kosova. /lh/ak/
Sources of the mother and child hospital in Kukes said that 17 Kosova babies were born so far. /lh/ak/
Press office at the presidency told ATA that the head of the Albanian state said that the tragedy of Albanians of Kosova was spread not only in Kosova but also in neighbouring countries. He stressed that multifaceted intensification is needed by the international community and especially NATO to find a solution to this humanitarian and political catastrophe.
Meidani expressed the highest gratitude for the Italian people and government for their active assistance in emergency humanitarian aid, which would be a considerable part of the international humanitarian contribution.
Speaking on the perspective for regional normality, economic and democratic development, Meidani said that "peace and stability could not be achieved in the Balkans unless the mass of refugees expelled from Kosova was offered protection to allow them to return home."
President Meidani excluded categorically and considered any Serbian aims to divide Kosova absolutely unacceptable.
"The regime of Belgrade cannot be considered a side in negotiations and a solution should be imposed on it," Meidani said.
"The alliance, which is celebrating the 50 anniversary, should maintain its authority as the most efficacious structure in interest of human justice, peace, stability and security. The victory is with the Atlantic alliance, which can repair a historical injustice at the end of this century."
Meidani also said that Albania was doing its best not to respond to Serbian provocations, not to fall in Belgrade's trap which was trying with every means to spread the conflict all over the region.
"Even in Albania there are desperate voices characterised by short- sighted nationalism which try to lead the country to a conflict," Meidani said.
He added that NATO was very active because it was defending the universal principles of democracy, peace and liberty.
Italian prime minister D'Alema assured for the full support of Italy and Italian people and said that his visit demonstrated the solidarity feelings for the tragedy of the Albanian people of Kosova.
"The Italian people have condemned the Serbian barbarous aggression and we are ready to help cope with this worst humanitarian challenge," he said. /lh/ak/
Sources of the Kukes prefecture said to ATA that most of cars were found by police and returned to their owners. /lh/ak/
The press and information department close to Albanian President told ATA that President Meidani hailed the clear stand of Great Britain, and especially the stand of the British Premier, Tonny Blair, Foreign Minister, Robert Cook and all the British opinion who are against the Serb violence and genocide on Kosova people.
President Meidani and British Secretary Short shared the same opinion on intensification of military actions in Kosove, to give the deserved attack to the Serb military machine.
"No toleration should be made towards the Belgrade's regime and its medieval mentality", said Short.
Another issue discussed in the meeting was the grave humanitarian situation in northern Albania and the increasing influx of Kosova refugees.
On behalf of the British Premier and British Parliament, Short transmitted to the Albanian President the highest consideration for the Albanian stand and the solidarity of Albanian people to cope with this very difficult humanitarian situation. /lh/A.A/
TIRANE, April 4 (ATA) - By A.Haxhiu: Albanian President, Rexhep Meidani, held a meeting Sunday with the American Republican Congressman, Frank Wolf, who is visiting Albania to get acquainted closely with the grave humanitarian situation.
President Meidani hailed the decision on settling the American and NATO troops in Albania and stressed the necessity of the immediate international intervention for about 50 000 Albanian Kosovars, who are settled in the border point with Macedonia.
"Albanian Kosovars forced by the Serb violation to flee their homes, will turn back to their Homeland. I hope that the Macedonian government will change its stand towards the humanitarian catastrophe of thousands of Albanians who are staying near the Macedonian border without having any living means", said the Albanian President.
On his behalf, the American Congressman asked President Meidani to give his estimation on the situation at home and broader in the region, in order to sensitize the American Congress and all the American opinion on what the Miloshevic regime is causing to mankind.
Mr. Wolf said also that he will soon describe to the American Congress the situation the Albania is going through, and will ask it to give a greater support for Albania and Albanian Kosovars.
This is the second visit the American congressman, Wolf, is paying to Albania within a two-month period.
Participating in the meeting was also the American ambassador to Albania, Mariza Lino. /s.sh/A.A/
The planes came from the aerial base of Reimstem, Germany, and were loaded with considerable food aids, Behar Metohu, official in the office of relationship with public in the Defence Ministry, told ATA on Saturday.
According to him, the aids were accompanied by the chief of the operation, the American General, Bill Hinton.
A contingent of NATO soldiers came together with the aids today, and hundreds of other soldiers will follow in the coming days. NATO troops in collaboration with Albanian military forces, military police, commando and logistic troops will secure the sucessful carrying out of this humanitarian operation, ended Metohu. /lh/A.A/
The German Minister said that his presence in Albania shows the support of the German government for the Albanian people.
"We are ready to offer food, and medical aid for the Kosovars fleeing in Albania", said he.
The meeting appointed also some concrete points where the German aid was to be settled in the coming days. /lh/A.A/
The prefecture representative in the special staff set up to welcome the Albanian Kosovars, Ollga Naumi, said that some 16 500 persons were accommodate in shelter and hosting centers in the capital and its suburbs by Sunday midday.
According to her, the Kosovars continue to be accommodated in the families of the capital as well as in the hosting center settled in the sportive grounds, in Mullet and in the temporary point in the sports palace "Asllan Rusi" She added that some 6 400 people were settled in Kavaje.
The hosting staff has ordered the re-registration of them in order to specify the school group-ages. The children will be taught in shifts in the schools near their shelter places. /lh/A.A/