Epilogh OMRI Daily Digest, No. 38, Part II, 22 Feb 95
Epilogh OMRI Daily Digest, No. 38, Part II, 22 Feb 95 [**]
Ta nea ths hmeras, apo to OMRI:
- * MACEDONIA ACCUSES ALBANIA OF INTERFERENCE.
- . TUDJMAN FIRM ON EXPELLING UNPROFOR.
- . CROATIA, SLOVENIA, AND BOSNIA MAKE JOINT PROTEST.
- . AKASHI'S LATEST "GLIMMER OF HOPE."
- . SERBIAN UPDATE.
- ** GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER VISITS BULGARIA.
- ** GREEK-ALBANIAN BORDER INCIDENT.
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
No. 38, Part II, 22 February 1995
- MACEDONIA ACCUSES ALBANIA OF INTERFERENCE. Macedonian Prime Minister
Branko Crvenkovski accused Albania of interfering in its internal
affairs, Western agencies reported on 21 February. Crvenkovski said at a
news conference that by supporting the self-proclaimed Albanian-language
University in Tetovo, the Albanian government "encourages illegal acts,
even if only verbally." Albania sharply criticized the conduct of the
Macedonian government after police cracked down on the university on 17
February. One ethnic Albanian died in a subsequent riot. Meanwhile
Albanian Deputy Foreign Minister Arjan Starova said that the Albanian
government will "reconsider the political course towards Skopje," Gazeta
Shqiptare reported on 22 February. Relations between both countries had
improved in the past three years, but mutual confidence suffers from the
Albanian minority conflict in Macedonia. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.
- TUDJMAN FIRM ON EXPELLING UNPROFOR. The Los Angeles Times reports on 22
February on the Croatian visit of EU external affairs commissioner Hans
van den Broek, which is one of a series of high-level contacts underway
or soon to take place between Zagreb and Brussels or Strasbourg.
Commenting on President Franjo Tudjman's decision to end UNPROFOR's
mandate when it expires on 31 March, van den Broek said that "it was
quite clear that his decision was irreversible." A UN spokesman added
that there is "a real danger of an immediate return to war" as a result
of both sides trying to take strategic positions once UNPROFOR abandons
them. This view was echoed by Dobroslav Paraga, the leader of the right-
wing Croatian Party of [Historic] Rights. Nasa Borba quotes him as
saying that "the departure of UNPROFOR from the occupied territories
would just be the lead-in to a big war with the Krajina Serbs, who would
be backed by Karadzic's Bosnian Serbs, and then the [rump] Yugoslav
army." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.
- CROATIA, SLOVENIA, AND BOSNIA MAKE JOINT PROTEST. The ambassadors to the
UN from Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina jointly protested to
the world body against Serbia-Montenegro's claim to be the legitimate
successor to Tito's Yugoslavia, Hina reported on 21 February. Belgrade
made the demand in order to automatically acquire seats in international
organizations and valuable properties around the world. Zagreb,
Ljubljana, and Sarajevo point out that federal Yugoslavia has long
ceased to exist and that all successor states must be treated equally.
-- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.
- AKASHI'S LATEST "GLIMMER OF HOPE." Back in Krajina, UN negotiator
Yasushi Akashi held talks with rebel Serb leaders on 21 February to try
and persuade them to stop holding hostage 10 relief trucks headed for
Bihac. He told Reuters that he saw "a glimmer of hope" and that "there
is a willingness to commence fruitful dialogue and that's the first time
they have made an indication of that kind." A UN refugee spokesman saw
things a bit differently, saying that "the bottom line is both the Abdic
forces and the Krajina Serbs are using food as a weapon of war, trying
to deny food to the people of Bihac." Meanwhile, the Serbs still have
the trucks. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.
- SERBIAN UPDATE. On 22 February Politika reports on the apparent growing
cooperation between three of Serbia's main opposition parties--the
Democratic Party (led by Zoran Djindjic), the Democratic Party of Serbia
(led by Vojislav Kostunica), and the controversial Serbian Radical Party
(led by the accused war criminal Vojislav Seselj), which now includes
"an opposition agreement on the defense of the independent media." In
other news, on 22 February The New York Times reports that the UN
Security Council appears to have "reached an agreement that could allow
a steady flow of Russian natural gas into both the capital of Bosnia and
to Yugoslavia, which includes Serbia and Montenegro." -- Stan Markotich,
- GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER VISITS BULGARIA. Gerasimos Arsenis arrived in
Sofia on 21 February on an official visit, Demokratsiya reported on 22
February. The Greek Defense Minister held talks with his counterpart
Dimitar Pavlov, Chief of General Staff Gen. Tsvetan Totomirov, President
Zhelyu Zhelev, Prime Minister Zhan Videnov, and Foreign Minister Georgi
Pirinski. Arsenis denied speculations aired in the Greek press that the
formation of an "Belgrade-Sofia-Athens axis" is being prepared, saying
that this is an outdated understanding and that Greece and Bulgaria will
cooperate for stability in the Balkans. Duma cited Arsenis as saying
that a "gray zone" of security would be created in the region if the
Balkan countries are not admitted into NATO together with the Visegrad
states. During talks between the defense ministers, an agreement on
joint military maneuvers was reached. The Greek navy will take part in
maneuvers in Bulgarian territorial waters, while Bulgarian troops will
participate in maneuvers in Greece in May, to be held in the framework
of NATO's Partnership for Peace program. No official documents were
signed, but Bulgaria proposed a meeting of the Bulgarian, Greek,
Romanian, and Turkish defense ministers. Arsenis, however, expressed the
opinion that the preconditions for such a meeting do not yet exist. --
Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.
- GREEK-ALBANIAN BORDER INCIDENT. After the shooting of an Albanian trying
to enter Greece illegally, Athens and Tirana put blame for the incident
on each other, Reuters reported on 21 February. The incident took place
on 18 February near the village of Vidohova. An Albanian Interior
Ministry spokesman said the group of Albanians was still "ten meters
inside Albania when the Greek opened fire without warning and then
followed them 57 meters inside our territory," whereas Greek government
spokesman Evangelos Venizelos claimed that they were already on Greek
territory. He said a Greek army border patrol opened fire when the
Albanians refused to stop and called the incident "common." Venizelos
said that the injured Albanian was taken to a Greek hospital and will
either be returned to Albania or seek a legal visa and remain in Greece
if he wishes. Venizelos also told the press that Greece and Albania will
try to reach an agreement over the status of Albanians living and
working illegally in Greece. The question will be discussed during a
scheduled visit by Greek Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias to Tirana in
March. More than 100,000 Albanians are estimated to live in Greece,
while Athens has expelled another 50,000 after the conviction of five
ethnic Greeks on charges of espionage and illegal arms possession in
1994. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.
[As of 12:00 CET] Compiled by Pete Baumgartner