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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 226, 20 November 1995

From: "Steve Iatrou" <siatrou@cdsp.neu.edu>

Open Media Research Institute Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] LAST DAY FOR DAYTON TALKS.

  • [2] ZUBAK, SACIRBEY OFFER RESIGNATIONS.

  • [3] BELGRADE HELPS REBUILD BOSNIAN SERB MILITARY.

  • [4] IS THERE A SOLUTION FOR KOSOVO IN THE OFFING?

  • [5] MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT RETURNS TO WORK. AF

  • [6] ROMANIAN INTELLIGENCE SERVICE WARNS OF ISLAMIC THREAT.

  • [7] ROMANIA, UKRAINE MAKE LITTLE PROGRESS ON TREATY.

  • [8] MOLDOVA PROTESTS RUSSIAN DUMA "INTERFERENCE" . . .

  • [9] . . . WHILE RUSSIA SAYS ITS POSITION REMAINS UNCHANGED.

  • [10] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT TO RUN FOR SECOND TERM.

  • [11] BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS WANT TO INVALIDATE MAYORAL ELECTION.

  • [12] TURKEY TO HAVE EARLY ELECTIONS.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 226, Part II, 20 November 1995

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] LAST DAY FOR DAYTON TALKS.

    International media on 20 November reported that a "public event" would take place at 15:00 GMT in Dayton, Ohio, the same day. The BBC said there would be either a signing of a draft Bosnian peace agreement or a press conference to announce why the talks had failed. Croatian President Franjo Tudjman returned to Dayton from Zagreb and told reporters before leaving that he expected there would be something to sign. Croatian Television on 19 November also said that a constitutional agreement had been reached in Dayton to allow the Croats and Muslims ties with Croatia, while the Bosnian Serbs could have "parallel links" to Serbia but could not secede from the Bosnian state. The BBC quoted Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic as saying that his people would demand either independence or incorporation into a greater Serbian state, but AFP cited him as being more resigned to a less than "full realization of our objectives." -- Patrick Moore

    [2] ZUBAK, SACIRBEY OFFER RESIGNATIONS.

    But it appears to be territorial rather than constitutional questions that have been blocking a breakthrough--including the status of Sarajevo and the Muslim enclaves of eastern Bosnia and especially the widening of the Posavina corridor linking Serbia with its conquests in the Banja Luka area. Croats and Muslims demonstrated in Sarajevo on 19 November to oppose any concessions, but international media stated that Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic is under intense pressure from Washington and its allies to yield. Novi list on 20 November reported that Croat-Muslim federation President Kresimir Zubak has offered his resignation in a bitter protest at what he and his fellow Bosnian Croats consider a sellout by Zagreb and the Herzegovinian Croats. CNN stated on 18 November that Bosnian Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey has submitted his resignation to make room for a Croat in that post, but the BBC said he wanted to protest what he considered to be too many concessions at Dayton on Bosnia's unity and sovereignty. -- Patrick Moore

    [3] BELGRADE HELPS REBUILD BOSNIAN SERB MILITARY.

    Belgrade appears to have reneged on a promise not to help the Bosnian Serbs rebuild vital military infrastructure destroyed by NATO air raids, according to The New York Times on 18 November. Rump Yugoslav military personnel have reportedly helped reconstruct communications links and rebuild air defense systems. AFP, citing confidential reports dated 30 October, noted that UN military observers have detected "regular flights of military transport aircraft and helicopters into Banja Luka at night." Meanwhile, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic has reiterated at the Dayton talks that his intention was and is to end assistance to the Bosnian Serbs in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions against the rump Yugoslavia. -- Stan Markotich

    [4] IS THERE A SOLUTION FOR KOSOVO IN THE OFFING?

    Gazeta Shqiptare on 18November quoted the Kosovar weekly Bujku as reporting that a plan is circulating among European diplomats that foresees the demilitarization of Kosovo, the withdrawal of Serbian police, and the organization of democratic elections under international supervision. The first stage of the plan foresees an international conference on Kosovo. Kosovar shadow- state President Ibrahim Rugova has proposed a similar plan, but it is unclear if Belgrade would agree to it. Meanwhile, Albanian President Sali Berisha said there can be no just and stable peace in former Yugoslavia without a solution for Kosovo. International agencies quoted him as saying on 17 November that "ignoring the issue of Kosovo means that we shall face a permanent danger of explosion in the southern Balkans." -- Fabian Schmidt

    [5] MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT RETURNS TO WORK.

    AFP on 17 November reported that Kiro Gligorov held talks with Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski and parliamentary speaker Stojan Andov, who had been acting president since the assassination attempt on 3 October. Gligorov, who sustained serious injuries in the attack, is continuing his rehabilitation at home. But according to the President's Office, he "is already carrying out part of his current duties." -- Fabian Schmidt

    [6] ROMANIAN INTELLIGENCE SERVICE WARNS OF ISLAMIC THREAT.

    For the second consecutive year, the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) warned in its annual report to the parliament that Islamic fundamentalist groups active in Romania pose a growing threat. According to Reuters on 17 November, the SRI report lists several Middle Eastern extremist groups, including the Palestinian Hamas, the Iran-backed Hezbollah and the Popular and Democratic Front of Palestine. The report, which is due to be presented to the parliament this week, says these organizations are attempting to recruit members from among Romania's large expatriate Muslim community. -- Michael Shafir

    [7] ROMANIA, UKRAINE MAKE LITTLE PROGRESS ON TREATY.

    Romanian and Ukrainian negotiators, meeting in Bucharest on 17-18 November, made little progress in unblocking the path to a basic treaty, Romanian media and Reuters reported. The treaty talks stalled in late October over long- standing territorial disputes (see OMRI Daily Digest, 27 October 1995), including the issue of the Black Sea Serpent Island, which Bucharest transferred to the Soviet Union in a secret deal that is now questioned by the Romanians. Romanian First Deputy Foreign Minister Marcel Dinu said Bucharest and Kiev have also to negotiate articles on national minorities. No date has been set for resuming treaty negotiations. -- Matyas Szabo

    [8] MOLDOVA PROTESTS RUSSIAN DUMA "INTERFERENCE" . . .

    Moldova on 17 November protested the Russian State Duma's "interference" in Chisinau's internal affairs, Moldovan and international agencies reported the same day. The protest follows a resolution--proposed by a deputy from Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party and passed by the Russian parliament's lower chamber--urging President Boris Yeltsin to declare the separatist Transdniestrian region a "zone of strategic Russian interest." The resolution also said Yeltsin should "consider the possibility of convening a tripartite Russian-Moldovan-Transdniestrian summit to discuss the recognition of Transdniester as an independent, sovereign state." Moldovan President Mircea Snegur, in a letter to Yeltsin, said the resolution was an "unfriendly act" and a "direct interference in Moldovan internal affairs." He expressed the hope that Yeltsin will use all his powers to put an end to "efforts by conservative forces" to upset the process of resolving the Transdniestrian conflict. -- Michael Shafir

    [9] . . . WHILE RUSSIA SAYS ITS POSITION REMAINS UNCHANGED.

    A spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responding to the Duma resolution, said his country's position toward the settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict "has not changed," BASA-press reported on 18 November. He said talks between Chisinau and Tiraspol would eventually lead to granting the breakaway region a "special status" that preserves "Moldova's territorial integrity and independence." A settlement of the conflict, he added would also lead to "deeper cooperation between Moldova and other CIS states." -- Michael Shafir

    [10] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT TO RUN FOR SECOND TERM.

    Zhelyu Zhelev, in an interview with Bulgarian TV on 18 November, said he will seek re- election in early 1997, Bulgarian newspapers reported. Zhelev explained that he was concerned about the "blocking of reforms, social and political tension, [and] signs of isolation and distrust in the country." He said he will "rely on all democratic forces" for his reelection. The Union of Democratic Forces (SDS), which supported Zhelev in the last presidential elections, has not made its position clear. SDS caucus leader Yordan Sokolov said SDS Chairman Ivan Kostov would be the best candidate, while Sofia Mayor Stefan Sofiyanski said the presidential candidate should be nominated by the SDS and the vice president by the People's Union (NS). NS co-leaders Stefan Savov and Anastasiya Dimitrova-Mozer said they will support Zhelev, and ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedom Chairman Ahmet Dogan said his party "leans toward Zhelev." -- Stefan Krause

    [11] BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS WANT TO INVALIDATE MAYORAL ELECTION.

    The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) on 17 November asked the Kardzhali City Court to invalidate the election of Rasim Musa as mayor of Kardzhali, international agencies reported the same day. Musa, who ran as a candidate of the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedom, won the run-off on 12 November against BSP-backed Georgi Georgiev. According to the BSP, 731 people from neighboring constituencies voted illegally in Kardzhali. Musa won by a margin of 658 votes. A MRF statement accused the BSP of trying to create ethnic tension in the ethnically mixed region, adding that "any attempt to invalidate the election results in Kardzhali in a Balkan manner will return like a boomerang on Bulgaria and its people." -- Stefan Krause

    [12] TURKEY TO HAVE EARLY ELECTIONS.

    Turkey's Constitutional Court has rejected a petition blocking parliamentary elections scheduled for 24 December, thereby paving the way for early elections on that date, Turkish and Western media reported on 18 November. The petition was submitted by 93 opposition deputies who challenged the legitimacy of the new election law and claimed there was insufficient time to prepare for the ballot. The court also invalidated provisions of the new election law on creating electoral districts for 100 new members of parliament. The final decision on the election date is to be to the taken by the electoral commission. -- Lowell Bezanis

    This material was reprinted with permission of the Open Media Research Institute, a nonprofit organization with research offices in Prague, Czech Republic.
    For more information on OMRI publications please write to info@omri.cz

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