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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 74, 15 April 1996

From: OMRI-L <omri-l@ubvm.cc.buffalo.edu>

Open Media Research Institute: Daily Digest Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] BOSNIAN MUSLIM ELECTION CAMPAIGN BEGINS.

  • [2] BRCKO REFUGEES WANT TO GO HOME.

  • [3] INTERNATIONAL HELSINKI FEDERATION ACCUSES SERBIA OF VIOLENCE IN KOSOVO.

  • [4] MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT IN CROATIA.

  • [5] CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER IN MACEDONIA.

  • [6] GERMAN DEFENSE MINISTER CONCLUDES VISIT TO ROMANIA.

  • [7] ROMANIA, HUNGARY MAKE PROGRESS ON BASIC TREATY?

  • [8] MOLDOVAN DELEGATION AT CIS SUMMIT.

  • [9] BULGARIAN SUPREME COURT REVOKES SENTENCES OF PRE-COMMUNIST LEGISLATORS.

  • [10] EBRD MEETING IN SOFIA.

  • [11] POLISH PRESIDENT IN BULGARIA.

  • [12] ALBANIAN ELECTION COMMISSION BANS ANOTHER 35 CANDIDATES.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 74, Part II, 15 April 1996

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] BOSNIAN MUSLIM ELECTION CAMPAIGN BEGINS.

    President Alija Izetbegovic on 13 April kicked off his election campaign and made his first major public appearance since his hospitalization earlier this year, Oslobodjenje reported on 15 April. Speaking at a stadium at Zenica, he lashed out at former Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic, who on 13 April formally launched his non-nationalist Party for Bosnia-Herzegovina. A recent poll suggested that Silajdzic would defeat the president in an election among urban Muslims, and Izetbegovic has warned that the new party could split the Muslim vote in the elections due by this fall. At Zenica, Izetbegovic said his critics refuse to give him and his party credit for what are really massive achievements. Bosnian Croat leader and federal President Kresimir Zubak said the same day that Izetbegovic must be brought into talks aimed at shoring up the shaky Croat-Muslim federation, Slobodna Dalmacija wrote on 15 April. -- Patrick Moore

    [2] BRCKO REFUGEES WANT TO GO HOME.

    Up to 15,000 mainly Muslim refugees from the strategic northern Bosnian town of Brcko held a protest on federal territory to the south on 15 April, Western news agencies reported. Brcko controls the narrow corridor linking Serbia with Bosnian Serb territories around Banja Luka. Its fate will be decided later by international arbitration. Pale has settled many Serbs from Sarajevo there this year in the hope of influencing the mediators' decision. Mayor Munib Jusufovic said arbitration will be feasible only when the people of Brcko have been allowed to go home, a message echoed by Bosnian Vice President Ejup Ganic. Meanwhile in Tuzla, the first phase of on-site inquiries into atrocities was concluded on 14 April, Onasa reported. The UN experts returned to The Hague but declined to comment on their findings. -- Patrick Moore

    [3] INTERNATIONAL HELSINKI FEDERATION ACCUSES SERBIA OF VIOLENCE IN KOSOVO.

    The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) on 12 April urged the EU and the OSCE to "consider the current state of human rights for Kosovo Albanians who continue to live under repression that is utterly at variance with European and OSCE standards." The EU has stated that its requirements for recognition of rump Yugoslavia include "full respect for human [and] minority rights [and] the granting of a large degree of autonomy for ...Kosovo." The IHF pointed out that these requirements have not been met, saying there were 2,666 reported cases of "severe mistreatment and torture in Serbian police custody" in 1995. Meanwhile, Kosovar shadow state Prime Minister Bujar Bukoshi urged the U.S. to "continue not to recognize rump Yugoslavia." Bukoshi arrived in the U.S. on 15 April, AFP reported. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [4] MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT IN CROATIA.

    Kiro Gligorov met with his Croatian counterpart, Franjo Tudjman, in Zagreb on 12 April, Reuters reported. Both presidents ruled out a new union of former Yugoslav republics but stressed the need for political and economic ties. "We oppose pre-set formulas of a union, federation or confederation of former Yugoslav republics," Gligorov said. He pointed out that the Balkans have had "bitter experience with such political formations." Gligorov said all partners should be equal and should build political, economic, and cultural relations among themselves on a voluntary basis. Gligorov was making his first trip abroad since he was injured in a car bomb attack last fall. Unlike Macedonia, Croatia has not recognized rump Yugoslavia owing to the continued dispute over the division of Yugoslav-era assets and debts among the successor states as well as other issues. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [5] CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER IN MACEDONIA.

    Qian Qichen and Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov on 14 April agreed to promote economic exchanges between their two countries, AFP reported. Qian also met with Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski. The two sides agreed to establish a joint committee to develop exchanges. They also plan to sign soon accords on protecting investments and avoiding double taxation. In October 1993, China was one of the first countries to recognize Macedonia under the name of Republic of Macedonia, despite Greek objections. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [6] GERMAN DEFENSE MINISTER CONCLUDES VISIT TO ROMANIA.

    Volker Ruehe on 12 April said it is only "natural" that the 12 states that have applied for NATO membership cannot be accepted at the same time, Romanian media reported. Asked what Romania should do to advance its chances, Ruehe replied "more of the same." During his visit, he met with President Ion Iliescu, Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu, and his Romanian counterpart, Gheorghe Tinca. In Sibiu, he expressed satisfaction at the situation of Romania's German minority. -- Michael Shafir

    [7] ROMANIA, HUNGARY MAKE PROGRESS ON BASIC TREATY?

    Hungarian Ambassador toBucharest Ferenc Szocs on 12 April said he is optimistic that the basic treaty between Romania and Hungary will soon be concluded, Adevarul reported. Szocs said Romania has now agreed to the inclusion of Recommendation 1201 in the treaty but that agreement still has to be reached on how to include it. Szocs also said that other unresolved issues are the Magyar minority's right to use its own language in official contexts and setting up a joint commission to supervise the implementation of the treaty. -- Michael Shafir

    [8] MOLDOVAN DELEGATION AT CIS SUMMIT.

    The Moldovan delegation to the CIS summit meeting in Moscow on 12 April took part in discussions on cooperation in 1996, particularly on setting up a customs and payments union, Infotag reported. The group, however, was not present at talks on military and border defense issues. Premier Andrei Sangheli headed the delegation. -- Michael Shafir

    [9] BULGARIAN SUPREME COURT REVOKES SENTENCES OF PRE-COMMUNIST LEGISLATORS.

    The Bulgarian Supreme Court has rehabilitated legislators who were sentenced by the communist-era People's Court for high treason and cooperation with foreign powers during the war. Of the 124 legislators sentenced, 67 were given the death penalty, Demokratsija reported on 13 April. Bulgaria was an ally of Nazi Germany from 1941-1944 before the Communists took power. In 1994, the Supreme Court rehabilitated nine journalists, publishers, and lawyers sentenced by the People's Court. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [10] EBRD MEETING IN SOFIA.

    At a meeting of the board of governors of the EBRD beginning in Sofia on 15 April, the 57 shareholding governments are expected to double the ERBD's annual capital from $12.7 million to $25.4 million. Hans-Peter Lankes, a EBRD chief economist, said prior to the meeting that Bulgaria "is one of the riskiest foreign investment sites" in Eastern Europe, RFE/RL reported. EBRD Bulgarian director Oliver Descamps said the country has the legal framework to attract foreign investment, but he pointed out that the government has "obviously not been able to reach any form of mutual agreement" with major potential foreign investors. Nonetheless, he praised Sofia's policy of learning from the experience of the Czech Republic in drawing up regulations for its mass privatization program based on coupons. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [11] POLISH PRESIDENT IN BULGARIA.

    Aleksander Kwasniewski and his Bulgarian counterpart, Zhelyu Zhelev, meeting in Sofia on 13 April, said they both oppose a "new edition of the Soviet Union, whatever its form," AFP reported. They called for NATO enlargement, despite Russian objections. Bulgaria has been highly critical of Russian President Boris Yeltsin's invitation to join a union of former Soviet states that includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Kwasniewski pointed out that "no other state, great or small, can impose conditions for joining NATO." While Zhelev supports Bulgaria's speedy membership in NATO, the socialist government has not yet applied. Bulgaria is a member of the Partnership for Peace program. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [12] ALBANIAN ELECTION COMMISSION BANS ANOTHER 35 CANDIDATES.

    The government commission vetting candidates for the parliamentary elections has banned 35 Socialists--including deputy leader Servet Pellumbi and Secretary- General Gramoz Ruci--from taking part. The commission last week prohibited the participation of six members of the Democratic Alliance. The ruling Democratic Party daily Rilindja Demokratike on 13 April published the names of the banned candidates under the title "The Red Front, the Front of Spies." Seven of the Socialist candidates have been banned because they were ministers in communist-era governments, while 27 are allegedly former secret police members or informers. The writer Dritero Agolli has been banned from participating because he is a former member of the Central Committee of the Albanian Labor Party. Democratic Alliance leader Neritan Ceka charged that President Sali Berisha is using the commission to weaken his opponents in the elections. -- Fabian Schmidt

    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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