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OMRI Daily Digest, Vol. 2, No. 195, 96-10-08

Open Media Research Institute: Daily Digest Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Open Media Research Institute <http://www.omri.cz>

Vol. 2, No. 195, 8 October 1996


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] "NO ALTERNATIVE" TO WAR IN ABKHAZIA?
  • [02] NEW ROUND OF KARABAKH DIPLOMACY.
  • [03] TALIBAN EXTENDING OLIVE BRANCH?

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [04] U.S. "FURIOUS" WITH BOSNIAN SERBS; THREATENS SANCTIONS.
  • [05] BOSNIAN UPDATE.
  • [06] ZAGREB FREES SERB POWs UNDER NEW AMNESTY LAW.
  • [07] SERBS ARREST THIRD SUSPECTED KOSOVAR TERRORIST.
  • [08] ROMANIAN ELECTORAL UPDATE.
  • [09] ROMANIAN-LANGUAGE SCHOOL IN DNIESTER SUSPENDS STRIKE.
  • [10] BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT COMPILES LIST OF BANK DEBTORS.
  • [11] BULGARIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ON FOREIGN POLICY.
  • [12] UPDATE ON BULGARIAN RELATIONS WITH IMF, WORLD BANK.
  • [13] ALBANIAN SOCIALIST PARTY LEADER REFUSES TO TESTIFY AGAINST FORMER PRESIDENT.
  • [14] STOLEN CULTURAL ARTIFACTS FOUND IN ALBANIA.

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] "NO ALTERNATIVE" TO WAR IN ABKHAZIA?

    The chairman of the Abkhaz parliament in exile, Tamaz Nadareishvili, said in Tbilisi on 4 October that Georgia should suspend further negotiations on ratifying the agreement on Russian military bases in Georgia, BGI reported. He said the suspension would expedite the withdrawal from the Georgian-Abkhaz border of Russian peacekeeping troops and their replacement with an international force. He further called on Interpol to issue warrants for the arrest of Abkhaz President Vladislav Ardzinba and his associates. Nadareishvili claimed that there is a faction within the Georgian parliament that shares his view that Tbilisi would have to go to war to restore its hegemony over Abkhazia. The director of Russia's Institute of Migration and Diaspora Affairs, former State Duma deputy Konstantin Zatulin, has advocated the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from Abkhazia if both Tbilisi and Sukhumi agree to this, according to BGI. -- Liz Fuller

    [02] NEW ROUND OF KARABAKH DIPLOMACY.

    Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliev on 3 October criticized the OSCE Minsk group for having accomplished nothing beyond declarations in the two years since the 1994 OSCE Budapest summit, Turan reported the following day. Aliev, who was meeting with representatives of the group, condemned the organization's "failure to explain to Armenia that the Armenian community of Karabakh will not receive the status of an independent state." He also reiterated his criticism of Russia's "one-sided" approach to the conflict. On 4 October, the OSCE delegation traveled to Stepanakert for talks with the president of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Noyan Tapan reported on 7 October. The Minsk conference co-chairmen, Heikki Talvitie and Valentin Lozinskii, called for a quick settlement of political negotiations on the conflict before the December OSCE summit in Lisbon. -- Liz Fuller

    [03] TALIBAN EXTENDING OLIVE BRANCH?

    A spokesman for the Taliban movement claims that Central Asia has nothing to fear from the group that now controls most of Afghanistan, Rusian Public TV (ORT) reported on 7 October. The acting foreign minister of the Taliban, Muhammed Ghous, called upon the UN "to convince Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakstan, and Kyrgyzstan not to meddle in Afghanistan's internal affairs and the Taliban for their part will not interfere in the affairs of other countries." A radio broadcast originating in Pakistan on 6 October announced that the Taliban would soon send representatives to the Central Asian states as a demonstration of the group's "brotherly love" for the region, Radio Rossii reported on 6 October. However, Ghous reportedly said "we do not want Russia to forget the lesson they were taught here," referring to the Soviet military campaign in Afghanistan in the 1980s. -- Bruce Pannier

    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [04] U.S. "FURIOUS" WITH BOSNIAN SERBS; THREATENS SANCTIONS.

    State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns said on 7 October that the U.S. was "furious" with the Bosnian Serb member of the newly-elected presidency, Momcilo Krajisnik, who ignored the inauguration of the Bosnian assembly, international agencies reported. Krajisnik decided to skip the ceremony rather than take the oath of office and loyalty pledge to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Burns said U.S. diplomats delivered a "very stiff" note to Krajisnik on 6 October, asking him to demonstrate the Bosnian Serbs' commitment to the peace process in the following days. Otherwise, Burns said, the U.S. will bring the issue of sanctions up on the UN Security Council, which only last week lifted the sanctions against the Bosnian Serbs and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The UN Security Council pledged to monitor compliance with the peace process. - - Daria Sito Sucic

    [05] BOSNIAN UPDATE.

    OSCE election supervisor Robert Frowick held a closed-door meeting on 7 October with Republika Srpska President Biljana Plavsic in Banja Luka. Nasa Borba wrote on 8 October that they most likely discussed the upcoming local elections. In Sarajevo, Bosnian Prime Minister Hasan Muratovic said that the Muslims and Croats should simply ignore the Serbian boycott of joint institutions. In the Muslim village of Jusici on Bosnian Serb territory, 60 Muslim refugees have again returned to the village after their papers were processed by the UNHCR. They had earlier returned to their destroyed homes, much to the consternation of IFOR, which feared a clash between the Muslims and the Serbs. They agreed to leave after a face-saving formula was found whereby the Muslims left for three days but began to return again on 6 October (see Pursuing Balkan Peace, 1 October 1996). -- Patrick Moore

    [06] ZAGREB FREES SERB POWs UNDER NEW AMNESTY LAW.

    Croatia, acting on a new general amnesty law, has released 41 Serbs detained for rebelling against the state the preceding weekend, Slobodna Dalmacija reported on 8 October. Some 18 other Serbs charged with war crimes remained in custody of the Split district court. Most of those released went to Serbia, while a few opted to stay in Croatia, according to the state-run agency Hina. Additionally, 15 Serbs charged and imprisoned for espionage against Croatia were released from Zagreb's custody on 7 October, Novi List reported the next day. Lawyers for the imprisoned announced that they were filing charges seeking compensation for those kept in custody for one year. The amnesty law pardons all Croatian Serbs who took part in the uprising after Croatia's declaration of independence in 1991, except those charged with war crimes. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [07] SERBS ARREST THIRD SUSPECTED KOSOVAR TERRORIST.

    Serbian police officers on 7 October arrested a third suspected terrorist, Reuters reported. The police claim that Idriz Haljiti participated in two bomb attacks on a police station and one on a refugee camp in Vucitrn. Police continued to search for other members of a group, believed to be the ominous Kosovo Liberation Army. Two other suspected terrorists were arrested last week. Meanwhile, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic refused to receive UN human rights envoy Elizabeth Rehn, Nasa Borba reported on 8 October. During a meeting with Rehn, the minister without portfolio in charge of minority rights, Margit Savovic, expressed "astonishment and concern" about statements Rehn made in Kosovo, when she discussed with Kosovar shadow-state President Ibrahim Rugova the option of making Kosovo an "international protectorate." She is scheduled to visit eastern Slavonia on 8 October. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [08] ROMANIAN ELECTORAL UPDATE.

    In an appeal carried by Radio Bucharest on 7 October, Emil Constantinescu, the presidential candidate of the Democratic Convention of Romania (CDR), called on opposition parties to set up "a large political alliance for the defense of democracy and free elections." He accused the Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) and President Ion Iliescu of heading an "oligarchy of the enriched" ready to defend its interests by any means, including the undermining of democratic institutions and the constitution and attempting to intimidate the media. The appeal was welcomed by the Social Democratic Union and by the National Liberal Alliance and was attacked by the PDSR, which claimed that "civic liberties and the freedom of elections are not endangered by anyone, with the possible exception of the CDR." -- Michael Shafir

    [09] ROMANIAN-LANGUAGE SCHOOL IN DNIESTER SUSPENDS STRIKE.

    The committee formed by teachers and parents at the Grigoriopol school in the breakaway Dniester region decided to suspend its strike and resume negotiations with local authorities, Infotag reported on 7 October. Lessons will, however, be taught using the Cyrillic script, as demanded by the authorities. This concession was agreed to in order to secure the release of three teachers detained as "strike instigators." The committee agreed to prepare all necessary documents for registering the school as a non state-run, alternative educational establishment, where Latin script may be used, and to search for an alternative location for the school. Meanwhile, the Moldovan Education Ministry accused the Tiraspol authorities of violating children's and parents' rights under UN conventions. Another strike continues in the town of Slobozia, where local authorities refuse to allow the use of the Latin script "under any circumstance" and say that unless "disobedient" teachers allow the children to attend local Russian-language schools, they will be fired. -- Michael Shafir

    [10] BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT COMPILES LIST OF BANK DEBTORS.

    The Interior Ministry has begun gathering information on all big bank debtors, Standart and Kontinent reported on 7 October. Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) Deputy Gincho Pavlov said the "credit millionaires'" list will be published on the eve of the 27 October presidential elections and will include names of parliamentary deputies who were not known publicly as "credit millionaires." Bulgarian Business Bloc Leader Georges Ganchev said two of them are members of his party and that BSP faction leader Krasimir Premyanov had promised them a respite if they "vote for [the BSP presidential candidate, Culture Minister Ivan] Marazov." However, Premyanov said the big bank debtors are trying to destabilize the country, accused them indirectly of being behind former Prime Minister Andrey Lukanov's murder, and declared that the BSP will stop the chaos in Bulgaria. -- Maria Koinova

    [11] BULGARIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ON FOREIGN POLICY.

    Petar Stoyanov, presidential candidate of the United Democratic Forces, laid out his foreign policy concept in a lecture at Sofia's Atlantic Club on 7 October, Bulgarian media reported. Stoyanov said Bulgaria must join NATO, noting that a refusal to join would result in isolation not only from the West but also from the Visegrad countries and Bulgaria's neighbors. Stoyanov also noted his intention to work for good relations with Russia but said that the present government's foreign policy led to an estrangement from Europe and the U.S. without bringing Bulgaria closer to Russia. On the Balkans, Stoyanov said Bulgaria must have a "completely balanced" policy. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Zhan Videnov, in a meeting with Marazov and his running mate, Deputy Foreign Minister Irina Bokova, accused the opposition of being irresponsible and said Stoyanov is working toward a "total confrontation of society." -- Stefan Krause

    [12] UPDATE ON BULGARIAN RELATIONS WITH IMF, WORLD BANK.

    Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Rumen Gechev noted on 7 October that the IMF Executive Board would consider releasing a $116 million standby tranche on 20 November, Bulgarian media reported. He observed that the delay in the release of the money, which was to be available in September, was because the IMF was waiting for completion of the first large cash privatization deal, the first voucher auction under mass privatization, and court proceedings for 64 pending bankruptcies. Finance Minister Dimitar Kostov observed that only two weeks remain for the government to close those enterprises and the national bank to resolve the fate of nine banks put under supervision on 23 September in order to receive the money. Gechev also noted that a way must be found to provide credits for grain sowing before the end of October to avoid disastrous consequences this winter. -- Michael Wyzan

    [13] ALBANIAN SOCIALIST PARTY LEADER REFUSES TO TESTIFY AGAINST FORMER PRESIDENT.

    The trial against communist-era President Ramiz Alia is expected to end within ten days, Dita Informacion reported on 6 October. Imprisoned Socialist Party leader Fatos Nano refused to testify against Alia, who in the previous trial against Nano took complete responsibility for his prime minister's actions. Alia is charged with crimes against humanity but the trial is likely to focus on the killing by police of protesters in Shkoder on 2 April 1991. -- Dukagjin Gorani

    [14] STOLEN CULTURAL ARTIFACTS FOUND IN ALBANIA.

    Police on 7 October found a priceless 13th century canvas, known as the Gllavenica epitaph, and a revolver belonging to late communist dictator Enver Hoxha, Reuters reported. A pen and ink-well belonging to Albanian renaissance poet Ando Zako Cajupi, and four religious paintings were also found while searching the house of suspect Aleksander Sota. The articles were stolen from the Albanian National Museum two years ago. -- Fabian Schmidt

    Compiled by Steve Kettle and Susan Caskie
    News and information as of 1200 CET


    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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