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RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 1, No. 21, 97-04-29

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: Newsline Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty <http://www.rferl.org>

RFE/RL NEWSLINE

Vol. 1, No. 21, 29 April 1997


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] UYGHURS DEMONSTRATE IN KAZAKSTAN
  • [02] KYRGYZ PRESIDENT MAKES STATEMENT ON SOROS'S LETTER
  • [03] UZBEK UPDATE

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [04] POLITICAL ROW THREATENS ALBANIAN ELECTIONS
  • [05] ALBANIAN PRESIDENT SACKS BANK CHIEF
  • [06] CROATIA SENDS INDICTED WAR CRIMINAL TO HAGUE
  • [07] U.S. AMBASSADOR CALLS RUSSIA BIGGEST ARMS SUPPLIER TO BOSNIA, CROATIA
  • [08] CROATIAN UNIONS PRESENT ULTIMATUM
  • [09] CROATIA, SLOVENIA SIGN AGREEMENTS
  • [10] BILDT, UN POLICE SLAM THREATS TO FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT IN BOSNIA
  • [11] KOSOVO LEADER WARNS EU ON TRADE PERKS FOR BELGRADE
  • [12] ROMANIAN PREMIER, FOREIGN MINISTER IN BRUSSELS
  • [13] ROMANIA REACHES COMPROMISE WITH UKRAINE OVER BASIC TREATY
  • [14] ROMANIA, MOLDOVA, UKRAINE TO ESTABLISH "EURO-REGIONS."
  • [15] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT ON FUTURE OF TRANSDNIESTER REGION

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] UYGHURS DEMONSTRATE IN KAZAKSTAN

    Some 35 ethnic Uyghurs demonstrated in front of the Chinese Embassy in Almaty yesterday to protest the sentencing of 30 Uyghurs in China on charges of instigating the February riots in Yining, Xinjiang Province, Interfax and Reuters reported. Three of accused had been sentenced to death, while the others received stiff jail terms. The executions were carried out the same day as sentencing. Some demonstrators in Almaty were detained by Kazak militia.

    [02] KYRGYZ PRESIDENT MAKES STATEMENT ON SOROS'S LETTER

    Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev yesterday said he will not get involved in problems between the Kyrgyz media and the republic's branch of the Soros foundation, ITAR-TASS reported. He added that those problems are "an internal affair of the Kyrgyz media." Soros recently sent Akayev a letter protesting media allegations that Chinara Jakipova, the head of the Kyrgyz branch of this foundation, has misused funds (see RFE/RL Newsline, 28 April 1997).

    [03] UZBEK UPDATE

    Uzbek President Islam Karimov late last week blasted the Russian press for being "in the pocket" of Russian companies such as LUKoil and Gazprom, Interfax and Kommersant Daily reported. Karimov was speaking at a session of the parliament earlier this week devoted to human rights, access to information, and the defense of journalists. He urged deputies to adopt new legislation stipulating that not only journalists but also their sources are responsible for what is reported. At the same session, Sayera Rashidova was appointed parliamentary commissioner on human rights. When Karimov asked her what she needs to fulfill her duties, Rashidova replied she had sufficient powers and would rely on "suggestions from state organs" as to how she can best perform her functions.

    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [04] POLITICAL ROW THREATENS ALBANIAN ELECTIONS

    Albanian Justice Minister Spartak Ngjela said in Tirana yesterday that disagreements between rival political parties could derail plans to hold general elections in June. He added that he wants to reach agreement on voting rules by 15 May and that he has prepared a draft "emergency election law." Ngjela argued that holding the vote in August will be "too late." The governing Democratic Party wants legislators elected by direct ballot, while the opposition favors proportional representation. The current direct ballot system has kept many smaller parties out of the parliament. Ngjela also said that voter lists have been destroyed in the anarchy that followed the collapse of pyramid investment schemes early this year.

    [05] ALBANIAN PRESIDENT SACKS BANK CHIEF

    President Sali Berisha fired Kristaq Luniku as governor of the Bank of Albania over the weekend and replaced him with Qamil Tusha. Berisha said that Luniku has been away from Tirana too long to do his job properly, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported today. Luniku has spent the past two months in Washington working with the IMF, while Tusha has been the deputy director of the National Trade Bank. The German daily suggests that Berisha may firied Luniku on account of his outspokenness.

    [06] CROATIA SENDS INDICTED WAR CRIMINAL TO HAGUE

    Zagreb authorities handed over Zlatko Aleksovski to the Hague-based war crimes tribunal yesterday. He is wanted for atrocities against Muslims in the Lasva Valley during the 1993 Croatian-Muslim war. The Croatian government has been under considerable international pressure for some time to cooperate more fully with the court, but Aleksovski is the first person the Zagreb authorities have delivered to The Hague. Lat year, Gen. Tihomir Blaskic gave himself up voluntarily.

    [07] U.S. AMBASSADOR CALLS RUSSIA BIGGEST ARMS SUPPLIER TO BOSNIA, CROATIA

    Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith told the independent Split weekly Feral Tribune yesterday that Russia was the single largest supplier of weapons to the two republics during the conflict. He also noted that Russia was officially strongly opposed to lifting the arms embargo on the former Yugoslav republics. International media attention has tended to focus on Iranian weapons deliveries to Bosnia and Croatia. Galbraith said that Washington was justified in "turning a blind eye" to the Iranian shipments because those weapons helped Sarajevo and other towns from suffering the same fate as Srebrenica and Zepa.

    [08] CROATIAN UNIONS PRESENT ULTIMATUM

    Five of the largest trade unions said yesterday that they want the government to agree on setting up an Economic and Social Council by 20 May, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Zagreb. If the authorities do not agree, the unions will set up an arbitration board on their own. Also in Zagreb, Development Minister Jure Radic said it is not in Croatia's interest for Serbs to remain concentrated in eastern Slavonia after that area reverts to Croatian control in July. He added that the government will encourage Serbs not originally from there to go back to their old homes.

    [09] CROATIA, SLOVENIA SIGN AGREEMENTS

    Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic and his Slovenian counterpart, Zoran Thaler, met in Ljubljana yesterday and signed several documents dealing with cross-border travel, cooperation, and social security. Granic said the two countries' views on outstanding border problems have become closer. But the key issues today are the same as six years ago, when the two former Yugoslav republics became independent. Those questions center on Slovenia's access to the sea, the status of the Krsko nuclear power plant, and the fate of Croatian deposits in the Ljubljanska Banka.

    [10] BILDT, UN POLICE SLAM THREATS TO FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT IN BOSNIA

    The office of the international community's High Representative Carl Bildt said yesterday that Muslim authorities in the Tuzla area prevented Serbian Orthodox Bishop Vasilj Kacavenda from attending Orthodox Easter services in the mainly Croatian-Muslim federation over the weekend. According to an RFE/RL correspondent in Sarajevo, Bildt's office charged that the Muslims' behavior reinforced the division of the republic along ethnic lines. Also in the Bosnian capital, the UN police say they will step up their presence in some parts of the city to guarantee freedom of movement and prevent the local police from abusing their powers. The police added, however, that the problems are not ethnic in nature.

    [11] KOSOVO LEADER WARNS EU ON TRADE PERKS FOR BELGRADE

    Shadow-state President Ibrahim Rugova wrote the EU Council of Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg yesterday that any trade liberalization for federal Yugoslavia must be linked to an improvement of the situation in Kosovo. Rugova says that the Kosovo problem must be resolved in the ethnic Albanian majority's favor before the EU extends former Yugoslavia's trade privileges to Belgrade. The EU already grants such commercial rights to the other former Yugoslav republics, and the ministers are due to decide today on also giving them to federal Yugoslavia.

    [12] ROMANIAN PREMIER, FOREIGN MINISTER IN BRUSSELS

    Prime Minister Victor Ciorbea says his country has important advantages over other candidates wishing to join NATO. Ciorbea was speaking to reporters after addressing the 16 ambassadors to the alliance. He noted that Romania was not integrated into the former Warsaw Pact and that 80% of its military equipment is produced at home. He also pointed out that the country has sent peace-keeping troops to three countries--Bosnia, Angola, and Albania. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Adrian Severin told an RFE/RL reporter that Romania's offer last week to replace U.S. troops in Bosnia with its own troops was neither a "proposal nor a pledge" and should be considered to express "only a political position" and a "technical possibility." A decision on such issues can be made only by the country's Supreme Military Council and is subject to the parliament's approval, Severin added.

    [13] ROMANIA REACHES COMPROMISE WITH UKRAINE OVER BASIC TREATY

    Severin also told reporters in Brussels that his country has reached "a compromise treaty" with Ukraine and that the accord will be initialed during his scheduled visit to Kyiv on 3 May, AFP reported. Severin said the document will protect Romania's "strategic interests" and contains "important provisions on the national minorities," but he gave no details. President Emil Constantinescu and his Ukrainian counterpart, Leonid Kuchma, discussed the treaty in Istanbul, where they are attending a three-day Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) conference, Reuters reported. Following the meeting, Constantinescu confirmed that the treaty will be finalized at the beginning of next month.

    [14] ROMANIA, MOLDOVA, UKRAINE TO ESTABLISH "EURO-REGIONS."

    President Constantinescu says he has agreed with his Ukrainian and Molodovan counterparts, Leonid Kuchma and Petru Lucinschi, to set up two "Euro-Regions" in areas where their three borders converge. Constantinescu told Radio Bucharest that the agreement was reached yesterday in Istanbul within the framework of the BSEC conference. He added that he originally proposed the idea to Lucinschi, who discussed it with Kuchma. The construction of new road links in the "Euro-Regions" will allow for intensified economic cooperation and cultural contacts. The regions will be mentioned in the pending bilateral treaty with Ukraine.

    [15] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT ON FUTURE OF TRANSDNIESTER REGION

    President Lucinschi says "content" will be more important than "form" in determining the future of relations between Chisinau and the breakaway Transdniester region. In response to a BASA-press reporter's question of whether he would agree to the federalization of Moldova, Lucinschi said he has told the Transdniestrian leaders that "the novel should be written first and only later given a title." He added that it is more important to first negotiate removing obstructions to bilateral relations, such as the border guards on the Dniester River. But he noted that other non-federal states, including Spain, Italy, Finland, and Canada, have regions with a special status. Lucinschi was speaking on the occasion of the first 100 days of his presidency.

    Reprinted with permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
    URL: http://www.rferl.org


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