Browse through our Interesting Nodes for Greek Discussion Lists & Newsgroups A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Monday, 18 November 2019
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 1, No. 44, 97-06-03

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. 44, 3 June 1997


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] RUSSIAN PRESIDENT ACCUSES GEORGIA OF POLITICAL BLACKMAIL
  • [02] MEMBER OF PEACEKEEPING FORCE SHOOTS COMRADES, COMMITS SUICIDE
  • [03] AZERBAIJAN CONFIDENT OF SWIFT SOLUTION TO KARABAKH CONFLICT
  • [04] AZERBAIJANI, GEORGIAN COMMENT ON RUSSIA-NATO ACCORD
  • [05] UZBEK PRESIDENT COMMENTS ON AFGHANISTAN...
  • [06] ...MEETS WITH KAZAK PRESIDENT IN ALMATY
  • [07] BISHKEK DEMONSTRATORS PROTEST COURT DECISION
  • [08] PRIVATIZATION IN KYRGYZSTAN
  • [09] TURKMEN ECONOMIC NEWS

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [10] TWO BOMBS GO OFF IN TIRANA
  • [11] PRODI PLEDGES MORE SECURITY FOR ALBANIAN VOTE
  • [12] ALBANIAN MINISTER GOES TO COURT OVER ELECTION LAW
  • [13] CROATIAN PRESIDENT VISITS EASTERN SLAVONIA
  • [14] BOSNIAN UPDATE
  • [15] MORE KOSOVO ALBANIANS GO ON TRIAL
  • [16] MILOSEVIC TO RUN AFTER ALL?
  • [17] MOLDOVAN GAGAUZ AUTONOMOUS REGION AUTHORITIES BAN OPPOSITION FORUM
  • [18] BULGARIAN CUSTOM OFFICERS UNDER INVESTIGATION
  • [19] BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES PARTICIPATION IN SFOR

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] RUSSIAN PRESIDENT ACCUSES GEORGIA OF POLITICAL BLACKMAIL

    Russian presidential press spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembskii on 2 June condemned as "political blackmail" the resolution adopted by the Georgian parliament on 30 May laying down conditions for the continued deployment of a CIS peacekeeping force in Abkhazia, Interfax reported. The resolution calls for the peacekeepers' withdrawal unless they are redeployed throughout Abkhazia's Gali Raion by 31 July. The decision on their redeployment was taken at the March summit of the CIS heads of state. Yastrzhembskii hinted that Russia might withdraw the force, which is composed exclusively of Russian troops. Also on 2 June, in his regular Monday radio broadcast, Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze proposed immediate talks with the Abkhaz leadership on guaranteeing continued compliance with the existing cease-fire, BS-Press reported. Shevardnadze said the withdrawal of the peacekeeping force would not preclude Russia's continued role in mediating a settlement of the conflict.

    [02] MEMBER OF PEACEKEEPING FORCE SHOOTS COMRADES, COMMITS SUICIDE

    A sergeant serving on a contract basis with the CIS peacekeeping force in Abkhazia shot dead ten of his fellow servicemen and then committed suicide, Russian media reported. Shevardnadze issued a statement expressing his grief at the killings and extending condolences to the families of the murdered men, according to ITAR-TASS.

    [03] AZERBAIJAN CONFIDENT OF SWIFT SOLUTION TO KARABAKH CONFLICT

    Interfax on 2 June quoted unnamed Azerbaijani government spokesmen as predicting that a solution to the Karabakh conflict will be reached this year on the basis of compromises between Baku and Yerevan. recently proposed by the three co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk group. Those compromises include the withdrawal of Karabakh Armenian forces from occupied Azerbaijani territory, international control of the Lachin corridor linking Karabakh and Armenia, and international control of all armaments deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh that will be considered part of Armenia's permitted CFE quota. Following talks in Ankara on 2 June with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller said that Turkey supports the OSCE Minsk Group initiative but will also continue to play its own role in seeking to resolve the conflict, TRT Television Network reported.

    [04] AZERBAIJANI, GEORGIAN COMMENT ON RUSSIA-NATO ACCORD

    An unnamed Azerbaijani government spokesman told Interfax on 30 May that the country's leadership welcomes the signing of the Russia-NATO agreement because "the calmer the situation in relations between Russia and NATO, the calmer it is for other countries." Georgian Foreign Minister Irakli Menagharishvili told journalists the next day that Georgia will not raise the issue of possible NATO membership "either today or in the near future" as the country is not ready for it. But he said that Georgia welcomes cooperation with NATO within the Partnership for Peace program. Menagharishvili said that full membership in the Council of Europe is currently more advantageous to Georgia than NATO membership, given the role the council can play in guaranteeing the stability and economic development of the Transcaucasus, ITAR-TASS reported.

    [05] UZBEK PRESIDENT COMMENTS ON AFGHANISTAN...

    Before his departure for Kazakstan on 2 June, Islam Karimov told Tashkent Radio that measures were taken months ago to prepare for complications along the Uzbek border with Afghanistan. He said he believed the problems in Afghanistan would have ended long ago if other countries had not interfered. In this connection, he singled out foreign sponsors responsible for arming the various warring factions. He also stressed that when problems broke out in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif, Uzbekistan remained neutral. Karimov called for the UN to assume a greater role in resolving the problems in Afghanistan and for the Taliban to renounce their aim of establishing "absolute power." In addition, he blasted the anti-Taliban coalition and the "mercenaries of some field commanders who have defected to serve new masters for large amounts of money."

    [06] ...MEETS WITH KAZAK PRESIDENT IN ALMATY

    In Almaty later the same day, Karimov met with Kazak President Nursultan Nazarbayev to discuss economic relations and new strategies for boosting bilateral trade, according to RFE/RL's Almaty bureau. The volume of trade between Uzbekistan and Kazakstan dropped by about one-third ($293 million) in 1996, compared with the previous year ($423 million). But at a joint press conference following their meeting, Afghanistan was the dominant topic. Karimov again called for countries to stop supporting various armed factions in Afghanistan by supplying them with arms. Nazarbayev was supportive but emphasized he did not want his country to get enmeshed in Afghanistan's problems.

    [07] BISHKEK DEMONSTRATORS PROTEST COURT DECISION

    Some 300 people assembled outside the government building in the Kyrgyz capital on 3 June to protest the 23 May decision to imprison two journalists from the weekly independent newspaper Res Publica for 18 months and bar two others from practicing journalism for the same period (see RFE/RL Newsline, 26 May 1997), RFE/RL correspondents in Bishkek reported. The demonstrators are demanding a meeting with government officials. Three have announced they will stage a hunger strike in support of the journalists.

    [08] PRIVATIZATION IN KYRGYZSTAN

    Shortly before the third wave of privatization, Security Minister Felix Kulov voiced alarm at moves by finance and investment companies to gain control of the country's leading enterprises, ITAR-TASS reported on 2 June. Among the enterprises to be privatized in the third wave are Kyrgyzenergoholding, Kyrgyztelekom, Kyrgyzgaz, and the state airline Kyrgyzstan Aba Zholdoru. Kulov said some finance and investment companies have been buying privatization coupons from citizens who received those coupons as compensation for unpaid wages. Nearly a quarter of all coupons are unaccounted for. Kulov says this is because private citizens sold them to the companies, which will now reap in big profits.

    [09] TURKMEN ECONOMIC NEWS

    A state interbank council was set up on 2 June to oversee the reorganization of the banking system, according to ITAR-TASS. Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov said the move was necessary to continue to push ahead with economic reforms. Also on 2 June, Niyazov signed a decree requiring some Turkmen industries to be licensed by the government. Those affected are the meat, dairy, beer and soft drinks, and candy industries. All companies involved in the production of those goods will need licenses, regardless of whether they are privately owned or a joint venture using foreign capital. The aim of the new measure is to ensure quality control.

    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [10] TWO BOMBS GO OFF IN TIRANA

    Two explosions rocked downtown Tirana on 2 June, Koha Jone reported. The first bomb went off around midday and destroyed a restaurant run by Lush Perpali, who is a high official in the Interior Ministry and a member of the Socialist Party. Some 20 people were injured, including five seriously. Perpali later told reporters that he suspects the Democratic Party was behind the blast. He added that the bombers wanted to create an atmosphere in which elections could be neither free nor fair. Socialist Prime Minister Bashkim Fino told a press conference that he knew who planted the bomb but did not give names. A second explosion took place at a bus stop in the evening, wounding five people, including two seriously.

    [11] PRODI PLEDGES MORE SECURITY FOR ALBANIAN VOTE

    Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said in Tirana on 1 June that the multinational force in Albania will provide "a security cordon" for the 29 June parliamentary elections, the Albanian Daily News reported. Prodi added that he has discussed with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan prolonging Operation Alba's stay. Prodi stated that President Sali Berisha told him he will ease the curfew, a move that the opposition considers essential if the elections are to be free and fair. Meanwhile in Rome, the Italian Foreign Ministry said on 2 June that it is delaying naming a new ambassador to Tirana, Gazeta Shqiptare writes. The diplomat the ministry planned to appoint discredited himself in his superiors' eyes by publicly criticizing the ministry's work. The outgoing Italian ambassador was sacked for interfering in Albanian domestic politics.

    [12] ALBANIAN MINISTER GOES TO COURT OVER ELECTION LAW

    Justice Minister Spartak Ngjela from the monarchist Legality Party took a complaint to the Constitutional Court in Tirana on 2 June. At issue is calculating the division of 40 seats in the parliament on the basis of proportional representation. The court promised a ruling later on 3 June, Gazeta Shqiptare wrote. Meanwhile in Luxembourg, the EU pledged on 2 June to support the Albanian elections in various ways. These include promoting free media, monitoring the vote, and training police. The EU also offered to call an international conference on Albania, a press release said.

    [13] CROATIAN PRESIDENT VISITS EASTERN SLAVONIA

    Franjo Tudjman went to Beli Manastir on 2 June, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from there. He met with the newly elected local council, which includes Serbs. Tudjman appealed for mutual tolerance and "political courage" and urged his listeners to shun "extremism." The president assured the Serbs that their rights will be respected when the area returns to Croatian control in July. He also urged Croatian refugees to be patient about going home. A small group of Serbian nationalists staged a protest demonstration against the visit, but leading Serbian politician Vojislav Stanimirovic called Tudjman's stay "successful and encouraging." Stanimirovic noted that Tudjman promised all citizens regardless of nationality the right to go home.

    [14] BOSNIAN UPDATE

    After one year of talks, Muslim and Croat officials agreed in Mostar on 2 June on a plan to set up six district government councils, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from the Herzegovinian town. In Sarajevo, the OSCE announced that the Serbs have joined the Muslims and Croats in calling for an extension of the 16 June voter registration deadline. Only a fraction of the eligible voters have registered so far. In the port of Ploce, nearly 4, 000 tons of arms began to arrive from the United Arab Emirates for the federal army as part of the U.S.-led plan to train and equip the mainly Croatian and Muslim forces. The shipment includes 50 tanks and 41 personnel carriers. And in Paris, the French Defense Ministry announced that France and Germany will soon begin helping the Bosnian Serbs and federal Yugoslavia destroy 150 tanks, 800 artillery pieces, and other weapons in keeping with limits set in the Dayton agreement.

    [15] MORE KOSOVO ALBANIANS GO ON TRIAL

    Some 15 Kosovars go on trial on terrorism charges in Pristina on 3 June, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from the Kosovar capital. In Washington, the State Department on 2 June protested the recent sentencing of another group of 20 ethnic Albanians on similar charges. In Belgrade, the daily Blic on 3 June quotes State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns as saying that there is little chance that the remaining sanctions against federal Yugoslavia will be lifted soon. He said Yugoslavia "is not a normal country" and pointed to the problem of Kosovo and to Belgrade's failure to cooperate with the Hague-based war crimes tribunal.

    [16] MILOSEVIC TO RUN AFTER ALL?

    In Belgrade, Ljubisa Ristic, the president of the Yugoslav United Left (JUL), said on 2 June that Serbian elections will take place in the fall and that the joint candidate of leftist parties will again be President Slobodan Milosevic. The real leader of JUL is Mirjana Markovic, who is also Milosevic's wife and who has said that her husband will not run for the Serbian presidency. Meanwhile in Podgorica, former Montenegrin Trade Minister Nebojsa Zekovic was arrested on corruption charges, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from the Montenegrin capital.

    [17] MOLDOVAN GAGAUZ AUTONOMOUS REGION AUTHORITIES BAN OPPOSITION FORUM

    The authorities in Moldova's Gagauz autonomous region banned a gathering of opposition forces in Comrat on 31 May. The organizers had planned to hold what they called the "first congress of Gagauzia's civil forces." Topics for discussion included changing the name of the autonomous region to "Gagauz Yeri Republic," restoring a "renewed USSR" in line with the "will of the majority of the population," passing a no-confidence vote in the region's leadership, and electing a coordination committee of all groups participating in the forum. Georgi Tabunschik, the region's governor, said that the gathering had intended to debate issues that are not within its legal competence and would require holding a referendum at a time when the law on referenda has not yet been passed, BASA-press reported on 2 June.

    [18] BULGARIAN CUSTOM OFFICERS UNDER INVESTIGATION

    The Ministry of Interior says an investigation into the assets of custom officers at the country's border points shows that "a large proportion" of the "modestly paid" officials live in luxurious conditions. The investigation into more than 1,000 officials at 49 border-crossing points revealed that many of them drive new limousines and own expensive homes with swimming pools. An RFE/RL Sofia correspondent reported on 2 June that the investigation was carried out as part of the government's crackdown on corruption and organized crime. Meanwhile, another ministry statement said hotels, restaurants, night clubs, stores, and casinos at three large Black Sea resorts were also being investigated.

    [19] BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES PARTICIPATION IN SFOR

    The government has approved the participation of military forces in the multinational UN force in Bosnia-Herzegovina under NATO command, Foreign Minister Nadezhda Mihailova announced on 2 June. BTA cited her as saying the executive will ask the parliament to approve Bulgarian participation in SFOR. The cabinet intends to send a 35-strong engineering platoon to joining a Dutch contingent under an initial six-month mandate. The decision follows an exchange of letters between Prime Minister Ivan Kostov and NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana, who, Mihailova said, lauded Bulgaria's contribution to peacekeeping in Bosnia-Herzegovina and officially invited Sofia to participate in the mission.

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


    Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: Newsline Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    rferl2html v1.01 run on Tuesday, 3 June 1997 - 14:35:53 UTC