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RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 4, No. 47, 00-03-07

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. 4, No. 47, 7 March 2000


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] ARMENIAN PRESIDENT REJECTS DEMAND TO FIRE ASSOCIATES...
  • [02] ...QUESTIONS PARLIAMENT MAJORITY'S POLITICAL MATURITY,
  • [03] ARMENIAN OPPOSITION PARTY EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR PRESIDENT
  • [04] ARMENIAN PRESIDENTIAL AIDE ENDS HUNGER STRIKE
  • [05] IRAN SLAMS U.S. PRESSURE OVER ARMENIAN GAS PIPELINE PROJECT
  • [06] AZERBAIJANI OFFICIALS, OPPOSITION COMMENT ON PUTIN'S NATO
  • [07] ...AS DO GEORGIAN PRESIDENT, DEPUTY DEFENSE MINISTER
  • [08] GEORGIA SEEKS TO REASSURE MOSCOW OVER CHECHEN PRESENCE
  • [09] KAZAKH OIL OFFICIAL REOPENS TENGIZCHEVROIL DEBATE
  • [10] KYRGYZ OPPOSITION TO PROPOSE SINGLE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE?
  • [11] FORMER TAJIK PREMIER GETS NEW CABINET POST
  • [12] RUSSIAN BORDER GUARDS IN TAJIKISTAN PROTEST MEDIA SLUR
  • [13] TURKMENISTAN'S FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS PAKISTAN

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [14] SERBIA CLOSES BORDER WITH MONTENEGRO
  • [15] KFOR TROOPS STEP UP EFFORTS ALONG KOSOVA'S BORDERS...
  • [16] ...WHILE YUGOSLAV ARMY BEGINS EXERCISES NEAR KOSOVA
  • [17] UN CHIEF IN KOSOVA SAYS IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT PROVINCE'S
  • [18] SERBIAN OFFICIALS USE FORCE IN BID TO CLOSE TV STATION
  • [19] CROATIAN PREMIER SAYS NEW EVIDENCE COULD CLEAR BLASKIC
  • [20] CONVICTED WORLD WAR II COMMANDER APPEALS SENTENCE
  • [21] POLICE ARREST BOSNIAN CROATS ON WAR CRIMES CHARGES
  • [22] SENIOR EU OFFICIAL IN ALBANIA
  • [23] ROMANIAN COALITION CRISIS OVER?
  • [24] ROMANIAN ULTRA-NATIONALIST TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT
  • [25] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT CRITICIZES ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER
  • [26] MOLDOVAN DEPUTY PREMIER RESIGNS

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [27] ALBRIGHT PRESSES FOR DEMOCRATIZATION IN THE BALKANS

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] ARMENIAN PRESIDENT REJECTS DEMAND TO FIRE ASSOCIATES...

    In an

    interview with Armenian National Television on 6 March,

    Robert Kocharian rejected as "ludicrous" the demand made

    three days earlier by the Miasnutiun parliament majority that

    he dismiss two senior officials, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau

    reported. Miasnutiun had called on Kocharian to dismiss his

    chief of staff, Serzh Sarkisian, and the director of National

    Television, Tigran Naghdalian, claiming that the two men were

    obstructing and misrepresenting the investigation into the 27

    October parliament shootings (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 6 March

    2000). Kocharian said on 6 March that National Television did

    not violate the law by reporting on a 2 March press

    conference at which the lawyers for two officials accused of

    complicity in the 27 October killings criticized Chief

    Military Prosecutor Gagik Jahangirian's conduct of the

    investigation. LF

    [02] ...QUESTIONS PARLIAMENT MAJORITY'S POLITICAL MATURITY,

    COHESION

    In his 6 March interview, Kocharian for the first

    time publicly cast aspersions on Miasnutiun, calling into

    question its members' political maturity and responsibility,

    RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported. Kocharian also suggested

    that the People's Party of Armenia, the junior partner within

    that bloc, agreed to endorse the 3 March ultimatum to him

    only under pressure from its partner in the alliance, the

    Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), of which Prime Minister

    Aram Sargsian is a member. In a move intended to forestall

    possible further pressure from senior military officials who

    are members of the Yerkrapah union of veterans of the

    Karabakh war, a sister organization to the HHK, Kocharian on

    6 March also signed a decree stressing his constitutional

    powers to make senior appointments within the armed forces.

    LF

    [03] ARMENIAN OPPOSITION PARTY EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR PRESIDENT

    In

    a statement issued on 6 March, the Armenian Revolutionary

    Federation--Dashnaktsutiun (HHD) criticized Miasnutiun's

    ultimatum to Kocharian, warning that political circles should

    not interfere with judicial investigations under any

    circumstances, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported. The HHD

    statement also expressed concern at the ensuing heightening

    of tensions in the country, saying that "conflicts and

    ultimatums that are again emerging between Armenian state

    institutions are unacceptable at this critical juncture" and

    "cast doubt on the recent agreement on solidarity and

    cooperation." That agreement was signed by Prime Minister

    Sargsian and representatives of the eight political parties

    represented in the parliament. LF

    [04] ARMENIAN PRESIDENTIAL AIDE ENDS HUNGER STRIKE

    Kocharian's

    aide Aleksan Harutiunian, who was arrested in December and

    charged with complicity in the 27 October parliament

    shootings, has ended the hunger strike he began late last

    month to demand that the investigation into his case be

    transferred from the military prosecutor to the Prosecutor-

    General's Office, Noyan Tapan reported on 6 March. LF

    [05] IRAN SLAMS U.S. PRESSURE OVER ARMENIAN GAS PIPELINE PROJECT

    The Iranian Embassy in Yerevan issued a statement on 4 March

    condemning statements made by a senior U.S. official last

    week, Noyan Tapan reported on 6 March. Jan Kalicki, who is an

    adviser to the U.S. Department of Commerce, reportedly told

    Armenian officials that the U.S. opposes plans for Armenia

    and Iran to push ahead with a long-planned pipeline to supply

    Armenia with Iranian natural gas. Armenia and Iran resumed

    talks on that project in Yerevan in February, after the EBRD,

    along with French and Greek companies, had indicated that

    they may provide part of the estimated $120 million costs.

    Kalicki suggested that instead, Armenia could receive Turkmen

    natural gas through the planned Trans-Caspian pipeline. LF

    [06] AZERBAIJANI OFFICIALS, OPPOSITION COMMENT ON PUTIN'S NATO

    STATEMENT...

    Referring to acting Russian President Vladimir

    Putin's remark in his BBC interview that Russian does not

    exclude joining NATO as an equal partner, Azerbaijan's

    Foreign Minister Vilayat Guliev said in Baku on 6 March that

    that remark, if sincerely meant, could have a positive impact

    on the South Caucasus states, which are seeking integration

    with the West, Caspian-Caucasus Press reported. But Guliev

    added that he cannot rule out that Putin's statement was

    intended primarily "to score political dividends" in the

    runup to the 26 March presidential election. The chief of the

    Azerbaijani presidential administration's international

    relations division, Novruz Mamedov, told Turan that "Russia's

    intention...to become part [of NATO]" is a positive factor.

    But leading members of the opposition Musavat and Azerbaijan

    Popular Front parties suggested that Putin's statement was

    intended to allay increasing Western concern, resulting from

    the war in Chechnya, about Russia's policy priorities. LF

    [07] ...AS DO GEORGIAN PRESIDENT, DEPUTY DEFENSE MINISTER

    Speaking in Tbilisi on 6 March, Eduard Shevardnadze

    characterized Putin's remarks as evidence of the latter's

    sagacity, adding that Georgia would benefit from a Russian

    policy aimed at greater integration with the U.S. and Western

    Europe, ITAR-TASS reported. But Shevardnadze predicted that

    although Russia may adopt new principles for cooperation with

    NATO, it is unlikely to become a member of the alliance in

    the next few years. Deputy Defense Minister Giorgi Katamadze

    told Caucasus Press he "welcomes Putin's statement." He said

    Russian membership of NATO would contribute to stability in

    the South Caucasus. LF

    [08] GEORGIA SEEKS TO REASSURE MOSCOW OVER CHECHEN PRESENCE

    Shevardnadze told journalists in Tbilisi on 6 March that no

    official Chechen representation has been registered in

    Georgia, nor will such registration be granted, ITAR-TASS

    reported. Shevardnadze was responding to a Russian Foreign

    Ministry demand that the Chechen representation and

    information office be closed immediately on the grounds that

    its staff are abetting Chechen fighters (see "RFE/RL

    Newsline," 6 March 2000). Shevardnadze said that Khizri

    Aldamov, who heads a Chechen bureau in Tbilisi and calls

    himself Chechnya's representative in Georgia, is a Georgian

    citizen. LF

    [09] KAZAKH OIL OFFICIAL REOPENS TENGIZCHEVROIL DEBATE

    Former

    Kazakh Premier Nurlan Balghymbaev has told the independent

    weekly newspaper "Karavan" that he supports the proposed sale

    of part of Kazakhstan's 25 percent stake in the

    Tengizchevroil consortium, Interfax reported. Balghymbaev,

    who now heads the Kazakh state oil company, argued that the

    Kazakh leadership will not begin receiving dividends from

    that stake until 2006 at the earliest. When the debate within

    the Kazakh leadership over the expediency of that sale began

    late last summer, Balghymbaev said that the sale of part of

    Kazakhstan's stake in Tengizchevroil "is not an urgent

    matter." Kazakhstan and Chevron failed last fall to agree on

    conditions for Chevron to purchase part of the Kazakh stake

    (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 September and 6 December 1999). LF

    [10] KYRGYZ OPPOSITION TO PROPOSE SINGLE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE?

    El (Bei Bechara) Party Chairman Daniyar Usenov said in

    Bishkek on 6 March that his party, together with the Ar-Namys

    Party, the Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan, the Republican

    Party, the Kairan El party, and Ata-Meken, will align in a

    bloc to contest the presidential elections due in December,

    RFE/RL's bureau in the Kyrgyz capital reported. Earlier, both

    Usenov and Ar-Namys Party leader Feliks Kulov had announced

    their intention of running as presidential candidates. LF

    [11] FORMER TAJIK PREMIER GETS NEW CABINET POST

    President Imomali

    Rakhmonov on 6 March dismissed opposition politician Davlat

    Ismonov as minister for the economy and foreign economic

    relations and appointed in his place former Prime Minister

    Yahyo Azimov, Asia Plus-Blitz reported. Ismonov had received

    that post a year ago as part of the 30 percent quota granted

    to the opposition under the 1997 peace agreement, whose final

    provision was parliamentary elections, the first round of

    which took place on 27 February. Rakhmonov also dismissed and

    named replacements for eight city or district administrators.

    LF

    [12] RUSSIAN BORDER GUARDS IN TAJIKISTAN PROTEST MEDIA SLUR

    The

    Press Service of the Russian Border Guard Force in Tajikistan

    issued a statement on 6 March protesting what it termed an

    inaccurate report on Tajik television two days earlier, Asia

    Plus-Blitz and ITAR-TASS reported. That report claimed that

    Tajik security officials had apprehended 68 kilograms of

    heroin in the Farkhor district, implying that Russian border

    guards had failed to intercept that consignment at the Tajik-

    Afghan border and may have acted in connivance with the

    smugglers. The Russian statement said such allegations "do

    not help promote cooperation between allies." LF

    [13] TURKMENISTAN'S FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS PAKISTAN

    Boris

    Shikhmuradov, who arrived in Islamabad on 4 March, has held

    talks with his Pakistani counterpart, Abdul Sattar, and with

    a Taliban delegation on the possibility of reviving plans to

    route a gas export pipeline from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan

    to Pakistan, ITAR-TASS reported. The original consortium

    created to implement that project collapsed when the U.S.

    partner Unocal pulled out in late 1998, but Shikhmuradov said

    on a visit to Pakistan early last year that his country still

    intended to forge ahead with the project (see "RFE/RL

    Newsline," 26 January 1999). LF


    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [14] SERBIA CLOSES BORDER WITH MONTENEGRO

    Serbian police sealed

    off the border with Montenegro on 6 March, AP reported. Vojin

    Djukanovic, Montenegro's economics minister, said the police

    are allowing only coal, steel, and aluminum to cross from

    Montenegro. The action has caused long lines of trucks and

    passenger cars to form at all border crossings. Large

    quantities of goods are also being confiscated from private

    cars and bus passengers. Djukanovic said Belgrade "wants to

    trigger changes in our government by sealing off the border."

    He said the border was tightened last week after Montenegro

    secured a $20 million credit from Germany. Montenegrin Trade

    Minister Ramo Bralic said "raising political tensions and

    destabilizing Montenegro is a permanent task of the Belgrade

    regime." PB

    [15] KFOR TROOPS STEP UP EFFORTS ALONG KOSOVA'S BORDERS...

    NATO-

    led peacekeepers in Kosova (KFOR) have increased control over

    the Kosova border region in an effort to calm tensions in the

    adjoining area where ethnic Albanians and Serbian security

    forces have clashed, AP reported on 7 March. KFOR troops are

    hoping that increased vehicle and foot patrols will stop a

    flow of weapons and armed guerrillas from leaving Kosova and

    going to a predominantly ethnic Albanian area just outside

    Kosova. NATO's commander in Kosova, General Klaus Reinhardt,

    said at the UN in New York that movement across the boundary

    was previously unrestricted. He said "we cannot support any

    adventurism which might lead to new atrocities in the Presevo

    valley." Reinhardt added that several armed people have been

    arrested recently trying to travel to the Dobrosin region.

    The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said that some 630

    ethnic Albanians from the Presevo area registered in Kosova

    on 6 March. PB

    [16] ...WHILE YUGOSLAV ARMY BEGINS EXERCISES NEAR KOSOVA

    Yugoslavia's Pristina Corps has begun "regular" spring

    maneuvers near the border area with Kosova, Reuters reported.

    Major Milan Mojsilovic said "our unit is carrying out regular

    planned exercises." He said the troops are 9 kilometers from

    Kosova. There is a 5-kilometer buffer zone around the Kosova

    border. An increase in military operations in southern Serbia

    prompted Macedonia to put its troops along the Serbian border

    on higher alert. PB

    [17] UN CHIEF IN KOSOVA SAYS IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT PROVINCE'S

    FUTURE

    Bernard Kouchner told the UN Security Council in New

    York on 6 March that it is time to hold talks on the

    province's political future and draft an interim

    constitution, Reuters reported. Kouchner said the council

    needs to define what it meant by "substantial autonomy" for

    Kosova. Kouchner said until this is clarified, the Serbian

    minority in Kosova fears it will be pushed out of the

    province. Kouchner said local elections for Kosova could be

    held in September or October but need to fit into an overall

    political structure for the province that is still undefined.

    NATO commander Reinhardt said the relationship between ethnic

    Albanians and minority communities is intolerable and has

    been "exacerbated by the continuing ambiguity over Kosovo's

    future." PB

    [18] SERBIAN OFFICIALS USE FORCE IN BID TO CLOSE TV STATION

    Serbian opposition leaders condemned as "state terrorism" a

    raid on the transmitter site of the opposition television

    station Studio B on 6 March, Reuters reported. Dragan

    Kojadinovic, editor in chief of the station, said five people

    in police fatigues beat up two workers and then destroyed

    equipment at the station's main transmitter site. He said the

    repression "has now taken on the form of a real war against

    Studio B." Later that same day, a Belgrade court fined Studio

    B and Kojadinovic 450,000 dinars (about $11,000 at the black

    market rate) for breaking an information law during a live

    broadcast. It was also ordered by Yugoslavia's

    Telecommunications Ministry to pay some $900,000 in

    outstanding costs in eight days or face closure. Studio B has

    been jammed for months. It is owned by the Belgrade City

    Council and controlled by Vuk Draskovic's Serbian Renewal

    Movement. PB

    [19] CROATIAN PREMIER SAYS NEW EVIDENCE COULD CLEAR BLASKIC

    Ivica

    Racan said on 6 March that recently discovered files on the

    war in Bosnia-Herzegovina could strengthen the appeal of

    convicted General Tihomir Blaskic (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 6

    March 2000), Reuters reported. Racan said the government of

    late President Franjo Tudjman withheld some files from

    Blaskic's lawyers at The Hague. Racan said the new files may

    help identify those who carried out the crimes in central

    Bosnia that Blaskic was found guilty of allowing. Racan added

    that the 45-year sentence given to Blaskic was "unduly high"

    considering he did not take part in any killings and because

    he had turned himself in to the authorities. PB

    [20] CONVICTED WORLD WAR II COMMANDER APPEALS SENTENCE

    Dinko

    Sakic, who was found guilty last year of crimes against

    humanity for his part as commander of the World War II camp

    at Jasenovac, has filed an appeal against his 20-year prison

    sentence (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 October 1999). The appeal

    was filed with the country's Supreme Court. PB

    [21] POLICE ARREST BOSNIAN CROATS ON WAR CRIMES CHARGES

    Police in

    the southern Bosnian city of Mostar have arrested five

    Bosnian Croats suspected of committing war crimes, AP

    reported on 7 March. Public prosecutor Ibro Bulic said the

    five were Bosnian Croat soldiers, including Zeljko Djidic,

    the former head of the Mostar branch of the Croatian

    Democratic Union party. They are accused of "ethnic

    cleansing" and other war crimes against civilians and

    prisoners and are also wanted for questioning in the

    disappearance of 13 Muslim soldiers arrested in Mostar in

    1993. Bulic said the arrests of the Bosnian Croats were

    approved by the UN war crimes tribunal. PB

    [22] SENIOR EU OFFICIAL IN ALBANIA

    European Commissioner for

    External Relations Chris Patten began a week-long visit to

    the Balkans on 6 March with a stop in Tirana, dpa reported.

    Patten held talks with Albanian President Rexhep Meidani,

    Premier Ilir Meta, and Foreign Minister Paskal Milo. An

    Albanian government spokesman said the leaders discussed

    their desire for closer ties with the EU. They also urged

    that negotiations on a stabilization and association

    agreement with the EU begin this year. In other news, Greece

    is investigating allegations that Greek officials in Tirana

    and Gjirokaster illegally issued visas to Albanians,

    allegedly at the request of Albanian government officials.

    The Athenian daily "Ethnos" reported that Albanian Foreign

    Minister Milo regularly sent lists of the names of people for

    whom Tirana wanted visas to be issued and that those lists

    received blanket approval. PB

    [23] ROMANIAN COALITION CRISIS OVER?

    National Peasant Party

    Christian Democratic Chairman (PNTCD) Ion Diaconescu on 6

    March said he has secured the agreement of the National

    Liberal Party (PNL) to replace Victor Babiuc with Sorin

    Frunzaverde as defense minister, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau

    reported. Diaconescu added that he has received a letter from

    Democratic Party Chairman Petre Roman assuring him that all

    laws that the PNTCD and the PNL consider to take priority

    will be supported by the Democrats once an agreement on

    Babiuc's replacement as defense minister is reached. A

    meeting of the coalition leadership has been scheduled for 9

    March in a bid to finalize that agreement. Earlier on 6

    March, President Emil Constantinescu urged Diaconescu and PNL

    leader Mircea Ionescu-Quintus to find as soon as possible a

    solution to the coalition crisis so that the legislature can

    pass urgently-needed legislation. MS

    [24] ROMANIAN ULTRA-NATIONALIST TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT

    The National

    Council of the Greater Romania Party (PRM) on 5 March

    nominated PRM Chairman Corneliu Vadim Tudor as its candidate

    for president and Corneliu Ciontu as first deputy chairman,

    replacing Valeriu Buzea, who died earlier this year. Cluj

    Mayor Gheorghe Funar was appointed director of the PRM

    electoral campaign. Tudor said the PRM supports Romania's EU

    integration, provided the country's national sovereignty is

    fully respected. MS

    [25] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT CRITICIZES ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

    Presidential spokesman Anatol Golea on 6 March told

    journalists that Romanian Foreign Minister Petre Roman's

    recent comments suggesting that the situation in Moldova has

    become more "complicated" and shows signs of "aggravating

    tension" are "ungrounded." Golea said that the government

    crisis in Moldova has been overcome and Dumitru Braghis's

    cabinet is seeking to establish "mutually beneficial

    relations" with Romania. Roman's comments that "one must

    await the results of the next presidential election" in

    Moldova can also be applied to Romania, he added. Golea also

    said Lucinschi has instructed the Foreign Ministry to follow

    up reports in the Romanian media that local police will be

    authorized to grant citizenship to Moldovans. The Moldovan

    constitution prohibits dual citizenship. MS

    [26] MOLDOVAN DEPUTY PREMIER RESIGNS

    Deputy Premier Eugen Slopac

    resigned on 6 March, RFE/RL's Chisinau Bureau reported.

    Slopac, who was in charge of the economy and reform, said his

    resignation came at the "insistence" of the Australian QBE

    insurance company that he head the Moldovan-Australian joint

    venture QBE-ASITO. He said the Australians have invested $5

    million in the joint venture, but only on condition that

    Slopac take over its management. "I am not going to return to

    politics. I am an economist, not a politician," he commented.

    MS


    [C] END NOTE

    [27] ALBRIGHT PRESSES FOR DEMOCRATIZATION IN THE BALKANS

    By Lisa McAdams

    U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said one of

    the themes of her three-day visit to the Czech Republic is

    "democratization" and what the U.S. and Czech governments can

    do to further the cause of peace and ethnic tolerance in the

    Balkans.

    Speaking in Prague on 6 March, Albright said the Czech

    Republic could serve as a "model" for peaceful democratic

    transition in the region, and she urged the democratic

    opposition in Serbia to take note: "It's important for them

    to look at lessons from this part of the world, where

    dissidents who might have disagreed on some long-term goals,

    or even some tactics, ultimately figured out it was in their

    advantage to ultimately cooperate together and get rid of a

    dictatorship."

    Albright said this is where the importance of sustained

    contact with NGOs enters in--a process she said the West

    hopes to better facilitate in the days and weeks ahead.

    Asked to comment on increasing tensions in southern

    Serbia, Albright expressed the U.S.'s "deep concern." And she

    warned ethnic Albanians there not to miscalculate the

    international community's determination to keep the peace.

    Albright made the comment after being asked to address

    suggestions that the Kosovar Albanians could try to provoke

    Serbia, in order to spur a western military response.

    "The international community is devoting a great deal of

    time and energy into helping the Kosovars create a place

    where they can exercise a high degree of autonomy and self-

    government," she noted. "That is what the U.S. is

    concentrating on, and that is what the Kosovars should

    concentrate on too."

    Albright was also asked her view on whether it is

    possible to defeat dictatorship and violence with democracy.

    She responded by saying that negative, repressive tactics may

    work for a time, but she said they ultimately prove to be

    "flawed." Here, she named Yugoslav President Slobodan

    Milosevic as a case in point, saying that she believed

    Milosevic wanted to be "another Tito" but instead is "another

    Enver Hoxha," who has "isolated [his people] and given them a

    lower standard of living than they have ever had. I don't

    think the Serb people deserve Milosevic. They are a good

    people who want to lead a peaceful life, and they don't

    deserve a leader like him."

    Albright heads to the Balkans on 8 March, where she will

    make stops in Sarajevo, Brcko and Banja Luka. She told RFE/RL

    the purpose of the trip is to stress U.S. support for the

    creation of strong state institutions. Albright, who has long

    described herself as a "realistic optimist," said she

    believes democracy ultimately will win out in the Balkans.

    But not before a fair amount of burden-sharing between the

    U.S. and the West.

    Albright also described recent events in Croatia as a

    bright beacon, signaling democratic change. And she credited

    the united opposition in that country with helping to foster

    the change: "What President Mesic and Prime Minister Racan

    made quite clear is they want to support the federation and

    central institutions in Sarajevo, instead of doing what

    [Croatian President] Franjo Tudjman did, which was to support

    separatism. So, that is a big step forward."

    Albright said officials in Zagreb also had urged Serbs

    to return to Croatia--an appeal Albright said should serve as

    a guiding principle for how things ought to be done in the

    Balkans.

    The author is an RFE/RL correspondent based in Washington.

    07-03-00


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


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