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RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 5, No. 185, 01-10-01

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. 5, No. 185, 1 October 2001


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] THOUSANDS CALL ON ARMENIAN PRESIDENT TO RESIGN
  • [02] U.S. MAKES USE OF ARMENIAN AIRSPACE
  • [03] POPE ENDS VISIT TO ARMENIA
  • [04] ARMENIAN-TURKISH CONCILIATION COMMISSION REGISTERS PROGRESS
  • [05] AZERBAIJAN, GEORGIA SIGN AGREEMENT ON NATURAL GAS EXPORT
  • [06] COUNCIL OF EUROPE CONCERNED BY HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN AZERBAIJAN
  • [07] GEORGIAN, ABKHAZ OFFICIALS ASSESS CHECHEN THREAT...
  • [08] ...AS INTERIOR MINISTER RULES OUT JOINT OPERATION WITH RUSSIA AGAINST CHECHENS
  • [09] RULING PARTY APPEALS TO GEORGIAN PRESIDENT TO DELAY RESIGNATION AS CHAIRMAN
  • [10] GEORGIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS IN JEOPARDY?
  • [11] U.S., KAZAKH OFFICIALS DISCUSS ANTITERRORIST MEASURES
  • [12] KYRGYZ DISTRICT COURT THROWS OUT LIBEL SUIT AGAINST PRESIDENT
  • [13] TAJIK PRESIDENT CONSULTS WITH AFGHAN, UZBEK, COUNTERPARTS
  • [14] UZBEK PRESIDENT DISCUSSES ANTITERRORISM MEASURES WITH RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VISITING U.S. OFFICIAL

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [15] GUNFIRE EXCHANGED AS MACEDONIAN TROOPS PREPARE TO MOVE INTO REBEL TERRITORY...
  • [16] ...AND EVERYONE WAITS FOR MACEDONIAN PARLIAMENT TO DECLARE AMNESTY
  • [17] COMMANDER OF NEW NATO FORCE PLEDGES SECURITY...
  • [18] ...AS TALKS ON THE RETURN OF MACEDONIAN FORCES CONTINUE
  • [19] TWO SERBS KILLED IN SOUTHEASTERN KOSOVA IN SEPARATE INCIDENTS
  • [20] SERBIAN MINISTER WANTS POSTELECTION GUARANTEES IN KOSOVA
  • [21] GRAFFITI CALLS FOR EXPULSION OF MINORITIES FROM VOJVODINA
  • [22] YUGOSLAVIA HAS 'OPEN DOOR' TO NATO'S PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE
  • [23] YUGOSLAV PARLIAMENT PASSES LAW ON MONEY LAUNDERING
  • [24] FORMER BOSNIAN-MUSLIM COMMANDER PLEADS NOT GUILTY IN THE HAGUE
  • [25] BOSNIAN LEADERSHIP PREPARED TO INTERCEPT MILITANTS WITH LINKS TO BIN LADEN
  • [26] CROATIAN LABOR LEADER SLAMS GOVERNMENT REFORM EFFORTS
  • [27] UN PROSECUTOR SIGNS CROATIA INDICTMENT AGAINST MILOSEVIC
  • [28] CROATIA AUTHORITIES ARREST SEVEN ON WAR CRIMES CHARGES
  • [29] ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER STRESSES COOPERATION WITH MACEDONIA...
  • [30] ...AS FOREIGN, DEFENSE MINISTERS SAY THE PROBLEM IS NOT ALBANIA
  • [31] ROMANIA SETS UP MINISTERIAL COMMISSION TO SUPERVISE SUSPECT BANK ACCOUNTS
  • [32] ROMANIAN CABINET APPROVES EU, NATO ACCESSION PLANS...
  • [33] ...ORDINANCE FOR SIDEX PRIVATIZATION
  • [34] EXTREMIST ROMANIAN PARTY SAYS 'NO VADIM, NO MEETING'
  • [35] ILIESCU WARNS AGAINST 'EXTRAVAGANT FEDERALIZATION IDEAS'
  • [36] ETHNIC HUNGARIAN PARTY IN ROMANIA DISCIPLINES HONORARY CHAIRMAN
  • [37] NEW ROMANIAN PARTY HOLDS FIRST CONGRESS
  • [38] MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES JOINING CIS ANTITERROR CENTER...
  • [39] ...AS SECURITY SERVICE DIRECTOR WARNS OF TERRORIST ACTIVITY
  • [40] ILASCU SEEKS TO INVOLVE PACE IN LIBERATION OF TIRASPOL PRISONERS
  • [41] THIRD CANDIDATE EMERGES IN TRANSDNIESTER PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS
  • [42] BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS NAME LEADER AS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE
  • [43] IMF DELAYS DECISION ON BULGARIAN LOAN
  • [44] GADDAFI SON TO 'OBSERVE' TRIAL OF BULGARIANS IN LIBYA

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [45] There is no End Note today.

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] THOUSANDS CALL ON ARMENIAN PRESIDENT TO RESIGN

    A crowd estimated at between 3,000 and 12,000 demonstrators attended a rally in Yerevan on 28 September convened by opposition Hanrapetutiun party leader and former Prime Minister Aram Sargsian, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported. In early September, Hanrapetutiun together with the People's Party of Armenia and the National Accord Party announced their intention of beginning impeachment proceedings against President Robert Kocharian, whom they accuse of violating the constitution (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 10 September 2001 and "RFE/RL Caucasus Report," Vol. 4, No. 32, 24 September 2001). Sargsian and former Yerevan Mayor Albert Bazeyan both described Kocharian's plans to seek a second presidential term in 2003 as "a threat to Armenia's statehood," Glasnost-North Caucasus Reported. Speakers at the rally claimed that attendance would have been larger had police not turned back buses carrying thousands more potential participants before they reached Yerevan. LF

    [02] U.S. MAKES USE OF ARMENIAN AIRSPACE

    U.S. military aircraft engaged in the buildup of U.S. forces prior to the anticipated retaliatory strike against terrorist bases in Afghanistan overflew Armenia on 27 September, Presidential spokesman Vahe Gabrielian told RFE/RL. But he did not specify how many aircraft were involved, or whether the flights originated from the Turkish airbase at Incirlik or elsewhere. LF

    [03] POPE ENDS VISIT TO ARMENIA

    Pope John Paul II left Armenia on 27 September after a three-day visit after celebrating a mass at Echmiadzin for Armenia's tiny Catholic community. Speaking at a farewell ceremony at Yerevan's Zvartnots airport, the pope called on the leaders of the three South Caucasus states to "move forward courageously" toward peace, which he termed the precondition for development and prosperity. He also urged Armenians not to lose hope in the face of economic hardship. LF

    [04] ARMENIAN-TURKISH CONCILIATION COMMISSION REGISTERS PROGRESS

    Two Armenian members of the Armenian-Turkish conciliation commission established in July told RFE/RL's Armenian Service on 228 September that during the group's first session held in Istanbul last week (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 26 September 2001), its 10 members "got a better idea of each others' views," as a result of which "it is now easier" for them to discuss "sensitive issues." But neither participant divulged precisely what topics the group addressed. Its next meeting is to take place in November in New York. Meanwhile in Strasbourg, the Armenian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) autumn session proposed that the PACE Ministerial Committee formally discuss Turkey's economic blockade of Armenia, Noyan Tapan reported on 26 September. LF

    [05] AZERBAIJAN, GEORGIA SIGN AGREEMENT ON NATURAL GAS EXPORT

    The presidents of Azerbaijan and Georgia, Heidar Aliev and Eduard Shevardnadze, signed a formal agreement on 29 September in Baku on the export of Azerbaijani natural gas (not oil, as reported in "RFE/RL Newsline" on 27 September) via the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzerum pipeline. That agreement was originally scheduled for signing two months earlier, but delayed due to the two sides' inability to reach agreement on transit fees (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 August and 21 September 2001). A parallel intergovernmental agreement was signed by Georgian International Oil Company President Giorgi Chanturia and Azerbaijani Fuel and Energy Minister Medjid Kerimov. ITAR-TASS quoted Natik Aliev, president of the Azerbaijani State Oil Company SOCAR, as saying that between 2004-2009 Georgia will receive $2.50 for each 1,000 cubic meters of gas, rising gradually over the next 20 years to a maximum of $5. According to Georgian Foreign Minister Irakli Menagharishvili, separate agreements will be negotiated annually between 2004 and 2018 to determine what percentage of the transit tariffs Georgia will receive in cash and natural gas respectively. In addition, Georgia will receive 5 percent of the gas exported via the pipeline free of charge, and will have the option of purchasing a further 500 million cubic meters at a price of $55 per 1,000 cubic meters. The initial throughput capacity will be 2 billion cubic meters per year, rising to 6.6 billion cubic meters in 2018. LF

    [06] COUNCIL OF EUROPE CONCERNED BY HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN AZERBAIJAN

    Council of Europe Secretary-General Walther Schwimmer on 28 September expressed concern at the increase in the number of instances of harassment and imprisonment of journalists in Azerbaijan in recent weeks, Turan reported. He called on the Azerbaijani leadership to guarantee free speech and journalistic independence, and also to make good on the pledge made in January when Azerbaijan was accepted into full membership of the Council of Europe to release or grant a new trial to all political prisoners. President Aliev told a visiting Council of Europe delegation in July that there are no political prisoners in Azerbaijan (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 10 July 2001). LF

    [07] GEORGIAN, ABKHAZ OFFICIALS ASSESS CHECHEN THREAT...

    Abkhaz Premier Anri Djergenia traveled to Tbilisi on 28 September, where he met for two hours with President Shevardnadze to discuss preparations for the planned 9 October meeting of the UN-sponsored Coordinating Council that aims to resolve issues related to the Abkhaz conflict, and the threat posed by the reported presence in Abkhazia of groups of fighters from Chechnya, Russian and Georgian agencies reported. Djergenia denied Georgian media reports of clashes over the previous two days between Abkhaz troops and combined Chechen and Georgian guerrilla forces near the town of Tkvarcheli. Shevardnadze said that contact has been made with the Chechen fighters, who agreed to leave Abkhazia. UN special envoy Dieter Boden said on 29 September that the risk of new fighting in Abkhazia has been almost eliminated, Interfax reported. Caucasus Press on 27 September quoted Georgian Forest Brothers guerrilla movement leader Dato Shengelaia as explaining that the 900 Chechen fighters entered Georgia two months ago, but failed to reach agreement with the Georgian guerrillas on launching a new offensive against the Abkhaz army. The Georgian guerrillas wanted to enlist the Chechens' help to overthrow the Abkhaz leadership, but the Chechens wanted to attack the Russian military base in Abkhazia and thus open a new Russian-Chechen front on Georgian territory. LF

    [08] ...AS INTERIOR MINISTER RULES OUT JOINT OPERATION WITH RUSSIA AGAINST CHECHENS

    Visiting Moscow on 28-29 September for talks with his Russian counterpart Boris Gryzlov, Georgian Interior Minister Kakha Targamadze said Tbilisi would not agree to mounting a joint operation with Russia against Chechen fighters on Georgian territory, ITAR-TASS reported. One week earlier Georgian Border Guard commander Valeri Chkheidze had hinted that Georgia might agree to such an operation (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 September 2001). Targamadze denied that Chechen field commander Ruslan Gelaev is hiding out on Georgian territory controlled by the central Georgian government, but conceded that he might be in a region that is not controlled by the Georgian government, possibly meaning Abkhazia or the breakaway unrecognized Republic of South Ossetia. Numerous Russian media reports over the past year have claimed that Gelaev and his men retreated to Georgia's Pankisi gorge after his clash in March 2000 with fellow field commander Arbi Baraev. Targamadze and Gryzlov also discussed the extradition to Russia of 13 fighters from the North Caucasus detained in Georgia in early June after illegally entering Georgia from Russia (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 14 and 19 September 2001). LF

    [09] RULING PARTY APPEALS TO GEORGIAN PRESIDENT TO DELAY RESIGNATION AS CHAIRMAN

    A group of founding members of the Union of Citizens of Georgia (SMK) has appealed to President Shevardnadze not to resign yet as that party's chairman, Caucasus Press reported on 29 September. Shevardnadze announced his decision to do so two weeks ago (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 18 September 2001). The SMK was founded in late 1993 to serve as Shevardnadze's personal power base. LF

    [10] GEORGIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS IN JEOPARDY?

    For lack of a quorum, the Georgian parliament on 28 September failed to select the members of the new Central Election Commission nominated by NGOs, Caucasus Press reported. Those members must be endorsed by no less than two- thirds of the 235 parliament deputies, but only 143 were present. Two days earlier, Central Electoral Commission Deputy Chairman Givi Komakhidze told Caucasus Press he doubts that local elections will take place as scheduled on 4 November. The commission has not yet received the 4 million laris ($1.93 million) required to cover the costs of the ballot, and numerous organizational problems have still to be resolved. Virtually all opposition parties have vowed to boycott the poll, claiming that the parliament vote on the new election law was invalid (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 August 2001). LF

    [11] U.S., KAZAKH OFFICIALS DISCUSS ANTITERRORIST MEASURES

    U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan Larry Napper on 28 September urged Zharmakhan Tuyaqbaev, speaker of the Mazhilis (the lower chamber of Kazakhstan's parliament) to expedite ratification of international conventions of the fight against terrorism, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported. The same day, Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov met in Washington with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to discuss Kazakhstan's contribution to the international antiterrorism coalition, ITAR-TASS reported. Also on 28 September, Kazakh officials in Astana said that a U.S. military aircraft en route from Ireland to Uzbekistan overflew Kazakh territory two days earlier, Reuters reported. Meanwhile in Almaty, the All-Union Bolshevik Party's Kazakhstan branch held a press conference at which members protested the Kazakh leadership's willingness to facilitate U.S. strikes on Afghanistan, RFE/RL's Almaty bureau reported. LF

    [12] KYRGYZ DISTRICT COURT THROWS OUT LIBEL SUIT AGAINST PRESIDENT

    The Pervomai district court in Bishkek on 28 September rejected a libel suit brought against President Askar Akaev by imprisoned former Vice President Feliks Kulov, RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 10 September 2001). In his book "The Memorable Decade," Akaev had described Kulov as power hungry and having ties to criminal circles. Kulov was sentenced in January to seven years imprisonment on charges of abuse of power while serving as national security minister in 1997-1998. LF

    [13] TAJIK PRESIDENT CONSULTS WITH AFGHAN, UZBEK, COUNTERPARTS

    During a telephone conversation on 28 September, Imomali Rakhmonov and Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani shared their concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and appealed to the international community to provide the maximum aid to the civilian population, Interfax reported. Also on 28 September, Rakhmonov met with Moukhsin Aminzadeh, a special envoy of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, to discuss the possible repercussions of U.S. airstrikes against terrorist bases in Afghanistan. Rakhmonov also discussed Afghanistan and the situation in Central Asia with Uzbekistan's president, Islam Karimov, Russian agencies reported. The two agreed on the need to strengthen border controls to prevent terrorists from entering either country from Afghan territory. LF

    [14] UZBEK PRESIDENT DISCUSSES ANTITERRORISM MEASURES WITH RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VISITING U.S. OFFICIAL

    President Karimov telephoned Russian President Vladimir Putin on 30 September to discuss the situation in Afghanistan and ways to cooperate in the fight against international terrorism, Russian agencies reported. On 28 September, U.S. Undersecretary of State John Boulton visited Tashkent to discuss antiterrorism measures with the Uzbek leadership, AP reported. No details of those talks were released. Also on 28 September, for security reasons Uzbekistan stopped routing either passenger or cargo flights across Afghan territory, Interfax reported. LF

    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [15] GUNFIRE EXCHANGED AS MACEDONIAN TROOPS PREPARE TO MOVE INTO REBEL TERRITORY...

    The Macedonian government reported exchanges of gunfire on 30 September and the following day between ethnic Albanians and Macedonian police in the northwest of the country, AP reported. Police spokesman Victor Sutarov said there were no injuries in what he said was the most serious flare-up of gunfire in several days. He accused ethnic Albanian militants of initiating the shooting and said police manning checkpoints outside of Tetovo returned fire. An ethnic Albanian rebel commander told AP that the incident was a provocation by the Macedonian side. Gunfire was also heard in some villages in the northwest that were rebel strongholds during the insurgency, and which the Macedonian government is preparing to retake control of. PB

    [16] ...AND EVERYONE WAITS FOR MACEDONIAN PARLIAMENT TO DECLARE AMNESTY

    NATO, members of the Macedonian government, and ethnic Albanian rebel leaders urged the Macedonian parliament to pass an amnesty before sending Macedonian security forces into rebel-held areas of the country, AFP reported. The amnesty is supposed to be granted in exchange for the rebels disarming, which has been officially completed. Macedonian Defense Minister Vlado Buckovski said on television that "I wish they [parliament deputies] would finally stop passing the buck about who should propose the law for amnesty and solve this painful issue. We have to accept that we have taken on an obligation that is part of the peace plan...[hard-line politicians] can also endanger the lives of policemen who enter villages because if the status of former so-called UCK members is not regulated, this creates unease and room for incidents." NATO spokesman Mark Laity made a similar point, saying: "people who fear being arrested because there is no amnesty will not be so welcoming of Macedonian security forces returning." Rebel leaders said it will also be very difficult for the peace process to continue without an amnesty. Hard-liners in the parliament have delayed passing the amnesty, and some have even suggested it should be put to a national referendum. PB

    [17] COMMANDER OF NEW NATO FORCE PLEDGES SECURITY...

    Brigadier-General Heinz-Georg Keerl, the German head of NATO's follow-up mission in Macedonia, dubbed Amber Fox, said on 29 September that his forces will "move very rapidly, if necessary by air...to secure an area and provide a secure environment" for the monitors being sent to observe the peace process. NATO began deploying troops for Amber Fox on 27 September, and Keerl said some 250 soldiers are already in place. NATO spokesman Laity said, "There will be problems, there will be violence. It's a fact of life there will be incidents." PB

    [18] ...AS TALKS ON THE RETURN OF MACEDONIAN FORCES CONTINUE

    NATO said in Skopje on 30 September that progress was made in the talks to decide on a plan of return for Macedonian forces to the conflict areas held by rebel ethnic Albanian forces, AFP reported. NATO spokesman Laity said that "progress was made on all levels" in meetings with the Macedonian Defense and Interior ministries. Macedonian army spokesman Blagoja Markovski said soldiers will not return to the rebel strongholds until NATO's new mission, Amber Fox, is properly under way. Defense Minister Buckovski said the government is taking into consideration "the demands of the international community for a staged return which is aimed at guaranteeing greater security." Some members of parliament and the government had called for an immediate push by Macedonian forces into areas held by ethnic Albanians that could be completed within a few weeks. PB

    [19] TWO SERBS KILLED IN SOUTHEASTERN KOSOVA IN SEPARATE INCIDENTS

    A 50-year-old woman was killed by a land mine while working in her cornfield on 30 September, and a 48-year-old man was killed when the van in which he was a passenger was fired upon on 28 September, AP and Beta reported. Serb sources in the village of Klokot believed the mine that killed Stana Mirkovic was planted the night before, as members of her family had worked the field the previous day. Klokot is one of the few Serb settlements left in the predominantly ethnic Albanian southeast. A UN police spokesman said the van was attacked as it stopped at a roadblock near the village of Kopernica, 45 kilometers southeast of Prishtina. DW

    [20] SERBIAN MINISTER WANTS POSTELECTION GUARANTEES IN KOSOVA

    Deputy Prime Minister Nebojsa Covic told the 30 September "Vecernje Novosti" that "Serbs need additional guarantees that Kosovo will not declare independence after the [17 November] elections," and that Serbs will be able to organize their own local authorities under UNMIK rules, Serbian news agencies reported. He also said under the UN's plan, repatriating the 250,000 displaced Serbs to the province would take 250 years; although at the same time he criticized his own government for failing to deliver aid earmarked for the Kosova Serbs. DW

    [21] GRAFFITI CALLS FOR EXPULSION OF MINORITIES FROM VOJVODINA

    Graffiti calling for the expulsion of minorities from the ethnically mixed town of Sombor in northern Vojvodina appeared overnight, the Hungarian- language daily "Magyar Szo" reported on 30 September. "Hungarians Out!", "Croats Out!", "Death to the Jews!", "Death to the Albanians!", and "We shall storm over the River Drava and set Croatia ablaze!" were some of the slogans covering walls in the town. Mayor Jovan Vujicic called on citizens to stop tolerating such offenses and name the perpetrators, as well as calling on authorities to take action. DW

    [22] YUGOSLAVIA HAS 'OPEN DOOR' TO NATO'S PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE

    Robert Serry, the director of the Crisis Management and Operation Directorate at NATO headquarters, said that Yugoslavia has an "open door...since the democratic changes in Belgrade" of a year ago, Reuters reported on 29 September. Speaking after a two-day conference on the possibility of Yugoslavia joining the program, Serry said the fact that Yugoslav Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic opened the conference "is an encouraging sign of the growing interest of Belgrade in the further improvement of its relations with NATO." Svilanovic said he is convinced that "we are very close to joining the Partnership for Peace." In other news, the U.S. on 28 September reopened its consulate in Belgrade, which had been closed since the NATO bombing campaign of March 1999, AP reported. DW

    [23] YUGOSLAV PARLIAMENT PASSES LAW ON MONEY LAUNDERING

    The Yugoslav parliament passed a law proposed by the central bank to combat money laundering and harmonize its laws with those of the EU, Reuters reported on 28 September. The law comes into effect on 1 July 2002. "We decided to start implementing the law nine months after its adoption to give time for all needed institutions to be created," National Bank of Yugoslavia Governor Mladjan Dinkic said. DW

    [24] FORMER BOSNIAN-MUSLIM COMMANDER PLEADS NOT GUILTY IN THE HAGUE

    The highest-ranking Bosnian Muslim to be brought before The Hague war crimes tribunal, Sefer Halilovic, pleaded not guilty on 27 September to charges of failing to prevent the 1993 killing of Bosnian Croat civilians by his troops, Reuters reported. Halilovic, who surrendered to the court on 25 September, is charged with violating the laws and customs of war. He is accused of failing to stop the murder of more than 60 villagers and of subsequently not investigating or punishing those responsible for the killings. Halilovic's lawyer said the killings were carried out by elements of the army and secret services to deepen ethnic resentment and discredit Halilovic, Reuters said. AH

    [25] BOSNIAN LEADERSHIP PREPARED TO INTERCEPT MILITANTS WITH LINKS TO BIN LADEN

    Dozens of militants linked to Saudi-born Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda organization are trying to flee Afghanistan for Bosnia, Reuters and other agencies quoted the interior minister of the country's Muslim-Croat federation as saying on 28 September. Minister Muhamed Besic said he had "information from a reliable source that 70 people...involved in bin Laden's organization are preparing to leave Afghanistan for Bosnia, thinking it is now the safest place for them," Reuters reported. But the ministry said it is ready to intercept those seeking refuge, presumably with local sympathizers, and has already taken measures with the UN policing mission and the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia. After the 11 September attacks in the United States, local media revived allegations that Bosnian wartime authorities had issued a passport to bin Laden, but this has been repeatedly denied. Bosnia's federation recently launched a crackdown on foreigners with Bosnian citizenship who are wanted abroad. It was intensified after the 11 September suicide attacks in the United States. Besic said that his ministry, acting upon information from Interpol and some foreign embassies in Sarajevo, have been tracking 13 people who were "under a well-founded suspicion of being linked to terrorism." AH

    [26] CROATIAN LABOR LEADER SLAMS GOVERNMENT REFORM EFFORTS

    The president of the Association of Workers' Trade Unions, Boris Kunst, accused the government of allowing social benefits and standards to fall during reform efforts, particularly in health care, Hina reported on 28 September. Kunst, who has called for public demonstrations under the slogan "Sobering Protests," said the poorest Croats are being affected most harshly. He accused the government of trying to establish a neoliberal model for social policies, the agency said, adding that poorly paid Croatian workers could hardly bear such an approach. AH

    [27] UN PROSECUTOR SIGNS CROATIA INDICTMENT AGAINST MILOSEVIC

    The UN's chief prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, has signed a new indictment against former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic for war crimes in Croatia, Reuters quoted her deputy saying on 28 September. The signing of a Bosnia indictment has been delayed as prosecutors work to gather evidence, Graham Blewitt added. The Croatia indictment, signed on 27 September, does not contain a charge of genocide, the agency reported. Blewitt declined to detail the charges pending a judge's confirmation of the indictment. Croatian President Stipe Mesic welcomed the new charges, saying that "without this indictment, justice would not have been served at all," Reuters reported. AH

    [28] CROATIA AUTHORITIES ARREST SEVEN ON WAR CRIMES CHARGES

    Croatian police arrested seven former military policemen suspected of war crimes against civilians during Croatia's 1991-95 war for independence, Hina and Reuters reported on 28 September. Police are reportedly still hunting for the former chief warden of Lora military prison in Split, Hina said. A Split public prosecutor said a report has been filed against all eight for "crimes against humanity and international law and war crimes against civilians," Reuters reported, citing Hina. Those crimes are believed to include torturing and murdering Serb prisoners at the Croatian military police base of Lora during the war. AH

    [29] ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER STRESSES COOPERATION WITH MACEDONIA...

    Albanian Prime Minister Ilir Meta and visiting Macedonian Defense Minister Vlado Buckovski at a 30 September meeting in Tirana agreed on the need for increased mutual cooperation in the fight against cross-border trafficking in people, drugs, arms, and other common areas of interest, dpa reported. The Albanian leader also urged "the immediate implementation" of the Ohrid peace accord and responded to Buckovski's concerns over the fate of ethnic Macedonians in southeastern Albania. Meta pledged his country's determination to implement minority rights "in full compliance with international standards," the agency reported. AH

    [30] ...AS FOREIGN, DEFENSE MINISTERS SAY THE PROBLEM IS NOT ALBANIA

    Macedonian Defense Minister Buckovski also met with the foreign and defense ministers of Albania, ATA and dpa reported on 30 September. Foreign Minister Arta Dade said Albanian fighters have complied with the Ohrid agreement and it is now "up to the Macedonian parliament to realize the total implementation of this agreement," according to ATA. Buckovski said the Ohrid accord had "a good chance to beat all agreements with Albanians" and added that his government is "engaged in realizing it," ATA said. Meanwhile, Albanian Defense Minister Pandeli Majko rejected Macedonian claims that his country is supporting armed ethnic Albanian groups in Macedonia, dpa said. Majko said there are "no training camps for terrorists in Albania and we would welcome any international investigation into the matter," dpa said. Buckovski reiterated allegations that camps in Tropoje and Kukes are used "for the training of terrorists that have terrorized Macedonia," ATA reported. The defense ministers of both countries agreed on an international investigation into the matter, according to ATA. AH

    [31] ROMANIA SETS UP MINISTERIAL COMMISSION TO SUPERVISE SUSPECT BANK ACCOUNTS

    Prime Minister Adrian Nastase on 27 September announced that the government has set up an interministerial commission that will supervise the implementation of the Security Council Resolution 1333, and in particular the blocking of bank accounts belonging to persons or organizations suspected of having links to terrorists, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. MS

    [32] ROMANIAN CABINET APPROVES EU, NATO ACCESSION PLANS...

    The cabinet on 27 September approved the medium-term action plan for Romania's accession to the EU, covering the period 2001-2004, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. One day earlier the cabinet also approved Romania's annual program of measures for NATO-accession, covering the period 2001-2002. The latter program was presented at NATO headquarters in Brussels on 28 September by Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana and Defense Minister Ioan Mircea Pascu. MS

    [33] ...ORDINANCE FOR SIDEX PRIVATIZATION

    On 27 September the cabinet approved a government ordinance for the privatization of the Galati steelmaking giant Sidex, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. Privatization Minister Ovidiu Musatescu the next day traveled to Galati and presented the ordinance to Sidex trade union leaders. Mediafax reported that the ordinance writes off $500 million in arrears owed to the Treasury by Sidex, and converts $400 million of the company's debts into shares, which will be transferred to LNM Holdings, the British-Indian consortium that is about to purchase Sidex. MS

    [34] EXTREMIST ROMANIAN PARTY SAYS 'NO VADIM, NO MEETING'

    The Greater Romania Party (PRM) on 27 September said it will not attend a meeting with President Ion Iliescu on 3 October because he would not agree that the PRM be represented by its leader, Senator Corneliu Vadim Tudor, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. Iliescu has invited all parliamentary parties to consultations on NATO and EU accession. Iliescu has refused to meet Tudor following the PRM leader's declarations that members of the terrorist organization Hamas were allegedly trained by Romania, and said on 28 September that his decision is "irrevocable." Also on 28 September, the PRM leadership said it expects "concrete proof" that Tudor's allegations have damaged Romania's image. Tudor said he will launch judicial procedures against those accusing him of disseminating false information. MS

    [35] ILIESCU WARNS AGAINST 'EXTRAVAGANT FEDERALIZATION IDEAS'

    President Iliescu, on a visit to Timis County, on 29 and 30 September warned against "extravagant federalization ideas," Romanian radio reported. Addressing members of the staff of Timisoara University on 29 September, Iliescu said the main problem confronting Romania is poverty, and in order to cope with it the country needs "national cohesion and national solidarity" rather than these "strange" ideas that circulate in the region. He repeated the message he made on 30 September while visiting Arad. He said that "Romanians have long fought to achieve national unity," and "undermining it is not in the interest of anyone or any of the country's regions." In related news, Premier Nastase said in a 27 September interview with the Hungarian MTI agency that he never has and never will support the setting up of state university taught in the Hungarian language. Nastase added that no international regulations stipulate that national minorities must have universities financed from the state budget. MS

    [36] ETHNIC HUNGARIAN PARTY IN ROMANIA DISCIPLINES HONORARY CHAIRMAN

    The Council of Representatives of the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR), meeting in Targu Mures on 29 September, decided to sanction with a "warning" UDMR Honorary Chairman Bishop Laszlo Toekes for having called on UDMR supporters to vote against the party's Salaj County candidate for the Senate in the 2000 elections, Mediafax reported. The council opted for the mildest of the three possible sanctions recommended by the UDMR Ethics Council, the most severe of which would have been exclusion. Toekes said in response the next day that the disciplinary action against him is "a political act," and added that after being decorated with the Hungarian Grand Cross by the government in Budapest, he will now "have to bear the little cross with which the UDMR has decorated me." The Council of Representatives on 29 September elected Senator Gyorgy Frunda as its chairman. He replaces Zoltan Deszi, who resigned from the position to avoid a conflict of interest with his current position of deputy prefect in Harghita County. MS

    [37] NEW ROMANIAN PARTY HOLDS FIRST CONGRESS

    The Socialist Party of National Revival (PSRN) on 29 September held its first congress in Bucharest, electing Bucharest Deputy Mayor Ioan Radu as its chairman, Mediafax reported. Radu, who left the PRM in December 2000, said he wants to attract to his formation PRM supporters "except the Taliban" in that party. He also said he is particularly targeting those Transylvanian supporters of the PRM who cast their ballots for Corneliu Vadim Tudor's party in 2000 for "a lack of an alternative." MS

    [38] MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES JOINING CIS ANTITERROR CENTER...

    The parliament on 28 September approved Moldova's membership of the CIS Antiterrorist Center, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. Information and Security Service (SIS) Director Valeriu Pasat, addressing the legislature, denied the claim made by the opposition Popular Party Christian Democratic (PPCD) that joining the center represents an infringement of Moldova's neutrality. Pasat said the center "is not a military organization, but a think tank." The PPCD voted against the government-submitted resolution. MS

    [39] ...AS SECURITY SERVICE DIRECTOR WARNS OF TERRORIST ACTIVITY

    Addressing the parliament on 27 September, Pasat said the SIS has managed to foil an attempt by international terrorist organizations to purchase military equipment in the Transdniester. He said several terrorist organizations, among them Hamas, Hisbollah, the Muslim Brothers, and the extremist wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party have sent envoys to Moldova and the SIS has foiled attempts to legally register organizations connected with these movements. Pasat also said that "supporters of extremism penetrate into Moldova via illegal immigration," and expressed concern over the growing number of foreign students, many of whom come from countries suspected of links with terrorist organizations, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. MS

    [40] ILASCU SEEKS TO INVOLVE PACE IN LIBERATION OF TIRASPOL PRISONERS

    Romanian Senator Ilie Ilascu submitted a draft resolution to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on 27 September asking that organization to intervene for the liberation of the three members of his group who are still detained in Tiraspol, Flux reported. Thirty PACE parliamentarians support the draft. MS

    [41] THIRD CANDIDATE EMERGES IN TRANSDNIESTER PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

    Viktor Skok, a member of the Communist Party in Transdniester, on 28 September announced that he will run in the forthcoming "presidential" elections in the separatist region, Flux reported. He is the third candidate to do so, after "President" Igor Smirnov and Aleksandr Radchenko, the leader of the Narodvlastie (People's Power) party. The 51-year-old Skok was elected in 1996 as first secretary of the Tighina/Bendery local branch of the Communist Party. Political observers in Chisinau believe Voronin is backing the candidacy of Radchenko. MS

    [42] BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS NAME LEADER AS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

    The opposition Socialist Party (BSP) on 30 September nominated BSP Chairman Georgi Parvanov to be its candidate in the presidential elections scheduled for 11 November, dpa reported. The ruling National Movement Simeon II is to nominate its candidate on 2 October. MS

    [43] IMF DELAYS DECISION ON BULGARIAN LOAN

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has delayed a decision on whether to approve a loan to Bulgaria, insisting the country must revise its budget projections due to fears of a global recession, AP reported on 27 September. IMF mission head to Bulgaria Jerald Schiff said the loan could, however, be soon approved because there are "no disagreements on the broad parameters of economic policies." MS

    [44] GADDAFI SON TO 'OBSERVE' TRIAL OF BULGARIANS IN LIBYA

    Seif Islam, a son of Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi, said on 27 September that he has "agreed to be an observer" of the trial of the six Bulgarians accused of having willfully infected children with the HIV virus in Libya, Reuters reported. The agency said his presence in the court is viewed by Bulgaria as a boost for the defendants' chances. Islam, who chairs the Gaddafi International Foundation for Charity Associations, told Reuters in a written reply: "We have accepted this role at the request of the Bulgarian side and in conformity with the humanitarian role of the foundation... We will do our utmost to guarantee that justice is done, and assure the Bulgarian side of the fairness and justice of the Libyan judicial system." MS

    [C] END NOTE

    [45] There is no End Note today.

    01-10-01

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


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