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RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 5, No. 210, 01-11-05

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. 210, 5 November 2001


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] FUGITIVE ARMENIAN PARLIAMENT DEPUTY ENDORSES CALL FOR PRESIDENT'S IMPEACHMENT
  • [02] ARMENIA, AZERBAIJAN EXCHANGE PRISONERS
  • [03] AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT AGAIN DEMANDS EQUITABLE SOLUTION TO KARABAKH CONFLICT
  • [04] GEORGIAN PRESIDENT SAYS HE WILL NOT RESIGN OR DISSOLVE PARLIAMENT...
  • [05] ... DISCUSSES POLITICAL SITUATION WITH ADJAR LEADER...
  • [06] ... AS PUBLIC PROTESTS IN TBILISI DIE DOWN
  • [07] UN SECURITY COUNCIL AGAIN FAILS TO AGREE ON ABKHAZ SETTLEMENT DOCUMENT
  • [08] RUSSIAN OFFICIALS CLAIM ABKHAZ BASE CLOSED
  • [09] GEORGIA STRIPPED OF VOTING RIGHTS AT UNESCO
  • [10] KYRGYZ OPPOSITION PARTIES CLOSE RANKS, ELECT KULOV AS LEADER
  • [11] UZBEKISTAN AGAIN SUSPENDS GAS DELIVERIES TO KYRGYZSTAN
  • [12] TAJIK PRESIDENT MEETS WITH EU OFFICIAL...
  • [13] ... ADB DELEGATION
  • [14] TURKMENISTAN ISSUES ARREST WARRANT FOR FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER
  • [15] U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY VISITS TAJIKISTAN, UZBEKISTAN...
  • [16] ... AS DOES AUSTRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [17] YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT CALLS ON KOSOVAR SERBS TO VOTE
  • [18] SERBS IN KOSOVA DIVIDED OVER ELECTIONS
  • [19] UNMIK HAILS KOSTUNICA'S ANNOUNCEMENT ON KOSOVA VOTE...
  • [20] ... BUT ALBANIANS ARE NOT QUITE SURE
  • [21] SERBIAN DELEGATION TO WASHINGTON
  • [22] LOW TURNOUT IN SERBIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS
  • [23] YUGOSLAVIA OPENS EMBASSY IN SLOVENIA
  • [24] KOSTUNICA PREPARING FOR MONTENEGRIN VOTE
  • [25] RENEWED CONTROVERSY OVER BOSNIAN SERB PARTY
  • [26] CROATIAN LEGISLATORS TO BOSNIA
  • [27] MACEDONIAN PARLIAMENT HAMSTRUNG AGAIN
  • [28] ROMANIAN PREMIER WRAPS UP U.S. VISIT
  • [29] FRENCH SENATE SPEAKER IN ROMANIA
  • [30] ROMANIAN PUNKS CLASH WITH HUNGARIAN SKINHEADS...
  • [31] ... AND PRIESTS SAID TO NURTURE IRON GUARDISTS
  • [32] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENCY DRAFTING NEW 'FOREIGN POLICY CONCEPT'
  • [33] HAMMUD LEAVES MOLDOVA
  • [34] MOLDOVA, TRANSDNIESTER RESUME NEGOTIATIONS ON 'SPECIAL STATUS'
  • [35] WORLD BANK OFFICIAL SAYS MOLDOVA, IMF CLOSE TO AGREEMENT
  • [36] ZENOVICH REGISTERED AS 'PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE' IN TRANSDNIESTER
  • [37] BULGARIAN POLLSTERS PREDICT FIRST-ROUND VICTORY FOR STOYANOV
  • [38] BULGARIAN PREMIER SAYS FIRST 100 DAYS A SUCCESS

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [39] There is no end note today

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] FUGITIVE ARMENIAN PARLIAMENT DEPUTY ENDORSES CALL FOR PRESIDENT'S IMPEACHMENT

    Former Armenian Interior Minister and Yerevan Mayor Vano Siradeghian, who fled Armenia in April 2000 to avoid being taken into custody for the remaining duration of his trial on charges of arranging contract murders, has written to the Armenian daily "Haykakan zhamanak" saying he is "pleased" to append his signature to the petition being circulated in parliament calling for the impeachment of President Robert Kocharian, the paper reported on 1 November. LF

    [02] ARMENIA, AZERBAIJAN EXCHANGE PRISONERS

    Three Azerbaijani civilians detained on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the past two months were handed back to the Azerbaijani authorities on 3 November in return for one Armenian soldier taken prisoner last month, Turan and ITAR-TASS reported. Representatives of the OSCE and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies monitored the exchange. LF

    [03] AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT AGAIN DEMANDS EQUITABLE SOLUTION TO KARABAKH CONFLICT

    Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliev told the visiting U.S., French, and Russian co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group during a four-hour meeting in Baku on 4 November that a solution to the conflict must take into account that parts of Azerbaijan's territory have been occupied and the population forced to flee their homes, ITAR-TASS and Turan reported. He said that a "one-sided approach" cannot yield a solution. AP quoted Aliev as again threatening a new war if no peaceful solution can be found to the conflict, but Russian co-chair and First Deputy Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov told journalists after the meeting that despite such statements Aliev, like his Armenian counterpart Kocharian, has the "civic courage" required to pursue a peaceful solution. Trubnikov also hinted that the co-chairs discussed with Aliev amendments to earlier proposals on resolving the conflict, but did not give further details. LF

    [04] GEORGIAN PRESIDENT SAYS HE WILL NOT RESIGN OR DISSOLVE PARLIAMENT...

    Eduard Shevardnadze told journalists in Tbilisi on 5 November that he does not intend either to step down or to dissolve parliament, RFE/RL's Georgian Service and AP reported. He said the president should resign only if he has committed a serious crime or he is physically incapacitated, arguing that it would be irresponsible for him to step down when Georgia has no government and there is no parliament leadership. LF

    [05] ... DISCUSSES POLITICAL SITUATION WITH ADJAR LEADER...

    On 3 November Shevardnadze traveled to Batumi where he bestowed Georgia's highest award, the Order of Gorgasali, on Adjar Supreme Council Chairman Aslan Abashidze in recognition of Abashidze's contribution to the revival of Adjaria and preserving political stability there, Caucasus Press reported. The two men discussed the political situation in the wake of Shevardnadze's dismissal of the cabinet, focusing specifically on possible candidates for the post of prime minister. Abashidze said after those talks that he now considers it possible to travel to Tbilisi for the first time in several years. But Djemal Gogitidze, who heads the parliament faction of Abashidze's Revival Union, denied that Abashidze is in the running for the post of premier, noting that he has been offered it several times before but always refused. LF

    [06] ... AS PUBLIC PROTESTS IN TBILISI DIE DOWN

    The number of people still picketing the Georgian parliament building in Tbilisi to demand Shevardnadze's resignation dwindled to a few dozen by late on 4 November, most of them students and supporters of late President Zviad Gamsakhurdia, but rose to around 150 on the morning of 5 November, Caucasus Press and ITAR-TASS reported. But the Mkhedrioni paramilitary organization headed by Djaba Ioseliani, who was instrumental in ousting Gamsakhurdia and bringing Shevardnadze back to Tbilisi in 1992, has endorsed the call for Shevardnadze to step down, ITAR-TASS reported on 3 November. Meanwhile, the situation in the west Georgian town of Zugdidi, where demonstrators also called on Shevardnadze to resign, remains unclear. A student leader in Zugdidi told Caucasus Press on 3 November that the students had ended their protest, but that agency reported the following day that two people were seriously injured in fighting between one faction that supports Shevardnadze and a second that backs former parliament speaker Zurab Zhvania and parliament deputy Mikhail Saakashvili. LF

    [07] UN SECURITY COUNCIL AGAIN FAILS TO AGREE ON ABKHAZ SETTLEMENT DOCUMENT

    A 30 October session of the UN Security Council again failed unanimously to endorse the draft proposals on the future relations between the Georgian central government and the breakaway unrecognized Republic of Abkhazia, Caucasus Press reported on 31 October. UN special representative for Abkhazia Dieter Boden said Russia again voted against the draft (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 30 April 2001). LF

    [08] RUSSIAN OFFICIALS CLAIM ABKHAZ BASE CLOSED

    Major General Nikolai Sidorichev, who commands the CIS peacekeeping force in the Abkhaz conflict zone, and Russian Defense Ministry official Colonel Nikolai Deryagin both told Interfax on 3 November that the last train transporting military equipment and personnel left the Russian military base in Gudauta, Abkhazia, earlier that day bound for Russia. The base no longer formally exists, Deryagin said. Georgian officials wanted international monitors to supervise the final withdrawal (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 29 October 2001). LF

    [09] GEORGIA STRIPPED OF VOTING RIGHTS AT UNESCO

    Georgia has been stripped of its voting rights at UNESCO because of its failure to pay membership fees totaling $3 million, "Alia" reported on 1 November. LF

    [10] KYRGYZ OPPOSITION PARTIES CLOSE RANKS, ELECT KULOV AS LEADER

    Meeting in Bishkek on 3 November, leading members of the opposition Ar- Namys, Ata-Meken, Erkindik, and People's parties announced the formation of a People's Congress and elected as chairman of that body imprisoned Ar- Namys Chairman Feliks Kulov, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported. The congress adopted a declaration condemning what they termed the country's "authoritarian" leadership and "totally corrupt" government, which they blamed for the fact that 80 percent of the population lives in poverty. They called for sweeping political reforms including amendments to the constitution to create a presidential-parliamentary system, and for Kulov's release from jail. The Asaba Party attended preliminary talks on 30 October but failed to join the congress. LF

    [11] UZBEKISTAN AGAIN SUSPENDS GAS DELIVERIES TO KYRGYZSTAN

    Uzbekistan halted gas deliveries to Osh Oblast in southern Kyrgyzstan on 1 November because of the unpaid 60 million soms (about $1.3 million) debt of the local gas distribution company, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported. On 2 November, the deputy chairman of Kyrgyzstan's State Property and Foreign Investments Committee, Anatolii Makarov, said Uzbekistan owes some 1.5 billion soms to Kyrgyzstan's state-owned Kyrgyzenergo for electricity supplies. LF

    [12] TAJIK PRESIDENT MEETS WITH EU OFFICIAL...

    Imomali Rakhmonov held talks in Dushanbe on 2 November with visiting Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel, the current chairman of the EU Council of Ministers, Asia Plus-Blitz reported. Rakhmonov requested further support and assistance from the EU for Tajikistan's ongoing efforts to create a civil society and a functioning market economy. Michel said the EU will soon resume aid to Tajikistan within the framework of the TACIS program. The two men also discussed the situation in Afghanistan. LF

    [13] ... ADB DELEGATION

    President Rakhmonov met in Dushanbe on 1 November with a visiting delegation from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headed by Regional Director Gert van der Linden to discuss the progress of ongoing ADB-funded projects for postconflict restoration of the infrastructure and social sector and planning for new projects in the transport, power-engineering, and agriculture sectors, Asia Plus-Blitz reported. LF

    [14] TURKMENISTAN ISSUES ARREST WARRANT FOR FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER

    Turkmenistan's prosecutor-general has issued an arrest warrant for former Foreign Minister Boris Shikhmuradov and asked for his extradition from Russia, his presumed whereabouts, Interfax reported on 2 November. Shikhmuradov is accused of the theft of state property valued at $25.27 million, including warplanes and armaments that he is said to have sold to Russia. Shikhmuradov, who was fired as foreign minister in the summer of 2000, was dismissed from his post of ambassador to China on 30 October and two days later issued a statement accusing President Saparmurat Niyazov of ruling over "a police state" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 2 November 2001). LF

    [15] U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY VISITS TAJIKISTAN, UZBEKISTAN...

    U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asked Tajik President Rakhmonov in Dushanbe on 3 November to make available three further Tajik air bases, including one in Kulyab in southern Tajikistan, for use during the ongoing strikes against Afghanistan, "The Washington Post" and the "Los Angeles Times" reported on 5 November. Rakhmonov gave permission for U.S. engineers to assess how much work is required to make the facilities in question operational. ITAR-TASS on 4 November quoted NBC as reporting that Washington is prepared to offer Dushanbe tens of millions of dollars in aid in return for the use of the bases. Rumsfeld then traveled to Tashkent where he discussed the military situation in Afghanistan, bilateral military cooperation, and antiterrorism measures in general with President Islam Karimov and Defense Minister Kadyr Gulyamov on 4 November. At a press conference following those talks, Gulyamov said Uzbekistan has not been asked to provide greater support for the strikes against Afghanistan, according to Reuters. Uzbekistan has made one air base available for use in humanitarian and search-and-rescue operations. LF

    [16] ... AS DOES AUSTRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

    Visiting Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner met with Uzbek President Karimov and Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Komilov on 2 November to discuss the military situation in Afghanistan, Reuters reported. She told journalists after her talks with Komilov that Austria acknowledges that the military strikes against Afghanistan are necessary, but hopes that they will be concluded expeditiously in the near future. She praised Uzbekistan's "very firm stance" in the international antiterror coalition. On 3 November, Ferrero-Waldner met in Dushanbe with President Rakhmonov to discuss advance planning for the reconstruction of Afghanistan once the ongoing war is ended, Interfax and AP reported. Ferrero-Waldner said it is crucial that the postwar government should include representatives of all of Afghanistan's ethnic groups. She expressed confidence that Tajikistan and the other Central Asia states can contribute to the EU's planned economic and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. LF

    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [17] YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT CALLS ON KOSOVAR SERBS TO VOTE

    Serbian and Yugoslav leaders met with Hans Haekkerup, who heads the UN civilian administration in Kosova (UNMIK), in Belgrade on 2 November, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 2 November 2001). The next day, the Serbian and Yugoslav leaders agreed to urge Kosova's Serbs to take part in the 17 November elections, despite concerns about the Serbs' security in the 90 percent Albanian province. Kostunica said participation is "the lesser evil" for the Serbs. He stressed that Kosova's Serbs should take an active part in shaping the province's political future. He added that he has assurances from the international community that the elections will not be followed by a declaration of Kosova's independence. Elsewhere, the opposition Socialist Party of Serbia, Serbian Radical Party, Party of Serbian Unity, and Serbian Renewal Movement all condemned Kostunica's decision as contrary to Serbian interests. PM

    [18] SERBS IN KOSOVA DIVIDED OVER ELECTIONS

    RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported from Mitrovica on 3 November that Kosova's Serbs are not united in their reactions to Kostunica's decision. Marko Jaksic, who heads the Serbian National Council (SNV), said Belgrade's move is a result of foreign pressure. Vuk Antonijevic, also of the SNV, argued that most Serbs are unlikely to vote "because they know how they live here and what is in store for them" after the elections. He did not elaborate. Momcilo Trajkovic of the Serbian Resistance Movement said he does not find the international community's guarantees sufficient. Veteran Serbian leader Oliver Ivanovic, however, called Kostunica's decision a bold one. Serbian Orthodox Bishop Artemije said Belgrade's announcement reflects "political courage" and called on the province's Serbs to all turn out for the elections. PM

    [19] UNMIK HAILS KOSTUNICA'S ANNOUNCEMENT ON KOSOVA VOTE...

    UNMIK spokesman Simon Haselock told dpa in Prishtina on 3 November that the UN administration "warmly welcomes" Kostunica's announcement. Haselock stressed that the Serbs must take part in the political process if they want to improve their situation. PM

    [20] ... BUT ALBANIANS ARE NOT QUITE SURE

    Hina reported from Prishtina on 4 November that the local Albanian-language media "continue to ascribe huge importance to Belgrade's decision." "Koha Ditore" noted, however, that Albanian political leaders are not quite sure about what Haekkerup promised Kostunica in order to secure his support. The daily noted that some local Serbian leaders have been calling for setting up a Serbian "joint task force" to work with UNMIK to ensure that no changes are made in the province's status. Other Serbian demands have centered on setting up a Serbian militia and on institutionalizing a separate legal status for existing Serbian enclaves. "Koha Ditore" cited a statement by Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Nebojsa Covic, who is Belgrade's point man for the region, to the effect that UNMIK has promised that Kosova will not become independent. All ethnic Albanian political parties call for independence for the province, which legally remains part of Yugoslavia but in practice is an international protectorate. PM

    [21] SERBIAN DELEGATION TO WASHINGTON

    Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic and a government delegation left Belgrade for Washington on 4 November, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. His agenda includes a meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush and a series of talks with other officials on economic issues. PM

    [22] LOW TURNOUT IN SERBIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS

    Only about half of the eligible 300,000 voters turned out to elect 670 local officials in 18 districts across Serbia on 4 November, Deutsche Welle's Serbian Service reported. The most interesting aspect of the elections is that Kostunica's Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) is running separately from the rest of the governing Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) coalition in what is widely seen as a test of strengths. Some observers attribute the low turnout to voters' disgust with incessant feuding among the politicians and continuing economic stagnation. Initial returns are expected shortly. PM

    [23] YUGOSLAVIA OPENS EMBASSY IN SLOVENIA

    Almost six weeks after Slovenia opened an embassy in Belgrade (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 18 September 2001), Yugoslavia launched its own diplomatic representation in Ljubljana, AP reported on 2 November. Yugoslav Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic met with President Milan Kucan and other top officials. Slovenia has virtually no Serbian minority, and most of the two countries' outstanding problems were settled by the recent agreement to divide former Yugoslav property. Serbia is anxious to expand relations with neighboring countries, while Slovenia wants to regain its Yugoslav-era markets in Serbia. Slovenia also maintains diplomatic links to Montenegro, which does not recognize the Yugoslav government's right to speak in its name. PM

    [24] KOSTUNICA PREPARING FOR MONTENEGRIN VOTE

    Kostunica said in Belgrade on 3 November that he does not believe that Montenegro will gain independence, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. He added, however, that Serbia will retain "all prerogatives" of the present federal state if Montenegro secedes. It is not clear how this differs from the position of former President Slobodan Milosevic, who maintained for years that his state owned all former Yugoslav assets and properties. Belgrade's current leadership abandoned that stance soon after ousting Milosevic one year ago. On 2 November, Kostunica's office said in a statement that preparations are going ahead in Montenegro for a referendum on independence. The statement stressed that the vote should be held as soon as possible and in keeping with the Montenegrin Constitution and "international standards and practice." A recent poll in Serbia suggests that increasingly fewer Serbs support continued joint statehood with Montenegro. Some 52 percent of respondents favor a joint state, while 41 percent want independence. This represents a narrowing of the gap over that shown in similar polls one year ago. PM

    [25] RENEWED CONTROVERSY OVER BOSNIAN SERB PARTY

    Wolfgang Petritsch, the international community's high representative in Bosnia, said in Sarajevo on 3 November that Radovan Karadzic's Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) continues to promote extremist views and obstruct implementation of the Dayton agreement and economic reform, Deutsche Welle's Bosnian Service reported on 5 November. He added that he may introduce sanctions against the SDS. In Banja Luka on 4 November, Republika Srpska President Mirko Sarovic said the SDS plays a central role in Bosnian Serb politics and that it is not possible to form a government without the involvement of the SDS. The BBC noted on 5 November that the SDS, with its continued opposition to privatization and other economic reforms, is chiefly responsible for keeping much of the Republika Srpska in poverty. The SDS has vested interests in blocking the privatization of state-owned companies and the reform of the customs service. PM

    [26] CROATIAN LEGISLATORS TO BOSNIA

    Parliamentary speaker Zlatko Tomcic led a legislative delegation to Sarajevo on 4 November for a three-day visit, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. PM

    [27] MACEDONIAN PARLIAMENT HAMSTRUNG AGAIN

    Many legislators from Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski's nationalist Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (VMRO-DPMNE) boycotted a session of the parliament on 2 November, which was to consider the constitutional reform package, Reuters reported from Skopje (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 2 November 2001). The boycotters said they staged a one-day protest against what they called increased violence by ethnic Albanian guerrillas. An unnamed NATO official told the news agency, however, that the nationalists are trying to upset the peace process and provoke more shooting as a means to that end. An unnamed diplomat said foreign monitors have confirmed that most of the shooting is due to "firing into the air, an old Balkan tradition, not shooting at Macedonians... . In fact, there are suspicions that some of this shooting comes from [Macedonian] security forces." Meanwhile, parliament speaker Stojan Andov blamed opposition to the latest version of the reform package by the ethnic Albanian Party of Democratic Prosperity (PPD) for renewed tensions. He hopes nonetheless that a planned legislative session will take place on 5 November. PM

    [28] ROMANIAN PREMIER WRAPS UP U.S. VISIT

    On 4 November, Adrian Nastase ended his visit to the United States and set off for a four-day visit to the United Kingdom. Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana told Romanian Radio on 5 November that as a result of the visit "the invitation to join NATO is closer than ever," but added that Romania must continue military reforms. Nastase was in New York from 2-4 November and took the time to lay a wreath at the site of the 11 September terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, and to meet with U.S. businessmen and leaders of U.S. Jewish organizations, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. Nastase also launched the trading day on 2 November at the NASDAQ stock market and later met with former U.S. President Bill Clinton in his Harlem office. The premier also participated in CNN's "Larry King Live" talk show (see Slovak item above), during which he insisted on the importance of Romania and Bulgaria's joining of NATO as an instrument to advance stability in the Balkans. MS

    [29] FRENCH SENATE SPEAKER IN ROMANIA

    President Ion Iliescu received a French delegation headed by Senate speaker Christian Poncelet on 5 November, Romanian radio reported. Poncelet arrived on 2 November for a three-day visit that included meetings with his Romanian counterpart Nicolae Vacaroiu and with Chamber of Deputies speaker Valer Dorneanu. He reiterated France's support for Romania's quest to join NATO and the EU. MS

    [30] ROMANIAN PUNKS CLASH WITH HUNGARIAN SKINHEADS...

    Romanian punks exchanged insults with three Hungarian skinheads at a rock concert in Targu Mures on 1 November, the daily "Evenimentul zilei" reported on 3 November. The neo-Nazis protested when a punk rocker from the Bucharest-based band Los Imbecilos told the audience he hates Nazis and any form of racial discrimination. The skinheads responded by raising their hands in a Nazi-style salute, after which the guest band Molotov Cocktail from New York announced its refusal to perform as long as neo-Nazis were present in the audience. Punches were exchanged and the concert was resumed after bouncers forced the three skinheads out. MS

    [31] ... AND PRIESTS SAID TO NURTURE IRON GUARDISTS

    The daily also reported on 3 November that the Romanian Information Service says it has managed to neutralize an attempt by the reborn Legionary Movement (Iron Guard) to infiltrate the Romanian Orthodox Church in northern Romania with the help of parish priests who are sympathetic to the movement. It said pro-Iron Guard meetings have been held in several Transylvanian monasteries and that 15 priests from Bihor County have joined the fascist organization. The head of the Piatra Craiului monastery, Father Gregorie, has reportedly proclaimed himself to be the leader of the legionnaires in northern Romania, and has attempted to transform the Oradea branch of the Association of Romanian Christian Orthodox Students (ASCOR) into a branch of the Legionary Movement. Stelian Gambos, ASCOR Oradea leader, was quoted by "Evenimentul zilei" as saying that the attempt has been foiled in Oradea, but that "in Bucharest the legionnaires managed to be admitted as ASCOR members." MS

    [32] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENCY DRAFTING NEW 'FOREIGN POLICY CONCEPT'

    Experts working for the Moldovan presidency have drafted a new "foreign policy concept" that interferes with the government's prerogatives, Flux reported on 3 November. The report has not been confirmed by the presidency. According to Flux, the concept calls for Moldova to "ignore Bucharest's attitude, which regards Moldova as being a second Romanian state." For this purpose Moldova should seek a rapprochement with the political forces in Romania that are "democratic, not nationalist and not irredentist." The guidelines also stipulate that Moldova must work to convince the United States of the importance of Chisinau's "traditional links and strategic partnership" with Russia, and convince Moscow of the "strategic necessity for a balanced U.S. presence in the region." The guidelines also warn that both Romania and Ukraine have economic interests in Moldova and that pursuance of those interests, particularly in the case of transit pipelines for Russian oil, may clash with Moldova's intention to build its own oil terminal at Giurgiulesti, on the Danube River. MS

    [33] HAMMUD LEAVES MOLDOVA

    Suspected Hizballah leader Mahmud Ahmad Hammud, whose Moldovan citizenship was revoked by President Vladimir Voronin, left the country for Lebanon on 2 November, vowing to "leave behind an army of lawyers" to clear his name, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. Hammud's father-in-law, former parliamentary speaker Dumitru Diacov, told journalists the same day that Hammud left "to end the hysteria" around him launched by "the rightist media," and that his own daughter may later seek a residence permit for her husband in Moldova. MS

    [34] MOLDOVA, TRANSDNIESTER RESUME NEGOTIATIONS ON 'SPECIAL STATUS'

    The negotiations on a "special status" for the Transdniester resumed on 2 November in Chisinau with the participation of the OSCE and Russian and Ukrainian "mediators," RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. The discussions were stopped last month by Tiraspol after Moldova introduced a new customs seal. Chief Moldovan negotiator Vasile Sturza described the discussions as "difficult, but useful." He said that when agreement is not reached, two or more alternatives are introduced in the draft for later consideration. Sturza also said Chisinau will under any circumstances preserve the prerogatives of the "central government" over foreign and defense policies. MS

    [35] WORLD BANK OFFICIAL SAYS MOLDOVA, IMF CLOSE TO AGREEMENT

    World Bank official Pieter Stek said in Chisinau on 2 November that Moldova and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are close to reaching an agreement that will make it possible for the World Bank to resume lending to that country, Reuters reported. Stek said at a news conference that "with hard work, you should get there at the end of this year or sometime early next year." The IMF, which froze its $142 million three-year standby agreement after the Moldovan presidential elections, said in August that it reached a "memorandum of understanding" with the government that could lead to a resumption of financing. Both the IMF and the World Bank insist that the 2002 budget should be "realistic," that reforms should be launched in the energy and agricultural sectors, and that major state companies should be privatized. MS

    [36] ZENOVICH REGISTERED AS 'PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE' IN TRANSDNIESTER

    Tom Zenovich, the former chief administrator of Bendery-Tighina who was dismissed by the Tiraspol authorities from that position, on 2 November submitted to the Central Electoral Commission the 8,500 signatures needed to officially register his candidacy, Infotag reported. His representatives were told that in order to launch his campaign Zenovich must yet complete some documentation, which he could not at the time because he is in Moscow. The same day, Zenovich met in the Russian capital with officials and told Interfax that Igor Smirnov's administration is guilty of corruption and violation of human rights and is reluctant to resume negotiations with Chisinau. Media reports in Tiraspol cited by Infotag said Zenovich has hired the Russian agency Novcom to manage his campaign, and that the expenses will be paid by the Moldovan leadership. MS

    [37] BULGARIAN POLLSTERS PREDICT FIRST-ROUND VICTORY FOR STOYANOV

    A public opinion poll conducted by Sova Harris predicts that incumbent President Petar Stoyanov will garner 54 percent of the vote and win the 11 November presidential elections in the first round, BTA reported on 3 November. The poll has Coalition for Bulgaria candidate Georgi Parvanov taking 20 percent and former Interior Minister Bogomil Bonev 17 percent of the vote. One-third of eligible voters will not participate in the elections, according to the survey. The daily "Monitor," cited by BTA, said that if Stoyanov is nonetheless forced into a runoff, he would garner 60 percent if his rival is Bonev, and would score 65 percent against Parvanov. Other pollsters predict a showing by Stoyanov of between 34.9 and 43 percent in the first round, with Parvanov receiving between 14.8 and 18 percent and Bonev between 14.4 and 18.4 percent. MS

    [38] BULGARIAN PREMIER SAYS FIRST 100 DAYS A SUCCESS

    Prime Minister Simeon Saxecoburggotski said on 2 November that the first 100 days in office of his cabinet have been a success in both internal and foreign policy, BTA reported. Saxecoburggotski said one of the main concerns of Bulgarian society before the cabinet took office was the "indiscriminate siphoning-off and pillaging of state-owned enterprises," and that this phenomenon is about to be eliminated due to measures taken by the government. He also said Bulgaria has made considerable progress in its negotiations for EU and NATO integration and that the country's "timely and clear" support for antiterrorist actions has been noted in Washington. Likewise, Foreign Minister Solomon Pasi said on 2 November that "Judging from the perspective of foreign policy, this is the most successful government Bulgaria has had since 1989." MS

    [C] END NOTE

    [39] There is no end note today

    05-11-01

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


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