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MPA NEWS IN BRIEF (13/05/1996)

From: Macedonian Press Agency <mpa@philippos.mpa.gr>

Macedonian Press Agency Brief News in English Directory

BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY

Thessaloniki May 13, 1996


TITLES

  • [01] GREEK PRESIDENT VISITS CALIFORNIA, SPEAKS MOVINGLY TO GREEKS ABROAD

  • [02] RATKO MLADIC: THE SERBS HAVE PAID THE PRICE FOR DAYTON AGREEMENT

  • [03] RELATIVES OF MISSING IN CYPRUS RESPOND TO GHALI'S WARNING THAT INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE MAY BE CANCELLED


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] GREEK PRESIDENT VISITS CALIFORNIA, SPEAKS MOVINGLY TO GREEKS ABROAD

    Los Angeles, May 13 (M.P.A.)

    Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos continued his nine-day offcial visit to the United States by visiting Los Angeles today, his second stop of his California tour following San Francisco.

    The Greek head of state was welcomed to Los Angeles by local dignitaries, representatives from the Federation of Greek-American Unions of Southern California, and a large crowd from the city's Greek community.

    One of Los Angeles' most beautiful churches is the Greek Orthodox Aghia Sofia where President Stephanopoulos attended the services and afterwards gave a speech saluting the generations of Greek immigrants who live in the US.

    Expressing his warm sentiments brought by his visit to the United States, President Stephanopoulos stated that it is a country that has close ties with Greece, mostly due to the bond the Greek-Americans maintain with their mother country.

    "Greece needs your presence and your patriotic sentiments and services," the President said, adding that "Greece hasn't come here to ask or beg. Our integrity and pride do not allow it. Your presence here can contribute to our interests. You are the most organized community, after the Jewish one, in the United States. Remember your country. You can influence the American leadership. During the pre-election period you can ask more carefully so we can have better results," President Stephanopoulos advised his numerous audience.

    Also, the President reminded the Greek-Americans that the most stable and strong path for ties with the mother country is the language factor, promising that the greek state will provide the necessary tools to strengthen the teaching of the mother tongue to Greeks abroad.

    Addressing his audience, the President stated that "We are proud of you because you are exemplary American citizens" and called upon the Greeks abroad to "maintain in your soul the love for your mother country" and told them that patriotism overrides any distance.

    Referring to his talks with US President Bill Clinton, President Stephanopoulos stated that "I didn't expect him (Clinton) to take a position on the greek- turkish issues during our talks. He listened to me intently. There was no disagreement and that is positive. I am certain that Mr.Clinton is aware of the problems and understands them."

    Referring to greek-turkish issues, Mr. Stephanopoulos stated that "the Dodekanese are Greek, starting from the smallest islet to the largest island.

    "The Aegean has 140 inhabited islands, thousands of smaller ones, and they are all Greek. Now, after the 1923 Lauzane Treaty, our neighbors come and claim that there are islets in the Aegean which they do not know to whom they belong. This reveals Turkey's deceit," the President stated.

    "We will struggle for Greece, for maintaining was is just and for revealing this deceit.

    "Through your voice," he continued, "we can prove our rights. Don't let your patriotic conscience lay dormant. In democracy, public opinion has a crucial role. I bring to you your mother country's love.Greece adores you. Every immigrant we lose is like a drop of blood from Greece's heart. Return to Greece regularly. I know you and I love you. I offer you the love of the Greek people."

    This morning, President Stephanopoulos was granted the golden key to the city of Los Angeles by City Council President John Ferraro.

    Today, he will travel to the state capital Sacramento where he will meet with city Mayor Joe Cerna and California Governor Pete Wilson.

    Tomorrow and Wednesday, the President will visit Chicago, illinois and will return to Athens on May 16.

    [02] RATKO MLADIC: THE SERBS HAVE PAID THE PRICE FOR DAYTON AGREEMENT

    Pale, May 13 (M.P.A.)

    While the Dayton Agreement may have fulfilled its aim to restore peace in the region, "the biggest price was paid by the Serb people," stated Ratko Mladic, leader of the Bosnianserb army, during an exclusive interview to the Macedonian Press Agency.

    "I believe that we must give all the fighting sides a chance for peace, to establish it in the region, although we are concerned over some militaristic statements made by certain Muslim leaders, headed by Izetbekovic, and the effort by certain islamic countries, and unfortunately the United States as well, to arm the Muslims," Mladic stated, fearing that this could pose a serious threat to peace.

    Referring to those rumors according to which none of the armed forces involved in the fighting upheld the military part of the Agreement, Mr. Mladic stated that the Bosnianserbs maintained the agreement without difficulty, even though, according to the General, the Bosnianserbs had the most difficult task of all.

    Moreover, Mr. Mladic referred those who doubt his statements to General Juluan, who reportedly has admitted that the Serb side had made strong efforts in establishing peace in the region.

    When asked about the international community's efforts to achieve peaceful co-existence among Serbs, Croats and Muslims, Mr. Mladic ruled them out as not feasible, "as has been proven by 20th century's history."

    "It's inconceivable how we could all live together in a small country like Bosnia, given that the Croats, the Muslims and the Slovenians who were separated could not live together even in the former Yugoslavia," he stated characteristically.

    When asked about his referral on "war criminal charges" by the international community to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Mr. Mladic responded that the Court of Justice at The Hague "is a body through which foreign interests are imposed in the region.

    "Everyone knows very well that defending your people is not a crime," the General said. "This is the ultimate aim, afterall. You know that we did not carry on an expansionist war, but instead defended our homes. We did not attack The Hague, London or Berlin, we defended what was ours. And what they couldn't take from us through war, they took through the Dayton Agreement."

    The Bosnianserb General maintained that his referral to The Hague constitutes an attempt to disorientate public opinion.

    "The paradoxical part is that they are asking that I be tried for defending my people from the american, english and french fighter planes, and from the Mujahedin, the Muslims, the Croats and from whoever else was attacking us.

    "They should be tried at The Hague before the pilots who killed our women and children with their deadly bombs, aiming at the serb villages, hospitals and factories," Mladic said.

    "I would be found in a difficult position if I was tried before my people, because I only recognize our court. The Court of Justice at The Hague does not exist for me. It's certain I am right because I was defending my people."

    Referring to Greece, Gen. Mladic, stated that Greece is found in a similar position to his country, with the only difference being that Greece is the eastern gate, whereas his country is the western gate.

    "Greece and the Serb Republic must not fall into the trap of becoming opponents to Islam. Since our fate has brought us to live next to one another, we must live with Islam as good neighbors, with understanding and cooperation."

    [03] RELATIVES OF MISSING IN CYPRUS RESPOND TO GHALI'S WARNING THAT INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE MAY BE CANCELLED

    Nicosia, May 13 (M.P.A.)

    The Committees of the Relatives of the Missing in Cyprus are intensely displeased over the recent warning issued by the United Nations Secretary-General Butros Ghali that the Investigation Committee may be cancelled.

    According to the two Committees, those responsible for the recent outcome are the authorities who overlook the matter, and Committee members now ask that a new strategy be carved.

    Today, Committee representatives are scheduled to meet with Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides and will discuss the content of Mr. Ghali's letters.

    In the said letter, the UN Secretary-General refers to lack of progress, sets conditions and deadlines, and threatens with cancelation of the Investigation Committee if it does not complete its project within 18 months.


    Complete archives of the Macedonian Press Agency bulletins are available on the MPA Home Page at http://www.mpa.gr/ and on the U.S. mirror at http://www.hri.org/MPA/

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