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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 97-06-09
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY
Thessaloniki, June 9, 1997
NEWS IN DETAIL
 S.E. EUROPE'S FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET IN THESSALONIKI TODAY
Thessaloniki, June 9 (MPA)The Foreign Ministers Conference on Security, Stability and Cooperation in South-Eastern Europe began in Thessaloniki this afternoon, an event that is hailed as having exceptional significance for the overall security and establishment of peace in the region.
Opening the first day session, the Minister of Macedonia- Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos hailed the city of Thessaloniki as a town that has always been a meeting place for the Balkan peoples, open to the various cultures and to the ideals of cooperation.
The two-day meeting features the participation of FMs from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, FYROM, Greece, Romania, Turkey and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, while participating as observers are the United States, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.
Also, over twenty countries and international organizations are represented at the Conference, among them Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Italy, Slovenia, Moldova, Ukraine, Sweden, the United Nations, Council of Europe, European Commission, World Bank and CEDEFOP.
Heading the Greek delegation is Greek FM Theodoros Pangalos, as well as undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannos Kranidiotis and alternate FM George Papandreou.
The Foreign Ministers leading the remaining Balkan countries' delegations are as follows: F.R.Y.: Milan Milutinovic; Bulgaria: newly-appointed FM Nadejda Michailova; Romania: Andrei Severin; Russia: alternate FM Nicolai Afanasievski; Turkey: assistant undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Ali Tugan; Albania: Adrian Starova; FYROM: Blagoj Handiski, this being the first time an FM from FYROM officially visits Greece.
The Balkan FMs are to discuss issues such as furthering political cooperation, building security and trust measures in the region, developing economic cooperation, establishing specific plans of action for environmental protection, promoting humanitarian, social and cultural collaboration and coordinating the efforts to combat organized crime, terrorism, drug and arms smuggling. A.F.
 GREEK FM: BALKAN COOPERATION BECOMES AN INSTITUTION IN THESSALONIKI
Thessaloniki, June 9 (MPA)Thessaloniki, the Metropolis of the Balkans, is to be in the spotlight today and tomorrow, hosting the Foreign Ministers of South-Eastern European Countries Conference.
Greece's FM Theodoros Pangalos stated that Thessaloniki is at the crossroads of the Balkan region, the reason why the city was chosen as the event's site.
Mr. Pangalos is to propose the creation of a common market for the Balkan countries, based on equitable relations, a point of heightened concern for the region's weaker states, while always having in mind peaceful co-existence.
Moreover, the Greek side is expected to propose the creation of a permanent business center and center of technology exchange, with headquarters in Thessaloniki. A.F.
 ALBANIA DEPUTY FM: THIS IS A GOOD OPPORTUNITY FOR BALKAN COOPERATION
Thessaloniki, June 9 (MPA)Albania's Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto Rakipi characterized the Conference of Foreign Ministers of South-Eastern European countries as a good opportunity for the discussion and promotion of issues of cooperation and security in the Balkans and the greater region.
Speaking to the Macedonian Press Agency, Mr. Rakipi stressed that the event provides the opportunity "to reasticallly examine issues of security -domestic and external in the greater region- based on the common view for the European fulfilment."
Moreover, the Albanian official stated that his country's delegation is to re-submit, as it had done in the Sofia-held conference, the proposal for the creation of a body that will promote issues related to security and cooperation in South- Eastern Europe.
"In spite of the crisis Albania is currently undergoing, the basic orientation of its foreign policy remains solid. One of the priorities of our foreign policy is the good neighborly ties and cooperation on a regional level and, on a long-term plan, our country's inclusion in the United Europe."
Lastly, Mr. Rakipi added that the Conference will give him the opportunity to thank the European Union and the international community, as well as the countries which are participating in the multi-national force deployed in his country as part of the operation code-named "Alba". A.F.
 F.R.Y.'s FOREIGN OFFICE CHIEF SALUTES THESSALONIKI'S CONFERENCE
Belgrade, June 9 (MPA)The director of the Balkan Affairs Department of the Yugoslav Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dragomir Vucicevic told a Belgrade daily that the declaration to be signed at the Thessaloniki-held conference of the Foreign Ministers of Southeastern Europe will allow for the application and enforcement of various types of cooperation among the participating countries.
Moreover, Mr. Vucicevic stressed that the declaration will give emphasis to the region's European orientation since, as he stated, the process of the European fulfilment, would be incomplete without the participation of the Balkan countries.
The Yugoslav official emphasized his country's support for the initiative and stressed that "in order for these initiatives to be fruitful, they must correspond to one another, and all of the region's countries should participate on equal terms."
Overall, Mr. Vucicevic stated that in spite of the numerous differences that exist among the Balkan states, there are specific areas that enjoy a developing and growing sense of cooperation, such as science, economy, culture, sports and said that all these areas contribute to the improved mutual understanding and approach, a factor that is to the benefit of the 100 million people who live in the Balkans. A.F.
 BALKAN BUSINESSMEN MEET IN THESSALONIKI, WILL DISCUSS PRIVATIZATION
Thessaloniki, June 9 (MPA)Leading businessmen from the Balkan countries will discuss the region's privatization process during a meeting to be held in Thessaloniki today, on the sidelines of the Balkan Foreign Ministers Conference.
Also expected to participate in this forum are the respective countries' ministers who are responsible for the privatization processes in their states.
The initiative for the discussion, where the sectors of energy, telecommunications, transportation, banking and industry will be represented, has been taken by the Greek Foreign Ministry, with the organizational support of the Association of Northern Greece's Industries (SVVE).
The Greek side will be represented by approximately 50 leading businessmen and bankers.
The development of this multi-faceted political and economic cooperation is deemed by the Greek side as necessary, especially during an era that is marked by common actions and ideals among the region's neighbors. A.F.
 EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT'S PLENARY SESSION HELD IN STRASBOURG TODAY
Strasbourg, June 9 (MPA)In an effort to assess the situation as it stands prior to the final negotiation of the Maastricht Treaty's revision, the European Parliament's plenary session is held in Strasbourg today, officiated by the Dutch-held EU Presidium and the European Commission.
Shadowed by the overall concerns brought on by the dispute between the German government and the Federal Central Bank of Germany as well as the outcome of France's and Britain's elections, the Parliament will examine last year's annual report of the European Monetary Foundation as well as a series of other reports that concern the process of the Economic and Monetary Union. A.F.
 ONE-FIFTH OF SERB TELECOMMUNICATIONS SHARES BOUGHT BY GREECE'S OTE
Thessaloniki, June 9 (MPA)Forty-nine percent of the Serb Telecommunications Organization's shares will be owned by the Greek Telecommunications Organization (OTE) and Italy's private telecommunications industry STET, as per an agreement signed today in Belgrade among the three countries.
The agreement, signed in the presence of Serb Premier Mirko Mirianovic, foresees that STET will own 29% of the shares, at a cost of $526 million, while 20% will be owned by OTE, purchased with $399 million. A.F.
 HOLBROOKE: RESOLVING CYPRUS ISSUE WILL PAVE GROUND FOR ATHENS, ANKARA
London, June 9 (MPA)The United States Presidential emissary to Cyprus Richard Holbrooke stated that resolving the Cyprus issue will pave the ground for an Athens and Ankara reconciliation of historical significance.
In an interview to British daily "Financial Times", Mr. Holbrooke made it clear that he sees his mission in Cyprus as more significant that his previous one in Yugoslavia.
"At any given moment, a new conflict in Cyprus could lead to a head-on collission between two NATO allies, Greece and Turkey," the architect of the Dayton Agreement said, adding that "as such, the benefits of succeeding in the Cyprus issue will be vast." A.F.
 BRITISH ENVOY SIR DAVID HANNAY SEES COMMON GROUND IN CYPRUS ISSUE
Nicosia, June 9 (MPA)In spite of the stated problems, British envoy for the Cyprus issue Sir David Hannay does see common ground between the island's two sides, in light of his imminent contacts with the President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafkos Clerides, with whom he will meet today, and the Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
Following his visit with Mr. Denktash tomorrow, Sir Hannay will depart for Athens and Ankara.
According to Cyprus' state-owned radio, the direct talks between Messrs. Clerides and Denktash are to begin on July 9 in New York. A.F.
 ALBANIA: VRANITSKI IN TIRANA, ASKS POLITICAL PARTIES TO SIGN AGREEMENT
Tirana, June 9 (MPA)Austria's former chancellor and current representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Franz Vranitski, is currently in Tirana where he has met with President Sali Berisha and Premier Bashkim Fino, as well as other political party leaders.
Mr. Vranitski has called on the country's ten political parties to undertake tangible measures in order to stop the repeated episodes that threaten the upcoming elections.
Meanwhile, in spite of the opposition's request to lift the country's emergency status, President Berisha insists that the added protection measures remain in place and refuses to order them lifted, although OSCE is pressuring him to do so.
According to BBC radio reports, Mr. Vranitski is trying to reach a compromise solution and has proposed that these measures be lifted for even just one day, preferably on June 29 when the early elections are to be held. A.F.
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/