|Thursday, 5 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 99-05-10
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY THE MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY
Thessaloniki, May 10, 1999
NEWS IN DETAIL
 GREEK PRESIDENT ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO GEORGIA
Tbilisi, May 10 (MPA)The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos is presently on a two-day official visit to Georgia, the first by a Greek president to Georgia after the Caucasian republic became independent.
The President will meet with his Georgian counterpart Eduard Shevardnadze today, as well as with Georgian parliament chairman Zurab Zhvania Foreign Minister Irakly Menangarishvili and Patriarch Ilia II. An agreement on developing cooperation between the two countries will be signed today. A.F.
 PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS MEETS WITH GEORGIAN COUNTERPART
Tbilisi, May 10 (MPA)The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos met with his Georgian counterpart Eduard Shevardnadze in Tbilisi this morning, and discussed bilateral ties, as well as Greek-Turkish relations.
Following a signing ceremony of a number of agreements on developing cooperation between the two countries, the two presidents gave a joint press conference where they both noted that the "especially warm" relations established between Georgia and Greece are called upon to ensure further prosperity of the two countries' peoples.
Responding to a question posed by the Macedonian Press Agency, President Stephanopoulos stated that while Georgia is a country that is friendly towards Turkey, it is more friendly towards Greece and has no reason to become involved in Greek-Turkish differences.
“I was given the opportunity to develop our positions, mainly Greece’s proposal that (Turkey) approach the International Court of Justice at The Hague as a means of resolving the differences,” President Stephanopoulos stated, adding that “in regards to the substance of the differences, Greece is always in favor of the application of international law and accords.”
President Shevardnadze stated that his country’s ties with Greece and Turkey are very good.
“We are a small country,” the Georgian President stated, “ and we are always looking for friendly countries. We have excellent relations with Greece and very good relations with Turkey.” President Shevardnadze added that an international force should be found for the resolution of the disagreements, which would regulate the differences. Concerning the Black Sea and Trade Development Bank (BSTDB) which will be founded in Thessaloniki, President Stephanopoulos told the MPA that it will start operating in June, and that is was among the topics discussed with his Georgian counterpart. The Georgian President expressed his gratitude to Greece for enabling his country to participate in BSTDB as a founding member.
Messrs. Stephanopoulos and Shevardnadze stated that their discussion confirmed the excellent ties between the two countries, and added that there is a coincidence of views and positions concerning the Kosovo crisis. A.F.
 GREEK PRESIDENT INAUGURATES SAE’S HOSPITAL IN GEORGIA
Tbilisi, May 10 (MPA)The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, presently on a two-day official visit to Georgia, inaugurated the “Hippocrates Hospital” of Tbilisi yesterday, which is one among the ten clinics founded by the Council of Greeks Abroad.
During the course of the ceremony yesterday, President Stephanopoulos was bestowed the city’s key by his Georgian counterpart Eduard Shevardnadze and was named an honorary citizen of Tbilisi. Mr. Shevardnadze, who also participated in the event, said the people of Greece and Georgia feel as "brothers", while he noted that both countries will do what is necessary to resolve the differences in the Caucasus region.
In response, President Stephanopoulos stated that “I don’t know if we are brothers, but we are at least first cousins.” A.F.
 GREEK PRESIDENT TO PAY VISIT TO ARMENIA ON MAY 11-13
Yerevan, May 10 (MPA)The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will pay an official visit to Armenia on May 11-13 at the invitation of the republic's leadership.
Before arriving in Armenia the President will make an official visit to Georgia. While in Tbilisi, he will meet Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, the parliament speaker and the foreign minister to discuss further development of cooperation between the two countries and regional issues. A.F.
 GREEK PREMIER IN THESSALONIKI, INAUGURATES BORDER OPERATION
Thessaloniki, May 10 (MPA)Greece’s Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who is presently in Northern Greece in order to participate at the Thessaloniki-held sixth annual Business Forum economic conference, yesterday inaugurated the frontier post of Krystallopighi on the Greek-Albanian border.
During the ceremony, the Premier stated the continuation of NATO’s bombings against Yugoslavia entails only dangers, stressing that flexibility was necessary for peace to be achieved in the Balkans, coupled with prudence and caution in the implementation of any policy applied for peace in the region. Mr. Simitis further added that Greece will do all it can so that a political solution is found to the crisis, noting that the European Union is to discuss later this month Greece’s plan for the reconstruction of the Balkans.
During the installation of the new border guard corps in the prefectures of Florina, Kastoria and Ioannina, Mr. Simitis stated that the government was advancing the development of Macedonia, as it will constitute the basis for Greece’s development of relations with the neighboring countries. Mr. Simitis said that one trillion drachmas have been allocated for projects in the region under the Second Community Support Framework (CSF), adding that approximately 20,000 smaller and larger-scale projects are currently being carried out throughout the country. A.F.
 THESSALONIKI, THE EPICENTER OF POLITICAL, ECONOMIC INTERESTS
Thessaloniki, May 10 (MPA)Thessaloniki takes center stage in the world’s political and economic affairs, by hosting the two-day, sixth annual Economic Forum. Greece’s Premier Costas Simitis is to meet with his counterparts from Portugal, FYROM and Albania, Messrs. Antonio Gutierres, Liupco Georgievski and Panteli Majko, respectively.
Mr. Simitis and the Portuguese Premier are to travel to the monastic community of Mt. Athos today, where they will visit various monasteries. A.F.
 SIXTH FORUM GETS UNDERWAY IN THESSALONIKI
Thessaloniki, May 10 (MPA)A major Balkan economic conference, an annual event held by the Federation of Northern Greek Industries (SBBE), is beginning in Thessaloniki today, where the participants will focus on the situation in the Balkans a decade after the deregulation of markets. In addition to Greece’s Premier, the Forum will feature the participation of Foreign Minister George Papandreou, National Economy Yiannos Papantoniou, Development Evangelos Venizelos, Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis and the undersecretaries of Development. The event is co-organized by the Macedonia-Thrace Bank and the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce. A.F.
 MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER TO MEET WITH ALBANIAN, FYROM PMs
Thessaloniki, May 10 (MPA)The leader of Greece’s main opposition party, New Democracy’s Kostas Karamanlis, is to meet with the Prime Ministers of Albania and FYROM, Messrs. Panteli Majko and Lupcko Georgievski, respectively, in Thessaloniki this evening.
Their meeting will be held within the framework of the sixth annual Business Forum, which started in Thessaloniki today. A.F.
 HELLENIC PETROLEUM DEAL ENDORSED BY FYROM'S GOVERNMENT
Skopje, May 10 (MPA)Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) now holds the majority shares in FYROM’s OKTA refinery and will go ahead with the construction of an oil pipeline linking Thessaloniki with Skopje, after contracts were signed on Saturday between the government of FYROM and Greece’s Development Minister Evangelos Venizelos.
Specifically , the agreement calls for ELPE becoming the strategic investor of FYROM’s OKTA refinery, with the investment being the largest ever in the neighboring country. ELPE, which is listed on the Athens Stock Exchange, will upgrade OKTA’s facilities and will construct the 90-million-dollar pipeline, which will have an annual capacity of 2.5 million tons and a length of 220 kilometers. The pipeline is due for completion in three years.
Mr. Venizelos stated that the agreement has opened new horizons for political and economic ties between the two countries. A.F.
 NIS BOMBARDED BY NATO DURING THE COURSE OF THE NIGHT
Belgrade, May 10 (MPA)Nato warplanes bombed Nis, Yugoslavia’s third largest city, throughout last night, targeting an industrial area, the airport and the central post office. This was the first time the wails of sirens didn’t sound in Belgrade, as the capital city was not targeted. Meanwhile, the International Court of Justice at The Hague is to hold a hearing today on the request filed by Yugoslavia calling for the end of the bombings and asking for damages from ten NATO member-states. A.F.
 NATO SLAMS BELGRADE COURT ACTION AS "FRIVOLOUS & CYNICAL"
Brussels, May 10 (MPA)The case brought before the International Court of Justice at The Hague by Yugoslavia against 10 NATO member- states over the Alliance’s bombings, has been condemned by NATO as "frivolous and cynical". According to the French news agency AFP, NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said that "it is like Saddam Hussein suing for damages after Operation Desert Storm," referring to the Gulf War allied campaign against Iraq.
The Hague legal move "is a frivolous and cynical attempt to deflect responsibility for the campaign of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo," Mr. Shea told reporters in Brussels.
Belgrade's legal action, has asked the ICJ to adjudge 10 states "for violation of the obligation not to use force against another state", and "order that the use of force cease immediately". According to AFP, preliminary hearings will most likely last two days, with the accusations against each of the 10 NATO states being examined separately and in alphabetical order. A.F.
 SERB NEWS AGENCY TANJUG IS SAID TO BE EYED BY NATO AS TARGET
Thessaloniki, May 10 (MPA)The editor in chief of the Yugoslav state-owned news agency Tanjug believes that the organization is among NATO’s bombing targets, with an attack being imminent.
According to Slobodan Lazarevic, media organizations are included in the Alliance’s targets, which so far have struck embassies, hotels and open markets, not including the television building massacre.
Mr. Lazarevic made the aforementioned statement shortly before his departure form Thessaloniki where he had participated in an extraordinary conference hosted by the MPA. The news agencies from all the countries comprised in the Balkan region, and those countries neighboring with the peninsula. met in Thessaloniki in order to examine the problems that have arisen in the operation of the mass media organizations as a result of the dramatic events taking place in Yugoslavia. A.F.
 CLINTON SENDS LETTER OF APOLOGY TO CHINESE CHAIRMAN
Washington, May 10 (MPA)U.S. President Bill Clinton has sent a letter to Chinese Chairman Jiang Zemin, offering an apology and expressing condolences in connection with the NATO aircraft's bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.
The U.S. president noted that the embassy had been attacked by accident and the tragic incident occurred by mistake.
At the same time, Mr. Clinton expressed concern over the mass protest demonstrations held outside the U.S. embassy in Beijing and the consulates in Chinese cities. He called on Chinese leaders to insure safety of U.S. diplomats and all other Americans in China. A.F.
 CHINA TO INVESTIGATE AIR BOMBING OF ITS BELGRADE EMBASSY
Beijing, May 10 (MPA)A group of Chinese government experts are traveling in Belgrade from Beijing in order to investigate the reasons behind NATO’s air attack on the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia.
According to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass, the group includes high-ranking officials of the cabinet, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and other leading departments of the country. A.F.
 CHERNOMYRDIN TRAVELS TO BEIJING TODAY
Moscow, May 10 (MPA)Russia's envoy on Kosovo Viktor Chernomyrdin is traveling to Beijing today, where he will hold talks with Chinese leaders, according to the Russian News Agency ITAR-TASS.
The visit is to take place amid mass protests in China over NATO's bombing of Beijing's embassy in Belgrade. A.F.
 RUGOVA FAVORS THE DISARMING OF THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY
Moscow, May 10 (MPA)Moderate Kosovar-Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova told Russian envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin Saturday that he favored disarming the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and wanted Kosovo to have autonomy within Yugoslavia, the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reported yesterday. Mr. Chernomyrdin met Mr. Rugova in Bonn after holding talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and new UN Balkans representative Carl Bildt.
Mr. Rugova is unequivocal on keeping Kosovo within the Yugoslav Federation as an autonomous province, Mr. Chernomyrdin told Russian journalists after the talks, ITAR-TASS reported from Bonn.
The ethnic Albanian leader also called for the disarming of the KLA separatists who have rejected a peace plan agreed last week between Russia and the main western powers. The KLA has said it will accept nothing short of independence for Kosovo and has charged that Rugova has "no mandate" to negotiate on behalf of the Kosovars.
The Russian envoy stated that Mr. Rugova supported the deployment in Kosovo of an international peacekeeping force which would enable refugees to return home in safety, ITAR-TASS said. A.F.
 S.E. EUROPEAN UNIVERSITIES APPEAL FOR AN END TO KOSOVO CRISIS
Thessaloniki, May 10 (MPA)The Association of South-Eastern Europe Economic Universities (ASECU) founded in Thessaloniki, has issued an appeal to state and government leaders throughout S.E. Europe, the European Union, the U.S, Australia and Canada to do everything within their power so that peace is restored to the Balkan region.
The ASECU’s chairman, Professor Yiannis Tsekouras, has stated that the region’s countries must first resolve their home affairs and then turn to assistance from close or distant neighbors, whether European and/or American.
In his letter, forwarded to thirty state and government leaders throughout the world, Mr. Tsekouras also issued an explicit appeal to the political leaders of Yugoslavia and , the leaders of the Albanian Kosovars to “take immediate action so that all Kosovars (both Albanians and Serbs) may return and be reinstated to their homes safely under conditions of full respect for individual and minority rights and so that the highest possible autonomy is conceded to them. “This is what the long cultural tradition and contemporary civilization of the Balkan people, that we so often boast about, demands. This is what modern culture, which seems to be deficient in our region as well, demands. This is what an unbiased sense of logic dictates,” he stated. “The situation in Yugoslavia, as seen by us in the Balkans is not a civil war since it tends to develop into a war of nations,” Mr. Tsekouras added. “ The European idea of peace, democracy and prosperity that we all fought to establish and bear fruit seems to be in danger of dissolving within the storm of a senseless and pointless war. A war that may have been started by the nationalism of the Yugoslavian leadership and the few – at the beginning – extremist separatist Albanian Kosovars, but which has been intensified and allowed to spread by the arrogance and selfishness of the powerful and the conceit of those who are better off.
“Europe has managed to construct the European Union idea through its polyphonic and multicultural dimension by “giving way” and “sacrificing” national interests on all sides. This led to peace within our continent. At present, instead of supporting the principles of the European idea and helping them be established in the Balkans (in an effort to bring closer and later incorporate the Balkan countries in the European Union), we are bombing the European dream, we incite race against race and religious group against religious group, thus rekindling hatred and passions that were born and developed centuries ago.” ASECU comprises more than forty Universities from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, FYROM, Turkey, Yugoslavia and Greece, while another 20 Universities have expressed interest and are in the process of becoming members. The main aim of the Association is to contribute towards a supra-national cooperation, promoting economic and social progress as well as closer bonds among the peoples of the region through working together in the scientific and research fields.
Professor Tsekouras is also the Pro-Rector at the Thessaloniki-based University of Macedonia. A.F.
 HELLENIC-SWEDISH FRIENDSHIP PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION OPENS
Stockholm, May 10 (MPA)The Parliamentary Association of Hellenic-Swedish Friendship held its first meeting last week at the premises of the Swedish Parliament, where Greece’s Foreign Minister George Papandreou presented a salutation to the 95 members.
The Association was founded two years ago by the Swedish deputy Nikos Papadopoulos, who is of Greek- descent, and with the encouragement of Mr. Papandreou and the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Grigoris Niotis. “The founding of this Association constitutes the beginning of a fundamental tie between Sweden and Greece, so that we may create friendly bonds between the two countries’ parliaments,” Mr. Papadopoulos told the Macedonian Press Agency. A.F.