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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 99-05-18
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 18, 1999
NEWS IN DETAIL
 GREECE AND ITALY PROPOSE 48-HOUR TRUCE IN YUGOSLAVIA
Athens, May 18 (MPA)Greece and Italy have proposed a 48-hour cease-fire period in Yugoslavia in order to provide an opportunity to diplomatic initiatives, according to alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis. Meanwhile, Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari is to hold talks with the Russian President's special Balkans envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin today and US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott today. A.F.
 GREEK FM WELCOMES ELECTION VICTORY OF ISRAEL’S BARAK
Paris, May 18 (MPA)Greece’s Foreign Minister George Papandreou saluted the victory of Labor Party leader Ehud Barak in Israel's prime ministerial elections, stating that it "has brought new hope, new light to the Middle East." Following the Paris-held talks with his French counterpart Hubert Vedrine yesterday evening, Mr. Papandreou expressed the hope that the result would re- launch the peace process and bring peace and stability to the region. Mr. Barak amassed 58% of the votes, while exiting Premier Benjamin Netanyahu garnered 41%. A.F.
 GREEK FM MEETS WITH FRENCH COUNTEPRART IN PARIS
Paris, May 18 (MPA)Greece’s Foreign Minister George Papandreou met with his French counterpart Hubert Vedrine, in Paris yesterday evening, with whom he discussed the efforts to achieve a diplomatic solution to the Kosovo crisis. Following the two-and-a-half-hour talks with Mr. Vedrine, Mr. Papandreou stated that "we are at the most difficult and sensitive moment of the procedure that could lead to a diplomatic solution through the adoption of a Security Council resolution.” Mr. Papandreou stressed that the terms for the solution are that the deployment of a multinational force is accepted, all refugees return to their homes and the provisional administration in Kosovo prepares the integration of the area in the European family. In turn, Mr. Vedrine stressed the need for the expeditious preparation and adoption of a UN draft resolution which will open the way for an end to the crisis. “France and Greece will be cooperating closely, undertaking specific bilateral initiatives in the Balkans,” the French FM stated. When asked if he agreed with the Greek proposal for a 48- hour truce in Yugoslavia, Mr. Vedrine replied that the adoption of a UN resolution had priority over any other action. A.F.
 ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VARTHOLOMEOS TO VISIT THESSALONIKI
Thessaloniki, May 18 (MPA)The Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos will visit the Thessaloniki suburb of Kalamaria on May 31, the feast of the Holy Spirit, accompanied by Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece.
The Ecumenical Patriarch, the spiritual leader of all of the world's Orthodox Christians, will arrive in Greece on May 20 for a two- week visit as the official guest of the Orthodox Church of Greece.
Granted all the honors accorded a head of state, upon his arrival the Ecumenical Patriarch will be greeted by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and the Prime Minister Costas Simitis. A.F.
 GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTRY DOES NOT WANT TO AMPLIFY ATTACK
Bonn, May 18 (MPA)The German Foreign Ministry neither wishes to "amplify" Sunday night's rocket attack on the German ambassador's residence in Athens nor does it intend to revise the travel "non-advisory" it issued on May 6, which encourages German tourists to visit Greece fearlessly. According to press reports, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer was “satisfied” with the relevant statements made by his Greek counterpart George Papandreou. Mr. Fischer has reportedly communicated by telephone with the German Ambassador. The May 6 announcement reads that “the Foreign Ministry does not recommend the avoidance of trips to Greece,” adding that “the situation prevailing in Kosovo does not have repercussions on tourist regions in Greece.” A.F.
 GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER CONTINUES VISIT TO BULGARIA
Athens 17 May (MPA)Greece’s Minster of Defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos is continuing his two-day, official visit to Sofia, where he is holding talks with Bulgaria’s political leadership regarding the initiatives for reaching a diplomatic solution to the Kosovo crisis. Mr. Tsochatzopoulos is scheduled to visit Bulgaria’s old capital city of Veliko Turnovo, as well as the military school “Vasil Levski”, accompanied by his Bulgarian counterpart Georgki Ananiev. The Defense Minister will also meet with Metropolite Gregorios. Commenting on yesterday’s episode near the Imia islets, where Turkish boats attempted to approach the rock islets, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos advised Ankara to review its maps and to cease creating problems where there aren’t any.” A.F.
 POLICE INVESTIGATORS LOCATE “17 NOVEMBER” GETAWAY VEHICLE
Athens, May 18 (MPA)Athens police have discovered the getaway vehicle used by the infamous terrorist group “17 November” during the rocket attack against the German Ambassador’s residence on Sunday night.
The car was found parked on Mesogion Avenue, about one kilometer away from the crime scene. The anti-terrorist squad discovered traces of blood in the back seat of the car, thereby confirming the belief that one of the terrorsits was wounded when the rocket was launched. The rocket was fired from a fuse within a short distance, but no one was hurt as the weapon failed to explode. Both the Ambassador, Carl Heinz Kuhna, and his wife were inside the house, when the rocket tore a hole in the roof. Following the incident, the Ambassador told reporters that he continues to feel safe in Greece and urged the German citizens to visit Greece fearlessly. The “17 November” terrorist group has been active for a great number of years but continues to remain elusive. It first appeared in 1975 when it claimed responsibility for the killing of 20 Greeks and foreigners. A.F.
 ABOUT 400 REFUGEES TO ARRIVE IN MACEDONIA ON THURSDAY
Thessaloniki, May 18 (MPA)A group of about 400 refugees from Kosovo are expected to arrive at Thessaloniki’s “Macedonia” airport, the first group to arrive from the beleaguered Yugoslav province.
According to radio reports, the displaced persons will make a brief stopover at the airport prior to departing for Australia. A.F.
 MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER EMBARKS ON VISIT TO CYPRUS
Thessaloniki, May 18 (MPA)The Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis has embarked on a two-day visit to Cyprus, at the invitation of the Cypriot Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Nikos Rolandis.
Upon his arrival in Nicosia, accompanied by a delegation of local businessmen, Mr. Magriotis stated that the start of Cyprus’s accession negotiations with the European Union has paved the way for the solution to the Cyprus issue.
He added that intends to develop bilateral ties between his ministry and Cyprus on matters concerning sports, culture and the new generation, as reflected by the Thrace-Aegean-Cyprus program. Mr. Magriotis will be received by the President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides and the Misnter of Natural Resources and Environment Costas Themistocleus. A.F.
 MIKIS THEODORAKIS HONORED IN CYPRUS FOR HIS SOLIDARITY
Nicosia, May 18 (MPA)The President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides has bestowed a special award on Greece’s acclaimed composer Mikis Theodorakis for his support and solidarity with the people of Cyprus in their struggle for justice and freedom.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, President Clerides paid tribute to Mr. Theodorakis' contribution to Cyprus and his long standing support, by saying that "Cyprus was a source of inspiration to Theodorakis and we would like to express our gratitude and appreciation."
Accepting the medal, the Greek composer referred to NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia and its consequences and said "it makes the need for national unity and cooperation between Greece and Cyprus even more imperative." Mr. Theodorakis assured he will continue to devote his life and work to achieve this goal.
Today, the composer will be declared honorary citizen of the Turkish-occupied town of Famagusta. He was bestowed the same honor earlier this week from the town of Limassol. A.F.
 MOBILE MEDICAL UNIT FOR THE BALKANS PROPOSED BY GREEK MD
Alexandroupolis, May 18 (MPA)The Alexandroupolis chapter of Greece's Social Services Foundation (IKA) is proposing the creation of a mobile medical unit that will provide health services to the Balkan region throughout, according to the supervisor of the Preventive Medicine Unit of IKA, Constantinos Papoutselis. The unit will be compatible with similar centers that operate in the Bulgarian cities of Sofia, Pleven, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora and Varna. The Preventive Medicine Centers were founded within the framework of cross-border cooperation and the INTERREG I and II programs, mainly for the purpose of combating hepatitis, AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases. A.F.
 NATO RAIDS AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA CONTINUE, BUT SUPPORT WANES
Belgrade, May 18 (MPA)NATO aircraft launched another round of attacks against Belgrade’s suburbs and other Yugoslav cities during the early morning hours. According to Serb media, one person was killed and a score of others were injured during the raids. Meanwhile, a notable shift has taken place among the U.S. public, according to a poll conducted on behalf of ABC and the “Washington Post”. Specifically, 58% of those polled have responded that talks with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is the only way to escape the crisis. Concurrently, division abounds in NATO’s circles concerning the tactic to be followed in regards to Kosovo. With the exception of the United Kingdom, which continues to press for ground operations, most other Allied stated favor the search of a political solution and flatly reject the option of ground operations in Kosovo. A.F.
 YUGOSLAV FOREIGN MINISTRY: NATO USES BANNED WEAPONS
Belgrade, May 18 (MPA)Yugoslavia's Foreign Ministry has accused NATO of using "inhumane and banned weapons" in its assaults against the country.
According to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass, the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry published a memorandum today, saying that these weapons are cluster and graphite bombs, and shells containing low-enriched uranium.
“From March 25 to May 15, 60 canisters each containing 240 cluster bombs have been dropped on Yugoslavia”, the statement said, adding that warplanes have dropped about 400 bombs without canisters, thus bringing the total number of cluster bombs to 15,000, of which two-thirds have been dropped on the Kosovo province.” These bombs have built-in timers which that can delay blasts for hours and even days after having fallen on the ground, according to the memorandum. It is not accidental that victims of "delayed death" included several tens of children who were attracted by orange-colored cylinders landing on parachutes. A.F.
 US TO FREE SERB SOLDIERS, BUT SAYS IT’S NOT A GOOD WILL GESTURE
Washington, May 18 (MPA)The United States is planning to release today the two Yugoslav servicemen who were captured by militants of the "Liberation Army of Kosovo" a few weeks ago and who are currently kept at a US military base in Germany, Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon stated yesterday. Mr. Bacon stressed that the release of the two servicemen of the Yugoslav army should not be regarded "as a gesture of good will" or a step in return for the recent release of three US servicemen by the Yugoslav side. A.F.
 BEIJING: ATTACK ON EMBASSY ENCROACHED CHINA’S SOVEREIGNTY
Beijing, May 18 (MPA)Chinese Vice-Premier Li Lanqing has stated that the NATO bomb attack on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade was an encroachment on the sovereignty of China. According to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass, Li Lanqing, during his meeting with Australian Vice-Premier Timothy Fisher held yesterday, said that the North Atlantic Alliance, headed by the United States, must assume full responsibility for the incident and give China “exhaustive explanation” of the reasons behind the attack on the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia. “China is a peace-loving state, but the Chinese people will never put up with any humiliation,” he noted. The Chinese vice-premier said that in spite of the attack on the Chinese embassy, his country would, as before, “consistently implement the ongoing reforms and the policy of openness to the outside world.” China will “continue to cooperate” with other nations in economy, trade, and science on the principles of peaceful co- existence, Li Lanqing stated. A.F.
 SERIES OF BLASTS ROCK ISTANBUL, NO REPORTS OF CASUALTIES
Istanbul, May 18 (MPA)A series of bomb blasts rocked Istanbul overnight, with explosions at a high school, several bank branches and a cafe, but there were no reports of any casualties, police said. According to the French news agency AFP, a bomb went off at a high school in the Maltepe area, in the Asian side of the city, causing significant damage and blowing out the windows of neighboring buildings.
Explosions also occurred at two bank branch offices also located in the Asian part of the city.
Unidentified attackers threw explosive devices at a Maltepe cafe, causing damage to the building. Police are searching for two suspects, the Turkish news agency, Anatolia, reported. A.F.