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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-10-06
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 SIMITIS: THE PARTY CONGRESS WILL BE A NEW STARTING POINT FOR PASOKAthens, 6 October 2001 (19:03 UTC+2)
The 6th party congress will be a new starting point for PASOK stated prime minister and PASOK president Kostas Simitis in his message to PASOK's central committee meeting. He added that there are problems and weaknesses but the party has the will and the strength to overcome the difficulties.
Mr. Simitis pointed out that the party congress will be an open one and every issue will be discussed in the effort to find solutions as the goal is a strong society and an even stronger Greece.
The prime minister stressed that Greece's voice is heard internationally and the country enjoys the respect and confidence of its EU partners, its allies and third countries.
 "MACEDONIA" NEWSPAPER ORGANIZES BALKAN SYMPOSIUMThessaloniki, 6 October 2001 (15:04 UTC+2)
Developments in the Balkans in light of international developments will be the main topic of discussion at the symposium organized by Macedonia newspaper for its 90 years, tomorrow at the I. Vellidis TIF conference center.
The works of the symposium will begin at 11am, and Minister of Defense, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Minister of Macedonia-Thrace, Giorgos Paschalidis, and Secretary General of Greeks living abroad, Dimitris Dolis, will participate on behalf of Greece.
The new Ambassador of the US to Greece, Thomas Miller, the Vice-President of the Serbian Government, Nebojsa Covic, Vice-President of the Bosnian government, Sejfudin Tokic, Minister of Ethnic Minorities of Serbia, Rasim Ljiajic, President of the Albanian Socialist Party, Fatos Nano, former Foreign Secretary of FYROM, Ljubomir Ferckovski, the former Mayor of Istanbul, Retzep Tayip Erdogan, party staff members, scientists, international law experts and journalists from Albania, Turkey, FYROM, Yugoslavia and Bosnia-Herzegovina will also participate.
 SPEECHES IN THE "MACEDONIA" NEWSPAPER CONFERENCEThessaloniki, 6 October 2001 (20:22 UTC+2)
Ambassador Richard Schifter, who was the mind behind the SECI US initiative for cooperation in southeastern Europe, criticized the Stability Pact characterizing it as ineffective, and stressing that it has not given yet the desired results for peace and stability in the region of southeastern Europe.
He said, speaking in the conference organized today by the Thessaloniki newspaper "Macedonia", that the SECI initiative was more successful because the United States made sure that all interested countries were involved in it.
He stressed that attracting foreign investment will be the big challenge in the following years for the consolidation of peace and stability in the region, adding that in this effort should cooperate the European Commission and the Stability Pact as well as, US programs and international organizations.
Mr. Schifter stressed that the United States support the process for the accession of the Balkan countries into the European Union, while Greece has everything it needs in order to play an important role in this front and in the struggle for stability and peace.
Meanwhile, socialist former FYROM minister of foreign affairs and interior, Ljubomir Frtskovski, stated that the European Union has not made its position totally clear as far as the multi-cultural conflicts in the region are concerned. He said that the Stability Pact was able to raise funds quickly but there is still a question of how it will distribute them.
Yugoslav deputy minister Jovan Komsic, responsible for minorities' issues, stated that Yugoslavia has made a turn toward the new models of democracy after the change in its regime that brought to power a democratic government.
Socialist party president and former Yugoslav foreign minister Zivadin Jovanovic proposed the signing of an agreement on borders and minorities that could heal the chronic wounds in southeastern Europe. The agreement should define common standards for the equal treatment of minorities in the Balkans based on the Helsinki decisions and the decisions reached by the Council of Europe. Referring to the November elections in Kosovo, he said that they will not be smooth and that they should be annulled or postponed until the necessary preconditions are present that will allow them to take place.
He said that the situation in Kosovo is still uncertain, two and a half years after the end of the hostilities, adding that even the basic targets of the UN Security Council have not been met yet, while the people in Kosovo and Metohia do not enjoy neither security, and equality nor freedom.
The view that peace in Kosovo will be achieved only for its Albanian residents and not for the Serb or the rest non Albanian communities, was expressed by Kosovo bishop Artemios, head of the Serb National Council.
Bishop Artemios said that in spite of the presence of the 45.000-men strong international force, the Kosovo Serbs live a grim reality. Over 250.000 Serbs were forced to abandon their homes in Kosovo and Metohia, while over 1.000 were killed in this supposed period of peace. Other 1.300 Serbs were abducted or disappeared, more than 40.000 houses have been destroyed and 100 villages have been leveled to the ground. According to the bishop, in spite of the presence of the international force over 100 churches and monasteries of great historical and cultural importance, as they date back to the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, have been destroyed and no perpetrators have been brought to justice.
He said that the Serbs who are still in Kosovo are deprived of even the basic human rights. There is no freedom of movement and none can make a step without strong escort but even then convoys with Serbs are being attacked. Bishop Artemios called on the international community to realize that the September 11 attack on the United States "is the poisonous fruit of a tree with very deep roots".
 GREECE IN TWO NATO EXERCISESAthens, 6 October 2001 (18:38 UTC+2)
Greece will participate in two NATO exercises that will take place at the same time before the end of October.
The first is "Destined Glory" that was launched yesterday and will last until October 23 in the region of south Spain and western Mediterranean. It is held with the participation of more than 7.000 soldiers, 35 warships and 40 aircraft from ten NATO member-states (Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States).
Greece will participate with 145 men, a frigate, a tank carrier and four A-7E aircraft.
The second exercise is "Bright Star-01" that will be launched next week in Egypt with the participation of the United States, Egypt, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Holland, Germany, Greece, Kuwait and Jordan.
Greece will send a company of marines, a frigate, a submarine, a tank carrier, and three F-16 fighter jets.
 CONFERENCE ON THE BALKANS ORGANIZED BY THE NEWSPAPER "MACEDONIA"Thessaloniki, 6 October 2001 (18:03 UTC+2)
A conference on the minorities in the Balkans opened in Thessaloniki today, with the participation of the new US ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller and leading politicians and personalities from Balkan state, organized by the Thessaloniki newspaper "Macedonia" on the occasion of its 90th anniversary.
Greece will be represented by minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos, minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis and general secretary for Greeks living abroad Dimitris Dollis.
Also, present will be Serb government vice-president Debojsa Covic, Bosnian government vice-president Seifudin Tokic, Serb minorities minister Rasim Liajic, Albanian Socialist Party president Fatos Nano, former FYROM foreign minister Liubomir Frtskovski, former Istanbul mayor Redzep Tagip Erdogan, leading political party members, scientists, specialists on international affairs, and journalists from Albania, Turkey, Bulgaria, FYROM, Yugoslavia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
 PAPANDREOU ON A GOOD-WILL TOUR OF ISLAMIC COUNTRIESAthens, 6 October 2001 (17:31 UTC+2)
Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou offered to launch a good-will tour of Islamic countries, like Syria and Iran, aimed at placing relations on a new basis which will create mutual new obligations concerning the democratic institutions and terrorism.
This intention was expressed by Mr. Papandreou in an interview with the newspaper "Eleftherotipia". He stated that the tour will take place before or after the congress of the governing socialist party of PASOK. However, he clarified that this move will take place only if those countries respond to such a move, stressing that the United States encourage such actions.
Referring to the terrorist attack on the United States, Mr. Papandreou stated that it could have caused an impulsive and hasty reaction creating a front of Arab Islamic countries against the international community with long-term effects. However, said Mr. Papandreou, US secretary of state Colin Powell has displayed calm and wisdom, while serving the US interests, and at the same time, he proved that he realizes the existing dilemmas.
Commenting on the stance of certain Turkish circles, which attempt to show that Greece and Cyprus are harboring terrorism, he pointed out that this stance is wrong and does not contribute to the campaign against terrorism.
He said that a new level of cooperation has opened for Greece and Turkey on the basis of the respect of human rights, democratic institutions and international law, as both countries do not want war.
 NEW GREECE-FYROM ROUND OF DISCUSSIONS ON NAME ISSUENew York, 6 October 2001 (15:05 UTC+2)
A new meeting between the spokespersons of Greece and FYROM took place yesterday in New York, in the framework of meetings under the aegis of the UN, for the resolving of the pending name issue of our neighboring country.
Greece was represented by its standing spokesperson Ilias Gounaris and FYROM by Ambassador Ivan Tosefski. The Secretary General of the UN was represented by special spokesperson, Mathew Nimits.
In an announcement circulated by the UN, it is mentioned that both sides have agreed to continue exchanging views, based on article 5 of the intermediary agreement between them, and decided to meet again at a later date, which has not yet been determined.
 A. TSOHATZOPOULOS BOOK PRESENTATION TONIGHTThessaloniki, 6 October 2001 (15:04 UTC+2)
Minister of Defense, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, will present his book titles Society of Cohesion, today, in Thessaloniki. The presentation will take place at 7pm in Warehouse I of the Thessaloniki harbor.
 Z. DELORS: FAITH IN EUROPEAN PEACE PROGRAMAthens, 6 October 2001 (15:04 UTC+2)
Europe is trying to remain faithful to a peace program, even though after the tragic events in the US, there was at some point a spark of hatred, stressed the former President of the Commission and the present President of the Our Europe foundation, Jacques Delors, in a speech last night at the Athens' Megaron. Mr. Delors has been in Athens yesterday.
Some said that Economic and Monetary unity would bring political unity, but I do not believe so, pointed out Mr. Delors, while underlining: For something like that to occur, a leap on behalf of the politicians is needed, and that is what we must do. Also, Mr. Delors stressed that to achieve the vision of a great Europe, we must first stop thinking like Western Europeans and only about ourselves, secondly, a framework must be created for the development of all countries, and thirdly, the utilization of all our intellectual and cultural differences is needed.
Today, at 12:30pm, Mr. Delors will meet with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.