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Voice of America, 97-03-06 (2 of 2)

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] ALBANIA UNREST (S-CQ) BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)
  • [02] ALBANIA'S CRISIS WORRIES THE WORLD BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [03] ALBANIA (S ONITER) BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)
  • [04] BOSNIA ELECTIONS (S-O) CQ BY KYLE KING (BONN)
  • [05] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)
  • [06] MUBARAK / EUROPE / U-S (L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (CAIRO)
  • [07] ROMANIA / NATO (L-ONLY) (CQ) BY DAVID GOLLUST (PENTAGON)
  • [08] YELTSIN / NATO (S) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

  • [01] ALBANIA UNREST (S-CQ) BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)

    DATE=3/6/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211022
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    // RERUNNING TO DELETE SENTENCE ABOUT DESTRUCTION OF BRIDGE //

    INTRO: ALBANIA'S EMBATTLED PRESIDENT, SALI BERISHA, IS MEETING WITH LEADERS OF THE POLITICAL OPPOSITION AS DIPLOMATS EXPRESS CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM THAT A NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT TO THE CRISIS CAN BE FOUND. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS FROM TIRANA.

    TEXT: MR. BERISHA HAS BEEN HOLDING TALKS WITH SEVERAL IMPORTANT OPPOSITION FIGURES, INCLUDING, FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE HEAD OF THE RECENTLY FORMED DEMOCRATIC FORUM, NERITAN CEKA.

    NO DETAILS HAVE YET EMERGED. BUT EXPERTS SAY THE COMPOSITION OF AN INTERIM GOVERNMENT AND PROCEDURES FOR HOLDING NEW ELECTIONS ARE BEING DISCUSSED. PRESIDENT BERISHA, WHOSE PARTY WON BADLY FLAWED ELECTIONS LAST MAY, HAS NOT RULED OUT FRESH PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS.

    IN ROME ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER LAMBERTO DINI SAYS MR. BERISHA HAS ASSURED HIM THAT FORCE WILL NOT BE USED TO RETAKE SOUTHERN COASTAL TOWNS NOW UNDER THE CONTROL OF INSURGENTS.

    WEDNESDAY EVENING, A PROMINENT STUDENT LEADER WAS ARRESTED AT TIRANA AIRPORT AS HE ATTEMPTED TO BOARD A FLIGHT TO SWITZERLAND. SOME JOURNALISTS HAVE GONE INTO HIDING AND ONLY THE PRO-GOVERNMENT PAPER OF THE PRESIDENT'S PARTY IS BEING PUBLISHED IN THE CAPITAL. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/JWH
    06-Mar-97 9:20 AM EST (1420 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] ALBANIA'S CRISIS WORRIES THE WORLD BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=03/06/97
    TYPE=WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-10055
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=NEAL LAVON
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: THINGS MAY BE QUIETING DOWN IN ALBANIA AFTER WEEKS OF ESCALATING RIOTS. THE GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION LEADERS ANNOUNCED AN AGREEMENT THURSDAY TO CALM THE SITUATION IN THE VIOLENCE-PLAGUED SOUTH OF THE TINY NATION.

    THE TROUBLE BEGAN MONTHS AGO WHEN SEVERAL SO-CALLED "FOUNDATIONS", USING PYRAMID SCHEMES, OFFERED PEOPLE FANTASTIC INTEREST RATES FOR INVESTING THEIR MONEY.

    THESE PYRAMID SCHEMES PAY OFF EARLY INVESTORS WITH MONEY FROM NEW INVESTORS DRAWN BY THE PROMISE OF HIGH INTEREST RATES. WHEN NEW INVESTORS CAN NO LONGER BE ATTRACTED, THE ENTERPRISE COLLAPSES LEAVING THOUSANDS BANKRUPT AND ANGRY.

    AFTER ARMED CITIZENS TOOK TO THE STREETS IN SEVERAL SOUTHERN CITIES AND THE ARMY RETALIATED, THE GOVERNMENT MET WITH OPPOSITION LEADERS AND WORKED OUT A PEACE PLAN THAT INCLUDES OPPOSITION INFLUENCE IN CHOOSING A NEW PRIME MINISTER.

    MEANWHILE, THE WORLD PRESS IS FOCUSED ON THE TINY, POOR BALKAN NATION, WORRIED THAT THE UNREST COULD SPREAD TO NEARBY AREAS WITH LARGE ALBANIAN POPULATIONS. WE GET A SAMPLING NOW FROM ____________ IN THIS WEEK'S WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP.

    TEXT: MANY FOREIGN JOURNALISTS ARE UPSET BY THE INACTION OF THE WESTERN DEMOCRACIES AS THEY HESITATED BEFORE OFFERING HELP TO THE GOVERNMENT IN TIRANA. SOME COMMENTATORS DISMISSED AS "ABSURD" THE WEST'S DEMANDS TO ALBANIAN PRESIDENT BERISHA TO SHOW "MODERATION" TO THE OPPOSITION AND AGREE TO NEW, "DEMOCRATIC" ELECTIONS. AS THE GERMAN DAILY IN BERLIN , "DIE WELT" PUT IT: "WHAT KIND OF 'DEMOCRACY,' WHAT KIND OF 'FREE ELECTIONS,' AND WHAT KIND OF 'MARKET ECONOMY' COULD EXIST IN A COUNTRY WHOSE INHABITANTS HAVE VEGETATED FOR YEARS ON THE VERGE OF STARVATION?"

    IN AN ECHO OF THURSDAY'S WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL, SOME FOREIGN PAPERS CRITICIZED EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS THAT "BLINDLY ACCEPTED" PRESIDENT BERISHA'S DEMOCRATIC CREDENTIALS IN THE PAST, BUT FAILED TO GIVE AID OR TO CRITICIZE HIS "ELECTORAL MANIPULATIONS," BELIEVING HE PLAYED A STABILIZING ROLE IN THE REGION. AND AS TO THE FAILURE OF EUROPEAN GOVERNMENT'S TO LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE, MADRID'S EL MUNDO NOTED IN PASSING, "THE EU [EUROPEAN UNION] SHOULD REMEMBER HUMBLY ITS INCREDIBLE FAILURE IN BOSNIA".

    WE BEGIN OUR SAMPLING IN ALBANIA ITSELF, WHERE IN THE CAPITAL, TIRANA, THE DAILY "GAZETA SHQIPTARE" SAYS IN AN EDITORIAL:

    VOICE: "THE MONEY LENDING CRISIS AND THE TOTAL RECKLESSNESS HAVE REACHED THEIR CLIMAX .... NOT IN THE LAST 50 YEARS HAS ALBANIA SEEN ITSELF MORE DEGRADED AND SCARRED....THE TRAGEDY OF A FEW DAYS AGO HAS BEEN REPEATED, SHEDDING MORE BLOOD, MORE TEARS, AND WORST OF ALL, DIMINISHING THE HOPE FOR THE EVENTUAL PEACE THAT WE ALL LONG FOR."

    TEXT: NOT MORE THAN 75 KILOMETERS AWAY, ACROSS THE ADRIATIC SEA, THERE IS A GROWING FEAR IN ITALY THAT ANOTHER MASS EXODUS OF ALBANIANS TO THE COUNTRY BY SHIP, SIMILAR TO THE ONE EARLIER THIS DECADE, COULD BEGIN IF CONDITIONS WORSEN. FIRST, TO ROME, WHERE "LA REPUBBLICA" COMMENTS:

    VOICE: "THE ALBANIAN CRISIS CONFIRMS THAT EUROPE IS FACED WITH THE SAME 'BALKAN DISORDER' WHICH STAINED IT WITH BLOOD BETWEEN 1910 AND 1924 ..... THE CIVIL WAR IN ALBANIA IS PART OF A DISINTEGRATION PROCESS WHICH HAS CONTINUED FOR 70 YEARS .....THE ALBANIAN CRISIS IS PART OF THE GENERAL FAILURE OF DEMOCRACY IN THE BALKAN WORLD FOLLOWING THE 1989 CHANGES [UNDERSTOOD: "ELSEWHERE IN EASTERN EUROPE] .... WE TOOK FOR GRANTED THAT THE TRANSITION FROM COMMUNISM TO DEMOCRACY WOULD BE AUTOMATIC ...NEITHER ITALY NOR EUROPE CAN DO MUCH TO SPARE ALBANIA THE DRAMA OF A CIVIL WAR WHICH MAY TAKE ROOT ...."

    TEXT: IN THE NORTH, MILAN'S "CORRIERE DELLA SERA" SEES THINGS THIS WAY:

    VOICE: "[PRESIDENT] BERISHA IS BECOMING A BURDEN FOR WESTERN NATIONS, WHICH HAVE BET HUGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY ON HIM. ..... IT KNOWN THAT, AFTER ALBANIA, THE KOSOVO REGION [ACTUALLY A PROVINCE OF YUGOSLAVIA, WHERE MOST OF THE POPULATION IS ETHNIC ALBANIAN] MAY EXPLODE .... WASHINGTON BELIEVES THAT, BEFORE RISKING A GENERAL CRISIS, IT IS BETTER TO PREPARE AN ALTERNATIVE [TO PRESIDENT BERISHA] ....

    TEXT: STILL IN EUROPE, HERE IS HOW THE SITUATION IS VIEWED IN THE GERMAN PRESS, WITH PART OF AN EDITORIAL FROM BERLIN'S "DIE WELT."

    VOICE: "THE REACTION OF THE WEST IS ABSURD NOT ONLY BECAUSE [PRESIDENT] BERISHA, WHO WAS THE DARLING OF THE WESTERN MEDIA AND POLITICS ONLY FOUR WEEKS AGO, IS CALLED UPON TO SHOW 'MODERATION' TOWARD FORCES WHO WOULD CERTAINLY KILL HIM IF THEY SHOULD GET HOLD OF HIM. IT IS EVEN MORE STRANGE THAT THE WEST SUPPORTS THE 'ALBANIAN OPPOSITION,' WHICH MAINLY CONSISTS OF THE FORMER COMMUNISTS OF EX-DICTATOR ENVER HOXHA. IT IS THE 64-THOUSAND-DOLLAR QUESTION WHETHER THE 'COALITION GOVERNMENT' WHICH THE WEST WANTS ... WOULD REALLY BRING PEACE TO THE COUNTRY OR AGAIN RESULT IN GRAVE CONFLICTS ..."

    [OPT]

    TEXT: COUPLING THE CURRENT UNREST TO THE DAYTON PEACE ACCORDS, BERLIN'S "DER TAGESSPIEGEL" NOTES:

    VOICE: "CONFLICT PREVENTION IS NOW URGENTLY NECESSARY. .... A LOT OF TIME HAS ALREADY BEEN WASTED. .... SOMEBODY [NEEDS TO TAKE] THE INITIATIVE. IN BOSNIA THIS WAS THE UNITED STATES. AND IN ALBANIA, THE SAME WILL BE TRUE, OR NOTHING WILL HAPPEN, SINCE THE EU [EUROPEAN UNION] IS NOWHERE IN SIGHT."

    TEXT: IN BRITAIN, THE TIMES OF LONDON RAN THIS DISPATCH FROM TIRANA:

    VOICE: "AS ALBANIA DESCENDED FURTHER INTO OUTRIGHT CIVIL WAR YESTERDAY (3/5), A LEADING MEMBER OF THE ALBANIAN OPPOSITION ACCUSED BRITAIN OF HAVING 'GIVEN [PRESIDENT] BERISHA ENOUGH OXYGEN TO BECOME A DICTATOR.' NERITAN CEKA, LEADER OF THE DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE, APPLAUDED WASHINGTON'S STRONG CONDEMNATION THIS WEEK OF MR. BERISHA'S STATE OF EMERGENCY .... IT IS HIGH TIME BRITAIN AND GERMANY 'CUT OFF HIS AIR SUPPLY,' HE TOLD THIS NEWSPAPER IN AN INTERVIEW."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: TURNING TO SCOTLAND, EDINBURGH'S "THE SCOTSMAN" RAN THIS COLUMN:

    VOICE: "ALBANIA CAN EXPORT HER PROBLEMS AND MAKE THEM OURS TOO. A STABLE AND DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT IN TIRANA IS IN EUROPE'S INTEREST. WE WILL NOT GET SUCH A GOVERNMENT BY MUTTERING ON THE SIDELINES WHILE PRESIDENT BERISHA BUYS THE LOYALTY OF THE ARMY AND THE POLICE AND USES THE EXCUSE OF CRIMINALITY TO BLUDGEON THE LIFE OUT OF HIS COUNTRY'S SMALL AND CONFUSED DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION."

    TEXT: IN FRANCE, THE "LIBERATION" IN PARIS WRITES, IN PART:

    VOICE: "EUROPEAN OFFICIALS ARE INCORRIGIBLE. ONCE AGAIN, THEY WERE CAUGHT BY SURPRISE. YEARS AGO, THEY SHOWED THEY WERE INCAPABLE OF CORRECTLY INTERPRETING THE WARNING SIGNS OF THE YUGOSLAV UPRISING. TODAY, THEY REFUSE TO SEE THE ANARCHY WHICH IS OVERTAKING ALBANIA.... GIVEN THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE SITUATION AND ITS DANGERS, WASHINGTON'S REACTION, ALONG WITH THAT OF OTHER EUROPEAN CAPITALS, IS NOTHING SHORT OF RIDICULOUS. THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO GIVE LESSONS IN DEMOCRACY TO [PRESIDENT] BERISHA, WHO DOESN'T CARE. IT IS TIME TO CLEARLY IMPOSE SOME CONDITIONS AND .... GET READY FOR THE WORST."

    [OPT]

    TEXT: THERE IS IN RUSSIA, AT LEAST, HOPE THAT THE YUGOSLAVIAN CRISIS HAS GIVEN THE WEST SOME EXPERIENCE ON WHY ACTION MUST BE SWIFT IN CASES LIKE THIS. MOSCOW'S "SEGODNYA" SAYS:

    VOICE: "FIVE YEARS AGO THE UNITED STATES SUPPORTED SALI BERISHA AND HIS DE-STALINIZATION POLICY. APPARENTLY, HE HAS NOT LIVED UP TO THE WEST'S EXPECTATIONS, SPECIFICALLY BY HAVING A NOT QUITE COHERENT STAND ON NATO. ..... UNLIKE IN THE YUGOSLAV CRISIS, NATO MAY TAKE MUCH LESS TIME NOW TO DECIDE TO INTERVENE, ESPECIALLY AS IT FACES NO OPPOSITION, MOSCOW HAVING KEPT MUM ON ALBANIAN EVENTS UNTIL YESTERDAY."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: SWEDEN'S "AFTONBLADET'S" COMMENT CONTAINS THESE THOUGHTS:

    VOICE: ".... NOW IT IS HIGH TIME ... FOR THE EU [EUROPEAN UNION] TO RAISE DEMANDS ON [PRESIDENT] BERISHA ... THE EU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY SEND A VERY HIGH-RANKING DELEGATION TO TIRANA - - PRIME MINISTERS AND PRESIDENTS - - TO LITERALLY FORCE [MR.] BERISHA TO, TOGETHER WITH THE OPPOSITION, ESTABLISH A [NEW] GOVERNMENT. IT WILL NOT DO TO JUST SIT AND WAIT 'UNTIL THE VIOLENCE SUBSIDES.' THE LESSONS FROM BOSNIA OUGHT TO HAVE TAUGHT EUROPE THE NEED TO INTERVENE IN TIME."

    TEXT: WITH THAT COMMENT, WE CONCLUDE THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF WORLD PRESS REACTION TO THE CURRENT CRISIS IN ALBANIA.
    NEB/ANG/NL
    06-Mar-97 4:41 PM EST (2141 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] ALBANIA (S ONITER) BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)

    DATE=3/6/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211051
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THURSDAY'S AGREEMENT ON THE OFFER OF AN AMNESTY FOR ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTERS IN SOUTHERN ALBANIA IS BEING SEEN AS A STEP TOWARD RESOLVING THE POLITICAL CRISIS IN THE COUNTRY. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS FROM TIRANA.

    TEXT: OPPOSITION POLITICIANS ARE CALLING THE ACCORD A POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT THAT SIGNALS THE GOVERNMENT'S DESIRE FOR A NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT TO THE UPRISING IN THE SOUTH.

    THE ACCORD WAS REACHED BETWEEN PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA AND REPRESENTATIVES OF NINE OPPOSITION PARTIES. ITS KEY PROVISIONS ARE THE PROMISE OF AMNESTY FOR PROTESTERS WHO TURN IN THEIR WEAPONS OVER A 48-HOUR PERIOD. ALBANIA'S ARMY PROMISES TO HALT MILITARY OPERATIONS DURING THAT TIME.

    THERE IS ALSO A COMMITMENT TO CONTINUED DIALOGUE AND CREATION OF A NEW ADMINISTRATION GENERALLY ACCEPTABLE TO ALL PARTIES. WHILE THERE IS NO PROVISION FOR NEW ELECTIONS, THEY ARE GENERALLY EXPECTED TO OCCUR LATER THIS YEAR.

    INITIAL RESPONSE FROM THE COASTAL TOWNS OF SARANDE AND VLORE HAS BEEN DISMISSIVE OF THE ACCORD. YOUTHFUL PROTESTERS INSIST THEY WANT PRESIDENT BERISHA TO RESIGN AND HAVE NO INTENTION OF HANDING IN THEIR WEAPONS.

    PRESIDENT BERISHA DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS WILL BE MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF WESTERN GOVERNMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN CRITICAL OF HIS INITIAL HANDLING OF THE CRISIS. THE EUROPEAN UNION IS OFFERING TO HELP RESOLVE ALBANIA'S DEEPEST POLITICAL CRISIS SINCE THE OVERTHROW OF COMMUNISM IN 1991. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/JWH/RRM
    06-Mar-97 2:27 PM EST (1927 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] BOSNIA ELECTIONS (S-O) CQ BY KYLE KING (BONN)

    DATE=3/6/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211027
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///// FIXES THOUGH TO THROUGH IN TEXT GRAF 2 OF CR2-211023. /////

    INTRO: THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE SAYS LONG DELAYED LOCAL ELECTIONS IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA ARE NOW BEING SCHEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER. V-O-A EUROPEAN CORRESPONDENT KYLE KING REPORTS.

    TEXT: LOCAL ELECTIONS IN BOSNIA WERE ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE LAST SEPTEMBER, BUT HAD TO BE POSTPONED BECAUSE OF WIDESPREAD VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD.

    INDEPENDENT OBSERVERS ACCUSED THE WARRING FACTIONS OF TRYING TO MANIPULATE THE PROCESS TO CEMENT THEIR HOLD ON TERRITORY SEIZED DURING THE WAR, IN MANY CASES THROUGH THE BRUTAL POLICY OF ETHNIC CLEANSING.

    THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE, WHICH IS ORGANIZING THE VOTE, HAD RESCHEDULED THE ELECTIONS FOR JULY OF THIS YEAR.

    BUT A STATEMENT FROM THE O-S-C-E'S CURRENT DANISH CHAIRMAN SAYS THE DATE HAS BEEN PUSHED BACK AGAIN -- TO SEPTEMBER 13TH AND 14TH.

    THE STATEMENT URGED THE FORMER WARRING FACTIONS TO ENSURE FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT, EQUAL ACCESS TO THE MEDIA, AND THE PROMPT INSTALLATION OF DEMOCRATICALLY-ELECTED OFFICIALS.

    MANY OBSERVERS SAY THEY VIEW THE ELECTIONS AS THE LAST CHANCE FOR REUNIFICATION OF THE COUNTRY, WHICH IS STILL LARGELY DIVIDED INTO ETHNIC REGIONS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/JWH
    06-Mar-97 9:51 AM EST (1451 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)

    DATE=3/6/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211045
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: SHARE PRICES ROSE AGAIN IN TRADING THURSDAY IN EUROPEAN MARKETS. V-O-A'S JACK HUIZENGA HAS THE CLOSING MARKET REPORT FROM LONDON.

    TEXT: STOCK PRICES ROSE SHARPLY TO ONCE AGAIN SET NEW RECORD CLOSING HIGHS IN ALL THREE MAJOR EUROPEAN MARKETS -- PARIS, FRANKFURT, AND LONDON. ANALYSTS SAY TRADERS ARE ENCOURAGED BY THE STRONG U-S DOLLAR AND A STRONG WALL STREET OPENING.

    IN FRANKFURT, THE DAX-30 INDEX ENDED UP MORE THAN 52 POINTS, MORE THAN ONE-AND-ONE-HALF PERCENT.

    PRICES IN PARIS ALSO FINISHED AT A NEW HIGH. THE CAC-40 INDEX WAS UP ALMOST 33 POINTS, ABOUT ONE-AND-TWO-TENTHS PERCENT. AND, IN LONDON, THE FOOTSIE-100 WAS UP MORE THAN 39 POINTS -- ABOUT NINE-TENTHS OF ONE PERCENT -- A NEW CLOSING HIGH FOR THE THIRD STRAIGHT DAY.

    ON THE LONDON CURRENCY EXCHANGE, THE THE U-S DOLLAR CONTINUED ITS RISE AGAINST THE GERMAN MARK. IT WAS UNCHANGED AGAINST THE JAPANESE YEN. AND IT DROPPED A LITTLE AGAINST THE BRITISH POUND.
    NEB/JWH
    06-Mar-97 1:38 PM EST (1838 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] MUBARAK / EUROPE / U-S (L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (CAIRO)

    DATE=3/6/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211021
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT HOSNI MUBARAK HEADS TO WASHINGTON FOR TALKS NEXT WEEK WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON. ON THE WAY, HE WILL STOP FRIDAY IN PARIS FOR MEETINGS WITH FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC. V-O-A MIDDLE EAST CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN REPORTS MR. MUBARAK HOPES TO BOLSTER TRADE AND INVESTMENT AND SHORE UP A SHAKY PEACE PROCESS.

    TEXT: PRESIDENT MUBARAK IS STILL EXPRESSING FEARS FOR THE PEACE PROCESS, EVEN AFTER HEARING ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU'S EXPLANATIONS FOR A DECISION TO BUILD NEW JEWISH HOUSING IN EAST JERUSALEM. THE ISSUE HAS FUELED ANGER IN THE ARAB WORLD AND BROUGHT SHARP CRITICISM FROM EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES.

    MR. MUBARAK AND OTHERS HAVE WARNED THAT IT COULD DAMAGE PROSPECTS FOR PEACE. AND THE EGYPTIAN LEADER ARGUES THAT PEACE AND STABILITY ARE ESSENTIAL FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT. HIS TRIPS TO PARIS AND WASHINGTON UNDERLINE THE POINT.

    MR. MUBARAK'S GOVERNMENT IS SEEKING A SPECIAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION AND MORE INVESTMENT FROM BOTH EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN COMPANIES.

    FOR ITS PART, FRANCE AND THE EUROPEAN UNION WANT TO EXPAND THEIR ROLE IN THE PEACE PROCESS. THE MUBARAK-CHIRAC SUMMIT IS EXPECTED TO REVIEW THE SITUATION AND THE IMPACT OF THE ISRAELI DECISION AS WELL AS PROSPECTS FOR RESUMING THE SYRIAN AND LEBANESE NEGOTIATIONS WITH ISRAEL.

    AFTER HIS MEETING WITH THE ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER WEDNESDAY, PRESIDENT MUBARAK SAID HE HOPES THE SYRIAN TALKS COULD RESUME SOON. BUT HE SAYS A FORMULA MUST BE FOUND TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN ISRAEL AND SYRIA OVER HOW TO DO IT. MR MUBARAK UNDERLINED THAT THE TALKS SHOULD START WHERE THEY BROKE OFF A YEAR AGO AND NOT ALL OVER AGAIN WITHOUT PRECONDITIONS AS THE ISRAELIS HAVE SUGGESTED.

    IN WASHINGTON NEXT WEEK, MR MUBARAK MEETS PRESIDENT CLINTON AND THE NEW SECRETARIES OF STATE AND DEFENSE. THE TALKS ARE EXPECTED TO FOCUS ON THE PEACE PROCESS AND THE NEW CONTROVERSY OVER JERUSALEM. THE EGYPTIAN LEADER WILL ALSO MEET WITH VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE TO REVIEW PROGRESS OF THE JOINT ECONOMIC COUNCIL THAT WAS SET UP TWO YEARS AGO TO FOSTER TRADE AND INVESTMENT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LK/JWH
    06-Mar-97 9:20 AM EST (1420 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] ROMANIA / NATO (L-ONLY) (CQ) BY DAVID GOLLUST (PENTAGON)

    DATE=3/6/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211041
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// RE-ISSUING TO CORRECT NAME IN INTRO ///

    INTRO: A SENIOR ROMANIAN DEFENSE OFFICIAL IS IN WASHINGTON, LOBBYING HARD FOR THE INCLUSION OF ROMANIA AMONG THE FIRST NEW MEMBERS ACCEPTED BY NATO. DEPUTY DEFENSE MINISTER CONSTANTINE IONESCU SAYS THERE ARE SOUND STRATEGIC AND POLITICAL REASONS WHY ROMANIA SHOULD BE IN THE FIRST WAVE OF NEW ENTRANTS. V-O-A'S DAVID GOLLUST HAS DETAILS FROM THE PENTAGON.

    TEXT: MR. IONESCU IS SEEING ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS AND MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN WHAT HE CONCEDES IS AN UPHILL STRUGGLE BY ROMANIA TO BE INCLUDED IN THE FIRST GROUP OF NEW MEMBERS ACCEPTED BY NATO. POLAND, THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND HUNGARY ARE WIDELY CONSIDERED THE LEADING CONTENDERS TO BE CHOSEN WHEN NATO ANNOUNCES ITS EASTWARD EXPANSION AT A MADRID SUMMIT IN JULY. BUT MR. IONESCU SAYS INCLUDING ROMANIA WOULD GIVE THE ALLIANCE A SOLID ANCHOR ON ITS SOUTHERN FLANK THAT WOULD EMPHASIZE BALKAN STABILITY.

    THE DEPUTY DEFENSE MINISTER SAID ROMANIA HAS A UNIQUE COMBINATION OF GOOD RELATIONS WITH BALKAN COUNTRIES, INCLUDING BOTH GREECE AND TURKEY -- AND THAT GIVEN ITS POLITICAL HISTORY, IT CAN PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE AS A BRIDGE BETWEEN NATO AND RUSSIA.

    MR. IONESCU ACKNOWLEDGES THAT ROMANIA -- WHERE CENTRISTS ENDED A SEVEN-YEAR GRIP ON POWER BY FORMER COMMUNISTS IN ELECTIONS LAST NOVEMBER -- HAS GOTTEN A LATE START TOWARD MARKET REFORMS.

    BUT HE SAYS HIS CHRISTIAN-DEMOCRAT LED GOVERNMENT IS FULLY COMMITTED TO THE PROCESS, AND THAT ROMANIA'S MAIN PROBLEM NOW IS TO OVERCOME A NEGATIVE IMAGE LEFT OVER FROM THE NEO-COMMUNIST YEARS:

    ///IONESCU ACTUALITY///

    IT'S NOT A QUESTION OF ECONOMY. IT'S A QUESTION OF IMAGE. WE HAVE TO FIGHT WITH A GHOST. YOU CAN'T IMPROVE YOUR IMAGE JUST LIKE THAT, IN A FEW MONTHS. IT'S A QUESTION OF TIMING AND WE HAVE LESS TIME FOR IMPROVING OUR IMAGE THAN SOME OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE.

    ///END ACT///

    MR. IONESCU SAYS IT MAY BE ANOTHER YEAR OR TWO BEFORE THE ROMANIAN ECONOMY BOUNCES BACK FROM THE TOUGH AUSTERITY MEASURES HIS GOVERNMENT IMPOSED EARLIER THIS YEAR TO PUT IT ON THE SAME FOOTING WITH THE MORE ADVANCED CENTRAL EUROPEAN STATES.

    BUT HE SAYS ROMANIA IS READY NOW, FROM A MILITARY STANDPOINT, TO PLAY A FULL ROLE IN NATO AS EVIDENCED BY ITS ROLE IN BOSNIAN PEACEKEEPING AND THE PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAG/TMS/KL
    06-Mar-97 1:12 PM EST (1812 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] YELTSIN / NATO (S) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=3/6/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211008
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    // EDITORS: THIS REPORT MAY BE USED AS AN ALTERNATE TO CR 2-211003, RUSSIA / POLITICS (S) BY ELIZABETH ARROTT //

    INTRO: RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN HAS REAFFIRMED RUSSIA'S STAUNCH OPPOSITION TO EXPANSION OF THE NATO ALLIANCE. V-O-A'S PETER HEINLEIN REPORTS MR. YELTSIN MADE THE STATEMENT IN HIS STATE-OF-THE-NATION SPEECH.

    TEXT: SPEAKING TO BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT, MR. YELTSIN CALLED NATO'S PLANNED EASTWARD EXPANSION AN ATTEMPT TO SQUEEZE RUSSIA OUT OF EUROPE.

    // YELTSIN ACT, FADE UNDER //

    HE SAID ANY EFFORT TO CREATE A EUROPEAN SECURITY SYSTEM WITHOUT RUSSIA IS DOOMED TO FAILURE. SPEAKING IN A STRONG VOICE, MR. YELTSIN SAID HE WOULD DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO PREVENT A NEW DIVISION OF EUROPE.

    THE RUSSIAN LEADER SAID HE HAD GREAT HOPES FOR HIS MEETING WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON THIS MONTH IN HELSINKI. NATO EXPANSION IS TO BE AMONG THE TOP ITEMS ON THE SUMMIT AGENDA. THE 25-MINUTE ADDRESS WAS PART OF MR. YELTSIN'S EFFORT TO REASSERT CONTROL OVER THE KREMLIN AFTER A LONG PERIOD OF ILL HEALTH.

    HE PROMISED TO LAUNCH A CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION, AND CONFIRMED WIDESPREAD REPORTS OF AN IMPENDING SHAKEUP WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT. DETAILS OF CABINET CHANGES MAY COME LATER IN THE DAY, WHEN PRIME MINISTER VICTOR CHERNOMYRDIN HOLDS A NEWS CONFERENCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PFH/JWH
    06-Mar-97 5:12 AM EST (1012 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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