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Voice of America, 97-03-20

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] ALBANIA / ITALY (L ONLY) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)
  • [02] ALBANIA (S) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)
  • [03] ITALY / ALBANIA (L UPDATE) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)
  • [04] ALBANIA / HOSPITAL BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)
  • [05] COHEN / TURKEY (L-ONLY) BY DAVID GOLLUST (PENTAGON)
  • [06] BOSNIA/CROATS BY DOUGLAS ROBERTS (SIROKI BRIEG, BOSNIA)
  • [07] COHEN/BOSNIA DEADLINE (S) BY DAVID GOLLUST (PENTAGON)
  • [08] NATO EXPANSION: THE SUMMIT'S BIG ISSUE BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [09] SUMMIT O'NITER (S) BY DEBORAH TATE (HELSINKI)
  • [10] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [11] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] ALBANIA / ITALY (L ONLY) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)

    DATE=3/20/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211758
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE ITALIAN NAVY HAS RESCUED AN ALBANIAN FISHING BOAT WITH 350 REFUGEES ABOARD THAT WAS IN DANGER OF SINKING IN THE ADRIATIC SEA . AS PEGGY POLK REPORTS, AN ITALIAN NAVY FRIGATE TOWED THE FISHING BOAT BACK TO ALBANIA.

    TEXT: ITALIAN NAVY AND COAST GUARD VESSELS HAVE COME TO THE AID OF OVERCROWDED ALBANIAN BOATS ALMOST DAILY FOR THE PAST WEEK. BUT THIS WAS THE MOST DRAMATIC RESCUE THEY HAVE CARRIED OUT.

    ITALIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY OFFICIALS SAID THE FISHING BOAT -- WHICH CARRIED 350 ALBANIANS, INCLUDING 45 CHILDREN -- BEGAN HAVING DIFFICULTIES (WEDNESDAY) IN HEAVY SEAS AND HIGH WINDS OFF THE ALBANIAN COAST.

    FEARING THE BOAT WAS IN DANGER OF SINKING, THE ITALIAN FRIGATE ESPERO, THREE OTHER ITALIAN NAVY VESSELS, AND TWO U-S MILITARY SHIPS WENT TO THE RESCUE.

    IN AN OPERATION THAT TOOK ALMOST 24 HOURS TO COMPLETE, THE ESPERO TOWED THE FLOUNDERING BOAT BACK TO CALMER WATERS IN THE BAY OF RODON, NORTH OF THE ALBANIAN PORT OF DURRES.

    LANDING CRAFT FERRIED THE PASSENGERS TO A BEACH FROM WHERE THEY WERE TO BE TRANSPORTED BY BUS TO TIRANA.

    WELL OVER 10-THOUSAND ALBANIANS HAVE CROSSED THE ADRIATIC SEA IN A FLOTILLA OF OLD AND ILL-EQUIPPED BOATS DURING THE PAST WEEK TO SEEK REFUGE IN ITALY FROM THE ANARCHY THAT HAS SWEPT THEIR COUNTRY.

    OVERWHELMED BY THE MASS INFLUX, THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT HAS A DECLARED A COUNTRYWIDE STATE OF EMERGENCY THAT WILL LAST UNTIL JUNE 30TH AND SET A 90-DAY LIMIT ON THE REFUGEES' STAY IN ITALY.

    THIS IS THE SECOND TIME ITALY HAS BEEN HIT BY AN ALBANIA REFUGEE CRISIS. ABOUT 40-THOUSAND ALBANIANS ARRIVED ON ITALY'S SHORES IN 1991 AFTER THE COLLAPSE OF STALINISM IN EUROPE'S POOREST COUNTRY.

    ITALY SENT THE REFUGEES BACK TO ALBANIA BUT PROVIDED LARGE AMOUNTS OF HUMANITARIAN AID. THE GOVERNMENT IS EXPECTED TO SEEK THE SAME SOLUTION TO THE LATEST CRISIS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PP/JWH
    20-Mar-97 8:11 AM EST (1311 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] ALBANIA (S) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)

    DATE=3/20/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211761
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: GANGS OF ARMED LOOTERS CONTINUE TO TERRORIZE PARTS OF ALBANIA, AS REBELS CONTROLLING THE SOUTH OF COUNTRY BACK AWAY FROM THREATS TO FORCE PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA FROM OFFICE. V-O-A'S KYLE KING REPORTS FROM TIRANA.

    TEXT: REBELS, WHO CONTROL A STRING OF TOWNS IN SOUTHERN ALBANIA, HAD GIVEN PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA UNTIL MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO STEP DOWN.

    BUT WITH THE DEADLINE APPROACHING, A SPOKESMAN FOR THE REBELS SAID THEY ARE PLANNING TO USE DEMOCRATIC MEANS TO ACHIEVE THEIR GOAL.

    THE REBELS, WHO BLAME PRESIDENT BERISHA FOR CREATING THE CRISIS GRIPPING THE NATION, HAD THREATENED UNSPECIFIED ACTION IF HE DID NOT RESIGN IMMEDIATELY.

    PRIME MINISTER BASHKIM FINO, THE HEAD OF ALBANIA'S NEW COALITION GOVERNMENT, HAD BEEN SCHEDULED TO MEET WITH THE REBELS IN THE SOUTH, BUT THE VISIT HAS BEEN CANCELED. MEANWHILE, A SENSE OF LAWLESSNESS CONTINUES TO GRIP MANY PARTS OF THE COUNTRY.

    SEVERAL FOREIGN REPORTERS HAVE BEEN ROBBED AT GUNPOINT, AND RESIDENTS OF SOME SOUTHERN AREAS SAY GUNMEN ARE STILL FIRING THEIR STOLEN WEAPONS AND LOOTING STORES.

    MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED IN THE CHAOS AND ANARCHY. THOUSANDS OF OTHERS HAVE FLED THE COUNTRY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/KL
    20-Mar-97 9:44 AM EST (1444 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] ITALY / ALBANIA (L UPDATE) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)

    DATE=3/20/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211773
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE ITALIAN NAVY WILL BEGIN PATROLS OF ALBANIAN WATERS TO TRY TO STEM THE FLOW OF ALBANIAN REFUGEES TO ITALY. BUT, AS PEGGY POLK REPORTS, THE ITALIAN DEFENSE MINISTER HAS DENIED THAT AN ITALIAN MILITARY INTERVENTION ON ALBANIAN SOIL IS IMMINENT.

    TEXT: THE ITALIAN NAVY AND COAST GUARD HAVE BEEN PATROLLING THE ADRIATIC SEA SINCE THE MASS EXODUS OF ALBANIANS TO ITALY BEGAN ONE WEEK AGO. THE REFUGEES ARE FLEEING THE VIOLENCE THAT ERUPTED IN EUROPE'S POOREST COUNTRY WITH THE COLLAPSE OF PYRAMID INVESTMENT SCHEMES THAT LEFT MANY ALBANIANS PENNILESS.

    THE ITALIAN NAVY AND COAST GUARD HAVE BEEN COMING TO THE AID OF OVERLOADED ALBANIAN VESSELS ALMOST DAILY. IN THE LATEST EMERGENCY, AN ITALIAN FRIGATE RESCUED 350 ALBANIAN REFUGEES -- INCLUDING 45 CHILDREN -- FROM A FISHING BOAT IN DANGER OF SINKING IN HIGH SEAS AND GALE FORCE WIND. THE REFUGEES WERE RETURNED TO ALBANIA.

    MEETING IN ROME, ALBANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ARJAN STAROVA AND ITALIAN DEFENSE MINISTER BENIAMINO ANDREATTA EXAMINED WHAT MR. ANDREATTA CALLED "THE SITUATION OF ANARCHY" IN THE WATERS BETWEEN ALBANIA AND ITALY. MR. ANDREATTA SAID THEY WILL REACTIVATE AN AGREEMENT PERMITTING ITALY TO PATROL ALONG THE ALBANIAN COAST.

    BUT THE ITALIAN DEFENSE MINISTER DENIED REPORTS THAT ITALY WAS ABOUT TO SEND TROOPS TO ALBANIA TO PREPARE FOR THE DELIVERY OF EMERGENCY FOOD AID AND MEDICINES AS HAPPENED IN 1991.

    THE ALBANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ALSO ASKED FOR HELP IN RE-EQUIPPING ALBANIA'S MILITARY AND POLICE FORCES.

    MR. ANDREATTA SAID THEY AGREED, HOWEVER, THAT ECONOMIC, HUMANITARIAN AND MILITARY AID SHOULD BE SUPPLIED TO ALBANIA IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE EUROPEAN UNION.

    EU FOREIGN MINISTERS ARE SCHEDULED TO MEET MONDAY TO DISCUSS HOW TO HELP ALBANIA, AND MR. STAROVA SAID HIS GOVERNMENT IS "VERY OPTIMISTIC" ABOUT THE OUTCOME OF THE MEETING. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PP/JWH
    20-Mar-97 11:10 AM EST (1610 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] ALBANIA / HOSPITAL BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)

    DATE=3/20/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35993
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AS ALBANIA'S GOVERNMENT GROPES FOR WAYS TO EMERGE FROM THE VIOLENCE AND ANARCHY THAT HAS RIPPED THE NATION APART, DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS ARE DEALING WITH A TRAGEDY OF ANOTHER SORT. EVERY DAY DOZENS OF CHILDREN ARE BEING MAIMED AND KILLED AS THEY PLAY WITH TONS OF AMMUNITION, GUNS, AND EXPLOSIVES LOOTED FROM UNGUARDED MILITARY WAREHOUSES. V-O-A'S KYLE KING VISITED TIRANA'S MAIN HOSPITAL WHERE CHILDREN ARE BEING TREATED.

    TEXT:

    /// ACT - CHILD SCREAMING, FADE UNDER ///

    GET OUT -- GO AWAY -- I DON'T WANT TO TALK TO ANYBODY, 13-YEAR-OLD ARJAN LOKU SCREAMS FROM THE HOSPITAL ROOM WHERE HE IS BEING TREATED FOR FIRST DEGREE BURNS. ARJAN, WHOSE FACE AND HANDS WERE SEVERELY BURNED WHEN SOMEONE IGNITED A BAG OF GUNPOWDER, IS ONE OF 20 TO 30 CHILDREN BEING BROUGHT TO TIRANA'S MAIN HOSPITAL EACH DAY.

    HIS FATHER SAYS HE TOLD HIS SON NOT TO PLAY WITH THE WEAPONS THAT HAVE BEEN LOOTED FROM MILITARY WAREHOUSES. AND HE BLAMES ALBANIA'S LEADERS FOR THE TRAGEDY.

    /// ACT - ARJAN'S FATHER, FADE UNDER ///

    THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF BULLETS AND WEAPONS IN THE STREETS NOW, PISTOLS, YOU FIND THESE THINGS EVERYWHERE. LIKE OTHER ALBANIANS EVERYWHERE, HE SIMPLY CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHY MILITARY AND CIVILIAN LEADERS SIMPLY LEFT SO MANY WEAPONS UNPROTECTED.

    SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD BLERIM NIKA, WHO WINCES IN AGONY FROM THE RAW CHARRED SKIN ON HIS FACE, SAYS HE WAS AT AN UNGUARDED ARMY WEAPONS DEPOT LAST SATURDAY WHEN HE WAS BURNED.

    /// NIKA ACT - ALBANIAN, FADE UNDER ///

    I WAS JUST WALKING INTO THE BUILDING HE SAYS, WHEN SOMEONE IGNITED THE AMMUNITION, AND THE FLAMES CAME RUSHING OUT.

    DOCTOR ISLAM DAUTI, WHO TAKES CARE OF BURN VICTIMS AT THE HOSPITAL, SAYS THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH BEDS, ANTI-BIOTICS OR MEDICINES TO TREAT ALL THE CHILDREN BEING BROUGHT IN.

    /// DAUTI ACT - ALBANIAN, FADE UNDER ///

    THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WITH BURNS IS REALLY EXTRAORDINARY. WE ARE TRYING TO DO THE BEST WE CAN WITH WHAT WE HAVE HERE, BUT IT IS REALLY DIFFICULT.

    DOCTORS SAY MOST OF THE CHILDREN ARE INJURED PLAYING WITH EXPLOSIVES, BUT OTHERS ARE ALSO BEING BROUGHT IN WITH GUNSHOT WOUNDS. SEVERAL CHILDREN HAVE BEEN KILLED AND OTHERS HAVE HAD LEGS AMPUTATED.

    BECAUSE OF THE SHORTAGE OF BEDS, MANY ARE SENT HOME AND CARED FOR THERE. WHEN MEDICINES ARE NOT AVAILABLE, PARENTS ARE TOLD TO SEE IF THEY CAN FIND THEM IN PRIVATE SHOPS, SOMETHING FEW ALBANIANS CAN DO WITH THE COUNTRY STILL TRYING TO EMERGE FROM WEEKS OF VIOLENCE AND ANARCHY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KB/JWH/KL
    20-Mar-97 12:04 PM EST (1704 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] COHEN / TURKEY (L-ONLY) BY DAVID GOLLUST (PENTAGON)

    DATE=3/20/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211796
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN SCOLDED CONGRESS THURSDAY FOR HOLDING UP SALES OF MAJOR WEAPONS SYSTEMS TO TURKEY. MR. COHEN SUGGESTS THE ACTION COULD STRENGTHEN ANTI-WESTERN ISLAMIC FACTIONS IN TURKEY. V-O-A'S DAVID GOLLUST HAS DETAILS FROM THE PENTAGON.

    TEXT: MR. COHEN LEVELED CRITICISM AT BOTH CONGRESS AND THE EUROPEAN UNION FOR THEIR TREATMENT OF TURKEY, WHICH HE CALLED A CLOSE U-S ALLY IN A CRITICAL GEO-STRATEGIC LOCATION.

    THE DEFENSE SECRETARY WAS APPEARING BEFORE THE HOUSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE, WHERE HE DEFENDED PLANS TO PROVIDE TURKEY WITH 175-MILLION DOLLARS IN ARMS SALES CREDITS FOR THE COMING YEAR.

    MR. COHEN SAID TURKEY HAS SHOULDERED CONSIDERABLE ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL BURDENS IN SUPPORTING SANCTIONS -- INCLUDING NO-FLY-ZONE RESTRICTIONS AGAINST IRAQ -- AND IN HELPING THE UNITED STATES RE-ARM THE MUSLIM / CROAT FEDERATION ARMY IN BOSNIA. HOWEVER, THE CONGRESS -- WITH SUPPORT FROM THE INFLUENTIAL GREEK-AMERICAN LOBBY -- HAS BLOCKED ADMINISTRATION PLANS TO SELL TURKEY ADVANCED NAVAL FRIGATES AND "COBRA" ATTACK HELICOPTERS. THE EUROPEAN UNION, MEANWHILE, HAS RESISTED TURKEY'S CAMPAIGN FOR FULL MEMBERSHIP.

    MR. COHEN TOLD THE HOUSE PANEL BOTH ACTIONS ONLY ENCOURAGE ANTI-WESTERN ELEMENTS IN A COUNTRY THAT HAS BEEN A PILLAR OF SUPPORT FOR THE UNITED STATES.

    //COHEN ACT///

    IT IS DEMOCRATIC, IT IS PRO-WESTERN. IT IS A PRO-AMERICAN BULWARK AT A JUNCTURE OF SEVERAL VERY UNSTABLE REGIONS OF THE WORLD. AND YET THE E-U'S TREATMENT OF TURKEY, AND, I WOULD EMPHASIZE, OUR OWN DEFERRAL OF SEVERAL MAJOR ARMS TRANSFERS, FOSTERS THE PERCEPTION IN TURKEY THAT THE WEST NO LONGER VALUES TURKEY'S CONTRIBUTION TO WESTERN SECURITY. AND IT'S LENDING STRENGTH TO THOSE WHO WOULD MOVE TURKEY IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION THAT IS LESS FAVORABLE TO OUR INTERESTS.

    ///END ACT///

    MR. COHEN SAID THE UNITED STATES NEEDS TO BE ABLE TO WORK EFFECTIVELY WITH BOTH TURKEY AND GREECE -- WHICH, HE NOTED, IS ALSO A VALUABLE NATO ALLY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAG/ENE/RRM
    20-Mar-97 4:57 PM EST (2157 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] BOSNIA/CROATS BY DOUGLAS ROBERTS (SIROKI BRIEG, BOSNIA)

    DATE=3/20/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35996
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE ARREST OF A REPUTED CROAT MAFIA LEADER HAS PROVOKED A POPULAR BACKLASH IN THE CROAT COMMUNITY OF SOUTHWESTERN BOSNIA. MLADEN NALETILIC, KNOWN AS "TUTA," IS THE ALLEGED RINGLEADER OF A POWERFUL CRIMINAL NETWORK AND A STAUNCH OPPONENT OF BOSNIA'S MUSLIM-CROAT FEDERATION. BUT FOR MANY OF BOSNIA'S CROATS, HE IS A WAR HERO. AND HIS ARREST COULD HAVE POLITICAL REPERCUSSIONS FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF CROATIA'S PRESIDENT, FRANJO TUDJMAN. VOA'S DOUGLAS ROBERTS FILED THIS BACKGROUND REPORT FROM THE CROAT TOWN OF SIROKI BRIEG.

    TEXT: THE ANGRY GRAFITTI IS SCRAWLED ON WALLS AND DOORS ALL OVER THIS SMALL BUT BOOMING MARKET TOWN: "FREE OUR LIBERATOR, OR ELSE", "TUTA, WE LOVE YOU". ALONG WITH THE GRAFFITI ARE SLICK, CAMPAIGN-STYLE POSTERS, FEATURING THE FACE OF A MAN REVILED IN MANY QUARTERS BUT ADULATED BY MORE THAN A FEW IN BOSNIA'S CLOSE-KNIT CROAT COMMUNITY.

    THE FACE ON THE POSTERS HARDLY FITS THE IMAGE OF A MAFIA BOSS. A SMILING, BESPECTACLED MLADEN NALETILIC, WITH HIS THINNING HAIR AND GRAY BEARD, LOOKS MORE LIKE A UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR. BUT THE FLAK JACKET HE IS WEARING IN THE POSTER ATTESTS TO HIS MILITARY CREDENTIALS, ACKNOWLEDGED BY FRIEND AND FOE ALIKE.

    TUTA ROSE TO PROMINENCE SOON AFTER CROATIA PROCLAIMED ITS INDEPENDENCE FROM YUGOSLAVIA, FORMING HIS OWN MILITIA KNOWN AS THE "CONVICTS' BRIGADE." ITS MEMBERS, INCLUDING TUTA HIMSELF, CLAIM THEIR ONLY CRIME WAS CROAT NATIONALISM AND OPPOSITION TO THE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT IN BELGRADE.

    THE CONVICTS' BRIGADE FOUGHT SERB FORCES IN CROATIA, BUT ITS BIGGEST BATTLES WERE AGAINST BOSNIA'S MUSLIM-DOMINATED ARMY DURING THE BLOODY FIGHTING OF 1993.

    FOR MUSLIMS LIKE SENAD EVICA -- A RESPECTED BROADCASTER IN THE REGIONAL CAPITAL, MOSTAR -- TUTA IS A WAR CRIMINAL, AS WELL AS A GANGSTER.

    ///EVICA ACT IN SERBO-CROAT, W/TRANSLATION///

    WHEN HE HEARS THAT NAME, HE THINKS IMMEDIATELY ABOUT CRIMES, BAD CRIMES, WAR CRIMES, RAPES, MURDERS, (CONCENTRATION) CAMPS -- ALL BAD THINGS.

    ///END ACT///

    WESTERN OFFICIALS AND MUSLIM LEADERS CHARGE THAT TUTA'S POST-WAR ACTIVITIES IN MOSTAR HAVE HELPED FUEL CONTINUING ETHNIC TENSIONS IN THAT STILL-DIVIDED TOWN.

    FROM ARMS SMUGGLING DURING THE CONFLICT, THEY SAY, TUTA TURNED TO DRUG DEALING, TRADE IN STOLEN CARS AND PROTECTION RACKETS, AS THE HEAD OF A VAST CRIMINAL NETWORK, WITH LINKS ACROSS WESTERN EUROPE.

    HIS HENCHMEN ARE WIDELY BLAMED FOR A WAVE OF EVICTIONS OF MUSLIMS FROM CROAT WEST MOSTAR. HIS MOTIVES, IT IS SAID, WERE PART POLITICAL, PART FINANCIAL -- THE MUSLIM-OWNED APARTMENTS SEIZED BY TUTA'S MEN WERE THEN SOLD TO OTHER CROATS, WITH A SIZABLE PROFIT FOR THE GANG.

    WESTERN OFFICIALS SAY CRIMINAL ACTIVITY IS THE MAIN FACTOR BEHIND THE GROWING ECONOMIC PROSPERITY NOW APPARENT IN PARTS OF CROAT HERZEGOVINA. AND THAT, THEY SAY, EXPLAINS TUTA'S POPULARITY.

    SIROKI BRIEG IS AWASH IN LATE MODEL MERCEDES AND OTHER LUXURY CARS. THERE IS A CONSTRUCTION BOOM. THE STREETS ARE NEWLY-PAVED, AND THE STORES WELL-STOCKED. TUTA'S MANSION COMPLETE WITH SWIMMING POOL OVERLOOKS THE TOWN FROM A NEARBY HILL-TOP.

    //OPT//

    AT THE CATHOLIC MONASTERY, BROTHER DRAGO TELLS A VISITOR SIROKI BRIEG IS A SYMBOL OF THE REVIVAL OF CROAT CULTURE, LONG SUPPRESSED BY THE YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT. HE, LIKE VIRTUALLY EVERYONE HERE, WAS OUTRAGED BY THE ARREST OF THE TOWN'S FAVORITE SON. BROTHER DRAGO SAYS TUTA WAS NOT A THIEF OR A WAR CRIMINAL, BUT AN ARDENT DEFENDER OF THE CROAT HOMELAND. "IF NOT FOR TUTA'S ARMY," HE SAYS, "WE CROATS MIGHT NOT HAVE SURVIVED THE WAR." //END OPT//

    TUTA WAS ARRESTED LATE LAST MONTH BY A SPECIAL POLICE FORCE ACTING ON THE ORDERS OF THE CROATIAN GOVERNMENT. HE IS NOW BEING HELD IN ZAGREB ON AS YET UNSPECIFIED CHARGES. MANY BOSNIAN CROATS WARN THAT UNLESS TUTA IS RELEASED, THERE WILL BE POLITICAL RAMIFICATIONS FOR CROATIA'S RULING DEMOCRATIC UNION, THE H-D-Z, IN MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS SCHEDULED FOR NEXT MONTH.

    CROATIA'S AILING PRESIDENT FRANJO TUDJMAN VISITED MOSTAR LAST WEEK IN AN APPARENT BID TO SHORE UP SUPPORT AMONG THE BOSNIAN CROATS. BUT EVEN H-D-Z OFFICIALS IN MOSTAR SAY THE PARTY'S POPULARITY HAS SUFFERED.

    ///PULJIC ACT IN SERBO-CROAT-- ESTABLISH AND FADE UNDER///

    LOCAL PARTY BOSS MILE PULJIC CALLS TUTA'S ARREST A "FARCE." HE SAYS CROATIAN AUTHORITIES ORDERED HIS DETENTION ONLY UNDER STRONG PRESSURE FROM WESTERN GOVERNMENTS, SEEKING WAYS TO EASE THE CONTINUING FRICTION WITHIN BOSNIA'S MUSLIM-CROAT FEDERATION.

    MR. PULJIC ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THE ARREST COULD COST THE H-D-Z VOTES ON ELECTION DAY -- A WARNING ECHOED BY TUTA'S CHIEF DEPUTY, IVAN ANDABAK. SIPPING CAPPUCCINO IN SIROKI BRIEG'S MARLBORO CAFE, MR. ANDABAK TOLD A VISITOR THE BOSNIAN CROATS ARE ANGRY WITH THE ZAGREB GOVERNMENT AND WITH PRESIDENT TUDJMAN. "TUTA IS OUR FOLK HERO," HE SAID, "AND HIS ARREST IS NOTHING MORE THAN A POLITICAL MANEUVER." MR. ANDABAK INSISTED THAT TUTA HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY CRIMINAL ACTIVITY, ADDING THAT HE IS CONFIDENT HIS BOSS WILL BE RELEASED WELL BEFORE POLLING DAY. IN ZAGREB, TUTA'S LAWYERS ARE CALLING THE ARREST ILLEGAL, AND THEY HAVE TAKEN THE CASE TO CROATIA'S CONSTITUTIONAL COURT. NO FORMAL CHARGES HAVE YET BEEN FILED. BUT THERE ARE REPORTS THAT TUTA COULD SOON FACE INDICTMENT BY THE INTERNATIONAL WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL IN THE HAGUE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DBR/PCF
    20-Mar-97 1:17 PM EST (1817 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] COHEN/BOSNIA DEADLINE (S) BY DAVID GOLLUST (PENTAGON)

    DATE=3/20/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211791
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN WAS IN CONGRESS THURSDAY, DEFENDING THE ADMINISTRATION'S STRATEGY IN PUTTING A DEADLINE ON THE U-S MILITARY PRESENCE IN BOSNIA. HE SAYS A FIRM PULLOUT DATE IS ESSENTIAL TO GET ACTION ON CIVILIAN RECONSTRUCTION THERE. V-O-A'S DAVID GOLLUST HAS DETAILS FROM THE PENTAGON.

    TEXT: MR. COHEN SAYS WITHOUT A DEADLINE, THE BOSNIAN PARTIES AND INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WILL CONTINUE TO LAG IN FULFILLING THEIR OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE DAYTON ACCORDS. THE DEFENSE CHIEF WAS TESTIFYING AT A HOUSE COMMITTEE HEARING, AT WHICH DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN TOM LANTOS WARNED THAT BLOODSHED COULD ERUPT AGAIN IF TROOPS LEAVE PREMATURELY:

    /// LANTOS ACT ///

    I FIND IT INCOMPREHENSIBLE THAT A COMMITMENT TO AN ARBITRARY DEADLINE SHOULD APPEAR TO BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN PRESERVING THE PEACE.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. COHEN REPLIED HOWEVER THAT THE DEADLINE IS CRUCIAL LEVERAGE TO GET ACTION ON CIVIL RECONSTRUCTION, INCLUDING CREATION OF AN EFFECTIVE BOSNIAN POLICE FORCE:

    /// COHEN ACTUALITY ///

    I THINK WE DO HAVE TO KEEP THE PRESSURE ON. I THINK WE DO HAVE TO HAVE A DEADLINE. I FRANKLY AM DEALING WITH A SITUATION IN WHICH OTHER MEMBERS -- OTHER THAN YOURSELF -- WOULD LIKE TO GET OUT NOW.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. COHEN SAID SHOWING FLEXIBILITY ON THE PULLOUT WILL SURELY MEAN A LONGER STAY, AND WITHOUT A DEADLINE, HE SAID U-S FORCES COULD STILL BE IN BOSNIA TEN OR 20 YEARS FROM NOW. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAG/GKT/LWM
    20-Mar-97 3:56 PM EST (2056 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] NATO EXPANSION: THE SUMMIT'S BIG ISSUE BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=03/20/97
    TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-10077
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=NEAL LAVON
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: PRESIDENTS CLINTON AND YELTSIN ARE MEETING IN HELSINKI THIS WEEK TO DISCUSS A WIDE RANGE OF ISSUES, BUT NONE MORE PRESSING THAN THE POTENTIAL EXPANSION OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION - - NATO. MR. CLINTON IS FOR IT; MR. YELTSIN OPPOSES IT, AND THE CHANCES ARE, SAY MANY OBSERVERS, THEY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO AGREE ON A COMPROMISE AT THIS SUMMIT.

    FOR AN IDEA OF HOW THE U-S PRESS IS VIEWING THIS LATEST U-S - RUSSIAN MEETING, WE CALL ON _____________________ FOR TODAY'S U-S OPINION ROUNDUP.

    TEXT: FOR MONTHS, MR. CLINTON AND OTHER WESTERN LEADERS HAVE TALKED ABOUT ADMITTING AS MANY AS THREE FORMER WARSAW PACT NATIONS INTO NATO BY THE TURN OF THE CENTURY. LATER THIS YEAR, IT IS WIDELY EXPECTED THAT POLAND, HUNGARY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC WILL BE FORMALLY INVITED TO JOIN THE MILITARY ALLIANCE.

    THIS HAS PROVOKED AN INTENSE DEBATE IN THE UNITED STATES AND IN THE NATION'S PRESS. SUPPORTERS SAY EXPANSION WILL STRENGTHEN EUROPEAN STABILITY AND THAT RUSSIA MUST NOT BE GIVEN A VETO OVER NATO'S AFFAIRS. CRITICS WARN THAT IT WILL BE VERY COSTLY TO BRING THE TRIO OF NATIONS UP TO NATO MILITARY STANDARDS AND IT MAY FUEL ULTRA-NATIONALIST RHETORIC IN RUSSIA, WITH THE THEME THAT THEIR COUNTRY IS BEING ENCIRCLED BY POTENTIALLY UNFRIENDLY FORCES.

    BOTH SIDES AGREE IT WILL BE ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS PRESIDENT CLINTON HAS EVER ATTEMPTED. FOR A VIEW OF HOW THE PRESS FEELS, WE BEGIN IN THE FAR NORTHEAST, WHERE MAINE'S PORTLAND PRESS HERALD SAYS:

    VOICE: "A RUSSIAN SPOKESMAN SAID THAT IT MAY BE 'THE MOST DIFFICULT SUMMIT FOR THE TWO PRESIDENTS DURING ALL RUSSIAN-AMERICAN RELATIONSHIPS AFTER THE END OF THE COLD WAR.' THAT MAY BE TRUE, BUT THE DIFFICULTIES OUGHT NOT .. DETER PRESIDENT CLINTON WHEN HE AND RUSSIAN PRESIDENT ... YELTSIN SIT DOWN TO TALK .....[MR.] CLINTON SAID BEFORE HIS DEPARTURE THAT THE EXPANSION OF NATO WILL SUPPORT 'OUT SHARED DESIRE FOR A EUROPE THAT IS FREE AND DEMOCRATIC, SECURE AND UNITED.' ..... NATO EXPANSION ... WILL BE [A] GIANT STEP TOWARD A MORE SECURE FUTURE FOR EUROPE AND AMERICA."

    TEXT: TAKING THE OPPOSITE VIEW IS THE NEW YORK POST WHICH ASKS IN TODAY'S LEAD HEADLINE: "NATO EXPANSION': WHY?"

    VOICE: "WHILE ARGUING THAT A FEW MORE NATO MEMBERS WOULD NOT BE BAD FOR RUSSIA, THE FOREIGN POLICY ESTABLISHMENT SEEMS TO HAVE NEGLECTED TO ASK WHETHER IT WOULD BE GOOD FOR THE UNITED STATES. NATO IS A MILITARY ALLIANCE. ITS PURPOSE IS TO DEFEND ITS MEMBERS AGAINST ATTACK. BUT ATTACK BY WHOM? RUSSIA ONCE REPRESENTED THE GREATEST DANGER TO THE PEACE; INDEED, NATO WAS SPECIFICALLY ORGANIZED TO STOP A WESTWARD SOVIET BLITZKRIEG. TODAY, HOWEVER, THERE IS NO CHANCE OF A TANK THRUST - - THERE IS ONLY TANK RUST. ..... RUSSIA HAS ONLY ONE RELIABLE MILITARY CAPABILITY - - A NUCLEAR STRIKE. .... NUCLEAR MISSILES WOULD SAIL OVER AN ENLARGED NATO JUST AS SWIFTLY AS OVER A SMALLER ONE - - AND WITH AS LITTLE TO STOP THEM. ..... MOREOVER, IT WOULD COST BILLIONS TO BRING WOEFULLY UNDER-EQUIPPED FORMER EAST BLOC ARMIES UP TO NATO STANDARDS. ..... BEFORE ANY TREATY IS SIGNED, MUCH MORE REFLECTION IS NEEDED."

    TEXT: ACCORDING TO THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE, THERE HAS BEEN ENOUGH DISCUSSION FOR MANY AMERICANS TO TAKE A STAND, AND THEY AGREE WITH THE PRESIDENT.

    VOICE: "A RECENT STUDY BY THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND'S PROGRAM ON INTERNATIONAL POLICY ATTITUDES FOUND THAT A SUBSTANTIAL MAJORITY OF AMERICANS SUPPORT NATO EXPANSION. INTERESTINGLY, THE DATA SHOW THAT SUCH SUPPORT IS NOT MOTIVATED BY SUSPICIONS ABOUT A NEW OR CONTINUING RUSSIAN THREAT, BUT 'FROM A DESIRE TO REMOVE THE DIVISIONS OF THE COLD WAR.' THE SAME STUDY ALSO SHOWED STRONG AMERICAN MAJORITIES REJECTED THE IDEA THAT RUSSIA IS INHERENTLY AGGRESSIVE AND STRONGLY SUPPORTED INCLUDING RUSSIA IN A COLLECTIVE SECURITY ARRANGEMENT. THE EFFORT, THEN, CAN BE VIEWED AS INCLUSIVE, NOT EXCLUSIVE."

    TEXT: IT IS RARE FOR BOTH THE NEW YORK POST AND THE NEW YORK TIMES TO AGREE ON AN INTERNATIONAL ISSUE, BUT THEY CERTAINLY DO THIS TIME. THE TIMES SAYS IN PART:

    VOICE: "THE RUSH TO ENLARGE NATO IS NOT JUSTIFIED BY ANY RUSSIAN MILITARY THREAT TODAY. .... NOR WILL NATO GROWTH DO ANYTHING TO BOLSTER THE ECONOMIES OF CENTRAL EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, WHICH FACE A SUBSTANTIAL COST TO MODERNIZE AND INTEGRATE THEIR MILITARY FORCES INTO THE ALLIANCE."

    TEXT: HOWEVER USA TODAY THINKS QUITE DIFFERENTLY, HEADING ITS EDITORIAL ON THE SUBJECT:"LARGER NATO GOOD FOR ALL, DESPITE RUSSIAN BLUSTER," AND ADDING:

    VOICE: "[PRESIDENT] CLINTON MAY HAVE A HARD TIME CONVINCING [MR.] YELTSIN AND HIS RUSSIAN COMRADES THEY'RE GETTING A GOOD DEAL. BUT NATO EXPANSION AND THE PEACE IT COULD GUARANTEE ARE WORTH THE RISK."

    TEXT: THE WASHINGTON TIMES AGREES, SAYING MR. CLINTON SHOULD STAND FIRM ON THE COMMITMENT TO EXPAND NATO, DESPITE RUSSIA'S VEHEMENT OBJECTIONS, AND IN SO DOING, RIGHT A HISTORIC WRONG.

    VOICE: "THE DANGER OF HELSINKI IS THAT MR. CLINTON, WHO HAS RIGHTLY MADE NATO ENLARGEMENT A PRIORITY, WILL BE TEMPTED TO GIVE IN TO RUSSIAN CONDITIONS, WHICH PREDICTABLY HAVE BEEN ESCALATING AS THE DATE OF THE ... SUMMIT HAS DRAWN CLOSER. ..... IT IS CLEAR THAT MR. CLINTON CANNOT GIVE IN TO THESE UNREASONABLE RUSSIAN DEMANDS, WHICH WOULD TURN NATO MEMBERSHIP INTO A USELESS PIECE OF PAPER FOR THE NEW CANDIDATES. .... ONCE IN THIS CENTURY, AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT BARGAINED AWAY EASTERN AND CENTRAL EUROPE'S RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION AT YALTA. MR. CLINTON, WHO SEEMS TO BE MINDFUL OF THE JUDGMENT OF POSTERITY, WILL FIND HERE A HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY TO RIGHT THAT WRONG."

    [OPT]

    TEXT: THE BALTIMORE SUN, HOWEVER, IS OPPOSED TO THE EXPANSION AND MAKES ITS CASE THIS WAY.

    VOICE: "PRESIDENT CLINTON GOES TO THE HELSINKI SUMMIT ..... HAVING MADE THE FATEFUL DECISION THAT NATO WILL EXPAND EASTWARD DESPITE MOSCOW'S OBJECTIONS AND THE LACK OF A SEARCHING DEBATE OR CLEAR PUBLIC CONSENSUS IN THE UNITED STATES. .....BUT NATO EXPANSION COULD IMPEDE PROGRESS ON NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL AND OTHER KEY ISSUES...... AMERICANS ARE ONLY REMOTELY AWARE THAT THEIR GOVERNMENT IS ABOUT TO COMMIT ITSELF TO THE DEFENSE OF POLAND, HUNGARY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC IF THEY ARE ATTACKED AND THAT HUGE EXPENDITURES WILL BE REQUIRED IF AIRPORT, HIGHWAY AND OTHER DEFENSE-RELATED FACILITIES ARE TO BE IMPROVED ENOUGH TO MAKE THE COMMITMENT MEANINGFUL. .... INDEED, NATO EXPANSION PLAYS RIGHT INTO THE HANDS OF ULTRA-NATIONALIST ELEMENTS OPPOSED TO PRESIDENT YELTSIN WHO HAVE BLOCKED RATIFICATION OF THE START TWO STRATEGIC ARMS REDUCTION TREATY IN THE RUSSIAN DUMA."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL OPINIONS ON THE ISSUES UNDER DISCUSSION AT THIS WEEK'S SUMMIT IN HELSINKI.
    NEB/ANG/NL
    20-Mar-97 12:53 PM EST (1753 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] SUMMIT O'NITER (S) BY DEBORAH TATE (HELSINKI)

    DATE=3/20/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211802
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: PRESIDENT CLINTON AND RUSSIAN PRESIDENT YELTSIN HOLD A FULL DAY OF TALKS LATER TODAY (FRIDAY) IN HELSINKI. TOPPING THE AGENDA IS THE CONTENTIOUS ISSUE OF NATO'S PLANNED EASTWARD EXPANSION. V-O-A'S WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT DEBORAH TATE IS IN HELSINKI, AND FILES THIS REPORT.

    TEXT: MR. CLINTON FRIDAY IS EXPECTED TO OFFER MR. YELTSIN SOME PROPOSALS AIMED AT EASING RUSSIA'S OPPOSITION TO NATO ENLARGEMENT.

    THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT IS TO RENEW HIS APPEAL FOR RUSSIAN RATIFICATION OF THE START TWO NUCLEAR ARMS TREATY, BUT OFFER A CONCESSION ALLOWING RUSSIA MORE TIME TO SCRAP CERTAIN MISSILE SILOS.

    MR. CLINTON AND MR. YELTSIN ARE ALSO LIKELY TO DISCUSS A PROPOSED NATO-RUSSIAN CHARTER THAT WOULD GIVE MOSCOW A GREATER VOICE, BUT NOT A VETO, IN THE ALLIANCE'S DECISIONS.

    A SEPARATE ISSUE ON THE SUMMIT AGENDA IS EXPANDED BILATERAL TRADE, AND WAYS TO BOOST U-S INVESTMENT IN RUSSIA.

    THE U-S AND RUSSIAN LEADERS MET OVER DINNER THURSDAY NIGHT -- THEIR FIRST FACE-TO-FACE MEETING IN 11 MONTHS. LATER, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN MIKE MCCURRY QUOTED MR. CLINTON SAYING HE IS CONVINCED MR. YELTSIN CAME TO HELSINKI TO DO BUSINESS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAT/ENE/PT
    20-Mar-97 6:02 PM EST (2302 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)

    DATE=3/20/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211784
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: MAJOR STOCK MARKETS IN WESTERN EUROPE THURSDAY CLOSED SHARPLY LOWER, FUELED IN LARGE PART OVER FEARS OF INTEREST RATE HIKES IN THE UNITED STATES. VOA'S PAUL FRANCUCH HAS THE CLOSING NUMBERS FROM LONDON.

    TEXT: COMMENTS BY FEDERAL RESERVE CHIEF ALAN GREENSPAN THAT THE COST OF BORROWING MONEY IN THE UNITED STATES WILL PROBABLY GO UP HAS SHAKEN INVESTOR CONFIDENCE IN STOCKS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC. HERE IN LONDON THURSDAY, STOCKS CONTINUED ON THE DOWNWARD COURSE THEY'VE FOLLOWED ALL WEEK SO FAR, WITH THE KEY "FOOTSIE 100" INDEX DROPPING 74 POINTS -- ITS BIGGEST DECLINE IN MONTHS. STOCK MARKETS IN FRANKFURT AND PARIS ALSO REACTED NEGATIVELY TO PROSPECTS OF HIGHER INTEREST RATES IN THE UNITED STATES. THE "CAC 40" IN PARIS CLOSED DOWN 43 POINTS AND THE "DAX 30" IN FRANKFURT LOST MORE THAN 51 POINTS.

    BUT PROSPECTS FOR HIGHER INTEREST RATES HELPED THE DOLLAR GAIN MORE THAN A CENT AGAINST THE MARK IN TRADING HERE IN LONDON. THE DOLLAR ALSO GAINED A CENT AGAINST THE YEN AND STAYED ABOUT EVEN AGAINST THE POUND. GOLD PRICES IN LONDON CONTINUED UPWARD, WITH AN OUNCE OF THE PRECIOUS METAL SELLING AT 351-DOLLARS-65 CENTS -- A GAIN OF ALMOST THREE DOLLARS FROM WEDNESDAY'S CLOSING PRICE FIX. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF/KL
    20-Mar-97 1:38 PM EST (1838 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [11] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=03/20/97
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10076
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=NEAL LAVON
    CONTENT=
    // EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS PERISHABLE MATERIAL AND BECOMES DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T ON THURSDAY MARCH 20TH //

    INTRO: THE SUMMIT MEETING BETWEEN PRESIDENT CLINTON AND RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN DRAWS A GOOD DEAL OF EDITORIAL ATTENTION IN TODAY'S U-S PRESS. OTHER TOPICS INCLUDE THE TACTICS OF HOUSE REPUBLICAN DAN BURTON, CHAIRMAN OF A COMMITTEE INVESTIGATING CAMPAIGN FINANCING; REFORM AT THE U-N; [BEGIN OPT] THE WITHDRAWAL OF ANTHONY LAKE AS NOMINEE TO HEAD THE C-I-A [END OPT] AND A FOOTNOTE TO HISTORY CONCERNING THE ONGOING CONTROVERSY REGARDING THE ROSENBERGS WHO WERE CONVICTED AND EXECUTED FOR ESPIONAGE IN THE 1950S.

    NOW, HERE WITH A CLOSER LOOK IS _________________AND TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: MANY PAPERS ARE FOCUSED ON HELSINKI WHERE PRESIDENT CLINTON AND PRESIDENT YELTSIN MEET FOR TWO DAYS OF DISCUSSIONS. THE KEY TOPIC IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE WESTERN PLAN TO EXPAND NATO BY AS MANY AS THREE MEMBERS OF THE FORMER WARSAW PACT. THE WASHINGTON TIMES SAYS MR. CLINTON SHOULD STAND FIRM ON THE COMMITMENT TO EXPAND NATO, DESPITE RUSSIA'S VEHEMENT OBJECTIONS.

    VOICE: "THE DANGER OF HELSINKI IS THAT MR. CLINTON, WHO HAS RIGHTLY MADE NATO ENLARGEMENT A PRIORITY, WILL BE TEMPTED TO GIVE IN TO RUSSIAN CONDITIONS, WHICH PREDICTABLY HAVE BEEN ESCALATING AS THE DATE OF THE ... SUMMIT HAS DRAWN CLOSER. ..... IT IS CLEAR THAT MR. CLINTON CANNOT GIVE IN TO THESE UNREASONABLE RUSSIAN DEMANDS, WHICH WOULD TURN NATO MEMBERSHIP INTO A USELESS PIECE OF PAPER FOR THE NEW CANDIDATES. [OPT] .... ONCE IN THIS CENTURY, AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT BARGAINED AWAY EASTERN AND CENTRAL EUROPE'S RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION AT YALTA. MR. CLINTON, WHO SEEMS TO BE MINDFUL OF THE JUDGMENT OF POSTERITY, WILL FIND HERE A HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY TO RIGHT THAT WRONG." [END OPT]

    TEXT: THE BALTIMORE SUN IS OPPOSED TO THE EXPANSION AND EXPLAINS WHY.

    VOICE: "PRESIDENT CLINTON GOES TO THE HELSINKI SUMMIT ..... HAVING MADE THE FATEFUL DECISION THAT NATO WILL EXPAND EASTWARD DESPITE MOSCOW'S OBJECTIONS AND THE LACK OF A SEARCHING DEBATE OR CLEAR PUBLIC CONSENSUS IN THE UNITED STATES. .....BUT NATO EXPANSION COULD IMPEDE PROGRESS ON NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL AND OTHER KEY ISSUES...... AMERICANS ARE ONLY REMOTELY AWARE THAT THEIR GOVERNMENT IS ABOUT TO COMMIT ITSELF TO THE DEFENSE OF POLAND, HUNGARY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC IF THEY ARE ATTACKED AND THAT HUGE EXPENDITURES WILL BE REQUIRED IF AIRPORT, HIGHWAY AND OTHER DEFENSE-RELATED FACILITIES ARE TO BE IMPROVED ENOUGH TO MAKE THE COMMITMENT MEANINGFUL.

    [BEGIN OPT]

    .... INDEED, NATO EXPANSION PLAYS RIGHT INTO THE HANDS OF ULTRA-NATIONALIST ELEMENTS OPPOSED TO PRESIDENT YELTSIN WHO HAVE BLOCKED RATIFICATION OF THE START TWO STRATEGIC ARMS REDUCTION TREATY IN THE RUSSIAN DUMA."

    TEXT: THE NEW YORK TIMES IS ALSO COOL TO THE EXPANSION, WRITING IN ITS LEAD EDITORIAL THURSDAY:

    VOICE: "THE RUSH TO ENLARGE NATO IS NOT JUSTIFIED BY ANY RUSSIAN MILITARY THREAT TODAY. .... NOR WILL NATO GROWTH DO ANYTHING TO BOLSTER THE ECONOMIES OF CENTRAL EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, WHICH FACE A SUBSTANTIAL COST TO MODERNIZE AND INTEGRATE THEIR MILITARY FORCES INTO THE ALLIANCE."

    TEXT: HOWEVER USA TODAY FEELS QUITE DIFFERENTLY, HEADING ITS EDITORIAL ON THE SUBJECT:"LARGER NATO GOOD FOR ALL, DESPITE RUSSIAN BLUSTER," AND ADDING:

    VOICE: "[PRESIDENT] CLINTON MAY HAVE A HARD TIME CONVINCING [MR.] YELTSIN AND HIS RUSSIAN COMRADES THEY'RE GETTING A GOOD DEAL. BUT NATO EXPANSION AND THE PEACE IT COULD GUARANTEE ARE WORTH THE RISK."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: TURNING TO DOMESTIC TOPICS, REPRESENTATIVE DAN BURTON, R-INDIANA, HAS BEEN CRITICIZED AS UNFIT TO LEAD AN INVESTIGATION OF DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRESIDENTIAL FUNDRAISING. THE INDIANA CONGRESSMAN IS ACCUSED OF FOCUSING HIS INVESTIGATION TOO NARROWLY AND ALSO BEING INVOLVED IN POSSIBLE FUNDRAISING CONTROVERSIES OF HIS OWN. THE CONGRESSMAN DENIES ANY WRONGDOING. THE WASHINGTON POST SAYS HIS INVESTIGATION COULD EMBARRASS THE CONGRESS.

    VOICE: "REPRESENTATIVE DAN BURTON CAN NO LONGER CREDIBLY SERVE AS CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE INVESTIGATION OF CLINTON ADMINISTRATION FUND-RAISING IN LAST YEAR'S CAMPAIGN. MR. BURTON SHOULD ACKNOWLEDGE AS MUCH AND STEP ASIDE. IF HE WON'T, HIS PARTY'S LEADERSHIP SHOULD TAKE THE INITIATIVE TO REMOVE HIM. THE INVESTIGATION, ABOUT SOME PARTS OF WHICH THERE ALREADY ARE SERIOUS DISPUTES, OTHERWISE RUNS THE RISK OF BECOMING ITS OWN CARTOON, A JOKE AND A DESERVED EMBARRASSMENT. MR. BURTON IS RELIABLY REPORTED TO HAVE ENGAGED IN FUND-RAISING PRACTICES THAT MATCH IN EGREGIOUSNESS THE ONES FOR WHICH THE ADMINISTRATION IS TO BE INVESTIGATED."

    TEXT: ADDS THE NEW YORK TIMES:

    VOICE: "IN CONTRAST TO THE SENATE'S RESPONSIBLE MANDATE, WHICH EMBRACES BOTH PRESIDENTIAL AND CONGRESSIONAL FUND-RAISING ABUSES IN BOTH PARTIES, MR. BURTON PLANS TO FOCUS EXCLUSIVELY ON ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND THE WHITE HOUSE. MOREOVER, HE HAS YET TO AGREE TO PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS ADOPTED BY THE SENATE, AND, IGNORING CONCERNS EXPRESSED BY DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES, HE HAS BEGUN TO ISSUE SUBPOENAS THAT SEEM TOO BROAD IN SCOPE."

    TEXT: THE INTERNET DAILY, ALLPOLITICS, PRODUCED JOINTLY BY CNN AND TIME MAGAZINE, CHRONICLES REP. BURTON'S REACTION AND RESPONSE.

    VOICE: "DAN BURTON, THE REPUBLICAN LEADING THE HOUSE INVESTIGATION OF QUESTIONABLE CAMPAIGN FUND-RAISING PRACTICES, IS ANGRILY DENYING ALLEGATIONS HE THREATENED A PAKISTANI LOBBYIST IN AN ATTEMPT TO 'SHAKE DOWN' A POLITICAL DONATION...LOBBYIST AND LONGTIME DEMOCRATIC [PARTY] ACTIVIST MARK SIEGEL TOLD CNN AND OTHER NEWS ORGANIZATIONS THAT HE WAS PRESSURED BY BURTON EARLY LAST YEAR TO BRING IN A $5,000 CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION FOR THE CONGRESSMAN'S RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN. 'I HAVE BEEN IN POLITICS SINCE 1964,' BURTON SAID...'I HAVE NEVER HAD MY INTEGRITY QUESTIONED LIKE THIS AND I CATEGORICALLY SAY THAT THIS IS A BUNCH OF LIES.' ...[BEGIN OPT] SAID BURTON, 'I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY QUESTION THAT THEY'RE TRYING TO DISCREDIT ME BECAUSE OF THE INVESTIGATION.' ...[END OPT]...BURTON SAYS HE HAS NO INTENTION OF REMOVING HIMSELF FROM THE INVESTIGATION. DEMOCRATS MAKE IT CLEAR THAT IF THEY'RE GOING TO SUFFER THEY'LL TRY TO MAKE BURTON SQUIRM A LITTLE TOO."

    TEXT: WITH REGARDS TO REFORMS ANNOUNCED BY NEW U-N SECRETARY GENERAL KOFI ANNAN, NEWSDAY APPLAUDS.

    VOICE: "... THIS TIME IT LOOKS LIKE THE NEW U-N SECRETARY GENERAL, KOFI ANNAN, MEANS IT. [MR.] ANNAN HAS ANNOUNCED PLANS TO PUT THE WORLD AGENCY ON A STRICT REGIMEN TO SLIM DOWN ITS BUREAUCRACY, INCREASE ITS EFFICIENCY AND PUT MORE MONEY WHERE IT DOES THE MOST GOOD - - WITHOUT INCREASING THE OVERALL BUDGET. IT HE SHOWS HE CAN DO WHAT HE SAYS, THE UNITED STATES SHOULD START PAYING ITS BACK DUES."

    TEXT: AND TODAY'S LOS ANGELES TIMES SAYS IT CONSIDERS MR. ANNAN "OFF TO A SOLID START IN [HIS] EFFORT TO REFORM [THE] U-N."

    [BEGIN OPT]

    TURNING ONCE AGAIN TO DOMESTIC ISSUES, AND THE WITHDRAWAL OF ANTHONY LAKE FROM CONSIDERATION TO HEAD THE C-I-A, TODAY'S CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR TALKS ABOUT THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS.

    VOICE: "LOST IN RECURRING CONFIRMATION FURORS ARE POINTS THAT MIGHT AID DISCUSSION OF IMPROVING THE [CONFIRMATION] PROCESS. APART FROM SOME BACKSTAGE POLITICAL MANEUVERING, THE SENATE AND ITS RELEVANT COMMITTEES STILL ROUTINELY CONFIRM HUNDREDS OF MAJOR AND MINOR APPOINTMENTS (OFTEN NOMINATED FIRST BY SENATORS). CHIEF EXECUTIVES SHOULD HAVE THEIR CHOSEN ASSOCIATES UNLESS THESE CAN BE SHOWN TO BE UNFIT. .....FOR ALL ITS ABUSES, THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS - - LIKE A TOUGH PRIMARY CAMPAIGN - - IS A TEST OF CANDIDATES' METTLE. A WORD OF REALISM COMES FROM ROBERT ... GATES, WHO WENT THROUGH THE SENATE WRINGER BEFORE BEING CONFIRMED AS PRESIDENT BUSH'S C-I-A DIRECTOR: 'IF YOU CAN'T FIGHT YOUR WAY THROUGH THE PROCESS ... MY GUESS IS YOU MIGHT NOT JUST DO A HOT [UNUSUALLY COMPETENT] JOB AS DIRECTOR."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: LASTLY, A FOOTNOTE TO HISTORY. THE WASHINGTON TIMES TALKS ABOUT THE RECENTLY PUBLISHED COMMENTS BY AN AGING FORMER SOVIET K-G-B AGENT ABOUT JULIUS ROSENBERG. MR. ROSENBERG AND HIS WIFE ETHEL WERE BOTH CONVICTED AND EXECUTED FOR SPYING FOR THE SOVIET UNION IN 1953. THEIR TRIAL AND EXECUTION BECAME A CAUSE CELEBRE FOR THOSE WHO THOUGHT THE PAIR WERE INNOCENT VICTIMS OF EARLY COLD WAR PARANOIA. BUT THE FORMER SOVIET AGENT, ALEXANDER FEKLISOV, SAID JULIUS ROSENBERG DID, IN FACT, PROVIDE VALUABLE CLASSIFIED INFORMATION TO MOSCOW. THE TIMES COMMENTS.

    VOICE: "A FORRMER SOVIET INTELLIGENCE OFFICIAL...SAYS JULIUS ROSENBERG HELD DOZENS OF MEETINGS WITH HIM IN THE 1940S, PROVIDED THE SOVIETS WITH MILITARY SECRETS AND TECHNOLOGY, [AND] ORGANIZED A SPY RING THAT PASSED ALONG EVEN MORE SECRETS AND ULTIMATELY HELPED PUT AMERICANS AT RISK AROUND THE WORLD. ...IN SHORT, [MR.] ROSENBERG WAS NOT JUST A TRAITOR BUT A KILLER. HE WAS ALSO A LIAR. HE SWORE DURING HIS TRIAL THAT HE HAD NOT BEEN INVOLVED IN ESPIONAGE. EVEN HIS APOLOGISTS DON'T DENY THAT NOW... ALL OF WHICH MAY MAKE HIM A HERO TO [FORMER SOVIET INTELLIGENCE OFFICIAL, ALEXANDER] FEKLISOV AND THE DIE-HARD STALINISTS STILL AMONG US HERE. WHAT IT OUGHT TO DO, ONCE AND FOR ALL, IS TO CONSIGN HIS MEMORY TO THE OPPROBRIUM HE SO RICHLY DESERVES."

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF EDITORIALS FROM TODAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/NL
    20-Mar-97 11:41 AM EST (1641 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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