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Voice of America, 99-08-01

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] RUSSIANS - K-L-A (L ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)
  • [02] KOSOVO CHURCH (S-L) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)
  • [03] NATO SECRETARY/GENERAL CQ BY JIM RANDLE (UKRANE)
  • [04] NATO-SECRETARY GENERAL (L-O) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [05] FRANCE-ALGERIA (L-O) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

  • [01] RUSSIANS - K-L-A (L ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)

    DATE=7/31/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252364
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Russian peacekeepers in Kosovo have detained and released the commander in chief of Kosovo Liberation Army forces in Kosovo. The incident sparked an angry reaction from the K-L-A's appointed prime minister. We have details from Philip Smucker in Pristina.

    TEXT: the rebel-appointed Prime Minister of Kosovo says the detention of his commander in chief is an outrage. Prime Minister Hashim Thaci accuses the Russians and their Serbian interpreters of harassing the Kosovo Liberation Army - or K-L-A. Mr. Thaci said that the Russians had illegally detained the K-L-A's Commander in Chief, General Agim Ceku, on a highway in the central part of the province. NATO officials downplayed the incident as a bureaucratic hangup that the K-L-A commander brought upon himself because he was not carrying his NATO identity card that authorizes him to carry weapons. Most of the K-L-A forces have been disarmed, but 13 K- L-A commanders are permitted to travel with armed bodyguards in Kosovo. Canadian Major Roland Lavoie said the detention of General Ceku proved that NATO's K-FOR mission is working efficiently to control weapons. Prime Minister Thaci blasted what he called Russian and Serbian speaking gangs for harassing and insulting the Commander-in-Chief. (signed) Neb/ps/gm 31-Jul-1999 15:42 PM LOC (31-Jul-1999 1942 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] KOSOVO CHURCH (S-L) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)

    DATE=8/1/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252377
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Serbian church leaders have condemned an attack early Sunday on their main cathedral in Pristina. They have asked NATO for more protection of holy sites. Philip Smucker reports from Kosovo's provincial capital.

    TEXT: Serbian church leaders are demanding better protection for Serbian civilians and sacred places after an attack (early Sunday) on the main Orthodox cathedral in the capital of Kosovo. NATO and U-N officials condemned what they called a cowardly attack against a place of worship. One church official said he had warned British commanders only days earlier that the church was a likely target for Albanian extremists. Father Sava Janjic said he had been assured the site would be protected. The Serbian priest stopped short of directly accusing the ethnic-Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" - the K- L-A - of the attack. But he said the church and other targets were in areas still vulnerable to attacks by the K-L-A. The bomb attack caused some structural damage to the as-yet-unfinished cathedral. There were no injuries.

    ///REST OPT FOR LONG///

    Later (Sunday), NATO bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled blast to destroy several other unexploded bombs. Several days earlier, extremists tried to set the church on fire. The unfinished church has long been an irritant to Albanians living in Kosovo. Its construction began on state land when Belgrade controlled Kosovo. The bombing of the church is one of several attacks against Serbs in Kosovo despite pleas by NATO officials and, most recently, by British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Mr. Blair, a leading advocate of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, was given a hero's welcome when he appeared Saturday in Pristina. Since the province came under the control of NATO forces, only 30-thousand of Kosovo's 150-thousand pre- war Serbian population remains. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PS/DW/RAE 01-Aug-1999 12:53 PM LOC (01-Aug-1999 1653 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] NATO SECRETARY/GENERAL CQ BY JIM RANDLE (UKRANE)

    DATE=7/31/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-212362
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /////

    FIXES TO HAEKKERUP IN TEXT GRAF 3 FROM CR2-212359. /////

    INTRO: Defense Secretary William Cohen says the next leader of the NATO Alliance will probably be British Defense Minister, George Robertson, V-O-A'S Jim Randle reports.

    TEXT: British Defense Minister Robertson is one of at least three candidates for the job of NATO Secretary General. The others are Denmark's Defense Minster Hans Haekkerup, and Germany's Rudolph Scharping. U-S Defense Secretary Cohen says Mr. Robertson has probably secured support of most NATO governments and would get backing from Washington. On a recent visit to Denmark, Mr. Cohen said Mr. Haekkerup is a good defense minister and a strong candidate for NATO's top job. But Mr. Cohen has not endorsed him, publicly. The current Secretary General of NATO -- Spain's Javier Solana -- will finish his term soon and is expected to move on to another high-level diplomatic post. Mr. Cohen's comments came on a flight to Ukraine, where he is to meet with President Leonid Kuchma and other top officials on defense issues. (signed) NEB/JR/DWJ-t/wd/RAE 31-Jul-1999 11:19 AM LOC (31-Jul-1999 1519 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] NATO-SECRETARY GENERAL (L-O) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=8/1/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252374
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO ambassadors meet Monday at NATO headquarters to consider Britain's nomination of Defense Secretary George Robertson as their new Secretary-general, succeeding Javier Solana. Ron Pemstein reports from Brussels on NATO's road to new leadership.

    TEXT: When European leaders named former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi as the new president of the European Commission, they ensured that the next Secretary General of NATO will be a northern European. That is because Europe's two major political appointments are normally geographically balanced. The current Secretary General -- Spain's Javier Solana was planning to leave his post at the end of the year. In June, the European leaders named Mr. Solana their special representative for joint foreign and defense policies. At the same meeting in Cologne, his expected successor at NATO, German defense minister Rudolf Scharping, declined interest in moving to Brussels. Mr. Scharping's refusal to become NATO Secretary General was supported by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. That left Europe without any other apparent candidates. Belgium offered Jean-Luc Dehaene; the Prime Minister defeated in national elections in June following a food contamination scandal. There was little enthusiasm for picking another Belgian Prime Minister after Willy Claes was forced to resign as NATO Secretary-General because of his involvement in a Belgian corruption scandal. There was discussion about Denmark's Defense Minister Hans Haekkerup. His chances disappeared when objections were raised about selecting a Dane, because Denmark does not belong to the "West European Union" defense organization. There was also limited enthusiasm for Britain's initial suggestions. They included Paddy Ashdown, the leader of the British "Liberal Democratic Party". While Mr. Ashdown is a former paratrooper, he has never held a major foreign or defense post. The absence of an obvious candidate for NATO Secretary General became an embarrassment. That is why British Prime Minister Tony Blair's suggestion of Defense Secretary George Robertson was so welcomed by NATO leaders. During NATO's 78-days of bombing Yugoslavia, Mr. Robertson's passionate denunciations of Serbian ethnic cleansing became a daily feature of the Ministry of Defense briefings in London. Those briefings raised the profile of the former Scottish labor union leader among NATO ambassadors. The British Ambassador to NATO has called the meeting of ambassadors to discuss Mr. Robertson's nomination. The reason, according to NATO officials, is not because the nominee is British, but because the British Ambassador is the senior Ambassador of the 19 NATO members. (signed)
    NEB/RDP/DW/RAE 01-Aug-1999 08:55 AM LOC (01-Aug-1999 1255 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] FRANCE-ALGERIA (L-O) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=8/1/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252372
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: France's foreign minister, in Paris after a visit to Algiers, says a new air of liberty is sweeping through the north African state that has been rocked by civil war for seven-years. Julian Nundy reports from Paris, France is hailing improvement in its usually tense relations with its former north African colony.

    TEXT: French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine is just back from what he describes as an extremely cordial series of talks with Algeria's new president Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The French minister says he believes Algeria is emerging from years of tragedy. In an interview with the weekly newspaper "Le Journal du Dimanche", Mr. Vedrine confirmed, what he called -- a new opening towards Algeria. He said French president Jacques Chirac plans to visit Algiers soon, sometime after a Paris meeting with Mr. Bouteflika in September. This follows a rebuke by Mr. Bouteflika towards the French head of state, asking why he had visited all of Algeria's neighbors but not Algeria itself. Mr. Bouteflika was elected president in a controversial election in April. He has criticized France for questioning the conditions of his election all the other candidates withdrew just before saying the vote had been fixed. He said then that France was no longer the power it had been in Algeria and it should not interfere in Algerian affairs. But during the past few weeks, Mr. Bouteflika has been working on improving ties with Paris. Mr. Vedrine was the first French foreign minister to visit in four years. Before him, the French interior minister went to Algeria and announced easier visa requirements for Algerians wishing to visit France. Now Air France, which stopped its flights to Algeria after one of its planes was hijacked in Algiers in December 1994, is examining security arrangements at Algerian airports with a view to resuming flights. The French government is also reopening two consulates. French specialists on Algeria say they believe Mr. Bouteflika considers peace in his country will only come if it is more open to the outside world. They say it is natural for him to start with the former colonial power. Despite the apparent new atmosphere in Algeria, the Islamic extremist violence that is judged responsible for 100-thousand deaths continues. Friday, a car bomb exploded in the south of the country, killing seven people. Mr. Vedrine said, although the violence persists, Algerians seem to be less frightened than before because, in his view, Algerian security forces are gaining the upper hand. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DIN/DW/RAE 01-Aug-1999 08:30 AM LOC (01-Aug-1999 1230 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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