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[Nettime-bold] briefing 12.05.2001
ebalkan on Sun, 13 May 2001 02:34:36 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] briefing 12.05.2001

a)  Daily briefing from Macedonian press about 
    Macedonian crisis
b)  Daily briefing from international press 
    about Macedonian crisis


The Macedonian security forces, yesterday from 
about 5:00 in the morning until 20:00 in the 
evening, ceased fire on the Kumanovo front in 
order to allow evacuation of the local 
inhabitants. The International Red Cross 
evacuated 69 people from the villages Vaksince, 
Lipkovo, Orizare and Slupchane. During the 
ceasefire, yesterday about 5:30, the 
International Red Cross sent 4 teams in the 
villages in the crisis region. The teams 
evacuated 50 people from Vaksince, 15 from 
Lipkovo and 4 from Slupchane and Orizare. The 
refugees, mainly elders, women and children were 
transferred to Kumanovo and Skopje. “Thanks to 
the agreement for a continuing ceasefire, we 
were able to send our teams in 4 villages. Our 
teams could reach the basements of the houses 
where civilians were hiding. The operation was 
conducted with complete transparency from both 
sides. The civilians are very worried, they are 
hiding in the basements for more than a week, 
food and water are becoming a problem”, stated 
Anick Bouvier, representative of the 
International Red Cross. The Prime Minister, 
Ljubcho Georgievski, stated yesterday that the 
Macedonian Security Forces can’t stop the 
military actions for a longer period of time, 
i.e. to fulfill the condition set by the PDP 
(Party for Democratic Prosperity) for entering 
the grand coalition. Evaluating that there is an 
“open attack on Macedonian territory”, 
Georgievski added that Macedonia still stands 
strong on the decision to continue political 
dialogue. (“DNEVNIK”)

The leaders of the 4 greatest parties in the 
country, Ljubcho Georgievski, Branko 
Crvenkovski, Arben Xhaferi and Imer Imeri, 
yesterday brought a final decision for the 
forming of a political unity government, in 
which other parties are going to be included. 
The new government will be elected on the 
Parliament session on Sunday, at 17:00. On the 
meeting with the leaders once again the common 
endeavor was confirmed, that this government’s 
main duty would be the stabilizing of the 
security in Macedonia, continuing of an intense 
political dialogue and organizing fair 
extraordinary parliamentary elections. Although 
it was expected Georgievski to give the names of 
the participants in the new government very 
soon, it didn’t happen yesterday. The almost one-
week long “fermentation” of the different 
opinions in the PDP on whether they should or 
shouldn’t enter the coalition, slowed down the 
entire process of the negotiations between the 
parties and they joined the discussions on the 
dividing of the government “cake” only 
yesterday. Yesterday afternoon the PDP left the 
session of the Central Presidency in Tetovo and 
the party leaders headed towards Skopje on 
urgent consultations. Together with the leader 
Imer Imeri, also present on the consultations 
with the Prime Minister Georgievski, were 
Abduladi Vejseli, the general secretary, Muhamed 
Halili and the head of the representative group, 
Naser Ziberi. The discussions were conducted in 
the presence and mediation of the British 
ambassador Mark Dickinson and the EU 
representative, Jose Pinto Tesheira. The 
representatives will review the proposal list of 
ministers made by the Prime Minister Ljubcho 
Georgievski on Sunday. According to the 
Constitution, if the Government President 
decides to relieve from duty more that 1/3 of 
the Government members of the previous 
formation, it comes down to election of a new 
government. The parliament, in this particular 
case will decide on a new government, and for 
its acceptance, a 2/3 of votes from the entire 
number of representatives in the Parliament is 
required. (“DNEVNIK”)

The deputy commander, Miljazim Cazimi, from the 
police station in the village Matejche in the 
Kumanovo region, with 6 other policemen, from 
the start of the crisis in that region do not 
appear at their posts. It is assumed that the 
police officers, with all the official arms from 
their work place, joined the terrorist NLA and 
actively participate in combat against the 
Macedonian security forces. Officially, the 
deputy commander and the police officers from 
the police station Matejche, say that they are 
on sick leave and that the police are in contact 
with them from time to time. The police hasn’t 
got solid, final, proof whether the policemen 
from Matejche, with the official arms, have for 
the time being or definitely, joined the 
terrorists or if they are going to come back to 
work, once they get well. (“VEST”) 

Macedonia is facing security problems provoked 
by the terrorists whose roots and further 
existence are in Kosovo, underlined the 
President Boris Trajkovski on yesterday’s 
meeting with the lieutenant general, Torsten 
Skiaker, the new KFOR commander, Hansjorg Eiff, 
high civil commissioner of NATO in the country 
and mayor general, Gunnar Lange, commander of 
the headquarters rear of KFOR. On the meeting, a 
mutual satisfaction of the progress in the 
cooperation between Macedonia and the KFOR 
forces is expressed, but it was also concluded 
that additional endeavors are necessary to 
intensify the mutual contacts in the exchange of 
information and cooperation in the operations 
for stronger control on the Macedonian-Yugoslav 
border with Kosovo. (“UTRINSKI VESNIK”)


Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski announced that the 
country's four main political parties have agreed to create a government 
to address ethnic grievances that have stoked a guerrilla rebellion by 
ethnic Albanians. "The parties concluded that intensive political 
dialogue must be maintained and that early, free and fair parliamentary 
elections must be organized," Georgievski said. The parties also 
"reiterated their common interest that [improving] the security situation 
in the country should be their basic task," he said.
It "broadens the base of the government, defuses the state of war, and 
provides for negotiations sooner rather than later" on political reforms 
aimed at addressing complaints by the ethnic Albanian minority about 
discrimination by the Macedonian Slav majority, said a NATO official. 
Washington Post Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign affairs 
chief, called the alliance a “concrete expression” of unity. “Those 
responsible for terrorist acts must know that they are totally isolated,” 
Solana said. (Excerpts from AP) The new government will aim to unite the 
country against the rebels, and make moves to satisfy the demands of 
the minority Albanian population. Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubco 
Georgievski on Thursday ruled out a prolonged ceasefire saying it would 
allow the rebels to regroup. But Western leaders hope the formation of a 
coalition could lead to an extended and internationally monitored 
ceasefire as well as the withdrawal of the militants. However the rebel 
group, the National Liberation Army (NLA), says that the creation of a 
multi-ethnic coalition will not affect their campaign. "A coalition 
government, whose main aim is the isolation of the NLA, will not help to 
solve the problem, but creates huge concerns for the NLA that viable 
conditions cannot be created for sincere dialogue," a statement by the 
rebels said. (Excerpts from BBC) "The creation of the coalition 
government...does not help solve the situation," the National Liberation 
Army said in a communiqué signed by NLA political leader Ali Ahmeti. 
(Excerpts from Los Angeles Times)" The rebel group, the National 
Liberation Army (NLA), says that the creation of a multi-ethnic coalition 
will not affect their campaign. A coalition government, whose main aim is 
the isolation of the NLA, will not help to solve the problem, but creates 
huge concerns for the NLA that viable conditions cannot be created for 
sincere dialogue," a statement by the rebels said. But the BBC 
correspondent in Macedonia, Nick Thorpe, says if the rebels do not now 
withdraw, their claim to have the same goals as the political parties will 
be exposed as a lie and backing for the Macedonian military could 
increase. (Excerpts from BBC) “They are not going to get a place at the 
negotiating table,” a senior Western diplomat said. (Excerpts from 

Macedonia ordered a dawn-to-dusk halt to the shelling of ethnic 
Albanian guerrillas on Friday as politicians and diplomats piled pressure 
on a key Albanian party to join an emergency coalition government. A 
Western diplomat in Skopje said President Boris Trajkovski had ordered 
the 15-hour pause as Macedonia made a last-ditch bid to lure the 
Albanian Party of Democratic Prosperity (PDP) into an all-party 
government designed to isolate the guerrillas. “Officially the cease-fire 
was presented to allow civilians to evacuate and aid organizations to 
provide humanitarian assistance,” the diplomat said. “There is a cease-
fire going on to enable the coalition negotiations with the PDP to 
proceed.” (Excerpts from Reuters)

Dr Solana made the following comments today in Brussels shortly after 
the announcement by the Macedonian Prime Minister Mr. Ljubco 
Georgievski, of the formation of a broadly based coalition government. 
"I very much welcome the announcement of the formation of a grand 
coalition government in Skopje. This is a concrete expression of the 
desire of all shades of political opinion in the country for a political 
solution to the current situation. I hope and expect that the formation of 
this broadly based government will give new momentum to the inter-
ethnic dialogue already launched. Now, more than ever, the leaders of all 
political parties stand together against the threats of destabilization. 
Those responsible for terrorist acts must know that they are totally 
isolated. The country can continue on its path towards European 
integration, which the EU stands ready to support". (Excerpts from the 
Press Release)

MAY 11, 2001)
Boucher: Obviously this is a major step forward that the United States 
welcomes. They decided today to join together in the formation of a 
wider government coalition that would include five major ethnic 
Macedonian and ethnic Albanian government and opposition parties. 
We have been in touch with the party leaders, who we'll all remember 
that the Secretary of State when he was in Macedonia met with leaders of 
the political parties, encouraged their cooperation, encouraged the 
political resolution, the political openings that were necessary to offer an 
opportunity to all Albanians to be represented in the political system. So 
this is a very important step. Secretary Powell has subsequently been in 
touch with the party leaders, sent them all a letter encouraging them to 
take this step, and we're glad to see them do it. We've also been in touch 
obviously with the European Union and the Swedish Government, which 
is in the presidency of the European Union, who have been working 
along these lines as well. We think the broadened coalition offers an 
appropriate vehicle for advancing interethnic reforms. We would urge 
the coalition parties to accelerate progress on that important agenda. The 
step I think demonstrates that there is a broad national consensus in 
Macedonia to support dialogue and to act firmly against the 
violence.Once again, we have to condemn the extremist violence that 
extremist Albanian groups have been undertaking. They need to 
immediately cease their acts of violence and withdraw from the occupied 
villages. So we have a slightly more formal version of that coming out for 
you. It will be available as soon as the briefing is over, I am sure. 

Arben Xhaferi, president of the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA), 
received a letter from U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, emphasizing 
the importance of forming a government for the future of the country. 
According to Powell, Xhaferi is on the threshold of an important step 
regarding the forming of a wider governmental coalition. He greeted the 
efforts made by Xhaferi in this direction encouraging him to practice the 
power of a leader and show his flexibility in achieving a consensus. In 
his letter, Powell also said that if the mentioned step is not taken, we 
would be facing a big failure in the future that would probably lose all 
hope and deepen the crisis. The forming of a new coalition would send a 
strong signal showing that a wide national consensus exists in 
Macedonia that supports dialogue and eliminates violence. He expressed 
confidence that this step would give way to a solution of the current 
crisis isolating those who use violence to destabilize the country. The 
U.S. Secretary of State concludes in his letter to Xhaferi that the United 
States would give support in the negotiation process, which is the only 
way toward progress of all the citizens of Macedonia. (Excerpts from 

NATO Secretary-General Lord George Robertson, returning from a visit 
to Skopje, told reporters in Brussels that "there is a NATO assessment 
team there at the moment to assist the Albanian government with looking 
at how border controls can be further tightened." He added that 
Macedonia's border with Kosovo is already heavily policed on both 
sides. Albanian Prime Minister Ilir Meta, speaking in Brussels told EU 
and NATO officials that the insurgents are not getting any supplies from 
Albania. (Excerpts from RFE/RL)

A NATO official said on Friday he expected Yugoslav forces soon to re-
enter a section of a post-war buffer zone where ethnic Albanian guerrillas 
are based, despite the risk of clashes. NATO special envoy Pieter Feith 
said he had told Serbian officials as well as rebel commanders that the 
alliance would decide on Monday on an early entry of Yugoslav forces 
to a previously demilitarized area just east of U.N.-governed Kosovo. 
The rebels in southern Serbia's volatile Presevo Valley were first seen in 
public in early 2000. A similar guerrilla group emerged early this year in 
neighboring Macedonia. (Excerpts from Los Angeles Times)

People who are actively backing or involved with ethnic Albanian rebels 
will be banned from traveling to the United States, a senior American 
official said on Thursday. The United States opposes ethnic Albanian 
rebel groups in Macedonia and nearby southern Serbia as "destructive 
to all", U.S. Balkans envoy James Pardew said. "Anyone involved with 
extremists or actively supporting them will not be allowed to travel to the 
U.S.," Pardew said. The United States would ask its European friends to 
make a similar travel ban, he said. Pardew did not specify how the United 
States would determine someone was supporting the rebels. Pardew, 
echoing the views of other Western officials, said legitimate complaints 
of Albanians should be addressed through the 
political process. "We condemn violence by extremists," he said. "It is 
quite clear there's discrimination against the Albanian community, but 
that is not right for them to resolve it with violence." (Excerpts from 

The Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Co-
operation in Europe (OSCE), consisting of Representatives of all 55 
participating States, has today adopted the following statement: 
The Permanent Council condemns in the strongest terms the renewed 
violent attacks, including terrorist activities by ethnic Albanian 
extremist groups in the northern parts of the former Yugoslav Republic 
of Macedonia. They constitute a threat to the security and stability of 
the state and of the wider region. These acts could seriously threaten 
democratic processes and undermine inter-ethnic relations in the former 
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. 
The participating States express their strong support for the 
sovereignty and territorial integrity of the former Yugoslav Republic of 
Macedonia. The Permanent Council supports the Government in its 
efforts to end the violence in a proportionate manner, consistent with the 
rule of law. It calls on the political leaders in the country and in the 
region, who have yet not done so, to condemn unambiguously the 
violent acts and terrorist activities, to isolate those committing them and 
to use their influence to secure peace. Extremists who are engaged in 
violent acts must cease all such actions immediately, release the 
hostages and lay down their weapons. 
The Council welcomes the establishment of the mechanism for 
enhanced political dialogue under the leadership of President Trajkovski 
with the view to ensuring that all citizens, irrespective of their ethnic 
origin, have a stake in the development of their country. 
The Council encourages the speedy formation of a broad coalition 
government consisting of all relevant political parties and reflecting 
the need for national unity and the continuation of the successful 
reform processes in the country. It urges all relevant political leaders to 
take their responsibility for the stability of the country and join the 
coalition. Furthermore, the Council considers that the inter-ethnic 
dialogue should continue and that all those involved should do their 
best to produce concrete results as soon as possible.
(OSCE Press Release)


Richard Boucher, Spokesman 

The United States welcomes the decisions today 
of five major ethnic 
Macedonian and ethnic Albanian government and 
opposition parties -- the 
Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-
Democratic Party for 
Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE), the 
Democratic Party of 
Albanians (DPA), the Social Democratic Alliance 
of Macedonia (SDSM), the Party of Democratic 
Prosperity (PDP), and the Liberal Party (LP) -- 
to join together in the formation of a wider 
government coalition. 
Secretary Powell has been in touch with the 
party leaders, urging 
them to take this important step, as have 
European Union High 
Representative for Common Security and Foreign 
Policy Javier Solana and 
Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, on behalf 
of the Presidency of the 
European Union. The broadened coalition provides 
the appropriate vehicle for advancing 
interethnic reforms, and we urge the new 
coalition parties to accelerate progress on this 
important agenda. This step demonstrates that 
there is a broad national consensus in 
Macedonia, representative of the great majority 
of Macedonian Slavs and Macedonian Albanians, in 
support of dialogue and firmly against violence. 
Those who chose to use violence and terrorist 
actions ostensibly to advance the position of 
Macedonian Albanians have neither legitimacy nor 
support. We call on the extremist ethnic 
Albanian groups to immediately cease their acts 
of violence and withdraw from occupied villages. 
Their actions serve only to cripple political 
progress for Macedonia's ethnic Albanians, 
damaging the interests of ethnic Albanians in 
Kosovo and throughout the region. 
The United States reiterates its 
condemnation of all extremist 
violence, and our strong support for the 
democratically elected leaders 
of Macedonia and the path of dialogue they have 
embarked upon. That is 
the only way to advance the rights of all 
citizens of Macedonia. 
Released on May 11, 2001


IWPR: Over the past week, Macedonian armed 
forces have been shelling 
rebel ethnic Albanian positions around Kumanovo. 
There have been many 
civilian casualties as well as hundreds of 
houses destroyed. Although 
the international community has managed to 
persuade the government to 
broaden the ruling coalition, there are obvious 
fears that the conflict 
could escalate out of control. Is this 

KADARE: The most important thing at the moment 
is to stop the killing 
and stop the shelling of Albanian villages. 
Bombarding your own people 
is not the right road to go down.The right 
road is dialogue.The 
people capable of bringing peace back to the 
region should sit down at 
the negotiating table and there should be no 
taboo subjects - as these 
have stalled previous negotiations. I'm waiting 
and hoping that the NLA 
will find their place in the Macedonian peace 
process. Everybody should work to save Macedonia 
from any escalation in this war. There 
arepeople who say, "As long as Albanians' 
rights are not being respected, the war should 
go on". This is not the right thing to be 
saying. Putting down the weapons is the only 
reasonable course of action. The continuing 
radicalization of opinion could lead towards the 
creation of a Lebanon in the Balkans and this 
would be a catastrophe for everyone, regardless 
of their ethnic origin. We must stop this 
psychosis from spreading further. 
IWPR:Do you consider Albania itself can act as 
a stabilizing factor in the Balkans and help 
push for a peaceful solution?I'm thinking more 
of Kosovo here. 
KADARE:A stable and peaceful Albania will be 
extremely helpful to 
Albanians wherever they are. The best way that 
Albania can help Kosovo 
today, in its rightful struggle for 
independence, is to lead by example 
- as a stable and serious state with strong 
democratic institutions - a 
country which has left behind the sort of anarchy which it has fallen 
into several times over the last decade. Every step towards stability in 
Albania directly impacts on Kosovo's independence aspirations. 
IWPR: What about the continuing tensions in the Presevo valley? 
KADARE:I think the Albanians in the Presevo valley will have gained a 
major victory if they manage to secure themselves basic human rights in 
the area - and are allowed to live a normal life and not suffer as they 
have done in the past.At present, they are part of another state, a 
minority as many others in the Balkans. There is a Greek minority in Albania, 
there are minorities in Bulgaria, Macedonia and other countries, as well as in 
Kosovo. If we agree to safeguard the rights of minorities, then that principle 
must apply everywhere, not only when it happens to be convenient. The problem 
of minorities exists across Europe and Albanians in Presevo are a part of that, 
so they have the absolute right to live and be counted as equals to other 
citizens in Serbia. Nobody can deny that this is a just demand. 
IWPR: You have said several times that the concept of a 'Greater 
Albania' has been manufactured by enemies of Albanians. Who do you mean 
KADARE: I think that the Albanian people have tried hard, and finally 
succeeded, in showing the international community that the so-called 
'Greater Albania' threat is not at all real. In my opinion, this is a 
demon created by anti-Albanian elements to justify pressuring the 
Albanian people. Unfortunately, after the international community accepted that 
this risk did not exist, the issue was dragged back up again. You know, one 
Albanian party recently came out in open support of a 'Greater Albania', and 
there have been other extremist groups and individuals which have conjured up 
this ghost. We should be clear about the issue: the Albanian people have the 
right, as all other peoples in the world, to wish to one day - if the right 
conditions prevail, and if the Albanians want it - recreate a united Albanian 
region. But Albanians do not want to achieve this through violence, nor do they 
want to confront the issue immediately. This unique Albanian space, 
if it is to be created one day, should be created within a fully 
democratic and integrated Balkans. So, if the Balkans are to be integrated into 
Europe, if borders between states become less important, if there is to be free 
movement of people, cultures and goods, there is no reason to prevent the 
Albanians from enjoying something that all other peoples can have. 
IWPR: History has shown that people in the Balkans have never been able 
to solve their problems without international intervention. All Balkan 
countries want to join Europe as soon as possible. What are Albanians 
KADARE: Of all the people in the Balkans who want to join Europe, the 
Albanians are the keenest. Albanians have looked to Europe for the 
implementation of international law and human rights. It is in the 
interest of the Albanians that this area of the Balkans, as a whole, 
becomes closer to Europe. 
IWPR: How do feel about Albania now, about changes that have been made 
in the country over the past few years? 
KADARE: Albania is developing, but this is mainly thanks to the vitality of its 
people rather than to its political structures. Everybody can feel that people 
here are eager to make up for the time that has been lost. You can see there is 
huge amount of economic activity in Albania. Unfortunately, the state is not 
doing its part to facilitate this. There are big problems to be countered here, 
mainly regarding relations between the government and the opposition. Lately, I 
have noticed some improvements: there is less political pressure, and this is a 
good sign. Now parties are keener on searching for compromise solutions, but it 
is still a far cry from real political progress in Albania. 
IWPR: Change is also slow coming to Serbia. Milosevic may be behind bars but 
Serbian society is still struggling with those people who want 
substantive changes and those actively trying to prevent that. How long 
will it be, do you think, before Serbia can deal 
with its past? 
KADARE: History has shown us that it takes a 
long time for the effects 
of political barbarity to be washed away from a 
country. It takes time 
to remove the poison that has been spread over 
time. It would be very 
naive to believe that Serbia will develop into a 
full democracy any time soon. It is going to be 
a struggle. People in the Balkans should try to 
clear their consciences, to own up to crimes 
committed in the past. Even those intellectuals 
who have participated in or organized crimes in 
the Balkans should find the moral strength to do 
so. Without that, there is no going forward. 

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