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Skopje Museum Wants to Keep Weapons Collected From Albanian Rebels.
FRI, AUG 31, 2001
A museum in Macedonia's capital Skopje Thursday asked NATO not to destroy all the weapons the alliance was collecting from ethnic Albanian rebels, saying it wants to keep those which had historic and museum value.
In his request addressed to NATO, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Curator Culakovski said the museum has already had collections of weapons of World War I and World War II.
The museum's collection would be enriched if NATO could hand over to it the weapons being collected from the ethnic Albanian rebels, he said.
It is reported that the ethnic Albanian rebels have already handed in 1,400 weapons, but most of them are old types and some were even made during World War II.
PRESIDENT TRAJKOVSKI: HISTORICAL STEPS ARE NOT POSSIBLE WITHOUT PEOPLES' STRENGTH.
The history of all countries knows times when people have to make difficult decisions. In a democracy, representatives that are elected by the citizens take these decisions. Today we have such decisions in front of us, Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski said Friday in his address to the members of the Parliament, explaining the proposal for constitutional changes.
"These decisions are such that they will have an impact upon the future of our country and all our citizens and especially on the future of our children. With the right decisions related to the implementation of the Ohrid Agreement, I hope that this future will include peace, stability and prosperity for the Republic of Macedonia. I say I hope because peace does not depend only on us.
This is not only a path leading to peace and stability, but also to the preservation of the state, its democracy and the security of the citizens. This is a path to inter-human and inter-ethnic respect, a chance given to cohabitation, tolerance, non-discrimination and joint responsibility for the Republic of Macedonia.
The Agreement is not perfect, but no agreement ever is. It is the best thing we have right now and it does have many positive points: It preserves the territorial integrity of the Republic of Macedonia; preserves individual rights for all citizens; moves Macedonia more toward a civic model and concept of a modern, European state; the Ministry of Interior still appoints and discharges the chief of police so this crucial function stays in the hands of the central government; provides more educational opportunities for all citizens in the Republic of Macedonia; provides for more decentralization making the entities of the local self-government more responsible for collecting and spending tax money.
The alternative way is a division in all aspects: civil, inter-ethnic, political and division of generations. The alternative to peace is war, which will expose everyone to mass victims, misery and a loss of perspective for many years to come. The war cannot fundamentally change anything in favor of the citizens or in the civilizing values and needs of the state.
Even if we consider for a moment that there could be a dominating winner and a total loser - if these are citizens and entities that differ in their ethnic and cultural characteristics and who by trying to impose their collectivist order to others according to their own model - all this will fail. The modern world and order in which we live has standards that it accepts and models that it does not tolerate.
The Agreement you have in front of you is a result of the embodiment of European values of human rights, democracy and compromise; elimination of the reasons for war and interethnic conflict in the Republic of Macedonia, and this means increase of its internal stability which has an impact on peace in the region; and finally the strengthening of the European and Euro-Atlantic prospective of the country.
All this shows that we must not turn the present terrorist and extremist aggression and war against the democratic Republic of Macedonia with unacceptable motives and aspirations, into a wider interethnic or civil war. If we do so all citizens in the Republic of Macedonia that are against this will lose the most.
In this respect, we must insist on drawing away from this war and its structures those citizens of the Republic of Macedonia that got involved, either because of the circumstances, either because of the exaltation which is anachronous to the principals and standards of the modern European order. All such persons that will voluntarily disarm and who have not committed crimes against humanity or crimes according to the standards of the Hague crime tribunal, should be reintegrated in the political and legal life in the Republic of Macedonia. If all other armed extremists do not leave the territory of the Republic of Macedonia after the end of "Essential Harvest" they will be pursued and eliminated by our defense and security forces. Our security forces will again reestablish themselves throughout the whole territory of the Republic of Macedonia, which were temporarily under the control of extremist and terrorist groups, in order to restart their every day duties in establishing public order and providing security to all the citizens.
Turning again to the peace plan, for a way out of the crisis that we have initiated with the negotiations of the leaders of the great coalition under my auspices and with facilitation through the representatives of the EU and US, we must conclude that this path was chosen by the legitimately elected leaders of a large number of citizens, both Macedonians and Albanians, who in fact are for peace and prosperity of all in the Republic of Macedonia as a common good. It was the leaders of the grand government coalition who chose the political dialogue and by respecting the conditions, views and demands of the citizens who stand behind their positions, have chosen the path of reforms in view of promoting interethnic relations. Their positions, the positions of the four major parliamentary parties in the Republic of Macedonia were drawn closer and have found a possible joint definition in the image of the Ohrid Agreement.
This Agreement contains the possible compromise in relation to the initial stands. Many efforts were invested in it, starting from the proposals of the expert on Constitutional law, Mr. Robert Badenter, going through the efforts of the foreign and domestic experts and politicians. The purpose was to put the positions and the interests of all represented sides in a framework and standards that have the potential to resolve the problems on an interethnic level, to promote civil rights of the minorities and to stabilize the unitary, civil and democratic development of the country and its institutions.
You have in front of you my proposal for the initiation of changes to the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, which is a result of the concluded Ohrid Agreement.
This Agreement contains the proposals, i.e. the content and the essence of those changes. The proposals from the Ohrid Agreement do not violate the sovereignty and integrity of the Republic of Macedonia. It stresses the need for the Republic of Macedonia to continue its development as a unitary state. By pointing out the three main principals (unitary character, sovereignty and integrity) in an imperative way, the Ohrid Document, does not violate the basic foundations of the Macedonian State. Quite the opposite, it gives a new impulse and international guarantee to its postulates.
The basic principals of the Agreement stress the position that there are no, or there cannot be, territorial solutions to ethnic issues. This finally completes and defines the three basic principals of unitary character, sovereignty and integrity of the Republic of Macedonia.
When unambiguously all parties defined what could not be an object of compromise, all other issues that came up during the negotiations, were being addressed with tolerance and respect towards the problems and the situations that were being pointed as interests and needs of the citizens, who pertain to different ethnic groups. I refer here above all to cultural, linguistic and education issues as well as issues related to the equal representation in all public areas by surpassing the situation of a real discrimination in that area; this refers also to a system of guarantees that the minorities will have in achieving their constitutional rights in respective areas. Proposals were submitted regarding all those issues, which according to prevailing estimations remain, within the level of European democracies.
The path toward consensual moderation was not taken neither towards the consensual model of democracy for which without arguments the Ohrid Agreement is being attacked. It is not leading to a federalization of the system by breaking its ability and efficiency to produce solutions for the interests and problems of the citizens through a system of veto to the process of decision-making.
On the contrary, it is leading to the development of local democracy as the right way to encourage the participation of the citizens and the respect and promotion of the identity of the communities; it leads to the preservation of the expression of the multi-ethnic character of the society in the public life.
In this context it refers to the affirmation of the European democratic experience first of all with the fact that interethnic tensions and conflicts find their solution in the promotion of civil rights by avoiding to give a general ethnic character to the state institutional corps and to the political process.
By comparing the proposed solutions with the existing ones, we can conclude that in the area of cultural, linguistic and education issues, the Republic of Macedonia has been standing very high according to European standards. There are major changes on the level of decentralization of power and on the level of guarantees in the realization of these rights. This shows that a major step forward was done in an area that has been neglected until now.
It is now up to you, to consider with utmost seriousness and attention and to give an assessment of the proposed solutions. They lead to the enhancement of our state system; to the increase of equality among the citizens and to non-discrimination; to the increase of trust towards the state by all; as well as to an increase of civil loyalty and responsibility towards the survival of the state and its prosperity. I hope that they lead also to a way out from this crisis.
This is a chance to peace and progress, a chance to the future of our citizens and children. Everything else is uncertainty for all - it is possible war, misery and threat for the foundations of our state. Democracy and the rule of law must be the way. If there is more violence from these men and their leaders, then the whole world will know they fight for territory. If there is more killing and destruction of religious buildings and economic activities, then the whole world will know they fight not for rights, but for territory. If they continue to burn homes and force people out through a deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing, then the whole world will know intentions are truly evil. In that case, we will expect a principled support from the whole international support to our strong response.
Allow me now to address to the international community. If the men of violence resort to their wicked ways, you will stand firm with the Republic of Macedonia and her citizens because the men of violence will have shown their true intentions. In that case, we expect from the UN Security Council to decide to threat or use force against this source of instability and terror on the Balkans.
Second, we demand the international community to recognize us by our name the Republic of Macedonia and not by a fictional derivative. It is high time that the world recognizes us by what we call ourselves just like any other country and its citizens. Otherwise, how do you expect us to believe in your values, principals and intentions, if you deny our basic right, the right to identity?
Third, we expect the international community to recognize our contribution to stability and peace in the region and to do not the way it did so far with empty promises but in a more concrete way through an economic package of aid aimed at rehabilitating our economy. After ten years of weathering the storms of sanctions, embargoes, refugees and now threats from without, weve earned it.
Finally, we expect the international community to help us keep and enforce the peace. To do this, I am asking today for a reintroduction of the United Nations Preventative Deployment force UNPRDEP. UNPRDEP was a successful missionand it kept the peace by patrolling the borders. We have made the difficult decisions and we have met you half way now we expect the international community to do the same. Not only because it is expedient, but because it is right. The decision is complex and sensitive, especially because the riders of the war, the terrorists and separatists are performing for us bloody challenges with many barbarities and with many perfidious objectives of ethnic cleansing of Macedonian areas.
Therefore, the adoption of the Ohrid Agreement is a way to isolate and condemn such forces by all parties and domestic and foreign factors; this is a way to their exposure and elimination.
Lets give a chance to the moderate, reasonable, hardworking citizens of the Republic of Macedonia who are in a large number and who love Macedonia as a peaceful and prosperous country. Lets not give a chance to the war, destruction, extremism and crime. For such a decision it is needed reason, and courage, but also human sincerity and honesty, which I believe this Parliament and the people of the Republic of Macedonia have.
Finally I would like to say a few things very sincerely before the Macedonia public. Many of these problems and issues that we are facing now are not new. The origins can be found both in the negative inheritance from former SFRY in this area and in some solutions from 1991.
For many years in the past, Macedonian politicians did not want to publicly discuss and resolve these truly sensitive issues. They were mainly postponed. Just remember Mala Recica; ask yourself why the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia works in accordance with the regulations adopted since 1986. Ask yourself why Macedonia had many monitoring missions established by the United Nations, the OSCE and the Council of Europe.
The Republic of Macedonia has closed the issue of its internationally recognized borders last February. I want the public to know that by the beginning of this crisis, the security forces of the Republic of Macedonia were inadequately trained and equipped. We all know that in some parts of our country the legal state was not functioning. All of these problems have emerged in full intensity in the course of the recent months and the current political establishment, me as President and the grand government coalitions has to face and resolve now.
I want to say very frankly that in the course of the last few months in some crucial moments the Macedonian political block did not show sufficient level of political maturity and unity. In such a situation it was very difficult to show leadership and to build a unique vision and strategy for a way out to the crisis. I acted and made my decisions following my consciousness and conviction, always for the welfare of Macedonia. During this period, I had to take over responsibilities for issues that do not exclusively pertain to my authorities.
The political talks were held under my auspices and I am the initiator of the changes to the Constitution based on the Framework Agreement though I was not the only one to sign it. Now, at this moment, I call on political leaders in the Republic of Macedonia, and especially on those that signed the Ohrid Agreement to know take over their share of historic responsibility and to explain to the members of the Parliament and to the people of Macedonia why are we doing all this and what will be the consequences of what we are going to agree upon in the days to come.
I think now is the time to address myself to all the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia and to ask for their support and understanding and to try with joint efforts to draw Macedonia back from the abyss in which it is falling now. Both as a politician and as a man I have always considered that without the strength coming from the people directly, the leadership cannot do anything historically important for its country," Trajkovski said.
AMBASSADOR TRENEVSKI SUBMITTED LETTER OF ACCREDITATION TO KING OF SWEDEN.
King of Sweden Carl XVIth Gustaf received the new Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia to Sweden Martin Trenevski at the formal reception in the Royal Palace in Stockholm today. Ambassador Trenevski submitted the letter of accreditation from Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski.
Ambassador Trenevski conveyed greetings from President Trajkovski to his Royal Highness King XVIth Gustaf and expressed his gratitude for the active role of Sweden during the EU Presidency in the signing of the Agreement for stabilisation and association between the Republic of Macedonia and the EU, as well as for overcoming the crisis in our country.
King Gustaf was interested about the situation in Macedonia, especially the ongoing NATO operation "Essential Harvest".
Ambassador Trenevski expressed his satisfaction on the start of the weapon collection, but was slightly restrained about the success of the mission due to the non-objective evaluation about the amount of weaponry to be collected.
Trenevski also talked about the insecurities to come in ending the NATO mission in Macedonia and emphasised that the idea for renewing the UNPREDEP mission and the engagement of soldiers from the Scandinavian region is getting more support as time goes on.
King Gustaf accepted this initiative with great interest and satisfaction, reminiscing on his visit to Macedonia in 1997 and the meetings with the Swedish soldiers of the UNPREDEP contingent. Swedish King emphasised that the Swedish church could also help in the organisation of humanitarian missions for displaced persons in Macedonia.
MINISTER BUCKOVSKI MET HIS BULGARIAN COUNTERPART SVINAROV.
Macedonian Defence Minister Vlado Buckovski met Friday with his Bulgarian counterpart Nikolaj Svinarov.
After the meeting in the joint statement Minister Buckovski expressing satisfaction with the cooperation in the past period, said it would continue in the future with the same intensity and "we will be an example for good neighbourly relations."
"We will have very common things, common ideals and we want to become NATO and EU members soon with which we can fulfil our goals easier," Buckovski said.
In regard to military - technical cooperation the Macedonian Defence Minister said that it has been respectable so far and it will continue with the intensity as previously agreed.
Svinarov informed the journalists that the current political situation in the Republic of Macedonia has been the main topic in today's talks.
Both ministers, as Svinarov said, agreed that if the goals of the two countries remain the same there would be no changes in the relations. "We have agreed to help each other in many things and that we will not make any obstacles," Bulgarian minister said.
Friday afternoon, both ministers as well as Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon Sakskoburgotski, defence ministers of member states of peace brigades are to attend the ceremony of the change of the commander of Multinational Peace Brigade for South Eastern Europe.
Heavy Artillery Remains On Their Positions.
In conclusion of the new consultations with NATO, the heavy weaponry remains on the previous positions or is withdrawn minimally
By Branko Gjorgjevski, Emil Zafirovski
Heavy weaponry of Macedonian Army will remain at the positions of Macedonian Security Forces in Tetovo and other regions, because the citizens fiercely opposed its withdrawal.
- After consulting with NATO, we reached an agreement that heavy weaponry remains on its positions. Minimal withdrawal will take place from the main traffic arteries, but the weapons will remain on the previous positions - sources from Ministry of Defense stated for Dnevnik.
The sources claim that this agreement resulted from the trust established during the disarmament process.
The security forces in the district of Brvenica village moved back their heavy weaponry for about 500 meters, but still remained in the district. The citizens of Tetovo district of Koltuk did not allow the Army's armored vehicles, located by the "Sveti Nikola" (Saint Nicolas) Church withdraw for an inch. They think that even the slightest removal will lower the abilities to defend Tetovo Fortress [located on the nearby hill].
Yesterday, the inhabitants of Brvenica and Koltuk blocked the streets again in order to prevent the withdrawal of Macedonian Army tanks. They only allowed the soldiers to commence replacement of personnel.
We allowed one armored personnel carrier (type "Hermelin") to pass, because it is used for bringing replacements of the military units. We won't let the tanks and the other artillery get through - wove Tetovo citizens of Koltuk.
Yesterday Brvenica was calm, after the tense situation the previous day. The barricades on the village entrance were protected by the villagers and members of the police reserve.
- Macedonian Army and its armament remains in Brvenica - state the determined people.
People of Tetovo intend to continue the blockade until the High Commander's (the President's) order for removal is revoked.
- That is a shameful order and we ask for it to be revoked urgently. Macedonian Army is a legitimate army, which should defend Macedonia and its people. No one has the right to ask and orders the Macedonian Army to withdraw from its own territory. NATO and USA will be marked as the vilest criminals against humanity and biggest enemies of peace and democracy - say the people at Koltuk barricades.
The Cabinet approved unanimously Boyko Borissov as the Chief Secretary of the Interior Ministry. It took place after the ministers talked for almost an hour with the nominee
Photo Nikolay Donev
Simeon's Former Bodyguard is Ph. D.
Boiko Borissov never talks rough, never rises his tone, but his words may whip.
People say one undertakes raising dogs, corresponding by character to his own nature. Perhaps this is valid for Boiko Borissov to the full. He has been breeding Karakachan Mountain Shepherds for years. They are faithful and devoted, but they also never forgive an enemy. They never jump in vain, and never slacken their bite. This trait is characteristic of the former IPON boss as well. The Head of NSC (National Security Service) may confirm it, too. In case Gen. Dimitar Vladimirov knew what's the boss of "IPON" like, he would have never hounded him. And he would never ride him and his boys out of the Krichim farm two years ago. At the time, the property was still managed by the CM and the General made Borissov's employees sleep in their cars. He did not let them in, although they were guarding Simeon Saxe-Cobburg-Gotha, who was passing by. Perhaps the General still feels sorry for that deed of his. For Borissov hit back hot and strong with his quite acute and ironic language. A few as if casual remarks before the media about the NSC boss made the General jump to Heaven. And the Ph. D. in pedagogics Borissov's tongue is always ready. His lax and slightly drawling husky voice might easily trick the interlocutor. The man who had created the big and recently maybe most popular security company in this country knows Simeon Saxe-Cobburg-Gotha for about 4 years now. The King hired him as his bodyguard after, during one of his visits to Bulgaria, the NSC demanded to be paid the amount of $ 16,000. And what's more, while he was guarded by Gen. Vladimirov's service, the King's suite at the Gloria Palace Hotel in Sofia was burgled. Since then the King turned to IPON at each coming of his. People say, that there hardly could be anyone in Bulgaria, closer to Simeon than Boiko Borissov. The King addresses the IPON chief as "Borissov". The new Chief Secretary of IM had always addressed him "Your Majesty". While he talks to foreigners in the presence of Bulgarian journalists, Borissov pretends not knowing English. He purposely speaks with some Arab accent to entertain the audience. Actually, he has a very good control of Queen Elizabeth II's language, and that's the reason he is in perfect terms with the King's children. The former world champion of karate Boiko Borissov is the first white man to have beaten a Japanese.
Milosevic judges walk out.
FROM MARTIN FLETCHER IN THE HAGUE
SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC made a second appearance before the war crimes tribunal in The Hague yesterday that culminated in the three judges abruptly adjourning the hearing and walking out.
The former Yugoslav President, exuding contempt and defiance, was left declaiming into a microphone that had been switched off in an attempt to silence him.
Minutes later Carla del Ponte, the tribunals chief prosecutor, confirmed for the first time that she would indict Mr Milosevic on October 1 for genocide in Bosnia, and possibly Croatia, and that his trial was likely to start next autumn. The Butcher of Belgrade is at present charged with four lesser counts of mass murder, deportation and persecution of ethnic Albanians in the Kosovo conflict of 1999.
Richard May, the senior judge, upbraided the prosecution for tardiness and insisted that a trial date be set in the first two months of next year. He also announced that a lawyer would be appointed as an amicus curiae or friend of the court to ensure that Mr Milosevic, 60, received a fair trial.
Mr Milosevic has refused to appoint a lawyer to defend him before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which he has denounced as a political tool.
The pre-trial status conference yesterday was supposed to be a mere formality at which either side could raise issues of concern, but Mr Milosevics 40-minute appearance marked a sharp escalation in his battle of wills with the uncompromising Judge May, who is British.
Mr Milosevic entered the courtroom wearing a dark suit, a tie in Serbian national colours and the same air of implacable self-righteousness that he displayed during his first brief appearance on July 3. Flanked by guards, he surveyed the public gallery through bulletproof glass. He leant forward and listened intently as the prosecution sought unsuccessfully to persuade Judge May to impose a defence lawyer on Mr Milosevic, and to have the charges against him read out in court as he has repeatedly refused to read them himself.
Then it was Mr Milosevics turn. Judge May asked what issues he wanted to raise, adding: You know the rules no speeches at this stage. In heavily accented English Mr Milosevic retorted: I would like to know, first of all, can I speak or are you going to turn off my microphone as the first time? Judge May promised Mr Milosevic that he could speak if what he said was relevant, whereupon Mr Milosevic asked to make a 40-minute presentation on why the tribunal was illegal. Judge May suggested that he submit it in writing. Your decision. We have to communicate as civilised persons, not switching off the microphone, replied Mr Milosevic.
He claimed that the prosecutions failure so far to complete its case, 2 years after indicting him, showed that the charges were false, the tribunal was illegal and his imprisonment was unlawful. He went on to complain that he was totally isolated in the detention unit where he has spent the past two months. He said that he was denied private meetings with his family or legal advisers. Why you need monitoring of my talks with my grandson, who is 2 years old? he demanded. Why you are making all these act of massive violation of my rights? Just pause there, intervened Judge May, who pointed out that he could meet his lawyers in private as soon as he officially appointed some.
But Mr Milosevic protested: I am discriminated against all the time from the first day I got in. Why I am isolated from the press? Every single day something is printed or broadcast against me which is a pure lie . . . There are some representatives of the press who would like to know the truth. He complained of being pitted against all that machinery you represent the secret services, military machine, media machine, and said that the tribunals claim to even-handedness was untenable.
Mr Milosevic, there must be an end to this, said the increasingly irritated judge, who pointed out that none of the units 45 inmates could speak to the media. Is there anything else you wish to add? Judge May asked. There was.
You are not a judicial instrument. You are a political tool, Mr Milosevic declared, jabbing his finger.
Mr Milosevic, we are not going to listen to these political arguments, the judge retorted, and cut off his microphone. Mr Milosevic kept talking, his voice just audible behind the glass screen, but Judge May simply adjourned the hearing until October 29 and walked out in mid-tirade.
Half-an-hour later a convoy of black BMWs swept Mr Milosevic back to his cell.