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FM CASULE HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE.
One of the most significant achievements from the meeting of the Macedonian Ambassadors is the joint position that Macedonia has a unique position in the world and unique interests, integrated in the country's platform on foreign policy, Minister of Foreign Affairs Slobodan Casule said Thursday at a press conference.
Priorities of that "unique foreign policy" are Macedonia's membership into the European Union and NATO.
"In order to become an EU member, Macedonia should work hard to meet the required standards and accordingly to accelerate the integration process. One of the country's strategic commitments is to participate not only in the NATO membership process, but also in a reform process by which this military treaty should become a political guarantor of stability," Casule said.
Therefore, Macedonia would intensify its activities in harmonization of its interests with those of a foreign partner or partners, who will assist Macedonia in its integration in the Euro-Atlantic structures.
According to Casule, possible partners are the United States, the Netherlands and Germany.
"It does not mean that Russian and Chinese interests will be neglected. We shall also work on intensifying of the relations with middle and small countries, as well as with countries from Africa, Latin America and Asia, " Casule said.
"We seek not only promoters, but also companions in the globalization process, which will determine the relations in the world, putting aside the old fashioned concept of states' sovereignty, " Casule said.
Referring to a organization of the Ministry, Casule said that preparation of a law on foreign affairs and upgrading of the work would be the main tasks for the next year.
"Adopting of the Framework Agreement and its integration in the Constitution of Macedonia, transfers the country's defense from the security forces to the diplomacy," Casule said, pointing out the significance of logistically supported, professional and appropriately financed diplomacy.
Casule said that a diplomatic council of Macedonia would be established soon, gathering eminent persons, former ambassadors, and representatives of relevant non-governmental organizations and opposition parties. The council would be also included in preparing of the platform on foreign affairs.
Asked to comment the International Crisis Group (ICG) proposal on solving of the Macedonia's name issue, Casule said that the ICG opinion was valid and therefore taken under consideration.
"The name dispute is being discussed at the United Nations and the discussion will come to an end when the two countries will coordinate their interests," Casule said.
THE USA TO URGE SIMITIS FOR SOONER RESOLVE OF MACEDONIAN-GREEK DISPUTE.
Athens, December 27 (MIA) - The USA will make pressure on the Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis for acceleration of the process for resolving the Macedonian - Greek dispute regarding the name, today's Greek daily Elephterotipia reads.
The paper says this will be done during the visit of Simitis to the USA, scheduled for January 10, MIA reports. As announced, the Greek Prime Minister will meet with the US President George Bush in Washington.
Elephterotipia stressed the recent proposal of the International Crisis Group for resolving of the dispute regarding the name is in concordance with the US Administration for this issue.
Trajkovski favors 'Republika Makedonija'
The president of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Boris Trajkovski, has reportedly said that a proposal by an international think tank that his country be recognized as Republika Makedonija "contains a good basis for solving the absurd dispute" between Athens and Skopje. "If this proposal is accepted it will solve the last problem between the two countries," Skopje's state radio quoted Trajkovski as telling the Slav-Macedonian service of the Deutsche Welle radio station, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday.
The International Crisis Group has proposed that Skopje and Athens sign a bilateral treaty by which FYROM will be recognized by its own-language constitutional name of the Republika Makedonija, while allowing Greece to call its neighbor by another name (possibly Upper Macedonia), and strict protection against Skopje's exploitation of the name to Greece's commercial or legal disadvantage.
Heavy Traffic Due To New Snowfalls In The Country.
Skopje, December 27 (MIA) - The traffic is moving slowly Thursday morning due to the new snowfalls in some regions of the country.
The buses arrive with no significant delays at the inter-city bus station in Skopje. The railroad traffic is regular however the home and international trains arrive in Skopje with 30 to 60 minutes delay.
The departures and arrivals of the planes at the Skopje Airport and the Ohrid Airport is closed.
MACEDONIA: NLA FINDS BODIES OF TWO MACEDONIANS REPORTED AS MISSING.
THE BODIES OF TWO BROTHERS FROM TETOVOS NEARBY VILLAGE OF BELOVISTA ARE THE ONLY BODIES FOUND BY THE MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY (NLA). THE BODIES WILL UNDERGO POST-MORTEM EXAMINATION BY INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS, THE LOCAL ALBANIAN-LANGUAGE DAILY FAKTI QUOTES A FORMER NLA MEMBER, KNOWN AS LJULJI. HE WAS ASSIGNED BY THE FORMER NLAS GENERAL STAFF TO RUN AN INVESTIGATION AND COLLECT INFORMATION ON 12 MACEDONIANS REPORTED AS MISSING.
FAKTI DAILY DOES NOT DISCLOSE THE NAMES OF THE TWO BROTHERS. BASED ON UNOFFICIAL REPORTS, THE NAMES OF THE TWO VICTIMS ARE BOSKO AND SLAVKO DIMITRIEVSKI, FROM THE VILLAGE OF BELOVISTA. THEY ARE CLAIMED TO BE MISSING AS OF AUGUST 31ST. THEY HAD BEEN SEEN FOR THE LAST TIME AT A BUS STATION IN THEIR VILLAGE. THEY HAD BEEN WAITING FOR A BUS TO TETOVO.
I HAVE ALREADY INFORMED THE INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES AND THEY UNDERTOOK TO ASSIGN A TEAM OF INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS TO CARRY OUT A POST-MORTEM EXAMINATION ON THE BODIES, LJULJI TOLD FAKTI DAILY, ADDING THAT THE MACEDONIAN EXPERTS IN FORENSIC MEDICINE SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO CARRY OUT THE EXAMINATION BECAUSE THEY ARE UNDER STRONG PRESSURE BY THE COUNTERINTELLIGENCE AGENCY.
MAKFAX NEWS AGENCY QUOTES FAKTI DAILY AS SAYING THE CASE OF 12 MISSING MACEDONIANS WILL BE CLEARED UP VERY SOON AND MACEDONIAN PUBLIC WILL BE INFORMED ABOUT WHO STANDS BEHIND EXECUTION OF THE TWO BROTHERS FROM BELOVISTA, INCLUDING THE DISAPPEARANCE OF OTHER 10 PERSONS OF MACEDONIAN NATIONALITY. THE INTERNATIONAL FACTORS, THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS ORGANIZATION AND THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL ARE IN POSSESSION OF NEEDED INFORMATION, THEY KNOW THE LOCATION, LJULJI TOLD FAKTI DAILY.
LJULJI HAS ALREADY MET THE FAMILY MEMBERS OF THE MISSING MACEDONIANS. HE HELD OUT A PROMISE OF DOING HIS OUTMOST IN COLLECTING ANY PEACE OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE DESTINY OF THEIR NEXT OF KIN. HE ALSO PROMISED TO COLLECT CREDIBLE INFORMATION ABOUT WHO STANDS BEHIND THE MURDER.
LJULJI REJECTED THE ALLEGATIONS RAISED BY MACEDONIAN-LANGUAGE MEDIA CLAIMING THAT KIDNAPPING OF 12 MACEDONIANS IS NOTHING BUT A RETALIATION OF THE FORMER NLA MEMBERS. MACEDONIAN-LANGUAGE MEDIA CLAIM NLA WANTED TO REVENGE FOR THE EVENTS IN LJUBOTEN. LJULJI SAID LJUBOTEN TRAGEDY WAS A PRODUCT OF THE INTERIOR MINISTER LJUBE BOSKOVSKI AND MACEDONIAN JOURNALISTS.
Police Post Attacked In Kumanovo.
Kumanovo, December 27 (MIA) - Around 00.30 Thursday morning the police post between Romanovce and Cerkesko Selo in Kumanovo region was attacked, spokesman of the governmental Coordinate Crisis Management Body Zoran Tanevski announced.
It is assumed that one or several persons armed with automatic weapons fired on the post. The police responded to the attack, but the attackers ran away. No casualties were reported in the lines of the Macedonian police.
The mixed police forces did not enter in Nikustak and Ropaljce villages due to the snow condition of the roads. The patrols are carried out according to the schedules in Lopate and Vistica villages, while 24h police patrols are present in Opae village.
Balkans Christmas - All Year 'Round.
Gifts from the Imperial Santa.
December 27, 2001
In America, Christmas is the time for, among other things, exchanging presents. In the former Yugoslavia where many celebrate Christmas on January 7, and others not at all gifts are usually exchanged on New Year's Day. But thanks to the great gift of "humanitarian democracy," delivered by tens of thousands of Santas in NATO fatigues and their countless little helpers in politicians' suits, in this part of the Balkans gift-giving can now last for the entire year.
And since the spirit of giving is also the spirit of sharing, why not take a look at some of the more notable gifts bestowed upon some of the most blessed people of the Balkans by their enlightened benefactors and benevolent hegemons?
It was very nice of the Empire to remember one of its pet wards of the past decade. Sure, it was very nice of the United States to actively step into the war that made headlines for three years, then conjure an illusion of peace and send thousands of its troops to make it a reality. But that was years ago, under the previous Emperor. What has the United States done for the "Bosnians" lately?
Well, for one, its pet court finally came through and declared sentencing Serb general Radislav Krstic that genocide against Bosnian Muslims really took place. It is worth noting that the Hague Inquisition (a.k.a. ICTY) never actually proved the existence of a genocide; but because of what it is, and because of who pays for it, assertions are considered enough. It may not seem like much, but Alija Izetbegovic wartime Muslim leader is likely to disagree. The legitimacy of his regime and its wartime conduct rests solely on the thesis that they were protecting the Muslims from a Serb genocide.
Speaking of genocide, the story of one that happened some 60 years ago figures prominently into Croatia's gift this year. With tourist profits falling in the aftermath of Black September, and the current government tangled in a web of war crimes scandals that somehow never came to a conclusion, packages from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum represented a bright ray of sunshine.
With all its woes, Croatia could hardly afford to cope with the fact that its Founding Fathers (so to speak) were extremely good at the mass killing of Serbs and Jews during World War II, when they were enthusiastic allies of Nazi Germany. Because the US Government-funded Holocaust Museum seized the physical evidence from the biggest concentration camp, Jasenovac, from its Serb victims and delivered it to the Croatian government for safekeeping, Croatia will now have the freedom to cope with its history at a more convenient time, in a more convenient manner if ever.
Despite the fact that Kosovo Albanians were not granted their dearest wish this season otherwise, they would have led this alphabetical list as "Albania" they still got a few things from Santa's bag. One of them is a nice shiny new Assembly, with elections and a President and Constitution and all, so they can play State under the ever-watchful eye of the NATO governor, and with his ever-benevolent guidance. They are supposed to share this wondrous gift with the Serbs, of course, and some remaining Kosovo Serbs are quite thrilled at the prospect. Others would be much more appreciative if they could venture out of their ghettos without the fear of being killed.
Of course, one should not get too ambitious. Just last week, two Albanians suspected of blowing up a bus full of Serbs in February were released from jail. The court cited "lack of evidence" and dismissed the case. With the third suspect mysteriously vanishing from the supposedly impregnable US fortress-base Bondsteel this summer, and no attempts to track down the perpetrators and "smoke them out of their holes," it seems as if blowing up Serbs in Kosovo is neither terrorism, nor a crime punishable by law. How is that for coal in the stocking?
Now Macedonia's gift this year was simply precious. There is no other way of describing the Treaty of Ohrid, if one is to avoid being labeled a "hard-line militant nationalist warmonger." For a while it looked as if Macedonia would have to fight a full-scale war against the Albanian "liberation army" on vacation from pillaging in Kosovo.
Then, through the merciful intervention of Europe's noted peace activist Javier Solana and America's honest broker James Pardew, Macedonia was prevented from making the dreadful mistake of self-defense, which would have cost its taxpayers millions of dollars for weapons from non-NATO countries. Instead, the Macedonian government happily accepted preferential treatment for the Albanians, establishing ethnic quotas and enforcing bilingualism on the 75% of the population for the sake of the remaining 25%. Ever since then, things in Macedonia have been just wonderful with the exception of some evil nationalist hard-line warmongers, who simply hate peace.
Montenegro has not been forgotten in this flurry of gift-giving, either. It may seem to have had a bad year. Milo Djukanovic failed to obtain approval for secession in the polls this spring. Now the republic's inhabitants are experiencing power shortages, California-style, in the midst of a cruel winter. Maybe Djukanovic will tell the people only independence would bring them back light and warmth? Surely, as with everything else in the Balkans, the power shortage must be Serbia's fault.
On a brighter and warmer note, the money from the US treasury continued to flow into Djukanovic's pockets even as US diplomats ambiguously disagreed with his plans for secession.
For someone who has been on the "naughty" list for so many years, Serbia was simply showered with presents this time around receiving so many that its neighbors have grown jealous. One could start with the millions of dollars the Empire gave to the Serbian opposition to win the 2000 election, but that would technically be ineligible for this year.
Perhaps the greatest gift of the year, then, would be the liberation of Serbia from the presence of Slobodan Milosevic, the Constitution, its legal system and much of its dignity and all at once! Though the aid money that was promised for Milosevic's head never actually arrived prompting plaintive words from Prime Minister Djindjic there was still the $5 million bounty. Since he ordered both Milosevic's arrest and deportation, Djindjic obviously qualifies for the money. Interestingly enough, there is no record of what actually happened to the bounty.
There are other generous gifts, too numerous to mention: ICTY indictments, partially forgiven fabricated loans, generous restorations of Yugoslav property Serbia had owned to begin with, and so on.
Finally, just before Christmas, the European Court of Human Rights sent a gift to all lovers of human rights and liberties. Last week it ruled that NATO could not be judged for killing 16 Serbian TV workers in April 1999. Apparently, NATO did nothing wrong by bombing Serbia, since any action outside the defendants' territory (i.e. Serbia) is not in the Court's jurisdiction and is not bound by the European Human Rights Convention. Serbia, then, is in NATO's territory when it needs to be bombed, and is outside the territory when the butcher's bill comes due. For this enlightening clarification of humanitarian law, and its celebration of universal human rights, we should all give thanks.
Yes, it has been a wonderful year in the Balkans, filled with marvelous gifts coming straight from the heart. The Empire looks forward to blessing the benighted Peninsula with even more treasures in the years to come. Yet in its altruistic benevolence, it asks for nothing in return save absolute obedience and utter submission. Surely, this is a small price to pay for such bountiful rewards.