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Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski speaks at a press conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2001. Trajkovski said Wednesday he was prepared to consider seriously the extension of NATO's mission in his country. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
Images From The Forgotten World.
This house in the village of Leshok, was robbed few nights ago. Assumable, money is what the robbers were looking for. When money wasnt found, they took a new TV set, and the place was vandalized.
The signature of the robbers: UCK (KLA), Adem Jashari, KLA commander from Kosovo.
Vandalized living room in the house of Leshok. This house was not the only one. Many of them were robbed, and even more burned to the ground.
Commander LEKAs signature on the remains of this car in the village of Neprosteno. Leka, in one statement for the media said: We were bums and gamblers. We still are.
People from the village of Neprosteno, received help from UNCHR. The wood will help them push trough the rough and uncertain winter.
Village of Neprosteno, Tetovo area.
This people are not scared of the winter. But the nights, and the uncertain future is something that they have hard time dealing with. At night, gangs, robbers, members KLA, NLA, ANA, human rights fighters are kings in this promised land. A land were crime, drugs, weapons are legit things, legit ways of dealing with issues.
Thousands of ethnic Albanians watch as the statue of the national hero Gjergj Kastrioti-Skenderbeu is placed in the central square of Kosovo's capital Pristina as they celebrate Albanian national flag day Wednesday Nov. 28, 2001. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
Kardzhali Demands Outlet to the Aegean Sea. It is high time that Bulgaria has an outlet to the Aegean Sea and more particularly, on the Kavala port. Let your government resolve this problem which has been postponed for 25 years now, Kardzhali residents insisted during the yesterday's visit of Premier Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the town. He promised to raise the question during the forthcoming visit of Greek Premier Kostas Simitis to Bulgaria. (SB)
REGISTRATION OF HUMAN REMAINS, NEAR TREBOS.
Human remains found at location between villages of Trebos and Dzepciste have been systematically ordered on Wednesday.
Investigative Judge at the elementary Court in Tetovo, Aleksandra Zafirovska who leads the investigation, informed that Institution of Forensic medicine and Criminology registrated two skeletons.
At the moment, the registration process is being carried out.
Excavation started on November 21 on request of Public Prosecutors Office in Tetovo, for the allegedly committed crimes against civilians.
Exhumation of the bodies buried in a mass grave located between the villages Dzepciste and Trebos ended on Tuesday.
According to Zafirovska, the exhumation was completed and the hole was closed.
She said that the process of determining the identity of these persons was a long one and could last for 4-6 months.
Zaforivska did not specify when the opening of two other alleged mass graves would start.
MACEDONIAN SECURITY COUNCIL AT SESSION
Macedonian Security Council supported the plan on re entering of the security forces into the crises regions at Wednesdays meeting. The above plan is part of the crises management program of President Trajkovski.
According to the announcements of the Presidential Cabinet, Macedonian Security Council gave obligations to the Ministries of competence to proceed with the activities for promptly fulfillment of the above mentioned plan.
The Security Council of Macedonia firmly supported President Trajkovski plan to prolong the mandate of NATOs "Ember Fox" mission and the mandates of other relevant International organizations. The Council also welcomed the synchronized collaboration with the EU, NATO and OSCE Security organs.
Within the context of the actual political situation, the Security Council of Macedonia greeted the Draft law on the local self-government submitted to the Macedonian Parliament and its sooner adoption, which is in agreement with the democratic processes in the country.
The Council made a request to the Macedonian government to prepare a plan for the implement of lawful projects wish will present an implementation of the framework agreement and its annexes.
During the meeting, hope was expressed that the newly appointed ministers will act efficiently and in accordance with the governments policy to handle the stability situation in the country.
The Security Council also greeted the readiness of the International Community to hold the Donors Conference predicted with the Framework agreement, as the announcement states.
New Albanian Terrorist Attacks.
Tetovo, November 28 (MIA) - Over the night, the Albanian terrorists opened fire upon the police posts in the residential area of Zicara, as well as at the Vidoe Smilevski Bato Boulevard in two occasions, reported MIA's corespondent.
According to the police sources, in the first occasion, at about 1:45 a.m., a simultaneous fire was opened upon both police posts from several terrorists' strongholds. The security forces responded to these attacks and luckily there are no injured among the policemen.
The second attack took place at about 2:20 a.m., again upon these two posts. This time only the Zicara police unit responded to the attack.
Wednesday morning, some 10 Albanian flags were placed in the central area of Semsevo village, for which the Office of Interior in Tetovo was informed. In the same village, at the entrance of the elementary school Dame Gruev the school's sign-board was thrown down.
PRESIDENT TRAJKOVSKI'S ADDRESS AT A MEETING OF NORTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL.
With the signing of the Framework Agreement, including the broad amnesty, the law on local self-government, and the multiethnic police force, future violent actions will be treated as terrorism and addressed with full capacity, Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski said Wednesday in his address at a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels.
"I am pleased to underline that the crisis in Macedonia is almost over, thanks to the commitment of responsible political forces in the country and to the far-reaching engagement of the international community, especially the Euro-Atlantic institutions," Trajkovski said.
"During the last months, Macedonia had been severely challenged and we have had to master a crisis that was dangerous. Macedonia was placed in a very difficult situation when we were attacked by forces hostile to democracy and stability. Macedonia still maintains that those who took up arms to oppose our democratically elected government were nothing more than thugs and criminals, using terrorism and violence to achieve their goals, Trajkovski said.
By signing the Framework Agreement and implementing Constitutional reform, Macedonia has now reached an important milestone in the process that would lead the country to peace and stability, to a firmly anchored democracy, the rule of law and to the country's full integration with the European and Euro-Atlantic structures, Trajkovski said.
He underlined that a solution of the amnesty problem had been reached. Macedonian Justice Minister Ixhet Memeti submitted to the President a list of former members of the so-called NLA, who are in pre or post-trial detention.
"I am starting with the application of my decree of amnesty. As it is publicly known, we have reached a common understanding with the State authorities not to initiate any new or proceed with existing cases, which are connected to amnesty," the President said.
At its yesterday's session, the Government adopted a draft of the Law on local self-government, which would be put on the Parliament's agenda for adoption under urgent procedure, Trajkovski said.
"With the new form of the local self-government, we will establish a solid basis for further development of democracy and adjustment to the European political, economic and social standards. In this respect, I call on our friends in the international community to assist us in the implementation of the Annex B and C of the Framework Agreement, which enshrines the new responsibilities of the local authorities," he added.
"Now, a prioroty of the Macedonian authorities is to re-establish the rule of law and control through the whole country. The multiethnic police force is another pillar for further confidence building and internal stability of the country. The authorities will continue to implement the confidence building measures contained in their plan for a peaceful settlement of the refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes. NATO's support in the realization of this plan is crucial," Trajkovski said.
According to him, the process of stabilizing of Macedonia takes place at a time when the immediate neighboring geographic environment is determined by promising developments. So, this may the right moment to initiate a regional political process that will complement the NATO's role in providing peace and stability to the region.
"The aim of the regional process is further promotion of the regional cooperation as envisaged by the Bucharest Charter and the Skopje SEECP Summit Document. South and Southeastern Europe need and now have a new chance for durable stabilization. Enhancing cooperation in South and Southeastern Europe within a revitalized Stability Pact could help to stabilize the region as a whole and contribute to its European integration," Trajkovski said.
For Trajkovski the core principles of this integration should be: strengthening of democratic processes, non-use of force for political purposes, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders, the rule of law and economic prosperity. The process should be determined by the overriding principle of regional stability, based on intensified regional cooperation.
The Macedonian President considers that the region needs a comprehensive strategy for stability and peace - a strategy in which NATO, the EU and the countries concerned must bring their commitment and complementary capabilities. Consolidating US presence based on some military contingents remains vital. A withdrawal of US forces would have serious consequences for the credibility of NATO's deterrence in the region. The American presence in the region is indispensable for the stability-oriented development in this region and its integration in the Western structures.
"The tragic events of September 11 have shown the international terrorism stems first and foremost from the "Southern Arc of Crisis." The most dangerous potential for crisis, conflict and terrorism is concentrated in the strategic triangle among the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Near-and Middle East. Geo-strategically speaking, two conclusions are obvious: first - America, Europe and Russia are providing the core-coalition against international terrorism. Intensified political, strategic and military cooperation between NATO and Russia is therefore the imperative of today and tomorrow. Second: NATO is most likely going to shift its strategic focus and resources southward." Trajkovski said.
The foreseeable shift of the Alliance's strategic focus to the South and South East should also have an impact on the next NATO enlargement, Trajkovski said.
"NATO needs a land bridge to Turkey and the geographically related possible fronts in the Near and Mid East. Integration of countries in South and Southeastern Europe is therefore not only a political but also a strategic imperative for the countries concerned and the Alliance as a whole, Trajkovski said.
In that respect, he reminded that Macedonia presented its Annual Program for NATO membership on November 21, confirming its strong commitment to meet the necessary conditions for full NATO membership despite all problems Macedonia has been facing during the year.
"Macedonia, as an aspirant country for the NATO membership welcomes the Alliance's firm commitment to an open door policy and will continue to make every possible effort to remain a serious candidate. Macedonia has unique geo-strategic position which is of utmost importance for the security of the region; Macedonia has contributed greatly to NATO throughout the Kosovo crisis by its position as a main logical base, main route of transport and by acceptance of over 360,000 refugees, which has helped to secure peace and security in the region; By the implementation of the Framework Agreement, Macedonia will meet the political obligations toward securing NATO membership; Macedonia has proven to be one of the major leaders in the region through cooperation and through hosting and initiating numerous regional arrangements. It has taken active part in the EAPC, PfP, NATO's SEE initiative," Trajkovski said.
Underlying Macedonia's commitment to completing of the economic and defense reforms, Trajkovski said the country was looking forward to the promised Donor's Conference next month, which would help Macedonia to get back on track with its economic reforms.
"We also look to our friends and strategic partners to help us complete our defense reforms. In that respect, we call on the US Congress to include Macedonia in the recently passed Gerald Solomon Freedom Consolidation Act, in which financial support is promised to countries that wish to join NATO," Trajkovski said.
He added that Macedonia pursued a comprehensive "grand strategy", based on the relation of two key elements:
- the European link, in which the implementation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement of April 9, 2001 that would pave the way toward EU membership and provide the necessary framework for an enhanced political dialogue and a strong commitment for stable economic and political institutions.
- the transatlanic link, in the US-Macedonia relations and Macedonia's NATO perspective do play dominant role; as much as the transatlantic link is the very bedrock of EU-US relations, this link should be extended to the SEE region.
Macedonia commended the efforts, led by NATO Secretary General George Robertson in facilitating the overcoming of the crisis in close cooperation with EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, Trajkovski said, paying special tribute to Macedonia's friends from the US.
"Macedonia has a serious intention to ask for prolongation of the term of Amber Fox for an additional three months, related to a prolongation of the OSCE and EU monitoring missions. Also, we do not exclude an option to consider changes in the framework of the mandate of Amber Fox, if it becomes necessary," Trajkovski said.
He reiterated the Macedonia's strong support of the North Atlantic Council statements of September 11 and 12, 2001, which condemn the barbaric acts of terrorism against the US and its people and underline the urgent need of intensified fight against terrorism that all civilized nations must win. In this regard, Macedonia expressed its full solidarity and joined the international anti-terrorist coalition by undertaking concrete measures in contribution to the global efforts to curb terrorist actions.
"Now, it must be very clear that different approaches towards acts of terrorism undermine our united struggle. There are no large and small acts of terrorism, international and domestic, ones that are tolerated and others that are not. Now, we must defend, more vigorously than ever, our shared values of democracy, human rights and rule of law. We must not allow the manipulation of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. We must not allow the manipulation of social, economic, religious and political differences to be used as a justification for terrorism, " Trajkovski said.
Closing his address, Trajkovski said that continuos NATO support and facilitation would remain invaluable for the work of Macedonia and its interaction with the Alliance.
"The 'long decade of 1990's' to paraphrase an earlier one, has thought us that we can best enhance security and stability by acting together, and in coordination with NATO and the wider Euro-Atlantic community of democracies. Macedonia pays tribute to the men and women of all nations serving in NATO's mission in Macedonia, for their professionalism and dedication to the cause of peace and stability. On behalf of my citizens I express deep sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives or were injured in the course of NATO missions in Macedonia," Trajkovski said.
PRESIDENT TRAJKOVSKI IN A VISIT TO BRUSSELS.
Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski met late Wednesday with Javier Solana, the European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, and Nicole Fontaine, Chairperson of the European Parliament.
At a meeting with the EU High Representative, Trajkovski said Macedonia needed economic support for renewal of the country besides the expected financial means, expected from the Donors' Conference.
According to the President's cabinet, Trajkovski asked for Solana's personal engagement in returning Macedonia where it was before the armed conflict.
The Macedonian President underlined the necessity for urgent meeting of expert groups, which should start to work out on various aspects of the Stabilization and Association Agreement between Macedonia and EU, signed in April this year. He also insisted for the financial funds within the CARDS program to be put into effect as soon as possible.
Trajkovski paid tribute to Solana for his role in alleviation of the differences between Macedonia and Greece over the Macedonia's name.
Tonight, Trajkovski also met with Chairperson of the European Parliament Nicole Fonataine, who confirmed Solana's position on the EU full support of the Donors' Conference, which, according to the announcements, should take place before the end of this year.
Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski should continue to "unite" the different political forces in Macedonia and the implementation of the Plan for crisis management should be carried out under his auspices.
According to the sources from the President's Cabinet, that was the position of the ambassadors of NATO's 19 member-countries at Wednesday's meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels, where President Trajkovski delivered a speech, MIA reports.
The Council's members requested from the Macedonian ministers, who are authorized for the return of the security forces in the regions of crisis, to work in coordination with President Trajkovski.
MIA's sources report that the attendants positively welcomed Trajkovski's speech and according to their assessment Macedonia fulfilled its part of the obligations arising from Framework Agreement such as the adoption of the constitutional amendments and practical implementation of amnesty for the former members of the so-called NLA, which will begin next week.
President Trajkovski stressed in Brussels the necessity for fast and complete return of the security forces in the crisis regions in 45 to 50 days after the adoption of the General plan for entrance of the army and police.
The Macedonian Security Council will hold the session on Thursday where the General plan will be the only item on the agenda, and after its approval it is expected the return of the security forces in some of the villages to start next week.
After the meeting of the North Atlantic Council Trajkovski held talks with NATO Secretary General George Robertson.
At the press conference after the meeting, Trajkovski informed that Republic of Macedonia has serious intention to request prolongation of the mandate of NATO's mission "Amber Fox" for three months, what is related with the prolongation of OSCE and EU monitoring missions. The talks on the prolongation of the Alliance's mission will begin soon.
Trajkovski said that Macedonia expects to be considered as serious candidate for NATO membership, as the political conditions and the highest standards in the field of education and use of the minorities' languages have been already met with the adoption of Framework Agreement.
Asked about the position of the international community on the treatment of the provocateurs, Robertson said that those persons should be treated as someone who does not obey the law, and every country knows how to deal with the offenders.
Regarding the additional supply of the Macedonian Army in the last few months, President Trajkovski said that with the departure of the Yugoslav National Army the entire weaponry was taken out of the country, so Macedonia had no possibilty to defend its territory from the aggression. He also pointed out that Macedonia is obliged to have military equipment according to NATO standards, and every piece of equipment is supplied in agreement with NATO.
President Trajkovski explained that the equipment was necessary in order to defend the country from the eventual threats that pose risk to its security and cannot be considered as a threat to a certain ethnic group or for the region.
PRESIDENT TRAJKOVSKI MEETS EURO-COMMISSIONER CHRIS PATTEN.
President of the Republic of Macedonia Boris Trajkovski, who is in three-day visit to Brussels, met on Tuesday with Euro-Commissioner of Foreign Affairs Chris Patten.
The meeting was focused on the cooperation between Macedonia and the European Commission, implementation of the Association and Stabilization Agreement between Macedonia and the EU, and the forthcoming Donors' conference for the country.
Trajkovski and Patten agreed that the Donors' conference must be successful and should be attended by as many donors as possible, who would provide significant donations for Macedonia.
Reporting that the World Bank would join in the donors' conference, Euro-commissioner Patten said that therefore Macedonia ought to sign agreement with the IMF prior to the conference.
As Patten said, 26,5 million have been granted to Macedonia through the KARDS program. Macedonia had also received 42 million as regular assistance from the EC and 7 million through ECHO. In regard to the macroeconomic assistance, Patten said that besides the promised 50 million, Macedonia would receive additional 18 million.
President Trajkovski pointed out the need of development a precise calendar for implementation of the Association and Stabilization Agreement.
On Wednesday, President Trajkovski will address the North-Atlantic Council, where he will present Macedonia's efforts for implementation of the Framework Agreement, as well as Macedonia's activities for integration into NATO.
During his stay in Brussels, President Trajkovski will also meet with NATO Secretary General George Robertson and with EU High Representative of Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana. Trajkovski is also due to meet with Chairperson of the European Parliament Nicole Fountain and with several members of the European Parliament.
On Thursday, President Trajkovski is going to meet with Belgian King Albert II.
In regard to Macedonia's preparations for getting a membership in the World Trade Organization, Chief of President's Cabinet Zoran Jolevski met on Tuesday with Antonino Patini, person in charge of reception of new WTO members.
At the meeting, Patini expressed support to Macedonia's soon integration in the WTO. According to the announcements, representatives of Macedonia and of the WTO will take place next week in Geneva. The meeting will be focused on the adjustment of Macedonia's legislation to the WTO standards, as well as to the customs and trade liberalization processes.
STATEMENT BY GOVERNMENTAL SPOKESMAN GJORGJI TRENDAFILOV.
"The Macedonian Government with great concern follows the information and the intentions for possible union of NATO missions on the Balkan i.e. the Missions in Bosna, Kosovo and 'Amber Fox' mission in Macedonia," spokesman of the Macedonian Government Gjorgji Trendafilov stated Wednesday for MIA.
The idea on eventual union of the Alliance's missions, which arose on the annual session of the chiefs of staffs of NATO Armies, is in the context of some kind of "regional approach" following the course of the European Union as the "countries in the region are facing the same problems." "This is very concerning news to us, as the countries do not face identical problems, which can be solved following a pattern of similar measures," Trendafilov stressed, adding once again that the international community wants to minimize the fact that Macedonia was attacked by an international protectorate.
In that respect he mentions the so-called first congress of the Albanian world league, which was held in Prizren and where the "fascist" declaration for "national union" of the Albanians on the Balkan, even by use of force, was promoted. According to the declaration "the ethnic Albanian territories" from Macedonia, Montenegro, Greek area of Cemeria, Kosovo and the so-called East Kosovo will unite.
The efforts of the international community to establish lasting peace in the region result in contradictory developments. Bodo Hombach hailed the Stability Pact Regional Implementation Plan on Combating the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons at the semi-annual meeting of the Working Table on Security. In the same time in Prizren, in front of the eyes of the international representatives, according to Trendafilov "frightening and concerning, especially for Macedonia, meeting of extremist and fascist elements of the Albanians from the Balkan and the diaspora was held."
In the mean time, the world agencies report that on the "congress" in Prizren, besides commander of Kosovo protection corps Agim Cheku and leader of the Alliance for Kosovo's future Ramus Haradinay also representatives from the para University from Mala Recica and "delegation" from the officially disbanded terrorist organization NLA participated.
PRESS CONFERENCE WITH CHAIRMAN OF OSCE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY.
The international community believes that the stability, security and maintenance of Macedonia's territorial integrity are important for Europe as whole, Chairman of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Andrea Severin said at the press conference held in Skopje on Wednesday.
Severin said that "the international community wants civic, and not ethnic countries, not only in this region but everywhere in Europe."
He underlined that the need of "patience, transparency and vision" was emphasized at the meetings he realized with the Macedonian leadership.
Referring to the scheduling of early parliamentary elections in Macedonia, Severin underlined that "they need to be scheduled as soon as possible, in order the Government and the political parliamentary parties to confirm their democratic legitimacy."
"However, these elections should be well-prepared and should be executed at the moment when that is possible considering the national and regional conditions," he added.
Mr. Severin said that patience is also needed in regard to the re-entry of the Macedonian security forces in the regions of crisis.
"The transparency means that the Government and the political parties ought to do their best so every citizens could understand the political process that is going on in the country," Severin said, adding that no one in Macedonia should have unrealistic positions or hopes.
"The vision refers to what we need to do in the future. We need to rebuild the trust among the ethnic communities, we need to overcome the hatred and the extremism should be condemned, regardless the side it comes from. We cannot do that without vision."
Severin said that the international community must show solidarity to Macedonia and to schedule donors' conference, where the needed measures for economic and social development of the country would be adopted.
"Without economic development and without surpassing of the social differences we cannot speak about true security in this country," the OSCE parliamentary assembly chairman said.
Asked about yesterday's first congress of the Albanian world league held in Prizren, Severin said he could not comment that meeting because he had no information about the decisions passed there.
"I hope that all participants at that meeting have agreed to remain loyal to their countries as they are loyal to their culture," he said.
Regarding the information that at this meeting, the participants have stood for "national unification" of the Albanians in the Balkans, if necessary by use of force, Severin quoted Albanian Prime Minister Ilir Meta, who said that fate of the idea for Great Albania would be the same with the idea for Great Serbia of the former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.
Severin refused to comment the information for possible unification of the NATO missions in the Balkans, saying that those were still just rumors and no concrete decision has been passed yet.
Craig Ratcliff's Interview For Reality Macedonia.
INTERVIEW RealityMacedonia: Craig Ratcliff
Reality: Craig Ratcliff-Major in the US army, former deputy spokesman for SFOR in Bosnia and now spokesman for NATO in Skopje. What is your mission here?
Our mission is probably several different things. The primary mission now is centered around Task Force Fox. Of course, the protection and security for the European monitors…Our long term mission for NATO is incorporating the Ohrid peace agreement and implementation of those peace accords for long-term lasting peace in Macedonia.
Reality: There is Amnesty, and now the police should be returning to the crisis regions. NATO and the international organizations are suggesting a policy called "Step By Step," but nobody has asked so far how many steps there are.
The problem is that the OSCE, of course, is a lead agency for program in the matrix. The best way to answer that of course, is by the ‘Step By Step’ process.
‘Step By Step’ is really taking literally, what we would call, taking baby steps in the sense you take one action, reconcile the differences in the process when everyone in the community, the government, the police, are satisfied with the progress made. Then take the next step. That’s the best way to explain the step by step process. It’s a slow implementation of the return of the police forces to the areas.
We’re taught about transparency in action, legitimacy in action among the police and as well as the villagers. Those people in the villages are of course are probably less than enthusiastic about the police returning to these territories.
Reality: When do you estimate that these steps will finish?
We hope that the process is easier, but clarification is probably in order; that the amnesty in itself is a agreed upon principle. The president sent a letter to NATO and to the international community outlining amnesty for those that were involved in the conflict but amnesty has not been implemented in its fullest yet.
So amnesty in concept is there; we think that amnesty is a valid principle but we’re still working with the government and the authorities to fully implement the amnesty so we can go on with the Pilot Village Program. There are 84 villages that were under the initial plan. You’re question was, how long will it take…it was projected at 8 weeks, and probably 6- 8 weeks if everything went according to plan. I have been here 7 weeks and they started the pilot program on my first or second week here so we are already 6 weeks into it and we‘re still only going to the first 5 villages, which there has not been any major progress in implementing the full police procedure in these villages.
So the PVP in itself could take a very long time depending on the temperament, tension, on both sides. It could be middle winter, or next spring.
Reality: The former NLA members, who were amnestied, now think that they can do crimes and not be arrested by the police. If the police try to arrest them for some crimes committed, do you anticipate troubles, such as the case with the arrest of 7 ex-members of the NLA in Tetovo when around 100 civilians were kidnapped?
Mr. Robinson was here two weeks ago or three weeks ago and stated very clearly about any crime committed after the 26th of Sep. There’s an agreement reached with the government and the Ministry of Interior that they would not arrest or charge former members of the former so called NLA with crimes that were directly related to the conflict.
But at the press conferences from everybody from NATO have all stated very clearly that if a criminal act is committed today that those individuals would be arrested under the laws of the sovereign nation.
The police force has the right to arrest, detain, and investigate any criminal act in the country.
Reality: Would you suggest to the police not to arrest the former NLA members?
Well that would be interfering. NATO’s position here is that we are in the position to advise… we are in the position to, and have on occasion, to advise or ask the government to reconsider or rethink actions from the past however to ask the police to not to arrest someone or tell them not to would be interfering with the internal workings of the government and police. They have the right to do that.
In any democratic society, we are encouraged that all individuals to comply with the law and encourage the police to apply equally the law to all citizens.
Reality: People who are returning to the crisis regions want Task Force Fox to patrol these regions at night, because the police cannot protect them. Would you consider such activity?
We have done in the past and currently are doing more patrolling in the evening. European monitors are doing more monitoring missions at night. We know this. We’re not blind to this.
We notice a pattern, of shootings and activities, and it had been discussed some time ago and we have started patrolling and conducting more activities at night. No amount of patrol by the police or Fox will be in itself, halt anyone in any criminal activity of any sort. But we recognize a need for that and we’ve increased our activities and patrols at night.
Reality: What if President Trajkovski, who is today in Brussels, asks NATO for an extention of the TFF mandate. Are you ready to do this task? Does that mean more NATO soldiers in Macedonia?
There has been discussion about expanding TFF mandate in actually conducting security, patrolling the border, and those sorts of things.
There’s been rumors and speculations both externally, to Fox, and KFOR rear. But internally we have also discussed the possibilities of that, not the probability but the possibility.
Those are all discussions directly related to expanding the mandate and that would be up to the government, to ask for an expansion of a mandate to the international community and NATO.
TFF in itself does not have a mandate, there’s only about a 1000 members at Fox. Specifically designed for the security, protection, monitor, or extraction. Obviously we can do a little more flexibility with that number of people.
If NATO, and all those agencies, if the President is up there and requesting an extension and/or expansion then that takes it to a different level. And they will have to discuss the willingness and of course how much we expand it and reasons why and that would lead into a whole new, truth-meaning concept. You can not control the border with a thousand soldiers.
General Atanassov Resigned.
Many parties and many people are against him and for this reason he is detrimental to the institution, said colonel Boiko Borissov.
General Atanas Atanassov, director of National 'Security' Service, gave in his resignation. Yesterday afternoon general Atanassov visited Peter Stoyanov in the Presidency and submitted his resignation, the press secretary of the president reported. The chief of NSS will announce the motives for his resignation today. After 4.00 p.m. general Atanassov switched off his mobile telephone. I approve the resignation of general Atanassov, colonel Borissov told 'Standart'. Many parties and many people are against him and for this reason he is detrimental to the institution. The government has already changed and there should be changes in the special services too. General Atanassov may be appointed in the Interio Ministry', the chief secretary explained.
'Grey Wolf' to be Extradited to Turkey.
The member of the terrorist organization 'Grey Wolves' captured here will be extradited from Bulgaria in a few days, 'Standart' learnt. A 45-year-old Jelal C., citizen of Turkey, was arrested on November 22 by the National Directorate for Organized Crime Combat (NDOCC). He was declared on national retrieval in Turkey 4 years ago for international drug trafficking. Jelal failed to activate smuggling channels for excise goods which he organized in Bulgaria.
Socially Underprivileged Ask the Guest To Pay Them Their Allowances for 6 Months.
Simeon entered a mosque in filigree wool slippers. The premier left from Kardzhali with a Koran and a map of Great Bulgaria.
Premier Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha put on special filigree wool slippers for dignitaries to enter the mosque in Kardzhali. He paid a visit to the town for the first time yesterday, toured the churches and met with hundreds of residents. Pensioner Radoslav Neikov presented him with a wrought copper portrait of his father with the words 'You gave up glory and became a servant of the people'. The visit of the premier to the central church 'Saint George' wasn't envisaged in the program. In front of the altar father Peter gave him a map 'Great Bulgaria' with the words: 'We haven't forgotten about it'. Simeon was also shown around the Art Gallery in which there is a portrait of his grandfather - Prince Ferdinand, painted by Mrkvicka. Later in the day Simeon and the party accompanying him walked along the shopping street between a double row of applauses. At the entrance of the mosque the mufty gave him a Koran and documents on the claims to the Museum of History. For his part the guest presented him with coffee and tea sets. In the yard of the Museum of History Simeon planted a California redwood tree and finally dropped in the restored church 'Saint John the Baptist'.
I Do Not Want Shopska Salad to Make Bulgaria's Image.
Simeon Saxe Coburg-Gotha
I do not want the sun, the sea and the Shopska salad to be the image of Bulgaria in the eyes of foreigners. We are a civilized country with a rich, centuries-old past, much more cultured than we ourselves see it at times. The reason is our national nihilism, as I usually put it. We are prone to negativism and believe that other countries are richer or more intelligent than we are. To me, the Bulgarian people is an outstanding people. I may assert it now, after I became the premier, and in this capacity have to overcome numerous obstacles every day. The point is that sometimes we are lacking willingness to work together as one team not as a large number of prima donnas working alone for their own benefit.
Representatives of the Minorities To Be Employed in the Special Services.
Premier Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha will back up the participation of representatives of the ethnic minorities in the power. In his view, it is quite normal for them to be appointed to diplomatic posts and in the special services. It isn't only a commitment to our coalition partners from the MFR, but it also complies with the European requirements, said the premier. He qualified Mehmed Dikme as one of the most energetic and industrious ministers in his cabinet.
France's Defense Minister to Visit Bulgaria for a First Time.
France's Defence Minister Alain Richard arrives today on a one-day official visit on the invitation of Nikolay Svinarov, employees from the MoD said. It is the first visit of a French defence minister to Bulgaria ever. The two are to discuss major aspects of the bilateral cooperation in the field of security and defence. Bulgaria will also seek assistance of France to join the EU and NATO. Besides, meetings with the premier, foreign minister and the chairman of the Foreign Policy Parliamentary Committee are envisaged in his schedule.
Romania Outstrips BG in Planning Danube-Bridge 2.
The Romanians are ahead of us in preparation of Danube-bridge 2 construction, Dr. Ivan Tsenov, mayor of Vidin, said yesterday. This transpired after the sitting of the joint committee in charge of the construction of the new link over the Danube River, held several days ago. In Bulgaria appropriation of land, where the international railway station is to be built, is delayed. The problem was already resolved in Kalafat. The more favourable for Bulgaria decision - the bridge to have 4 lanes and two railways - was approved at the sitting. The cost of the project is 107 million euro. The contractors' tenders will be held under the rules of ISPA program.
The Nuclear Power Plants of Bulgaria and Armenia are the most dangerous in the world.
According to a survey carried out by the Austrian Institute for Applied Ecological Researches, the most dangerous Nuclear Power Plants in the world are those in Bulgaria and Armenia, with the Armenian Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant heading the list and followed by Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant. The list of the risky Nuclear Power Plants also includes seven Nuclear Power Plants in Russia, while according to the comparative survey about the Nuclear Power Plant in Western and Eastern Europe, the most dangerous plants in the Western Europe are located in England.
Bulgarians living abroad offered their help for the implementation of the governmental economic program.
Young Bulgarians living and working abroad offered their help to the government to implement its economic program, the conferential connection between them, the Vice-Premier and Minister of Economy Nikolay Vasilev, and the Vice-Premiers Lyubka Kachakova and Sofia Kasidova revealed. As the Ministry of Economy Information and Public Relations Department reported, they had already prepared concrete ideas that they would like to share with Cabinet Ministers. Bulgarian representatives of WallStreet Club, the London City Club, and representatives of New BG Generation took part in the conference. They advised the members of the governmental economic team to protect the interests of the state by installing their representatives in Managers Boards of state-owned companies. Minister Nikolay Vasilev assured the Bulgarians working abroad that Bulgaria and Russia would activite their economic relations, answering in this way the question whether the trade exchange between the two countries would increase. Answering the question whether Bulgarian companies were represented enough at presentations abroad, Deputy Minister of Economy Lyubka Kachakova said that Bulgarian businessmen would need to draw on the experience of Bulgarians living abroad. Deputy Minister of Economy Kasidova invited the participants and their Bulgarian colleagues living abroad to participate in the preparation of the new foreign investments bill with their ideas.
Minister of Finance would allocate more money for sport.
According to the Budget 2002 bill, Bulgarian sport would have more money at its disposal in the next year. The amount would be considerable higher than stipulated in the Budget 2002 bill, the discussion of the bill in its part about sport by Finance Minister Milen Velchev and the Directors of the State Youth and Sport Agency revealed. Greater money for sport could also come in case the Parliament adopts the proposal for amendments in some current laws towards stimulating donations and sponsorship for sport. Because of achieved agreements, sportsmen would enjoy better financial conditions during their preparation for the next Olympics and for international contests during 2002.
YUGOSLAVIA - BULGARIA - MILITARY.
Belgrade, November 28 (BTA)- Chief of the Bulgarian General Staff General Miho Mihov and his Yugoslav counterpart Nebojsa Pavkovic conferred on Wednesday in Nis about the situation in the region and on issues of mutual interest.
The two also talked about the participation of the Bulgarian Army in the Partnership for Peace initiative and the pending inclusion of the Yugoslav armed forces in the programme, the efforts of the two countries in combatting international terrorism, the military and technical parameters of the plan for bilateral cooperation whose groundwork was laid two weeks ago by the two countries defence ministers, and the role of civilian control over the armed forces, says a press release of the Bulgarian Defence Ministry.
General Mihov informed his hosts about the progress of the reform in the Bulgarian Army and was familiarized with the serious programme for the reform of the Yugoslav armed forces, the press release says.
Attending the meeting were also the commanders of all types of armed forces and the Yugoslav General Staff. General Mihov assessed the talks as very successful.
USA Today: Bin Laden's camps teach curriculum of carnage.
By Jack Kelley, USA TODAY
JALALABAD, Afghanistan Plastic explosives, timing devices and sketches of the best places to hide a bomb on an airplane filled the files of Osama bin Laden's terrorist training camps near here. Gas masks, cyanide and recipes for biological agents lined the shelves of his chemical weapons laboratory. Kalashnikov rifles, silhouetted targets and lesson plans teaching children to shoot at their victims' faces lay among the toys and near the swing set at the elementary school bin Laden established.
The terrorist camps around this eastern Afghan city were apparently abandoned sometime in the past few weeks as bin Laden's al-Qa'eda terrorist network fled U.S. bomb attacks and Northern Alliance fighters. The camps offer clear evidence of the systematic way bin Laden and his lieutenants have been pursuing their efforts to wage jihad, or holy war, against the United States.
Last week, USA TODAY, with the permission of Jalalabad's new governor, alliance ally Haji Abdul Qadir, visited two of bin Laden's former camps. One, in the village of Farm Hadda, is about 12 miles south of the city. The other, near Darunta, is about 15 miles west.
Both are guarded by alliance troops sent by Qadir. Neither has yet been searched by U.S. troops or intelligence agents because, U.S. officials say, the area is still considered too dangerous.
U.S. and alliance officials say bin Laden and up to 1,500 of his fighters, as well as some Taliban troops, may still be hiding in the hundreds of caves south of Jalalabad. For now, it is assumed that only heavily armed U.S. commandos involved in the hunt for bin Laden are in the region but U.S. officials won't comment on the record about such operations.
In Washington, Marine Gen. Tommy Franks, commander of U.S. operations in Afghanistan, says U.S. forces have begun "the business of checking those sites as they fall under our control." Once U.S. forces get to the camps, officials say, some of the information gathered could provide a "windfall" of intelligence.
USA TODAY was escorted to the sites by Jalalabad security officials who insisted that it was not necessary to wear a gas mask or protective clothing. Nothing threatening happened the day of the visits, but ominous lesson plans for war were everywhere, out for display as if the camps were some sort of museum.
The evidence shows that recruits at bin Laden's two main camps, at least those visited by USA TODAY, were trained in conventional, biological and even nuclear warfare, according to class manuals. They came from at least 21 countries, including Bosnia, Egypt, France, Great Britain, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other U.S. allies, enrollment records show.
Nearly all the students were told to return to their countries after training and "await orders" to carry out attacks against the United States, class notes reveal.
"These materials provide circumstantial evidence that corroborates the suspicion that Osama bin Laden had been seriously pursuing weapons of mass destruction," says military analyst Rifaat Hussein of Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan. "They give us a clue as to what this guy was up to. You're dealing with an enemy that has to be taken seriously."
Many of the buildings and barracks at the Darunta camp, a former Soviet military base, were destroyed by U.S. airstrikes Oct. 28. But the most important building at the camp, which contains the one-room laboratory lit by a single light bulb, was untouched. U.S. officials, who were unable to explain why it was not hit, say it has now been added it to their target list.
A drawer in the lab contained three manuals. One appears to be an 18-chapter, 179-page training book written by bin Laden operatives. It identifies "buildings, bridges, embassies, schools, (and) amusement parks" as targets for destruction in the West. Another chapter discusses the destruction that can be wreaked by "atomic explosions." Hand-drawn sketches of bombs fill the margins of those pages.
The two other manuals, both printed in the USA, are titled Middle Eastern Terrorist-Bomb Designs and Advanced Techniques for Making Explosives and Time-Delay Bombs. There were also 84 pages of bomb-building techniques involving dynamite and C3 and C4 plastic explosives that appear to have been downloaded from the Internet.
In another drawer were several fake visa and immigration stamps, one purporting to be from the Pakistani Embassy in Rome and another from the Tajikistan Consulate in Islamabad, Pakistan. There was also a photocopy of a money transfer requesting that a London branch of Pakistan's Habib Bank AG Zurich credit the account of an individual identified as Moazzam Begg in Karachi for an unspecified sum of money. U.S. and Pakistani officials say they do not know who Begg is but will try to find him.
On one shelf of the laboratory was a long metal box lined with wood shavings. It held 18 bottles of liquids with labels identifying them as lead acetate, nitric acid, carbolic acid and glycerin, all of which are highly toxic. On another shelf were several plastic containers, including one labeled cyanide. A dozen gas masks lay on the floor.
All the chemicals had labels reading "Made in China." The equipment in the lab, ranging from scales to heaters, was from the United Arab Emirates. A packet of earplugs, apparently purchased in Britain, still had a price tag reading 2.51 British pounds.
Perhaps most telling about the minds of those who trained here is a document found at the camp. "I am interested in suicide operations," wrote Damir Bajrami, a 24-year-old ethnic Albanian from Kosovo, on his entry application in April 2001. "I have Kosovo Liberation Army combat experience against Serb and American forces. I need no further training. I recommend (suicide) operations against (amusement) parks like Disney."