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FILE -- German soldiers watch a practice session in preparation for peacekeeping mission in Macedonia during a media presentation at a military training area in Munster, northern Germany, on June 9, 1999. The German chancellor pledged up to 3,900 German troops for the U.S. war on terrorism Tuesday Nov. 6, 2001, pushing the nation toward its most far-reaching participation in military action since World War II. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
Bulgaria's Galabin Boevski lifts to win the gold medal in the men's 69kg category at the World Weightlifting Championship in Antalya, Turkey, November 6, 2001. Boevksi won two gold medals, lifting 190kg in clean and jerk and 340 kg total. REUTERS/Fatih Saribas
A man plays a pipe (L) next to Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov (R) as he visits the town of Simitly in this October 24, 2001 file photo. Bulgaria's President Petar Stoyanov, running for re-election on November 11, finds himself in a paradoxical situation. His main problem? He has support from the two main political forces in the country but that appears to be damaging his chances of the victory he wants -- a sweeping win, preferably in the first round. If less than 50 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots on November 11, the election would be ruled invalid and run again. To win in the first round, a candidate needs 50 percent plus one vote. REUTERS/Oleg Popov FOR FEATURE STORY BULGARI PRESIDENT
A policeman will be attached to every team to monitor the behavior of the footballers, stressed the Police chief General Vassil Vassilev during the meeting of the IM Chief Secretary, Colonel Boiko Borrisov (right) with football bosses. We shall bring the war at Bulgarian stadiums to an end only by stringent measures, Borissov pointed out explicitly. In the meantime, the Association of private security guards insisted on monitoring the football matches to help alleviate the police. PHOTO Nelly Nikolova
Rousse (Northeastern Bulgaria), November 6 (BTA) -Leaders of the unions of commissioned and noncommissioned reserve officers of Bulgaria and Yugoslavia will meet on November 7 in Sofia. The Yugoslav delegation will be led by a 106-year old Serb veteran who took part in the wars between Serbia and Bulgaria as one of the purposes of the visit is to offer an apology to the Bulgarian public and army for the fratricidal wars waged between the two countries at the end of the 19th century and the middle of the 20th century, according to Krassimir Enimanev, Deputy Chairman of the Bulgarian Union of Commissioned and Noncommissioned Reserve Officers.
During the visit the Bulgarian and the Serb reserve officers are expected to sign an agreement for the maintenance of the military cemeteries in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. This is the first visit in its kind in Bulgarian-Serb history and is the result of preliminary organization at diplomatic level. A similar initiative is being planned with unions of the military of Hungary and Austria.
Our 'friends' in the Balkans.
While part of the U.S. military is bombing and strafing caves in Afghanistan, determined to root out Osama bin Laden's terror network, in the Balkans, another part of the U.S. military is allied with the Kosovo Liberation Army which maintains close connections with the al-Qaida network.
War and politics make strange bedfellows.
Long before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., the KLA has been subverting and destabilizing the nation of Macedonia through a campaign of terror attacks.
You might think U.S. and NATO troops in the area would take a dim view of such activities, given they are supposed to be there on a "peace-keeping" mission.
But that is not the case, according to Yugoslavian and Macedonian sources. NATO has turned a blind eye toward atrocities committed by the KLA.
As recently as 1998, the U.S. State Department recognized the KLA as a terrorist organization. But, during the Clinton administration, it became politically expedient, for whatever reason, for the U.S. and NATO to ally themselves with the KLA.
The KLA's connections to bin Laden were well-known at the time. Yossef Bodansky, author of "Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America," documented in his 1999 book and earlier works that the Balkans served as a major staging area for al-Qaida.
Yet, at the time, few in Congress from either party raised many objections to Clinton's policies and alliances in the Balkans.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for instance, was quoted as saying: "I don't think we have to do a background check [on the KLA] any more than we did on the Contras [of Nicaragua]."
In other words, why make moral distinctions between people? The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Yet, the precise reason the U.S. had any enemies in the Balkans has never been made clear.
By the way, our "other friends," in Muslim-dominated Bosnia, issued a special passport to bin Laden in 1993, so he could travel freely in the area and help establish his base of operations.
But why is all this history important now?
Because nothing has changed.
The KLA is still playing patty-cake with bin Laden's network. And the U.S. and NATO forces are protecting them.
This despite the fact that bin Laden has been planning terror attacks against U.S. and NATO targets in the Balkans just as surely as the KLA is undermining the stability of the region.
Bodansky writes in his most recent book that Clinton was so concerned about the possibility of terrorist attacks on U.S. troops in the Balkans troops that are still there, I might add that he sent a special CIA emissary to meet with bin Laden's top lieutenant and strike a deal.
What was the deal?
It was OK with Clinton if bin Laden attacked and overthrew Hosni Mubarak's regime in Egypt as long as no terrorist assaults were directed against American interests in the Balkans.
Now, get this: According to a report last week in the Halifax Herald the key to unraveling the bin Laden network may not be in Afghanistan at all but in the Balkans. In July and August, just before the terror attack on the U.S., Albanian guerrillas tied to bin Laden gained control over 30 percent of Macedonia.
The Macedonian military said the guerrillas include veterans of Bosnia, Kosovo and Chechnya. During a major guerrilla offensive, the Macedonians were able to contain the uprising with helicopter gunships acquired from Ukraine. But shortly after that, the helicopters came under attack from U.S.-made Stinger missiles.
Guess where those weapons came from? You got it. Afghanistan.
Let's not forget that one of the Sept. 11 hijackers had been active in both the Kosovo and Macedonia military campaigns.
"We are presently concentrating on assembling verifiable proof which will assist the CIA in disassembling Osama bin Laden's terrorist network," the deputy director of the Macedonian intelligence service was quoted as saying.
But, listen to this from the Halifax Herald report: "According to Macedonian intelligence operatives, the biggest obstacle to their investigative efforts is political pressure from NATO including direct interference from the United States."
It seems there may still be a political campaign under way to cover up the mistakes of the past even at the expense of endangering our own forces on the ground in the Balkans and even at the expense of permitting bin Laden to achieve his goals there.
PRESIDENT TRAJKOVSKI AT THE CONFERENCE IN WARSAW.
Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski Tuesday will attend the Conference of Chiefs of States and Governments from Central, Eastern and Southeastern European countries focused on the world combat against the terrorism which will take place in Warsaw, Poland.
As MIA finds out from the sources of the President's cabinet, Macedonian President will deliver an address where he is expected to stressed that Macedonia wants to be a part of the large coalition against the terrorists after the terrorist attacks in the U.S.A.
President Trajkovski in his address will emphasize that Macedonia has 'first hand' experience with the terrorism and will urge for creation of the single definition for the terrorism and unified list of the terrorist organisations including those that operate in SEE.
Macedonian President will request creation of system for fast exchange of information regarding the possible terrorists threats and will suggest formation of European or regional centre for anti terrorism and will request consolidation and enlargement of the Euro-Atlantic security.
At the conference, which is convoked under the initiative of the Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, the enhancement of the control on people, information and money will be discussed aimed at prevention from abuse of the region for break through of the terrorists in Western Europe and the U.S.A.
Representatives of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania and Yugoslavia are to participate at the conference. The Secretary of the Russian Security Council Vladimir Rushaylo, U.S. State Department counter-terrorism co-ordinator Frank Taylor as well as representative of Turkey, Belarus, the EU, the NATO and the OSCE will attend the conference in a role of observers.
U.S. President George Bush will deliver short address through satellite transmission.
A plan for regional cooperation in the combat against the terrorism is expected to the adopted at the summit.
MACEDONIAN PARLIAMENT TO CONTINUE THE 86TH SESSION TUESDAY.
Macedonian Parliament Tuesday will continue the 86th session focused on definition and adoption of the draft-amendments of the constitution of the Republic of Macedonia
Late Monday, the deputies ended the debate on the draft-amendments, which refers to the preamble, after 11 hours of discussion.
On Tuesday's agenda is the adoption of the amendments of the constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, reviewing of draft law on emblem of the Republic of Macedonia and discussing the proposal for dismissal of the deputy Hisni Sakiri, who has been the member of the so-called NLA.
Macedonian Parliament Speaker Andov is to schedule the 87th Assembly session with 42 topics on the agenda for Wednesday, mainly from the field of economy. That was requested by the Macedonian Prime Minister, Ljubcho Georgievski, who informed Andov in written that the economic situation and the obligations of the Government demanded, such a session to be held.
As Andov pointed out, the continuation of the 87th session and eventually the continuation of the 86th session would be on the agenda November 9.
According to Andov, if everything goes as scheduled, the amendments are to be officially.
STATEMENTS OF SOME MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT.
The discussion in the parliament on the fourth amendment that refers to the Preamble of the Constitution continued during this afternoon's continuation of the 86th Parliament session.
Rizvan Suleymani from the Party for Democratic Prosperity believes that the Framework Agreement is a right solution and visa for Europe.
Ljupco Anusev from the Democratic Alternative said that the goal of the discussions on the Preamble was not only the wording 'Macedonian nation' to remain in the Constitution, but also Macedonia not to be defined as country of two nations.
Fadil Bayrami from the National Democratic Party said that the Framework Agreement was a result of generosity of the Albanians and their constant readiness for compromise. "Our position is clear: Macedonia is country of the Macedonian people, the Albanian people, and all other ethnic groups that live here," he said. He called the Albanians to support the amendments because in that manner "the century-long desire for equality of the Macedonian and the Albanian people shall be realized."
Naser Ziberi from the PDP said that the draft-text of the Preamble divided the citizens on newcomers and natives. In his opinion, the therm "part of the Albanian nation" means minority.
Vlado Popovski, Representative of the submitter of the amendments, said that the Constitution was not catalyst of the crisis. "The current Preamble starts with 'the Citizens of the Republic of Macedonia', which is sufficient guarantee for the civic character of the country," he said.
Vangel Simev from VMRO-True Macedonian Reform Option thinks that the terrorists would not be pleased with these changes, because "their ultimate goal is to destroy Macedonia and to create Great Albania." For him, the Framework Agreement is invalid, because it has been written in English and was reached when part of the country was occupied.
The discussion on the amendment for the Preamble continues.
PM Paid Visit to Stoyanov in Secret.
Premier Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and President Petar Stoyanov met in confidence yesterday in the early afternoon. The talks were held in the building of the Presidency at 2, 'Dondukov' Blvd. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha rode the short distance to the headquarters of the Presidency in his office car. The meeting of Bulgaria's top politicians lasted for more than an hour. The press offices of both administrations denied any information about the talks.
Yovchev Declared N 1.
Bulgaria ranks 3rd in the medals' standing.
Yordan Yovchev was pronounced N 1 Gymnast of the already ended 35th World Gymnastics Championship in Gent (Belgium). The Bulgarian won the greatest number of medals in the men's competition - 3, becoming champion at the standing exercises and the loops, and ranking 3rd in the individual championship. 22-year-old Svetlana Korkina (Russia) became N 1 within the ladies. The marvelous presentation of Yovchev brought Bulgaria on the 3rd position at the medals' ranking. Only Romania and Russia are ahead of our team.
Bulgarian Sailor Disappeared from the Board of the 'Plana' Ship.
33-year-old Valery Gerasimov was a cook on the ship.
A sailor disappeared from the board of the Bulgarian ship 'Plana' on Sunday night. 33-year old Valery Gerasimov was chef on the ship. His absence was discovered yesterday at about 8.30 a.m. The captain immediately ordered the ship to make a reverse manoeuvre and to trace its way back in the Azov Sea, sources from the Bulgarian Marine said. The search was unsuccessful. A Ukrainian hydroplane joined the search of the sailor. Most probably Gerasimov fell overboard, the sailors said. To them two hours are enough for the body to overcool fatally . The sailor who disappeared is from Varna, he is married and has two children.
Bulgarian Students To Welcome Simeon in Budapest.
Bulgarian students will welcome the premier during his first visit to Budapest this Friday. There Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha will participate in the 25th meeting of the trilateral commission along with his colleague Viktor Orban and President Ferenz Madl. The trilateral commission is focused on cooperation between Europe, North America and Japan. The commission has a membership of over 350 leaders from the spheres of the business, politics, media and trade unions.
Army Left Without Coal This Winter.
Coal for the army doesn't suffice, the chief of the General Staff, General Miho Mihov said yesterday. Last year the army also had difficulties in providing coal. Then 'Standart' was the first to report of the fuel shortage. This year's situation isn't much different. If a soldier is cold, he won't care about the NATO standards, we've been talking about, General Mihov added. In his view the defence minister has managed to provide a good military budget but it is not a prerequisite for the army's prosperity.
Bulgaria without Gas from Tomorrow.
Dealers' protest against the introduction of excise duties.
From tomorrow all gas stations in big towns will be closed for at least 24 hours, said chairman of the Association of gas and petrol ventures, Dimitar Stanchev. At 8.00 a.m. on Wednesday the dealers will close down the gas stations in a protest against levying excise duty on propane-butane for motor vehicles. According to the association, the excise duty will make a liter more expensive by 0.10 BGL. The decision for the protest was taken yesterday after the negotiations with the finance ministry proved unsucsessful. Actually the protests began already last week. Then sources of the Association warned that if the finance minister didn't agree to come to terms with them, a national meeting would be held in Sofia on November 5. In an open letter to Premier Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha dealers call on him to cooperate in arranging a meeting with finance minister Milen Velchev.
Municipalities Are Deeply in Debt.
Twenty-five million levs are needed to pay off the electricity bills of the municipalities, Rousse, Pomorie and Zemen are worst poverty-stricken.
The outstanding debt of the municipalities has reached 179.6 million by September 30, said yesterday Ginka Chavdarova, executive manager of the Association of Municipalities, at the meeting with the CITUB (Confederation of the Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria). Only 12 out of 262 municipalities have not run into debts. The situation is most tragic in Rousse, Pomorie and Zemen. These are the three municipalities with record-breaking liabilities, 197 municipalities have amassed debts for electricity and central heating. Their collective debt to Power Supply Agency runs at 24.6 million levs, while for the heating they owe 12 million levs.
Sofia, November 6 (BTA) - 150 Bulgarians will act as Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe observers at the November 17 parliamentary elections in Kosovo, Vassilka Nenova of the Human Rights directorate with the Foreign Ministry told BTA.
The Bulgarian observers will attend a four-day training seminar in Thessaloniki. Nenova said that 127 Bulgarian observers will remain in Kosovo and 33 will be sent to the polling stations in Serbia and Montenegro, which have mixed population.
The OSCE observers at the Kosovo elections will total 2,096 people, representatives of all members of the organization, said Nenova.
The OSCE will pay each observer 95 dollars per day and will cover the food and accommodation costs, she added.