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French soldiers, who are part of NATO operation Amber Fox, perform an exercise of extracting international monitors from hostile environment, during the visit of the German Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping, and French Defense Minister Alain Richard, at a NATO base near Skopje, Macedonia, on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2001. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
German soldiers, who are part of NATO operation Amber Fox, perform an exercise of extracting international monitors from hostile environment, during the visit of the German Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping, and French Defense Minister Alain Richard, at a NATO base near Skopje, Macedonia, on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2001. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
A Bulgarian Roma man works on top of a pile of wood coal in the mountain region near Ivailovgrad, some 330 km (205 miles) southeast of Sofia, October 25, 2001. Bulgaria's Roma citizens, who make up 4.6 percent of the population of some eight million, are hit hardest by unemployment. Over 90 percent of them are believed to be jobless. Uneducated and unemployed, Roma people find various temporary jobs to make a living. REUTERS/Dimitar Dilkoff
SITUATION IN TETOVO CRISES REGION.
Tetovo, 25 October (MIA) There has been certain movement of Albanian terrorists around Tetovo crises area who continue to open fire from infantry weapons during the night and rob the property of expulsed Macedonians during the day, MIA's correspondent said.
Recently the forest owned by some of the residents from Jedoarce, Otunje, Varvara, Jelosnik and Brezno villages, has been a target of the Albanian terrorists.
Damages of estates, especially of Forrest area are increasing enormously. Every day use of hard machinery makes things more difficult and causes permanent harm because the roads opened for the robbery transport are in fact improvised pathways through the woods. Besides private forests, the Albanian terrorists massively destroy the other ones owned by the Public company Macedonian Forests.
"Although the facts point out that there are severe damages inflicted by the Albanian terrorists in several crises villages, nothing has been done yet to prevent this matter which increases continually", Jordan Zakarov, the Chief of the forest police station said.
He further explained that the Albanian terrorists left chaos damaging the oldest, most beautiful tree - areas in Macedonia, some of them 60 to 70 years old.
Above Brezno, a village in the area of Brezjansko Ezero and Tri Vodi, out of which each Macedonian is deported, a 20 thousand cubic meters of wood are cut down, and great damages have been done in several other villages in Tetovo area.
According to Zarkadov, The Forest Police is not undertaking anything as its patrolling is impossible due to the security reasons.
Part of the high quality trees have been processed in some of the factories in Dzepciste, Neprosteno and other villages, while large quantity of woods have been continually transported to Neraste and to other villages where they are used for heating.
SITUATION IN KUMANOVO - LIPKOVO CRISIS REGION.
Kumanovo, October 25 (MIA) - It is relatively calm in Kumanovo-Lipkovo region Thursday morning. The cease-fire accord was violated in three occasions overnight, when several infantry weapon shots were fired from the are of the villages Lojane and Vistica.
The intensive activities of the Coordinate Body for Crisis Management, of the American Ambassador to Macedonia and of OSCE, EU and NATO missions in the villages of Lipkovo area will continue Thursday. The damage made to the facilities is being assessed, mine fields investigated and constructional materials for restoration of the damaged houses are being supplied.
The International Red Cross delivered Wednesday six trucks with constructional materials in Lipkovo and Vaksince, while some teams of the Power Supply Company were repairing the damaged transmission installation.
The ethnically mixed police units continue patrolling in the villages of Lopate and Opae, as part of the pilot project for Macedonian police forces' return to the terrorists held villages.
PILOT-PROJECT FOR POLICE ENTRANCE IN CRISIS REGIONS IS ACCORDING TO THE PLAN.
Skopje, October 25 (MIA) The pilot-project for entrance of the Macedonian police in the villages from the crisis regions has been carried out according to the plan, without any serious problems or difficulties, it was stated at Thursdays briefing in the governmental Crisis Management Center.
It was planned the Macedonian policemen to patrol from 10 to 17.00h Thursday, in Lesok, Opae, Lopate, Tearce and Grusino villages.
It is also expected the Macedonian police to patrol on the entire territory of Tearce village, as in the past few days they were present only in the part of the village, where Macedonians and small number of Albanians live. In contrast OSCE and EU monitors have established contacts with the residents of the entire village since the beginning of the operation.
ALBANIANS OPPOSE PILOT-PROJECT FOR RETURN OF POLICE IN TEARCE.
Tetovo, October 25 (MIA) - The police units with mixed ethnic composition patrolled Thursday in Lesok and Tearce villages, within the pilot-project for return of the police in the villages in the crisis regions.
The police accomplished the project's tasks in Lesok, while certain problems and misunderstandings have been registered in Tearce village.
According to spokesman of Interior Ministry Vasko Sutarov "the Albanians opposed the implementation of the pilot-project for return of the police in this village."
"Such disagreements have been repeated on Thursday with announcements that the police patrols will be stopped on Friday in Tearce," Sutarov said.
EU and OSCE monitoring missions try to resolve the problems.
TRAJKOVSKI TO SEND LETTER TO DEL PONTE, SOLANA AND ROBERTSON.
Skopje, October 25 (MIA) President of the Republic of Macedonia Boris Trajkovski will send a letter to Chief Public Prosecutor of the Hague Tribunal Carla Del Ponte regarding the information that Macedonian civilians, who had been kidnapped by Albanian terrorists, were killed and buried in a tomb near the village of Neprosteno.
Presidents letter reads that information regarding this crime have been presented by certain Macedonian media, based on report from anonymous source, submitted to Macedonian public prosecutor Stavre Dzikov. If this information proves to be correct, it would demand inclusion of the Hague Tribunal in the investigation. the team from the Hague Tribunal will have full logistic support from the Macedonian authorities.
The same source said that similar letters would also be send to NATO Secretary General George Robertson and EU High Representative of Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana.
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TRAJKOVSKI TO US PRESIDENT, GEORGE BUSH.
Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski sent a letter to US President George Bush for support of his draft-amendment for remaining of the entrance "Macedonian people" in the preamble.
In the letter President Trajkovski openly asks support from the US President in convincing the parties of Arben Xhaferi and Imer Imeri to approve his amendment for the preamble in interest to resolve the peace process.
"After weeks of hard work and your support, we have finally solved the political deadlock surrounding the Framework Agreement. I wanted to inform you of the solution and ask for your support and assistance. As you know, a group of Macedonian Parliamentarians were not ready to accept the Framework Agreement as it was signed in August, in spite of our best efforts to convince them otherwise. The delays in pushing the package through parliament have been due to our desire to make sure that the package passed and was not defeated in a vote. We have now found the solution, which will help us to get necessary votes in the Parliament.
The only and very small addition is suggested in the preamble (entrance) of the Constitution. Namely, after the words The citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, we add: " ...Belonging to the Macedonian people, the Albanians, the Turks, the Vlachs, the Romanies, the Serbs, the Bosniaks and others", I would like to ask for your support for this minor change. The leadership of the European Union has previously given their support. With your support for this addition, we can pass the rest of the constitutional and legal reforms in the next two weeks. If we don't add these words of clarification, all of our hard work will end in failure and an uncertain future. We cannot afford to let that happen," reads the letter of President Boris Trajkovski to US President George Bush.
President Trajkovski sent the same letter to the US Secretary of State Colin Powell and US President counsellor for national security Condoleezza Rice.
VICE PRESIDENT OF GOVERNMENT KRSTEVSKI MEETS PASSI AND PICULA IN BUCHAREST.
Skopje, October 25 (MIA) - The Macedonian delegation led by vice president of the Macedonian Government Zoran Krstevski had several bilateral meetings in Bucharest, where the second Regional Conference for Southeast Europe is taking place Thursday and Friday.
During the meeting with Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passi they exchanged their opinions on the issues of joint interest for both countries, as well as the potentials for enhanced economic cooperation. The representatives of both countries stressed the commitment for joint presentation before the international community regarding the infrastructure projects and the railway and electric link between Macedonia and Bulgaria.
Vice President Krstevski also met Croatian Foreign Minister Tonino Picula. They shared information about the current situation in both countries and the cooperation in the field of economy and politics.
The implementation of the Free Trade Agreement and Stabilisation and Association Agreement, and the process of European integration were stressed during the meeting. The both interlocutors assessed that there are great opportunities for enhancing the cooperation between Macedonia and Croatia in several areas.
ADDRESS BY ZORAN KRSTEVSKI AT THE REGIONAL STABILITY PACT CONFERENCE.
Bucharest, October 25 (MIA) Most of the Southeast European countries have directly or indirectly suffered consequences from the conflicts based on ethnic nationalism, Macedonian vice-Prime Minister Zoran Krstevski said at the Second Regional Conference of the Stability Pact which started in Bucharest on Thursday.
"Unfortunately, my country was not spared from the influx of violence and terrorism, which certainly had a negative impact on the reform processes," he said, adding that for several months already, Macedonia was a victim of terrorist aggression conducted by the Albanian terrorists, who hide behind the vail of human rights.
"The instability of one country from the region automatically means danger for the region, but also for Europe as whole. From what we have learned from the past experiences in the region, we are now committed to resolve all problems through dialogue and cooperation, which is the only way to provide sustainable stability in southeast Europe. as a result from this commitment and thanks to the efforts of the international community, the Republic of Macedonia has decided to build its future stability based on the Framework Agreement for constitutional changes," Krstevski said.
As he said, one of Macedonias goals is economic and political stabilization through intensive regional cooperation.
He added that through the numerous initiatives, a bridge for regional cooperation was established, from which concrete results are expected in the struggle against organized crime, economic cooperation and other aspects of cross-border cooperation.
Krstevski stressed that besides the great successes, the Stability Pact has showed certain weaknesses.
"I would like to stress the need of increased transparency of the process, aimed to more enhanced cooperation, timely informing of the user-countries, and their inclusion in the decision-making," he said.
Another weakness is the fact that there were projects agreed at the first conference which took place more that year-and-a-half ago, but which have still not been realized.
"In this context, I would refer to the project for development of Balkan study for electricity and oil pipeline network, which are of enormous significance both for Macedonia and the region," Krstevski said.
He stressed that great progress was achieved in the field of trade liberalization.
"The countries from the region have expressed readiness to accept the projects for free trade, identification of trade barriers, coordination of the trade regulations and so on," he said.
Referring to Macedonia, Macedonian vice-Prime Minister said: "As a result to the crisis, my country faces with unfavorable economic situation. The consequences from the violence and terrorism disable the attraction of direct foreign investments. Due to that reason, we ask for economic support to the dialogue for peace and stability in the Republic of Macedonia," Krstevski stressed.
86th SESSION OF THE MACEDONIAN ASSEMBLY CONTINUES.
Skopje, 25 October (MIA) The Macedonian assembly will continue its 86 session Friday afternoon. The agenda includes a debate regarding the nine draft- amendments to the Macedonian constitution submitted by President Boris Trajkovski.
The agenda also includes the proposals of the Commission dealing with mandate immunity issues and the rule book, for revoking parliamentarian Hisni Sakiri`s mandate, member of DPA, because of his continuous six months absence from the parliament , the assembly will also discuss the VMRO-VMRO group proposals to immediately pass a law on the Macedonian emblem.
During Tuesday debate, parliamentarians mostly discussed the fifth amendment, which regulates the minority rights to use their mother tongue as a second official language in the areas where they make more than 20% of the population.
MACEDONIA RECEIVED EURO 60 MILLION FOR REALISATION OF STABILITY PACT PROJECTS.
Bucharest, October 25 (MIA) - "Macedonia will receive Euro 60 million for realisation of projects of the Southeast Europe Stability Pact", announcement from the first working day of the Regional Conference of the Pact, held in Bucharest states.
International donators announced that they would give means for 27 projects in the countries of the region in an amount of Euro 2,4 billion. Two-thirds of the funds will be intended for projects in the area of transport.
In the framework of these projects, Romania will get Euro 530 million, Bulgaria 390 million, Yugoslavia 430 million, Croatia and Bosnia 300 million and Albania 250 million.
International organisations and representatives of the state-donators at the Second Regional Conference of the Southeast Europe Stability Pact previously stated that they would put into effect the engagements on the Balkans, and assured the countries in the region that they would not be put at a lower level on the agenda, despite the crisis in Afghanistan.
Representatives of international financial institutions and state-donators announced that terrorist attacks in the USA from September 11 would not influence the realisation of their engagement in Southeast Europe countries.
Deputy- President of the World Bank for Europe and Central Asia Johannes Linn called upon Balkan countries to take over serious steps for strengthening of their economies.
At the same time, donators called upon countries in the region to put more efforts in attraction of foreign investments.
Representatives of the state-donators, World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are also present at the Conference.