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An unidentified man waves the Macedonian flag above, while another holds the former Macedonian flag, at the bottom, during a peaceful protest in Skopje, Macedonia, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2001. Several thousand Macedonians gathered on the main square in Skopje to protest peacefully, demanding the right for Macedonians to be able to return to their homes in the areas held by the rebels. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
A US soldier guards the entrance of the Able Sentry US base near the Skopje airport, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2001. U.S. forces increased security measures in Macedonia and the neighboring Kosovo province following Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)
Turkish soldiers serving with the NATO mission Operation Essential Harvest in Macedoni, left, are watched by ethnic Albanian rebels in Otilja, Macedonia, 40 km (21 miles) west of Skopje, Wednesday, Sept. 12. 2001. NATO forces continue to collect weapons of ethnic Albanian rebels. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus,Pool)
An ethnic Albanian rebel, front, patrols the road as Italian NATO soldiers serving with the NATO mission Operation Essential Harvest in Macedonia guard heavy weapons from Albanian rebels in Otilja, Macedonia, 40 kilometers (21 miles) west of Skopje, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2001. NATO forces continued today to collect weapons of Albanian rebels. (AP PHOTO/ANJA NIEDRINGHAUS, POOL)
U.S. soldiers of KFOR patrol the streets of Gnjilane in the southern Kosovo province, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2001. US forces stationed in Kosovo and Macedonia have increased security measures following Tuesdays terrorist attacks in the United States. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Italian NATO soldiers guard weapons of ethnic Albanian guerilla of National Liberation Army (NLA) September 12, 2001 in Otilja village, near Kumanovo, 40 km (25 miles) west of Skopje as soldiers of NATO mission "Task Force Harvest" in Macedonia continued today to collect weapons from Albanian rebels. NATO said guerillas had handed in almost half their declared arsenal but suspicion about the final price for peace grew as local media said the nation could win up a partitioned protectorate. REUTERS/Anja Niedringhaus/POOL
A youth looks at the front pages of the daily newspapers at a newsstand in Skopje, Macedonia, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2001. Pictures of the World Trade Center towers in New York after jet airliners crashed into the buildings are on the front pages of every daily newspaper in Macedonia. Headline on the front page reads: "Horror in New York." (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
An elderly Bulgarian man in Sofia on September 12, 2001, looks at the local newspapers fronted with pictures of burning World Trade Center towers in New York. Bulgarians were shocked be the devastating aircraft attack in U.S. REUTERS/Dimitar Dilkoff
SECURITY COUNCIL SUPPORTS GOVERNMENT'S PLAN FOR RETURNING DISPLACED PERSONS.
Macedonian Security Council reviewed and supported Wednesday the plan of the Government for returning of the displaced persons to their homes.
The Security Council concluded that it was necessary to establish sovereignty on the entire territory of Republic of Macedonia and that the Macedonian competent offices and institutions would carry it out.
In order to return the displaced persons, the Council obliged the competent Macedonian institutions in coordination with OSCE and EU civil monitors to undertake appropriate activities.
In that respect Macedonian Government should determine the sites where the civil monitors would be deployed, their number and competencies.
The Security Council considers that NATO mission "Essential Harvest" should end in the scheduled deadline and mandate, while in the next period the competent Macedonian institutions should be coordinated with NATO and KFOR missions, in compliance with the commitments of Republic of Macedonia to integrate in the Euro Atlantic structures.
The Security Council strongly condemned the terrorist attacks on USA, which is our friend and ally and expressed its deep condolences for the lost lives of the American citizens and sympathizes with their families.
"Stressing that many families in Republic of Macedonia also experienced the cruelty of terrorism, we are convinced that all democratic states are unanimous that the terrorism is the greatest danger for the modern world and that we will prioritize the fight for its eradication," reads the press release from the Macedonian President's Cabinet.
Republic of Macedonia is in a region where the terrorism is confirmed threat for the lives of the citizens and their properties as well as for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the states. Therefore Republic of Macedonia undertakes initiative for signing regional antiterrorist pact where UN, EU, USA and Russia would join as partners the countries endangered by regional terrorism.
The Macedonian Security Council denies with indignation the claims of Peter Feith in his letter submitted to the Government, where he speaks of the alleged existence of paramilitary groups within the Macedonian security forces in Ratae village. The Council was informed on the current situation and supported the conclusions adopted by the Government.
The Security Council reviewed the option for engaging peace forces under UN mandate, similar to UNPREDEP in order to monitor the situation on the Macedonian - Yugoslav border, on Kosovo part of the border and toward Albania. The Council concluded that consultations should be made with the members of UN Security Council.
Now Americans know how Macedonians feel.
Peter Maass is the author of Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War. Extracts of the book, as well as his magazine articles, are available at www.petermaass.com.
Posted: Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2001, at 11:30 a.m. PT
Night was falling as I introduced myself to four college students in Macedonia Square, in the center of Skopje. What was their reaction to the catastrophe in America?
Ivo, who is 18 years old and studying to be a doctor, was the first to respond, largely because he spoke the best English, thanks to the year he lived in England. The attacks are sad, he said, a tragedy. But then he got to the heart of the matter, not only for him but for many Macedonians who resent what they regard as American support for ethnic Albanian rebels.
"Now you have experienced what terrorism is like," Ivo said. "Now you can understand what terrorism does, and you should do something about it, especially in Macedonia. You should condemn the Albanians. It's clear you're helping them. Even a child knows that."
His friends nodded their heads in agreement. The rebels are terrorists, they believe, killing civilians and policemen, yet America coddles them, even supplying them with weapons (a popular belief). Maybe, the students added, the assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon will serve as a wake-up call. "Terrorists have never attacked America with this much devastation," Ivo noted. "America now should see what terrorism is really about and stop it everywhere."
The feelings of Ivo and his friends are not unusual. There is no satisfaction in Skopje about the attacks on Americanone of the grotesque spectacles, seen on television, of Palestinians and Libyans celebrating the attacks. The expressions of condolence here are sincere, but there is, underneath it all, a strong belief that America has imposed its will on the Balkans in ways that are neither wise nor fair and that America should not be surprised that its actions overseas have brought deadly results to the homeland. The same belief exists in Serbia, which experienced a 78-day U.S.-led bombing campaign in 1999, and it exists among nationalists in Croatia who resent U.S. pressure to extradite war criminals to the Hague.
The sourness surfaces not just in the talk of ordinary citizens but in media commentaries, too. All you need to do is pick up today's issue of New Macedonia, a pro-government paper. "The attempt by western countries to treat Albanian terrorists as human rights fighters gave them a clear field for seven months of terror against Macedonians," the main commentary states. "The difference between yesterday's attacks on the United States and the attacks of Albanian terrorists in Macedonia is just in the capacity and power of their action." In other words, Now you know how we feel.
Anti-Americanism in the Balkans is far from murderous, as it is among Islamic extremists in the Middle East, but it is serious enough to have prompted the evacuation this summer of nonessential personnel from the U.S. Embassy here. If you want to know the consequences of America's unpopularity, you only need to call 011 389-2 116-180, the Embassy's number in Skopje. If you press 5 for the options in English, the first words you hear are the following: "To report the death, hospitalization, or arrest of an American citizen, press 3."
Visas for Russia and Ukraine from October 1.
Bulgaria will introduce visas for visitors from Russia, Ukraine and Georgia from October 1. Bulgarians willing to visit these countries should be issued visas in advance. The same is valid for Georgian, Ukrainian and Russian nationals who intend to come to Bulgaria, Foreign Ministry employees reminded. This decision was made by Kostov's cabinet in April. The government of Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is not to suspend it. The introducing of the new visa regime is in line with the EU requirements for Bulgaria to be removed from the negative visa list.
Ivan Stanchov: De Jure We Are a Monarchy.
As of yesterday, former foreign minister Ivan Stanchov heads the pre-election staff of Peter Stoyanov. The president introduced part of his team who will work for Stoyanov's re-election to the post. Asked to comment on his pro-monarchy bias, Stanchov has explained that de jure Bulgaria is a monarchy, but de facto it is a republic. He doubted the authenticity of the 1946 referendum. As early as his return from emigration in 1990, in one of his first interviews Stanchov stressed his being a monarchist. He is a year-long and personal friend of Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. He also worked for the campaign of Zhelyu Zhelev in the 1996 preliminary election. Stoyanov's team includes representatives of all political forces which have supported him to date. Nadezhda Mihailova from the UDF, Raina Drangova from IMRO and Lyuben Dilov Jr. from 'Gergyovden' are Stanchov's deputies.
The Parliament adopted a declaration denouncing terrorism.
The Parliament adopted a declaration denouncing terrorist acts against the USA. The declaration reads as follows: "Bulgaria and Bulgarian Parliament sharply and decisively denounces the terrorist acts and considers them as an open aggression against contemporary civilization, and insists on finding and severely punishing the perpetrators and the instigators of this barbarian act. We appeal to international community to unite efforts for a decisive struggle against all forms of terrorism and express our readiness to support actions of Bulgarian government in this direction. Bulgarian Parliament appeals to the UN to pronounce September 11 a World Day in Commemoration of Terrorism Victims." Before voting the declaration, the Parliament had to adopt first its daily schedule and to write the adoption of the declaration in it. The text of the declaration was prepared by a 5-member working group including the National Movement Simeon II Members of Parliament Yavor Milushev and Danail Valchev, the Union of Democratic Forces - Coalition Member of Parliament Dimitar Abajiev, the Pro Bulgaria Coalition Member of Parliament Sergey Stanishev, and the Rights and Freedoms Movement Member of Parliament Lyutfy Mestan. The declaration was voted with 192 votes. Two Members of Parliament abstained and nobody was against. According to Members of Parliament, governmental representatives should also have to attend the Parliament meeting.
Presidential office downed national flag.
Bulgarian national flag hanging from the presidential office was downed by half as a sign of mourning and empathy with the yesterdays terrorist acts in the USA victims near and dear sufferings, the presidential press-secretariat reported.