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Human Rights Watch accuses the overwhelmingly Slavic forces of Macedonia's government of summary execution of ethnic Albanian civilians, arson and torture, the New York Times online edition reported September 5, 2001. The operation over the weekend of August 12 in the village of Ljuboten, the report says, 'had no military justification and was carried out for purposes of revenge,' the newspaper said. Smoke rises around the14-th century East-Orthodox church in Ljuboteh in this August 12 file photo. (Oleg Popov/Reuters)
Dutch Defense Secretary Frank de Grave (C) tries to walk with a military back-pack as he visits Dutch soldiers, part of the NATO Task Force Harvest (TFH), in their base some 10 km south of the capital Skopje, September 5, 2001. Secretary de Grave arrived in Macedonia on a short one-day visit to meet the troops. REUTERS/Oleg Popov
An ethnic Albanian member of Macedonia's parliament reads a newspaper during a session in Skopje, Macedonia, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2001. Macedonian lawmakers for a second day debated reforming the country's constitution to allow greater rights for the ethnic Albanian population. The headline of the top story reads "NATO has no secret plans - these ideas are spread by those who want a war." (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
Sofianski Negotiated Business with Kiev. Mayor of Sofia Stephan Sofianski signed a contract with his counterpart from Kiev Olexander Omelchenko for a further co-operation between the capital cities of Bulgaria and Ukraine. President Leonid Kuchma brought ministers to negotiate on collaboration with Bulgaria. Photo Marina Angelova
EU envoy Leotard seeks Russian help on Macedonia.
By Ron Popeski
MOSCOW, Sept 5 (Reuters) - The European Union's envoy to Macedonia said on Wednesday that Russia had a role to play in establishing peace in Macedonia, and urged Moscow to support the deployment of more unarmed monitors there.
Francois Leotard, speaking on the eve of talks between international emissaries and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, also proposed the dispatch of a small EU force to Macedonia to oversee implementation of a peace accord.
Leotard said he had reason to believe that Russia opposed any increase in the number of monitors currently posted in the country -- from the EU and, particularly, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
"This is the issue I want to raise with Mr Ivanov. I hope this is not the case...but I am given to understand it is so," Leotard told reporters. "I believe we need the support of the Russian government in this move by the OSCE."
OSCE sources in Vienna said Russia had held up approval for 25 extra civilian monitors for Macedonia for several weeks but now looked likely to drop its objections at a meeting of the organisation's permanent council on Thursday.
Moscow had not made clear why it had blocked the extra monitors, requested by the Macedonian government. But Western diplomats said Russia may have been expressing annoyance at having been excluded from participation in the peace deal brokered by the United States and the European Union.
The OSCE, a 55-nation security and human rights group, first sent monitors to Macedonia to 1992 to try to prevent wars in other former Yugoslav republics from spilling over. It operates by consensus, so a single country can block any issue.
Ivanov is due to have talks on Thursday with Leotard, the U.S. envoy to Macedonia James Pardew, and Max van der Stoel, the OSCE's high commissioner for national minorities.
About 50 OSCE and EU monitors are deployed in Macedonia, where scores of people have been killed in six months of fighting between government troops and ethnic Albanians seeking more rights.
Macedonia's parliament was locked in a fourth day of debate on Wednesday on constitutional changes vital to a Western-backed peace plan to end the guerrilla uprising.
Leotard said the EU and the United States had worked in close consultation in organising the current operation by more than 4,000 NATO servicemen to disarm ethnic Albanian rebels and it was only natural for Russia to make its own contribution.
"I believe there are no exclusives concerning the Russian government," he said.He said the region's cultural makeup meant Russia had a natural role "in managing this crisis. This is the spirit in which we have come, particularly to seek a response for the OSCE. We really need this in a few weeks' time."
Leotard said his proposal for a EU force numbering about 1,500 to fill a security void after the end of the NATO operation was logical, given the Union's vocation of setting up a 60,000-strong force to oversee crises by 2003.
"Overseeing a crisis within Europe with a modest force of about 1,500 soldiers is not completely utopian," he said, adding that a EU force would never have such favourable conditions.
(Additional reporting by Richard Murphy in Vienna)
Russia accused of blocking larger OSCE mission in Macedonia.
MOSCOW, Sept 5 (AFP) -
Russia is blocking the expansion of an OSCE observer mission in Macedonia aimed at bringing stability to the country, diplomats warned Wednesday, as envoys arrived in Moscow for talks on the issue.
"The Russians are dragging their heels," a Western diplomat close to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said, as the body prepared to up its presence in Macedonia in anticipation of NATO pulling out.
The alliance's troops are currently in the second phase of a disarmament mission to collect arms from ethnic Albanian guerrillas under the terms of a Western-brokered peace accord.
But Moscow has conspicuously failed to back the NATO mission, with President Vladimir Putin describing it as a "pseudo-operation."
The Kremlin has shown signs that it is concerned that NATO will dominate international peace efforts in Macedonia -- a further step by the alliance already encroaching on Russia's doorstep through enlargement plans.
"I think that the Russians want to be sure that the OSCE will be totally dissociated from NATO," which is playing an ever larger role, a diplomatic source in Vienna said, under condition of anonymity.
Western envoys from the European Union, the United States and the OSCE were due to hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in Moscow on Thursday, aimed at persuading the Kremlin to support peace efforts.
The EU envoy to Macedonia, Francois Leotard, and his US counterpart James Pardew were expected to push Ivanov to accept an increased OSCE mission in the Balkan country as part of international efforts to bring a stable and durable peace.
They were expected to be joined by the OSCE's top envoy Max van der Stoel.
The Vienna-based organisation wants to double the number of its observers in Macedonia to oversee the return of normality to the country following a seven-month ethnic Albanian uprising.
Under the terms of the August 13 peace accord, NATO troops were to collect 3,300 weapons from rebel hands in a mission strictly limited to one month.
But both Skopje and the international community fear that NATO troops will pull out, leaving a security void in their wake.
Speaking after his arrival in the Russian capital, Leotard said he wanted "to see whether Russia could contribute to an OSCE observer mission," in Macedonia.
In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Mundo on Wednesday, Leotard said he wanted a light EU force to relieve NATO troops when they pull out of Macedonia -- expected to be at the end of the month.
"We have in mind several hundred observers carrying out an observation and police advisory role," the EU envoy said.
Russian soldiers are not taking part in NATO's operation Essential Harvest to disarm ethnic Albanian guerrillas because the mission has not been approved by the UN Security Council, Moscow officials have said.
Macedonian Parliament in Protracted Peace Debate.
By Kole Casule
SKOPJE, Macedonia (Reuters) - Macedonia's parliament extended a marathon debate for a fourth day Wednesday on whether to start deep constitutional changes vital to a Western-backed peace plan to end an ethnic Albanian guerrilla uprising.
Despite the delay, and in a sign of deepening Western involvement in the crisis, European Union special envoy Francois Leotard suggested the EU could consider sending a force of its own after NATO troops withdraw in three weeks.
Leotard said in Moscow his proposal for an EU force numbering about 1,500 to fill a security void after the end of the NATO operation was logical, given the Union's aim of setting up a 60,000-strong force to oversee crises by 2003.
``Overseeing a crisis within Europe with a modest force of about 1,500 soldiers is not completely utopian,'' he said.
NATO has sent 4,800 servicemen to Macedonia to collect weapons surrendered by the National Liberation Army of ethnic Albanian guerrillas. NATO's mandate expires on September 26.
U.S. peace envoy James Pardew fueled expectations that the alliance might stay on to prevent a renewed flare-up of violence in the former Yugoslav republic when he spoke Monday of the need to provide security for civilian monitors after the NATO arms collection operation ends.
NATO spokesman Yves Brodeur said in a statement no extended or new mission was being planned.
``NATO is not, as we speak, considering a new mission or making plans for the extension of Operation Essential Harvest beyond the timeline planned for the mission,'' Brodeur said.
REBELS WAIT FOR PARLIAMENT'S DECISION
The guerrillas have pledged to hand in their weapons and disband in return for reforms envisaged in the peace plan, which would grant more rights to the ethnic Albanian minority.
The changes would allow greater official use of the Albanian language and give deputies from ethnic minorities more power to block legislation. More jobs in the police force for Albanians is another key part of the political package.
The NLA has handed in more than 1,200 weapons so far out of a target total of 3,300, but made clear it will surrender no more until deputies vote to draft constitutional reforms.
The parliamentary debate began Friday and was suspended over the weekend. Western diplomats had originally hoped the vote would be held Tuesday.
But the chamber, where there is no time limit on a speech, continued the debate into Wednesday evening.
The two main ethnic Albanian parties back the peace plan. So does the Social Democratic Party (SDSM) of ex-communists. But their ruling coalition partner and the largest party in parliament, the nationalist VMRO-DPNME, appears split.
Its leader, Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski, has condemned the peace plan but told deputies they should still back it because Macedonia could not afford to defy its Western sponsors.
Deputies are likely to come under Western pressure to hold a vote before Thursday afternoon, when European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten are due to arrive in Skopje.
``We are very much looking forward to the decision of the Macedonian parliament so that we can get on with the next phase of our job,'' NATO spokesman Mark Laity told reporters.
CHARGES OF REVENGE KILLINGS
Scores of people have been killed and more than 100,000 displaced since February in a conflict in which the rebels have captured large swathes of land in the north and west.
Casualties have been few compared with conflicts in other regions of former Yugoslavia like Bosnia and Kosovo, but ethnic hatred is growing.
Human Rights Watch, a respected international watchdog, accused Macedonian security forces of shooting dead six ethnic Albanian civilians, killing three in random shelling and beating scores of detainees in revenge killings after 18 soldiers died in two rebel attacks last month.
Macedonian Interior Minister Ljube Boskovski has said the village of Ljuboten, the target of an August 10-12 sweep by security forces, was a bastion of ethnic Albanian guerrillas and the casualties were solely ``terrorists'' who fell in battle.
Petkovski said he expected the 116-member parliament to agree to initiate constitutional change by the required two-thirds majority, but he doubted the majority would back all the individual measures when it came to a final vote.
Macedonian officials deny report alleging forces tortured, killed ethnic Albanian civilians.
By Elena Becatoros, Associated Press, 9/5/2001 14:43
SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) Macedonian forces committed widespread abuses during a village siege last month that killed 10 ethnic Albanian civilians, Human Rights Watch charged Wednesday, and it called for a war crimes investigation.
Macedonian authorities rejected the New York-based group's findings as inaccurate and biased, insisting they reacted in self-defense while under rebel fire.
Human Rights Watch accused security forces of shooting and killing six ethnic Albanian civilians and burning at least 22 houses, stores and sheds from Aug. 10-12 in the village of Ljuboten, about four miles northeast of the capital, Skopje.
The group said its evidence indicated ''the attack on Ljuboten had no military justification and was carried out for purposes of revenge and reprisal.''
The government said it launched the offensive in response to a land mine explosion that killed eight soldiers.
Indiscriminate shelling killed another three civilians, and one more was fatally shot by government forces as he tried to flee, the group's report said.
As hundreds of villagers fled the fighting, police separated more than 100 men and boys from their families and took them to police stations in Skopje, where some were beaten, the report said.
It also implicated Interior Minister Ljube Boskovski in the bloodshed, saying local television reported he was there during the operation.
His presence ''on the day that some of the worst abuses in Macedonia's six-month-old conflict were committed abuses including the execution-style killing of civilians, house-by-house arson, looting, beatings, and torture demands an investigation,'' the report said.
But Boskovski vehemently rejected the allegations, saying he arrived only after the end of the operation.
''I do not have any intention to justify myself, because I don't have anything to justify myself for,'' Boskovski told The Associated Press. He said he would seek legal recourse at the European Court of Human Rights to clear his name.
''I want to end this speculation and these lies presented by this quasi-international organization,'' Boskovski said.
Boskovski claimed that after the events in Ljuboten, residents prevented the public prosecutor, magistrate and ministry experts from entering the village to conduct an investigation or carry out autopsies.
He also insisted it was unclear whether those killed were truly civilians, or if they were killed by the rebels instead of Macedonian forces.
The rebels launched their insurgency in February, saying they were fighting for greater rights for the minority ethnic Albanians who make up a third of Macedonia's 2 million people.
Days after the incident, Boskovski said ethnic Albanian ''terrorists'' had been killed in fighting. Government spokesman Antonio Milososki insisted Macedonian investigators found ''no improper conduct'' by security forces.
But Human Rights Watch said its investigators found no evidence of guerrillas in the village at the time of the offensive.
It called for an ''independent, impartial and credible investigation.''
''Serious abuses were committed in Ljuboten, and those responsible for ordering, committing, or condoning those abuses must be brought to account,'' it said.
Macedonian police unions issued a statement accusing Human Rights Watch of ''remaining deaf and mute'' to claims of attacks against Macedonian authorities and civilians and ''threats of liquidation of entire families.''
''This organization persistently sees violation of human rights on one side and one side alone, that of the allegedly wronged Albanian minority,'' the statement said.
But the head of the rebel ethnic Albanian 113th brigade, known as Commander Sokoli, or Falcon, told the AP that what happened in Ljuboten was a ''pure violation of human rights'' and that there were no guerrillas there at the time of the attack.
In addition to the killings, Human Rights Watch also accused Macedonian forces of abusing many of the hundreds of ethnic Albanians who fled Ljuboten during the sweep.
''The Macedonian government must answer to the people of Ljuboten,'' Elizabeth Andersen, executive director of the group's Europe and Central Asia division, said in a statement. ''Endemic police abuse is a potential spark that could re-ignite the conflict in Macedonia.''
British troops defuse Macedonia confrontation.
SKOPJE, Sept 5 (Reuters) - British soldiers in Macedonia intervened to prevent violence from spreading after an alleged attack on an ethnic Albanian policeman by Macedonian paramilitaries, NATO said on Wednesday.
The British soldiers were able to calm the situation on Tuesday by talking to individuals involved and by helping to take the policeman away from the scene of the incident in western Macedonia, NATO spokesman Barry Johnson said. "I know that they did defuse the situation and they assisted in ensuring that the policeman left the area safely," he said. It was believed to be the first time NATO personnel had intervened in such a way since the alliance's Task Force Harvest deployed last month on a weapons-gathering mission as part of international efforts to avert civil war in the Balkan state.
Local ethnic Albanian officials said the policeman, one of only a small number of Albanians in Macedonia's police force, had been stopped at a checkpoint by Macedonian paramilitaries, who had beaten him up and smashed his car. An ethnic Albanian guerrilla commander told Reuters some of his fighters had deployed close to the scene of the incident, at the village of Palatica, west of the capital Skopje, but had withdrawn after the NATO soldiers arrived.
The guerrillas launched an insurgency in February this year, saying they were fighting for an end to state-backed discrimination against Macedonia's ethnic Albanian minority. They now control swathes of the north and west of the country. NATO has been at pains to stress it is not in Macedonia as a peacekeeping force, but to collect weapons handed in by the rebels. The guerrillas have pledged to disband in return for the granting of more rights to ethnic Albanians.
NATO has liaison teams travelling around Macedonia to arrange weapons-gathering operations and make sure a shaky ceasefire between the two sides remains intact. It was one such team, normally composed of two or three soldiers, that intervened in Tuesday's incident, Johnson said. "They intervened in this situation because of a perceived and real threat to somebody's life," said Mark Laity, another NATO spokesman.
He said the paramilitaries were not members of Macedonia's official security forces. Western officials have expressed concern about the emergence of Macedonian paramilitary groups whose links to official security structures are unclear.
The Macedonian Phrase-Book: Writing NATO's Dictionary of Control.
by Christopher Deliso
September 5, 2001
DEDICATION: TO OUR FOREIGN READERS
This article goes out to our many readers for whom English is a second language. As with any other, the English language has many subtleties of usage which a foreigner will not necessarily understand, yet which are highly important, precisely because they are so subtle. The ways of propaganda are many, and include the endless repetition of stock phrases, as well as the appeal to the herd mentality ("everyone else believes this is true, so you should too"). Another aspect of propaganda, and by far the hardest to pin down, is the subtle use of descriptive words and the juxtaposition of quotes and rhetorical devices intended to manipulate the reader's sympathies. Yet these tactics are usually used with some sense of restaint, and so the offending parties often escape without censure. Fortunately, the media (and especially the British media) seem to have thrown subtlety to the wind this week, making our job a lot easier.
Since its beginnings in February, the crisis in Macedonia has presented pro-interventionist media with a significant challenge: that is, how to justify acting against a democratic and peaceful country, one which had neither a malevolent dictator nor any serious oppression to recommend it for opprobrium. When Albanian terrorism started up last winter, it caught even the press by surprise, and for a few weeks no one knew how to handle it except by treating it as what it was: unprovoked violence from a destabilizing and terroristic source. The violence then was too sporadic, too disorganized, and above all too unprovoked to allow any other description.
Yet as time went on, some parallels were observed (or rather, were forcibly constructed) between Macedonia and Kosovo, and the various experiences of the victims and oppressors there. As everybody knows, in Kosovo the Albanians were the good guys, and the Serbs the bad guys, and so the chief bad guy of them all was the leader of the Serbs, Slobodan Milosevic. This handy model has been reapplied, and the tragicomic opera of Macedonia has been recast; Ali Ahmeti is the new Ibrahim Rugova, and Slobodan Milosevic has been replaced by, not one, but two men (after all, he had mighty big shoes to fill) Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski and Interior Minister Ljube Boskovski.
As it becomes harder for NATO to conceal its support of the NLA, the quest of the media is to reconstruct the Kosovo scenario, utilizing the same descriptive terms that were widely used to win popular acceptance of the legitimacy and the urgency of NATO's mission on behalf of the Albanians. The fascinating aspect of this is how the use of colorful and pejorative adjectives with the implied meanings and associations they have taken on since Kosovo (and, for that matter, since the earlier Yugoslav wars) has actually created characters in the media's grand opera of Macedonia. The slogan of Macedonia's favorite beer, Skopsko, proclaims, "with Skopsko, anything is possible." Reviewing the media's dictionary of control will show how indeed anything and everything has become possible for the Western media.
A PREFACE: DUAL-CARRIAGEWAYS AND DREADFUL SOUNDS
The controversy continues over the death of British soldier Ian Collins. Was he, as the British press claims, victim of a malicious Macedonian "gang," gunning for NATO soldiers? Or is there reason for the Macedonians to be suspicious that they were not allowed to see the wreckage of Collins' vehicle, and that the reports of different witnesses do not match up? We may never know the whole truth, but there already seems to be one outrageous misdeed committed by the British press.
The alleged "eyewitness," Sima Stojic, is suing the Times of London, claiming that they put false words in his mouth, and offered him large sums of money not to speak to other media.
The Times article claims that Stojic spoke "broken English," learned over two years in Detroit. Yet the reporter, Michael Evans, records him as speaking quite flawless British English. He supposedly quotes Mr. Stojic as speaking of a "dual-carriageway" in reference to the road that the perpetrators crossed to escape. No American would ever refer to a "highway" as a "dual-carriageway"; in fact, most Americans would not understand what this word means. Further, the Times article quotes Mr. Stojic as saying the NATO car made a "dreadful sound." This also raises suspicions. The word "dreadful" is particularly British in tone; no American would use it in this context. If Mr. Stojic really used these words, I can tell you one thing he didn't learn them in Detroit.
This troublesome discrepancy supports Mr. Stojic's claims of tampering and indicates that the Times is guilty of a serious breach of journalistic ethics. Yet why would they sink so low? And why does the British press have such a stake in this?
The answer lies in the general ambivalence of the British people, who are confused and misinformed over why their soldiers are in Macedonia in the first place. The fact that the British military presence was forced through while most of the government was on holiday inspired some objections from Conservatives.
Criticism has also come from the region most weary of violence, Northern Ireland.
During the Kosovo bombardment I was living in England, and I can testify to the incredible impact that the press had on the British people. Headlines every day screamed of Serbian "atrocities," "genocide," and "death camps" and, in general, sought to justify Britain's intervention on behalf of the KLA. Simply put, Tony Blair needed to win the hearts and minds of the average Briton, and the main newspapers all obliged.
Since the situation in Macedonia is so different than in Kosovo, the British press is left with a conundrum: either don't advocate sending British troops, or else find a way, and fast, of making the Macedonian crisis into another Kosovo that is, another humanitarian crusade for Mr. Blair.
THOSE SLAVS ARE ANGRY, ANGRY, ANGRY!
They have chosen the latter. The first step in transforming the Macedonians into those "murderous" Serbs is to describe them by the blanket term "Slavs"; the second step is to portray them as irrational, vituperative, and dangerous.
The frequent use of the word "Slav" to describe the Macedonian majority population is a big reason why the Macedonians are angry. The term is both imprecise, and also a subtle tool for undermining Macedonian ethnicity and as such, their claims against the Albanians.
The word "Slav" is a blanket term which lumps together all of the nationalities which separated off after the Slavic invasions of the Balkans during the 7th century. As such, it is a perfectly legitimate descriptor, in the same way that the word "Celts" is used to describe the ancient settlers of Ireland, Scotland and parts of France, or that the term "Native Americans" is used to describe the hundreds of different tribes that covered North America before the arrival of the European colonists.
As for "Slavs," this extended ethnic family includes, but is not limited to, the Russians, Serbians, Ukrainians and Macedonians. The Bulgarians, who have their origins in ancient Turkic tribes, were Slavicized culturally and by intermarriage with the invaders.
The Macedonians are proud of their Slavic heritage, but resent that the Western media will not call them what they believe themselves to be Macedonians. A parallel example would be if the Norwegians were referred to merely as "Scandinavians," or the Sioux were dismissed as "Indians."
It should be pointed out here that this is not political correctness we're talking about, but merely lexical accuracy. The second, and more serious problem with the name "Slavs," is that it feeds into a chain of associations which link the Macedonians to the Serbians, and eventually, back to the Russians and therefore implies that the Macedonians are just the latest strain of the virulent Slavic plague on humanity. Inaccuracy and implication wed here to create an unflattering portrayal of the Macedonians, who are always described as being "angry" and "rampaging."
Indeed, one recent piece depicts the Macedonians as "angry" three times in the first half-page.
They are said to be angry because of NATO's presence, angry because of the rebels' possession of weapons, and angry that NATO's arrival "has deprived the Macedonian army of the opportunity to crush the insurgents once and for all." Aggressive words such as "crush," "hurl," "hostile," "obscene," "frustration," "riot," and "accuse" are all used in reference to Macedonian civilians not one of whom is quoted as using any of these words.
There is an endless stream of articles that continue to depict the Macedonians as "angry Slavs." The combination of the inaccuracy of nomenclature and the sordid implication of irrational anger masks the fact that, yes, the Macedonians have quite a lot to be angry about and that, all things considered, they have been remarkably docile so far.
MEET JUSTIN HUGGLER, THE NEXT HEMINGWAY
The headline says it all: "Macedonia's campaign of hate leaves NATO suffering its first casualty."
Welcome to the subtle literary mind of Justin Huggler. Of late, this celebrated author has been spouting such vitriol with regularity. But he's not so unique. Too many journalists are just would-be novelists who try to spice up their accounts with exciting details and compelling quotes, in the process throwing both objectivity and the truth out the window. In the cutthroat world of war reporting, where competition to "get the story" is so keen, journalists become especially free with their overuse of adjectives and rhetorical devices, not to mention unsubstantiated and shady quotations. Huggler's account (and many of his previous ones) is a perfect example. He avers:
"On the hot, dusty roadside where Sapper Collins was fatally injured, an off-duty captain in the Macedonian army who refused to give his name yesterday stared contemptuously at the spot where NATO suffered its first casualty in Macedonia. 'You want to know what I think?' he said. 'If I saw NATO soldiers here now, I would kill all of them myself.'"
It was quite convenient for Mr. Huggler that an off-duty captain just happened to be standing around, and that the captain wouldn't give his name. The "quote" he records is absurd; no Macedonian, especially an official, would say such a thing to an English journalist, especially at the crash site of a NATO soldier. The "lonely stretch of motorway," as Huggler describes it, must have been swarming with reporters, police and other officials. But when you throw in the description "hot" and "dusty," a kind of High Noon showdown scenario is conjured up; one in which a "contemptuous" Macedonian army officer can cleverly be found to illustrate the dangers for NATO in the badlands of "hostile territory," and so provide colorful support for what Huggler argues is a "relentless government and media campaign" by the Macedonians against NATO.
LES MOTS FRANCAISES
The use of certain French words in the context of English may be particularly difficult for our foreign readers to comprehend. The two words most used have been nom-de-guerre and agents provocateurs. A certain intrigue, mystery and sophistication comes with the use of these words in English, which would be noticeably lacking were we to substitute them for terms that are more accurate for the context.
There are two subtle insinuations that come with the use of the word nom-de-guerre to describe NLA commanders.
The more correct description of such an individual would be "individual who uses a made-up name specifically in his capacity as a military commander." The French term, however, is not only shorter, it also conjures up a swashbuckling, adventurous figure, a fighter with an air of mystery to him. That is to say, the phrase nom-de-guerre implies someone dashing, romantic and mysterious that is, a person with whom we should sympathize. Secondly, the descriptor nom-de-guerre conceals an important question: why is this person using a false name? Does this person have a real name? And does this person even exist?
Since March, "NLA commanders" such as Sokoli, Hoxha, and Leka have made themselves remarkably available to British and American journalists. Over cell phones, over cups of coffee, these shadowy figures have always been there to provide a quote when it was needed. Of course, it is impossible to prove anything, but.
The second French word, agents provocateurs, has been used in connection with the destruction of the Sveti Anastasi monastery in Leshok. The NLA did not take responsibility for this crime, but blamed it on "certain agents provocateurs." We can be sure that it was not the NLA who used this term, but the journalists. What they mean to say, more specifically, is that the bombing was committed by Macedonians who wanted to make it look like the NLA's work, to derail the "peace agreement" and provoke more fighting. Not that they have addressed why any patriotic Macedonian would consider the destruction of his country's most revered church to be useful in any way.
Clearly, there is nothing to the NLA's assertion: they are as guilty as sin. But the French word, in this case, rather obliquely skirts the issue and keeps the journalist from having to deal with how to judge the legitimacy of the assertion.
NOPE, THERE'S JUST NO WAY TO BEAT AN ETHNIC REBEL
Any way you slice it, there's just no way to beat an "ethnic rebel." This is an intoxicating phrase for interventionists everywhere. The word "ethnic," especially in the Balkans, conjures up images of poor, oppressed minorities yearning to break free from tyranny. "Ethnic" also implies "truly native of' a place." The correlative word for what happens to "ethnic" groups is "genocide" (i.e., media indictments of Serbia's actions in Kosovo). And, consequently, the need for "rebels," the courageous and just soldiers of said ethnic group who rise up to throw off the yoke of tyranny. The lethal cocktail of "ethnic" and "rebels" conjures up a confusing chain of associations, embedded over time by incessant repetition, which automatically validates the actions of these "freedom-fighters." Specifically in the case of the Balkans, "ethnic rebels" has always meant one thing: whoever was fighting against Serbia. Never mind that Croatia's Fascist leader Tudjman had said, "I'm glad my wife is neither a Serb nor a Jew," nor that Bosnia's Izetbegovic had written a book advocating an ethnically-pure Islamic fundamentalist state in the Balkans; these were just poor victims of Serbian oppression. The torch was passed to the Albanians, who elevated being "ethnic rebels" to an art form in Kosovo, and now Macedonia. After a few tentative weeks in early March, the media stopped referring to the NLA as "terrorists," and almost unanimously began referring to them as "ethnic rebels," or "ethnic guerillas," a term only slightly less provocative.
This brings up an interesting dichotomy: why do we have terrorists in Northern Ireland, but in Macedonia we have "ethnic rebels"? What's to account for this? Ah, I know
THE TERRIBLE SCOUGE OF 'HARDLINE NATIONALISM'
The media's most insidious manipulation of the Macedonian crisis has to be the continued use of the term "hardline nationalist" to denote anyone who has not automatically caved in to the demands of the NLA. The term "nationalist" connotes, by association, images of recalcitrant Balkan thugs inflicting genocidal campaigns of terror against defenseless ethnic minorities. The term "hardline" is used to describe someone who is unyielding and who will not compromise in any negotiations. Taken together, the phrase "hardline nationalist" just seems to cry out for intervention against said boorish thugs. It worked with Milosevic, the most famous "hardline nationalist" now indicted by the Hague for genocide and it seems to be working Macedonia's leaders.
As such, the Macedonia crisis is being subtly manipulated by the media into a replay of Kosovo coverage, as has already been noted, by the description of Macedonian patriots as "hardline nationalists." Prime Minister Georgievski and Interior Minister Boskovski have especially been singled out as "hardline nationalists," as they have consistently stood up for their country in the face of extreme Western pressure to cave in to the demands of the NLA.
Further damning them, in the eyes of the pro-intervention media, has been their stated desire to use all necessary force to remove the terrorists from their positions, and so eliminate the threat to Macedonia's stability.
Yet it is hard to imagine that Tony Blair would be decried as a "hardline nationalist" if the IRA attacked London, and he tried to stop them by force. And say that the IRA then demanded a rewrite of British laws to win "more rights," such as a veto power over Parliament? Would the press condemn Tony as a "hardline nationalist" for refusing them? And what about if they demanded that Gaelic be made an official language?
THE BENEVOLENCE OF THE 'INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY' AND THE GOOD INTENTIONS OF NATO
In matters of intervention, the media often makes reference to an enlightened and benign body, known as the "international community." This group is never defined by name; in other words, there is nowhere to place blame or attach responsibility, although reporters always seem to find "high-ranking diplomats" or "international monitors," or, even more suspicious, "sources" who are glad to share their "concern" over such things as the "peace process" and "human rights." The anonymity and lack of centrality which the "international community" enjoys allows those behind it to avoid the blame for interventionist activities, especially when those activities go disastrously wrong.
In the case of Macedonia, the "international community" is really quite homogenous: it is the NATO governments, under the rule of the U.S., and to a lesser extent, Britain. Words used in the context of the "international community" include "support," "cooperate," "agreement," "confidence-building," "foster," "deploy," and "secure." These are all very benign and laudable terms but they are seldom accurate in the case of Macedonia.
Take this description of the "peace treaty" given by the Economist:
"In the end, foreign mediators persuaded the two sides to accept a compromise, whereby Albanian would receive official status in areas where 20% or more of the locals spoke it. Ethnic Albanians would also be able to speak their language in the national parliament, although Macedonian will remain the language of the central government. Thus ethnic Albanians will be able to use their own language for almost all official purposes, but Macedonian will still reign supreme."
Anyone who has been keeping a close eye on the "peace process" knows that the Macedonians were not "persuaded" they were cajoled, threatened, intimidated and pressured into signing an agreement that proved terrorism gets results. The media almost never shows the "international community" as anything more than a benign, almost godlike, entity committed to the best interests of those it seeks to help.
IT'S NOT OVER 'TIL THE FAT LADY SINGS
And so, all the characters of the Macedonian tragicomic opera are in place. Standing in for Mr. Milosevic are the "hardline nationalists," Prime Minister Georgievski and Interior Minister Boskovski. For the KLA's mouthpiece Ibrahim Rugova we have the suddenly peace-loving statesman Ali Ahmeti of the NLA. The Albanians of Kosovo will be portrayed by the Albanians of Macedonia (and, er, of Kosovo). NATO will also reprise its stellar performance as the guarantor of peace and stability. The murderous Serbs have been replaced by the Macedonians; on second thought, let's just call them "Slavs." And the chorus of the "international community" is warming up, while the British-American media, a very fat lady indeed, smacks her lipstick in the dressing room.
Christopher Deliso is a San Francisco-based travel writer and journalist with special interest in the Balkans. He received his BA in Philosophy and Greek (Hampshire College, 1997) and an M.Phil with distinction in Byzantine Studies (Oxford University, 1999). From 1997-2000 Mr. Deliso lived and worked in Ireland, England, Turkey and Greece, and he spent one month in Macedonia in January, 2000. He is currently involved with investigating media and governmental policies regarding the Macedonian crisis, and he publishes regularly on European travel destinations."
Report Says Macedonians Killed Civilians in Revenge.
New York Times
Report Says Macedonians Killed Civilians in Revenge
By IAN FISHER
That night's newscast showed Ljube Boskovski, the hard-line Macedonian minister of the interior, planted behind a stone wall in the village of Ljuboten, surrounded by soldiers and the sound of gunfire. He was there, the newscast said, as part of a military operation to sweep the village of the ethnic Albanian "terrorists" who had planted the antitank mines that had killed eight Macedonian soldiers two days before.
On the day of the newscast, Aug. 12, seven ethnic Albanians were killed in Ljuboten. But nearly a month later, no evidence has emerged that those people, or three others also killed from the village, were anything but civilians.
In a detailed report to be issued today, Human Rights Watch accuses the overwhelmingly Slavic forces of Macedonia's government of summary execution of civilians, arson and torture. The operation over that weekend, the report says, "had no military justification and was carried out for purposes of revenge."
By the standards of a decade of war in the Balkans, the number of dead around Ljuboten was not high. But the killings were the worst single loss of life in six months of low-level warfare in Macedonia. They were also the clearest and bloodiest example yet of the cycle of revenge that prolonged other Balkan wars. NATO recently embarked on what is intended to be a one-month mission to calm the Macedonian conflict.
In an interview, Mr. Boskovski, perhaps the most outspoken proponent of a military solution to the insurgency, sought to distance himself from what happened in Ljuboten. He said that he arrived only at 4 p.m. that Sunday, after the military operation had ended, and that he did not direct the operation.
But he also maintained that it was "stupidity" to think that the ethnic Albanian rebel force which calls itself the National Liberation Army was not in Ljuboten that weekend, even though he said he had no idea if those who died were fighters or civilians. He also attacked Human Rights Watch, which investigated the incident, calling it an "international mercenary organization."
"They accuse me of being present there and watching when civilians were murdered," Mr. Boskovski said. "That is a monstrous accusation."
"Who would bring a camera with him if he wanted to do something like that?" he asked.
The United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague, charged with investigating allegations of war crimes in all of former Yugoslavia, has sent investigators to Macedonia to decide whether to begin a full investigation into what happened in Ljuboten and who might be responsible.
"It's important to understand that he doesn't have to witness the people being killed to have some responsibility for what happened," said Peter Bouckaert, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch who wrote the group's report on Ljuboten. "It was done by troops under his authority in an action in which he was intimately involved."
Mr. Bouckaert said the killing of civilians in Ljuboten could be a dangerous precedent for Macedonia's future. The peace deal signed on Aug. 13 by the Macedonian and ethnic Albanian parties in Macedonia's government grants ethnic Albanians many of the greater civic rights the rebels say they have sought. NATO has 4,500 troops in Macedonia collecting arms from the ethnic Albanian rebels so that the political part of the peace deal can proceed. But no one is sure that the deal will hold, particularly, in Mr. Bouckaert's view, if a government minister like Mr. Boskovski is seen as condoning attacks on civilians.
"As in all guerrilla conflicts, the question of who is a civilian and who is a fighter is a thorny one. Many rebels live in Albanian villages, and government officials often argue that their status as combatants is a matter of putting on a uniform.
Ljuboten, home to about 3,000 ethnic Albanians and a handful of Slavic Macedonians, lies about five miles north of the capital, Skopje, and is surrounded on three sides by Macedonian villages and to the northeast by the Skopska Crna Gora mountain, where the rebel army is active.
It was on the mountain that on Friday morning, Aug. 10, the two antitank mines exploded a few miles from Ljuboten, killing eight Macedonian soldiers. Two days earlier, 10 Macedonian soldiers had been killed in another ambush. Emotions were running high among the nation's police officers, soldiers and reservists.
Almost immediately that morning, police checkpoints sealed off Ljuboten, and shelling began. The Human Rights Watch report says that Haxhi Meta Xhavit, about 70, died "apparently from shock or heart failure" when his home was hit by a shell.
Early that evening, after a lull, the shelling resumed. A villager, Fazil Duraku, 25, said he saw a panic- stricken boy, Erxhan Aliu, 6, die in the shelling. "There were two or three people in one spot, and this boy was trying to go toward them," he said. "The shell landed maybe the distance of one palm-width away from him, and it threw him into the air." On Friday evening, he said, "We went to our basement because the shooting didn't stop all night."
On Saturday, villagers said, the government continued its shelling, and many villagers were blocked by the police from fleeing Ljuboten. But it was not until Sunday that Macedonian soldiers swept into the village in search of what the government said were terrorists in the area.
In a house across from a Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Jusufi family heard an explosion and crash at the front metal gate about 8:20 a.m. Rami Jusufi, 33, went to lock the door. A burst of machine gun fire bored through as he clicked the lock. The rest of the family including his 58-year-old father, Elmaz, confined to a wheelchair could do nothing but pour iodine on the three bullet wounds of Mr. Jusufi, who spent the next several hours bleeding to death. "In the last half-hour, he started breathing slower and slower," his father said. "And then he just faded away."
One man, Aziz Bajrami, 66, was himself shot and lost two sons on that Sunday. Sitting with his left hand bandaged in a house in the Albanian quarter of Skopje two weeks later, Mr. Bajrami described an atmosphere of chaos and fear as the soldiers entered the village, firing into houses and setting cars, houses and barns ablaze. He said he hid in the basement of a neighbor, along with three of his sons and eight female relatives. The police found them, he said, shot into the basement, stole jewelry from the women and marched the men to a spot where perhaps 10 other Albanian men, most of them young, lay on their stomachs.
"I heard one soldier go up to my son and kick him in his head," Mr. Bajrami said. "When they kicked him in the head, they shot me in the hand. Then my son stood up because of the pain. He tried to run, and they all opened fire on him."
He said the police shot his son, Sulejman, 22, at least twice more before ordering Mr. Bajrami and his cousin, Muharrem, 68, to leave.
"They said, `You old men go home,' " Mr. Bajrami said. "We got up, quickly, and I ran into a little door. Then I heard two shots. I was behind the wall and went into the garage. They killed my cousin. It was only me left."
Two days after the attack, foreign journalists went to Ljuboten, where the bodies of Sulejman and Muharrem Bajrami still lay, each shot repeatedly, in the back and in the head. On a nearby ridge lay three more bodies, including another of Mr. Bajrami's sons, Xhelal, 24, along with the Jashari brothers, Bairam, 33, and Kadri, 31, who had arrived on vacation from Austria 10 days before.
The three had been shot, witnesses said, fleeing a house that Macedonian forces had fired at with rocket- launched grenades.
Later that week, a plumber named Bejtullah Qaili, 43, ended a search for his missing brother at the Skopje morgue. His brother, Atulla, 32, one of more than 100 men arrested in Ljuboten on that Sunday, had apparently been beaten to death, his skull crushed, eyes black and swollen shut, cigarette burns on his arm, his testicles blackened from blows. Most of the arrested were released and all are now accounted for, though roughly a dozen remain in prison, including a 13-year-old boy.
"I wouldn't feel as bad if he was one of the guys who fought," said Mr. Qaili, who added that he had to pay $670 in bribes to have the body released. "If he was a soldier, he would have died for a cause."
Family members of the dead contend that none of them belonged to the rebel army. None were armed, and none wore a uniform or combat boots.
"It is significant that the government has not presented any credible evidence that there was an N.L.A. presence in Ljuboten, such as confiscated N.L.A. weapons or uniforms," the Human Rights Watch report says.
Guerrillas held positions in the mountains outside Ljuboten in August, and had been in the village as recently as June, meeting with foreign reporters. One explanation put forward by outside monitors of what happened in Ljuboten is that government forces saw firing from the mountain and believed that it came from inside the village.
Mr. Boskovski, the interior minister, said he had no doubt that the rebels were in Ljuboten, and that they had attacked Macedonian civilians, a contention that has been widely reported in the Macedonian press.
"It is the easiest thing to make accusations today and to put an equal sign between the aggressor and the victim," he said.
Maxim to Treat Simeon and Bartholomew I.
Prime-Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Oecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I will have lunch together at Patriarch Maxim's on Saturday, employees form the Holy Synod said yesterday. The lunch at the Synodal Palace is on the occasion of Virgin Mary's Day. The list comprises roast lamb, steak with stewed potatoes and baklava and they are to drink plumb Brandy from Troyan. Before the lunch the two Patriarchs are to jointly say a mass at the "St. Nedelya" Cathedral, where the PM is to attend the divine service as well. Bartholomew I arrives in Plovdiv today.
New French Ambassador Spoke Bulgarian.
The new French Ambassador to Bulgaria greeted his receivers in Bulgarian yesterday. H.E. Jean-Loup Kuhn-Delforge arrived at Sofia Airport by an Air France flight yesterday afternoon. I'm proud and very happy to be in Sofia to represent my country and to work for the good relationships between France and Bulgaria, the diplomat said. He asked the journalists for some patience, because he may not speak up officially, before his credentials were presented. Mr. Delforge came to replace ambassador Dominique Chassard, who left for France after a 2-year mandate. The Ambassador met at the Airport Gen. Vassil Vassilev, Head of National Police, who was coming back from a visit to Germany.
Ukraine: Postpone Visa Regime by an year.
Peter Stoyanov proposes that Kiev encourages Bulgarian businessmen by public procurements.
Ukraine asked Bulgaria not to be in a hurry with imposing the visa Regime for Ukrainian nationals. This happened during the meetings of Ukraine's President Leonid Kuchma with his Bulgarian counterpart Peter Stoyanov. The guest arrived on a two-day visit to Bulgaria yesterday.
Visas should be postponed till October next year, Kuchma told businessmen later. During the visit seven documents were signed with one of them being an agreement on readmission. It allows for Bulgaria to expatriate Ukranian nationals illicitly sojourn in our country. After its endorsement one of the requirements for the introduction of an alleviated visa Regime for Ukrainians drops off.
Yesterday the two presidents agreed to step up economic collaboration between Bulgaria and Ukraine. For a start Kuchma insisted that trade between Varna region and Odessa, which are now connected by a ferry, be activated.
Nikolay Svinarov is visiting KFOR in Kosovo.
Bulgarian military delegation is visiting the KFOR peacekeeping troops in Kosovo, where Bulgaria is participating with an engineering squad. Minister of Defense Nikolay Svinarov met the KFOR commander Gen. Torsten Skyaker. During his meeting with Nikolay Svinarov, Gen. Torsten Skyaker emphasized that Bulgarian participation in the KFOR mission has a great political importance for the future membership of Bulgaria in the NATO. They had discussed the problems about eventual closure ofe the border between Kosovo and Macedonia. Gen. Torsten Skyaker said that this problem would be solved soon. Minister Nikolay Svinarov and Gen. Torsten Skyaker have expressed their conviction that the mission of NATO in Macedonia for disarming the Albanian rebels would be successful. Bulgarian Defense Minister said that they had not discussed eventual expansion of Bulgarian presence in the KFOR, although Bulgaria would look for opportunities for this according to its interest. After his meeting, Bulgarian delegation left for Prizren to visit Bulgarian squad working under German command.
Kuchma demanded a careful reconsideration of the future visa regime between Bulgaria and Ukraine.
Future establishment of visa regime for Ukraine, intensification of economic ties between the two countries, re-discovering the Ukrainian market for Bulgarian businessmen, and a serious look at the situation of ethnic Bulgarians in Ukraine were the main issues discussed between the Presidents of Bulgaria and Ukraine. Petar Stoyanov and Leonid Kuchma talked for more than an hour in private at the President Petar Stoyanovs office, after which they took part in the meeting of the Bulgarian and Ukrainian workgroups. President Kuchma said for News.bg Agency that Ukrainian part respected and enjoyed the decision of Bulgaria to apply for a European Union membership and added that all pros and cons should be considered very carefully, especially having in mind the example of Slovakia. On his part, President Petar Stoyanov assured the officials and the journalists that attended the meeting that decisions that would harm the good contacts with Ukraine would not be allowed, and only the most flexible and adequate decision satisfying the two countries and respecting their commitments must be found. The two Presidents expressed explicit position about the situation and the processes in Macedonia towards preserving territorial integrity and independence of Macedonia as one of the most important factors for security and peace on the Balkans, as President Petar Stoyanov said. He emphasized that the conflict could not be solved by military force. They expressed their desire that Macedonian President would be supported by the international community. After the meeting, an Ukrainian journalist presented President Petar Stoyanov with an Ukrainian - Bulgarian dictionary. Minister of the Interior Georgy Petkanov said to News.bg Agency that Kuchma had expressed great interest in the new Bulgarian identity documents and in the principle of their publishing and would visit the passport center on Maria Louisa Boulevard.
Expedition Seeks Biblical Flood Site.
By VESELIN TOSHKOV, Associated Press Writer
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) - Could it be that Noah's Ark lies well-preserved somewhere in the inky depths of the Black Sea?
A joint U.S.-Bulgarian scientific expedition is combing the Black Sea for traces of a lost civilization - a mission that could shed more light on the controversial timing and site of the biblical Great Flood.
Under the supervision of American underwater explorer and Titanic discoverer Robert Ballard, the team of 19 scientists left the port city of Varna, about 300 miles east of Sofia, in mid-August. Their ship, the ``Akademik,'' will use sonar technology to search the mouths of the Provadiyska and Kamchia rivers.
During their 30-day expedition, they will search for undersea evidence of human habitation in the Black Sea region before the flood described in the Old Testament book of Genesis. The Bible says Noah built an ark in which he, his family and living creatures of every kind survived the flood. Numerous towns are believed to have been situated along both rivers.
Some scientists theorize that a society predating those of Egypt and Mesopotamia was submerged by the Black Sea at the time of a massive flood 7,600 years ago. The flood transformed a stillwater lake into the saltwater sea.
Ballard, a National Geographic (news - web sites) Society explorer-in-residence, is best known for finding the remains of the sunken Titanic in 1985. He also operates the Institute for Exploration in Mystic, Conn. Three years ago, he found indications of an ancient coastline miles offshore from the current Black Sea coast.
Although he didn't join the current expedition, Ballard is in constant satellite communication with the crew. Ballard has said that if the expedition is successful, he'll return in 2003, when he would to continue the search with Hercules, a robot being developed for underwater archaeological excavations.
The expedition is sponsored by the National Geographic Society, which is planning a book and television programs on Ballard's Black Sea research.
``We are looking for evidence of settlements where people had been living before the flood,'' Ballard told journalists during a brief stay in Bulgaria ahead of the expedition. Flooding occurred all over the world 7,600 years ago, he said, but ``this was the flood of floods.''
In 1999, Ballard's team discovered a wooden ship in ``absolutely astounding'' condition - despite being up to 1,500 years old - in the Black Sea off the coast of Turkey.
``When archaeologists saw the ship, they said that it could have sunk a week ago,'' Ballard said.
The unique oxygen-free deep water of the Black Sea allowed the ship to be preserved without the normal worm damage that affects wooden vessels. Unlike other oceans, its deep water does not circulate and the lack of oxygen prevents the development of microorganisms that destroy shipwrecks.
In addition to the preserved ship, three other wrecks were found in shallower water where there is some oxygen. Those suffered some worm damage.
According to a theory to which Ballard and his Bulgarian colleagues subscribe, when glaciers melted at the end of the Ice Age, water flowing from the Mediterranean surged over the Bosporus at a speed 200 times greater than that of Niagara Falls.
``Our mission now is to find the ancient shore line 510 feet down and find evidence of human habitation before the flood,'' Ballard said. ``We are undertaking the expedition thanks to maps prepared by Professor Petko Dimitrov and his colleagues, which show the ancient shoreline.''
Dimitrov, who heads Bulgaria's Oceanological Institute, also believes evidence of a lost civilization could be found in the deeps of the Black Sea.
``In 1972, a Neolithic necropolis containing the oldest tomb discovered in Europe to this day was discovered near Varna,'' Dimitrov said.
The necropolis on display at an archaeological museum in Varna dates back to 4600-4200 B.C. It contains 294 tombs and about 3,000 gold objects, 200 copper objects, various tools made of flint and stone, and numerous religious and funeral objects.
During a Bulgarian-Russian expedition in 1985, Dimitrov found an ancient stone plate 40 miles offshore. He later called it ``Noah's Plate.''
``My impression was that it had not fallen from a sunken ship, but had been used there by people,'' Dimitrov said.
Ukraine would make use of Bulgarian achievements for the European Union, Leonid Kuchma said.
Ukraine would make use of Bulgarian achievements in the process of the integration in the European Union, visiting Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said in his speech to Bulgarian Members of Parliament. He said that Kiev has a strategic interest to become a member of the European Union, and added that Ukraine has a clear-cut position for the expansion of the NATO eastward, although he welcomed the achievements of Bulgaria in its jorney to NATO. He appealed to the NATO and to the international community to play active role in imposing the peace in the country, and said that if this would not happen, then all the peacemakers would be indebted to the region. Concerning gas-supply infrastructure projects and the Ilichovsk ferryboat terminal, he said that Varna possessed unused capacities, including as for Stability Pact. Kuchma was the first foreign statesman to speak to the new Bulgarian Parliament.