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Belgrade Media Monitoring

Compilation from Belgrade daily newspapers, prepared by editorial staff of the Voice of Kosovo and Metohia

June 18, 2001

  • One killed in Tetovo drug shoot-out
  • Rebels torch harvest in Aracinovo
  • Macedonian talks deadlocked?
  • MFOR on the way?
  • Customs agreement
  • Security Council delegation in Belgrade
  • One killed in Tetovo drug shoot-out

    (B92, 18. 6. 2001.)

    Tetovo - An Albanian died and two were wounded in separate incidents over the weekend in the Tetovo region of Macedonia. According to police sources, the Albanian was killed in a shoot-out between arms and drug dealers on Saturday night. In the second incident yesterday afternoon, two Albanians driving an Audi tried to activate a hand grenade having been pulled over for running a red light. (Srna)

    Rebels torch harvest in Aracinovo

    (B92, 18. 6. 2001.)

    Skopje - Albanian extremists have set fire to wheat fields in villages north of Aracinovo, police sources in Skopje said today. The fires have apparently been lit in order to draw Macedonian police out of the villages. The same sources reported that guerrillas in Aracinovo have not observed the current ceasefire. (SRNA)

    Macedonian talks deadlocked?

    (B92, 18. 6. 2001.)

    Skopje - Cross-party talks aimed at ending the insurgency in Macedonia have entered day four. The summit is said to be deadlocked over Albanian demands for the creation of a new parliamentary chamber and the post of vice-president, reserved for an Albanian leader. B92’s correspondent reports that the proposals by Democratic Party of Albanians leader Arben Xhaferi will most likely be rejected. The Macedonian side has proposed the Constitution preamble be rewritten and for the Albanian language to be used at all state levels. Despite both sides in the conflict extending a fragile ceasefire on Monday, police sources claim Albanian extremists opened automatic weapon and sniper fire on security forces throughout the night in the Skopje village of Aracinovo. Skirmishes also took place around Kumanovo. No casualties were reported in either incident. (B92)

    MFOR on the way?

    (B92, 18. 6. 2001.)

    Brussels - The proliferation of international military missions in the Balkans seems set to continue with some European NATO members ready to contribute troops to a disarmament project among ethnic Albanian guerrillas. NATO and European Union sources quoted by Reuters today say that the US is shy of sending its Balkan units into Macedonia but has not objected to European troops crossing the border if peace depends on it. This does not mean there will be a European Union military mission, one EU diplomat said, adding that the EU force was not yet operational. The guerrilla National Liberation Army is believed to have called on NATO to send a Macedonian peace mission. (Reuters)

    Customs agreement

    (B92, 18. 6. 2001.)

    Belgrade - The Yugoslav Government and the UN administration in Kosovo have agreed on the opening of a customs checkpoint in Zubac, Belgrade’s Kosovo representative, Momcilo Trajkovic, said today. Talks have begun on a second checkpoint in Mali Rudar. Trajkovic added that he hoped that goods from Serbia entering Kosovo would be tax-free from June 21 or 22. (SRNA)

    Security Council delegation in Belgrade

    (B92, 18. 6. 2001.)

    Belgrade - United Nations Kosovo chief Hans Haekkerup accompanied Security Council ambassadors to Belgrade today for discussions with senior Yugoslav regime officials. Delegation head Anwarul Karim Chowdhury described the meetings with Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica, Foreign Affairs Minister Goran Svilanovic and Police Minister Zoran Zivkovic as the beginning of relations between Yugoslavia and the international community. Chowdhury added that healing processes in Kosovo should begin with the rejection of extremism and violence and promote a multi-ethnic society before cooperation could be begun on economic reconstruction. The delegation noted that security should be stepped up in Kosovo to allow for refugees repatriation and to encourage Serbs to take part in elections. Svilanovic told the delegation that it was essential to fin ways in which to improve Haekkerup’s Constitutional Framework for the province and for Serbs to return before political life could begin again in Kosovo. He added that there were more than 200,000 Kosovo Serbs now living in Serbia proper.

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