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SITUATION IN CRISIS REGIONS.
Frequent shootouts from different types of infantry weapons have been heard late Sunday in Tetovo and its surrounding which were not aimed at direct targets, MIA correspondent reports.
Police sources say burst of fire and sporadic shootouts have been registered from the area around the bridge on Pena River and Colored Mosque, the reformatory, Teke, Ilindenska and Stipska streets opposite to the Interior Department building, and from Rasadiste locality near Tetovo - Popova Sapka road.
Gunfire has been registered from the villages of Miletino, Neraste, Odri, Dobroste, Tearce, Trebos, Ozormiste, Palatica, Neprosteno, Lisec, Gajre, Sipkovica and Mala Recica.
Several signal flares have been registered from Odri and Mala Recica.
It has not been a quiet Sunday night in Kumanovo - Lipkovo Region, MIA's correspondent reported.
The public peace and order have been interrupted by gunfire in thirteen occasions.
Occasional shootings came from the area of the villages of Slupcane, Lojane, Matejce, Vaksince and Rudnicka Kolonija locality, directed at no specific targets.
MINISTER LJUBE BOSKOVSKI IN A VISIT TO GERMANY.
Macedonian Minister of Interior Ljube Boskovski is in a few-day visit to Germany on an invitation from his German counterpart Otto Schily.
Minister Boskovski Sunday evening met with the Macedonians who live in Germany. At the meeting he spoke about the current political and security situation in Macedonia.
He stressed that all Macedonians decide for the future of Macedonia, regardless the place where they live.
"We will never make any compromises for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country," Boskovski said, denying that there was a secret agreement for division of the country made among the leaders of the four largest political parties.
He stressed that the Macedonian police and army are ready to deal with any enemy.
During his stay in Germany, Boskovski will also have a meeting with his host Otto Schily. The meeting is expected to result with signing of an Agreement for readmission between the two countries.
MEETING OF CEI MEMBER STATES IN OHRID.
A three-day meeting of the representatives of 17 Member States of the Central European Initiative (CEI), which is currently presided by the Republic of Macedonia, will begin Monday in Ohrid.
A Conference on CEI Co-operation will be held at the first day of the meeting where National Co-ordinators of CEI Member States, CEI chairs of working groups and members of the CEI - Executive Secretariat will participate.
A session of the Committee of National Co-ordinators will be held on Tuesday and meeting of CEI Ministers of Foreign Affairs will be held on Wednesday.
Ministerial conference is most important meeting of the representatives of CEI Member States in the first half of the year.
The main topic of the conference will be the situation in SEE in the period of the conflicts and final return of the countries from the region to peace, democracy and economic development.
A Final Document, whose text should be determined at the session of the CEI National Co-ordinators, will be adopted. The document will include evaluations of the current political situation in the region and the strategy for accomplishment of the main priority of CEI, approach of the CEI Member States to the EU.
Besides the delegations from all 17 Member States, Macedonia, Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Italy, FR Yugoslavia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia and the Czech Republic, the representatives of the Council of Europe, the OECD, the UN, Danube Commission, SEECP and SECI are also to participate.
During Macedonia's Presidency with CEI two specialised ministerial meeting are expected to be held the one will be the meeting of Ministers of Culture on June 27 in Skopje and the second the meeting Ministers of Agriculture on September in Trieste.
CEI Economic Forum which will take place in Skopje on November 12-15 with participation of numerous representatives of the international organisation and people from the business world and the Summit of CEI Heads of States and Governments on November 15 in Skopje is to mark the finalisation of the presidency of the Republic of Macedonia with CEI.
CEI is the oldest and largest initiative for regional co-operation in the Central and Eastern Europe. Founded in 1989 now it has 17 Member States and has established framework for dialogue, co-ordination and co-operation between the Member States on political, economic, cultural and parliamentary plan.
VPRO-Radio: 'USA Has Supported the Albanian Rebels'
By de Volkskrant foreign affairs editors
Translated by HannaH
De Volkskrant home page on June 22, 2002.
Amsterdam - The United States provided secret support to the Albanian rebels last year, although the NATO was officially impartial. This was said [on Friday, June 21st] in Argos, a programme of the VPRO-Radio, which claims to have gained access in the documents of the secret services of the European NATO member-states.
In the June 2001 fightings between the Macedonian army and the Albanian insurgents in the Macedonian village Arachinovo, a group of 17 Americans accompanied the Albanians. According to Argos, the U.S.A. citizens were military advisors, employed by MPRI (a defence company from Virginia, in service of the American Government).
The confrontation in Arachinovo got last year a lot of media attention because the Albanian insurgents, cornered by the Macedonian Army, could leave the village 'escorted' by NATO and in busses provided by NATO. That decision lead to massive protests by the Macedonian population.
According to Rob de Wijk, a member of the Clingendael Institute [Dutch Institute for International Relations], who got access to the secret reports, the presence of the American advisors 'means in fact that the USA have in that time chosen for the side of the rebels'. According to De Wijk, USA had possibly the goal 'to put the Macedonian Army' under pressure' and in that way to force the Government to 'give concessions to the Albanians'.
The former diplomat (Max van der Stoel), who for many years intensively has been involved in Macedonia, said on Friday [June 21st] that he considers the news about the American support to the rebels as very improbable. He claims that U.S.A., together with the EU and the NATO, played a big role in resolving the crisis in Macedonia.
MPRI was unreachable for comments yesterday. The company website informs that since 1998, MPRI has being assisting Macedonia in capacity building of its small army.
Bulgaria Hopes European Commission Will Listen to Experts' Arguments for Extending Life of Kozloduy's Unit 3, 4.
Sofia, June 23 (BTA) - Bulgaria hopes that the European Commission will listen to experts' arguments for extending the life of Unit 3 and 4 of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant, President Georgi Purvanov told the press Sunday after a three-hour meeting with representatives of the executive, the legislative and the non-government sector where they discussed the future of the N-plant.
The participants in the meeting agreed that the life of Unit 3 and 4 should be extended for as long as possible without allowing this to slow down the negotiations towards EU membership or delaying the accession date, said Purvanov. He also said that the actions and intentions of the government have the support of the President and Parliament.
Purvanov explained that the aim of the meeting was to consolidate the Bulgarian position on this sensitive issue and prevent extreme statements.
He and the other participants would not comment the three strategies and six arguments that were discussed and that the President mentioned in his introductory words.
Purvanov identified nuclear safety as the topmost priority for Bulgaria, and said it is no less important for this country than it is for its European partners.
He also said that Bulgaria cannot refuse to implement disadvantageous agreements reached in previous years in the negotiations with the EU.
The meeting with the President was attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Nikolai Vassilev, the Minister of Energy Milko Kovachev and of Foreign Affairs Solomon Passy, Vesselin Bliznakov of the parliamentry energy committee, Kozloduy CEO Yordan Kostadinov and the chairman of the Committee for Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy Emil Vapirev.
For the First Time Bulgaria Mentions December 2006 As Desired EU Accession Deadline.
Seville-Sofia, June 23 (BTA) - For the first time in Seville on Saturday Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha officially mentioned December 2006 as Bulgaria's desired deadline for accession to the EU, Foreign Minister Solomon Passy told Bulgarian reporters on the plane from Seville to Sofia.
The Prime Minister announced the deadline in his speech at a lunch with the state and government leaders of the European Union and the membership candidates. The EU accepted it for information.
Passy said that December 2006 is "a psychological barrier" and "stepping across a threashold". Also, "the new financial year starts on January 1 and this is why one day between December 31 and January 1 matters".
On the plane to Sofia Passy and European Affairs Minister Meglena Kouneva joined the reporters who travelled to Seville to cover the European Council and the participation of the Bulgarian delegation.
Speaking to the press upon his return from Spain, Prime Minister Saxe-Coburg-Goth said that after the meeting of the government and state leaders of the EU members and candidates, there is a very tangible prospect for Bulgaria to become a member by the end of 2006.
Meglena Kouneva added that the next meeting of the European Council in Copenhagen will specify the additional financing that Bulgaria and Romania will receive to prepare for accession. A readiness to provide additional funding was declared by the EU government leaders. According to Kouneva, they need the time until Copenhagen to make estimates, and the pre-accession funds of ISPA, Phare and SAPARD offer sufficient resources.
Gustavo Selva: Bulgaria Has All Reasons to Expect NATO Invitation this Year.
Sofia, June 23 (BTA) - Bulgaria has all political and technical reasons to expect an invitation for NATO membership this year; the country is making a progress, Gustavo Selva of the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament told BTA. Selva, who is also chairman of the committee for foreign affairs with the Chamber of Deputies, arrived on a visit here Sunday.
Bulgaria is doing well in terms of GDP growth and the Stability Pact and EU criteria, and this is an advantage for the country's candidacy for EU membership, said he.
He also said that during the Seville European Council that ended Saturday, he felt in the German side a wish for slowing down the pace of enlargement, which he said can probably be explained with the preparation for the elections for chancellor.
Italy has an interest and will to help Bulgaria in its EU and NATO membership efforts, said the former journalist when he was asked to comment bilateral relations. He spoke about a connection between the political lines followed by the two countries and said that "it is not a marriage of convenience but of love".
On Monday Selva is meeting with Foreign Minister Solomon Passy and with the leaders of the parliamentary committees on foreign policy, defence and security, on european integration and with the Bulgaria-Italy Friendship Group with Parliament.