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Archive for 4 Απριλίου 2007

Η ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ ΣΤΗΝ ΚΙΝΑ

Posted by satyrikon στο 4 Απριλίου, 2007

Through the Looking Glass

Chinese democracy is making progress along a way unique to itself,

despite the fact that political modernization in the country often

escapes the vision of many Western observers. This is what David

Gosset, Director of Academia Sinica Europaea at Shanghai-based

China Europe International Business School, told a forum on China,

sponsored and organized by the Foundation Marcelino Botin (Spain),

late last year.

Excerpts follow:

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ΔΙΑΒΑΣΤΕ ΟΛΟΚΛΗΡΟ ΤΟ ΑΡΘΡΟ

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UPDATED: February-25-2007

NO.9 MAR.1, 2007

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ΚΟΣΣΟΒΟ-Η ΚΙΝΕΖΙΚΗ ΑΠΟΨΗ

Posted by satyrikon στο 4 Απριλίου, 2007

A Sovereignty Dilemma

The wrangling of major

powers fuels contention

over Kosovo’s future status

By LI JUN

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 UPDATED: March-14-2007 NO.12 MAR.22, 2007

ΠΗΓΗ :

http://www.bjreview.com/world/txt/2007-03/14/content_59083.htm

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Serbia and Kosovo have been locked in intensive negotiations since UN

Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari released a draft report on the settlement

 of the status of Kosovo, currently a province of Serbia administered

by the United Nations, early February. But no consensus was reached

 as of early March. After hearing opinions from various parties,

Ahtisaari is expected to submit a final proposal to the UN Security

Council by the end of the month. With this deadline just around

the corner, negotiations on Kosovo’s status have turned heated.

The Kosovo issue has long been «internationalized,» as evidenced

by the stark fact that NATO waged a war against a sovereign

country precisely to resolve this issue. «Big power factors» will

therefore play a decisive role. The United States and the

European Union (EU) largely share the same position, both

favoring the «conditional independence» of Kosovo. By

«conditional independence» they mean that Kosovo should not

return to its status before 1999, be divided or be annexed by

a neighboring country. Russia, however, hopes to reach an

agreement acceptable to both Kosovar Albanians and Serbs,

while opposing any coercive agreements that Serbs find

unacceptable. Conflicting interests underlie this divergence of views.

Sponsors for independence

The United States and Britain support Kosovo’s independence

as part of their efforts to reward the Albanians and address

the remaining issues of the Kosovo war. First of all, the primary

 reason why the United States launched the Kosovo war in 1999

is that it wanted to topple Slobodan Milosevic’s regime in Yugoslavia,

«the last Communist stronghold» in the eyes of Western countries.

Under the pretext of the «ethnic cleansing» in Kosovo, it attacked

Yugoslavia together with its NATO allies without the authorization

of the UN. After the war, as Yugoslavs aspired for peace and stability,

it helped Yugoslavia’s opposition to take over the reins in 2000

by committing a huge amount of human and material resources to

the country. Now that it has fulfilled its goal, the United States will

certainly rewardthe Kosovar Albanians for their contributions.

Also, many immigrants of Albanian origin are living in the United

States. They have formed lobbying organizations to exert influence

on the U.S. Congress. Some U.S. politicians are convinced that

Kosovar Albanians are oppressed by the Serbs and their rights

and demands should be satisfied.

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ΠΗΓΗ :

http://www.bjreview.com/world/txt/2007-03/14/content_59083.htm

 

  

  

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UN council mulls Kosovo independence

Posted by satyrikon στο 4 Απριλίου, 2007

UN council mulls Kosovo independence

(Reuters)
Updated: 2007-04-04 09:25
UNITED NATIONS – There is «considerable support» within the UN Security Council for supervised independence for Kosovo, the council president said on Tuesday, but he said a vote on the breakaway Serbian province is unlikely soon.

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Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu talks to the media prior to a meeting of the Security Council at the United Nations, Tuesday, April 3, 2007 in New York. [AP]

The UN mediator for Kosovo, Martti Ahtisaari, a former Finnish president, last week recommended supervised independence for the breakaway Serbian province — a move fiercely opposed by Belgrade but strongly backed by the United States and European Union.

After a council briefing by Ahtisaari, Britain’s UN Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry, the council president for April, told reporters the governments of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the United States and Russia would likely start drafting a possible council resolution this month.

«There was considerable support among member states for President Ahtisaari’s proposals,» Jones Parry told reporters, adding that the council would also decide in coming days on whether to visit Kosovo.

«I will expect further (council) discussions this month. I don’t think it’s likely there will be an early presentation of a Security Council resolution though,» he said.

Kosovo is the last major dispute following the breakup of Yugoslavia marked by bloody wars in the 1990s.

Kosovo has been under UN administration since 1999, when NATO launched bombing raids to stop Serb forces from driving out the province’s ethnic Albanians, who comprise 90 percent of the population.

MORE NEGOTIATIONS

Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council with veto power, has urged more negotiations to seek a solution acceptable to the ethnic Albanian Kosovars and the Serb minority.

Moscow has been careful not to outright reject Ahtisaari’s independence proposals.

But France’s UN Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere said he believed Russia was trying to slow the process and that any delays would be «very risky.»

Russia has raised fears that granting independence for Kosovo would set a dangerous precedent for separatist groups elsewhere in places such as in Abkhazia or south Ossetia.

However, La Sabliere said Kosovo was not a precedent. «What is at stake is the stability of Europe and this is the completion of the process of the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, so it’s a very specific situation,» he said.

«To keep the status quo is not an option, it would be even dangerous,» he said.

Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica addressed the closed meeting of the Security Council on Tuesday, while a representative of the UN mission in Kosovo spoke on behalf of Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu.

Sejdiu, who did not address the council due to protocol issues, told reporters afterward that «unfortunately we have exhausted all possibilities of a negotiated agreement.»

Kostunica called for new talks with a new mediator.

The Ahtisaari plan would give independence to the ethnic Albanian-majority but provides for a European Union overseer, an EU police mission alongside the current 16,500-strong NATO peace force and broad self-government for the remaining 100,000 Serbs.

ΠΗΓΗ : http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2007-04/04/content_843158.htm

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ΟΙ ΚΙΝΕΖΟΙ ΤΙΜΟΥΝ ΤΟΥΣ ΠΡΟΓΟΝΟΥΣ ΤΟΥΣ

Posted by satyrikon στο 4 Απριλίου, 2007

Stamps issued to commemorate

Chinese ancestors

www.chinanews.cn 2007-04-04 11:12:55

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China issued a set of stamps to mark a grand Memorial Ceremony to Ancestors which is scheduled to be held on April 19 in the Emperor Huangdi’s native place Xinzheng City, Henan Province. Huangdi is considered as the first ancestor of human civilization of China.

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Stratfor Terrorism Intelligence Report-Τετάρτη, 4 Απριλίου 2007 10:03 μμ

Posted by satyrikon στο 4 Απριλίου, 2007

Strategic Forecasting

TERRORISM INTELLIGENCE REPORT

04.04.2007

The British Detainees:

Why a Rescue Attempt

was Never in the Cards

By Fred Burton

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said April 4 that the 15 British sailors and marines captured March 23 in the area around the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab waterway would be released. Although it is unclear at this point just what deal was made to secure their freedom, it is apparent that Iran instigated the drama for much the same reason it held 52 American hostages for 444 days following the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by radical students in 1979. Both events were meant to demonstrate the power of Iran’s hard-liners, not only to the Iranian public but also to the West and the rest of the world.

As the stalemate between the British and the Iranians dragged on for nearly two weeks, many Stratfor readers wrote in to suggest that a rescue operation should be undertaken. In this case, however, seeking a diplomatic solution was always the most logical approach.

Although the rescue operation authorized by U.S. President Jimmy Carter in 1979 ended badly for the United States, the British Special Air Service (SAS) and its U.S. counterparts are far better prepared than they were back then — and they could have avoided most of the mistakes made during «Desert One.» That said, however, the Iranians are experts at hiding hostages for long periods, and there certainly was no guarantee that a rescue attempt would have succeeded. Therefore, it was indeed just speculation that one would have been attempted.

The SAS and American operators have conducted hundreds of successful missions in the region, both during the 1991 Gulf War and following the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. They are better equipped than ever before and, with their skills honed to a razor’s edge by repeated combat deployments and many successful missions, they perhaps are at their highest level of proficiency.

However, this was not the Iranians’ first rodeo when it comes to holding captives, and they undoubtedly would have taken measures to thwart any rescue attempt. While some of these measures would have been military, the most important ones would have been in the realm of intelligence. The Iranians understand that intelligence drives any rescue mission and that by denying the British the required intelligence, they could prevent a rescue attempt from ever getting off the ground.

Naturally, the British (and the Americans) will have focused a tremendous amount of effort and resources on determining where the British personnel were being held. While this case is reminiscent of the 1979 crisis in some ways, when it comes to thwarting intensive intelligence efforts to locate a small group of detainees, it is perhaps more relevant to look back to the Lebanon hostage-taking crisis of the 1980s. During that period, the Iran-guided Hezbollah operation thwarted intensive U.S. efforts to collect the tactical intelligence required to mount a rescue attempt for nearly a decade.

Ali the Iranian

Hezbollah is intimately connected to Iran. The organization was created by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the 1980s as a vehicle to export the ideals of Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution to Lebanon’s Shiite community. Since then, Iran has been Hezbollah’s chief source of funding and weapons, and the Iranians also provide extensive training in weapons, tactics, communications, surveillance, intelligence and other methods to Hezbollah’s militant wing in Lebanon.

Because of this relationship, the Iranians were intimately involved in Hezbollah’s operations to abduct Western hostages in Lebanon — and to hold them for prolonged periods of time. In fact, some of the hostages were even held at locations clearly associated with Iran’s IRGC, such as the Sheikh Abdullah Barracks in Baalbek, in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

This linkage to Iran was clearly displayed in the Iran-Contra scandal, in which sales and transfers of arms to Iran led to the release of hostages, including Benjamin Weir in 1985 and David Jacobson and Father Lawrence Jenco in 1986. However, this Iranian involvement in the keeping of Western hostages in Lebanon was perhaps best personified by a Persian who came to be known as «Ali the Iranian.»

During the debriefings of the Western hostages held in Lebanon, it was learned that many of the hostages had seen the same short, chubby bearded chap — a man the debriefers nicknamed «Ali the Iranian.» The uncanny similarity between the sketches made of this man during the debriefing process, as he was described by hostages held at different times and in different locations, demonstrated Ali’s prolonged involvement in the episode.

When Ali would come to visit the locations where the hostages were being held, he was treated with great reverence and respect by the guards, and a few of the hostages even characterized his visits as «inspections.» Also, due to the timing of his visits, it is believed that Ali was involved in overseeing prisoner movement, monitoring their treatment and approving the sites where they were held.

Because of his function, the U.S. interagency task force assigned to locate the hostages (part of which involved debriefing former hostages) came to the conclusion that Ali was an Iranian intelligence officer who worked very closely with Imad Fayez Mugniyah, the man responsible for Hezbollah’s intelligence and counterintelligence activities. Mugniyah is believed to have directed the kidnappings of the Westerners in Lebanon and to have been involved in the efforts to guard them and to thwart any U.S. rescue efforts.

Tactical Lessons from Lebanon

From the debriefings of the Western hostages in Beirut, much was learned about the tactics used by Mugniyah and Hezbollah to keep U.S. intelligence off balance during the decade-long hostage crisis.

First, Hezbollah did not keep all of its eggs in one basket — it kept the hostages split up. While some were kept in groups, they were never all held together in the same location. The high-value targets, such as CIA station chief William Buckley and Marine Col. William Higgins, were held and interrogated separately. Buckley was moved to the same location as one of the small groups shortly before his death, but he was gravely ill at the time of his transfer and had clearly been severely tortured and badly abused during his solitary captivity.

The hostages also were kept in a number of different environments, including the basement of a military barracks, a secret compartment under a barn and an apartment in a high-rise building in the southern suburbs of Beirut. Sometimes the hostages were kept in absolute darkness, while at other times they were kept in a more congenial atmosphere where they were given light and reading material. Regardless of the conditions, however, the hostages were well-secured and carefully watched by guards armed with assault rifles and pistols. At times, the hostages were chained to the radiator in a room in an apartment building, and at other times they were locked in cells that measured just 16 square feet and were 4 feet high (which was particularly tough for 6-foot-7-inch Briton Terry Waite.) While captives Charlie Glass and Jerry Levin successfully escaped, other escape attempts were foiled and resulted in merciless beatings.

The hostages were almost always held in an area surrounded by Hezbollah sympathizers — people who could warn of surveillance by Western intelligence, provide early warning on preparation for rescue attempts and help deter escape attempts and recapture escaped hostages.

Hezbollah also moved the hostages around, especially following the release of a hostage or another event that could serve to compromise their location. The hostages were nearly always moved under cover of darkness, and they frequently were bundled like mummies and wrapped in cloth or tape. This not only made escape difficult, but would also make it impossible for any accidental bystander to identify them. At times, the bundled hostages would be moved in the trunk of a car, or even hidden in trucks with secret compartments (presumably used at other times for smuggling arms and other illicit goods.)

These measures (along with the U.S. government’s paucity of human sources in Lebanon and over-reliance on signals intelligence) meant that the United States could never gather hard intelligence on the locations of all the hostages at any one time. Without the ability to get U.S. «eyes on» the different detention sites simultaneously, no U.S. rescue mission could be launched. U.S. eyes were needed for verification because the United States could not run the risk of being lured into a trap by bad intelligence — a trap in which American service personnel could be killed or captured and the disaster made even worse.

Tactical Reality Today

One stark difference between the situations in Lebanon in the past and in Iran today is that the conditions and circumstances under which the Britons are being held is different. The British detainees are being held by an acknowledged government, not a nonstate actor like Hezbollah. Certainly, the captors moved the detainees to various locations, keeping security around them tight and compelling them to make statements to the media. The detainees, however, were not tortured or otherwise intentionally traumatized. Iran could not have afforded for its former captives to tell stories to the media about being chained to radiators and kept in tiger cages. It also could not have them relate stories about being wrapped as mummies and shoved in false compartments of trucks. Also, there was never any indication that the Iranians meant for this captivity to last for months or years.

That said, while many of the specific tactics used by Iran’s proteges in Lebanon could not be used during the most recent situation, many of the broad principles could have applied, and these principles would have assisted the Iranians in keeping British intelligence efforts off balance — should they have chosen to prolong this drama.

Iran is far larger than Lebanon, and Tehran is several times farther from the sea than any point in Lebanon. As witnessed during Desert One in 1979, even getting a rescue team to Tehran can be difficult. The terrain, however, was just one of the obstacles. The IRGC, which captured the British personnel, is far larger and better-equipped than Hezbollah — not to mention the rest of the Iranian military, police and the MOIS — and the Iranians are far better trained, equipped and organized than they were in 1979 or Hezbollah was in the 1980s.

Based on these considerations, the conditions under which the detainees have been kept, the risk associated with a rescue operation and the difficulty in collecting the intelligence necessary to launch a rescue attempt in the first place — a diplomatic, negotiated settlement to the case was always in the cards.

© Copyright 2007 Strategic Forecasting Inc. All rights reserved.

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Απελευθερώθηκαν οι 15 βρετανοί πεζοναύτες-Τετάρτη, 4 Απριλίου 2007 9:30 μμ

Posted by satyrikon στο 4 Απριλίου, 2007

«Μολονότι έχουμε δικαίωμα να τους δικάσουμε, στο όνομα του προφήτη του
Ισλάμ, οι 15 βρετανοί στρατιωτικοί παίρνουν χάρη και προσφέρουμε την
απελευθέρωσή τους ως δώρο στο βρετανικό λαό», δήλωσε σε συνέντευξη
Τύπου ο ιρανός πρόεδρος, Μαχμούντ Αχμαντινεζάντ.

Ο ιρανός πρόεδρος, μετά τη συνέντευξη, συναντήθηκε στο προεδρικό μέγαρο
με τους 15 βρετανούς ναυτικούς και πεζοναύτες στους οποίους απένειμε
χάρη.

Η τηλεόραση τους παρουσίασε με πολιτικά να ανταλάσσουν χειραψία με τον
πρόεδρο.

Ιρανική επίσημη πηγή ανακοίνωσε ότι οι 15 Βρετανοί θα αναχωρήσουν από
το Ιράν αύριο.

«Ζητώ από τον κ. Μπλερ να μην τιμωρήσει τους στρατιώτες με την
κατηγορία ότι αποδέχθηκαν και είπαν την αλήθεια», είχε πει νωρίτερα,
στη διάρκεια της συνέντευξης Τύπου, ο Αχμαντινεζάντ, αναφερόμενος στις
βιντεοταινίες που μεταδόθηκαν, στις οποίες οι βρετανοί στρατιωτικοί
ομολογούν, σύμφωνα με το Ιράν, ότι είχαν εισέλθει στα ιρανικά χωρικά
ύδατα.

Ο Αχμαντινεζάντ εξέφρασε παράλληλα τη λύπη του για την παραβίαση των
ιρανικών υδάτινων συνόρων από τους βρετανούς στρατιωτικούς και για το
ότι το Λονδίνο δεν έδειξε αρκετό θάρρος ώστε να παραδεχθεί το λάθος
του.

«Η βρετανική κυβέρνηση δεσμεύτηκε σε επιστολή της ότι δεν θα
επαναληφθούν οι παραβιάσεις του ιρανικού εδάφους. Όμως η απελευθέρωση
των βρετανών στρατιωτικών δεν συνδέεται με αυτήν την επιστολή.
Οφείλεται στην ισλαμική καλοσύνη», σημείωσε ο ιρανός πρόεδρος.

Ο Αχμαντινεζάντ υπογράμμισε ακόμη ότι οι μεγάλες δυνάμεις δεν μπορούν
να στερήσουν το Ιράν από το δικαίωμά του στην πυρηνική τεχνολογία με
την έκδοση αποφάσεων του ΟΗΕ και σημείωσε ότι το Ιράν θα μπορούσε να
προβεί σε αντίποινα για τις κυρώσεις που επιβλήθηκαν στις ιρανικές
τράπεζες στο εξωτερικό από το Συμβούλιο Ασφαλείας.

Εξάλλου, ο Αχμαντινεζάντ ανέφερε ότι το Ιράν θα μπορούσε να
επανεξετάσει τις σχέσεις του με τις ΗΠΑ αν ο αμερικανός πρόεδρος Τζορτζ
Μπους και η κυβέρνησή του άλλαζαν συμπεριφορά, χωρίς όμως να
διευκρινίσει τί είδους αλλαγή θα ήθελε να δει.

Ο ιρανός πρόεδρος σημείωσε επίσης ότι δεν υπάρχει σχέση ανάμεσα στην
απελευθέρωση των 15 Βρετανών και στο θέμα των 5 Ιρανών που κρατούνται
από τις αμερικανικές δυνάμεις στο Ιράκ.

Την είδηση της απελευθέρωσης των Βρετανών ναυτών χαιρέτισε τόσο ο Τόνι
Μπλερ όσο και ο πρόεδρος Τζορτζ Μπους.

Αμέσως μετά την ανακοίνωση από τον ιρανό πρόεδρο της απελευθέρωσης των
βρετανών στρατιωτικών έπεσε η τιμή του αργού πετρελαίου στο Λονδίνο και
στη Νέα Υόρκη κατά περίπου μισό δολάριο.

Αντιδράσεις

Από το Λονδίνο, ο βρετανός πρωθυπουργός, Τόνι Μπλερ δήλωσε μεγάλη
ικανοποίηση για τη θετική έκβαση της κράτησης των 15 ναυτών, για σχεδόν
δύο εβδομάδες, από τις ιρανικές αρχές. Τόνισε ότι η χώρα του ήταν
αποφασισμένη να επιλύσει την κρίση αυτή με ειρηνικό τρόπο.

«Είχαμε αποφασίσει ούτε να διαπραγματευτούμε αλλά ούτε και να
συγκρουστούμε» με το Ιράν για το ζήτημα αυτό, τόνισε ο κ. Μπλερ
μιλώντας στον Τύπο έξω από την πρωθυπουργική κατοικία στο Λονδίνο, ενώ
απευθυνόμενος στον ιρανικό λαό είπε: «Δεν έχουμε τίποτε εναντίον σας».

Την είδηση της απελευθέρωσης των Βρετανών ναυτών χαιρέτισε και ο
αμερικανός πρόεδρος Τζορτζ Μπους.

«Είμαι ιδιαιτέρως ικανοποιημένος για την εξέλιξη με τους ναύτες»,
δήλωσε ο γερμανός υπουργός Εξωτερικών, Φρανκ-Βάλτερ Στάϊνμαγιερ, που
μιλούσε εξ ονόματος της γερμανικής προεδρίας της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενωσης.

Ο κ. Στάϊνμαγιερ εξέφρασε την ευχή οι 15 βρετανοί ναύτες να περάσουν το
Πάσχα στην πατρίδα τους με τις οικογένειές τους.

«Κίνηση καλής θέλησης» χαρακτήρισε την απόφαση του ιρανού προέδρου
Μαχμούντ Αχμαντινεζάντ να προχωρήσει στην απελευθέρωση των βρετανών
ναυτών, το ρωσικό υπουργείο Εξωτερικών, όπως ανέφερε μιλώντας στον Τύπο
ο υφυπουργός Εξωτερικών, Αλεξάντερ Λοσιούκοφ.

Από το Παρίσι, ο γάλλος υπουργός Εξωτερικών, Φιλίπ Ντουστ-Μπλαζί
χαιρέτισε την «ευχάριστη είδηση» της απελευθέρωσης των 15 βρετανών
ναυτών και ευχήθηκε να φτάσουν το συντομότερο δυνατόν στην πατρίδα
τους.

ΠΗΓΗ : HR-Net News Distribution Manager

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ΠΑΣΟΚ: Πρόσκληση στον προσυνεδριακό διάλογο-07-04-04

Posted by satyrikon στο 4 Απριλίου, 2007

Ο πρόεδρος του ΠΑΣΟΚ Γιώργος Α. Παπανδρέου, απηύθυνε ανοιχτή πρόταση –
πρόσκληση προς τους πολίτες για συμμετοχή στον Προσυνεδριακό
Προγραμματικό Διάλογο, ενόψει του Προγραμματικού Συνεδρίου του
Κινήματος,  τονίζοντας ότι  ο Διάλογος μπορεί να γίνει είτε μέσω των
διαδικασιών που προγραμματίζονται από τα κεντρικά και περιφερειακά
Όργανα του ΠΑΣΟΚ, είτε με πρωτοβουλία των πολιτών.

Στο μήνυμά του ο Γιώργος Παπανδρέου αναφέρει:

«Το ΠΑΣΟΚ ως ανοικτό κόμμα και εφαρμόζοντας στην πράξη τις αρχές της
συμμετοχικής δημοκρατίας, οργανώνει σε όλη την χώρα, ενόψει του
Προγραμματικού του Συνεδρίου, τόσο ανοικτές εκδηλώσεις με ομιλητές
κεντρικά στελέχη, όσο και Κύκλους Διαλόγου πολιτών. Οι Κύκλοι Διαλόγου
μπορούν να δημιουργούνται οπουδήποτε, σε γειτονιές, σε χώρους δουλειάς
και εκπαίδευσης, είτε με την πρωτοβουλία των οργάνων του ΠΑΣΟΚ
(Δημοτικές Οργανώσεις, Ινστιτούτο Επιμόρφωσης), είτε με την πρωτοβουλία
οποιωνδήποτε πολιτών θελήσουν να λάβουν μέρος στις διαδικασίες
επεξεργασίας του προγράμματος του ΠΑΣΟΚ χωρίς να εμπλακούν στις
κομματικές διαδικασίες. Θέλουμε οι Κύκλοι Διαλόγου να γίνουν παντού, σε
κάθε γωνιά της χώρας και να αποτελέσουν χώρους προβληματισμού αλλά και
διαμόρφωσης προτάσεων των πολιτών προς το Προγραμματικό Συνέδριο του
ΠΑΣΟΚ, όπου θα συζητηθούν όλες οι προτάσεις. Γιβαυτό το λόγο, σε κάθε
ανοικτή εκδήλωση και Κύκλο Διαλόγου θα κρατούνται πρακτικά.  Η
διαδικασία της συμμετοχής των πολιτών στους Κύκλους Διαλόγου είναι
άμεση και απλή. Όσες και όσοι ενδιαφέρονται να συμμετάσχουν μπορούν να
απευθύνονται στο Ινστιτούτο Επιμόρφωσης (τηλ. 210-3890120-124, e-mail:
epimorfosi@pasok.gr). Το Ινστιτούτο Επιμόρφωσης θα τους υποστηρίξει και
θα φροντίσει τα συμπεράσματα της συζήτησης να προωθηθούν στην Επιτροπή
Προγράμματος και από εκεί στο Συνέδριο. Σας καλώ να πάρετε την υπόθεση
του αύριο στα χέρια σας, να συμμετάσχετε σε αυτή την πρωτοπόρα
διαδικασία, δημιουργώντας με δική σας πρωτοβουλία Κύκλους Διαλόγου για
όποιους τομείς του προγράμματος του ΠΑΣΟΚ σας ενδιαφέρουν».

«Ευθύνες στην κυβέρνηση για τα ομόλογα»

Το ΠΑΣΟΚ θα φέρει την κυβέρνηση προ των ευθυνών της στην υπόθεση των
ομολόγων των Ασφαλιστικών Ταμείων, τόνισε ο πρόεδρος του Κινήματος,
μιλώντας στη συνεδρίαση του Κοινοβουλευτικού Συμβουλίου.

Στη μακρά παρέμβασή του ο κ. Παπανδρέου ανέφερε, μεταξύ άλλων, ότι στο
θέμα των Ταμείων, η κυβέρνηση, πίσω από το προπέτασμα καπνού της
απογραφής, οργάνωσε τη μέθοδο να πουλά φθηνά και να αγοράζει ακριβά.

Ειδικότερα για τα ομόλογα, ο κ. Παπανδρέου τόνισε ότι «υπήρξε ένα
μεγάλο κόλπο», το οποίο άρχισε το 2005 και αφορά τα αποθεματικά των
Ταμείων.

Όλα αυτά, πρόσθεσε ο πρόεδρος του ΠΑΣΟΚ, (αναφερόμενος στο «σπάσιμο»
των εγγυημένων ομολόγων του δημοσίου και της μαζικής αγοράς των υψηλού
ρίσκου δομημένων) «δεν μπορούσαν να γίνουν χωρίς σχεδιασμό και γνώση
των υπουργείων Οικονομίας και Απασχόλησης».

Ο πρόεδρος του ΠΑΣΟΚ καταλόγισε την ευθύνη για όσα συνέβησαν στον
Πρωθυπουργό, κάνοντας λόγο για «βαριά και αυτονόητη πολιτική ευθύνη»
του κ. Καραμανλή για τη δημιουργία και τη λειτουργία του συστήματος που
έπαιξε με τα χρήματα των ασφαλισμένων.

Ο κ. Παπανδρέου απέρριψε την κυβερνητική εκδοχή ότι πρόκειται για μια
κατ΄ εξαίρεση περίπτωση και πρόσθεσε ότι πρόκειται για ένα σύστημα, το
οποίο αναπτύχθηκε στην καρδιά της πολιτικής της κυβέρνησης.

Ανέφερε επίσης ότι η κυβέρνηση έδρασε με «μεθοδικό και κυνικό τρόπο»
εναντίον των αποθεματικών των ταμείων και αναρωτήθηκε ποιος μπορεί να
εμπιστευτεί μια τέτοια κυβέρνηση.

Οι εξελίξεις στην υπόθεση των ομολόγων των Ασφαλιστικών Ταμείων, όπως
ανέφερε ο κ. Παπανδρέου, δικαιώνουν τη θέση του ΠΑΣΟΚ για εκλογές και
πρόσθεσε ότι όσο μένει αυτή η κυβέρνηση βλάπτει, πάει πίσω τον τόπο.

Ασκώντας γενικότερη κριτική στην κυβέρνηση ο αρχηγός της αξιωματικής
αντιπολίτευσης τόνισε ότι σε όλα τα θέματα που απασχολούν, το τελευταίο
διάστημα, την κοινή γνώμη και σε όλες τις κυβερνητικές πολιτικές,
υπάρχουν δύο κοινά χαρακτηριστικά:

Το πρώτο είναι η προσπάθεια πλήρους χειραγώγησης των θεσμών ενός
κράτους δικαίου, είτε αφορά θεσμούς (Δικαιοσύνη κλπ) είτε ανεξάρτητες
αρχές ή άλλους θεσμούς (Αρχή Επαγγελματικού Αθλητισμού) είτε παρέμβαση
στην Τράπεζα της Ελλάδος (με την κατάργηση του ελέγχου για τις
επενδύσεις των ασφαλιστικών ταμείων) είτε διαρκείς παρεμβάσεις για τη
χειραγώγηση Ανεξάρτητων Αρχών (π.χ. ΑΔΑΕ και ΑΣΕΠ).

Αναφορικά με τις προθέσεις της κυβέρνησης για τις Ανεξάρτητες Αρχές,
επισημάνθηκε η τοποθέτηση της Προέδρου της Βουλής ΄Αννας
Ψαρούδα-Μπενάκη σχετικά με τις εν λόγω αρχές.

Το δεύτερο στοιχείο είναι η ιδιοποίηση των δημόσιων λειτουργιών και του
δημόσιου πλούτου. Αυτό ξεκινά από τον διορισμό ημετέρων κουμπάρων και
κάθε λογής εξαρτημένων προσώπων από το κόμμα και φθάνει, δυστυχώς,
μέχρι τον προσωπικό πλουτισμό κάποιων από τα πρόσωπα αυτά. Όλα αυτά,
τόνισε ο κ. Παπανδρέου, βρίσκονται σε πλήρη αντίστιξη με όσα ζει ο
πολίτης, το δράμα του οικογενειακού προϋπολογισμού, όπου όλα
χειροτερεύουν, το εισόδημα μειώνεται και η ακρίβεια εκτινάσσεται.

ΠΗΓΗ : HR-Net News Distribution Manager

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ΔΙΕΘΝΕΙΣ ΕΙΔΗΣΕΙΣ-07-04-04

Posted by satyrikon στο 4 Απριλίου, 2007

CONTENTS
[01] RUSSIA CALLS ON UKRAINIANS TO DISPLAY ‘WISDOM’
[02] MINISTER CALLS ON RUSSIANS TO BOYCOTT ESTONIA
[03] TOP RUSSIAN SCIENTIST SAYS IRAN ABLE TO MAKE NUCLEAR WEAPONS…
[04] …AND ITS LEADING GENERAL SAYS U.S. CANNOT DEFEAT IRAN
[05] RUSSIA SEEKS CONTROLLING STAKE IN ITALIAN AIRLINE
[06] FRANCE AND RUSSIA AGREE ON NUCLEAR JOINT VENTURE
[07] ARMENIA’S RULING PARTY NOMINATES DEFENSE MINISTER AS CANDIDATE FOR
     PREMIERSHIP
[08] GUNMEN WOUND ARMENIAN MAYOR
[09] OSCE OFFICIAL CRITICIZES ARMENIAN LEADERSHIP
[10] ARMENIAN OFFICIAL DEFENDS TRIP TO TURKEY
[11] AZERBAIJANI INTERIOR MINISTER REPORTS ON EFFORT TO COMBAT TORTURE
     AND ABUSE
[12] AZERBAIJAN HOSTS INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON SUPPLYING ENERGY TO
     EUROPE
[13] MEDIA WATCHDOG HIGHLIGHTS CASE OF IMPRISONED AZERBAIJANI
     JOURNALIST
[14] GEORGIAN LAWMAKERS BEGIN TALKS ON NEW INITIATIVE FOR SOUTH OSSETIA
[15] GEORGIAN MINISTER REVEALS NEW DETAILS IN CHARGES THAT RUSSIA
     SHELLED GEORGIAN VILLAGES
[16] KYRGYZ PRESIDENT RESHUFFLES GOVERNMENT…
[17] …AS OPPOSITION CONTINUES TO REJECT COALITION GOVERNMENT…
[18] …AND PRESENTS DRAFT CONSTITUTION
[19] TAJIK RULING PARTY WINS PARLIAMENTARY BY-ELECTIONS
[20] SCO REACHES OUT TO TURKMENISTAN
[21] BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION POLITICIAN FACES INCARCERATION FOR THIRD
     TIME
[22] UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT DISSOLVES PARLIAMENT…
[23] …AS RULING COALITION REFUSES TO OBEY
[24] TOP U.S. OFFICIAL URGES EUROPEANS TO ACT QUICKLY ON KOSOVA
[25] GERMANY SENDS MORE TROOPS TO KOSOVA
[26] NO AGREEMENT ON SERBIAN PARLIAMENT SESSION
[27] TRIAL OF MILITARY JUDGE STARTS IN BELGRADE
[28] WORLD BANK APPROVES LOANS TO MACEDONIA, ALBANIA
[29] U.S. DEFENSE OFFICIAL URGES FASTER REFORM IN MACEDONIA
[30] APPEALS CHAMBER CONFIRMS 20-YEAR WAR CRIMES SENTENCE FOR BOSNIAN
     CROAT
[31] RESIDENTS CITE INSECURITY, LACK OF DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHERN AFGHAN
     PROVINCE
[32] AFGHAN TRIBAL ELDERS REPORTEDLY PLEDGE TO OPPOSE MILITANTS
[33] AFGHAN PRESIDENT ACCUSES PAKISTAN OF HARBORING TALIBAN LEADER
[34] AFGHAN NATIONAL POLICE TO RECEIVE NEW TRAINING
[35] LEGISLATOR SAYS IRAN CAN IGNORE UN RESOLUTION
[36] AMERICAN REPORTED MISSING IN IRAN
[37] IRANIAN POLICE ARREST FEMALE ACTIVISTS
[38] IRANIAN POLITICIANS AWAIT PROSECUTION
[39] IRAQ’S SUPREME AYATOLLAH REJECTS DRAFT DE-BA’ATHIFICATION LAW
[40] U.S., IRAQI FORCES DISCOVER TERRORIST TRAINING CAMP
[41] IRAQI PROSECUTOR SEEKS EXECUTION FOR ANFAL DEFENDANTS
[42] IRAQI FORCES PREPARING TO ASSUME SECURITY CONTROL OVER AL-BASRAH
[43] UKRAINE FACES CRISIS AS PRESIDENT DISSOLVES PARLIAMENT
—————————————————————————
Tuesday, April 3, 2007 Volume 11 Number 62

Russia

[01] RUSSIA CALLS ON UKRAINIANS TO DISPLAY ‘WISDOM’

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement on April 3 that Moscow is
concerned about the political crisis in Ukraine and hopes that the
political forces there will show «restraint and responsibility» and act
within the framework of the law, Interfax reported. The statement added
that Russia hopes that those political forces «will display restraint
and demonstrate wisdom and responsibility to their people as they
search for a way out of the current political crisis.» Elsewhere,
Konstantin Kosachyov, who heads the Duma’s Foreign Affairs Committee
and is often more outspoken than the Foreign Ministry, said in Moscow
on April 3 that Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko was wrong to
order the dissolution of parliament the previous day. Kosachyov argued
that «the president of Ukraine made a mistake. This mistake clearly
will not help resolve the problems in domestic political life there.»
Kosachyov believes that the Ukrainian parliamentary majority did not
act outside the law and that, therefore, there was no justification for
the president’s «radical interference in the situation.» Kosachyov
stressed that his views are simply his «personal opinion.» The daily
«Kommersant» wrote on April 3 that the Kremlin prefers Ukrainian Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych to the president but is less open about
expressing its support than in the past. The newspaper added that the
Kremlin has repeatedly forced a postponement of a planned visit by
Yushchenko to Moscow and thereby undermined his position at home. When
and if he does come to the Russian capital, the daily predicts his
reception will be «extremely cold indeed.» In another article, the same
daily compared the situation in Kyiv now with that in Moscow «in
October 1993, when legislators barricaded themselves in the Russian
White House to protest President Boris Yeltsin’s dissolution of the
Russian legislature and refused to budge until the army sent in tanks
to shell the parliament building and force the deputies to surrender.
The question now is whether the warring factions [in Ukraine] will
resort to force: the prime minister controls the police, while the
president claims the support of the army.» The paper also argued that
Yushchenko’s patience is exhausted. PM

[02] MINISTER CALLS ON RUSSIANS TO BOYCOTT ESTONIA

First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov told a Moscow meeting of
World War II veterans on April 3 that Russians should boycott Estonian
products and not spend their vacations in that country to protest what
he called «vandalism» against Soviet-era military monuments, Interfax
reported. He told his listeners: «don’t spend your vacations in
Estonia. Spend them in Kaliningrad.» He said that he was speaking as a
citizen, and that it is up to the Russian state to take more formal
measures against Estonia over the monuments issue. Ivanov also called
for developing a new port in Kaliningrad Oblast and completing a port
in Ust-Luga near St. Petersburg in order to deny Estonia cargo-transit
fees (see «RFE/RL Newsline,» September 11, 2006, and January 3 and
February 13, 2007). Most Estonians regard the war monuments as a symbol
of foreign occupation by the Red Army. President Toomas Hendrik Ilves
said recently that many of Russia’s problems with its neighbors stem
from the fact that Russia has never really come to grips with its
totalitarian past and the injustices Russia committed toward others. PM

[03] TOP RUSSIAN SCIENTIST SAYS IRAN ABLE TO MAKE NUCLEAR WEAPONS…

Yevgeny Velikhov, who heads the leading Kurchatov Institute for nuclear
research and was part of President Vladimir Putin’s 2004 reelection
campaign, told reporters in Moscow on April 2 that Iran has the
know-how to make nuclear weapons and should be stopped before it does,
Reuters reported. He argued that «from a scientific point of
view…they could create nuclear weapons. When they could do it [in
practice] is a more difficult question.» He added that «if you
remember, U.S. scientists expected the Soviet Union would only be able
to create a nuclear bomb by around 1954 at the earliest. They were
rather surprised when we created one in 1949.» Velikhov argued that if
the Iranians «have decided to create nuclear weapons, then they could
create them. It is important that Iran does not get nuclear weapons. If
Iran gets nuclear weapons, it will have a very negative [impact on] the
security of the whole world.» Velikhov believes that «biological,
chemical, and nuclear arms should be forbidden, and that the holding
and development of nuclear weapons should be considered a crime against
humanity. I think all states should reject nuclear weapons, including
the U.S. and Russia.» PM

[04] …AND ITS LEADING GENERAL SAYS U.S. CANNOT DEFEAT IRAN

General Yury Baluyevsky, who heads the Russian General Staff, said in
Moscow on April 3 that the United States cannot defeat Iran militarily,
newsru.com reported. He argued that any U.S. strike on Iran would be a
great political mistake. He said that «Iran’s military and industrial
potential could be damaged, but it is impossible to defeat Iran.» The
general stressed that any attack on Iran would «send an echo throughout
the world» (see «RFE/RL Newsline,» January 16 and March 30, 2007). He
urged the United States to be prudent, reminding Washington that it
«has already gotten into a mess twice, namely in Afghanistan and Iraq.»
PM

[05] RUSSIA SEEKS CONTROLLING STAKE IN ITALIAN AIRLINE

In Russia’s latest attempt to acquire a strategic stake in the European
airline industry, the state-owned carrier Aeroflot teamed up with
UniCredit, which is Italy’s largest bank, to submit a preliminary offer
for at least 39.9 percent of the shares of Alitalia, which is Italy’s
largest airline, Britain’s «Financial Times» reported on April 3. The
shares belong to the Italian state and would give the holder a
controlling interest in the carrier. Preliminary offers are due on
April 19 for a sale that the Italian state would like to close by the
end of June. Two other consortia — one Italian and the other American
and Italian — have also submitted bids. The Italian government will
retain about 10 percent of Alitalia’s shares and insists that the new
owner preserve the carrier’s «national identity.» In the fall of 2006,
Russia’s state-owned Vneshtorgbank confirmed it holds a stake of just
over 5 percent in EADS, the parent company of Airbus. But German
Chancellor Angela Merkel and the management of EADS, which seeks
lucrative U.S. defense contracts, subsequently blocked Russian plans to
acquire blocking rights and a seat on the board (see «RFE/RL Newsline,»
November 10, 2006, and March 5, 16, and 23, 2007). PM

[06] FRANCE AND RUSSIA AGREE ON NUCLEAR JOINT VENTURE

The French industrial group Alstom and Russia’s Atomenergoprom agreed
on April 2 to establish a joint venture to build turbines and nuclear
reactors, news agencies reported from Moscow. Atomenergomash is a
subsidiary of Atomenergoprom, the state-owned company in charge of
producing equipment for Russia’s civil nuclear program. Alstom said in
a statement that Atomenergomash is to own 51 percent of the new group,
with Alstom holding the remaining 49 percent. The venture will be
located in Podolsk, close to Moscow. PM

Transcaucasia And Central Asia

[07] ARMENIA’S RULING PARTY NOMINATES DEFENSE MINISTER AS CANDIDATE FOR
PREMIERSHIP

During a late-night meeting of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia
(HHK), Armenian Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian was chosen on April 2
as the party’s candidate for prime minister, A1+ and ITAR-TASS
reported. In a widely expected move, 66 members of the party’s
69-member governing board voted to endorse Sarkisian as their nominee,
with no other candidates considered. The selection of Sarkisian, who
assumed the No. 2 spot within the party leadership last summer,
virtually ensures his appointment as prime minister after an agreement
was reached on March 26 in a meeting between President Robert Kocharian
and the pro-government parties represented in parliament that confirmed
that the post will go to a candidate from the HHK (see «RFE/RL
Newsline,» March 27, 2007). Kocharian is now expected to sign a decree
in the coming days formally appointing Sarkisian as the new prime
minister. Former Prime Minister Andranik Markarian died unexpectedly of
heart failure on March 25 (see «RFE/RL Newsline,» March 26, 2007). RG

[08] GUNMEN WOUND ARMENIAN MAYOR

A group of unknown gunmen on April 2 attacked a two-car convoy
transporting the mayor of Armenia’s second-largest city, wounding him
and killing his deputy, driver, and two bodyguards, Reuters reported.
The attack against Gyumri Mayor Vardan Gukasian was carried out as the
vehicles were returning from a party conference in the capital,
Yerevan. Armenian police spokesman Sayap Shirinian said that the attack
occurred at around 10 p.m. and that Gukasian was seriously wounded but
in stable condition, and that another bodyguard was hospitalized for
serious wounds sustained in the attack. A police investigation was
immediately launched, although Shirinian noted that the police have no
suspects. RG

[09] OSCE OFFICIAL CRITICIZES ARMENIAN LEADERSHIP

Commenting on the upcoming parliamentary elections in Armenia, U.S.
Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
(OSCE) Julie Finley on April 2 criticized the Armenian authorities for
restricting opposition access to the media and contended that the
country’s leaders «are afraid of losing their jobs,» RFE/RL’s Armenian
Service reported. Finley expressed further concern over the imposition
of exorbitant prices for political advertising by major broadcasters,
and said that it calls into question the concept of a level playing
field for all political candidates in the face of the May 12 elections.
Opposition leaders have voiced similar complaints over the rates for
televised campaign spots, which vary from 80,000 drams to 130,000 drams
($355) per minute, which they see as part of a broader effort by the
authorities to minimize the opposition’s ability to access the largely
pro-government electronic media. Finley warned «whoever has the power
to do so» that they «better lower their rates,» adding that media
freedom and equal campaigning opportunities are as important as the
voting and ballot-counting process for free and fair elections.
Although Armenian law affords political parties and electoral blocs up
to 60 minutes of free airtime on state television and 120 minutes on
state radio, the Central Election Commission recently issued a new
interpretation, ruling that only two minutes of the one hour of free
television airtime will be allocated on a daily basis for 30 days,
panorama.am reported on March 31. RG

[10] ARMENIAN OFFICIAL DEFENDS TRIP TO TURKEY

Speaking at a press conference in Yerevan, Armenian Deputy Culture
Minister Gagik Gyurjian responded on April 2 to criticism of his
participation in the recent opening of a newly renovated ancient
Armenian church by the Turkish authorities, RFE/RL’s Armenian Service
and Arminfo reported. Gyurjian defended his delegation’s attendance at
the March 29 ceremony as essential for easing Turkish-Armenian
tensions, citing the need for «dialogue and mutual trust» and noting
that the two sides «don’t trust each other.» He also argued that the
effort will also ensure that the few remaining Armenian monuments in
Turkey will be saved from destruction. The Armenian state delegation
attended the inauguration ceremony organized by the Turkish government
to mark the opening of the recently restored Akhtamar Church, located
on the island of Akhtamar in eastern Turkey’s Lake Van, which was
attended by senior Turkish officials and leaders of Turkey’s Armenian
community (see «RFE/RL Newsline,» March 21, 2007). RG

[11] AZERBAIJANI INTERIOR MINISTER REPORTS ON EFFORT TO COMBAT TORTURE
AND ABUSE

Interior Minister Ramil Usubov announced on April 2 that Azerbaijan has
made significant progress in combating the use of torture and other
abuses of detainees by police, the Trend news agency reported. Usubov
noted that in a meeting on March 31 with Elchin Behbudov, the head of a
special state body empowered to investigate and prosecute torture
cases, official statistics revealed that some 14 Interior Ministry
personnel were officially investigated on such charges during the first
four months of the year, with six of them dismissed from the ministry.
Usubov also noted that a total of 139 Interior Ministry employees were
formally reprimanded last year for varying abuses of human rights of
detainees and prisoners, with 35 officers fired for serious violations.
RG

[12] AZERBAIJAN HOSTS INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON SUPPLYING ENERGY TO
EUROPE

Representatives from the European Union, Georgia, and Kazakhstan met in
Baku on April 2 with Azerbaijani officials to discuss plans for the
Azerbaijani export of gas to European markets, according to day.az and
Trend news agency. Azerbaijani Energy Minister Natiq Aliyev revealed
that the meeting reviewed plans to establish a new Caspian Sea-Black
Sea-EU energy corridor aimed at transporting significant amounts of
natural gas to European markets. The trans-Caspian pipeline project,
which has received pledges of financial assistance from the European
Union, is seeking to include the region’s main gas suppliers —
including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, as well as Iran and
Russia at some later stage. Aliyev added that the current negotiations
center on the need for the reconstruction of power lines and gas
pipelines between Azerbaijan and Georgia, the reconstruction of two
underground gas-storage facilities in Azerbaijan, the construction of
pumping stations, and the transportation of liquefied natural gas by
tanker from Turkmenistan to Kazakhstan for processing and transport to
Europe via the Baku port. Georgian Energy Minister Nika Gilauri also
attended the meeting and reiterated Georgia’s need to secure long-term,
alternative supplies of gas to end its dependence on imports from
Russia. RG

[13] MEDIA WATCHDOG HIGHLIGHTS CASE OF IMPRISONED AZERBAIJANI
JOURNALIST

The international media watchdog Reporters Without Borders appealed on
April 2 to the Azerbaijani authorities to allow jailed journalist Mirza
Sakit Zahidov adequate medical treatment, according to a statement on
the group’s website (http://www.rsf.org). The group highlighted the
fact that Zahidov, who reportedly suffers from stomach and heart pains,
has been refused hospitalization and has even been prevented from
seeing a doctor by prison officials. Zahidov, a prominent satirical
journalist, was sentenced to three years in prison after being
convicted on drug charges in October 2006 (see «RFE/RL Newsline,»
October 5, 2006). He claims that plainclothes police planted drugs on
him when he was arrested and criticized his subsequent conviction and
sentence as politically motivated acts aimed at intimidating the
country’s media. RG

[14] GEORGIAN LAWMAKERS BEGIN TALKS ON NEW INITIATIVE FOR SOUTH OSSETIA

Georgian parliament speaker Nino Burdjanadze convened a meeting on
April 2 with senior lawmakers from both the ruling majority and
opposition parties to discuss a proposal to establish a new provisional
administration in South Ossetia, Civil Georgia reported. Although
President Mikheil Saakashvili has not yet formally submitted his full
draft proposal to the parliament for consideration, the lawmakers began
studying the terms of a two-page draft summary of the plan. The initial
draft will then be presented for hearings of various parliamentary
committees before it is discussed in full in a first reading by
lawmakers during a parliamentary session set for April 5. Saakashvili
initially announced the plan in his state-of-the-nation address on
March 15, and presented more details in a March 26 session of the
National Security Council (see «RFE/RL Caucasus Report,» March 29,
2007). Burdjanadze also reiterated on April 2 that the Georgian side is
ready «to have a dialogue with the so-called authorities» of both
pro-Tbilisi leader Dmitry Sanakoyev and South Ossetian leader Eduard
Kokoity. RG

[15] GEORGIAN MINISTER REVEALS NEW DETAILS IN CHARGES THAT RUSSIA
SHELLED GEORGIAN VILLAGES

In comments in a televised interview with Rustavi-2 television,
Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili added on April 1 new details in
Georgia’s accusations that Russian forces shelled several Georgian
villages in the Georgian-controlled upper Kodori Gorge on March 11,
Caucasus Press and Civil Georgia reported. Merabishvili said that
Georgian investigators have found fragments from several Russian-made,
radar-operated Ataka guided missiles that were allegedly used by army
helicopters during the attacks. He claimed that the Ataka missiles,
which were produced in 2005, are only available to the Russian
military. The March 11 incident reportedly involved an attack by
several Russian military MI-24 helicopters that overflew and opened
fire on three villages in the upper Kodori Gorge (see «RFE/RL
Newsline,» March 12, 2007). The incident was investigated on two
separate occasions by a special group comprising Georgian and Abkhaz
representatives, as well as UN observers and Russian peacekeepers. The
results of those investigations have yet to be released. RG

[16] KYRGYZ PRESIDENT RESHUFFLES GOVERNMENT…

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev issued decrees on April 2 dismissing
First Deputy Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov, Emergency Situations
Minister Janysh Rustenbekov, Health Minister Shailoobek Niyazov, and
Toktobek Akmatov, chairman of the State Tax Committee, the 24.kg news
agency reported. Bakiev appointed Turatbek Junushaliev emergency
situations minister, former Central Election Commission head Tuigunaaly
Abdraimov health minister, and Temirbek Kurmanbekov head of the Tax
Committee. Defense Minister Ismail Isakov, Interior Minister Bolotbek
Nogoibaev, Foreign Minister Ednan Karabaev, and state security chief
Murat Sutalinov all retained their posts in the government of newly
appointed Prime Minister Almaz Atambaev, AP reported. DK

[17] …AS OPPOSITION CONTINUES TO REJECT COALITION GOVERNMENT…

Opposition parliamentary delegates Osmon Artykbaev and Omurbek Babanov
have refused an offer to join Prime Minister Atambaev’s government,
ferghana.ru reported on April 2. «There was a proposal for [me to be]
the first deputy prime minister,» Artykbaev told RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz
Service. «I offered my great thanks to [Atambaev]. However, I refused
to take the position because our main aim is to build a foundation for
carrying out constitutional reforms and building ways to develop them.»
Omurbek Tekebaev, who is a member of both the For Reforms and United
Front For A Worthy Future opposition movements, told journalists on
April 2: «Many people said that we would shut up and calm down if they
offered us ministerial posts; but, as you see, this hasn’t happened. We
don’t need official positions; we want real transformation in the
country and we don’t want to be cogs in the corruption machine,» RIA
Novosti reported. DK

[18] …AND PRESENTS DRAFT CONSTITUTION

Legislator Kubatbek Baibolov, a member of For Reforms and the United
Front, told ferghana.ru on April 2 that the opposition has sent its
draft constitution to President Bakiev. «We have presented a
constitution based on the November constitution, which presumes a mixed
form of government, but closer to a parliamentary system,» Baibolov
said (see «RFE/RL Newsline,» November 9, 2006). «The government is
formed by parliament and is politically responsible to parliament.»
Baibolov said the opposition does not intend to send anyone to
participate in a task force on constitutional reform being set up by
Bakiev because the draft constitution clearly represents opposition
views. On April 2, Bakiev told the head of the presidential
administration to expedite the formation of a task force on
constitutional reform, Interfax reported. DK

[19] TAJIK RULING PARTY WINS PARLIAMENTARY BY-ELECTIONS

Members of Tajikistan’s ruling People’s Democratic Party have won in
three April 1 parliamentary by-elections, according to preliminary
results, RFE/RL’s Tajik Service reported on April 2. In Hamdoni
district, Safarali Gulov won with 96 percent of the vote, with his
opponent, Abdulqodir Hasanpura of the Islamic Renaissance Party,
garnering just 2 percent of the vote, Regnum reported. In the remaining
two by-elections, in Dushanbe and Kulov, People’s Democratic Party
members ran unopposed. DK

[20] SCO REACHES OUT TO TURKMENISTAN

Bolat Nurgaliev, secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization (SCO: China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan,
and Uzbekistan), told ITAR-TASS in Beijing on April 2 that the SCO
would like to see Turkmenistan become more integrated into the region.
«Turkmenistan is a part of Central Asia, a part of our region,»
Nurgaliev said. «And I believe that the position of all six countries
[SCO member states] is to somehow involve the country in the
integration and regional processes.» Nurgaliev said that if
Turkmenistan reaches out to the SCO, the organization will respond
«appropriately.» Nurgaliev suggested, however, that the initiative must
come from Turkmenistan’s leadership. «If we proceed from ‘the Shanghai
spirit,’ which means the observation of the principles of mutual trust,
mutual advantage, mutual consultations, respect for the diversity of
cultures and aspiration for joint development, then this initiative
should be put forward by Ashgabat,» Nurgaliev said. DK

Eastern Europe

[21] BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION POLITICIAN FACES INCARCERATION FOR THIRD
TIME

Police arrested opposition politician Andrey Klimau, a member of the
United Civic Party, in Minsk on April 3, RFE/RL’s Belarus Service
reported. Klimau was reportedly arrested on charges of calling for a
violent overthrow of the political system in Belarus. The previous day,
Belarusian prosecutors said they have launched a criminal case against
Klimau, accusing him of insulting President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in
articles published on the website ucpb.org. Klimau spent one year in
prison in 2005-06 after a court found him guilty of staging an
unauthorized opposition demonstration in Minsk in March 2005. Klimau
also spent four years in prison from 1998 to 2002 on charges of
embezzlement and forgery. Those charges are widely believed to be
politically motivated. JM

[22] UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT DISSOLVES PARLIAMENT…

President Viktor Yushchenko on April 2 signed a decree to disband the
Verkhovna Rada and hold new elections on May 27, Ukrainian media
reported (see End Note). The move followed the president’s failed
consultations with parliamentary leaders earlier the same day over the
recent defection of opposition deputies to the ruling majority (see
«RFE/RL Newsline,» April 2, 2007). In a televised address to the nation
in the evening of April 2, Yushchenko said the main legal reason for
the dissolution of the legislature was the ruling coalition’s unlawful
push to recruit individual opposition deputies to the parliamentary
majority, whereas the constitution stipulates that such a majority
should consist of parliamentary factions. He also accused the ruling
coalition of passing unconstitutional laws and of failing to meet its
promises and commitments. Yushchenko formally put his decree into
effect by publishing it in his official bulletin on April 3. JM

[23] …AS RULING COALITION REFUSES TO OBEY

During an emergency session in the evening of April 2, some 260
lawmakers of the ruling coalition of the Party of Regions, the
Socialist Party, and the Communist Party adopted a resolution
condemning Yushchenko’s decree as illegal and constituting a «step
toward a coup d’etat,» Ukrainian media reported. The ruling coalition’s
lawmakers also passed a resolution disbanding the Central Election
Commission formed in December 2004, and another one banning the
government from funding the campaign for early elections. On April 3,
ruling-coalition lawmakers requested that the Constitutional Court rule
on whether Yushchenko’s decree on the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada
conforms with the constitution. JM

Southeastern Europe

[24] TOP U.S. OFFICIAL URGES EUROPEANS TO ACT QUICKLY ON KOSOVA

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried told reporters in Berlin
on April 2 that failure by the UN Security Council to quickly agree on
a UN plan providing supervised independence for Kosova could result in
violence, international media reported the same day. «We can’t keep
going on like this with Kosovo in limbo, after eight years of rule and
administration by the United Nations they deserve more clarity about
their future,» he said, according to AP, adding that «further delay
will destabilize the situation.» The Security Council will start a
crucial debate on a plan drawn up by special envoy Martti Ahtisaari on
April 3 in the face of threats by Russia that it would use its veto if
the plan did not take Serbia’s position into account. «The conflict
cannot be resolved unless the two sides overcome their disagreements,»
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a televised news
conference in Moscow on March 29. «Mr. Ahtisaari has decided to ignore
them, and I think he will fail.» Fried said that the prospects of
resolving the status issue without a Security Council resolution are
«grim» and urged European governments to agree on the Ahtisaari plan,
which received only tepid support from EU foreign ministers at a
meeting last week (see «RFE/RL Newsline,» April 2, 2007). «One way or
another, the status quo will end,» Fried said, «and it will either end
through a controlled, organized process that gives guarantees to the
Kosovo Serbs and the maximum of transparency and an orderly process, or
it will be uncontrolled and much more violent.» TV

[25] GERMANY SENDS MORE TROOPS TO KOSOVA

Germany has topped up its deployment of peacekeepers in Kosova by some
500 troops, German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung told the German
daily «Die Welt» of April 2. «We fear the situation will become more
dangerous during the talks on Kosovo’s political future,» he said in a
reference to a Security Council debate on Kosova scheduled to start on
April 3 and likely to last several weeks. The reinforcements are set to
be withdrawn at the end of April, a Defense Ministry spokesman told
Reuters, but could stay longer if the situation demands it. Including
the latest deployment, Germany now has some 2,900 soldiers in Kosova as
part of NATO’s 16,000-strong peacekeeping mission, KFOR. TV

[26] NO AGREEMENT ON SERBIAN PARLIAMENT SESSION

Caucus leaders meeting in Belgrade on April 2 failed to agree on an
emergency session of parliament to debate state finances, B92 reported
the same day. On March 30, the caretaker government of Prime Minister
Vojislav Kostunica passed an interim budget that was promptly denounced
by the Democratic Party (DS) of President Boris Tadic as
«anticonstitutional.» A former finance minister and top DS official,
Bozidar Djelic, told B92 that more than 150 million euros ($200
million) has been spent in the past few days. «If this trend continues,
the caretaker government will use up the majority of state funds, and
leave the next government with almost nothing,» Djelic said, calling it
a «betrayal» of citizens’ trust. Serbia’s parties have still not agreed
on a coalition government following the January 21 general elections,
in which the DS came in ahead of Kostunica’s party. They may be
reluctant to do so before Kosova’s status has been determined by the UN
Security Council. TV

[27] TRIAL OF MILITARY JUDGE STARTS IN BELGRADE

The trial of a former military judge in a lawsuit filed by the
relatives of a soldier killed at Belgrade’s Topcider barracks in 2004
has begun in Belgrade, B92 reported on April 1. The family of Dragan
Jakovljevic hopes to use the proceedings to shed light on the
mysterious death of Jakovljevic and another elite guard soldier (see
«RFE/RL Newsline,» November 12 and December 10 and 14, 2004, February
10, 2005, and «RFE/RL Balkan Report,» November 19, 2004). The
Jakovljevic family accuses the former judge, Vuk Tufegdzic, of making
disparaging comments about Jakovljevic during the investigation into
his death. «We seek justice for our son, and wish he had never enlisted
in the army,» Jakovljevic’s father said. The circumstances of the
deaths remain a mystery despite two investigations into the matter. A
government investigation concluded that a third party was responsible
for the deaths, while a military investigation headed by Tufegdzic
found that Jakovljevic killed his colleague and then committed suicide.
The Jakovljevics’ lawyer, Vladan Batic, a former justice minister, said
he believes the case is linked to fugitive Bosnian Serb wartime
commander Ratko Mladic. Two days before the soldiers died, security
forces carried out an inspection of a bunker that is part of the
sprawling Topcider facility, adding to suspicions that the two sentries
may have witnessed something they were not allowed to see. Because of
defective surveillance cameras, no footage of the killings exists. TV

[28] WORLD BANK APPROVES LOANS TO MACEDONIA, ALBANIA

The World Bank’s board of executive directors approved a loan of $30
million to support the government of Macedonia in its efforts to
improve the country’s investment climate and public-sector management,
«Focus» reported on March 30. The loan, the second in a series of three
loans over a period of three to four years, provides assistance to a
program of intensive structural and institutional reforms that are
required for Macedonia’s eventual EU membership. Macedonia and Croatia
are the only countries in the western Balkans that are official
membership candidates. Macedonian Foreign Minister Gordana Jankulovska,
meanwhile, confirmed that a visa agreement with the EU will come into
force as planned in December, «Focus» reported. The agreement will
relax the EU’s visa requirements for the countries of the western
Balkans. The World Bank also approved a loan of $10 million to help
Albania maintain economic growth, AP reported on April 2. The loan aims
to improve the investment climate as well as the delivery of public
social services. The World Bank has been the main donor in Albania
since 1991, committing about $925 million to the country, according to
World Bank data. TV

[29] U.S. DEFENSE OFFICIAL URGES FASTER REFORM IN MACEDONIA

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Daniel Fata told Macedonian
Defense Minister Lazar Elenovski that Macedonia needs to accelerate
reforms if the country wants to enter NATO in the alliance’s next
enlargement round, expected next year, AP reported on March 29. «There
have to be democratic, political, economic, and military reforms, and
all that is part of the package of issues to be reviewed,» Fata told
reporters, adding that the country has made «impressive strides» in
defense matters. Macedonia, Croatia, and Albania are hoping to enter
NATO as early as next year. TV

[30] APPEALS CHAMBER CONFIRMS 20-YEAR WAR CRIMES SENTENCE FOR BOSNIAN
CROAT

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the
former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague on April 2 upheld a 20-year
sentence against Bosnian Croat Miroslav Bralo, a former paramilitary,
international media reported the same day. Bralo, a member of a
counterterrorism unit of the Bosnian Croat army known as the «Jokers,»
pleaded guilty in 2005 to eight charges of murder, torture, and rape
committed in 1993 in central Bosnia’s Lasva Valley, including a
notorious massacre of over 100 Bosnian Muslim civilians in the village
of Ahmici in 1993. Bralo surrendered voluntarily, pled guilty, and
helped trace the bodies of his victims. At his sentencing hearing, he
also apologized to his victims. All this, the defense argued, was not
taken into account sufficiently, an argument that the appeals chamber
has now rejected. The presiding judge of his initial trial said that
Bralo would have gotten 25 years had it not been for the mitigating
circumstances of his surrender and apology. TV

Southwestern Asia And The Middle East

[31] RESIDENTS CITE INSECURITY, LACK OF DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHERN AFGHAN
PROVINCE

Some residents of the southern Afghan Helmand Province say conditions
there are worse now than they were under Taliban rule, the Integrated
Regional Information Networks (IRIN) reported on April 2.
Nongovernmental groups in the region claim that more than half of the
schools in Helmand have been closed for at least one year, depriving
thousands of students of their right to an education. Aid workers state
that the volatile province is a «no-go zone for aid and development
agencies» due to general insecurity, potentially spelling hardships
that help the Taliban recruit or find public sympathy. The Afghan
Counternarcotics Ministry has sought to implement an extensive
poppy-eradication program in Helmand, which reportedly produces more of
the crop than any other single province in the country. IRIN suggests
that some fear eradication efforts could turn beleaguered farmers
against the government. The Senlis Council, a security and policy group
that backs licensing poppy cultivation for medicinal purposes, claimed
on March 19 that «Afghans increasingly believe the international
community is losing Afghanistan to the Taliban.» CJ

[32] AFGHAN TRIBAL ELDERS REPORTEDLY PLEDGE TO OPPOSE MILITANTS

Nearly 500 Afghan tribal elders vowed at a meeting in the Grishk
district of southern Helmand Province on April 1 to support the central
Afghan government and oppose the Taliban, the Bakhtar News Agency
reported the next day. The elders agreed that Taliban supporters should
have their houses burned and be driven from the districts in which they
reside. Helmand Governor Asadullah Wafa welcomed the show of support,
saying that lasting peace is impossible without public cooperation.
Thousands of Pakistani tribesmen recently made a similar pledge to
oppose and drive out Taliban supporters from their side of the
Afghan-Pakistani border, Reuters noted. Thousands of militants are
believed to have sought shelter in the tribally dominated regions after
the ouster of the Taliban in 2001. CJ

[33] AFGHAN PRESIDENT ACCUSES PAKISTAN OF HARBORING TALIBAN LEADER

Afghan President Hamid Karzai reiterated his claim that rogue members
of Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), are
sheltering Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Afgha News Agency
reported on April 2. In the April 1 edition of «The New York Times,»
Karzai claimed his government has «solid, clear information» indicating
that Mullah Omar is residing in the Pakistani city of Quetta. Omar was
the leader of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan from 1996 until the
group was overthrown when U.S.-led forces attacked in 2001. Afgha News
states that Quetta has been a refuge for other Taliban members,
including the group’s former defense minister, Mullah Obaidullah
Akhund. Pakistani officials have repeatedly denied that they are
harboring Taliban leaders. CJ

[34] AFGHAN NATIONAL POLICE TO RECEIVE NEW TRAINING

German authorities will provide new training to members of the Afghan
National Police in northern Afghanistan, Pajhwak Afghan News reported
on April 1. Police officers will be shown how to handle citizen
complaints and will learn techniques to use while searching houses and
vehicles, as well as other policing methods. One German police expert,
speaking at a news conference in Mazar-e Sharif on April 1, indicated
that about 30 German police trainers will be involved. German officials
trained approximately 1,500 Afghan police personnel last year in
northern Afghanistan, Pajhwak reported. CJ

[35] LEGISLATOR SAYS IRAN CAN IGNORE UN RESOLUTION

Hamid Reza Haji-Babai, a Hamedan representative and member of the
Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee,
said in Tehran on April 2 that UN Security Council Resolution 1747 is
«entirely political» and Iran is not obligated to implement its
demands, IRNA reported. The resolution was approved on March 24 and
expands previous sanctions on Iran in order to halt its nuclear
fuel-making activities. Haji-Babai said the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) will lose its standing «with such resolutions» and become
a tool in the hands of «powers including America and Britain.» The
resolution «is not binding for Iran,» he added. He invited the five
permanent members of the Security Council and Germany, the 5+1 powers,
to resume talks with Iran over its nuclear program. He said the
resolution was «a mistake in addition to past mistakes» and when Iran
faces «such conduct, we have to pursue our own interests and take
suitable positions.» He said the government’s latest decision to limit
cooperation with the IAEA was correct (see «RFE/RL Newsline,» March 27,
2007) and said Iran will respond appropriately to future UN measures.
VS

[36] AMERICAN REPORTED MISSING IN IRAN

A former FBI agent or operative has been missing in Iran since early
March and the U.S. State Department is seeking information about the
disappearance, international news agencies reported on April 2. The
State Department has through diplomatic intermediaries asked Iran for
information on the missing man, who has not been named. Spokesman Sean
McCormack said in Washington that the U.S. government is not linking
the disappearance to the capture of British servicemen by Iran on March
23. The man was reportedly last heard from on March 11 on the Iranian
island of Kish in the Persian Gulf, or on the mainland in that zone. He
was reportedly working on a film-related project. Separately, Iran’s
Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani told Britain’s
Channel 4 television on April 2 that Iran may refrain from prosecuting
the captured British servicemen, who are accused of illegally entering
its territorial waters, contrary to its previous statements, news
agencies reported. Larijani said there was no need for «sensationalism»
in the case and a delegation might investigate to see if the Britons
had entered Iran’s waters, Reuters reported. VS

[37] IRANIAN POLICE ARREST FEMALE ACTIVISTS

Iranian police arrested four or five women’s rights activists on April
2 when they tried to gather signatures for a «million-signature
campaign» targeting laws that discriminate against women, Radio Farda
and ILNA reported. Those arrested were Sara Aminian, her unnamed
husband, Nahid Keshavarz, Mahbubeh Hosseinzadeh, and Soussan Tahmasebi,
Radio Farda reported, adding that they were taken to a Tehran detention
center used for vice-related or public-decency offenses. The
broadcaster stated that they were previously arrested in March, then
released, for taking part in women’s rights demonstrations (see «RFE/RL
Newsline,» March 5, 15 and 20, 2007). ISNA separately reported on April
2 on the reexamination in coming months of the unresolved case of Zahra
Kazemi, a photographer who died in 2003, apparently during
interrogation in Tehran’s Evin prison (see «RFE/RL Iran Report,» June
26 and October 30, 2006). Lawyer Mohammad Seifzadeh said lawyers for
the family will attend a session at a supreme-court branch in Tehran,
due to be held at an unspecified date in the Persian month to July 22,
and explain why the last court verdict was flawed. VS

[38] IRANIAN POLITICIANS AWAIT PROSECUTION

A Tehran court is to try former Deputy Interior Minister Mostafa
Tajzadeh on April 25 on charges of «publishing false reports» and
proffering calumny, the «Aftab-i Yazd» daily reported on April 3.
Tajzadeh, a member of the reformist Participation Front, was a Tehran
city councilor and deputy interior minister in the government of
President Mohammad Khatami. Another Participation Front member and
deputy speaker of the last parliament, Mohammad Reza Khatami, is to be
tried on April 8 on charges relating to the contents of the now-banned
daily «Mosharekat» (Participation). (Mohammad Reza Khatami is the
brother of the ex-president.) The charges against Mohammad Reza
Khatami, brought by the public prosecutor and an unspecified private
plaintiff, include engaging in publicity against the political system,
publishing false reports intended to «incite» public opinion, and
making insulting allegations against state officials and bodies, ISNA
reported on April 2. ISNA reported on the trial set for April 10 of
another reformist, former legislator Fatemeh Haqiqatju, without
specifying the charges. VS

[39] IRAQ’S SUPREME AYATOLLAH REJECTS DRAFT DE-BA’ATHIFICATION LAW

Shi’ite Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has reportedly rejected a
proposal by President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki
to revise the de-Ba’athification law put in place by the Coalition
Provisional Authority, «The New York Times» reported on April 3 (see
«RFE/RL Newsline,» March 27, 2007). The newspaper quoted an
unidentified aide from the ayatollah’s office as saying there is a
«general feeling of rejection» over the proposal. On April 2,
al-Sistani met with Shi’ite politician and de-Ba’athification
Commission head Ahmad Chalabi (see «RFE/RL Newsline,» April 2, 2007),
who is a staunch opponent of the draft law. Ibrahim al-Janabi, a
parliamentarian from former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi’s Iraqi National
List, which favors a revision of the current de-Ba’athification law,
told the newspaper that attempts to lobby the clergy «is the weapon of
losers.» «When they feel they might lose out, [some politicians] go to
the ayatollahs to get support to push through their goals,» al-Janabi
said. KR

[40] U.S., IRAQI FORCES DISCOVER TERRORIST TRAINING CAMP

U.S. and Iraqi forces in Diyala Governorate discovered a terrorist
training camp in Zaganiyah on March 29, according to an April 2
coalition press release. The training camp, which included a fortified
underground bunker with three exit points, four prepared fighting
positions, and a training camp building, was found while soldiers were
conducting clearing operations in the Diyala River valley palm groves.
Five weapons caches were also uncovered that included terrorist
planning and training materials, bomb-making materials, homemade
explosives, and more than 100 rocket-propelled grenade rounds and more
than five rocket-propelled grenade launchers. «Time» magazine reported
on March 29 that the U.S. military suspected the existence of terrorist
training camps in Zaganiyah and nearby Qubah where fighters train and
perfect their bomb-making skills. U.S. forces said there were about 100
suspected insurgents holed up in Zaganiyah. One alleged insurgent
killed recently carried a passport indicating he was in New York City
and Boston last year, «Time» reported. KR

[41] IRAQI PROSECUTOR SEEKS EXECUTION FOR ANFAL DEFENDANTS

The chief prosecutor in the Anfal trial, Munqidh Fir’awn, demanded the
death sentence for Anfal defendant Ali Hasan al-Majid, a cousin of
Saddam Hussein and former secretary-general of the northern bureau of
Iraq’s Arab Ba’ath Socialist Party, who has been accused of using
chemical weapons against the Kurds, Al-Sharqiyah television reported on
April 2. Fir’awn also sought the death penalty for former Defense
Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmad, former Republican Guard commander Husayn
Rashid al-Tikriti, and former top military commander Farhan Mutlaq
Salih al-Juburi. Fir’awn recommended a lighter sentence for former
intelligence chief Sabir Abd al-Aziz Husayn al-Duri, and said former
Ninawa Governor and Ba’ath Party Regional Command member Tahir Tawfiq
al-Ani should be freed. KR

[42] IRAQI FORCES PREPARING TO ASSUME SECURITY CONTROL OVER AL-BASRAH

Iraqi security forces are preparing to assume security control over the
southern Iraqi governorate of Al-Basrah, state-run Al-Iraqiyah
television reported on April 2. Staff Major General Ali Hammadi, who
heads the Emergency Committee in the governorate, told Al-Iraqiyah that
the first stage of Operation Iraq Seaport has been launched, adding
that security agencies are working to improve their efficiency in
Al-Basrah. He anticipated that Iraqi forces will officially be handed
control of the Shatt Al-Arab Hotel base on April 8, and after that the
larger Al-Shu’aybah base, which is currently used by British forces as
a logistical base. Hammadi said Iraqi forces are not operating without
the assistance of multinational forces in Al-Basrah. KR

End Note

[43] UKRAINE FACES CRISIS AS PRESIDENT DISSOLVES PARLIAMENT

By Jan Maksymiuk

President Viktor Yushchenko on April 2 signed a decree to disband the
Verkhovna Rada and hold new elections on May 27. A majority of
parliament lawmakers, including members of the Party of Regions led by
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, responded by condemning the decree as
a «step toward a coup d’etat» and indicated they will disobey the
president’s order.

Yushchenko’s decision to dissolve the parliament and call new elections
followed last week’s defection of a dozen opposition deputies to the
ruling coalition of the Party of Regions, the Socialist Party, and the
Communist Party. That changeover strengthened the government’s support
base in the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada to some 260 votes.

Yushchenko was evidently afraid that even more defections from his Our
Ukraine bloc and the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc would follow, allowing
Yanukovych to increase the parliamentary coalition to a constitutional
majority of 300 votes. In such a scenario, Yanukovych’s coalition would
be able to override presidential vetoes, change the constitution, and
reduce the Ukrainian presidency to a merely symbolic role or even
abolish it altogether.

By dissolving the Verkhovna Rada, Yushchenko, who has often been
criticized for indecisiveness, made his boldest move since being
elected president in December 2004. In a television address to the
nation on April 2, Yushchenko asserted that it was his «duty» to
disband the legislature. «My actions were dictated by the urgent
necessity to save the state, its sovereignty, and territorial
integrity, and to ensure the constitution of Ukraine, the rights and
liberties of people and citizens are upheld,» he said. «I would like to
underline that this is not only my right, it is my duty.»

Yushchenko stressed that the main legal reason for the dissolution of
the legislature was the ruling coalition’s push to convince individual
deputies from the opposition to switch allegiance to the parliamentary
majority. The constitution, he said, unambiguously stipulates that such
a majority should consist of parliamentary factions, rather than
individuals.

But some Ukrainian commentators maintain that Yushchenko’s
justification for his decree is shaky, to say the least. They point out
that the Ukrainian Constitution explicitly states only three cases when
the president may call early parliamentary elections: if the Verkhovna
Rada fails to form a majority within 30 days after its first sitting,
or a new cabinet within 60 days after the dismissal or resignation of
the previous one, or if it fails to gather for a sitting within 30 days
during an ongoing parliamentary session.

So did Yushchenko overstep his bounds in issuing the decree to disband
the Verkhovna Rada? Parliament speaker Oleksandr Moroz on April 2 has
no doubts about it. «The Verkhovna Rada, with all its responsibilities,
states that today there are no legal reasons to dissolve this
parliament, which people freely elected according to all the democratic
standards as recognized by all the Ukrainian and international
organizations, and the president himself.»

During a late-night emergency session on April 2, lawmakers from the
ruling coalition adopted an address to the nation, blasting
Yushchenko’s decree as a «step toward a coup d’etat.» They also passed
two other resolutions that have added fuel to the rising political
tensions in the country — they revoked their resolution of December
2004 on the formation of the Central Election Commission, and banned
the government from funding a campaign for early parliamentary
elections.

Moreover, the ruling coalition on April 3 made a formal request to the
Constitutional Court, asking it to pass a judgment on Yushchenko’s
decree. The Constitutional Court, however, has failed to gather for a
single session in the past six months. Some argue that it may take
months for the panel of 18 judges to rule on the decree. Meanwhile,
Yushchenko formally put his decree into effect on April 3 by publishing
it in his official bulletin.

There seem to be two immediate options available for Ukraine’s main
political players to move ahead in the current political crisis.

A less favorable scenario for Ukrainian politicians is to wait for the
Constitutional Court’s ruling and, in the meantime, allow people to
decide in street rallies who of the two key figures — Yushchenko and
Yanukovych — is more loved by the electorate. Such an option would
almost certainly deepen the historical divide between the west and the
east of Ukraine and, in an extreme case, could lead to bloodshed or
even split the country into two political entities.

A better option for both sides is to hold fresh elections in May —
even if the decision would represent a major public boost for
Yushchenko at Yanukovych’s expense.

But if Yanukovych wants to maintain the standing of a responsible prime
minister and guarantee a public role for himself in postcrisis Ukraine,
he should do everything possible to preserve the country’s political
stability, rather than satisfying his personal ambitions by outplaying
and marginalizing Yushchenko.

At the emergency cabinet meeting, Yanukovych suggested in enigmatic
fashion that he is mulling over a «third» option for resolving the
current standoff between Yushchenko and himself. «If the president does
publish his decree tomorrow [April 3], he still has the chance to
rescind it,» he said. «I will not say out loud what the third option
is. All other [options] would boost tensions significantly in Ukraine,
and the president would be fully responsible for that heavy burden.»

Some were quick to conclude that the prime minister does not rule out a
show of force in dealing with the president. Defense Minister Anatoliy
Hrytsenko, one of the two presidential allies in Yanukovych’s cabinet,
felt obliged to immediately clarify whose side the armed forces would
take in such a scenario. «In accordance with existing legislation, the
army will only carry out orders from the commander in chief
[Yushchenko],» he said.

Irrespective of what course political events in Ukraine may take in the
coming days and weeks, Ukrainians are certain to face a newly turbulent
and nerve-racking period.

ΠΗΓΗ : HR-Net News Distribution Manager

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Παιδιά πωλούνται φθηνότερα από τα…ζώα-07-04-04

Posted by satyrikon στο 4 Απριλίου, 2007

Τα παιδιά στην Ινδία πωλούνται συχνά φθηνότερα από τα ζώα από το
κύκλωμα που επιδίδεται στην παράνομη διακίνηση ανθρώπων, το οποίο έχει
ισχυρούς δεσμούς με την αστυνομία, καταγγέλλει ινδική οργάνωση
υπεράσπισης των δικαιωμάτων των παιδιών.

Στην Ινδία «πωλούνται τα παιδιά, όπως οι βούβαλοι», δήλωσε ο Μπχουβάν
Ριμπχού της οργάνωσης Μπατσπάν Μπατσάο Αντολάν (Κίνημα Σώστε την
Παιδική Ηλικία), επικαλούμενος έρευνα της οργάνωσης, που θα δοθεί στη
δημοσιότητα αργότερα φέτος.

«Όμως, ενώ οι βούβαλοι μπορεί να κοστίζουν έως και 15.000 ρουπίες (350
δολάρια), τα παιδιά πωλούνται σε τιμές από 500 ως 2.000 ρουπίες (12 ως
45 δολάρια)», σημείωσε, καταγγέλλοντας ότι τα περισσότερα από αυτά
καταλήγουν να εργάζονται στη βιομηχανία του σεξ ή ως εργάτες.

Για παράδειγμα, δύο αδέλφια στο Μπιχάρ πωλήθηκαν πρόσφατα για 250
ρουπίες (6 δολάρια) έκαστο από τους γονείς τους και μεταφέρθηκαν
λαθραία έξω από το κρατίδιο με την ανοχή της αστυνομίας, σχολίασε.

Η οργάνωση υπολογίζει ότι τα παιδιά αποτελούν το 40 ως 50% όλων των
θυμάτων της παράνομης διακίνησης ανθρώπων στην Ινδία. Αυτά πωλούνται ως
οικιακοί εργάτες, ή για εργασία στην ταπητουργία, σε αγροκτήματα ή στη
βιομηχανία του σεξ.

Μάλιστα, όπως κατέληξε ο Ριμπχού, σε ορισμένα μέρη της χώρας η σχέση
των σύγχρονων δουλεμπόρων και της αστυνομίας είναι τόσο στενή, ώστε οι
πρώτοι μπορούν να πραγματοποιούν ελεύθερα τις έρευνές τους σε αναζήτηση
των μικρών θυμάτων τους, ενώ τα παιδιά που καταφέρνουν να ξεφύγουν από
οίκους ανοχής ή την καταναγκαστική εργασία ξαναπέφτουν πολύ συχνά
θύματα παρόμοιας εκμετάλλευσης.

ΠΗΓΗ : HR-Net News Distribution Manager

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The Voice of America (VOA): News in Greek, 07-04-03

Posted by satyrikon στο 4 Απριλίου, 2007

ΠΕΡΙΕΧΟΜΕΝΑ
[01] O Λευκός Οίκος πιέζει το Κογκρέσο
[02] Αμερικανός πολίτης αγνοείται στο Ιράν
[03] Η Σαουδική Αραβία απορρίπτει την πρόταση Ολμέρτ
[04] Πίστωση χρόνου για να λειτουργήσει η διπλωματία στο Σουδάν ζητά ο
     Μπαν Κι Μουν
[05] Επίσκεψη Πελόσι στη Συρία
[06] Βρετανία: Απευθείας συνομιλίες με την Τεχεράνη
—————————————————————————
[01] O Λευκός Οίκος πιέζει το Κογκρέσο

03-04-2007

Ντέινα Περίνο

Η κυβέρνηση Μπους κατηγόρησε τους Δημοκρατικούς του Κογκρέσου για
εγκατάλειψη της υποχρέωσης τους να χρηματοδοτήσουν τις επιχειρήσεις των
Αμερικανικών δυνάμεων στο Ιράκ και το Αφγανιστάν. Η εκπρόσωπος του
Λευκού Οίκου, Ντέινα Περίνο, δήλωσε ότι οι Δημοκρατικοί προσπαθούν να
αναγκάσουν τις ΗΠΑ να εγκαταλείψουν το Ιράκ χωρίς να σκέφτονται τις
συνέπειες της αποτυχίας. Πάντως ο πρόεδρος Μπους έχει προειδοποιήσει
ότι θα ασκήσει βέτο σε νομοσχέδια που περιλαμβάνουν χρονοδιαγράμματα
απόσυρσης των Αμερικανικών δυνάμεων απ’ το Ιράκ.

Αλλά, ο ηγέτης της γερουσίας, Δημοκρατικός Χάρρυ Ρήντ, δήλωσε τη
Δευτέρα ότι αν ο πρόεδρος Μπους ασκήσει βέτο στο μέτρο θα αναγκάσει την
σύνταξη νομοσχεδίου που θα διακόπτει την χρηματοδότηση των επιχειρήσεων
στο Ιράκ μετά τις 31 Μαρτίου του 2008. Από τη πλευρά του, ο
αντιπρόεδρος των ΗΠΑ, Ντικ Τσέινυ, δήλωσε ότι δεν είναι δυνατόν να
κερδίσει κανείς έναν πόλεμο όταν λέει στον εχθρό ότι είναι έτοιμος να
εγκαταλείψει τη μάχη.

Τραυματίας στο Κιρκούκ

Σε άλλες εξελίξεις, η ιρακινή αστυνομία δήλωσε ότι βομβιστής
αυτοκτονίας που επέβαινε σε φορτηγό γεμάτο με εκρηκτικά, σκότωσε
τουλάχιστον 13 άτομα και τραυμάτισε πάνω από 135 στο Κιρκούκ. Οι αρχές
είπαν ότι ο καμικάζι έριξε το φορτηγό του σε κτιριακό συγκρότημα της
αστυνομίας κοντά σε σχολείο την Δευτέρα. Πολλά από τα θύματα ήταν
παιδιά. Αμερικανοί στρατιώτες βρίσκονταν μέσα στο συγκρότημα την στιγμή
της επίθεσης και δήλωσαν ότι ένας συνάδελφος τους σκοτώθηκε απ’ την
επίθεση.

Στο μεταξύ, ο εκπρόσωπος του Εθνικού Συμβουλίου Ασφάλειας των ΗΠΑ
δήλωσε ότι σε τηλεδιάσκεψη τη Δευτέρα, ο πρόεδρος Μπούς και ο
πρωθυπουργός του Ιράκ, Νούρι Αλ Μαλίκι, συμφώνησαν ότι το τρέχον σχέδιο
ασφάλειας για την Βαγδάτη και άλλες περιοχές του Ιράκ θα πρέπει να
συνεχιστεί έως ότου υπάρξει ‘διαρκής επιτυχία’, όπως είπαν. Επίσης ο κ.
Μπους επανέλαβε ότι υποστηρίζει την κυβέρνηση του Ιράκ. Εξάλλου τη
Δευτέρα, δύο Αμερικανοί στρατιώτες σκοτώθηκαν στην επαρχία αλ Αμπάρ,
από βόμβα στο οδόστρωμα.

[02] Αμερικανός πολίτης αγνοείται στο Ιράν

03-04-2007

Σων Μακόρμακ

Το Στέητ Ντηπάρτμεντ δήλωσε ότι Αμερικανός πολίτης, πρώην πράκτορας του
Εφ Μπι Αι, αγνοείται στο Ιράν εδώ και αρκετές εβδομάδες. Ο εκπρόσωπος
του Στέητ Ντηπάρτμεντ, Σών Μακόρμακ, δήλωσε ότι οι ΗΠΑ ζητούν
πληροφορίες από το Ιράν για τον αγνοούμενο Αμερικανό, μέσω Ελβετικών
διπλωματικών μεσολαβητών. Η Ελβετία αποτελεί τον μεσολαβητή μεταξύ ΗΠΑ
και Ιράν, αφού οι δύο χώρες δεν έχουν επίσημες διπλωματικές σχέσεις.

Ο κ. Μακόρμακ πρόσθεσε ότι η οικογένεια και ο εργοδότης του Αμερικανού
ανέφεραν την εξαφάνισή του ενώ βρισκόταν στο Ιράν για επιχειρηματικές
επαφές. Το Εφ Μπι Αι επιβεβαίωσε ότι ο Αμερικανός εργαζόταν για
λογαριασμό του πριν 10 χρόνια και ασχολείτο με θέματα του οργανωμένου
εγκλήματος, που δεν είχαν σχέση με το Ιράν. Το Στέητ Ντηπάρτμεντ είπε
τέλος ότι οι ΗΠΑ δεν πιστεύουν πως η εξαφάνιση του Αμερικανού
σχετίζεται με την σύλληψη 15 Βρετανών ναυτών και πεζοναυτών.

[03] Η Σαουδική Αραβία απορρίπτει την πρόταση Ολμέρτ

03-04-2007

Εχούντ Ολμέρτ

Η Σαουδική Αραβία απέρριψε την πρόσκληση του Ισραηλινού πρωθυπουργού
Εχούντ Ολμέρτ προς Άραβες ηγέτες, για την διενέργεια διάσκεψης σχετικά
με την ειρηνευτική διαδικασία στη Μέση Ανατολή. Η Ριάντ δήλωσε την
Δευτέρα ότι το Ισραήλ πρέπει πρώτα να τερματίσει τις συνεχείς
παραβιάσεις του και την απάνθρωπη επιθετικότητά του ενάντια στους
Παλαιστίνιους, όπως είπε. Στο Παρίσι, ο επισκεπτόμενος Παλαιστίνιος
υπουργός Εξωτερικών Ζίαντ Αμπου Αμρ, δήλωσε ότι η πρόταση του κ. Ολμέρτ
είναι πρόωρη και παρακάμπτει απαραίτητα στάδια της ειρηνευτικής
διαδικασίας.

Όμως, στην Ουάσιγκτον ο εκπρόσωπος του Στέητ Ντηπάρτμεντ, Σών Μακόρμακ,
δήλωσε ότι η επαφή μεταξύ Ισραήλ και ενδεχόμενων Αράβων συνομιλητών του
θα αποτελούσε θετικό βήμα. Την Κυριακή, ο κ. Ολμέρτ προσκάλεσε όλους
τους Άραβες ηγέτες σε διάσκεψη ειρήνης, ξεχωρίζοντας τον βασιλιά της
Σαουδικής Αραβίας Αμπντουλλάχ, τον οποίο αποκάλεσε πολύ σημαντικό
ηγέτη.

Την περασμένη εβδομάδα, ο Αραβικός Σύνδεσμος έφερε πάλι στο προσκήνιο
ειρηνευτικό του σχέδιο που είχε αρχικά προτείνει το 2002 και που
προβλέπει αναγνώριση του Ισραήλ, με αντάλλαγμα την απόσυρσή του στα πρό
του 1967 σύνορά του. Ο κ. Ολμέρτ χαιρέτησε την ενέργεια αυτή, αλλά
επισήμανε ότι η χώρα του δεν δέχεται όλα τα σημεία του σχεδίου.

Ζιάντ Αμπού Αμρ

Σε άλλες εξελίξεις, μετά από συνομιλίες στο Παρίσι με τον Παλαιστίνιο
ομόλογο του, Ζιάντ Αμπού Αμρ, ο υπουργός εξωτερικών της Γαλλίας, Φιλίπ
Ντούστ Μπλαζύ, δήλωσε ότι η νέα Παλαιστινιακή κυβέρνηση θα πρέπει να
προβεί σε ‘περισσότερες χειρονομίες’, όπως είπε χαρακτηριστικά, πριν
αποκατασταθεί η βοήθεια της διεθνούς κοινότητας. Ο κ. Ντούστ- Μπλαζύ
επεσήμανε ότι τέτοιες χειρονομίες θα πρέπει να περιλαμβάνουν την
απελευθέρωση του Ισραηλινού στρατιώτη που συνελήφθη από εξτρεμιστές στη
Λωρίδα της Γάζας πέρυσι τον Ιούνιο.

Στο μεταξύ, το Ισραήλ απομόνωσε την κατεχόμενη Δυτική Όχθη και την
Λωρίδα της Γάζας λόγω ανησυχιών ότι Παλαιστίνιοι εξτρεμιστές θα
επιχειρήσουν επιθέσεις στη διάρκεια του Εβραϊκού Πάσχα.

[04] Πίστωση χρόνου για να λειτουργήσει η διπλωματία στο Σουδάν ζητά ο
Μπαν Κι Μουν

03-04-2007

Μπάν Κι Μούν

Ο γενικός γραμματέας των Ηνωμένων Εθνών, Μπάν Κι Μούν, δήλωσε ότι
χρειάζεται περισσότερο χρόνο για να πείσει το Σουδάν να δεχθεί μεικτή
ειρηνευτική δύναμη στο Νταρφούρ. Ο κ. Μπάν είπε ότι θα πρέπει να
υπάρξει περισσότερος χρόνος για διπλωματία, πριν οι ΗΠΑ και η Βρετανία
ασκήσουν πιέσεις στο Συμβούλιο Ασφαλείας να επιβάλει κυρώσεις.

Οι ΗΠΑ είπαν ότι θα επιζητήσουν ψήφισμα των ΗΕ για να πιεστεί το Σουδάν
να επιτρέψει σε επιπλέον ειρηνοφρουρούς να εισέλθουν στο Νταρφούρ, για
να ενισχύσουν τις δυνάμεις της Αφρικανικής Ένωσης που ήδη βρίσκονται
στη χώρα. Το Σουδάν συμφώνησε πέρυσι στην ανάπτυξη μεικτής δύναμης
αποτελούμενης από ειρηνοφρουρούς των ΗΕ και της Αφρικανικής Ένωσης.
Όμως έκτοτε το Χαρτούμ μπλοκάρει την είσοδο ειδικών ομάδων των ΗΕ, που
ανήκουν στην μεικτή ειρηνευτική δύναμη.

[05] Επίσκεψη Πελόσι στη Συρία

03-04-2007

Η πρόεδρος της Αμερικανικής Βουλής των Αντιπροσώπων, Νάνσυ Πελόσι με
τον  Πρωθυπουργό του Λιβάνου Φουάντ Σινιόρα στη Βηρυτό.

Η πρόεδρος της Αμερικανικής Βουλής των Αντιπροσώπων, Νάνσυ Πελόσι,
υπεραμύνθηκε της επερχόμενης επίσκεψης της στη Συρία, επισημαίνοντας
ότι είναι σημαντικό να αρχίσει διάλογος με τη Δαμασκό. Η κ. Πελόσι
δήλωσε ότι θα συζητήσει με Σύρους αξιωματούχους το ρόλο που μπορεί να
παίξει η Δαμασκός για να βοηθήσει τον πόλεμο κατά της τρομοκρατίας. Τη
Δευτέρα η κ. Πελόσι είχε συνομιλίες στη Βηρυτό με Λιβανέζους
αξιωματούχους. Πάντως η εκπρόσωπος του Λευκού Οίκου χαρακτήρισε την
επίσκεψη Πελόσι στη Συρία, κακή ιδέα. Εκτός απ’ την κ. Πελόσι και τρεις
Ρεπουμπλικανοί βουλευτές συναντήθηκαν στη Συρία με τον πρόεδρο, Μπασάρ
Αλ Ασσάντ, εκφράζοντας την πεποίθηση ότι υπάρχουν ευκαιρίες για διάλογο
με τη Δαμασκό.

[06] Βρετανία: Απευθείας συνομιλίες με την Τεχεράνη

03-04-2007

Βίντεο της Ιρανικής τηλεόρασης με ένα από τους Βρετανούς κρατούμενους

Η εκπρόσωπος του Βρετανικού υπουργείου Εξωτερικών δήλωσε ότι το Λονδίνο
έχει παρόμοιες προτιμήσεις με την Τεχεράνη ως προς την πραγματοποίηση
διμερών συνομιλιών με στόχο την επίλυση της κρίσης μετά την σύλληψη των
15 Βρετανών ναυτικών.

 Αναφερόμενη σε σχόλια του επικεφαλής του εθνικού συμβουλίου ασφάλειας
 του Ιράν, Αλί Λαριτζανί, η εκπρόσωπος του Foreign Office δήλωσε ότι
 υπάρχουν κάποιες διαφορές μεταξύ του κ. Λαριτζανί και της Βρετανικής
 κυβέρνησης, αλλά το Λονδίνο τάσσεται υπέρ μιας διπλωματικής λύσης του
 προβλήματος. Ο κ. Λαριτζανί είχε δηλώσει στην Βρετανική τηλεόραση ότι
 πιστεύει πως η κατάσταση μπορεί να λυθεί δια της διπλωματικής οδού.
 Πάντως εκπρόσωπος του Βρετανού πρωθυπουργού, Τόνυ Μπλέαρ, δήλωσε τη
 Δευτέρα ότι η απαίτηση του Λονδίνου για την άνευ όρων απελευθέρωση των
 15 Βρετανών κρατουμένων, δεν έχει αλλάξει.

ΠΗΓΗ : HR-Net News Distribution Manager

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