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Voice of America, 99-01-28

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] INTERVENTION IN KOSOVO BY NELSON BROWN (WASHINGTON)
  • [02] KOSOVO VIOLENCE (S&L) BY GIL BUTLER (PRISTINA)
  • [03] NATO / KOSOVO (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [04] NATO-KOSOVO UPDATE (L) (BRUSSELS)
  • [05] U-S / KOSOVO (S) BY NICK SIMEONE (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [06] MONTENEGRO/POLITICS BY LAURIE KASSMAN (PODGORICA)
  • [07] CHINA TAIWAN MACEDONIA (L-ONLY) BY ROGER WILKISON (BEIJING)
  • [08] ECONOMY FORUM OPENS (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (DAVOS)
  • [09] FORD/VOLVO DEAL (L ONLY) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [10] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [11] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY NELSON BROWN (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] INTERVENTION IN KOSOVO BY NELSON BROWN (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=01/28/99
    TYPE=WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-11120
    TELEPHONE=619-2702
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    /// EDS: REPEATING WITH CORRECT NUMBER ///

    INTRO: MANY MAJOR DAILY NEWSPAPERS AROUND THE WORLD HAVE BEEN FOCUSING THIS WEEK ON NATO'S EXPECTED WARNING TO BOTH SIDES IN SERBIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE -- THAT THE ALLIANCE WILL ACT IF THE SERBS DO NOT REACH A PEACE SETTLEMENT GRANTING MORE AUTONOMY FOR KOSOVO'S ALBANIANS. NOW, WITH A SAMPLING OF GLOBAL OPINIONS, HERE IS _____________ IN TODAY'S WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP.

    TEXT: EDITORIAL WRITERS AND COMMENTATORS ACROSS EUROPE AND ASIA HAVE EXPRESSED A BROAD RANGE OF OPINIONS ABOUT WHAT IT WILL TAKEDS TO SOLVE THE KOSOVO CRISIS. FROM BRITAIN AND GERMANY, THERE ARE PREDICTIONS OF A WESTERN INTERVENTION, INCLUDING THE USE OF GROUND TROOPS. BRITAIN'S "INDEPENDENT" NEWSPAPER DESCRIBES THE SITUATION THIS WAY:

    VOICE: RACAK HAS BEEN A WAKEUP CALL. THE MASSACRE MAY PROVE TO BE TO KOSOVO WHAT SREBRENICA WAS TO THE WAR IN BOSNIA. THE GREAT POWERS HAVE BEEN GALVANIZED INTO ACTION, NOT ONLY BY REVULSION, BUT BY SELF-INTEREST, TOO. THIS SPRING, NATO CELEBRATES ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY, AND PROMULGATES A NEWS MISSION STATEMENT FOR THE 21ST CENTURY. WHAT A MOCKERY THIS GALA WOULD BE IF THE MIGHTIEST ALLIANCE IN HISTORY ... STOOD [BY] WATCHING AS AN INCONSEQUENTIAL, IMPOVERISHED CORNER OF THE CONTINENT IT WAS SET UP TO PROTECT WAS TEARING ITSELF TO PIECES.

    TEXT: THE LONDON DAILY SAYS NATO CAN NOT INFLUENCE MATTERS AT LONG RANGE BY BOMBING. THE PAPER SAYS THE STAKES JUSTIFY THE USE OF GROUND TROOPS.

    IN GERMANY, A COMMENTATOR IN THE "FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG" CALLS FOR EVEN STRONGER ACTIONS BY EUROPE'S NATO POWERS:

    VOICE: THE EUROPEANS WANT TO IMPEL THE SERBS AND THE KOSOVO ALBANIANS TO ENTER INTO NEGOTIATIONS ABOUT A PEACE PLAN. BUT NEGOTIATIONS AND PEACE PLANS WILL LEAD TO NOTHING AS LONG AS SERBIA, RELYING ON ITS SUPERIOR FORCE, CAN PUT THE KOSOVO-ALBANIANS OFF AS THEY LIKE. IN KOSOVO, ONLY ONE THING COULD HELP: [IF] THE WESTERN POWERS, SUPPORTED BY NATO FORCES, WOULD TAKE OVER RULE FOR A FEW YEARS. THE FIRST THING THEY THEY MUST DO IS DISARM ALL ARMED FORCES, THEN SET UP AN ADMINISTRATION UNDER WHICH THE SERBIAN MINORITY AND THE ALBANIAN MAJORITY CAN LIVE IN SECURITY AND DIGNITY.

    TEXT: ... A COMMENTARY IN THE GERMAN NEWSPAPER FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE.

    DENMARK'S "JYLLANDS-POSTEN" PLACES SOME BLAME FOR THE KOSOVO CRISIS ON WESTERN LEADERS, FOR LACKING A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF THE SITUATION AND A DEFINITE STRATEGY:

    VOICE: // OPT // DIPLOMATS AND POLITICIANS ARE RUNNING AROUND LIKE HEADLESS CHICKENS, AND THE O-S-C-E [ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE] IS TURNING INTO A USELESS AND RIDICULOUS ORGANIZATION. // END OPT // THE CURRENT BLOODBATH IS PRIMARILY THE AFFAIR OF THE PEOPLE OF THE BALKANS, BUT THE WEST HAS CONTRIBUTED TO IT BY ITS FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEMS OF THE REGION. ...THE SITUATION IN KOSOVO RESEMBLES THAT IN BOSNIA IN 1992. THE SITUATION IS LIKELY TO DETERIORATE UNLESS THE WEST CAN FIND A BALKAN STRATEGY.

    TEXT: A COMMENTARY IN ANOTHER GERMAN NEWSPAPER, THE "STUTTGARTER ZEITUNG," SAYS PRESIDENT CLINTON WOULD BE AT RISK POLITICALLY ATR HOME IF U-S GROUND TROOPS BECOME INVOLVED IN ANY INTERVENTION IN KOSOVO:

    VOICE: HE HAS NOT PREPARED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OR CONGRESS FOR THIS POSSIBILITY, AND THE PENTAGON THINKS LITTLE OF THIS IDEA WHICH, AS IN BOSNIA, COULD RESULT IN A PERMANENT MILITARY PRESENCE OF THE UNITED STATES IN KOSOVO.

    TEXT: IN VIETNAM, THE COMMUNIST PARTY'S "NEW HANOI" NEWSPAPER CAUTIONS NATO TO AVOID ANY MILITARY ACTION IN YUGOSLAVIA:

    VOICE: NATO MILITARY OFFICIALS HAVE WEIGHED THE PROS AND CONS AND FIGURED OUT THAT STRIKING YUGOSLAVIA DOES NOT PRODUCE MORE BENEFITS THAN LOSSES, BECAUSE THE COUNTRY HAS BETTER DEFENSE CAPABILITY [THAN IRAQ]. YUGOSLAVIA IS ALSO STRONGLY BACKED BY TRADITIONAL SLAVIC ALLY RUSSIA, AND CHINA, WHICH FEARS IF THE WESTERN POWERS ARE SUCCESSFUL IN KOSOVO THEY WILL APPLY THE EXPERIENCE TO THE TIBET ISSUE. THEREFORE, IF NATO STUBBORNLY CARRIES OUT ATTACKS AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA NOW, THERE WILL BE MORE HARM THAN GOOD FOR THEM.

    TEXT: // OPT // COMMENTATORS IN RUSSIA (NOVIYE IZVESTIYA) AND HUNGARY (NEPSZABADSAG) HAVE CRITICIZED THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY FOR WHAT ONE WRITER CALLED ITS "FREEDOM-AT-ALL-COSTS" POLICY. A CHINESE NEWSPAPER SAYS DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE EUROPEAN UNION ARE AFFECTING RESOLUTION OF THE KOSOVO SITUATION. THE GUANGMING DAILY SAYS THE AMERICANS HAVE BEEN PUSHING HARDER FOR NATO INTERVENTION THAN THEIR ALLIES. // END OPT //AND WITH THOSE COMMENTS WE END THIS SAMPLING OF WORLD PRESS OPINION ON THE CRISIS IN KOSOVO. (SIGNED)
    NEB/NCB/WTW
    28-Jan-99 5:05 PM EST (2205 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] KOSOVO VIOLENCE (S&L) BY GIL BUTLER (PRISTINA)

    DATE=1/28/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244801
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///// USE OPTS FOR LONG REPORT. /////

    INTRO: THERE WAS MORE VIOLENCE IN KOSOVO (THURSDAY) AS DIPLOMATS AND MILITARY LEADERS ARE TRYING TO GET PEACE TALKS STARTED. CORRESPONDENT GIL BUTLER IS IN PRISTINA, THE CAPITAL OF THE YUGOSLAV PROVINCE.

    TEXT: THERE WAS A FIRE FIGHT BETWEEN ETHNIC-ALBANIAN GUERRILLAS AND SERBIAN SECURITY FORCES IN THE WEST OF KOSOVO, IN THE DJAKOVICA REGION.

    SERBIAN OFFICIALS SAY THE FIGHT BROKE OUT AFTER AN AMBUSH THAT WOUNDED TWO POLICEMEN. THE SERB REPORT SAID POLICE KILLED TWO OF THE ATTACKING KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY GUERRILLAS, WHICH THE GOVERNMENT ALWAYS CALLS TERRORISTS.

    THAT REPORT COULD NOT BE INDEPENDENTLY VERIFIED.

    SPORADIC GUNFIRE WAS REPORTED AGAIN NEAR PODUJEVO, ABOUT 30-KILOMETERS NORTH OF PRISTINA. THE FIGHTING FOLLOWED BY ONE DAY A LARGE-SCALE SERBIAN OFFENSIVE AGAINST K-L-A POSITIONS IN THAT REGION.

    // OPT //

    NUMEROUS TANKS AND ARMORED VEHICLES, AS WELL AS ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUNS AND HEAVY ARTILLERY, WERE USED IN THE OPERATION. // END OPT //

    BUT IT IS UNCLEAR WHETHER IT SUCCEEDED IN DISLODGING THE K-L-A FROM POSITIONS ON A RIDGE OVERLOOKING THE MAIN HIGHWAY TO BELGRADE.

    /// REST OPT ///

    ONE REPORT QUOTED A K-L-A SOURCE AS SAYING -- THE SERBS WERE JUST TEASING US, BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN THEY CAN BREAK US. MEANWHILE, PEOPLE IN THIS RESTIVE PROVINCE ARE WAITING TO SEE WHAT WILL BE THE NEXT STEP IN THE INTERNATIONAL MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC EFFORT TO GET THE ALBANIANS AND SERBS TO NEGOTIATE A SETTLEMENT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/MGB/RAE
    28-Jan-99 12:14 PM EST (1714 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] NATO / KOSOVO (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=1/28/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244793
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-N SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN, ON A VISIT TO NATO, ACKNOWLEDGES MILITARY FORCE MAY BE NEEDED IF DIPLOMACY FAILS TO BRING ABOUT A POLITICAL SOLUTION IN THE SERBIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE. RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM NATO HEADQUARTERS THE ALLIES ARE READY TO ISSUE A NEW MILITARY THREAT.

    TEXT: NATO'S SECRETARY GENERAL WILL GIVE DETAILS ABOUT THE THREAT (LATE IN THE DAY) WHEN HE RETURNS FROM A QUICK TRIP TO THE NETHERLANDS. NATO'S AIR AND SEA FORCES ARE IN PLACE AROUND YUGOSLAVIA, READY TO STRIKE WHEN THE POLITICAL DECISION IS GIVEN.

    THE THREAT IS LIKELY TO CONTAIN A DELAY. THIS WILL GIVE TIME TO THE WARRING SERBS AND ETHNIC-ALBANIANS IN SERBIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE TO STOP FIGHTING AND JOIN PEACE NEGOTIATIONS. THE SIX FOREIGN MINISTERS OF THE YUGOSLAVIA CONTACT GROUP MEET FRIDAY IN LONDON TO ISSUE AN INVITATION TO THE PARTIES TO JOIN NEGOTIATIONS. THESE TALKS WILL BE DESIGNED TO GIVE KOSOVO MAXIMUM AUTONOMY.

    THIS STATUS IS MORE THAN THE SERBS WANT TO CONCEDE, AND IS SHORT OF THE INDEPENDENCE THAT MANY KOSOVO ALBANIANS WANT. THE PRICE FOR THEIR CONTINUED REFUSAL TO NEGOTIATE WILL BE NATO MILITARY ACTION.

    KOSOVO ALBANIANS CHANTED SLOGANS IN THE RAIN IN SUPPORT OF THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY OUTSIDE NATO HEADQUARTERS. VISITING U-N SECRETARY GENERAL KOFI ANNAN WAS INSIDE SUPPORTING THE AUTONOMY NEGOTIATIONS AND THE USE OF FORCE IF NECESSARY.

    IN HIS REMARKS TO THE NATO COUNCIL, MR. ANNAN SAYS THE YUGOSLAV AUTHORITIES SHOULD HAVE LEARNED THE LESSON OF BOSNIA. THE U-N SECRETARY GENERAL SAYS THERE IS NO ILLUSION ABOUT USING FORCE AGAINST THE WISHES OF A SOVEREIGN STATE. THERE IS ALSO NO ILLUSION ABOUT THE NEED TO USE FORCE WHEN OTHER MEANS FAIL.

    MR ANNAN SAID WE MAY BE REACHING THAT LIMIT, ONCE AGAIN, IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. AFTERWARD, MR. ANNAN SPOKE TO REPORTERS.

    /// ANNAN ACT ///

    I AM PUSHING VERY HARD FOR A POLITICAL SETTLEMENT. WE ARE PUSHING FOR AGREEMENT ON THE AUTONOMY DISCUSSIONS AND THE PROPOSALS ON THE TABLE AND I HAVE INDICATED. I DID REFER TO BOSNIA AND THE REFERENCES TO THE USE OF THREAT. IF IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO USE THAT FORCE, THAT IS SOMETHING THAT WE WILL NEED TO LOOK AT, BUT THE THREAT IS ESSENTIAL AND IT IS THERE AND I REFERRED TO THAT.

    /// END ACT ///

    ON THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL, CHINA AND RUSSIA HAVE PUBLICLY OPPOSED THE USE OF MILITARY FORCE IN YUGOSLAVIA. THEIR OPPOSITION DID NOT DISCOURAGE NATO FROM THREATENING THE USE OF FORCE LAST OCTOBER TO COMPEL YUGOSLAVIA TO WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM KOSOVO.

    YUGOSLAV TROOPS ARE BACK IN KOSOVO AND THE CEASEFIRE HAS BROKEN DOWN. THAT IS WHY NATO IS THREATENING THE USE OF FORCE AGAIN TO SEE IF THAT WILL BREAK THE POLITICAL STALEMATE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/RAE
    28-Jan-99 7:23 AM EST (1223 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] NATO-KOSOVO UPDATE (L) (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=1/28/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244809

    CORRESPONDENT=RON PEMSTEIN CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO IS AGAIN WARNING BOTH SIDES IN THE WAR IN KOSOVO THAT IT IS READY TO USE MILITARY FORCE. RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM NATO HEADQUARTERS IN BRUSSELS THAT A TIMETABLE FOR USING THAT FORCE WILL BE DETERMINED BY FOREIGN MINISTERS OF WHAT'S CALLED THE YUGOSLAVIA "CONTACT" GROUP.

    TEXT: THE UNITED STATES WANTED NATO TO GIVE A MILITARY BACKING TO THE FOREIGN MINISTERS, WHO PLAN TO INVITE THE SERBS AND ALBANIANS TO A PEACE CONFERENCE ON KOSOVO. THE EUROPEAN MEMBERS OF NATO INSIST THEY WANT NO ULTIMATUMS UNTIL THE SIX CONTACT GROUP MINISTERS, INCLUDING RUSSIA, ISSUE THEIR POLITICAL INVITATION AT FRIDAY'S MEETING IN LONDON.

    NATO AMBASSADORS WILL REASSEMBLE (IN BRUSSELS) ON SATURDAY TO SET WHATEVER DEADLINE THE MINISTERS SELECT FOR THE RELUCTANT SERBS AND ALBANIANS TO COME TO TALKS ON AUTONOMY FOR KOSOVO. THE KOSOVO ALBANIANS HAVE DISMISSED THE PROPOSALS AS BEING SHORT OF INDEPENDENCE. THE SERBS REFUSE TO CONCEDE FULL CONTROL OF KOSOVO.

    NATO SECRETARY GENERAL JAVIER SOLANA SAYS NATO MILITARY FORCES ARE READY TO ACT AGAINST EITHER SIDE, IF THEY RESIST A POLITICAL SETTLEMENT.

    ///SOLANA ACT///

    WE ARE AT A VERY CRITICAL TURNING POINT IN THE KOSOVO CRISIS. THE NEXT FEW DAYS WILL BE DECISIVE. WHAT WE CAN SEE IN YUGOSLAVIA IN THE PAST DECADE IS THAT IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO STOP INTERNAL CONFLICTS IF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IS NOT WILLING TO USE FORCE WHEN OTHER MEANS HAVE FAILED. WE MAY BE REACHING THAT LIMIT ONCE AGAIN IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA.

    ///END ACT///

    UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL KOFI ANNAN USED SIMILAR WORDS IN HIS REMARKS TO THE NATO AMBASSADORS EARLIER IN THE DAY. MR. ANNAN TELLS REPORTERS NATO'S THREAT IS NECESSARY TO STOP THE KILLING IN KOSOVO.

    ///ANNAN ACT///

    IF IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO USE THAT FORCE, THAT IS SOMETHING THAT WE WILL NEED TO LOOK AT. BUT THE THREAT IS ESSENTIAL, AND IT IS THERE, AND I REFERRED TO THAT.

    ///END ACT///

    MR. ANNAN SAYS YUGOSLAV AUTHORITIES SHOULD REMEMBER THE LESSON OF BOSNIA, WHEN FORCE WAS USED TO BRING ABOUT A PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT. AT THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL, CHINA AND RUSSIA HAVE PUBLICLY OPPOSED THE USE OF MILITARY FORCE IN YUGOSLAVIA. HOWEVER, NATO IGNORED THEIR OBJECTIONS LAST OCTOBER WHEN IT THREATENED FORCE TO GET YUGOSLAV ARMY TROOPS TO WITHDRAW FROM KOSOVO AND TO OBSERVE A CEASE-FIRE. THAT CEASE-FIRE IS BREAKING DOWN, AND NATO IS AGAIN READY WITH ITS AIR AND SEA FORCES TO DEAL WITH ALL OPTIONS IN KOSOVO.

    AMONG THOSE OPTIONS ARE CUTTING OFF ARMS SMUGGLING INTO KOSOVO, THE STATIONING OF ARMED PEACE KEEPERS IN THE PROVINCE AND THE EVACUATION OF CIVILIAN MONITORS IN PREPARATION FOR NATO AIR STRIKES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/PCF
    28-Jan-99 1:57 PM EST (1857 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] U-S / KOSOVO (S) BY NICK SIMEONE (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=1/28/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244812
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL JAVIER SOLANA SAYS THE 16-NATION ALLIANCE IS AT A CRITICAL TURNING POINT IN THE CRISIS IN KOSOVO, WHERE FIGHTING BETWEEN SERB FORCES AND ETHNIC ALBANIAN REBELS CONTINUES. AT THE WHITE HOUSE, CORRESPONDENT NICK SIMEONE REPORTS THE UNITED STATES IS AGAIN CONSIDERING THE USE OF FORCE TO PREVENT A FULL OUTBREAK OF WAR IN THE SOUTHERN SERBIAN PROVINCE.

    TEXT: IN LANGUAGE STRIKINGLY SIMILAR TO THAT USED IN DEALING WITH IRAQ, THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION IS WARNING YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC THAT NATO IS READY TO BOMB SERB TARGETS IF HE DOES NOT ACT SOON TO REACH A SETTLEMENT WITH REBELS DEMANDING INDEPENDENCE.

    WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN JOE LOCKHART:

    /// LOCKHART ACT ///

    THERE IS AN ACTIVATION ORDER IN PLACE NOW FOR AIR STRIKES AND AN AIR CAMPAIGN, AND WE EXPECT IF HE IS UNWILLING TO COMPLY THAT THOSE THREATS MAY BECOME VERY REAL.

    /// END ACT ///

    SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT IS IN EUROPE CONFERRING WITH ALLIES ON POLICY OPTIONS, WHILE NATO BUILDS UP ITS FORCES IN THE REGION IN PREPARATION FOR POSSIBLE AIR STRIKES. TALKS AMONG WESTERN LEADERS OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS ARE LIKELY TO DETERMINE WHETHER NATO WILL REMAIN ON THE SIDELINES IN THE KOSOVO CRISIS OR, IF FIGHTING CONTINUES, USE FORCE TO GET BOTH SIDES TO FINALLY AGREE TO A PLAN FOR KOSOVO'S AUTONOMY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/NJS/LTD/WTW
    28-Jan-99 3:07 PM EST (2007 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] MONTENEGRO/POLITICS BY LAURIE KASSMAN (PODGORICA)

    DATE=1/28/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42464
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: WHEN YUGOSLAVIA BROKE APART IN THE EARLY 1990S, THE REPUBLIC OF MONTENEGRO CHOSE TO REMAIN IN THE SURVIVING FEDERATION WITH SERBIA. BUT TENSIONS HAVE INCREASED BETWEEN THE TWO REPUBLICS, AS MONTENEGRO'S YOUNG, REFORM-MINDED LEADER TRIES TO DISTANCE HIS GOVERNMENT FROM BELGRADE'S CONTROL. CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN RECENTLY VISITED MONTENEGRO'S CAPITAL, PODGORICA, AND FILES THIS REPORT ON THE REPUBLIC'S POLITICAL STRATEGY.

    TEXT: MONTENEGRIN OFFICIALS SAY THEIR BEST DEFENSE AGAINST ANY UNWANTED INTERVENTION FROM BELGRADE IS DEMOCRATIC AND ECONOMIC REFORM. IN AN INTERVIEW WITH V-O-A NEWS, MONTENEGRO'S FOREIGN MINISTER BRANKO PEROVIC SAYS THE ACTION OF HIS GOVERNMENT COULD INSPIRE THE MOVE TO GREATER DEMOCRACY IN SERBIA.

    /// PEROVIC ACT ///

    ONCE WE ESTABLISH A POSITIVE EXAMPLE HERE, IT WILL BE CONVINCING TO THOSE WHO DON'T BELIEVE THAT WE ARE ABLE TO ESTABLISH SOMETHING NEW. BUT WE'LL BE ABLE TO SHOW THEM (SERBIANS) THAT NEW IS POSSIBLE AND NEW IS BETTER THAN THE OLD SYSTEM.

    /// END ACT ///

    NOR DOES MR. PEROVIC HESITATE TO BLAME YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC FOR TRYING TO UNDERMINE MONTENEGRO'S INTEGRATION INTO EUROPE.

    /// SECOND PEROVIC ACT ///

    HE IS THE CAUSE OF THE PROBLEMS AND HE IS THE MAIN PROBLEM FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, WHICH IS LOOKING FOR MORE COOPERATION.

    /// END ACT ///

    BUT POLITICAL ANALYST SRDAN DERMANOVIC OF THE "CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS" SAYS PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC'S EFFORTS TO INTERFERE IN MONTENEGRO HAVE BEEN WEAKENED BY HIS LACK OF DIRECT POLITICAL LEVERAGE.

    /// DERMANOVIC ACT ///

    HE DOESN'T CONTROL ANY INSTITUTIONS IN MONTENEGRO, NOT PRESIDENTIAL, NOR PARLIAMENT, NOR GOVERNMENT, NOR COURTS, NOR POLICE OR TELEVISION.

    /// END ACT ///

    NEVERTHELESS, FOREIGN MINISTER PEROVIC SAYS BELGRADE IS SABOTAGING MONTENEGRO'S ECONOMIC REFORMS THROUGH TRADE BOYCOTTS AND BLOCKADES.

    /// THIRD PEROVIC ACT ///

    WE HAVE A COMMON TRADE MARKET AND BUY A LOT OF THINGS IN SERBIA AND SELL OUR PRODUCTS. BUT WE HAVE SEEN IN THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS THAT THE BORDER THAT DID NOT EXIST IS BECOMING AN OFFICIAL BORDER, SOMETIMES WITH CUSTOMS OFFICERS.

    /// END ACT ///

    BORDER CONTROLS WITHIN YUGOSLAVIA ARE NOT THE ONLY PROBLEM. ANALYSTS SAY WESTERN ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA ARE HURTING MONTENEGRO.

    BUT THAT MAY BE CHANGING. THE U-S CONGRESS RECENTLY VOTED TO GIVE MONTENEGRO ACCESS TO INVESTMENT LOANS AND THE EUROPEAN UNION IS TALKING ABOUT EXCLUDING MONTENEGRO FROM THE SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON THE OTHER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC, SERBIA.

    BUT BELGRADE ALLIES IN PODGORICA, LIKE POLITICIAN PREDRAG BULATOVIC, ACCUSE MONTENEGRO'S REFORM-MINDED PRESIDENT MILO DJUKANOVIC OF TRYING TO BREAK OUT OF THE YUGOSLAV FEDERATION.

    ///BULATOVIC IN SERBO-CROAT -- ESTABLISH AND FADE ///

    MR. BULATOVIC INSISTS THAT MONTENEGRO'S FUTURE MUST BE DECIDED BY REFERENDUM AND NOT BY ANY UNILATERAL DECISION BY MONTENEGRO'S PRESIDENT.

    PRO-DJUKANOVIC POLITICIANS LIKE MIODRAG VUKOVIC ARGUE THAT IT IS YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC WHO IS PUSHING THE REPUBLIC TO THE BRINK.

    /// VUKOVIC IN SERBO-CROAT -- ESTABLISH AND FADE ///

    MR. VUKOVIC SAYS IF SERBIA DOES NOT CHANGE, THERE WILL BE NO FUTURE YUGOSLAVIA. "IT IS NOT US WHO WANT TO LEAVE," HE SAYS, "IT IS MR. MILOSEVIC WHO IS PUSHING US OUT BY HIS UNDEMOCRATIC POLICIES."

    MONTENEGRIN POLITICIANS WHO FEAR THE REPUBLIC WILL BE THE NEXT TARGET OF BELGRADE'S CRACKDOWN ARE URGING THE WEST TO TAKE ACTIONS NOW TO PREVENT IT. THEIR FORMULA IS A COMBINATION OF TOUGH TALK IN BELGRADE AND MORE ECONOMIC SUPPORT FOR MONTENEGRO. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/PCF/JO
    28-Jan-99 10:54 AM EST (1554 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] CHINA TAIWAN MACEDONIA (L-ONLY) BY ROGER WILKISON (BEIJING)

    DATE=1/28/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244787
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: CHINA HAS PROTESTED TO MACEDONIA, FOLLOWING THE SIGNING OF AN AGREEMENT WEDNESDAY BY THE BALKAN REPUBLIC'S FOREIGN MINISTER THAT ESTABLISHES DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH TAIWAN. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ROGER WILKISON REPORTS CHINA HAS NOT YET BROKEN RELATIONS WITH MACEDONIA, BECAUSE THE COUNTRY'S PRESIDENT HAS VOICED HIS OPPOSITION TO TIES WITH TAIWAN.

    TEXT: CONFUSION SEEMS TO REIGN IN THE CAPITALS OF ALL THREE PARTIES, INVOLVED IN THE LATEST DIPLOMATIC BATTLE BETWEEN CHINA AND TAIWAN. MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT KIRO GLIGOROV SAYS HIS COUNTRY STILL RECOGNIZES BEIJING AS THE ONLY LEGITIMATE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CHINESE PEOPLE, DESPITE THE AGREEMENT SIGNED BY FOREIGN MINISTER ALEKSANDAR DIMITROV. TAIWAN IS INSISTING THAT MACEDONIA HAS GRANTED THE ISLAND DIPLOMATIC RECOGNITION. THE CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY IS URGING THE MACEDONIANS TO RECONSIDER THE ESTABLISHMENT OF OFFICIAL TIES BETWEEN THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC AND TAIWAN.

    THE CONFUSION AROSE WHEN PRESIDENT GLIGOROV REJECTED THE AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING LINKS WITH TAIWAN. BUT THE TAIWANESE SAY THAT, UNDER MACEDONIA'S CONSTITUTION, MR. GLIGOROV IS A FIGUREHEAD WITH NO POWER TO DECIDE FOREIGN POLICY AND THAT THE AGREEMENT STANDS. MEANWHILE, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESWOMAN ZHANG QIYUE SAID THROUGH AN INTERPRETER THAT MACEDONIA -- WHICH HAS MAINTAINED TIES WITH BEIJING SINCE 1993 -- SHOULD MAKE UP ITS MIND.

    /////INTERPRETER ACTUALITY/////

    IT IS OUR HOPE THAT THE RELEVANT AUTHORITIES OF MACEDONIA WILL PROCEED FROM THE OVERALL INTERESTS OF SINO-MACEDONIAN RELATIONS AND THE FUNDAMENTAL INTERESTS OF MACEDONIAN PEOPLE AND COME UP WITH THE WISE DECISION OF NOT RECOGNIZING THE SO-CALLED COMMUNIQUE.

    /////END ACTUALITY/////

    MS. ZHANG NOTED PRESIDENT GLIGOROV'S OPPOSITION TO THE SURPRISE DEAL WITH TAIWAN AND SAID IT HAS PROTESTED TO MACEDONIA.

    /////INTERPRETER ACTUALITY/////

    CHINA HAS ALREADY MADE SOLEMN REPRESENTATIONS WITH THE MACEDONIAN SIDE OVER THE COMMUNIQUE ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS, SIGNED BY ITS FOREIGN MINISTER WITH TAIWAN AUTHORITIES.

    /////END ACTUALITY/////

    IF THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN TAIWAN AND MACEDONIA HOLDS, THE BALKAN REPUBLIC WILL BE THE 28TH STATE TO HAVE FORMAL TIES TO THE ISLAND THAT BEIJING REGARDS AS A WAYWARD PROVINCE. CHINA SAYS TAIWAN HAS NO RIGHT TO FORGE OFFICIAL TIES WITH OTHER COUNTRIES.

    CHINESE DIPLOMATIC PRACTICE IS TO BREAK LINKS WITH ANY COUNTRY THAT RECOGNIZES TAIWAN AS AN INDEPENDENT STATE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RW/FC/PLM
    28-Jan-99 4:45 AM EST (0945 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] ECONOMY FORUM OPENS (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (DAVOS)

    DATE=1/28/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244813
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE ANNUAL WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM, WHERE A THOUSAND RICH INDIVIDUALS AND THE MEDIA COME TO HEARE THE VIEWS OF POWERFUL DECISION MAKERS IN BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT, IS UNDERWAY IN THE SWISS SKI RESORT OF DAVOS. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT BARRY WOOD IS THERE AND REPORTS THAT THIS YEAR'S SIX DAY EVENT IS FOCUSED ON BIG ISSUES OF MONEY, TRADE, AND FAST MOVING FINANCIAL MARKETS.

    TEXT: IT MAY BE FITTING THAT AS THE MEETING BEGAN A SNOW STORM SWEPT THROUGH THE SWISS ALPS, MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR HELICOPTERS TO MAKE THE JOURNEY FROM ZURICH AIRPORT TO DAVOS. INSTEAD, THE RICH AND POWERFUL HAD TO RIDE THREE HOURS BY BUS AND TAXI TO REACH THIS PICTURE POST-CARD VILLAGE NEAR THE AUSTRIAN AND ITALIAN BORDER.

    KLAUS SCHWAB, THE SWISS ENTREPRENEUR WHO CREATED THE ECONOMIC FORUM OVER A QUARTER CENTURY AGO, HAS MADE THIS YEAR'S THEME "MANAGING THE IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION" - THAT IS THE TIGHT INTEGRATION OF THE WORLD ECONOMY THAT CAUSES EUROPE OR AMERICA TO CATCH A COLD WHEN ASIA OR RUSSIA COMES DOWN WITH THE FLU.

    WITH THE SWISS AND GERMAN PRESIDENT BESIDE HIM AT THE OPENING CEREMONY, MR. SCHWAB REMINDED HIS AUDIENCE THAT THE FORUM WAS CREATED TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE. THIS YEAR, HE SAID, THERE NEEDS TO BE EMPHASIS ON SOCIAL WELFARE FOR THE WORLD'S POOREST PEOPLE.

    //SCHWAB ACT//

    DURING THE NEXT SIX DAYS, WE WILL LOOK AT THE MANY WAYS TO CULTIVATE ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND FREE MARKETS AS THE ENGINES OF WEALTH AND WELFARE. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, WE WILL BE PARTICULARLY CONCERNED ABOUT SOCIAL COHESION IN A WORLD OF MEGA COMPETITION.

    //END ACT//

    THE SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH OF A SINGLE CURRENCY IN EUROPE HAS PARTICIPANTS AT THE FORUM TALKING ENTHUSIASTICALLY ABOUT MONETARY UNION IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD.

    DOMINGO CAVALLO, WHO AS FINANCE MINISTER BROUGHT CURRENCY STABILITY TO ARGENTINA SEVEN YEARS AGO, SPOKE TO THREE HUNDRED EAGER PARTICIPANTS ABOUT THE PROSPECTS FOR MONETARY UNION IN THE SOUTHERN PART OF SOUTH AMERICA.

    WITH HIS EYE ON THE DEVALUATION IN BRAZIL, MR. CAVALLO DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT ARGENTINA SHOULD TRY TO SEAL ITSELF OFF FROM MONETARY CHAOS BY ABANDONING THE PASO IN FAVOR OF THE U-S DOLLAR. INSTEAD, SAID MR. CAVALLO, ARGENTINES AND BRAZILIANS SHOULD AIM HIGHER AND EVENTUALLY CREATE A STRONG COMMON CURRENCY FOR LATIN AMERICA.

    THESE AND OTHER SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVING THE GLOBAL ECONOMY WILL BE EXHAUSTEDLY DEBATED OVER THE NEXT WEEK. AFTER ALL, SAYS ONE PARTICIPANT, THE ECONOMIC FORUM IS ABOUT BRINGING IMPORTANT PEOPLE TOGETHER TO DEBATE LOFTY AND PROVOCATIVE IDEAS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BW/ENE-T/PT
    28-Jan-99 3:48 PM EST (2048 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] FORD/VOLVO DEAL (L ONLY) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)

    DATE=1/28/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244807
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// RE-RUNNING W/CORRECT MR. NASSER'S FIRST NAME IN SECOND GRAPH ///

    INTRO: FORD MOTOR COMPANY OF THE UNITED STATES HAS AGREED TO BUY THE AUTOMOBILE DIVISION OF VOLVO OF SWEDEN FOR SIX POINT FIVE BILLION DOLLARS. ANALYSTS SEE THIS AS ANOTHER SIGN OF CONSOLIDATION IN THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY. VOA CORRESPONDENT ELAINE JOHANSON REPORTS FROM NEW YORK:

    TEXT: OTHER AUTOMAKERS REPORTEDLY EXPRESSED INTEREST IN VOLVO -- INCLUDING FIAT AND VOLKSWAGON. BUT FORD MADE ITS OPENING BID AND NEVER LOOKED BACK. FORD AND VOLVO DECIDED THEY WERE RIGHT FOR EACH OTHER.

    FORD'S CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, JAC (PRONOUNCE "JACK") NASSER, SAYS IT IS ALL ABOUT "SYNERGY" -- THE BEST POSSIBLE MARRIAGE:

    //NASSER ACT//

    AND VOLVO, WE THINK, STANDS FOR DIFFERENT VALUES AND UNIQUE APPEAL AND IN THAT REGARD FITS EXTREMELY WELL ON A COMPLEMENTARY BASIS WITHIN THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY BRANDS THAT EXIST TODAY.

    //END ACT//

    FORD INTENDS TO OPERATE VOLVO AS A SEPARATE DIVISION -- AT LEAST FOR NOW.

    VOLVO PRESIDENT LEIF JOHANSSON SAYS THE STRATEGY BEHIND THE SALE IS A SIMPLE ONE. THE SWEDISH FIRM PLANS TO CONCENTRATE ON ITS OTHER OPERATIONS:

    //JOHANSSON ACT//

    IT ENABLES VOLVO GROUP TO CONTINUE TO DEVELOP ITS COMMERCIAL PRODUCT LINES IN TRUCKS AND BUSES AND CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT. AND I THINK THE COMBINATION OF ALL OF THAT WILL MAKE THIS A VERY ATTRACTIVE DEAL ALSO FOR THE VOLVO SHAREHOLDERS.

    //END ACT//

    FORD HOPES TO CAPTURE MORE OF THE U-S MARKET IN AREAS WHERE VOLVO IS A POPULAR AUTOMOBILE. THE DEAL IS ALSO EXPECTED TO BOOST FORD'S SHARE OF THE EUROPEAN MARKET.

    //REST OPT//

    ANALYST DAVID GARRITY SAYS THAT COULD SPELL TROUBLE FOR EUROPEAN AUTOMAKERS, ESPECIALLY B-M-W AND MERCEDES-BENZ OF GERMANY:

    //GARRITY ACT//

    WHAT'S ATTRACTIVE FOR FORD IN LOOKING AT VOLVO IS THAT THE AVERAGE SELLING PRICE ON THE VOLVO CARS IS SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER THAN WHAT FORD IS ABLE TO GET OUT OF ITS PRODUCT LINE WORLD-WIDE. THIS IS REALLY GOING TO BEEF UP (STRENGTHEN) FORD'S PRESENCE IN LUXURY VEHICLES AND MORE IMPORTANTLY AT THE LOWER END OF THE LUXURY CAR RANGE.

    //END ACT//

    FORD'S VOLVO PURCHASE ADDS TO A GROWING LIST OF ACQUISITIONS BY THE NUMBER TWO U-S AUTOMAKER. FORD HAS TAKEN UNDER ITS WING BRITAIN'S ASTON MARTIN AND JAQUAR, AND OWNS ABOUT 33 PERCENT OF MAZDA OF JAPAN.

    THERE HAVE BEEN ONLY 70 BILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF AUTO MERGERS GLOBALLY IN THE 1990'S. AND 40 BILLION DOLLARS OF THAT HAS BEEN LAST YEAR'S MERGER OF DAIMLER BENZ AND CHRYSLER. ANALYSTS SAY THAT SHOWS HOW DIFFICULT SUCH DEALS ARE.

    BUT THE GLOBAL AUTO INDUSTRY -- HIT BY OVERCAPACITY -- HAS BEEN RESTRUCTURING AND ANALYSTS SAY THE PRESSURE FOR CROSS-BORDER DEALS REMAINS BIG. THEY POINT TO U-S AUTOMAKER GENERAL MOTORS, WHICH HAS COST PROBLEMS BOTH AT HOME AND IN ITS EUROPEAN OPERATIONS. G-M OWNS ONLY 50 PERCENT OF SWEDISH AUTOMAKER, SAAB.
    NEB/NY/EJ/LSF
    28-Jan-99 2:47 PM EST (1947 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)

    DATE=1/28/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244818
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE UP TODAY (THURSDAY) IN A STRONG REBOUND FROM WEDNESDAY'S SELLING. V-O-A BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 92-HUNDRED-81, UP 81 POINTS, ALMOST ONE PERCENT. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 12-HUNDRED-65, UP 22 POINTS, AND THE NASDAQ INDEX CLOSED AT A RECORD HIGH.

    ANALYSTS SAY BARGAIN HUNTERS CAME INTO THE MARKET AFTER WEDNESDAY'S SELL-OFF.

    // OPT //

    JAMES MAGUIRE OF THE HENDERSON BROTHERS INVESTMENT COMPANY SAYS IT REMAINS VERY MUCH A LIQUIDITY-DRIVEN MARKET, MEANING MANY INVESTMENT MANAGERS HAVE LARGE AMOUNTS OF CASH WHICH THEY WISH TO CONVERT INTO STOCKS.

    /// MAGUIRE ACT ///

    ANYTIME WE SEE A PULLBACK LIKE WE DID YESTERDAY, IT DOES NOT TAKE TOO LONG BEFORE INVESTORS GET BACK IN TO BUY STOCKS.

    /// END ACT ////// END OPT ///

    THERE WAS MUCH POSITIVE CORPORATE NEWS TO CHEER TRADERS. WALL STREET REACTED POSITIVELY TO THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY'S SIX-AND-ONE-HALF-BILLION-DOLLAR ACQUISITION OF THE AUTO OPERATIONS OF SWEDEN'S VOLVO CORPORATION.

    THERE WERE ALSO MORE STOCK SPLITS. BOTH THE INTEL MICROPROCESSOR COMPANY AND THE YAHOO INTERNET SERVICE FIRM ANNOUNCED TWO-FOR-ONE SPLITS.

    /// REST OPT ///

    YAHOO ALSO ANNOUNCED IT WILL BUY GEOCITIES, ANOTHER INTERNET SERVICE COMPANY, IN A DEAL WORTH ABOUT FOUR-AND-ONE-HALF BILLION DOLLARS.

    THE GOVERNMENT SAYS WAGE COSTS IN THE UNITED STATES EASED IN THE FOURTH QUARTER OF LAST YEAR, ADDING TO THE POSITIVE OUTLOOK FOR A CONTINUED LOW U-S INFLATION RATE.

    THE GOVERNMENT ALSO REPORTED AN ALMOST TWO PERCENT RISE IN ORDERS FOR EXPENSIVE MANUFACTURED GOODS IN DECEMBER, AHEAD OF WALL STREET EXPECTATIONS.

    U-S CENTRAL BANK CHAIRMAN ALAN GREENSPAN AGAIN VOICED HIS OPPOSITION TO PRESIDENT CLINTON'S PROPOSAL THAT THE GOVERNMENT INVEST A PORTION OF SOCIAL SECURITY ASSETS IN THE STOCK MARKET. MR. GREENSPAN TOLD A SENATE HEARING IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO INSULATE GOVERNMENT STOCK MARKET INVESTMENTS FROM POLITICAL PRESSURES, AND WOULD THREATEN THE INTEGRITY OF U-S CAPITAL MARKETS.

    A TEXAS SENATOR SAYS LOW OIL PRICES ARE THREATENING THE OPERATION OF MANY SMALL OIL WELLS IN THE UNITED STATES WHICH, COLLECTIVELY, PROVIDE 20 PERCENT OF THE U-S OIL SUPPLY. SENATOR KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON IS PROPOSING TAX INCENTIVES TO KEEP THOSE WELLS OPERATING.

    R-J-R NABISCO, THE FOOD AND TOBACCO COMPANY, REPORTED A QUARTERLY LOSS OF ALMOST 600-MILLION DOLLARS. THE COMPANY BLAMES NOT ONLY THE COSTS OF SETTLING TOBACCO LITIGATION IN THE UNITED STATES BUT ALSO THE ECONOMIC PROBLEMS IN RUSSIA, WHERE R-J-R HAS INVESTED HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS DURING THE LAST SIX YEARS. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/WTW
    28-Jan-99 5:18 PM EST (2218 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [11] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY NELSON BROWN (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=01/28/99
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST (WEDS. 1/27)
    NUMBER=6-11118
    TELEPHONE=619-2702
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ////

    EDS: PERISHABLE MATERIAL, DATED AFTER 10 P-M E - S - T ! !

    ////

    INTRO: A CALL FOR GREATER U-S INVOLVEMENT IN SIERRA LEONE, MORE COMMENT ON THE NEW JORDANIAN SUCCESSION, AND THE DAUNTING TASK FACED BY EARTHQUAKE-STRICKEN COLOMBIA. THOSE WERE SOME OF THE TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS IN MAJOR AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS. HERE, WITH THE U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST IS V-O-A'S _______________.

    TEXT: THE LEAD EDITORIAL IN THE WASHINGTON POST MAKES A STRONG PLEA FOR THE UNITED STATES TO DO MORE TO HELP SOLVE THE HUMAN SUFFERING IN SIERRA LEONE RESULTING FROM THAT COUNTRY'S CIVIL STRIFE.

    QUOTING PRESIDENT CLINTON'S STATEMENT LAST YEAR THAT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SHOULD NEVER AGAIN FAIL TO END BLOODLETTING AS IT DID IN RWANDA, THE PAPER SAYS THE UNIMAGINABLE IS AGAIN HAPPENING IN SIERRA LEONE. IT SAYS TENS OF THOUSANDS HAVE BEEN KILLED, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS DISPLACED AND MANY MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN SYSTEMATICALLY MAIMED BY A REBEL FORCE.

    THE WASHINGTON POST SAYS THE RATIONALIZATIONS FOR INACTION ARE PREDICTABLE.

    VOICE: THIS IS NOT A RWANDA-STYLE GENOCIDE, AFTER ALL, WHERE A MILLION OR MORE WERE KILLED IN THE SPACE OF THREE MONTHS. THE REBEL FORCE IS A VICIOUS, NON-IDEOLOGICAL GROUP OF THUGS -- HARD TO NEGOTIATE WITH. THE UNITED STATES HAS PROVIDED HUMANITARIAN AID. AND AMERICA CANNOT SOLVE EVERY PROBLEM IN THE WORLD. ALL TRUE -- YET NOT VERY CONVINCING. BETWEEN SENDING IN THE MARINES AND DOING NOTHING, THERE ARE MANY INTERMEDIATE PERCHES THE UNITED STATES COULD OCCUPY [ACTIONS THE U-S COULD TAKE]. SO FAR, WITH RESPECT TO SIERRA LEONE, IT REMAINS TOO CLOSE TO THE DOING-NOTHING END OF THE SPECTRUM.

    TEXT: /// OPT ///THE WASHINGTON POST CONCLUDES WITH AN APPEAL FOR WASHINGTON TO AT LEAST INCREASE ITS CURRENT LEVEL OF AID TO THE WEST AFRICAN PEACEKEEPING FORCE -- WHICH THE PAPER SAYS IS THE ONLY THING STANDING BETWEEN THE REBELS AND THE CIVILIAN POPULATION. IT CALLS THE PRESENT AID LEVEL "A LAUGHABLE ONE-POINT-THREE-MILLION DOLLARS." /// END OPT ///

    A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL TAKES NOTE OF WHAT IT CALLS A "MOMENT OF POTENTIALLY GREAT CONSEQUENCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST." IT SAYS A WEEK AFTER RETURNING HOME, KING HUSSEIN OF JORDAN UNEXPECTEDLY FLEW BACK TO A U-S CLINIC FOR TREATMENT OF A RECURRENCE OF CANCER. THE PAPER SAYS JUST BEFORE DEPARTING, HE OVERTURNED LONG-ESTABLISHED SUCCESSION PLANS AND NAMED HIS ELDEST SON, PRINCE ABDULLAH, AS CROWN PRINCE. IN THE WORDS OF THE NEW YORK TIMES:

    VOICE: THE CHANGE RELEGATED PRINCE HASSAN, KING HUSSEIN'S YOUNGER BROTHER AND LONGSTANDING HEIR APPARENT, TO A LESSER ROLE AND EXPOSED A BITTER FAMILY QUARREL THAT COULD RESURFACE AFTER THE KING' DEATH. KING HUSSEIN, SENIOR STATESMAN OF THE ARAB WORLD AND JORDAN'S RULER SINCE 1952, HAS PLAYED AN EXCEPTIONAL ROLE IN REDUCING MIDDLE EAST TENSIONS. FUTURE STABILITY AND PEACE IN THE REGION WILL REST IN NO SMALL MEASURE ON A SMOOTH SUCCESSION AND ON WHETHER CROWN PRINCE ABDULLAH DEMONSTRATES THE SAME COMMITMENT TO RECONCILIATION AS HIS FATHER.

    TEXT: /// OPT /// THE NEW YORK TIMES SAYS THE CROWN PRINCE WILL HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE OVER HIS FATHER'S ROLE OF HELPING THE ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS COMPLETE THE PEACE THEY HAVE BEGUN.

    /// END OPT ///

    FINALLY, THE EARTHQUAKE DISASTER IN COLOMBIA DREW COMMENT FROM TWO NEWSPAPERS IN THE SOUTHERN STATE OF FLORIDA, WHICH IS HOME TO MANY PEOPLE OF COLOMBIAN DESCENT. THE ORLANDO SENTINEL SAYS THE QUAKE -- THE WORST IN COLOMBIA IS MORE THAN A CENTURY -- HAS LEFT A LEGACY OF BLOOD AND DESTRUCTION, /// OPT /// WITH AS MANY AS ONE THOUSAND PEOPLE DEAD. /// END OPT ///

    VOICE: WHAT HELPS TO PUT THAT SITUATION INTO ESPECIALLY STARK PERSPECTIVE IS HOW IT PILES ON TOP OF COLOMBIA'S EXISTING NATIONAL BURDENS. ALREADY SAVAGED BY A TRIPLE WHAMMY [TRIPLE PROBLEMS] OF ILLEGAL DRUG TRAFFICKING, VIOLENT REBELLION AND POVERTY, COLOMBIA FACES DAUNTING ODDS. FORTUNATELY, THAT NATION HAS AT ITS HELM A LEVEL-HEADED MAN OF ENERGY AND VISION -- NEWLY ELECTED PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA. WITH CONTINUING INTERNATIONAL HELP, HE SHOULD BE ABLE TO LEAD COLOMBIA THROUGH THIS CRISIS AND INTO CALMER TIMES.

    TEXT: THE ORLANDO SENTINEL ALSO SAYS THAT, FORTUNATELY, HELPING HANDS ARE REACHING OUT TO COLOMBIA, INCLUDING AN INITIAL TWO MILLION DOLLARS FROM THE UNITED STATES AND MILLIONS MORE FROM OTHER NATIONS.

    THE MIAMI HERALD IN SOUTH FLORIDA ALSO WELCOMED THE OUTPOURING OF AID AND HAD THESE WORDS OF ADVICE FOR THE COLOMBIAN LEADER:

    VOICE: FOR HIS PART, PRESIDENT PASTRANA NEEDS TO ENSURE THAT AID IS DISTRIBUTED CLEANLY. INDEED, CORRUPTION IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF HUMANITARIAN AID HAS BROUGHT DOWN GOVERNMENTS.

    TEXT: AND WITH THAT COMMENT, WE END THIS EDITION OF THE U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST.
    NEB/NCB/GE
    28-Jan-99 10:27 AM EST (1527 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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