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Voice of America, 99-11-18

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] GREECE/TURKEY (L-O) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (ISTANBUL)
  • [02] TURKEY / PIPELINE (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ISTANBUL)
  • [03] ROMANIA / PROTESTS (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)
  • [04] SREBRENICA REPORT-BOSNIA REACT (L ONLY) BY BRECK ARDERY (UNITED NATIONS)
  • [05] O-S-C-E / CHECHNYA (L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (ISTANBUL)
  • [06] O-S-C-E / RUSSIA (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (ISTANBUL)
  • [07] OSCE/YELTSIN (S) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (ISTANBUL)
  • [08] US-RUSSIA-OSCE (L-WRAP) BY DEBORAH TATE (ISTANBUL)
  • [09] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) (CQ) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [10] THURDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ERIKA EVANS (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] GREECE/TURKEY (L-O) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (ISTANBUL)

    DATE=11/18/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256338
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The long-running disputes between Greece and Turkey are coming up for consideration at the Istanbul summit meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou says relations with Turkey have improved lately, but that more work needs to be done. Correspondent Laurie Kassman spoke with the diplomat about the recent change in the tone.

    TEXT: Foreign Minister Papandreou says the focus now is to accent the positive aspects of Greek-Turkish relations to smooth the way for dealing with difficult disagreements. He says the more friendly tone began during the Kosovo crisis when the two nations joined forces to help deal with the humanitarian crisis on their doorstep.

    /// PAPANDREOU ACT ///

    Then after the Kosovo war, we decided to begin a dialogue on a number of areas of common interest, as we call, rather than the areas of conflict. And we felt that in this sense we would be able to bring out more of a vision of what we can achieve if we work together than what we are doing now by not working together and fighting each other.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr Papandreou told V-O-A that the outpouring of assistance from ordinary Greek citizens for victims of Turkey's earthquake also sent a very strong message of friendship. Then, Turkey was able to reciprocate less than month later with its own rapid response for victims of deadly tremors in Athens.

    /// END ACT ///

    Foreign Minister Papandreou says the improved atmosphere has fostered serious discussions aimed at resolving disputes over Cyprus and other bilateral issues

    /// PAPANDREOU ACT ///

    We definitely need to deal with some of our difficult problems, such as Cyprus and the continental shelf, which we believe can be dealt with easily through the International Court of Justice. However, there are different opinions from the Turkish side so I think what we need to do is continue until we get to a breakthrough.

    /// END ACT ///

    Greece has long blocked Turkey's bid for membership in the European Union. The warming of relations does not mean a quick reversal of that position. But Mr Papandreou signals a new style of cooperation rather than confrontation in bilateral efforts to find a workable compromise. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LK/JP 18-Nov-1999 17:14 PM EDT (18-Nov-1999 2214 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] TURKEY / PIPELINE (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ISTANBUL)

    DATE=11/18/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256328
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///// ED'S: THIS REPORT SUBS CR 2-256314. /////

    INTRO: The leaders of Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia have signed an agreement to build a pipeline to carry oil from the Caspian Sea to Turkish ports. Amberin Zaman in Istanbul reports the agreement will vastly enhance Turkey's regional influence after the pipeline is built.

    TEXT: President Clinton looked on as the three leaders signed four separate agreements in ceremonies in a palace along the shore of the Bosphorus Straits. The pipeline will carry Caspian Sea oil from the Azeri capital, Baku, via Georgia, to Turkey's southern Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. The agreements set out the legal and political framework for the multi- billion dollar pipeline. But the agreements do not touch on the unresolved issue of financing. The proposed Baku-to-Ceyhan pipeline lies at the heart of a fierce battle for regional influence being waged between Turkey and the United States on the one hand, and Russia and Iran on the other. The Clinton Administration views the Turkish export route for Azerbaijan's huge reserves of oil and natural gas as a strategic goal. It is aimed at reducing the former Soviet republic's dependency on Moscow and generating the regional prosperity that would create new markets for American goods. Moving the oil by pipeline through Turkey -- a staunch NATO ally -- would also keep Iran from gaining a foothold in the region. Russia is upset by the agreement and has been furiously lobbying for the oil to be exported through existing pipelines in Russia. But analysts say the resumption of hostilities in Chechyna makes it unlikely major western oil companies developing the Azeri fields will risk expanding the Russian route. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/JWH/RAE 18-Nov-1999 12:49 PM EDT (18-Nov-1999 1749 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] ROMANIA / PROTESTS (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=11/18/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256348
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A decade after the end of Communist rule in Eastern Europe, Romanian workers and students are staging big anti-government demonstrations, protesting against economic hardship. Thousands of Romanians took part in rallies Thursday, as a new public-opinion poll indicated a majority of all Romanians now believe their life was better under dictator Nicoleau Ceausescu, who was overthrown and executed in 1989. Stefan Bos reports from Budapest.

    TEXT: In cities where they once shouted slogans against Communist ruler Nicoleau Ceausescu, Romanian workers and students are now protesting against their center-right government - denouncing the current team running the country for continuing economic hardship. Two-thousand workers staging a protest rally in the Black Sea port of Constanta Thursday shouted "Down with the government" and "Down with the liars." They held a big portrait of Ceausescu, who was toppled during the bloody revolution of December 1989. Rallies also were held in Timisoara, the western city that sparked the 1989 revolution that ultimately led to Ceausescu's execution on Christmas Day. In Romania's biggest oil town, Ploesti, and in the southwest town of Turnu Severin, thousands of oil workers and truckers worried about job security staged similar protests. University students joined workers for Thursday's protests, which were organized by the country's labor unions. In the northeast town of Lasi, university students clashed with riot police as they demonstrated against poor academic conditions and plummeting living standards. The demonstrations, which follow two rounds of violent protest led by coal miners earlier this year, come at a time when many Romanians are recalling their Communist past with increasing nostalgia. An opinion poll (published Thursday) by the Open Society Foundation indicates more than 60-percent of all Romanians believe that life was better under dictator Ceausescu. Four out of five people are unhappy with the way they now live. With an average monthly income of barely 100 dollars, Romanians are among the poorest people in Eastern Europe. Millions are suffering from economic difficulties caused by growing unemployment, delayed privatization and the restructuring of inefficient state industries. Analysts say the social tensions are the main reason why President Emil Constantinescu and his government are less popular than ever before. The latest opinion surveys suggest a possible comeback [resurgence] for Romania's former Communists in next year's parliamentary and presidential elections. (Signed)
    NEB/SJB/WTW 18-Nov-1999 18:48 PM EDT (18-Nov-1999 2348 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] SREBRENICA REPORT-BOSNIA REACT (L ONLY) BY BRECK ARDERY (UNITED NATIONS)

    DATE=11/18/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256334
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Bosnia's ambassador to the United Nations today (Thursday) praised the world organization for its recent report on the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica. VOA Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from the United Nations.

    TEXT: Muhammad Sacirbey told reporters it took courage for the U-N leadership to recognize the mistakes and misjudgments which led up to the Srebrenica massacre in which thousands of Bosnian Muslims were slaughtered by Serbian forces. The Bosnian ambassador says the report is quite honest in its assessment that a more decisive U-N response to the Bosnian war might have prevented the massacre. In that respect, Mr. Sacirbey says, the report is unprecedented.

    ///Sacirbey act///

    I must say, in a broad context within the United Nations system, this (report) really breaks some new ground. I think many valuable lessons can be learned for other situations. Of course, for the Bosnians, it has special meaning. I think it does help us move one step closer to closure.

    ///end act///

    Mr. Sacirbey says an important lesson from the U-N's Srebrenica report is that leadership means more than managing a bureaucracy, it also means making moral distinctions.

    ///Rest opt///

    Mr. Sacirbey also spoke of corruption within Bosnia. He acknowledges corruption is a serious concern but says it is probably no worse than in other central and eastern European nations that have made or are making the transition from communism to a free-market economy. He says the Bosnia Federation is implementing new measures to fight corruption and that creation of a border patrol, which was announced Monday, is a very important step. Mr. Sacirbey also dismissed as "lies and reckless reporting" a New York "Times" article of three months ago. That article alleged that as much as one billion dollars in public funds and international aid has been misappropriated in Bosnia.(Signed) NEB/UN/BA/LSF/PT 18-Nov-1999 15:13 PM EDT (18-Nov-1999 2013 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] O-S-C-E / CHECHNYA (L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (ISTANBUL)

    DATE=11/18/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256308
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, the O-S-C-E, has opened a two-day summit in Istanbul to discuss security cooperation among the 54 member nations. But the conflict in Chechnya is dominating the talks. And as V-O-A Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from Istanbul, Russian President Boris Yeltsin is at the summit to defend his government's tough policy on Chechnya.

    TEXT: One after the other, O-S-C-E leaders sharply criticized Russian President Boris Yeltsin for the military offensive in Chechnya. Many complained the assault violates the principles of the organization's efforts to resolve conflicts through peaceful negotiations. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder criticized what he describes as a disproportionate campaign against terrorism. He spoke through an interpreter.

    /// SCHROEDER INTERREPTER ACT ///

    War is no way to eliminate terrorism. The massive use of force which hits the civilian population before all else must be ended. Therefore I urgently appeal to the Russian leadership: Resolve the conflict by political means. Respect the rules and principles of O-S- C-E that we have jointly accepted. Do not undermine the stability of these principles and hence that of the organization as a whole.

    /// END ACT ///

    French President Jacques Chirac called on Russia to let the O-S-C-E try to help mediate a peaceful solution.

    /// OPT ///

    Mr. Chirac spoke through an interpreter.

    /// OPT // CHIRAC INTERPRETER ACT///

    The human, dramatic consequences of the bombing of Chechnya and the terrible number of victims that have been caused, the casualties among the civilian population are unacceptable. This offensive is a tragic mistake for the whole region.

    /// END OPT ACT ///

    British Foreign Minister Robin Cook wondered aloud if the high-powered assault against terrorists might not backfire.

    /// COOK ACT ///

    Like earlier speakers, I question whether the scale of the military action in Chechnya will isolate the terrorists from the general public or whether it will create support for them among the wider population who now suffer.

    /// END ACT ///

    The scowling Russian President Boris Yeltsin did not waste words in responding: No reproaches, he said, no sermonizing. Speaking through an interpreter, he warned his colleagues against criticizing what he considers a legitimate campaign against terrorism.

    /// YELTSIN INTERPRETER ACT ///

    You have no right to criticize Russia for Chechnya. The result of bloody wave of terrorist acts that has swept over Moscow and other cities and towns of the country, one- thousand-580 peaceful inhabitants of our country have suffered.

    /// END ACT ///

    The O-S-C-E chairman called on Russia to set a timetable for the withdrawal of its troops from Chechnya and has offered its help in seeking a peaceful solution to the crisis there. (Signed)
    NEB/LMK/JWH/KL 18-Nov-1999 07:24 AM EDT (18-Nov-1999 1224 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] O-S-C-E / RUSSIA (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (ISTANBUL)

    DATE=11/18/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256315
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The 54 member nations of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe - the O-S-C-E - are expected to sign three key documents at their summit meeting in Istanbul. They include an updated Conventional Weapons Treaty, a security declaration enhancing the peacekeeping role of the O-S-C-E and a final summit declaration. But V-O-A Correspondent Laurie Kassman in Istanbul reports Russia's resistance to an active O-S-C-E role in ending the crisis in Chechnya threatens the necessary consensus for those summit documents.

    TEXT: The current chairman of the O-S-C-E, Knut Vollebaek of Norway, says the O-S-C-E is waiting for Russia to respond positively to its demands to open an office in Inghusetia to deal with the humanitarian crisis provoked by Russia' military offensive in Chechnya. The O-S-C-E also has asked Russia to allow an O-S-C-E delegation to visit Chechnya to evaluate the situation. The O-S-C-E also wants Russia to let it help resolve the conflict peacefully as outlined in its 1995 mandate. Mr. Vollebaek says many O-S-C-E members are linking Russia's cooperation on these issues to signing the final summit documents.

    /// VOLLEBAEK ACT ///

    I think in addition to O-S-C-E seeing this as difficult, many of the national delegations see this as difficult. So it is my hope that the Russians will be forthcoming, at least with respect to the demands I have made from the O-S- C-E side.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Vollebaek remains cautiously optimistic the Russians will be, in his words, more open to the O-S- C-E position, which would remove the obstacles to a final consensus on all the summit documents. Earlier on Thursday, Mr. Yeltsin staunchly defended the military offensive in Chechnya against a barrage of criticism from O-S-C-E leaders. Later Mr. Yeltsin walked out of a meeting with the French and German leaders after less than ten minutes. Both leaders had harshly criticized what they described as a tragic mistake and a violation of O-S-C-E principles.

    /// REST OPT ///

    On other summit business, Mr. Vollebaek expects the final summit declaration to underline the O-S-C-E's support for the dialogue between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to resolve their sovereignty dispute over the territory of Nagorno-Karabach.

    /// VOLLEBAEK ACT ///

    And it is my hope that this support of the process, the dialogue that the presidents themselves have undertaken, will be the outcome of the summit reflected in the declaration - that we support this.

    /// END ACT ///

    The O-S-C-E chairman is also showing support for opponents of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Mr. Vollebaek is to meet with the leader of Montenegro and members of the Serb political opposition. In his speech to the summit earlier in the day, Mr. Vollebaek underlined the O-S-C-E's hope that Yugoslavia will initiate democratic reforms and end its isolation in Europe (Signed)
    NEB/LMK/JWH/JP 18-Nov-1999 10:39 AM EDT (18-Nov-1999 1539 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] OSCE/YELTSIN (S) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (ISTANBUL)

    DATE=11/18/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256301
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, the O-S-C-E, has opened a two day summit in Istanbul to discuss security cooperation among the 54 member nations. But the conflict in Chechnya is dominating the talks. V-O-A correspondent Laurie Kassman in Istanbul reports, Russian President Boris Yeltsin defended his tough line on Chechnya, warning his colleagues against interfering.

    TEXT: Russian President Boris Yeltsin did not waste words in his speech to the summit. No reproaches, no sermonizing. He warned his colleagues against criticizing what he sees as a legitimate campaign against terrorism. He spoke through an interpreter.

    /// YELTSIN ACT ///

    You have no right to criticize Russia for Chechnya.[It is] The result of a bloody wave of terrorist acts that have swept over Moscow and other cities and towns of the country, one- thousand 580 peaceful inhabitants of our country have suffered.

    /// END ACT ///

    The O-S-C-E chairman has called on Russia to set a timetable for the withdrawal of its troops from Chechnya and has offered its help in seeking a peaceful solution to the crisis there. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/JWH/JO 18-Nov-1999 04:14 AM EDT (18-Nov-1999 0914 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [08] US-RUSSIA-OSCE (L-WRAP) BY DEBORAH TATE (ISTANBUL)

    DATE=11/18/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256345
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Russia has bowed to international political pressure and will allow a representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to visit Chechnya to seek a political solution to the conflict. The breakthrough came during an O-S-C-E summit in Istanbul, Turkey. Correspondent Deborah Tate reports. Text: U-S Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has agreed that Norwegian Foreign Minister, Knut Vollebaek, would visit Chechnya to seek a peaceful end to the conflict which has resulted in growing numbers of civilian casualties and refugees. Ms. Albright says the invitation would be included in a final declaration to be released at the end of the O-S-C-E summit Friday.

    /// ALBRIGHT ACT ///

    So we did, I believe, accomplish what we wanted in terms of the role of the O-S-C-E in the Chechnya tragedies that are going on, and I believe have made it clear that international norms are to be respected.

    /// END ACT ///

    The declaration will be released only a day after Mr. Yeltsin addressed the opening session of the O-S-C-E, summit and defiantly rejected Western criticism of Russia's military campaign in Chechnya as "meddling" in his country's internal affairs. What happened between that speech and Russia's decision to reverse course? There was a chorus of international calls - led by President Clinton - for Moscow to end its bloody crackdown and open the way toward a negotiated settlement.

    /// CLINTON ACTUALITY ///

    The strength Russia rightly is striving to build, therefore, could be eroded by an endless cycle of violence. The global integration Russia has rightly sought to advance, with our strong support, will be hindered.

    /// END ACT ///

    There was also a meeting between Mr. Clinton and Mr. Yeltsin at which the U-S President reiterated his message. And while the Russian leader repeated his position that Chechnya was not anybody's business but the Russians', U-S National Security Advisor Sandy Berger said the fact that Mr. Yeltsin attended the summit suggests he is concerned about how the international community views his country.

    /// BERGER ACT ///

    I think the fact that he came , in and of itself, is I think, an interesting fact, and suggests that Russia does care about the international community and seeks to maintain its relationships with the international community. I think he was hearing this from people - like (French President) Jacques Chirac, the Germans, and the President (Clinton) - who have been supportive of Russia's democracy, supportive of what Russia has been seeking to do in general, not people who have been hostile.

    /// END ACT ///

    The issue of Chechnya overshadowed other issues Thursday - including arms control matters discussed by the U-S and Russian Presidents, as well as the signing of two energy pipeline agreements. Mr. Clinton again tried to ease concerns about U-S plans to amend the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty to allow for a national missile defense system - repeating that the proposal is aimed protecting the United States from potential attack from what Washington calls "rogue states," including Iran and North Korea. Mr. Yeltsin believes a U-S defense system would upset the strategic balance and could prompt a new nuclear arms race, and there was no indication that Mr. Clinton's assurances changed the Russian leader's mind. On the pipeline agreements, Mr. Clinton witnessed the signing of several documents that will open the way for the construction of an oil pipeline from Baku, Azerbaijan to Ceyhan, Turkey, and a pipeline that will carry natural gas to Turkey from Turkmenistan. The oil pipeline project has angered Moscow, because it bypasses Russia. U-S officials - concerned about potential instability in Russia - have supported the idea of a pipeline that supplied Western markets with oil from the rich fields of the Caspian Basin, but that did not run through Russia. (Signed)
    NEB/DAT/TVM/JP 18-Nov-1999 17:51 PM EDT (18-Nov-1999 2251 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [09] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) (CQ) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)

    DATE=11/18/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256343
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: RE-ISSUING CR 2-256341 WITH CORRECTED FIGURE FOR DOW RISE IN 1ST LINE TEXT (152 NOT 172) ///

    INTRO: Stock prices were strongly up today (Thursday), driven largely by strength in the high- technology sector. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 152 points, almost one and one-half percent, closing at 11-thousand-35. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at a record 14-hundred-24 - up 14 points. And the Nasdaq Composite had another record closing, with a gain of over two percent. Hewlett-Packard, the number-two personal computer maker, pushed the Dow Jones above the 11-thousand mark for the first time since September, after the company reported stronger-than-expected earnings. Hewlett- Packard shares soared 15 percent.

    // OPT //

    Even a warning by the company that problems associated with the transition to the year 2000 would likely cut into the next quarter's profits did not dampen investor enthusiasm. Several investment banks raised their ratings on Hewlett-Packard. Analyst Ed Lavarnway says people actually are getting less worried about Y-2-K:

    /// LAVARNWAY ACT ///

    We're getting a much better idea as to what Y-2- K damage may occur. And at least in the U-S-A, so far, the picture appears to be brightening as we get closer to the new year.

    ///END ACT///

    Agilent Technology, a Hewlett-Packard spin-off, made its trading debut Thursday, and was greeted warmly. Agilent stock jumped 40 percent over its initial offering price. // END OPT // The U-S trade deficit grew to a near-record in September. But some experts say the balance of trade may be moving in favor of the U-S economy. Imports rose one-tenth of one percent, the slowest pace this year.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG ///

    The number of U-S workers filing for unemployment benefits fell for the third time in four weeks, while the four-week average of new claims dropped to its lowest point in two months. This shows the U-S labor market remains tight -- another piece of data the U-S central bank weighs when considering interest rates. The Federal Reserve Board (central bank) raised short- term rates Tuesday for the third time this year. (Signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/PT/WTW 18-Nov-1999 17:11 PM EDT (18-Nov-1999 2211 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [10] THURDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ERIKA EVANS (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=11/18/1999
    TYPE=EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11560
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-2702
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: With President Clinton and Western leaders meeting in Istanbul, conflict in Chechnya is the leading topic in many U-S editorial pages. The summit is also provoking comment on oppression in Belarus. Other topics of interest include U-N efforts to resolve conflict in the world community and the continued investigation of last month's EgyptAir crash. Now here is ____________with a closer look and some excerpts in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: President Clinton and Western Leaders will sit down today and Friday in Istanbul with their counterparts from former Communist bloc countries. In a meeting of leaders from over 50-nations, Russian President Boris Yelstin is expected to face tough questions over Moscow's Chechnya policy. U-S newspapers are suggesting The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which is sponsoring the summit, should urge Russia toward a negotiated solution to Chechnya conflict and offer to act the mediator for such talks. "The Los Angeles Times" believes the O-S-C-E, having earned a reputation as a fighter for human rights in the Communist Bloc countries, carries the diplomatic weight to push Russia toward negotiation.

    VOICE: Moscow trusts the O-S-C-E, and hopes it, rather than NATO, will one day be the forum for European security issues. Using that hope as a lever, the O-S-C-E leaders should insist that Moscow seek a diplomatic solution in the Chechnya conflict, and they should help broker a peace agreement. In exchange Western governments, including the United States, should promise to broaden cooperation with Moscow in combating terrorism in Russia.

    TEXT: "The Washington Times" says the summit should serve as an opportunity for Western leaders to publicly denounce the conflict in Chechnya.

    VOICE: Russia is no longer operating behind an iron curtain. It appears convinced, all the same, that it can hide and distort its brutal campaign against Chechnya. Today, leaders have the opportunity to disabuse Russian President Boris Yelstin of that notion. .Countries and the international organizations should take a tougher stance. Russia's assault on Chechnya has caused the flight of an estimated 200- thousand refugees.. The international community should stop appeasing Russia. Moscow's brutality against Chechnya is reminiscent of Soviet-era repression. The sooner the West acknowledges it publicly, the better for those who now endure it.

    TEXT: "U-S-A Today" agrees, commenting -- the United States can not stay silent as Russia bullies Chechens.

    VOICE: The (Clinton) administration needs to be tough with Russia. The attacks on civilians violate the laws of war. .This hardline is deplorable, reminiscent of Serbia's campaign against the Kosovars. Russia instead should learn what Indonesia learned in East Timor: Violence against citizens has a price. Recognize that minority populations have legitimate grievances, and respond to international pressure to solve those difficulties with negotiations and concessions not the full force of one's military machine.

    TEXT: "The International Herald Tribune" believes that oppression in Belarus should also be an important topic of discussion at the summit in Istanbul.

    VOICE: President Bill Clinton is in Istanbul this week for a conference that at one time might have been cast as a celebration. .But in the Slavic heart of the old Soviet Union there is not much to celebrate, and Mr. Clinton and his fellow leaders should not pretend otherwise. Russia is waging a brutal war against the people of Chechnya. .And in Belarus, any supporter of democracy becomes automatically a dissident, and every dissident is in danger from authorities. .Just as during the Cold War, Mr. Clinton and his fellow OSCE leaders in Istanbul must make clear where they stand: with the victims of Russian force and Belarusian oppression, or with the oppressors.

    TEXT: "The Washington Post" turns some attention to the United Nations and its share of the blame in failure to settle conflict in the world community.

    VOICE: Sometimes the U-N failure is built into its structure. Where a permanent member of the Security Council opposes intervention, no action will be authorized: Hence the United Nations' current silence about Russia's war crimes in Chechnya, and its early impotence on Kosovo. But in cases where the council does approve action, it is fair to insist that it be serious. The U-N member states need to embrace force to denounce evil in order to combat it. As (U-N Secretary General) Mr. Annan says, the U-N mission to end conflict does not preclude moral judgement. On the contrary, it makes it necessary.

    TEXT: Finally, the investigation of last month's EgyptAir Crash continues, as new findings suggest a possible suicide mission may have resulted in the fatal disaster. "The New York Times" offers its view of the investigation.

    VOICE: The cause of the crash of EgyptAir Flight-990 remains a mystery. Information from voice and flight data recorders raised suspicions that a relief pilot, Gamil al- Batouti, deliberately sent the Boeing 7-67 plunging into the ocean. But Egypt's government has strongly protested the view that Mr. Batouti's recorded words suggest a prayer before a suicidal act, rather than a response to a problem in the cockpit. Giving differing cultural interpretations of his words and the fact that much of the wreckage has not been recovered, it is too early to draw conclusions. .The possibility of a suicide crash is a frightening scenerio. But since nothing can reclaim the lost lives, a careful, collaborative inquiry is the proper course for the time being.

    TEXT: With that commentary from "The New York Times", we conclude this sampling of comment from the editorial pages of Thursday's U-S newspapers.
    NEB/ENE/RAE 18-Nov-1999 13:30 PM EDT (18-Nov-1999 1830 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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