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Relations between Bulgaria and R Macedonia



Macedonia in the Bulgarian and International Press
News Bulletin No3, March, 2000

At the Threshold of the Negotiations for the European Integration | Regional Initiatives in the Framework
of the Stability Pac
t | Republic of Macedonia and the Donors’ Conference in Brussels | A Plan of Action for the European Integration | Other Foreign Policy Manifestations

In March the government of the Republic of Macedonia continued its activity in the field of international relations and foreign policy. It now directs its attention at the acceleration of the integration processes with the European Union and NATO, as well as at insuring the peace and stability in the region and at activating the Stability Pact and bilateral relations.

At the Threshold of the Negotiations for the European Integration
Chris Paten, the Foreign Policy Commissioner of the European Union, arrived at an official visit in Skopje on 6 March. He met and talked with the Chairman of the Republic of Macedonia B. Traikovsky, the Prime Minister L. Georgievsky, V. Tupurkovsky, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Al. Dimitrov and the Chairman of the Parliament S. Klimovsky. During the talks the issues were discussed about the sooner commencement of the official negotiations for the conclusion of the Agreement for Stabilization and Association between the Republic of Macedonia and the European Union. Agreement was reached on the negotiations to start on 29 March. It was also agreed to rename the Chancellery of the European Union into Delegation, which is the highest diplomatic rang. This gesture would raise diplomatic relations between the Republic of Macedonia and the EU to a higher level.

The Chairman B. Traikovsky, the Prime Minister L. Georgievsky, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and other officials participated at the ceremony for the inauguration of the diplomatic level of the Chancellery of the European Union in Skopje into a Delegation. In his speech Chris Paten indicated that his visit officially marked the beginning of the negotiations between Macedonia and the EU for the conclusion of the Agreement for Stability and Association; Macedonia were the first country of the region to start such negotiations. This were the easiest step and there were harder steps in front. According to him it were necessary to complete the process of reforms which were the country’s chance. The successful completion of the negotiations entirely depended on Macedonia, since the EU were to do all the necessary on its part.

The former chief of the Chancellery Jose Manuel Pinto Tesheyra was appointed Ambassador of the EU in Skopje and officially handed over his accreditation papers to the Chairman B. Traikovsky (Vecher n.p. of 7 March). In his speech he emphasized the achievements of the country in the field of developing the democracy, strengthening the relations with the EU, in the field of regional cooperation, its contribution to the Euroatlantic structures during the Kosovo crisis etc. B. Traikovsky emphasized the significance of the rise of the Chancellery of the EU to the level of a Delegation for the integration of Macedonia in the European structures.

On 7 March Chris Paten delivered a speech before the Parliament. There in he emphasized the good relations between the EU and Macedonia. On behalf of the European Commission he drew the attention to the great contribution of the country during the Kosovo crisis by pointing out the significant damages that it suffered. Chris Paten indicated that his visit marked the beginning of the negotiations for stabilization and association. In the next weeks the negotiators will meet at the table of negotiations and will commence serious talks. The Commissioner of the EU expressed his hope that these negotiations would finish by the end of the year after which the Agreement would be signed. Afterwards it has to be ratified by the legislative bodies of the member-state of the EU and by the Parliament of Macedonia. He again drew the attention to the fact that the republic were the first in the region to start similar talks, which is a recognition of its efforts and the achieved substantial progress.

Following the ratification of the Agreement, Chris Paten proceeded, the opportunity would be created for closer political dialogue between the EU and Macedonia, a trade zone would also be established within 10 years; it would encourage the cooperation in the region, it would oblige the country to harmonize its legislation with the one of the EU, it would comprise of various obligations for cooperation in multiple fields and especially in the field of jurisdiction, internal affairs etc.

According to Chris Paten the EU expected Macedonia to establish a labour market and to conduct social reforms, it also expected real privatization, a legal system of trust and anti-corruption, observation of human rights, democratization etc. Chris paten proposed closed cooperation of the government with the Commissioner on Minority Issues of the OCSE Max van der Stuhl. In general, according to him, "years of hard work were ahead" (Vecher n.p. of 8 March).

The Skopje press informed that the negotiations with the EU would on the part of the government be lead by V. Tupurkovsky, and on the part of the EU by Fabricis Barbasso who is Director at the Directorate of Foreign Affairs at the European Commission (Vecher n.p. of 22 March; Utrinsky Vestnik n.p. of 8 March).

The Dnevnik n.p. of 11-12 March announced that the negotiations with the EU for the conclusion of the Agreement for Stabilization and Association have been postponed for 5 April. The reason for this were the overwork of V. Tupurkovsky – the chief of the negotiation team. It was also announced that the negotiating itself were not yet determined. The platform of the delegation for the negotiations with the representatives with the European Commission were also not ready. The project of the Commission were to be ready by 25 March. It comprised of an evolutionary clause which approached Macedonia to full integration in the European structures through the agreement relation reflecting the specific situation in the country also including the progress that has been realized in the field of regional cooperation and reforms’ activities.

According to the Vecher n.p. of 24 March a meeting with the Working Committee for European Integration had been held the previous day. At this meeting the principles of the EU and the criteria that the candidate-states have to meet were discussed. The next day a seminar was conducted to the same topic which according to V. Tupurkovsky were the first of a series of seminars for recruiting cadre in relation to the negotiations for the European integration. These meetings indicate the dynamics of preparations of the government for the negotiations for the conclusion of the Agreement for Stabilization and Association.

The Vecher n.p. of 28 March published a commentary of the Former Minister L. Frachkovsky regarding the preparations of Macedonia for the negotiations with the EU. According to him the nomination of V. Tupurkovsky for a leader of the team which is to negotiate with the European Commission were "inappropriate". His first action before the beginning of the negotiations were the postponement of the former and the inconvenience of the fact that the EU had appointed its negotiator without any consultations with the authorities in Macedonia about the beginning of the negotiations. Besides a representative of the DA in Parliament pronounced himself for the postponement of the reforms until local elections have passed. Whereas the intensity of the elections would determine the time for negotiations – from one to three years.

Still in relation with the concrete actions of the Skopje ruling team about the commencement of the negotiations with the EU for the conclusion of the Agreement for Stabilization and Association are the contacts of the team with the OSCE (The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe). So the Dnevnik n.p. of 14 March informed about the visit of the chairwoman of the OSCE Benita Feraro Waldner in Skopje. She met and talked with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Al. Dimitrov. Waldner called for the Albanians and the Macedonians to contribute to the protection of peace and stability in Macedonia, she called for their cooperation in the implementation of economic and political reforms, in education and in other fields as well. Minister Al. Dimitrov has asked the guest, the Commissioner for Minorities Max van der Stuhl to broaden his attention and activities to the neighbour states of Macedonia where "Macedonian minority" lived.

The topics that dominated the talks between the two were Kosovo and the threat of destabilization of the region as well as the interethnic relations and higher education in Macedonia. "I know that higher education in Albanian language is a hard and considerable issue, but we would like to grant you our support since we consider this the true way of inciting the democratic transformation of Macedonia", Mrs. Waldner declared. She praised the authorities in Skopje for the good bilateral relations with the neighbour states. Al. Dimitrov entreated for the liberalization of the visa-regime for Macedonian citizens (Sega n.p. of 14 March). Back to top

Regional Initiatives in the Framework of the Stability Pact
In March the Republic ofMacedonia was theinitiator or an active participant in a series of initiatives related with the Stability Pact, on basis of which bilateral and multilateral cooperation were activated, the implementation of bilateral and multilateral projects was discussed as the latter are aimed at setting the pact for revival of the Balkans really in motion. In its edition of 6 March the Utrinsky Vestnik n.p. informed about the conference that was conducted in Skopje to the topic "The Balkans, politics and media" and which was organized by the Macedonian press-center in collaboration with the non-governmental organization (NGO) "Access" from Bulgaria. NGOs from the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Romania and Yugoslavia participated in it. The principal report was delivered by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and present University professor L. Frachkovsky. He declared that the EU had no clear prospective about the future of the Stability Pact. The two-days conference adopted the declaration "Bridges, not Barriers".

The second meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of the Republic of Macedonia, Greece and Albania started on 8 March in town of Ohrid and Korcha. The main topic of the talks, according to the BTA-Balkani of 8 March, were the cooperation within the framework of the Stability Pact and their readiness for the forthcoming Donors’ conference in Brussels. The situation in the region and the realization of the Stability Pact have also been discussed; the initiatives and projects to be implemented in the framework of the Pact have been coordinated. The three ministers of foreign affairs Al. Dimitrov, G. Papandreu and P. Milo declared their support for Resolution 1244 of the UNO, they condemned any source of extremism, any form of criminality etc. a common declaration on the discussed issues was adopted.

The meeting of the three ministers of foreign affairs was accompanied by a small incident. The airplane of G. Papandreu arrived some three hours later since the fax of the Control Service in town of Ohrid where his airplane was scheduled to land was carrying the abbreviation R Macedonia instead of FYROM. This shows that despite the great progress in bilateral relations it is also necessary to resolve the issue with the name (Eksussia n.p. of 9 March; Utrinsky Vestnik n.p. of 10 March; Nova Makedonia n.p. of 10 March).

The Athens "Katimerini" n.p. of 12 March published a commentary on the meeting of the foreign ministers in the town of Ohrid and Korcha as it paid special attention to the position of P. Milo. While discussing the common declaration he firmly refused to write about "Southern Serbia" and insisted on this region to be called "Southern Kosovo". He also refused to note that the Albanian Liberation Army stood behind the armed incidents. He abstractly accepted the UNO Resolution on Kosovo which foresaw the integrity of the district within Yugoslavia. When the question was posed directly P. Milo insisted on the status of Kosovo to be determined later, hoping that time were working for the Albanians and that Washington was to change its standpoint regarding Kosovo. The newspaper did not miss the opportunity to emphasize the mediation and stabilization role of Athens and the strengthening of Greek influence on the Balkans.

Still at that time the Greek newspaper "Apogevmatini" published an interview with B. Traikovsky. There in he indicated the substantial progress in the development of economic relations between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia and stated that "he would personally guarantee" for Greek investments in Macedonia. "Our relations have reached such a level, B. Traikovsky declared, that nobody could negatively influence Greek investments and investors." According to him the negative publications in the Skopje opposition press were dictated by narrow party interests as these were coming from the part of the former communists; the different positions regarding the name did not influence bilateral relations ("Apogevmatini" n.p. of 12 March).

The Skopje press of 16 March announced the visit of the EU Representative for Common Foreign Policy and Security Xavier Solana. He discussed with B. Traikovsky, L. Georgievsky and the Minister Al. Dimitrov issues of the Stability Pact; he expressed the EU’s confidence that Macedonia will be capable of fulfilling any tasks related with the radical reorganization of its economy as well as Brussels readiness to provide for the necessary financial assistance. "I am pleased that the negotiations with relation to the Agreement of Stabilization and Association have commenced and are advancing, and I expect that the financial conference in Brussels which will be conducted in the end of March would pass important decisions, which positively influence your country." – Solana declared after his meeting with Minister Al. Dimitrov. The issues of the situation in Kosovo and Southern Serbia as well as the threats therefrom for the stability of Macedonia and the region as a whole were referred to during the talks (Skopje press of 16 March).

On 17 March in Budapest the second meeting of the prime ministers of the neighbour states of Yugoslavia started. The meeting which was a continuation of the talks "without neckties" conducted in the Bulgarian town of Hissara was formal this time. The NATO Secretary General G. Robertson, the Secretary General of the EU for Common Foreign Policy and Security X. Solana, the Coordinator of the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe B. Hombach and the Chairman of the Danube Committee H. Strasse participated in the conference together with the prime ministers of the Republic of Macedonia, of Bulgaria, Albania, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary.

The principal topic of the conference were the situation in Yugoslavia, the hazards of instability and the expectations about the outcomes of the financial conference in Brussels. "There is certain particularization of the Stability Pact. The Brussels financial conference is coming in a few days and I believe that many of these projects will have been formalized and substantiated by then. We are pleased that there is double Macedonian participation in all these projects and namely as a country of implementation and development," the Prime Minister L. Georgievsky declared. Georgievsky pointed out in relation with the Donors’ conference that the greatest portion of the projects in the framework of the Stability Pact have already been agreed with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It was only insisted on those for Macedonia to be subsidies and not credit lines.

In Budapest L. Georgievsky held bilateral meetings and talks with the Coordinator of the Stability Pact B. Hombach, the Bulgarian Prime Minister Iv. Kostov, the Croatian Prime Minister I. Rachan and the Hungarian Prime Minister V. Orban. He expressed his hope that the next meeting of the leaders of South-Eastern Europe would take place in Skopje and the town of Ohrid (Dnevnik n.p. of 20 March; Nova Makedonia n.p. of 20 March).

The Nova Makedonia n.p. of 27 March informed its readers that about a trilateral meeting aimed at the particularization of joint projects between Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia and Albania in the field of power engineering. On 26 March in the town of Ohrid the Chairman of the Committee for Power Engineering Ivan Shiliashki, the deputy Minister of economy of the Republic of Macedonia L. Arnaudov and the Minister of economy and privatization of Albania P. Belo met. They discussed joint projects in the field of power engineering and signed an agreement on the construction of the "Blagoevgrad – Dubare" Power Transmission Line on the territory of Macedonia with a length of 110 km to the amount of $ 55 million USD as well as from Vrugot to Bureli on the territory of Albania with a length of 104 km to the amount of $ 12 million USD. These projects are expected to be financed by the Brussels conference.

The trilateral meeting in Tirana of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria N. Mihaylova, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia Al. Dimitrov and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania P. Milo is of particular importance in relation with the coordination of the joint projects of the Balkan states related with the forthcoming financial conference in Brussels. This was their second meeting after they first met in Sofia on 25 July last year. They then formulated a common position before the important meeting in Sarajevo on 30 July, which meeting was devoted to the Stability Pact of South-eastern Europe. The present meeting also precedes an important international forum which is of significance for the future of the region.

The three first diplomats expressed their concern about the growing tension in Kosovo and their fears that it could spread beyond the borders of the district. They agreed on the priority construction of Corridor No.8 as well as on the construction of a second bridge on the Danube at Vidin – Kalafat and the adjoining infrastructure.

Attention was paid during the talks on the common struggle against organized crime, the traffic of drugs and weapons etc. According to the opposition Skopje newspaper Utrinsky Vestnik of 27 March the differences between the three foreign ministers have exceeded the consent and the common interest whereas each of them were trying to dominate (About the trilateral meeting in Tirana see the Vecher n.p. of 24 March; BTA – Balkani of 27 March; Democracia n.p. of 25 March).

One day following the meeting of the three foreign ministers in Tirana a meeting was held of the financial ministers of these same states. During the talks held the positions of Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia and Albania in regard to the support of projects of regional interest were coordinated (BTA-Balkani of 27 March). Back to top

Republic of Macedonia and the Donors’ Conference in Brussels
Higher officers of 44 states from almost all EU states, the USA, Japan, South Korea and Australia as well as representatives of 37 international organizations participated in the two-days meeting in Brussels (28 – 29 March). 2.4 billion Euro were accumulated at the conference which shall be used for commencing the prompt-starting projects in South-Eastern Europe. According to the Coordinator of the Stability Pact B. Hombach this amount totaled up to 900 million Euro more than expected. The European Commission announced that it would allocate 530 million Euro. An equal amount is preliminary supposed to have been allocated by the governments of the member-states of the Union, and the USA have announced some $ 78 million USD. The Republic of Macedonia is expected to receive at least 400 million Euro. At the same time the Ambassador of the country for the Stability Pact S. Kerim emphasized that his country would receive 10 percent of the total aid for South-Eastern Europe. The Skopje media of 29 March announce that the credits would be used for the Demir Kapiya – Greek border highway, for the Skopje ring-road, the Border Checkpoint Blatse, for the improvement of the water supply of Skopje, Shtip, Struga, Kumanovo, Strumitsa and Veles, as well as for investments in the power engineering system.

Despite the relatively positive tone of the Balkan press to the work and the outcomes from the Donors’ conference in Brussels, there are separate newspaper indicating some of its negative features. The Greek newspaper Eksussia of 30 March characterized the conference as "a shipwreck" of the Stability Pact. According to it the announcements about the results would allow anything else but no optimism for the modernization and the stabilization of Balkan states. Foreign diplomats in Brussels have ironically commented on the "magical ability" of the Political Secretary of the EU Chris Paten to resolve by means of 530 million Euro the realization of the substantial projects of the so-called prompt-start. On its part the Duma n.p. (Word n.p.) of 30 March is also too refrained in its commentary about the results from the conference. It published the commentary "The Rich Also Cry" where in the results are considered to be a "triumph of hypocrisy". Back to top

A Plan of Action for the European Integration
During the month the government of the Republic of Macedonia continued with its efforts aimed at the Euroatlantic integration. The plan that was sent to the NATO Headquarters in Brussels was returned with remarks. On the initiative of the Chairman B. Traikovsky this plan has been seriously worked on and it has been consented with the American Ambassador in Skopje M. Inik and with the chief of NATO Forces in Europe General W. Clerk. The plan was discussed at a special meeting of the Council of Ministers and it has been approved of as "A Plan Of Action for the Macedonian Integration into NATO". It foresees the formation of a small mobile and defensive army. It will have a new different structure complying with the NATO Standards. The plan comprises the idea that the security of the country could be provided for through the agreements for collective security and a full-right NATO membership.

The essence of the so-prepared Plan of action lies in the beginning of a complex process of restructuring towards an efficiently realizable and an effective defense system according to the NATO model of organization which provides for total civil control of the armed forces according to the NATO structures. The aim is to reconstruct the army, the ministry of defense and General Staff and to create a defensive of its nature structure of the armed forces, which is to conform with the country’s resources.

The reconstruction that shall be realized for the purpose of the creation of a small mobile and defensive army requires legal regulation, as in the Defense Act and the Military Service Act, as well as continuation of the changes in the structure of the ministry of defense, the General Staff and the collective structure of the army.

The complete realization of this ambitious plan is scheduled for 10 years. This term could be reduced depending on the support of the NATO member-states and the remaining states regarding the education and the rearmament of the country’s defense system.

The main defense strategy of the Republic of Macedonia provides for the organization of the armed forces into: prompt reaction forces, strategic reserve forces and maintenance forces, with a system for border protection which shall in the course of time become subordinate to the bodies of the ministry of internal affairs.

The present days system of peace-time forces disposes of 22 000 military and civilian officers. Their number will be reduced to 16 000. The present days military staff of 120 000 will be reduced to 60 000 – 70 000. The professional membership of the army is scheduled to be reduced in half by the year 2000.

It is estimated that the defense budget that now totals up to $ 70 million USD will tend to fast reduction.

The Nova Makedonia n.p. of 20 March informed about a meeting of the officers’ corps at the Home of the Army in Skopje. The defense Minister N. Kljussev talked about the governmental plan for reforms in the army. The Chairman B. Traikovsky participated at the meeting too. In his retrospective review of the defense in the past years N. Kljussev characterized it as extremely hard and hazardous especially during the Kosovo crisis which is still a "burning chestnut" and the respective international factors could not place it under control because of the existence of the Belgrade regime of Milosevich. However our obligations are not limited to last year, N. Kljussev stated. Our obligations are permanent. Our priority task and sacred duties are to further on protect the security of our borders, since "Pandora’s box" is not completely closed.

After that the minister talked about the new challenges the hardest among which is the transformation of the armed forces. They have to be professionalized 50:50. "We are entering a process of deep reforms, of a new structure of the formations, of restructuring the defense ministry, rearmament of the army, mastering NATO Standards, studying foreign languages etc. – this is our task and duty", Minister N. Kljussev indicated. In this relation Macedonia has the great support and the assistance of the member-state of NATO and the Partnership for Peace.

Pointing out that this year has to be a decisive one regarding the realization of the aggregate changes, N. Kljussev indicated that a new concept is necessary about the role of the General Staff, of the corps commanders that have been educated in the NATO member-states and of the young officers. The military academy provided for guarantees for the construction of a stable army ensuring the peace and the security of the citizens.

N. Kjussev indicated that Macedonia has successfully completed the first stage of the Action plan for NATO membership and it were now continuing to reorganize. It is therefore necessary to build a consistent defense system directed at defensive actions, regional cooperative armament and education for the active solution of the posed problems, interoperability in compliance with the Standards of the Alliance, a system which would produce peace and stability for the state and the region. The regional binding up and the globalization of the interstate relations is the direction of the Macedonian defense to follow. N. Kljussev considered that the reform of the army is tightly related to the economic reform, to the democratic processes in the country, to the processes of the EU integration etc. According to him this chance was not to miss (Nova Makedonia n.p. of 21 March).

On 21 March the English Brigade general J. Shart arrived in Skopje. His mission is to support the implementation of the Action Plan for the integration of the Republic of Macedonia in the Euroatlantic structures. He was accepted by the Prime Minister L. Georgievsky, by Minister N. Kljussev and by the Chief of Staff General Yov. Andreevsky. He will precisely collaborate in the field of strategic planning and analyses (Nova Makedonia n.p. of 22 March).

The Skopje press announced that the matter about the compensations on the part of KFOR for the roads in Macedonia remained open. The states that have sent their contingents into KFOR could not reach agreement on who shall pay how much (Utrinski Vestnik of 4/5 March). The press also informed about a case of utilizing the KFOR transport for smuggling of alcohol and cigarettes that were realized at the black market in the country (Dnevnik n.p. of 14 March). Back to top

Other Foreign Policy Manifestations
At the beginning of March an official delegation of the Republic of Macedonia lead by the Prime Minister L. Georgievsky visited Paris. The delegation comprised of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Al. Dimitrov, the Minister of Economy B. Andreev, the Ministry of Communications B. Spirkovsky and the Minister of Trade M. Danevska. The delegation was accepted by the Prime Minister L. Juspen and by the president J. Chirak. Talks were held about the situation in the region, about French investments as well as about French support for the integration of the Republic of Macedonia into the EU. The president expressed his strong wish for the negotiations for the conclusion of the Agreement for Stabilization and Association to be completed within the framework of the French presidential mandate by the end of the year 2000. He personally supported two important projects in Macedonia - investments in the power engineering as well as the concession for the construction of the road Veles – Prilep.

The delegation visited the French telecommunications company Alcatel where interest was expressed in the activation of the cable production plant in Negotino and the placement of its production by Alcatel. The company declared its interest in the privatization of the Telecom. The delegation also visited the Commercial Bank of France. Talks were held about to arrange the deposit for the purchase of the spot for the construction of the Macedonian Embassy in Paris with the Commercial Bank (Vecher n.p. of 4 March; Nova Makedonia n.p. of 5 March; Utrinsky Vestnik n.p. of 3 March).

The newspapers Utrinsky Vestnik of 8 March and Dnevnik of 7 March commented the involvement of the Yugoslav Ambassador in Skopje Zoran Yanachkovic in the black list of the EU, as well as the statements of L. Georgievsky and Al. Dimitrov in relation with this. The official opinion stated that Skopje would wait for the reaction of Belgrade. The government had not yet discussed that case and would consult the international institutions. It was established that the present situation were not propitious for the normal development of the bilateral relations.

The Vecher n.p. of 9 March announced about the visit of the Montenegro economic delegation in Skopje. The great decrease of the trade exchange was discussed from $ 150 million USD in 1990 to $ 20 million US now. It was indicated that the main reason for this decrease is transport and namely the difficulties prepared by the Yugoslav authorities. There are also customs, banking and other problems. Not only the state of trade exchange but also a series of measures for overcoming the existing difficulties were discussed with the Skopje Economic Chamber.

A military delegation of the Republic of Macedonia lead by the Chief of Staff General Yov. Andreevsky visited France from 8 through 12 March (Nova Makedonia n.p. of 9 March). The delegation met and talked with superior French military officers in Paris with whom the issues of the reform of the army and its material supply were discussed.

The Macedonsko Sontse journal (Macedonian sun) of 21 March informed about the visit of the Skopje delegation lead by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Al. Dimitrov in Denmark. The delegation met and talked with the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Danish industrialists. A few documents were signed about the enlargement of the legal framework of bilateral relations – in the fields of air communications, social security and about the arrangement of certain obligations arising from the agreements signed between Denmark and the Union Federation Republic of Yugoslavia.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia visited Berlin as well. There he met and talked with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs W. Ischinger. Subject of the talks were the bilateral relations, the situation in the region and the implementation of the Stability Pact (Vecher n.p. of 24 March).

In connection with the legislative elections in Taiwan the Skopje press again dealt with the bilateral relations. The media informed on 24 March about a letter of the new Taiwan government addressed to Skopje. It stated Taiwanese readiness to proceed with the cooperation with Macedonia by realizing the agreed credits and investments. This refuted the news announced by some newspapers (Vecher n.p. of 23 March and Utrinsky Vestnik n.p. of 30 March) that the new Taiwanese government would give up the "lined diplomacy" which means to pay the countries recognizing Taiwan. This confirmed the confidence of V. Tupurkovsky that the policy of the new Taiwanese government would not affect the relation Skopje – Taipei. Back to top