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DATE=2/16/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-245570 TITLE=OCALAN / GREECE (L-ONLY) CQ BYLINE=ANTHEE CARASSAVA DATELINE=ATHENS CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: GREECE HAS ISSUED AN ULTIMATUM TO THE KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY, ORDERING ITS EXTREMIST SUPPORTERS TO RELEASE A HOST OF GREEK NATIONALS TAKEN HOSTAGE IN AT LEAST 10 GREEK EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES THROUGHOUT EUROPE TUESDAY. ANTHEE CARASSAVA REPORTS FROM ATHENS ON THE HOSTAGE CRISIS THAT BEGAN AFTER GREECE'S REFUSAL TO GRANT POLITICAL ASYLUM TO REBEL KURDISH LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN. TEXT: GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER THEODORE PANGALOS ISSUED THE ULTIMATUM, WARNING THAT GREECE WOULD TAKE WHAT HE CALLED "MERCILESS ACTION" AGAINST KURDS WHO ARE HOLDING AT LEAST THREE HOSTAGES IN VARIOUS GREEK EMBASSIES THROUGHOUT EUROPE. THE EXTREMIST SUPPORTERS OF THE KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY, OR THE P-K-K, HAVE STORMED AT LEAST 10 GREEK CONSULATES AND EMBASSIES TO PROTEST GREECE'S REFUSAL TO GRANT POLITICAL ASYLUM TO THEIR RUNAWAY LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN. THE HOSTAGE CRISIS FOLLOWED GREEK ADMISSION TO HARBORING MR. OCALAN FOR 12 DAYS AT THE EMBASSY IN NAIROBI, KENYA. // OPT // BUT AS OF LATE MONDAY, MR. PANGALOS SAID GREEK DIPLOMATS LOST TRACK OF MR. OCALAN. THE KURDISH REBEL WAS CAPTURED BY AUTHORITIES IN KENYA AND SUBSEQUENTLY FLOWN TO TURKEY WHERE IS WANTED FOR CHARGES OF TERRORISM. // END OPT // HUNDREDS OF P-K-K REBELS PROTESTING AT GREEK EMBASSIES THROUGHOUT EUROPE ARE THREATENING TO SET THEMSELVES ABLAZE IN RESPONSE TO WHAT THEY SAY IS GREECE'S INABILITY TO PROTECT MR. OCALAN. IN THE EMBASSY AT THE HAGUE, P-K-K PROTESTERS ARE HOLDING THE WIFE AND EIGHT-YEAR-OLD SON OF THE GREEK AMBASSADOR HOSTAGE. // OPT // THEY ARE HOLDING THEM AT GUN POINT, WITH A GRENADE AT HAND WHILE TAKING VIDEO AND SNAPSHOT PICTURES. // END OPT // MR. PANGALOS HAS BLASTED THE P-K-K FOR WHAT HE CALLED ITS MONSTROUS OPERATION. THE REMARK IS A SHARP SWING FROM YEARS OF SYMPATHY AND SUPPORT WHICH GREECE HAS PROVIDED TO KURDS IN THEIR ARMED STRUGGLE IN TURKEY. BUT, GREECE ADAMANTLY DENIES TURKISH ACCUSATIONS IT HAS BEEN AIDING AND ABETTING THE P-K-K IN ITS ARMED INSURGENCE. // REST OPT // THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SAID IT REFUSED TO GRANT POLITICAL ASYLUM TO MR. OCALAN ON GROUNDS THAT IT WOULD AGGRAVATE ALREADY TENSE RELATIONS WITH TURKEY. ATHENS HAS INSTEAD OPTED FOR A CONCERTED EFFORT BY THE EUROPEAN UNION TO HELP SOLVE THE KURDISH PROBLEM. (SIGNED) NEB/AC/PCF/RAE 16-Feb-99 9:38 AM EST (1438 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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