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SHAPE NEWS MORNING UPDATE 08 JULY 2002

 

AFGHANISTAN
  • Senators says U.S. needs to consider active role in providing security
  • Karzai may turn to foreigners for help in tracking down killers of vice president
  • U.S. commander says his forces killed Afghan civilians by mistake; formal inquiry will find way to avoid future mistakes

NATO

  • Polish president says countries bidding to join NATO should use their experience to help future candidates

BALKANS

  • Balkan countries ask not to be left out of NATO enlargement plans
  • NATO-led troops arrest Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect

OTHER NEWS

  • Turkey’s deputy premier calls for early elections
  • French minister in Syria as part of Mideast tour

 

 

 

AFGHANISTAN

  • The assassination of an Afghan leader, Abdul Qadir, threatens the fragile central government and should compel the United States to consider an active role in providing security in the country, lawmakers said Sunday in Washington. "This was definitely a throwback to the old Afghanistan and a setback to the establishment of the new Afghanistan," said Democratic Sen. Bob Graham, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on NBC-TV. "I fear that we may see this government and our efforts unwind here if we don’t make the appropriate investment of men and effort and resources," said Sen. Chuck Hagel, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The assassination, Hagel said, shows "how fragile this situation is, and how a long-term, sustained, strong leadership position America is going to have to have if we are to win. When I say "win," I mean just stabilize that area." Hagel added he thinks the United States should "take another look at ... more involvement" in the international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan. (AP 071958 Jul 02)

 

  • President Hamid Karzai may turn to foreign experts for help if Afghan investigators cannot track down the killers of a vice president and key Pashtun leader slain in Kabul over the weekend. "If our investigation team fails because of the lack of professional skills and equipment, we will ask foreign friends and international organizations for help," state-run Afghan television quoted Karzai as saying on Sunday. Karzai said the United States, Germany and the international peacekeeping force all offered help in the investigation. (AP 080005 Jul 02)

 

  • Seeking to avoid a rift with Afghan allies, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan acknowledged on Saturday that Afghan civilians had been killed in an airstrike this week and promised to find ways to avoid such mistakes in the future. The statement by Lt. Gen. Dan McNeill was made at a joint press conference with Afghan Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullah. For his part, Dr. Abdullah reaffirmed that the Afghan government fully backs U.S.-led operations against Taliban and al-Qaida remnants. (AP 061539 Jul 02)

 

 

NATO

  • Polish President Kwasniewski said Friday that countries expected to be invited to join NATO in November should use their experience in membership negotiations to help future candidates. Speaking to a two-day gathering of prime ministers from 10 former East Bloc countries in Riga, Kwasniewski singled out the former Soviet republic of Ukraine as an example. "This country has enormous significance for European security," he said. "It is an important partner of NATO, upon which the quality of international relations in our part of Europe depends." Kwasniewski said NATO needs more partnerships similar to the one it has with Russia, which developed a relationship with the alliance following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. "With all seriousness we are considering the vision of Ukrainian membership in the alliance," Kwasniewski added. Observers said Krasniewski’s proposal was a way to push NATO’s influence further eastward. (AP 051622 Jul 02)

 

 

BALKANS

  • Considered unlikely to receive invitations to join NATO at a November summit, leaders from Albania, Macedonia (sic) and Croatia pressed for a closer relationship with the alliance during a meeting of 10 candidate countries in Riga. The leaders warned that the fragile peace in the Balkan countries could be at risk if NATO expansion stalls after the summit in Prague. "If Macedonia (sic) remains outside the historic process of expansion, the path toward building a multiethnic democracy will be rocky and the international community will face the challenge of having Macedonia (sic) indefinitely be a recipient rather than a generator of security," Macedonian (sic) President Boris Trajkovski said. He and other leaders on Saturday wrapped up a two-day conference to discuss progress in reforming their military and democratic institutions. (AP 061442 Jul 02)

 

  • NATO-led peacekeepers in Bosnia arrested on Sunday a Bosnian Serb, who was the top civilian administrator in the UN-protected Srebrenica enclave. Bosnian state radio said Miroslav Deronjic was arrested at his house in Bratunac. Local police in Bratunac confirmed the arrest. (AP 071758 Jul 02)

 

 

OTHER NEWS

  • Turkey’s deputy premier, Devlet Bahceli, called on Sunday for early elections in November, breaking ranks with his coalition partners who have vowed to stay in office until 2004 despite divisions within the government and fears over the premier’s health. Bahceli hinted Sunday that the row over the EU was a key cause of his decision to call for polls. "A new government could take important steps for Turkey-EU relations," he said. Bulent Ecevit told private CNN-Turk that he had "no intention of stepping down at the moment," and added that his government "owed it to the nation" to pursue its program of political and economic reforms over a full five-year term. In recent days, however, even Ecevit’s own party has appeared divided over the premier’s future, while media calls have increased for Ecevit to step down. (AP 071554 Jul 02)

 

  • On the second stop of a Middle East tour, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin discussed the Arab-Israeli conflict and bilateral relations with President Bashar Assad and Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa in Damascus. The official Syrian Arab News Agency quoted Assad as telling the French minister that the United States must "preserve" its credibility in sponsoring the Middle East peace process. Assad, according to the agency, also stressed in his meeting with de Villepin the importance of a European role in the Mideast peace process. (AP 061310 Jul 02)

 

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