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Military

Updated: 21-May-2004
 

SHAPE News Morning Update

20 May 2004

BALKANS

  • Balkan countries urge NATO to open doors for membership
  • Bosnian Serb Parliament urges war-crimes suspects to surrender

AFGHANISTAN

  • Belgium will double peacekeeping contingent in Afghanistan

TERRORISM

  • Australia seeks closer cooperation with NATO in face of terrorist threat

OTHER NEWS

  • U.S. wants another UN exemption from criminal court
  • More than 8,000 young officers resigned early last year from Russian military

BALKANS

  • Albania, Croatia and Macedonia (sic) on Thursday urged NATO to put the three Balkan countries on the list of candidates for the next round of the Alliance's enlargement. In a joint statement issued after a foreign ministers' meeting in the Macedonian (sic) capital of Skopje, Albania, Croatia and Macedonia (sic) also declared they have made "exceptional progress" in implementing reforms needed for NATO membership. Mr. Bruce Jackson, president of the U.S. Committee on NATO, a Washington-based pro-expansion think tank, predicted that the Balkan countries could be invited to join in 2006. He met with the defence minister of Macedonia (sic), Vlado Buckovski, on Thursday and discussed the Balkan country's defence budget as well as the upcoming NATO summit in Istanbul. ( AP 201602 May 04 )
  • The Bosnian Serb parliament called Wednesday on all war-crimes suspects at large to surrender voluntarily to minimize the chances of bystanders being hurt in risky arrest attempts. The appeal came as parliament discussed for the second day a police report detailing the killing of a civilian during an attempt to arrest two war crimes suspects. After hearing the report, the legislature urged suspects still at large to surrender voluntarily to prevent "high risk operations" of Bosnian Serb police and NATO troops. ( AP 191420 May 04 )

AFGHANISTAN

  • Belgium will double its contingent of peacekeepers in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said, urging NATO partners to do the same and strengthen their troop commitments. "We shall double our presence here to more than 600 soldiers," the Belgian leader said at a news conference alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai after they met for talks in Kabul. "Helping in Afghanistan is also helping yourself in creating a stabilized world without terrorism," Mr. Verhofstadt said. "We cannot afford a failure." ( AP 201258 May 04 )

TERRORISM

  • Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer called for closer cooperation with NATO to face the common threat of global terrorism. At the end of the first high-level Australian visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels, which Mr. Downer called "historic," he said both sides needed to address such common issues as international peacekeeping, terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. "There is this notion of indivisibility of security," said NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer . "Now, the threat is global. That is the reason we are facing the same challenges." "It only makes sense that NATO and Australia should consult and cooperate more deeply," he added. ( AP 191102 May 04 )

OTHER NEWS

  • The Bush administration wants the UN Security Council to renew on Friday a controversial resolution exempting American peacekeepers from prosecution by the new International Criminal Court. Although the resolution is expected to be adopted, diplomats expect opposition among the wider UN membership following the U.S. abuse of prisoners in Iraq and general complaints about American unilateralism. ( Reuters 201643 GMT May 04 )
  • More than 8,000 young officers resigned early from the Russian military last year , a military official said, according to Russia's Interfax -Military News Agency. Some 34,000 commissioned officers resigned before their service term had expired. More than a quarter of them were under the age of 40 , said Nikolai Pankov, chief of the Defence Ministry's Human Resources Directorate. Mr. Pankov told the meeting of military administration chiefs and the heads of military education institutes that the problem of early resignations is "very acute," Interfax said. ( AP 201829 May 04 )

 



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