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Military

Updated: 28-Jul-2004
 

SHAPE News Morning Update

28 July 2004

NATO

  • NATO, EU give no timetable for Ukraine's accession, prompting changes in defense doctrine
  • Milosevic allies call for resolution to retain lawsuit against NATO

OLYMPICS

  • No foreign armed escorts for Olympic athletes

TERRORISM

  • Al-Qaida, other terrorists got South African passports through crime syndicates operating inside government

 

NATO

  • President Leonid Kuchma moved to drop the goal of NATO and EU membership from the nation's defense doctrine because those organizations have given Kiev no indication of when it might join, officials said Tuesday. " Neither NATO nor the European Union is ready, as for now, to give a clear sign on a timetable (for Ukraine's accession)," said Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Shamshur. The changes reflect "the real state of affairs in the current relations between Ukraine and NATO and the EU," Shamshur said. He stressed that during a NATO summit in Istanbul last month, NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer acknowledged that Ukraine is not ready to join the alliance soon. Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who is backed by Kuchma in Ukraine's Oct. 31 presidential election, also said Tuesday that the former Soviet republic is not yet ready to join NATO but stressed that it will continue boosting cooperation with the alliance, according to ITAR-Tass news agency. ( AP 271827 Jul 04 )
  • Ultra-nationalist allies of Slobodan Milosevic on Tuesday urged lawmakers to pass a resolution that would prevent state officials from dropping a lawsuit against NATO over the 1999 bombing campaign. Belgrade has indicated that it might drop a lawsuit filed five years ago at the World Court in the Hague, Netherlands, in exchange for closer ties with NATO and the European Union. Last week, Serbia-Montenegro Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic publicly urged giving up the lawsuit, saying it was hindering relations with NATO and the EU. ( AP 271458 Jul 04 )

OLYMPICS

  • Olympic athletes will not be allowed the same armed protection enjoyed by political leaders attending next month's Games in Athens , Greece's Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was quoted as saying on Tuesday. When asked about foreign armed guards by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Karamanlis said: "Not for the athletes. They will be allowed for (political) leaders, as provided by law." Last week, Public Order Minister George Voulgarakis said Greece would be "exclusively responsible for the protection and guarding of the athletes." Worried about the possibility of al Qaeda violence, Athens has also called in NATO support, which Karamanlis said would be "ready to intervene in case of a chemical or biological incident." "Nobody in the world can guarantee 100 percent security ... (but) we've done everything we can," Karamanlis said. "The Olympics are here: they're ready and they're safe." ( Reuters 272014 GMT Jul 04 )

TERRORISM

  • Al-Qaida militants and other terrorists travelling through Europe have obtained South African passports, and authorities believe they got them from crime syndicates operating inside the government agency that issues the documents. The illicit acquisition of the passports, which allow travel through many African countries and Britain without visas, sent shock waves through South Africa after one top police official said "boxes and boxes" of the documents were discovered in London. Barry Gilder, director general of the Department of Home Affairs, told AP he has come across a number of instances in which South African passports were found in the hands of al-Qaida suspects or their associates in Europe both in his current capacity and as a former deputy director in the National Intelligence Agency. "We do not want our country to be used either as a staging post or haven for terrorists," Gilder told the AP. They sell mostly to economic migrants, who find it easier to enter Europe or the U.S. on a South African passport than ones from their own countries. But terrorists now appear to be tapping into these networks, Gilder acknowledged. ( AP 280223 Jul 04 )

 

 



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