Plans finalised for new Federal Government
Yugoslav Prime Minister designate Zoran Zizić has finalised his proposal for a new federal government after the removal of Slobodan Milošević. The Yugoslav state news agency, Tanjug, said that Zizić had read out the list of ministers at a meeting of the executive board of his Socialist People's Party (SNP) in Podgorica. Including Zizic himself, the government would have 16 members, most of them allies of new Yugoslav President Vojislav Koštunica, who defeated Milošević in the 24 September elections.
Tanjug said final consultations were to be held on Friday 3 November. The Yugoslav parliament was expected to formally appoint the government on Saturday. As widely expected, the proposed ministers were both from the Montenegrin SNP and from the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS). The only exception will be the post of Religions Minister, which will go to an official of the Serb People's Party, a tiny party from Montenegro.
NATO will not pay war reparations
NATO Secretary General George Robertson has confirmed that NATO has no intention of paying for damage caused in Yugoslavia during last year's air campaign. At a press conference in Vienna, after speaking to the OSCE Permanent Council, Robertson said that last year's military intervention was conducted in accordance with international law and rules of war.
Speaking of possible Yugoslav membership in the Partnership for Peace program, he said that NATO would not call on Yugoslavia to join the program, and emphasised that it was for Yugoslav citizens to make the decision and initiate membership, not NATO. Regarding NATO troops in Kosovo, he explained the organisation was obliged by Security Council Resolution 1244 until it was changed by the world organisation. He said the return of Yugoslav troops to the province was "out of question."
Putin sends congratulations on Yugoslavia's readmission to UN
Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated President Vojislav Koštunica on Yugoslavia's readmission to the United Nations. The Kremlin press service reported that Koštunica had spoken by telephone to Putin, thanking him for Russia's support. The two presidents also discussed the situation in Kosovo, both emphasising the necessity for solving all the provinces' problems by democratic methods and in compliance with UN Security Resolution 1244, with respect to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia. Koštunica also thanked Russia for the renewal of Russian natural gas deliveries to Yugoslavia, describing it as an act of great humanitarian importance.
Document on Čuruvija's surveillance authentic
Branka Prpa, wife of the murdered journalist Slavko Čuruvija, confirmed to Radio B92 the authenticity of the State Security document on surveillance of Čuruvija. "Since Jovo Curuvija [Slavko's brother] and I filed a private charge for the murder of Slavko Curuvija against the heads of the State Security and the Belgrade State Security, I have now become a witness and I am at prosecutor's disposal. About the document itself I can say that it is authentic," Branka Prpa told Radio B92.
Director of the Humanitarian Law Centre Nataša Kandić told the same press conference that the report on Čuruvija's surveillance by the Security Service was sent to the Centre from this Service by mail. "We received that document on Monday, as did certain senior officials of the new authorities, and I wonder why it was not made public at that very moment, because there is no question as to its authenticity," Kandić said. "We expect the District Public Prosecution's Office to undertake legal measures on criminal charges during today or tomorrow and immediately inform the public about it."
And in other news...
- New Minister of Culture Milan Komnenić has said that all Croatian artworks would be returned, but pointed out he could not guarantee those in Milošević's possession. The minister announced that a large number of artworks stolen in Croatia were in the house of Milošević's son in Požarevac.
- The Yugoslav ambassador to Russia, Borislav Milošević, has returned to the Russian capital. Beta reports that the ambassador, who is the brother of Slobodan Milošević, appeared at a reception in the Turkish Embassy. Asked whether he would continue to represent Yugoslavia in Russia, the ambassador replied "Yes, for now, but as for the future, we shall see."
- The conference of European Rectorates held in Kraków from October 25 to 28 has resolved to lift its suspension of Serbian universities. A statement from the Rector of Belgrade University yesterday said that the decision would enable universities in Serbia to resume essential educational and scientific co-operation with other universities in Europe.
- Yugoslavia is set to join Southeast European Co-operative Initiative (SECI) within the next seven days, SECI Co-ordinator Erhard Bussek said. The SECI is an organisation that supports the development of private sector and the cross-border projects in fields spanning trade, transport, energy and environment.
- An international meeting will take place in Belgrade on 13 and 14 November, organised by the Southeast European Stability Pact, under the auspices of the United Nations. The conference will focus on the current situation in the cities and municipalities throughout Yugoslavia, particularly on the preparation for the upcoming winter. The assessment of the current situation is aimed at defining the most effective modalities for concrete assistance to be provided by the international community.
- The Head of "League of Kosovo Women," Flora Brovina, was released from prison this week on the approval of Vojislav Koštunica. Apart from Brovina, 11 out of 13 Kosovo Albanian prisoners were set free. Flora Brovina was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment under charges of co-operation with the former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during last year's armed conflict. Despite the growing obstructions, Yugoslav President Vojislav Koštunica approved the abolition as soon as the Supreme Court of Serbia revoked the verdict.
Eleanor Pritchard, 3 November 2000
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