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[ALBSA-Info] Bush takes steps against Macedonia rebels

Gazhebo at aol.com Gazhebo at aol.com
Wed Jun 27 21:45:34 EDT 2001


Bush takes steps against Macedonia rebels

  
WASHINGTON, June 27 (Reuters) - President George W. Bush barred some ethnic 
Albanian rebels in Macedonia from entering the United States and took steps 
to stop them from being financed by U.S. citizens, the White House said on 
Wednesday. 

Seeking to shore up Macedonia's embattled government, which has been fighting 
ethnic Albanian guerrillas in the Balkan nation for several months, the White 
House also condemned what it called "terrorist violence" by the rebels. 

Bush issued an executive order barring U.S. citizens from financing a 
specific list of people "involved in violent and obstructionist actions." The 
White House did not immediately release the list, but a U.S. official said it 
targeted ethnic Albanians engaged in violence in Macedonia. 

The White House also said in a statement that Bush issued a proclamation 
restricting the entry into the United States of people seeking to "undermine 
peace and stability in the region" or "responsible for wartime atrocities" 
committed since 1991. 

"This is meant to combat the violent extremists in Macedonia," said a U.S. 
official who asked not to be named. He said the proclamation targeted people 
operating in Macedonia, southern Serbia and Kosovo and in some cases all 
three. 

"The purpose of these two actions is to send a clear message to the 
extremists and their supporters in the region, who actively obstruct and 
undermine peace and stability, that such tactics are unacceptable and that we 
will use the means at our disposal to isolate these groups and individuals 
and cut their access to financial support," the White House said. 

Western officials, desperate to prevent another Balkan war, have been trying 
to foster government talks with politicians representing the ethnic Albanians 
to try to find a political solution to the conflict. 

"The United States has joined with its European allies and other countries of 
the United Nations in strongly condemning the terrorist violence perpetrated 
by armed extremists determined to destabilize the democratic, multiethnic gov
ernment of Macedonia," the White House said. 

"Their violent tactics threaten U.S. and international efforts to promote 
regional peace and stability and pose a potential danger to U.S. military 
forces and other Americans supporting peacekeeping efforts," it added. 

A European Union envoy on Wednesday urged Macedonia to talk to the ethnic 
Albanian guerrillas, but the former Yugoslav republic, seeming more keen to 
crush them with force, shelled a rebel stronghold. Western officials have not 
previously urged that the armed rebels be brought into negotiations. 

In its statement, the White House praised the efforts at finding a solution 
to the problem through political dialogue but did not suggest talking 
directly to the armed rebels. 

"Macedonian President (Boris) Trajkovski has asked for our support to combat 
these extremists, who are undermining the political dialogue currently 
underway among Macedonia's legitimately elected leaders," it said. "This 
dialogue offers a real opportunity for a negotiated and peaceful settlement." 



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