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Macedonia, Yugoslavia Reach Accord on Common Border
A Macedonian-Yugoslav intergovernmental expert commission, whose meeting ended Thursday evening in Skopje, drew up a draft agreement on the two countries' common border. The commission was set up in June 1996.
According to the Macedonian co-chairman, Deputy Foreign Minister Viktor Dimovski, the document concerns the entire 330-km-long Macedonian-Yugoslav border. While considering controversial issues related to the border line the experts referred to existing descriptions of the border, cadastral plans and topographic maps, Dimovski said.
The sides agreed to establish a bipartite demarkation commission to delineate the state border in the following few days. The document is pending approval by the two governments, to be signed later by the two presidents at a meeting of leaders of the countries participating in the Southeast European Cooperation Process in Skopje February 23.
Skopje and Belgrade agreed that the sensitive issue of monuments related to the history and culture of either country and located on the territory of the other should be addressed in a future document. This document will stipulate that each country will make efforts to restore and preserve the cultural and historical monuments of the other country on its territory.
Such monuments include the St Prohor Pcinski Monastery in Serbia which has a place in Macedonian history, and the graves of Serbian soldiers who died on Macedonian territory during the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913.
The issue of disputed markings on the border line was settled by taking into account the natural features of the area, Dimovski said.
Taking a question about objections voiced by political leaders in Pristina, according to whom the agreement should not encompass the Kosovo section of the Macedonian-Yugoslav border, Dimovski said that the commission based its recommendations on Resolution 1244 of the United Nations security Council which defines the province as part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Yugoslav Deputy Foreign Minister Radoje Bogojevic said, "We want the border between Macedonia and Yugoslavia to become a European border ensuring the free flow of people, ideas, information, merchandise and culture."
GERMANY GRANTS MILITARY ASSISTANCE TO ARM.
German Ambassador to Macedonia Werner Burchard officially submitted Thursday military assistance meant for the Army of the Republic of Macedonia (ARM).
The military assistance is consisted of 115 "Hermelin" vehicles, 150 "Woltzwagen Ilitis" jeeps, spare parts and 20 sanitary vehicles.
The manifestation was attended by Macedonian Defense Minister Ljuben Paunovski, Chief of the Army General Staff Jovan Andrevski, Commander of the First border brigade which will use the vehicles Dragan Andreevski, representatives of the German Army - Bundeswehr, and representatives of the German KFOR troops deployed to Macedonia.
Minister Paunovski expressed satisfaction from the bilateral cooperation between the Macedonian and German ministries of defense. "The political and military assistance that Macedonia receives from Germany is of great importance," Paunovski said.
Ambassador Burchard said that the overall military assistance that Germany gave to Macedonia starting from 1998 amounts to DM five million. "Germany will continue supporting Macedonia not only in the reforms of the army but also in regard to its approach to the EU," he said.
"Slavic States could no longer discuss over Kosovos territory, I suggest to Macedonian government to negotiate the Macedonia-southern Serbia border only. It is inappropriate for Macedonian government to negotiate over Kosovo border. Such negotiations could trigger new issues regarding the borders inside Macedonia, we are well aware how much complicated these issues are," the former KLA Spokesman, who is now the General Secretary of Hashim Thaqis party, Krasniqi said.
Belgrade settles border with FYR Macedonia.
Yugoslav officials and representatives of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have reached agreement on the future border between the two countries.
The agreement ends a ten-year-old demarcation dispute.
The deal, which is the result of five years of negotiation, will be officially signed next week February 23 during a meeting of Balkan leaders in Skopje.
The agreement covers the section of border between Serbia and FYR Macedonia.
The section between Kosovo and FYR Macedonia is not included, and remains in dispute.