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Friday.

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A Macedonian police APC patrols in the suburbs of Kumanovo, northeast of Skopje May 11, 2001. Macedonia ordered a dawn-to-dusk halt to the shelling of ethnic Albanian guerrillas as politicians and diplomats piled pressure on a key Albanian party to join an emergency coalition government. (Oleg Popov/Reuters)

I WITHDRAW FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE UNITY GOVERNMENT, SAYS SRGJAN KERIM.

MIA

Taking into consideration that the negotiations among the political parties' leaders over constitution of a Macedonian Unity Government were brought to the end, only one issue remained unsolved - engagement of the Liberal Party of the Republic of Macedonia (LP) into the new government. Following to that, in his statement for MIA, Foreign Minister Srgjan Kerim said, "I am grateful to the LP Executive Committee and its President, Risto Gusterov, for they have unanimously supported me to remain on my position as a Minister of Foreign Affairs within the Unity Government too."

"In respect to the assessment of Prime Minster Ljubcho Georgievski that the ministerial posts are to be reapportioned within the new government, I withdraw from the ministerial position at this very moment. In this way I would like to give my personal contribution to the newly constituted government coalition. I have an opportunity, given by President Boris Trajkovski, in correspondence to his constitutional authorities, to pursue an important diplomatic mission," said Kerim.

"I will carry out my new appointment fully dedicated and for the benefit of the Macedonia's national interests, as I did so far. I appreciate the flexibility of SDSM leadership and their readiness to support me as Foreign Minister in the new government too."

"I express my gratitude to the media for their correct informing and support during my mandate as a Foreign Minister, as well as during the negotiations for a new government coalition."

"I am also grateful to the employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their support and cooperation," Srgjan Kerim is quoted as saying for MIA.

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MINISTER KERIM, MAX VAN DER STOEL MEETING.

MIA

Macedonian Foreign Minister Srgjan Kerim met Friday OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Max van der Stoel. The meeting focused on the important matters for consolidation of the Macedonian situation.

"We stated that the census should be organized in compliance with the international community standards," Minister Kerim stated after the meeting. They were both assured that the establishment of wider governmental coalition would create conditions for conceptual resolving of range of matters in the Macedonian Assembly.

Regarding the South East European University in Tetovo, Kerim stated it would enhance the multi ethnic relation in our country."

The Macedonian Foreign Minister rejected the possibility that South East European University in Tetovo would turn into state University. "The newly founded institutions regardless whether they are private or state should be according the student interests and in compliance with Macedonian Law as well as with the European standards."

Minister Kerim said that they did not discuss about the civilians from Kumanovo villages, but he stressed that the most important matter is to protect the civilians from being a target of the terrorist attacks. "In that respect, we are ready to cooperate with the international community in order to prevent the unwanted consequences," Minister Kerim emphasized.

The Macedonian Minister did not comment on the document that relates PDP to Robert Frowick, the special envoy of OSCE Chairman, as he has not seen that document.

Asked about the developments in the Liberal Party of Macedonia (LPM) and about the announcement that he would leave the position as Foreign Minister, Kerim stated that LPM leader Risto Gusterov will meet Macedonian Prime Minister and VMRO - DPMNE leader Ljubcho Georgievski in order to clarify certain issues.

Asked whether he would accept the Ambassador's position in New York, Minister Kerim stated that he would accept any decisions the leaders would make in the new coalition establishment process.

OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Max van der Stoel stated that he had constructive meeting with the Macedonian Foreign Minister where he was informed on the recent developments in Kumanovo area.

"We discussed with Kerim on the establishment of the wider governmental coalition as well as on the next stage of the multi ethnic dialogue, which should start after the wider coalition is established," Max van der Stoel said.

Stoyanov to Host Summit.

Standart

President Peter Stoyanov will host the summit of the countries from the so-called 'Vilnius Group', which are aspiring for NATO membership, the press-office of the head of the state announced yesterday. Stoyanov expects that the presidents of Albania - Rexep Meidani, Latvia - Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Lithuania - Valdas Adamkus, Macedonia - Boris Trajkovski, Romania - Ion Iliescu, Slovenia - Milan Kucan, and Slovakia - Rudolf Schuster will atttend the meeting. The agenda of forum will be focused on 'The contribution of the new democracies to the Euro-Atlantic security'.

The King Approved 12 Ticket Leaders.

Standart

Twelve of the ticket leaders of coalition 'National Movement Simeon II' have already been approved, 'Standart' was told. Borislav Ralchev will top the ticket in Varna. At the previous local elections he participated as an independent candidate for the post of mayor and got 17% of the votes. Ticket leader in Plovdiv will be lawyer Vladimir Donchev who left the Democratic party last Tuesday and joined the King's movement. In Bourgas the first on the ticket will be architect Petko Yovchev, a yearlong chief architect of the city, and later of the whole district. The ticket leader in Montana will be Prof. Alexander Chirkov, while in one of the Sofia constituencies - another prominent cardiologist, Prof. Choudomir Nachev.

What form of participation of Simeon II in Bulgaria's political life would you approve?

As one of the political leaders 23.3%
As Prime Minister 21.6%
As President 14.4%
As the King 10.3%
As an MP 7.9%
Total disapproval 7.6%
Hesitant 14.9%

The data are from a representative survey of NCPOP (National Center for Public Opinion Poll) carried out within the period April 28 - May 3

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