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Yesterday Patriarch Maxim offered a liturgy in the 'St. Alexander Nevsky' Cathedral on the occasion of the wakes. Hundreds of believers gathered in the biggest church in the Balkans. Its tower is 52 meters high. There are 12 bells with total weight of 24 tons. Photo Kiril Konstantinov
Macedonian Foreign Minister Ilinka Mitreva (C) and her Yugoslav counterpart Goran Svilanovic (R) have exposed the first border stone between the two states. CTK/AP
Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passi, left, Macedonian Foreign Minister Ilinka Mitreva, center and Yugoslav Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic, right, pose for the cameras during their trilateral meeting at St. Joakim Osogovski Monastery, near the northeastern Macedonian town of Kriva Palanka on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2002. The marking of the border between Macedonia and Yugoslavia started on Sunday earlier, at the junction of the borders between Macedonia, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria (AP Photo)
Macedonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ilinka Mitreva (L) and her Yugoslav counterpart Goran Svilanovic (R) reveal the border milestone between Macedonia, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, some 130km north-east from Macedonian capitol Skopje on November 24, 2002. Foreign Ministers of three Balkan neighbours attended the ceremony of the official start of the demarcation of the Macedonian-Yugoslav border. REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski
THREE-BORDER JUNCTION PYRAMID AMONG MACEDONIA, YUGOSLAVIA AND BULGARIA REVEALED.
A three-side border pyramid was revealed Sunday at the three-border junction among the Republic of Macedonia, FR Yugoslavia and the Republic of Bulgaria, thus marking the beginning of the border delineation of the Macedonian- Yugoslav border, based on the Border Delineation Agreement between the two countries.
Macedonian Foreign Minister Ilinka Mitreva and her Yugoslav counterpart Goran Svilanovik, as well as Bulgarian Deputy-Foreign Minister Ivan Petkov attended the ceremony.
Today's placement of the borderstone marking the border between Macedonia, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria marks the first step in the implementation of the Agreement for description of the borderline between Macedonia and the FR Yugoslavia, Macedonian Foreign Minister Ilinka Mitreva said at the joint press conference with her Yugoslav and Bulgarian counterparts, Goran Svilanovic and Solomon Pasi.
Mitreva reported that due to the implementation of the Agreement, mixed Macedonian-Yugoslav commissions have been established who work on the physical demarcation of the border.
The Macedonian Foreign Minister said that the trilateral meeting was focused on the negotiations that started in Skopje during the CEI Summit on the possibilities for enhancement of the regional cooperation, which is on the priority list of all three foreign ministers.
"We need to send out a message that the Balkans is not longer a place where the cooperation should be brought by force, but a place where the regional cooperation is essential for the future Euro-Atlantic integration of the countries in the region," she said.
She congratulated to her Bulgarian counterpart Pasi for the invitation that his country received to join NATO, adding that it would also help the integration of all countries from the region in the Euro-Atlantic structures.
"We believe that the borders in the Balkans ought to remain open for communication, but should remain closed for the organized crime. This can be achieved only through strong inter-governmental cooperation," Mitreva stressed, adding that Macedonia and Bulgaria would give strong support to FR Yugoslavia in its efforts to join the Partnership for Peace.
Mitreva reported that the ministers' meeting was also focused on several economic projects, including the Corridor 8 and Corridor 10 projects. In that context, the three ministers suggest a meeting between the ministers of transport from the three countries who would review the issues regarding these projects.
She announced that the next meeting between the three foreign ministers would take place in Yugoslavia.
According to Svilanovic, the demarcation of the border would enhance the communication between the different ethnic groups who live in the borderzone. He assessed that the relations between the three countries have greatly improved, which is visible in the numerous joint activities that they implement.
Thanking for the congratulations for his country's invitation to join NATO, Bulgarian FM Pasi said that the demarcation of the border is not an act that divides, but an act that connects the three countries. "I hope that in the future all citizens will live in Balkans without borders," he said.
"We strongly stand against the tendencies for dividing the Balkans on east and west," the three ministers underlined, pointing out that the Balkans should be seen as one entity.
Macedonian foreign minister said that the demarcation of the border on Macedonian side would cost approximately one million Euro, for which Macedonia expects assistance from the EU. She also said that the border agreement foresees opening of two other border crossings between Macedonia and Yugoslavia.
Asked about Pristina's discontent from the demarcation of the border between Macedonia and Yugoslavia in the Kosovo section, Mitreva said that the border was recognized by all relevant international factors.
Svilanovic said that there could be talks about the border only if that concerns the people, but in no case there would be such negotiations is the subject is sovereignty of the province.
After the meeting, the three ministers came out with joint statement whereat they hail the establishment of the Euro-region Skopje-Nis-Sofia, which took place on October 26 in Skopje.
The three ministers also underline the significance of the cooperation in the field of energy, and express readiness to fully implement the Memorandum for establishment of single energy market in the SEE, which was signed in Athens on November 15.
Macedonian, Yugoslav, Bulgarian officials lay cornerstone along once disputed boundary.
By KONSTANTIN TESTORIDES, Associated Press Writer
SKOPJE, Macedonia - In a gesture meant to signify an end to border disputes, senior Macedonian, Yugoslav and Bulgarian officials on Sunday placed the cornerstone of the boundary separating the three Balkan neighbors.
Participating were Yugoslav Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic, Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister Ivan Petkov, and Macedonia's foreign minister, Ilinka Mitreva. They walked from the border post near Gradiste, 90 kilometers (55 miles) northeast of Macedonia's capital, Skopje, to a spot two kilometers (one mile) away, in the Mt Osogovski range, to put down the pyramid-shaped stone at the junction of their frontiers.
Afterward, joined by Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passi, they withdrew to the nearby Macedonian Christian Orthodox monastery of St. Joakim Osogovski to discuss regional cooperation and efforts to establish stability and democracy.
"The Balkans now becomes a place of cooperation," Mitreva said after the talks.
Macedonia was the only republic to gain independence peacefully from Yugoslavia in 1991. A spate of wars over the last decade accompanied the fragmentation of the Balkan federation.
But border and language disputes with Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, and Greece's challenge to Macedonia's name Athens maintains that is the exclusive name of a northern Greek province burdened foreign relations of the newly independent country.
Last year, Macedonia and Yugoslavia signed a border agreement. However, ethnic Albanians in Yugoslavia's southern Kosovo province, which partly borders Macedonia to the north, protested because it defined 2,500 hectares (6,100 acres) of land they claimed as being part of Macedonia.
The Yugoslav-Macedonian border agreement which paved way for Sunday's ceremony was recognized by the United Nations and this, stressed Mitreva, leaves "that border question closed."
ELIZABETH JONES VISITS MACEDONIA.
Main topic at Sunday's meeting between the Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski and Elizabeth Jones, the US Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, was the co-operation between the Republic of Macedonia and the USA.
The support from Washington for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Macedonia was once again reiterated at the meeting, the President Trajkovski's cabinet says. The USA preparedness to continue in assisting the country in realisation of the reforms in context to its aspirations for further accession and full-fledged membership to Euro-Atlantic structure was confirmed.
Elizabeth Jones stressed that the USA and other NATO member countries firmly support the policy of open doors, which is of great importance for the country aspirants that were not invited to join NATO in Prague.
President Trajkovski expressed his satisfaction with the formulation and the contents of the Final Document in Prague, which sends clear message to the Republic of Macedonia that its future is in the Alliance and recognises its interior stabilisation and democratisation.
Macedonian President stressed the country's commitment to be the carrier of the regional co-operation and especially to the co-operation with Albania and Croatia, as country aspirants for NATO membership, reads the announcement from President's cabinet.
Leaders of NATO member countries at the Alliance's Summit taking place in Prague pledged for opening the doors of organization for admission of Macedonia, Albania and Croatia, as well as to other potential member countries, Elizabeth Jones, US Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs announced after the meeting with President Trajkovski on Sunday.
According to Jones, the Prague Summit confirmed the readiness for admission of new member countries to NATO, which, as Jones said, equally relates to Macedonia.
The US Assistant Secretary assessed the meeting with President Trajkovski as very important, underlying the strong commitment pledged by Macedonian President for continuation of the process for approaching of Macedonia to NATO.
To the question whether the US will financially support the efforts of Macedonia, Albania and Croatia working jointly to approach NATO, Jones assessed the concept as "very interesting."
She reminded that this kind of cooperation was foundation of the Vilnius Group, in which frameworks "Macedonia as a member country proved highly efficient."
Jones further assessed the idea of initiating mutual collaboration and support in the process of admission into NATO as very successful concept in realization of goals.
She also said the priority of NATO policy is the aspirant countries to support the reforms in the economic sphere, struggle against corruption, control of the borders, combat against illicit trade in human beings.
US Assistant Secretary informed that the meeting with Trajkovski also focused on the importance of cooperation of Macedonia with the Hague Tribunal.
November 24 in History.
In 1880 the National Assembly adopted an act to raise the living standards of farmers.
In 1900 the Red Cross Hospital was inaugurated in Sofia, since 1951 it is the Pirogov Emergency Institute.
In 1948 the National Art Gallery was set up in Sofia.
BULGARIA, MACEDONIA, YUGOSLAVIA-FOREIGN MINISTERS.
Triangle Pyramid at Point of Intersection of Bulgarian, Macedonian, Yugoslav Border Inaugurated.
Kriva Palanka, Skopje (BTA exclusive by Kostadin Filipov) - The foreign ministers Solomon Passy of Bulgaria, Ilinka Mitreva of Macedonia and Goran Svilanovic of Yugoslavia gathered on Sunday as agreed ten days before at the forum of the Central European Initiative in Skopje.
The occasion for their meeting was the ceremonious inauguration of a triangle pyramid at the point of intersection of the Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Yugoslav border.
The foreign ministers of the three countries and Bulgarian deputy Interior Minister Ivan Petkov were flown to the place of the ceremony on helicopters.
The inauguration of the pyramid marks the beginning of practical work on the demarcation of the border line between Macedonia and Yugoslavia in execution of an agreement signed by the presidents of the two countries, Boris Trajkovski and Vojislav Kostunica, in February 2001.
Later on the top diplomats of Bulgaria, Macedonia and Yugoslavia had a meeting at St Joakim Osogovski Monastery near the town of Kriva Palanka, Macedonia. Passy, Mitreva and Svilanovic discussed specific project for trilateral regional cooperation and the situation in the region.
Mitreva and Svilanovic congratulated their Bulgarian counterpart Passy on his country receiving an invitation to join NATO. The invitation was extended by the Prague summit of the Alliance a few days ago. The top diplomats of Macedonia and Yugoslavia see in this act an important step forward and an opportunity for consolidation of peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
Passy said that during the meeting he had proposed an initiative that would help avoid a possible division of the Balkan countries into Western and Eastern after the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to NATO.
Mitreva said at a news conference after the meeting that she and her counterparts had discussed all forms of cooperation among the three countries, the desire to draw on the experience Bulgaria gained on the way to its Euro-Atlantic orientation, and, in this sense, providing support to Yugoslavia for its admission to the Partnership for Peace programme.
Mitreva said that they had considered some joint measures aimed to accelerate the implementation of certain infrastructure projects, in particular Transport Corridor X (North-South) and Transport Corridor VIII (East-West). Svilanovic added that Belgrade was interested in the project for the Nis-Sofia motorway.
Within this context, the three foreign ministers agreed to propose the holding of trilateral meetings of the ministers of transport and energy of Bulgaria, Macedonia and Yugoslavia next year to discuss specific projects in their areas of responsibility.
Svilanovic asked his counterparts to support Yugoslavia's bid for NATO's Partnership for Peace programme and suggested that the Atlantic clubs of the three countries hold a meeting to exchange experience for this purpose.
Passy emphasized this was his first journey abroad after the decision to invite Bulgaria to join NATO which he described as historic both for Bulgaria and the other countries in the region.
"This is a good sign for our neighbours because it means more security for them too, and their security is our security as well," Passy said.
The three foreign ministers agreed that their next trilateral meeting would take place in Yugoslavia in the first quarter of 2003.
They issued a joint communique emphasizing the desire to prioritize the fulfilment of free trade agreements between the countries in the region. Besides, the foreign ministers of Bulgaria, Macedonia and Yugoslavia point out their readiness for comprehensive application of a memorandum on the establishment of a common energy market signed in Athens on November 15.
PRIME MINISTER-NOCONFIDENCE MOTION-COMMENT.
UDF's No-Confidence Motion Is No Good Advertisement of Bulgaria, PM Saxe-Coburg-Gotha Says.
Sofia, November 24 (BTA) - "The no-confidence motion is no good advertisement of Bulgaria," Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha told reporters on Sunday. "I always think of Bulgaria first of all," he added.
The prime minister attended the opening of the third meeting of rectors from Central Europe at St Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia. Representatives of nearly 20 European higher education institutions gathered to discuss the financial support of big universities.
On Friday, the United Democratic Forces parliamentary union submitted to the secretariat of the National Assembly a no-confidence motion over what is described as gross violation of the Constitution and non-compliance with a decision of Parliament concerning the Bulgarian nuclear power plant at Kozloduy.
Later on, the Bulgarian Socialist Party said the Coalition for Bulgaria parliamentary group would also table a no-confidence motion at the beginning of the coming week.
Zlatan Vanev Won His Third Gold in Warsaw.
Zlatan Vanev won his third world title at his debut in the men's 85-kilogram category at the World Weightlifting Championship in Warsaw yesterday night. Zlatan is a world champion in 77-kilogram category from 1997 and 1998.
Bidding for Picture by NMS MP.
MP from the PG of the "National Movement for Simeon II" Antonia Purvanova auctioned a picture by her at a charity ball for orphans in Dobrich. Dozens of connoisseurs bid for the picture titled 'Holland'. A man who claimed anonymity paid 650 levs for the picture which was painted in Los Angeles. Restaurant 'Dobroudzha' was cram-full with more than 200 guests. First Lady Zorka Parvanova also attended the ball. She established an annual scholarship for an orphaned child from Dobrich.
Pupils Send Atanassov to Be MoE in Nigeria.
Angry e-mails blocked the computers of the Ministry of Education.
Vladimir Atanassov to be a Minister of Education of Nigeria, proposed teenagers in a letter published in the website of the Ministry of Education. Hundreds of angry e-mails clogged the electronic box of the Ministry for his refusal to comply with the rule of the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) canceling the mandatory matriculations. Wise-crackers from Plovdiv wished Minister Atanassov that NATO called him under the colours, and a 17-year-old pupil from Bourgas proposed that she sewed him prisoner's uniform. Other pupils admitted that the absurd conduct of the officials at the Ministry of Education is another reason to make them willing to leave this "crappy and absurd country, where even ministers violate the law".
We Differ from Animals Only by Bank Accounts.
INTERVIEW Standartnews: Marko Ganchev
To the writer, we shall be the first nation in the EU with Cyrillic alphabet. Man is a foolish creature, rather than a bad one, says Marko Ganchev.
Writer Marko Ganchev was awarded for his oeuvre the "Petko Rachov Slaveikov" Prize on November 13. The poet satirist is famous for his civil stands on all pivotal problems of the society.
- Mr Ganchev, only human beings can laugh and grieve and that differs them from the animals. Is it what you think?
- I am a bit hesitant. It is now said the man differs from the animals only by his bank account. I can see it by myself, the smaller my bank account gets the more I begin to look like an animal.
- But you always find a reason to laugh?
- The reasons are inexhaustible, because man is not as bad a creature as a foolish one.
- How is the Bulgarian language going? Billboards in foreign languages flood the streets. Is there a solution?
- There is a very quick solution, if only the municipality would issue an order, but they never would. Fortunately, Europe will force us do it - we shall be the first nation with Cyrillic alphabet in EU.
- This spring President Parvanov decorated you with Balkan Range First Class order for your noteworthy positions both as a writer and a citizen. Why did you fail to find a place among top politicians?
- Politics is not a spiritual activity, it is a physiological one , what shall I do in its highlands and lowlands?
Yugoslav-Macedonian delineation starts on the ground .
19:30 KRIVA PALANKA , Nov 24 (Tanjug) - A three-sided pyramid was placed at the three-border point between Yugoslavia, Macedonia and Bulgaria on Sunday, marking the official beginning of the Yugoslav-Macedonian delineation on the ground, which was agreed on in a bilateral agreement signed in Skopje last year.
Foreign Ministers Goran Svilanovic of Yugoslavia, Ilinka Mitrev of Macedonia and Solomon Pasi of Bulgaria met on this occasion at the St Joakim Osogovski Monastery near Kriva Palanka, announcing an even greater regional cooperation aimed at achieving long-term stability, security, economic prosperity and democracy.