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Wednesday, 27 June, 2001, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Macedonian president 'guilty of success'
Protesters at Macedonian parliament
Protesters voice anger at the president's tactics
Excerpts of TV address by Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski

Citizens of Macedonia, we have all spent another sleepless night and seen the dawn of another day on which we, the most responsible ones in the country, must work in many directions.

You expected answers to your many important questions.

Let me therefore send out a number of messages, which I believe will provide some of the answers and will restore your hope and faith in the Macedonian state leadership's responsibility and determination to continue dealing with the crisis in a most effective and painless way.

Decisive operation

The nation must not allow division at this time of crisis. I have already told you that our enemy's goal is to divide us, and our response must be our unity. If we fight each other, we are playing into the hands of our enemy, which will make our defeat inevitable.

Our goal has been to eliminate the terrorists from Macedonia's territory. We are trying to do this in the fastest possible way that will cause the fewest casualties among the security forces.

Was it wrong to prevent the unnecessary loss of human lives of our security forces? If so, I admit my guilt. It seems that I am in the dock for achieving success

President Trajkovski

I assure you that at the end of this process, every inch of Macedonia's territory will be under the control of the Macedonian security forces, and that we will reach the goal of joining the desired EU and Nato institutions as a guarantee for lasting stability, security, and progress.

Last week our government had to launch a decisive operation in its attempt to eliminate the threat from the terrorists who operated in the immediate vicinity of our capital.

The goal of this operation was to flush the terrorists out of Aracinovo.

With the help of Nato and the EU, the government swiftly and totally removed the terrorists from Aracinovo, whereby we achieved the same goal as with a military operation, namely, to drive out the terrorists from the village.

Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski
President Boris Trajkovski: Under siege

I see that some are condemning this now. I reject this condemnation and wonder what I have been accused of.

Was it wrong to eliminate the terrorists from Aracinovo? If so, I admit my guilt. Was it wrong to conclude the operation quickly and totally? If so, I admit my guilt. Was it wrong to prevent the unnecessary loss of human lives of our security forces? If so, I admit my guilt. It seems that I am in the dock for achieving success.

This policy represents the government's success, because the entire government supported the policy.

Does anyone seriously believe that a military victory over one village means an end to the conflict? Of course it does not.

Each operation that we carry out must be placed in the context of our overall strategy.

Parliament protest ruining the state

If the terrorists are defeated in one place, it does not mean that they have been defeated everywhere.

With their withdrawal, however, the terrorists have shown that they cannot defeat us and that they are seeking a way out.

We are in this together, and together we will succeed

President Trajkovski

Unfortunately, however, it appears that the success of our initial operations has intimidated certain internal forces at all state levels.

They took extremely unacceptable measures and action with the aim to prevent the implementation of the plan and with the ultimate goal of causing internal unrest through a large-scale civil conflict. I assure you that we are not going to allow this.

Dear citizens, Aracinovo no longer poses a threat to Skopje or to our country's communications and strategic facilities.

However, we must not stop, but take advantage of the initial success and resume the political dialogue with all the legitimate parties in Macedonia.

The men of violence must also lay down their weapons to enable all the citizens in Macedonia to live in peace.

My mandate was for peace

I disagree with all those who tried to move Aracinovo to Skopje yesterday.

Although I understand the citizens' revolt, all those who were destroying and ruining the Macedonian Assembly were ruining our state. Yesterday's firing at the assembly building could easily thrust us into a civil war.

I obtained your mandate to build and provide peace and calm for everyone's home. I did not receive your mandate to bring you war.

As a human being, I sympathize with all the families who have lost their dearest members in this senseless war, but I appeal to you that we all face reality together. I offer you peace and I therefore appeal for your support.

Now is the time to show strength and calm. We are in this together, and together we will succeed. Those who follow the path of evil and violence cannot succeed against unity and will be doomed to oblivion.

I appeal to you not to let hatred control your lives. We must be united to defeat this evil. We must be united in our struggle against every kind of evil and tyranny, because we will not get a second chance.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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See also:

27 Jun 01 | Europe
Tensions ease in Macedonia
26 Jun 01 | Europe
Analysis: Macedonia test for EU
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