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Friday, 31 August, 2001, 20:19 GMT 21:19 UK
Macedonian leader urges unity
Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski's address to parliament on constitutional amendments - excerpts

"The history of all countries knows times when people have to make difficult decisions ... Today we have such decisions in front of us. With the right decisions related to the implementation of the Ohrid Agreement, I hope that this future will include peace, stability and prosperity for the Republic of Macedonia.

... The Agreement is not perfect, but no agreement ever is. It is the best thing we have right now and it does have many positive points. ...

The alternative way is division in all aspects: civil, inter-ethnic, political, and division between generations.

... The Agreement you have in front of you is a result of the embodiment of European values of human rights, democracy and compromise ... In this respect, we must insist on drawing away from this war and its structures those citizens of the Republic of Macedonia that got involved

... All persons who will voluntarily disarm and who have not committed crimes against humanity ... should be reintegrated into the political and legal life in the Republic of Macedonia. If all other armed extremists do not leave the territory of the Republic of Macedonia after the end of "Essential Harvest" they will be pursued and eliminated by our defence and security forces.

... The basic principles of the Agreement stress the position that there are no, nor can there be, territorial solutions to ethnic issues. This finally completes and defines the three basic principles of the unitary character, sovereignty and integrity of the Republic of Macedonia.

... It is now up to you to consider with utmost seriousness and attention and to give an assessment of the proposed solutions. They lead to the enhancement of our state system; to the increase of equality among the citizens and to non-discrimination ... I hope that they lead also to a way out of this crisis.

Democracy and the rule of law must be the way. If there is more violence from these men and their leaders, then the whole world will know they fight for territory. ...

Allow me now to address the international community. If the men of violence resort to their wicked ways, you will stand firm with the Republic of Macedonia and her citizens because the men of violence will have shown their true intentions. In that case, we expect the UN Security Council to decide to threaten or use force against this source of instability and terror on the Balkans.

Second, we demand that the international community recognizes us by our name - the Republic of Macedonia - and not by a fictional derivative. ...

Third, we expect the international community to recognize our contribution to stability and peace in the region ... through an economic package of aid aimed at rehabilitating our economy. After 10 years of weathering the storms of sanctions, embargoes, refugees and now threats from without, we have earned it.

Finally, we expect the international community to help us keep and enforce the peace. To do this, I am asking today for a reintroduction of the United Nations Preventative Deployment force - UNPRDEP.

... We have made the difficult decisions and we have met you half way - now we expect the international community to do the same. Not only because it is expedient, but because it is right."

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.

See also:

31 Aug 01 | Europe
Macedonia head backs peace deal
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