Yugoslav-Macedonian border commissions hold talks

BELGRADE, Jul 6, 2000 -- (BBC) Text of dispatch by Elisaveta Stojanovska Ivanovic in Belgrade, broadcast by Macedonian radio on 5th July

The eleventh session of the joint diplomatic-expert commission for determining the span and description of the state border between the Republic of Macedonia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia began in Belgrade today without any previous announcement or publicity.

The negotiations between the two delegations, which are led by Viktor Dimovski, assistant secretary in the Macedonian Foreign Ministry, and Radomir Bogdanovic, Yugoslav ambassador in the Federal Foreign Ministry, are being held behind tightly closed doors, far from the public's eye.

The information service of the Belgrade Ministry has told us that this will be the case for the duration of the negotiations.

As it seems, this is also the position of the Macedonian delegation, as, despite our numerous attempts, we were unable to establish contact with any of its members.

We could only learn that the negotiations were being held in a normal and correct atmosphere and that they will continue tomorrow.

This eleventh round of the Macedonian-Yugoslav negotiations is expected to be held in accordance with the previously presented proposals by the two sides for monitoring the state border between the two countries.

The demarcation of the state border between Macedonia and the FRY is the only open issue that burdens the good-neighborly relations between the two countries.

Belgrade and the government-controlled media are mainly optimistic about this issue, announcing a speedy conclusion of the negotiations, although they have lasted for three years already.

Source: Macedonian Radio, Skopje, in Macedonian 1330 GMT 5 Jul 00.

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