The two sides of the peace agreement:
Signatures in Skopje, but the specter of war still looms

by Notis Papadopoulos

(“Ta Nea”, August 16, 2001)

War is never a good thing, and peace is never bad — the words of Benjamin Franklin at the end of the 18th century. However, the state of affairs taking shape in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia would appear to be such that the peace agreement signed yesterday might well exacerbate the existing impasses instead of leading to a de-escalation of the crisis.

And the reason for this is that the objective of the extremist Albanian elements is to seize — in one way or another — as much as they possibly can. A peace agreement is a good beginning, forcing the government of the country to make concessions to the Albanian population. All the more so in that it envisages no serious concession by the Albanian side beyond their (provisional) disarmament. However, as we are all too aware, the FYROM-Kosovo borders are far from secure and in a matter of days the UCK can re-arm the extremist Albanians to resume their armed struggle without impediment once the agreement has been implemented. Especially since the governments of the USA and the EU are incapable of justifying even one fatality among their troops on the FYROM front line.


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