All Over the Globe

Does the Government Go out Trenches?

ALMATY, Feb 24

(THE GLOBE)

Tomorrow Prime Minister Tokaev will participate in the meeting of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Besides, on the same day he will meet editors-in-chief of Kazakhstani media. What is this? Does the government go out trenches? Is it ready to offer anything? What will the Tokaev’s cabinet do? What is it to do? The objective is quite understandable – to get new investments. By the way, they are working on privatization of DPC.

The meeting will discuss governmental guarantees to attract new investments, a recognized Kazakhstani analyst thinks. In his opinion, this is the only instrument that the PM Tokaev has, as, in fact, it is impossible to apply to the rest ones – tax privileges and stability.

The government once again wants to show that the economic situation in Kazakhstan is normal. That is the version by a politician. According to his estimation, the Kazakhstani economy is stagnating, while the government does not widen the economic basis.

THE GLOBE will keep you informed.


Call for Kosovo reinforcements

24 Feb (ÂÂÑ)

Nato’s supreme commander in Europe, US General Wesley Clark, has called for an extra 2,000 troops to be sent to Kosovo to combat a surge in violence.

The call came after France pledged to send an extra 700 troops to the region.

Simmering tensions in Mitrovica have recently erupted into serious violence, with at least nine people killed.

The general wants three additional battalions for the Nato-led Kosovo Force (K-For), to quell violence between Serbs and ethnic Albanians, a spokesman at Nato’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (Shape) said on Thursday.

Nato ambassadors are to study General Clark’s request at a special meeting in Brussels on Friday focusing on Kosovo and, more specifically, the tense divided town of Mitrovica.

They will be briefed by K-For commander German General Klaus Reinhardt.

Earlier, France confirmed that it would send reinforcements after Defence Minister Alain Richard held talks with his American counterpart William Cohen in Washington.

But Nato Secretary General George Robertson said on Thursday there were sufficient troops in Kosovo.

He added that reinforcements could be sent in if need be.

Weapons search

US and French troops renewed their searches for illegal weapons in the Serb area of Mitrovica on Wednesday.

The operation took place three days after US soldiers were driven away by the Serbs in a hail of stones.

At least eight people were arrested for illegal weapons possession, with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, several rifles, several grenades and ammunition being seized.

The searches began on Sunday, but had to be suspended on Monday after an estimated 50,000 Kosovo Albanians entered the town and clashed with the K-For peacekeepers.

Mr Richard, speaking in Washington, said officers of the Nato-led peacekeeping force, K-For, would decide if “a part of this reserve” should be used, “probably for a limited time ... so that we take control” in Mitrovica.

A senior US official said a marines unit was on standby for possible deployment in the French sector.

But US Defence Secretary William Cohen said no decision had yet been taken on sending them in.

He told a Washington news conference that the reinforcements were meant to send a signal that violence would not be tolerated.

”We don’t anticipate this is going to be a long-term problem, but rather a flashpoint that has erupted in the last few days or weeks.

”That’s the reason why we think a greater show of force and a greater capability is going to be essential to send a signal that this is going to be stopped,” he said.

US officials say they have also become increasingly concerned about the extent of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic’s support for Serb militants in Kosovo.


US China tension mounts

24 Feb

(ÂÂÑ)

The Chinese Government has rejected US criticisms over Taiwan as crude interference in its internal affairs, a day after US senators said they might scupper China’s attempt to join the World Trade Organisation.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhu Bangzao said China strongly opposed such comments, saying Taiwan was purely an internal matter for the Beijing government.

Senior figures in the US Senate have been critical of China’s statement that it may use military force against Taiwan if the island delays talks on reunification with the mainland.

Deal in jeopardy

Their concerns are now threatening an important trade agreement between China and the US.

On Wednesday, Senate finance committee chairman Senator William Roth, a Republican in favour of the trade pact, said it was now in jeopardy.

During a hearing of the committee Mr Roth said “that WTO accession and the passage of permanent Normal Trade Relations (NTR) in the Senate is not a foregone conclusion, as some may think”.

He added that “the reckless threat to use force against Taiwan over negotiations on the future cross-strait relations and the recurring human rights violations will necessarily affect the Senate’s consideration of this agreement”.

But Mr Zhu called on US lawmakers debating whether or not to give China permanent NTR not to confuse the issue with Taiwan.

”We think these are two separate things,” Mr Zhu said, calling on US Congressmen to support China’s entry into the WTO.

Al Gore adds to uncertainty

Observers say the trade agreement has been further undermined by remarks by US Vice President Al Gore during his presidential election campaign indicating that he might want to renegotiate the pact to include labour rights.


All Over the Globe is published by IPA House.
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