- The Washington Times - Friday, February 27, 2004

MACEDONIA

President’s body found in crash site

SKOPJE — Long-divided Macedonians and ethnic Albanians united yesterday in mourning President Boris Trajkovski, who was killed in a plane crash, as searchers cleared a path through mine-strewn Bosnian mountains to recover his body along with those of six officials and two pilots.

Police in a helicopter found the wreckage of the plane more than 24 hours after it crashed Thursday in heavy fog in a mountainous region still sown with mines from Bosnia’s 1992-95 war. Mr. Trajkovski was en route to an international investment conference in Bosnia.

PHILIPPINES

100 still missing after ferry fire

MANILA — Rescuers searched yesterday for about 100 passengers reported missing after a fire turned their overnight ferry into a smoldering wreck. At least one person was killed and about 800 others, including the crew, were rescued.

Officials said the missing might have been trapped inside the blazing Superferry 14 or drowned in Manila Bay, and some could have been picked up by fishing boats.

CYPRUS

Cypriots bemoan lack of progress

NICOSIA — Greek and Turkish Cypriots agreed yesterday they had made virtually no progress in a week of negotiations under a tight U.N. timetable aimed at reuniting their island before it joins the European Union May 1.

Cyprus’ Central Bank said the U.N. peace plan now under negotiation had serious flaws, including the question of where money would be found to compensate people who lost property in a border adjustment.

In Ankara, Turkey’s powerful military General Staff reaffirmed its stand that any deal must not compromise national security — code for insisting on keeping some Turkish troops on the east Mediterranean island after reunification.

LITHUANIA

3 Russian diplomats deported from Vilnius

VILNIUS — Lithuania said yesterday it had deported three Russian diplomats, prompting threats by Moscow to retaliate and deepening a rift over charges that link the Baltic state’s president to Russian mobsters and intelligence.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis said the three were expelled for activities unrelated to their employment.

Lithuanian President Rolandas Paksas is facing impeachment over suspected links between his office and Russian mobsters and Russian intelligence services. It was not clear whether the deportations had any connection with the case.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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