Updated: 05-Mar-2002 Week of 25 June - 1 July 2001

25 Jun 2001
Seminar in Georgia on information issues

Media representatives from Southern Caucasia gathered in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, 25-27 June, to participate in a NATO-sponsored seminar on the "PfP programme and basic information issues".

25 Jun 2001
Statement by Secretary General welcoming the sucessful withdrawal of ethnic Alabnian armed groups

NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson issuses a statement welcoming the sucessful withdrawal of ethnic Albanian armed groups from the village of Arancinovo in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1).

26 Jun 2001
Haekkerup briefs on situation in Kosovo

Improving the situation in the ethnically divided city of Mitrovica and encouraging the different ethnic communities in Kosovo to participate fully in their institutions, the future elections and the institutions that will result from those elections, were the main subjects of discussion at a meeting held at NATO HQ on 26 June.

27 Jun 2001
NATO prepares for possible operation to disarm ethnic Albanian armed groups

Further discussions have taken place at NATO HQ following the statement made by the Alliance on 20 June, promising conditional assistance to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) to disarm the National Liberation Army (see "Skopje requests NATO assistance"). On 27 June, the North Atlantic Council - NATO's top decision making body- discussed the Operational Plan drawn up by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and subsequently approved by the Alliance's Military Committee.

The Operational Plan is the first step in a process that will prepare NATO for the possibility of entering the country to help disarm ethnic Albanian groups should the two conditions announced in last week's statement be fulfilled (successful political dialogue between the parties and satisfactory implementation of a cease-fire). At the same time, a Force Generation Conference provides the framework within which NATO member countries volunteer forces for the operation. Confirmation of these offers will be sought as soon as the Operational Plan is approved, which is expected shortly.

28 Jun 2001
Practical cooperation with Moldova

Moldova, one of the twenty-six members of NATO's Partnership for Peace programme, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NATO, 28 June, concerning the safe destruction of liquid propellant oxidizer (known as melange) and the destruction of anti-personnel land mines and surplus munitions. This will allow NATO to provide material assistance and training to ensure the implementation of the project.

28 Jun 2001
Air Operations Centre in Spain

Spain handed over a new building to NATO on 28 June to host one of the Alliance's Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOC). These centres supervise air defence and carry out air policing functions.

29 Jun 2001
Operation plan "Essential Harvest" approved

NATO approved an operational plan (OPLAN) called "Essential Harvest" on 29 June, which would be implemented on the sole condition that the political dialogue between the various parties in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) has a "successful outcome" and a cease-fire is implemented. It would involve the sending of up to 3 000 NATO troops to the country to disarm the ethnic Albanian groups and destroy their weapons.

29 Jun 2001
Deputy Secretary General retires

Ambassador Sergio Balanzino officially left his post of NATO Deputy Secretary General on 29 June, a position he had held for seven years. Ambassador Alessandro Minuto Rizzo, who is currently Italy's Permanent Representative to the European Union's Political and Security Committee, will succeed Ambassador Balanzino. He was appointed by Lord Robertson on 6 February 2001 and will take up his functions on 16 July.

29 Jun 2001
Destruction of anti-personnel mines in Albania

On 29 June, a ceremony marking the inauguration of the process line to destroy Albania's stockpile of anti-personnel mines, took place at Mjekës, south of Tirana. A representative from the Canadian Embassy desactivated the first box of 15 fragmentation mines under the supervision of the Director of the ULP-Mjekës explosives factory near Elbasan. The 1.6 million mines in the stockpile must be destroyed before February 2004 as an obligation of Article 4 of the Ottawa Treaty.

29 Jun 2001
Clarifying NATO's role in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1)

Lord Robertson outlined the specific roles and limitations a potential NATO deployment to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) would have during an interview with the Macedonian newspaper "Fakti", 29 June. He defined the contours of "Operation Essential Harvest" and clarified other issues directly related to a peaceful resolution of the current situation. For further information, please refer to the complete transcript of this interview, as published in "Fakti".


  1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.