Riot Erupts As Clinton Visits Greece
ATHENS, Greece (AP) - President
Clinton arrived in Greece Friday while thousands of leftists protesting
against his visit clashed with police in the capital.
Witnesses said hundreds of police
in gas masks and anti-riot gear tried to stop protesters marching to the
U.S. embassy. They fired tear gas as the leftists surged through police
Clinton landed at Athens international
airport after spending five days in Turkey. He will stay less than 24
hours in Greece, cutting his visit short because of the protests prompted
by widespread Greek opposition to the U.S.-led bombing campaign against
Yugoslavia earlier this year.
``I have come here as a 'philhellene'
-- a friend of Greece, and I look forward to experiencing that wonderful
quality of Greek hospitality known to all the world,'' Clinton said shortly
after his arrival.
While Clinton, his wife Hillary
and their daughter Chelsea walked away from the plane, police fired several
rounds of teargas at the protesters.
The crowds replied with fire
bombs and the center of Athens erupted in violence, with youths smashing
shop windows and setting garbage on fire.
The demonstrations began as Clinton
was flying to Athens from Turkey, where he attended a 54-nation European
The leftists hung
a huge banner on the side of one of the hills dominating Athens, greeting
Clinton with a robust ``Go Home.''
Although Clinton's visit was
shortened in anticipation of the protests, Clinton said Friday he was
going to Greece hoping to ``talk about what we have in common'' and that
he was unconcerned about the prospect of demonstrations.
Talking to reporters, Clinton
said he still believed he was right to have had U.S. forces play a leading
role in NATO's 11-week air campaign against Yugoslavia, the issue that
has triggered Greek popular ire.
``I know that a lot of people
in Greece disagree with my position on Kosovo and they have a right to
their opinion and I have a right to mine,'' he said.
Tens of thousands of people,
mostly supporters of the Greek Communist Party, marched to the U.S. embassy
in Athens on Wednesday chanting slogans such as ``Clinton, fascist, murderer''
and ``The butcher of the Balkans is not welcome.''
Protesters Face Jail in Turkey
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - A Turkish court charged
113 leftists with illegally protesting against President Clinton -- a
charge carrying up to three years jail -- during his current visit in
which he has called for greater freedom of speech.
on Monday showed riot police beating the demonstrators and forcing them
onto buses. Clinton was meanwhile telling the Turkish parliament he wanted
to see greater freedom of speech and respect for human rights in Turkey.
news agency said late on Tuesday the protesters from small far-left parties
and trade unions had been charged with ``breaking the law on marches and
meetings,'' which carries a jail sentence of up to three years.
It said police
released the demonstrators pending prosecution.
Clinton is on a
five-day visit to Turkey ending with an Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Istanbul on Thursday and Friday
which leaders of 53 other countries are due to attend.
Police have mounted
a huge security operation and vowed to deal swiftly with any public disorder.
Anti-U.N. Protests in Afghanistan
(AP) - Thousands of demonstrators in southern Afghanistan attacked United
Nations offices with stones and bricks today, burning U.S. flags and effigies
of President Clinton to protest U.N. sanctions due to begin next week.
The sanctions will
take effect Sunday unless the ruling Taliban army hands over Saudi dissident
Osama bin Laden to the United States or a third country to stand trial
on charges of masterminding the bombings of two U.S. embassies in East
Africa last year.
say they will not hand over bin Laden, who last week offered to leave
Afghanistan for a secret destination known only to the Taliban's supreme
leader Mullah Mohammed Omar.
The United States
said that was not good enough.
On Wednesday, thousands
of demonstrators tried to storm the U.N. offices in Kandahar after burning
the U.S. flag and effigies of Clinton, said Tayyab Aga, a Taliban spokesman
contacted by telephone at Taliban headquarters in the southern city.
were broken, but no one was injured, he said. Taliban guards stopped the
demonstrators who tried to surge through the gates.
Clinton: Tumultuous Reception in Kosovo
(AP) - President Clinton paid his first visit to Kosovo on Tuesday and
told a cheering crowd waving U.S. flags: ``No one can force you to forgive
what was done to you, but you must try.''
He asked the crowd
of about 2,000 ethnic Albanians, many of them schoolchildren, packed into
the stadium on the outskirts of the southeastern town of Urosevac:
``Will you be focused
on hatred and getting even, or will you be thinking of new schools for
your children, new homes...?
Referring to Yugoslav
President Slobodan Milosevic, Clinton said to thunderous applause: ``Mr.
Milosevic wanted to gain control of Kosovo by getting rid of all of you,
and we said no!''
``Now, you cheered
for us when we came in because when you were being oppressed we stood
by you and we exercised military power to defeat the oppression of Mr.
Milosevic...we won the war, but only you can win the peace,'' Clinton
``I beg you who
are parents to teach your children that life is more than the terrible
things that are gone. It is how you react to them. Do not let the children's
spirits be broken....give them the tomorrow they deserve!''
``The American people
have been honored to stand with you and we will stand with you every step
of the way...thank you and God bless you all.
``The guards from
the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan protected the United Nations building,
but people were angry saying why are they punishing us. After 20 years
of war they should be trying to help the poor Afghan people,'' he said.
The United Nations
has had only a limited presence in Afghanistan since returning to the
war-shattered nation earlier this year. It had pulled its international
staff out of Afghanistan for nearly nine months to protest the killing
of one of its workers last year. The killing was apparently in retaliation
for a U.S. missile attack on eastern Afghanistan aimed at bin Laden's
training camps. Bin Laden escaped.
looming, the Taliban's new envoy to Europe, Rehmatullah Safi, accused
the United States and Europe of harboring Afghan war criminals sought
by the Taliban, and said they should hand them over if they expect the
Taliban to surrender bin Laden.
Safi pointed to
Abdul Malik, a warlord now living in the United States who is sought for
his alleged role in the massacre of more than 2,000 Taliban soldiers in
northern Mazar-e-Sharif in 1997.
``Why does not the
United States hand over Malik for trial in Afghanistan instead of allowing
him to live free despite the horrible deaths of thousands of Afghan Taliban
prisoners?'' he told reporters in the Pakistani border city of Peshawar.
The sanctions are
expected to ground Afghanistan's national airline, Ariana. It's not clear
whether the sanctions will require Pakistan to halt trade with Afghanistan,
a difficult prospect across a porous border overrun by smuggling.
Clinton said the
international community had pledged $1 billion to help Kosovo.
at the stadium near Urosevac, he held meetings in the Kosovo capital Pristina
with General Klaus Reinhardt, commander of the U.N. peacekeeping forces
in Kosovo, and Bernard Kouchner of France, the U.N. administrator of the
Clinton with a chart showing a general decline in murder, arson, looting
and kidnapping since immediately after the NATO air campaign in June.
But the chart showed
fluctuations in violence over the entire period and a slight increase
in kidnappings since mid-November.
Five months after
Milosevic agreed terms for ending NATO's air war, Kosovo is still beset
by ethnic tensions.