YU minister accuses Croatia of supplying Montenegro with arms

BELGRADE, Aug 1, 2000 -- (BBC) Yugoslav Information Minister Goran Matic has accused the Montenegrin MUP [Ministry of Internal Affairs] and Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic of obtaining antiaircraft and antihelicopter weapons with the help of Croatia.

At a news conference, Matic said that the Montenegrin police were being trained by members of British special SAS [Special Air Service] military units and the U.S. intelligence agencies...

"Already last year, before and after the aggression, a group from within the Montenegrin MUP structure left for training within the U.S. police structure and the U.S. intelligence structures," he said...

"It is true that the British are carrying out part of the training of the Montenegrin special units," Matic said and added that the Montenegrin MUP is, in these days, intensively obtaining various kinds and structures of weapons, starting with antiaircraft and antihelicopter weapons, that Croatia was helping them in this, and that the weapons were going through Dubrovnik."...

Matic said that if [Montenegrin President Milo] Djukanovic supports peace, "which he supports verbally", then he does not need this. "If he supports a referendum, then he does not need this either," he said.

Replying to a journalist's question, the federal Information Minister said that it was "absolutely true" that Croatia was providing the weapons for Montenegro.

"Croatia is not so benign in this issue, and it is obvious that a space is opening up in Croatia for acts of terrorism against the FRY [Federal Republic of Yugoslavia] and that this issue is related to the relations between Croatia and the FRY, which need to be re-examined," Matic said.

He added that "the statement made by Croatian President (Stipe) Mesic - who is behaving as if he were the president of the former SFRY [Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia] - on internal FRY issues was impermissible, as this is absolutely none of his business, nor does he use arguments or know anything about the issues".

Source: Beta news agency, Belgrade, in Serbo-Croat 1401 GMT 31 Jul 00.

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