Hrvat Presidential WWW Page

Jim Jaszewski jjazz at
Wed Sep 13 05:19:35 MDT 1995

=09I finally snuck into hrvatski cyberspace last night in the wee=20
hours...  Looks like a real waste of time though...

=09Tudjman's homepage is PRETTY sparse...  The few things there are
quite old (a month or more).  Perhaps the other pages mentioned a few
weeks ago might have more info.=20

Here's a press conference Tudjman held ~3 weeks ago:=20


of the Press Conference of the President of the Republic of Croatia Dr. Fra=
Tudjman held at the Presidential Palace on August 18, 1995

Start at 06.00 hrs p.m.

Natasa Rajakovic:

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. This is the Press Conference of the
President of the Republic of Croatia Dr. Franjo Tudjman. The available
time is 45 minutes.  Please introduce yourselves before stating your

Zeljko Raic, Croatian TV:

Mr. President, the American delegation headed by Richard Holbrooke has now
been visiting the former Yugoslavia, the different republics... Belgrade,
Sarajevo, Zagreb, for several days.  Today they had their last talks with
you. Can you give us a brief assessment of how favourable is the plan
being offered, and to which extent Croatia is prepared for it ? We would
also appreciate your appraisal of the plan.=20


Who told you those were the last talks?

The United States are obviously taking the initiative in order to arrive
at a solution for the crisis in the former Yugoslavia. The high delegation
which visited the world capitals, and is now visiting Zagreb, Belgrade and
Sarajevo as well, comes on behalf of President Clinton. This is so far the
most serious effort of the United States of America, agreed to a
considerable extent with the European Union and Russia as well. As fas as
we are concerned, we support these efforts and we would look forward to
the United States achieving desirable solutions within a matter of a few
weeks. Of course, on our part, in addition to supporting such efforts, and
since our views have also been sought, we have made certain proposals,
certain suggestions for a solution which would not only put an end to the
existing war crisis with regard to Croatia, and provide for the liberation
of the remaining occupied Croatian territories, Eastern Slavonija and
Baranja - the essential issue being, of course, the crisis in Bosnia and
Herzegovina - but would also involve a political agreement, a solution
creating the prerequisites for a new, stable international order in the
area of the former Yugoslavia and in this part of the world.  On our part,
we shall do everything in order to see such a solution attained.=20

Olga Ramljak, Slobodna Dalmacija

Is it true that the latest initiative postpones the solution of the
occupation of Eastern Slavonija and Baranja for at least two years? And
then, there would follow a referendum of the current population, and the
consideration of possible Bosnian Serb access to the sea, which would
again encroach upon the area of Dubrovnik County. If that is the case, can
Croatia agree to this?=20


I have not heard of any such proposals, and I do not know where you heard
them.  Nothing of what you said is true. This proposal by the United
States also proceeds from the fact that the former Sector East, i.e.,
Eastern Slavonija and Baranja, is an integral part of Croatia, and any
referendum permitting anyone to express his views as to where this area
should belong is out of question. We have only expressed our readiness,
our wish to integrate this area, too, into the constitutional and legal
system of Croatia in a peaceful way, because we would like to avoid new
casualties and because we would like to contribute to the search for a
peaceful solution, and not to frustrate it. But, quite obviously, any
referendum, any questioning of Croatia's territorial integrity, which
includes the area under consideration, would be totally unacceptable to
Croatia.  Similarly, I have not heard of any proposals, as you have,
according to which those suggesting these peace plans would be seeking
Serb access to the sea.=20

Aleksandar Milosevic, Vjesnik

Mr. President, I heard today from a source close to the Foreign Ministry
of Croatia that about 800 citizens of Serbian nationality, who had left
Croatia during the liberation of Western Slavonija and Operation Storm,
would now like to return to Croatia, but are not allowed to do so by the
authorities of the so-called FR Yugoslavia. What does Croatia intend to do
so that these citizens of Croatia are no longer hostages of the Belgrade


Obviously we cannot influence what is taking place in the territory of
Serbia or their Yugoslavia. As our public as well as the international
public are aware, we have even before been guaranteeing all civil and
ethnic rights to the Serbian population in the occupied areas.  During
Operation Storm itself I invited those citizens to stay, but they left -
of their own will and notwithstanding our call. We shall receive those
individuals who have not violated the law and who want to come to Croatia
as citizens of Croatia.  Of course, we cannot influence the authorities
which have called them, or the treatment they are now facing in Serbia
itself, beyond a general appeal for a humane attitude, for the respect of
human and civil rights. However, we would particularly want the
international community to influence the Serbian authories in both Serbia
and Bosnia, to prevent the forcible expulsion of Croats, which has been
going on even before the liberation of Western Slavonija and of the
central parts of Croatia during Operation Storm, to put a stop to the
expulsion of thousands of Croats, especially from the area of Banja Luka
where we have been witnessing, practically for years and particularly over
the past two years, a systematic persecution of all the Croatian
population in spite of all the appeals sent out by Bishop Komarica to the
world and to the local authorities in order to end such practices.
Moreover, we are also witnessing the forcible expulsion of Croats from
Srijem and from Vojvodina. They are being forcibly expelled while no one
has forcing the Serbian population of Croatia to leave - rather, they have
been invited to stay.=20

This, therefore, clearly highlights who, and how, is dealing with this
painful issue we are witnessing.=20

Augustin Paloka, BBC

Mr. President, the decision of Serbian authorities to settle Serbian
refugees from Croatia in Kosovo has stirred up quite a few reactions
worldwide - from America, Greece, Macedonia, Albania. How would you
comment it? Does this mean, perhaps, that Milosevic does not intend to
send them back to Croatia;=20


I would offer no comment, simply because this is now the problem of the
population which has left Croatia, and of the Serbian authorities in whose
territory it is today.=20

(Japanese Broadcasting Corporation)

Some believe that you have made a secret agreement with Mr. Milosevic to
divide Bosnia and Herzegovina. As evidence they are showing a map which
you allegedly drew on May 6, 1995. How would you comment that?=20


There is no agreement on the partition of Bosnia between me and Milosevic.
And as for the map, which has been the object of speculation and which has
been published, it is pure nonsense - as evinced already by the fact that,
according to the map under consideration, I would supposedly agree to
Baranja and Eastern Slavonija, as well as parts of Southern Dalmatia,
becoming parts of Serbia.=20

This is an attempt to discredit Croatian policy, as well as to attribute
to Croatia those very solutions advocated by some of the very circles that
had this map published. While we are on the subject, let me remind you -
and you, as representatives of the fourth estate who follow international
developments are probably aware of that - that a map on the division of
spheres of interest in present-day Europe was printed in Brussels in 1993,
by the circles there, whether the NATO or the European Union, and there is
great similarity between that division and the map which has been
attributed to me. In Bosnia and Herzegovina we are indeed faced with a
very intricate situation. In objective terms it is so entangled that even
the three constituent peoples themselves in Bosnia and Herzegovina have
not agreed on a solution; similarly, the whole world, Europe included, has
not been able to arrive at an agreed solution, the main European and
global factors have not been able to find a solution which would be
acceptable both to the three constituent peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina
and to the principal European and global factors and powers. This is also
an area in which nations and civilizations split since ancient times,
since the days of the Roman Empire through the rift of Christianity to the
Churchill-Stalin fifty-division of spheres of interest in World War Two,
etc. This is quite clear.=20

Moreover, what is the sense of attributing to me an agreement with
Milosevic concerning a would-be partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina when
the very same people who offer the current solution say that - within the
scope of the 51:49 Contact Group proposal - the Croato-Muslim Federation
should be allowed to establish confederal links with Croatia, and the
Serbian part of Bosnia to establish confederal links with Serbia.=20

The problem, therefore, lies in seeking a solution, and in the attempt to
present such a solution in another, hypocritical light.=20


There have been reports on looting in the Krajina, burning of
houses...Will you take steps in order to prevent your troops to engage in
such actions;=20


Dear Madam, the Croatian Army has not engaged in any actions such as you,
and some other reporters, and even some UNPROFOR or UNCRO spokesmen, have
mentioned.  The Croatian Army has not been involved in any burning or
destruction. According to some reports, all of Knin was aflame. I came to
Knin, so did others, and Knin was not burning, and in spite of the
fighting and resistance there was very little destruction.  Considering
the war fought in the area, destruction caused by fighting obviously could
not have been avoided, just as it cannot be avoided in any war operation.=

However, as the President of Croatia I must express not only the
astonishment, but also the indignation of the Croatian public over the
imperviousness of some international circles to the expulsion and
persecution of hundreds of thousands ... four hundred thousand non-Serbs,
Croats, Hungarians, Germans, Ukrainians, Ruthenians were expelled from
Croatian areas, from Croatian territories during the Yugocommunist and
Serbian aggression against Croatia, and thousands were killed. At that
time, no such crocodile tears were shed over such events, just as no
account is being taken now not only of what has taken place in Zepa and
Srebrenica, but also of the expulsion of dozens of thousands of people
from Serbia and, now, from the area of Banja Luka. This, I dare say,
involves the sustaining of certain untenable views with regard to the
problem of the former Yugoslavia and to the problem of establishment of a
new order in this area. The Croatian public, obviously, receives such
reports with astonishment and indignation. Croatian authorities, I
personally and the Croatian Government have taken every step in order to
prevent everything that could be avoided in such operations, and objective
international observers had to admit that the operations of the Croatian
Army, from Flash to Storm, were carried out professionally, at the highest
professional levels, and very efficiently, and that there have been no
events of the kind you have just suggested.=20

Olga Ramljak, Slobodna Dalmacija

I would have another question related to the area of Dubrovnik, which is
again being shelled by Bosnian Serbs. How long is Croatia going to
tolerate the renewed destruction of Dubrovnik, the killing of people and
the vulnerability of its population?=20


The answer is similar to that for the problem of Eastern Slavonija and
Baranja. We shall tolerate it until our patience gives up, until we have
seen that all our efforts to achieve a peaceful solution, to prevent the
expansion of the war conflict, have been in vain. This is also what the
main European and global powers, the main international factors, are
afraid of.=20

We shall accordingly do everything we can in order to arrive at a peaceful
solution of all problems, so as to avoid new casualties and destruction,
and see a definitive solution achieved. If a peaceful solution cannot be
achieved with the help of international factors, we shall have to take the
appropriate steps.=20


Mr. President, our officials, e.g., Mr. Granic, have said that Croatia
will do everything in order to accept the peace plan. Mine is a
hypothetical question: if Bosnia does not accept the peace plan under
consideration, and Croatia does, do you fear any estrangement such as
occurred in 1993?=20

When I say "estrangement" I have in mind the cooling of relations between
Croatia and Bosnia, another possible deterioration of relations between
Croatia and Bosnia, between the Bosnian Croats and the Bosniacs.=20


No, I do not, because the relations established between the Croat and
Bosniac-Muslim peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina, after the Washington
Agreements, rest on foundations so sound that we can be assured that there
can be no estrangement such as you suggested, and even less a renewal of
the conflict.=20

The conflicts, which occurred at a time when the international community
was prepared to take more determined steps against Serbian aggression, and
air strikes, were also caused artificially, and they also reflected the
aspirations of part of the Muslim leadership to take all of Mostar,
regardless of the cost, and to break out as extensively as possible to the
Adriatic Sea.=20

However, both because the interests of the Croat and Muslim peoples were
identical, i.e., to resist Serbian aggression, and because the
international community was interested in stopping the conflict, the
Washington Agreements were concluded. These Agreements on the Federation
and its confederal links with Croatia have already produced satisfactory
results. There are no conflicts, and friendship is developing in ever more
serious and broader terms. New agreements have also been signed,
strengthening cooperation in the economic as well as in the military

These agreements and cooperation between the Croat and Bosniac-Muslim
peoples rest on good foundations and have already produced results.
Conversely, let me remind you, the agreements between Israel and the
Palestinians have also been signed under the auspices of international
factors, the United States of America included, and yet war, the conflicts
still go on in the area, and people are still being killed daily.
Conflicts also still go on in Northern Ireland, in spite of the democratic
order of the United Kingdom and Ireland, and in spite of all the
agreements and constitutional arrangements. Not to mention other examples.=

Therefore, if we compare these cases, which are still very topical, with
what we have achieved so far - the elimination of the conflict between the
Croats and the Muslims, and the implementation of the Federation and its
link with Croatia - we can be satisfied and rest assured, for the future,
that those siding with the aggressor or seeking a different solution will
not be able to count on any renewal of hostilities. This is alike in the
interest of the Croat people and in the strategic interest of the Croatian
State, as well as in the interest of the Bosniac Muslims because they have
seen that, in effect, Croatia is the only friend and ally on which they
can rely for survival in Bosnia and Herzegovina.=20

Aleksandra Stirnmajer, Time Magazine

Which are the subsequent steps of Croatian policy, and what is the
ultimate goal after the entire process? Could you outline the following
steps, the following problems which ...=20


The goals of Croatian policy are certainly the liberation of Eastern
Slavonija and Baranja, and Croatia's contribution not only to ending the
war but also to the establishment of such an international order in Bosnia
and Herzegovina which will also mean security for the Croatian State and,
as I said, provide the prerequisites for stable future peace in the
region. Of course ... I do not think your question referred to that ...=20
we continue to look forward to the end of the war and the liberation of
our occupied territories because this will create more favourable
conditions for the development of our democratic system and for the
reconstruction of the destroyed parts of Croatia, and for Croatia's
economic and cultural development.=20

Tom Jolton, .................., Washington

You have invited the Serbs to stay in Croatia, and you have invited them
to come back.  Is your Government or Army considering any steps to protect
the property of the Serbs who have left and may come back?=20


We are obviously prepared to respect the property of those who will come
back, who will remain citizens of Croatia, but we must also take steps to
reintegrate these estates, these farms into normal economic life, because
if they are abandoned as now, they would go to ruin. We must also bear in
mind the fact that one-third of Croatia territory has suffered
destruction, and that we still have to provide accommodation for 200,000
Croatian refugees as well as for about 184,000 refugees from Bosnia and
Herzegovina.  Accordingly, within the scope of these overall problems the
Croatian Government will also take steps with regard to the matter you
have brought up.=20

Aleksandar Milosevic, Vjesnik

After Operation Storm, have Croatia's chances to be accepted in the
Partnership for Peace improved, as it has proved to be a respectable
military force?=20


Today Croatia is internationally recognized even by those who were
unfavourably disposed towards sovereign and independent Croatia. Moreover,
Croatia's image is the result of the strength and stability of its
democratic order, and of its having proved itself capable of liberating
its territories in spite of the doubts of many, certain Croatian friends
included. As stated and reported in international circles as well, Croatia
has indeed become a respectable regional power which must be reckoned
with, and this, of course, creates more favourable conditions for
Croatia's overall international relations, particularly with regard to
NATO's Partnership for Peace and Croatia's integration into European Union
processes. As you know, the Spanish Foreign Minister Solana, currently
Chairman of the EU Council of Ministers, was to visit Croatia in June.=20
However, the visit was postponed because Operation Flash was just under

However, he has already visited Zagreb at the head of a high European
delegation, and that is another sign that Europe is prepared to cooperate
with Croatia, and in this regard the overall conditions are more
favourable in every respect than they were before Operations Flash and

-------------------------------, BBC

Let us briefly go back to Dubrovnik. A buildup of Croatian troops has been
observed.  You mentioned patience, the duration of your patience. Are we
talking of weeks or days?=20


It depends.

Helena Puljis, Glas Slavonije

Will Croatia set a deadline for the return of the Serbs who left the newly
liberated areas, and what will be the deadline, if any?=20


First of all, we shall not be setting any deadlines any more. We have
invited them to stay, they left and, therefore, this is now the problem of
those who control them and of the individual people themselves. I have
already answered the second part of your question.=20

Jozo Curic

My question, Mr. President, would mainly interest the soldiers who took
part in Operation Storm, but maybe also the public at large. How much has
exactly been captured, what is the value of the captured enemy weaponry,
and can this be expressed in terms of the income Croatia would have earned
through the tourist season?=20


First of all, we would have preferred a normal tourist season instead of
having to engage in a war operation. In this connection, I must say that
it was a bloody military undertaking. Throughout the operation, ladies and
gentlemen, we had 200 men killed and more than 1,300 wounded. It is not
true, therefore, as some have claimed, that the Serbs did not defend
themselves, that they actually evacuated their forces. On the contrary,
they put up quite a resistance, but it was broken by the morale of the
Croatian Army, by the very clever plan of operations and by the element of
surprise - and these are the reasons underlying such a swift victory. This
is also why we captured a huge war prize. I would not venture to assess
the monetary value of the prize, but I can say that it surpasses the value
of the war materiel used up during the operation by our forces. Moreover,
the quantity of captured materiel, food and equipment - including supplies
delivered to them through humanitarian aid - shows that they were
preparing for protracted resistance. While we are on the subject, we also
captured documents showing that individual members of international
organizations present in the area, of the former UNPROFOR and even of the
present UNCRO, cooperated very eagerly with those rebel authorities and

This operation has exacted a high price in terms of precious human lives
and casualties, but at the same time this price is small compared with the
achievement, because the liberation of the central part of Croatia has
indeed created the conditions not only for the current stability of the
Croatian State, but also for its future.=20

Igor Vukic, Novi List, Glas Istre

As reported in the media, Fikret Abdic is also in Zagreb, and he gave
himself up to Croatian forces. What will be his fate? Will Croatia perhaps
extradite him to Bosnia and Herzegovina? How did the negotiations proceed?=


First of all, Bosnia and Herzegovina is not asking for his extradition.
During the talks with the delegation of Bosnia and Herzegovina led by the
President of the Presidency Mr. Izetbegovic in Split, both Mr.=20
Izetbegovic and the leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina, not only of the
Federation but also of the Republic, agreed that it would be useful to
prevail upon Abdic and his group to cooperate, to desist from earlier
cooperation with the Serbian occupiers.=20

Accordingly, no extradition is being considered. All the factors I
mentioned agreed that hostilities between the Muslims should stop, that
the people who fled with Abdic to Croatian territory should be returned to
their homes, and Abdic allowed to deal with his business activities where
he has shown such skill. Later on, after the end of the war, one should
see within the democratic process, at elections, whether he would take
part in political life or not.=20

(foreign reporter)

Does this mean that Abdic's 20 - 30,000 followers currently in Croatia, at
Vojnic, are not welcome to stay in Croatia if they do not want to return?=


We cannot accept these twenty or thirty thousand remaining in Croatia,
because there is no reason for it. This means that they can return to
their, neighbouring areas, and there is no reason why they should stay in
Croatia and become a kind of a seed of discord between Croatia and the
Federation, in the relations between the Croato-Bosniac Federation and
Croatia. This issue should be dealt with in accordance with the interests
of both States and the interests of those people, and it is in the
interest of each of them to return to his home; of course, one should
overcome the fear, prevailing among them, that they would be mistreated
and even in jeopardy. However, both Mr. Izetbegovic and the Federation
Government, and the Croatian Government, have guaranteed the safety of
those people in their joint statement, in their agreement on their retun,
and I think that a solution will be found on that basis.=20

(foreign reporter)

Mr. President, it is being rumoured that Gorazde would be traded-off for
Sarajevo.  The US have denied such a proposal, but now the UN has decided
to pull out of Gorazde. Is there any connection between the US proposal
and the UN pullout, and what is your view in this regard?=20


It is true that the United States have stated that within the scope of
their peace plan and effort they do not want to impose a solution, or
recommend a trade-off involving Gorazde. This is an issue involving both
the Muslim and the Serbian leaderships, they should seek a solution
acceptable to both. However, if one takes into account the overall
historical experience since the past century, and the past five-year talks
since 1990 and especially since 1992, it is difficult to anticipate
whether they will achieve a solution, there will be difficulties in
arriving at an agreement between them. Yet, I think that such an agreement
would be possible with a more determined involvement of the international
factors currently engaged in the process. You are aware that a five plus
three summit is being considered, and that this meeting should probably
result in a solution which would then be imposed on the party failing to
accept it in the interest of overall peace and stability of the future

I think that there are prospects for such a solution, the more so as it is
already being also publicly discussed that NATO forces should be engaged,
instead of the inefficient UNPROFOR, in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to
achieve a final settlement and peace there. Should that be the case, a
reasonable solution which would either be accepted by the parties in
conflict or offered to them on the condition that they must accept it
would certainly serve the purpose.=20


Mr. President, in the past you stated that certain international circles
were still considering the idea of a new federation in this region, and of
a confederation in terms of a third Yugoslavia. Do you think the idea is
still present after Croatia's latest action?=20


I think that those international circles, or individuals, who wanted to
preserve the former Yugoslavia, who also wanted to preserve the results of
the First World War, will not so willingly and easily give up the idea,
and that they will continue to foster something of the kind. This is also
evident from the fact that - after first proposing a Yugoslav, and then a
Balkan and Adriatic confederation - they have even come up with the idea
that it need not be a confederation but a union, a Southeastern European
union, in order to make it more acceptable to Croatia.=20

Obviously, no such confederation or union is acceptable to Croatia any
more, especially after Croatia has demonstrated its capability during the
developments over the past months.=20

However, while saying that this would not be acceptable I also said, and I
am reiterating it today, that we are for the normalization of relations
between Croatia and Serbia, for the normalization of Cropato-Serbian
relations, because it is the precondition not only for the end of all
conflicts in the former Yugoslavia but also for the creation of a stable
international order. But such relations must be based on the
cross-recognition of the sovereignty of States emerged from the former

Let me remind you that almost twenty years ago I wrote about the need, the
necessity to Scandinavize these unfortunate Balkans to which Croatia does
not quite belong, but upon which it borders. We are indeed very interested
in the solution of this issue, we are interested not only in the
liberation of Croatian territories but also in the resolution of the
crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in the establishment of an
international order in a region known throughout history as a powder keg.
And I think that we have acquired enough experience, and that there is
growing awareness, in the Serbian ranks, of the historical necessity to
normalize Croato-Serbian relations.=20

Drazen Curic, Vjesnik

Mr. President, your domestic policy adviser has announced amendments to
the Constitutional Law on National Minorities. Can you confirm that, and
what is going to happen to the districts of Knin and Glina?=20


The amendment of the Law is within the sphere of activity of the Croatian
Parliament.  At any rate, however, the recent changes have by themselves
made the Law inoperative.=20

Accordingly, the provisions of the Law cannot be applied. As to whether
and when this will occur ... this will depend on the activity of the
Parliament as well as on the need to establish a new administration in the
areas under consideration.=20

Obviously, if separate districts were envisioned because of the existence
of a Serbian majority in some municipalities, there is now no need for
that since the said majority does not exist and, accordingly, the other
constitutional and legal provisions applicable to all of Croatia ought to
be applied.=20

Hrvatski Junior

Will Croatia again stress the need, in subsequent negotiations, to know
the fate our our prisoners in Serbia, and those held by the Bosnian Serbs
in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Will pressure be again brought to bear on the
international community?=20


We have been doing that continuously since the very begining of the war
because, as you know, the Croatian people and Croatia have been
particularly affected by the Vukovar tragedy and subsequent developments.
We have given particular consideration to such issues and, of course,
shall continue to do so in order to clarify them completely.=20

Within the Croatian Government we have particularly instructed
Vice-Premier Kostovic to deal with this matter. Certain results have
already been achieved, but there are still outstanding issues and we are
certainly interested in seeing them resolved.=20

Igor Vukic, Novi List, Glas Istre

After everything that has taken place in Croatia, will there be new
elections? How true are the rumours that this will take place as early as
by the New Year?=20


I do not know, you will be informed in due time. Anyway, whether the
elections are held now or next spring, that is not a major time
difference. At any rate, I think the political climate is favourable.
Moreover, there is a need to hold elections as soon as possible
considering the fact that one-fourth of Croatia's territory had been
occupied, i.e., outside Croatia's constitutional and legal system, and is
now free, meaning that representative bodies and local authorities have to
be established there. You will be duly informed when this will take place.=

Olga Ramljak, Slobodna Dalmacija

My question is related to your answer to the previous question. If
elections are held, and if one of the reasons is the liberated part of
Croatia, will there be a preliminary population census since the
demographic ratios in Croatia have changed?=20


Certainly, if there are early elections, one of the main reasons will be
indeed the liberation of the occupied areas, and in this regard the
determination of the actual demographic conditions in these areas would be
of essential interest. However, one is currently considering whether the
census can be taken only in those areas or throughout the country.=20

Natasa Rajakovic

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. This concludes the Press Conference of
the President of the Republic.=20

(end at 06.45 p.m.)

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=BA Jim Jaszewski <jjazz at>                           =
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