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Macedonia: Economics Tops Balkan Summit Agenda

Skopje, Macedonia, 22 February 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Top officials from several Balkan countries will begin a two-day summit today in Macedonia's capital Skopje. Economic development and cooperation are at the top of the formal agenda. But the meeting is likely to be overshadowed by recent violence in southern Serbia and Kosovo. Tensions are high amid fighting between ethnic Albanian rebels and Serbian security forces in the Presevo Valley region, and after a bus bombing last week that killed at least 10 Serbs in Kosovo.

Heads of state or government from Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Yugoslavia are expected to attend along with a representative from Croatia. The summit is due to begin today with bilateral talks between some delegations and a meeting of economy ministers. Heads of state and government are due to meet tomorrow.