Parliament Speaker Ljubisa Georgievski, who is heading Macedonian delegation visiting Italy, opened late Tuesday in Rome the exhibition "Macedonian Bronze" of the Museum of Macedonia and made a speech at launching of the Italian edition of the book "Byzantium Macedonia" within the manifestation Macedonia Honoring St. Cyril.
- Here in the eternal Rome - the cradle of the world's, in particular European civilization and culture - biblical Macedonia is proving to be a dignified part of that European culture and world's cultural heritage, Georgievski said in his address at the book's promotion, attended by Macedonian delegation, representatives of Vatican, Italian diplomatic corps.
Culture Minister Arifikmet Xhemaili referred to the exhibition "Macedonian Bronze", which presents over 300 artefacts originating from VI-VII centuries B.C.
The state delegation also includes deputy FM Zoran Petrov and chairman of the Committee on Relations with Religious Communities, Zvonko Mucunski.
Furthermore, the church delegation is comprised of the the Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia HH Stefan, Metropolitan Debar and Kicevo Timotej and Metropolitan Povardarski Agatangel, as well as Skopje Bishop and Apostolic Exrach Kiro Stojanov.
On Wednesday, the Macedonian delegation is scheduled to visit Saint Paul's Basilica, after which Georgievski will meet his Italian counterpart Fausto Bertinotti.
Minister Xhemaili is expected to meet with Archbishop Monsignor Piacenza.
After the meetings, the chamber choir "St. Kliment Ohridski" from Skopje will perform at the church Santa Maria in Traspontina.
Within the frameworks of the Vatican and Rome visit, Georgievski will be received tomorrow by Pope Benedict XVI. He will hold a meeting with Holy See secretary of state Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone as well.
After the Vatican meetings will come to an end, service of intercession at the tomb of St. Cyril at Rome's St. Kliment church will take place within the manifestation.


U.S. Democrats unveiled a plan for a war funding bill that won't include a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, but will feature benchmarks with consequences, MIA reports.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer promised that Democrats would try to end the war using next year's spending bills.
"We can't pass something without the president's signature and the president can't pass something without our agreement," Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters. "So we can be at a standoff and go back and forth at each other, or we can come to an agreement."
The legislation would provide more than 90 billion dollars to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through September 30, the end of the fiscal year 2007.
Democrats said the benchmarks to be inked in the new bill will be tied to Iraq reconstruction aid and will require U.S. President George W. Bush to present to Congress numerous reports before August.


Electro-tango band "Gotan Project" with its audio and visual spectacle will open Tuesday evening the 6th edition of OFFest. The 10-strong band will present its unique music vision with a fascinating multimedia show.
Heavily influenced by Astor Piazzolla, the Paris-based trio combined the great musical legacy of Argentina with postmodern DJ culture. Gotan Project catapulted to the dance floor of international club scene in 2001. They broke new ground in tango and electronica with their debut, "La Revancha Del Tango" - now having sold in excess of a million copies worldwide, and toured anywhere from Tel Aviv to Tokyo in between.
The resulting material from the recording sessions for their second album "Lunatico" was and is quite possibly their most accomplished work yet.
In addition to Gotan Project, the 3-day festival will also host the famous Brazilian singer, composer and producer Marcos Valle and his 6-strong band, as well as the New York-based ethno-newcomers "Balkan Beat Box" on May 24. The star of this year's festival, Brazilian bossa-nova queen Bebel Gilberto and the Latino band Forro in the Dark will perform on June 8, the closing day of the festival.

























The less Macedonia's name issue is used in Greece's internal politics, the wider the space for finding a solution that reflects the reality in bilateral relations, said Tuesday Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki following yesterday's statement of Greek PM Karamanlis that "Skopje should renounce from its firm stance and show more constructiveness on the name issue".
"We have made several concessions in the past 15 years, showing a large dose of constructiveness. We accepted the latest Nimetz proposal, but unfortunately the Greek government rejected it", stressed Milososki, adding that he expected Greece to provide a constructive reaction.
According to him, in a time when Greece is in a pre-election state, Macedonia's name issue would be raised at a higher populist level.
"However, Macedonia doe not intend to compete in giving comments and replies based on such pre-election calculations", he added.
"Republic of Macedonia has shown its will for good neighborly relations. We are close friends with Greece and we plan to stay friends in the future too. Cooperation is exceptional in the fields of economy, security and culture", emphasized FM Milososki.
Milososki confirmed that the Foreign Ministry has not received any official information on changes in the engagement of UN Special Envoy Matthew Nimetz, who is considered a good mediator in the process of the issue resolution.
Pertaining to Athens' threats on a possible blockade of Macedonia's NATO integration, FM Milososki said that the 2008 Alliance Summit is expected to decide on inviting Macedonia, Albania and Croatia to join.
"NATO adopts decisions on a common ground, which is expected this time too", said Milososki, underlining that Macedonia highly appreciated the support given by USA, Germany, Great Britain, Turkey, Norway, Bulgaria and other countries.