All you need to know about the Balkans
In English
The long journey and the background of a successful visit to the White House
To say the least it is a great honour and a success for a Prime Minister of an admittedly small country like Greece to meet officially with both the outgoing and the new president of the USA within less than a yearPeople say that fortune favours the brave but in Alexis Tsipras case it is not a matter of fortune or the good timing Instead it is all about his capability to make these visits come trueWhen a leader follows a multidimensional and active foreign policy nothing is being left to chance And the Greek government practiced exactly such a policySuppose Obamas visit to Greece was his initiative in order to conclude his second term in office with a move of semantic importance Tsipras visit to the White House was a result of the realisation of the Greek premie...
Greek FM Nikos Kotzias travels to Ankara to turn controversy into cooperation
Nikos Kotzias the Greek Foreign Affairs minister will be on an official visit to Ankara Turkeyafter accepting a formal invite by his Turkish counterpart MevlutCavusoglu while they were in New York at the UN National AssemblyAlthough the two officials have met in several occasions such as on the sidelines of EU Councils at Crans Montana for the discussions on the Cyprus issue and during the official visit of the Turkish PM BinaliYildirim on 19 June 2017 their last formal meeting took place at the end of August 2016IBNA sources speak of multiple invitations by Kotzias to Cavusoglu that never became actual visits The exact same thing had happened with the Supreme Council of Cooperation between the two countries which was supposed to have taken place in Thessaloniki but ...
Albanian diplomacy insists: The new law on minorities guarantees their rights
The new law on the protection of national minorities in Albania guarantees the rights of the minorities individually and as a group wherever they live based on the criteria and the spirit of the Framework Agreement on National Minorities of the European CouncilThis was the latest stance of the Albanian Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in relation to the much debates issue of national minorities which was approved by the Albanian Parliament a few days ago which is also accompanied by debates and different reactionsThe Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania would like to express once again its engagement to continue and handle pending issues that exist between our two countries in the European spirit and international law despite the aggra...
Special Report/Is Himara being used to divert attention from “Tahiri Scandal”?
By Edison KuraniIndependent Balkan News Agency amp Albanian Free PressIn Albania the National Inspectorate for the Protection of the Territory IKMT has issued an eviction notice for the residents of Himara at the beginning of the week asking them to vacate their homes in five days because the authorities will demolish constructions which are affected by the urban requalification projectIn the official letter sent to the 19 families occupying these buildings and businesses IKMT says that these buildings fall in the territories where urban interventions will take place and that in five days time the demolition of will startResidents are against the projectMeanwhile IKMTs letter dates on 18 October a day the so called Tahiri Scandal broke out in Albania...
Representatives of Greece-Cyprus-Egypt hold meeting for the establishment of a Co-operative Innovation Network - CEG COIN
With success was concluded the 3rd meeting of the members of the Steering Committee which has undertaken the implementation of the Memorandum of Cooperation between Greece Egypt and Cyprus on the establishment of the CEG COIN Cyprus Egypt Greece Collaborative Innovation Network accelerating procedures for starting up the NetworkThe twoday works took place on 18 and 19 October 2017 at the Ministry of Digital Policy Telecommunications and Information in Greece in Athens The representatives of the three countries discussed for the purpose of the network set up how it operates and its areas of interventionThe Memorandum of Understanding signed last July concerns the coordination between the Ministry of Digital Policy Telecommunications and Information of Greece the...
The campaign with Serb symbols in the north of Mitrovica
The central square in Northern Mitrovica is filled with Serb flags and posters of the leaders of the Serb List a few days ahead of the 22 October local government electionsThis is the square where the Serb List will conclude its campaign today while Belgrade has offered its strong supportMinister for Kosovo in the Serb government Aleksandar Vulin has called on the Serbs of Kosovo to turn out in the elections and vote the Serb ListI call on Serbs to participate in the polls and vote the Serb List They should not allow anybody to decide on their behalf They live in Kosovo and Metohia and they know that the Serb List has connections with the Serb government This party is an assurance that the government will continue to issue funds for them and that it will decide to be a...
Greek government defends deal with US to upgrade warplanes
The government sought on Thursday to defend a deal struck with US to upgrade Greeces fleet of F16 fighter planes which has come under fire by parts of the mainstream media and opposition partiesSpeaking at an event at the Brookings Institution Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras explained that the actual price to be paid by Athens for the upgrade will not exceed 11 billion euros and that the agreement is significant for the countrys defenseTo stress the importance of the agreement Tsipras characteristically said that our neighbors arent Luxembourg or Belgium hinting at the countrys difficult relations with TurkeyThe size of the defense deal sparked heavy criticism in Greece by the coalition governments political opposition and raised eyebrows among the countrys inter...
IBNA Op-Ed/At last, nationalism is out of fashion!
By Agron BibaAhead of last winters elections opposition leader Zoran Zaev has bravely and determinately declared that I want Albanians to love their mother Macedonia like I do They will love it if the state treats them equal to Macedonians This means that we want unity and no divisions If the state offers them a chance to love the country like a motherland then there is no reason for them not to love it and not fight for it the same way I doSomeone responded to this You will lose votes by saying this ahead of the electionsBut Zaev believed that Albanians would recognize his sincerity in his statements But he was declared traitor and he sustained a wound in his frontFor Bismarck and his contemporaries that wound or scar would be a Schimsse or a scar of ho...
Greek Foreign Ministry: Demolitions in Himara aim at diverting attention from the drug scandal
The Greek Foreign Ministry reacted on Thursday about the sudden decision of Albanian authorities to go ahead with the demolition of the homes of the Greek Ethnic Minority in HimaraThe apparent link between organized crime and the political scene in Albania as indicated by the recent arrest of the head of a drug trafficking ring who happens to be a relative of someone who until recently was a top Minister in the Rama government raises concerns the ministry saysEqually concerning is the fact that the Albanian government continues to promote measures for the demolition of property belonging to members of the Greek National Minority within the framework of its policy to uproot the historical presence of Hellenism in the region of Himara Yesterdays decision of the Albanian ...
Debate on the traffic of drugs in Albania, the lifting of immunity for former Interior Minister is demanded
A debate has been recently prompted in the Albanian politics and public opinion as the name of the former minister of Interior Saimir Tahiri who is now an MP has been mentioned in the recorded conversations of several people involved in the traffic of narcotics made by Italian authoritiesUnder these circumstances Prosecution for Serious Crimes has officially requested Parliament of Albania today to lift the immunity of the Socialist Party MP Saimir TahiriMeanwhile as far as this request is concerned the leader of the Democratic Party Lulzim Basha has publicly appealed that Edi Rama who according to him is politically dead must immediately leave this postI call on Parliament to act immediately Every hour every minute of delay will contribute for the destruction...