Albin Kurti: Serbia to stop looking at Kosovo through military binoculars
The leader of the Self-Determination Movement, Albin Kurti, spoke in an interview with “The Guardian” about the EU's recent attitude towards the Balkans. The leftist leader set to become Kosovo’s surprise new prime minister has condemned the EU’s decision to halt further Balkans enlargement, saying it showed western leaders had forgotten the lessons of two world wars and instead were in retreat in the face of fascism and populism. Albin Kurti said the stance could damage the chances of Kovoso reaching a deal with Serbia , which has refused to recognise it as independent since the end of the 1998-99 war, as Belgrade has less...
Op-Ed/ White House is determined to normalize relations between Kosovo and Serbia
By Janusz Bugajski Kosovo has reached an important crossroad in its development as an independent state. A major opposition party surprisingly won the general elections on October 6 and pledged to conduct major house cleaning to reform the country’s institutions and accelerate the process of EU accession. Meanwhile, the appointment of a new U.S. envoy to restart talks between Kosovo and Serbia provides fresh impetus for a final resolution to one of the most intractable regional problems. During Kosova’s election campaign, crime and corruption, in addition to health care and education, topped the agenda. But the incoming government must not only commit itself verbally to...
Staikouras meets with new IMF chief
Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras held his first meeting with the new Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, on Sunday. The Finance Minister and new IMF chief met during the IMF – World Bank Summit, with their discussion focusing on the prospects of the Greek economy and efforts by the New Democracy government to balance expenditure with a view to achieving social protection and integration. The meeting comes on the back of a statement last week by the Director of the European Department at the IMF, Poul Thomsen, who argued that new measures to reform tax policy and social security are...
Erdogan: We will have a 44km-long area in Syria under our control
Just a few hours before his meeting with Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that Turkey had already "cleared an area of ​​1500 square kilometers from terrorism" and stressed that the country did not make a deal "with a terrorist organization but with the US". The Turkish president, speaking to Rize, refrained from disclosing any details regarding his meeting with his Russian counterpart in Sochi scheduled for Tuesday. However, this meeting is rather important, as Ankara has agreed with Washington on a 120-kilometer-long safe zone, while it will discuss with Russia about the remaining 320 kilometers controlled by Assad's forces with Russian help. Turkey seeks...
Early elections on April 12, 2020 in North Macedonia
Following the completion of the leadership meeting at Villa Vodno, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev stated that the political leaders agreed to hold early elections on April 12, 2020, while the establishment of a technical government under the Przino Agreement will materialize on January 3, 2020. The leaders of the six political parties have agreed that the country's strategic goal must first be met, namely the completion of formal NATO accession: "Our proposal was for December 22 or 23. There were reactions from those present, especially from the opposition. Then we looked at the other options and found that before Easter holidays, April 12 is the...
North Macedonia: Early parliamentary elections to be held on April 12, 2020
North Macedonia will hold early parliamentary elections on April 12, 2020, ahead of the country’s April 19 Orthodox Easter and April 24 Ramadan holidays, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said on Sunday. According to PM Zaev, the interim government will be formed on January 3. The leaders’ meeting at the presidential Villa Vodno was attended by SDSM president Zoran Zaev, VMRO-DPMNE president Hristijan Mickoski, DUI president Ali Ahmeti, Alliance for the Albanians president Zijadin Sela, Alternativa president Afrim Gashi, Besa president Bilal Kasami, and DPA leader Menduh Thaçi.
North Macedonia will be a member of the EU and NATO
Erol Rizaov We are very late. Very, very late, mostly to our fault, but we will reach our goal. Macedonia will be a member of both the EU and NATO. The future is no longer our destiny, it is firmly determined, whether or not some member of the European family, for whatever reason, delays Macedonia's integration and Europeanization. Those processes have long begun, and now the last most difficult stage, already called ‘Tour de France”, is taking place. One has to endure and work without weeping and sobbing, without servility, pathetic emotions and disappointment. This time, we can be rightfully angry at both France and...
North Macedonia: Zoran Zaev to propose early parliamentary elections as soon as possible
Prime Minister Zoran Zaev will propose early parliamentary elections to be held in North Macedonia as soon as possible, after EU leaders failed to approve the start of accession negotiations. The Prime Minister of North Macedonia, in a speech a few moments ago, said that after the "disappointing", as he described it, decision of the EU, the citizens of the country must choose which path the country should take. Zaev said that at an extraordinary meeting of country's political leaders tomorrow afternoon in Skopje, he would propose early parliamentary elections as soon as possible. The prime minister of North Macedonia said that the country has...
State Department: We are disappointed with the European Council’s decision on enlargement
The United States supports North Macedonia and Albania’s commitment to Transatlantic integration and aspirations to join the European Union.  We are disappointed the European Council did not recognize each country’s very strong reform efforts by agreeing to open accession negotiations at this time.  A positive decision would have reaffirmed the credibility of their EU path and firmly pushed back against malign external actors, who seek to undermine Western values and the Euro-Atlantic community. We recognize that the European Council did not say “no” to either Albania or North Macedonia, nor did the EU establish new conditions for the opening of accession negotiations.  We hope that...
No date for North Macedonia and Albania, reactions from Skopje
North Macedonia and Albania did not receive the approval of all member states to start membership negotiations. Heads of EU institutions saw this conclusion as a historic mistake but the deadlock could not be overcome, largely because of France's opposition. The issue will return to the EU agenda at the Zagreb Summit dedicated to the Western Balkans in May next year. The decision came on the second and final day of the EU leaders' summit. The president of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski said after the ruling that now is not the time for frustration, apathy or calculations to achieve small political gains, but now is...