By Stephanos Mytilineos The Greek Observer
A serious threat for Europe’s security comes from the promotion of the “Albanian platform” that incites Islamic extremism in the Western Balkans
It seems that undermining the negotiations between Greece and FYROM for the pending issue of the constitutional name is something that the Albanian born vice-president of the FYROM government, Mr. Bujar Osmani is constantly attempting to do.
During his meeting with the German Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Michael Roth, the 37-year-old Osmani asked for the direct intervention of the German government into the issue of his country’s name.
The Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nikos Kotzias has made quite clear that Athens will not allow any third party intervention in the bilateral negotiations between the two countries and this is a position that has been acknowledged by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of FYROM, Mr. Nikola Dimitrov during his latest visit to Athens, in mid-June.
Greece, speaking on behalf of the western alliance, has warned, in rather harsh terms, the “leading powers” in the Western Balkans that it will neither allow or permit any changes in the borderlines in the region, a statement that had great impact in defusing the political crisis in Skopje and in the formation of a national government.
Albanian nationalist circles, continue to pursue the idea of a “greater Albania” and keep asking for the dismemberment of Skopje. Albanians are the largest minority in the multi-ethnic state comprising 25% of the total population.
The nationalist rhetoric is further supported by the Albanian Prime Minister, Mr. Edi Rama. During his interview in Politico, at the end of April, he had argued in favor of the annexation of Kosovo to Albania, while, at the same time, making statements to the effect of destabilizing Europe.
The statements made by Mr. Rama were widely condemned in the West, while Mr. Kotzias in his interview in Real News (Athens newspaper), on Sunday 7th May clearly stated that:
“He who plays with fire, in the end – is the one that gets burned up – let this be known to everyone. We are not going or willing to accept or discuss an issue of border lines from any party. We, along with our European counterparts condemn any party that brings forward and supports such aspirations”.
To all those who “dream about pseudo-realms”, he argued that “borderlines in Europe have been decided upon and are firm and those who seek to change them will be faced with grievous and serious consequences”, arguing that “both us and the EU will not permit any changes to the existing borders”.
The parties of the Albanian minority have made up, what is now widely known as the “Albanian platform”, claiming the recognition and arguing in favor of the Albanian populous as an equal political element within the Slavic majority of FYROM.
The government of Mr. Zoran Zaev, a coalition between the social-democratic SDSM and the Albanian minority is committed to satisfying some of the minority’s political demands like the acceptance and official use of the Albanian language as an official – state – language.
The nationalist opposition, headed by VMRO-DPMNE has accused Zaev that on the one side is promoting the “Bulgarisation” of the Slavs residing in FYROM – the Slavs in FYROM speak mostly Bulgarian- and that on the other side, he serves and looks after the Albanian plans for creating a confederation in FYROM, a move that is seen and considered as the first move for the dismemberment of the country.
The plans made by Albanian nationalist circles, which according to sources are being made in cooperation with the wide-ranging plans of the Islamist circles in Ankara for pushing forward and further supporting the Μuslim Βrotherhood agenda in the Western Balkans, make up and comprise a direct and immediate threat to the security and stability of the West.
Hundreds of jihadists from Albania, Kosovo and Skopje, all of them being Albanian Muslims, have joined the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and many of them have returned to their native countries making up of sleeper cells.
Further enhancing and igniting Albanian nationalism would allow the Jihadists to act and force uncontrollable situations in a region known by history as Europe’s powder keg.
The Greek government having a clear sense of history and responsibility and acting as a guarantor of peace and security in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean region, is adamantly opposed to any kind of nationalist rhetoric which will effectively unleash a jihadist mayhem in the soft underbelly of Europe and is adamantly supporting the territorial integrity of Skopje along with its overall European perspective, like their NATO membership, under the premise that a mutually agreed upon solution is found regarding the name of FYROM that will not keep at bay, irredentisms at the expense of Greece and will not appropriate Greek history, culture and traditions.
For this reason, Athens has made quite clear that it will not accept any third-party interventions in the negotiations with Skopje, fearing that foreign and anti-western sentiments or even short-sighted objectives of powers that have no real knowledge of the sensitive geopolitical issues in the Balkans and who act – not always – in the best interest of European security and stability, might undermine the negotiations and lead them at an impasse.
The Greek government’s sense of responsibility in this matter is so great that it has not taken up the issue of the Greek minority in FYROM to international fora, even though this is a widely known and recognized issue, putting forward the common benefit of the free, Western world.
The issue of the name of Skopje is a bilateral issue and has been taken up by the United Nations (UN) and the Greek government is willing to move along these set negotiating lines.
Still, the Albanian vice-president of FYROM, by asking for the intervention of the German government, seeks to lead the negotiations to a dead end before they even begin.
Such a development does not benefit either the people of FYROM or Western interests.
This benefits only, by design, the plans of the “Albanian platform” and of the dangerous Albanian irredentism, and the schemes of a “Greater Albania” which coincides with the sleeper cells of jihadists in the wider Balkan Peninsula and with the plans of the Muslim Brotherhood for a further Islamisation of the Western Balkans.
The only way to keep things in check and under control in the Western Balkans is to further isolate Albanian nationalism and irredentism and to further support Greek foreign policy, so as to make Skopje come to reason and become a proper European state, free of nationalist and irredentist aspirations, so as to become an integral part of the West, along with the support and aid of Greece to that effect.
Greece, once again in its long history, is the frontier and the bastion of Western civilization against fanaticism and intolerance, a secure bastion in defending civilization and the Western way of life.
Any weakening of Greece, as “pressures” for disgraceful compromises in the name of FYROM, as is taught by history (1453), will result in the spread and expansion of extremism to the heart of Europe.
Greece, as a country that binds and connects countries and regions and as a crossroads of civilizations, has the cultural and historical knowledge to manage the delicate balances that are required in order to carry out the plans made by the West with relative safety and safely for the entire western world, and Nikos Kotzias with his foreign policy has so far proved to be a strong and responsible player to whom the West can rely for its security.
Only a strong and independent Greece can guarantee the peace and stability for all Western societies because Greece is in itself the womb of Western civilization./IBNA
Stephanos Mytilineos is a journalist and analyst.