Balkan Developments

Cyprus accuses Turkey of violating international law

Photo: BGNESThe President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades stated that Turkey has violated international law by blocking a gas drill ship near its coast, and warned that Nicosia would take “the necessary steps”. The controversy involves a ship, contracted by the Italian oil company Eni to explore for natural gas inside Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone. Turkey objects to such exploration, saying that it runs counter to the rights of the Turkish Cypriots to the natural resources around the island, and in this specific instance, it dispatched warships to block any further exploration. According to Ankara, some sections of Cyprus’ coastal area – the exclusive economic zone – fall under the jurisdiction of Turkey or of the Greek Cypriots.

Turkish army neutralizes 1,266 terrorists in Northern Syria

Photo: hurriyetdailynews.comThe General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces has announced that 1,266 terrorists have been neutralized in the region of Afrin in Northern Syria since the launch of Operation Olive Branch. 86 fighters were killed this past Sunday alone - from the People’s Protection Units, The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (the PKK), the Democratic Union Party and the so-called Islamic State. CNN Turk reports that the Turkish army lost 11 lives in yesterday’s fighting.

Ankara to take part in the meeting of EU ministers of tourism in Sofia

Photo:’s Minister of Culture and Tourism Numan Kurtulmus will take part in the high-level meeting of the EU Ministers of Tourism in Sofia on 13 February. In the Bulgarian capital, Minister Kurtulmus will be accompanied by representatives of leading Turkish companies. The ministerial meeting will focus on the Chinese market, security in tourism, the new challenges facing the sector in 2018 and the link between tourism and economic growth.

64 percent of Macedonians in favour of membership of EU, 66 percent – of NATO

Photo:  euobserver.comThe overwhelming majority of the citizens of Macedonia support the country’s membership of NATO and of the EU, indicates a survey by the Institute for Political Studies in Skopje. 64.2 percent of Macedonians support the country’s accession to the EU, and 66 percent – to NATO. 45.4 percent of the respondents say they believe that relations with Greece will improve in the near future, and only 15.5 percent take the opposite view.

Analyst says talks were held in Pristina on partition of Kosovo

Photo: vecer.mkAlbanian observer Berat Buzhala says, as quoted by Skopje’s Vecer online newspaper, that Albania’s PM Edi Rama, the President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci and the chairman of the Macedonian Democratic Union for Integration Ali Ahmeti discussed the possible partition of Kosovo, in connection with an Austrian proposal for Northern Kosovo to be granted an autonomy. According to the Albanian Kosovo-based Gazeta Express, Athens is also involved in the partition of Kosovo, as the proposal was supported by Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias. According to Gazeta Express, Kosovo’s PM Ramush Haradinaj firmly opposes the idea of partition.

Compiled by Stoimen Pavlov

English version: Milena Daynova

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