Balkan Developments

Erdogan criticizes NATO for not supporting Turkish operation Olive Branch

Photo: BGNESTurkish President RecepTayyip Erdogan has accused NATO of not supporting the Turkish military operation Olive Branch against the Syrian Kurdish fighters in Northern Syria. He accused the alliance of double standards, stating that Turkey sent troops to conflict zones when requested but did not receive necessary support in return. Operation Olive Branch was launched on 20 January. There are around 1.5 million Kurds and refugees from other parts of Syria living in the region of Afrin where the operation is taking place.

The majority of Greeks believe that the solution to the naming dispute will be closer to Macedonia’s position

Photo: BGNES57.1 percent of Greeks believe that the solution to the naming dispute will be closer to Macedonia’s position and only 26.9 percent expect it to be closer to the position of Greece. 16 percent can’t or won’t answer this question, indicates a survey conducted by Action 24 Greek TV. 57.1 percent of the people who answered that the solution will be closer to the Macedonian demands, cast their vote for the opposition New Democracy during the general election in September 2014, and 39.7 percent – for SYRIZA. The survey shows that if elections were to be held today, New Democracy would have a two-digit lead on the ruling SYRIZA party.

VMRO-DPMNE will support government if it renounces language law

Photo: kurir.mkThe leader of the opposition Macedonian party VMRO-DPMNE Hristijan Mickoski has promised the Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev unconditional support in all reforms, if Zaev’s party (the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia) gives up the language law. In an interview for TV 24, French ambassador Christian Thimonier commented, citing the position of Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, that this law is not a priority for the EU. France’s ambassador also quotes a statement by Ali Ahmeti, leader of the Democratic Union for Integration that the Albanians have waited 150 years for this law and can wait some more.

USA with 4-point plan for Kosovo

Photo: BGNES Novosti newspaper writes that USA has drawn up a special 4-point package plan for Kosovo which will first be presented to the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic in the coming weeks. A draft of the “Kosovo package” could be presented to Belgrade on Tuesday, March 13, by the new US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell. The document is said to envisage giving the Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo more executive powers and consolidating its competences in health care, education and culture. In exchange, Belgrade is expected to allow Pristina to join international organizations.

Opposition in Montenegro nominates presidential candidate

Photo: vijesti.meMost opposition parties in Montenegro nominated economist and MP MladenBojanic as their candidate in the upcoming presidential election scheduled for April 15. The nomination unites the opposition against the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS). The DPS has not announced who their candidate will be yet, but it is expected to nominate the party’s leader Milo Djukanovic, former president and six-time prime minister of Montenegro.

Compiled by:Stoimen Pavlov

English version: Milena Daynova

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