Balkan Developments

Ankara criticizes statement by US Secretary of State


Special adviser to Turkish President and presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin has criticized a statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to which the true goal of Turkey in Syria was the Kurds. The goal of Ankara in Syria is not the Kurds, but protection from the terrorists of the Islamic State, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the Self-Defense Forces, and the Democratic Union Party, Kalin said. Earlier, US Secretary of State John Bolton warned that the United States would not withdraw its forces from Syria until Turkey had secured Kurdish security.

Athens believes Prespa Agreement will be backed by parliament

Photo: BGNES

Greek government spokesperson Dimitris Tzanakopoulos has told the ANA-MPA agency that the Prespa Agreement for the name of Macedonia is in service of the interests of Greece and the region as a whole. For this reason, the spokesman is confident that despite differences with government policy, progressive political forces in Greece "would not leave this historic opportunity untapped."

Montenegrin politicians say anti-Serbian coalition existed in the Balkans

Andrija Mandic (left) and Milan Knežević

The Makfax agency has reported, as quoted by the FOCUS News Agency, that Montenegrin leader of the New Serb Democracy, Andrija Mandic and leader of the Democratic People's Party, Milan Knežević, have offered Serbian President Alexander Vucic and the Bosnian Serb politician and member of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik, that borders between Montenegro, Serbia and Republika Srpska should be opened. In a joint statement, the two politicians have warned that a dangerous trend for forming an anti-Serb coalition existed in the region, as it included Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Macedonia and Kosovo.

Protests against President Vucic continue in Belgrade

Photo: BGNES

Once again in the past weekend, tens of thousands of Serbs protested in Belgrade against President Alexander Vucic over his statement that he would not meet any of the demands of the opposition, “even if five million people hit the streets to protest.” Protesters consider the ruling Progressive Party authoritarian and corrupt. However, public opinion polls show that the government has electoral support of 53.3%. With a majority of 160 seats in parliament, they have a significant lead over other parties.

Macedonia in grip of cold; man freezes to death in Albania

Tanushevtsi  /  Photo:

In Macedonia, temperatures fell to minus 21 degrees and snow cover in the western part of the country has reached 65 cm. Over a thousand people have been stranded in the villages of Brest, Malino and Tanushevtsi. Meanwhile, MIA reported that in southeast Albania, a 58-year-old man froze to death while riding a bicycle. Similarly to Macedonia, the whole of Albania has been in the grip of freezing cold in the past days and some settlements in mountainous regions are now isolated because of the snow.

Compiled by: Stoimen Pavlov

English: Alexander Markov

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