Balkan developments

The President of North Macedonia wants country’s unity restored
Photo: BGNES
In an address to the public on the occasion of 8 September – Independence Day of the Republic of North Macedonia - President Stevo Pendarovski expressed the wish that the country restore its unity from the beginning of its independence.

“In 1991 we chose independence, in 2001 inter-ethnic coexistence. Today we are at the gates of European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. We need to restore the unity we had at the beginning of independence, and for lasting reconciliation we need efficient justice and state institutions with integrity,” President Stevo Pendarovski said.

Athens pursues new refugee policy

Photo: BGNES

Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated at a press conference in Thessaloniki that the refugee policy of the current Greek government is different from that of the previous cabinet. Kyriakos Mitsotakis pointed out that the agreement between EU and Turkey must be applied and a return of migrants undertaken. The refugee problem is European, not bilateral, and Turkish President Recep Erdogan must understand that he cannot threaten Greece and Europe by trying to provide more money for managing the refugee issue. Athens’ reasoning with regard to refugee policy is that under the agreement with the EU Turkey has received 6 billion euro from Europe and must honour the commitments it has assumed.

If Kosovo joins Interpol Serbia’s foreign minister will resign

Photo: BGNESAt the Interpol session in October Kosovo will probably not be admitted to this international organization, said Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic and added that if this does happen he will tender his resignation. Minister Dacic stated that 15 countries have already withdrawn their recognition of the independence of Kosovo and that more are expected to follow suit soon. Kosovo declared independence in 2008 and, at this time, is recognized by most of the EU member countries and the US. Ivica Dacic made the prediction that out of the 116 countries which have recognized Kosovo, less than 96 will remain.

Bulgaria hands terror suspect over to Turkey

On 7 September Sofia handed over to Turkey a terror suspect who was attempting to cross over from Turkey into Bulgaria illegally, the Turkish Hürriyet writes. An international travel ban has been imposed on the individual detained for propaganda of PKK which has been declared a terrorist organization by Turkey, USA and the EU, and for committing various crimes. The PKK is thought to be responsible for the death of almost 40,000 in Turkey, including women and children.

Gay parade in Sarajevo calls for an end to hate

Photo: BGNES
Almost 2,000 people took part in Sunday’s gay pride in Sarajevo calling for an end to the hatred against the LGBT community in Bosnia. More than 1,000 police, including anti-riot units were sent to block streets along the route of the parade in the city’s centre. The ambassadors of several western countries, among them Great Britain, France, Italy and USA, joined the parade.

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