Balkan Developments

Federica Mogherini: EU leaders made historical mistake when they failed to agree on launching membership talks with Skopje and Tirana.

Photo: EPA/BGNESThe EU leaders made a historical mistake when they failed to agree to start membership talks with Albania and North Macedonia, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini commented. Federica Mogherini said in her blog that she regretted that European leaders could not find an agreement, despite the huge progress achieved by both countries and the European Commission’s advice. Mogherini voiced hopes that this mistake will be amended as soon as possible.

Moscow ready to help Serbia maintain its sovereignty and territorial integrity: Russia’s Premier Dmitry Medvedev

Photo: EPA/BGNESMoscow supports Serbia and is ready to provide the necessary assistance to this country to maintain its sovereignty and territorial integrity, Russia’s Premier Dmitry Medvedev said in a speech to the MPs in the Serbian National Assembly. Moscow is interested in an exclusively peaceful solution to the existing problems on the basis of resolution 1244 of the United Nations Security Council, Premier Dmitry Medvedev further said. Moscow has always appreciated the fact that Belgrade took a very balanced position in the period when the EU and the USA were imposing sanctions against Russia, Premier Medvedev added.

Leaders of biggest political parties in North Macedonia agree to schedule early general elections for April next year

Photo: DW / P. StojanovskiOn January 3, 2020, an interim cabinet will be appointed in North Macedonia whose task will be to organize early Parliamentary elections. At a meeting with this country’s President Stevo Pendarovski, the leaders of the biggest political parties in North Macedonia agreed to schedule early general elections for April 12 next year.

Ankara expects USA to facilitate withdrawal of YPG forces from Northern Syria: Recep Erdogan

Photo: EPA/BGNESAnkara is expecting the USA to facilitate the withdrawal of YPG forces from Northern Syria, Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan said. Otherwise, the operation may resume, President Erdogan warned. 765 YPG terrorists were neutralized as part of the country’s counter terrorism-campaign in Northern Syria, President Erdogan further said. On October 17, Turkey agreed to pause its Operation Peace Spring for 120 hours to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK forces. If the YPG forces fail to withdraw, Turkey would resume its military offensive, President Erdogan said.

Greek authorities paced on high alert for escaped jihadists from prisons in Northeastern Syria

Photo: EPA/BGNESWith Turkey’s invasion in Northeastern Syria leading to the escape of jihadists of Islamic State from the prisons guarded by Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, Greek security officials were placed on high alert over concerns that they may head towards Europe through Greece’s territory. In August, the US Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey announced that 7,000 Islamic State fighters were detained in Northeastern Syria in prisons guarded by SDF. Nearly 1,000 of them are European citizens who travelled to Syria in previous years to take part in the “holy war” of the so-called caliphate set up by the Islamic State.

Compiled by: Stoimen Pavlov

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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