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Balkan Developments

Zaev and Pendarovski do not feel responsible for Bulgaria’s veto on North Macedonia’s EU accession talks

Stevo Pendarevski

North Macedonia’s President Stevo Pendarovski and this country’s Premier Zoran Zaev do not feel responsible for Bulgaria’s veto on North Macedonia’s EU accession talks, mk.tv21.tv announced. According to President Stevo Pendarovski, the blockade is based on Sofia’s demands outside the Good Neighbood Agreement. “Skopje and Sofia continue with the friendly rhetoric- a rhetoric of dialogue, not a rhetoric of creating conflicts”, Premier Zoran Zaev added.

Athens calls on Skopje and Tirana to fulfill agreements with Greece

Miltiadis Varvitsiotis

The Republic of North Macedonia needs to fully implement the Prespa Agreement, Greece’s Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said after the meeting of the EU General Affairs Council which took place via video conference. Regarding EU enlargement topics, Minister Varvitsiotis called on North Macedonia and Albania to move ahead towards meeting all criteria agreed in March, the announcement of the Greek Foreign Ministry reads.  Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis referred in particular to the need for Albania to move ahead with the necessary reforms before the first intergovernmental conference, as well as to the need for North Macedonia to fully implement the Prespa Agreement, BGNES reports.

Turkey’s Central Bank sharply increases benchmark interest rate

Turkey’s Central Bank sharply increased its benchmark interest rate from 10.25% to 15% pledging to combat inflation shortly after the bank was headed by Naci Agbal, former Minister of Finance in the first cabinet of Recep Erdogan. In September, Turkey raised its benchmark interest rate from 8.25% to 10.25% and kept it unchanged in October. The new measure aims to support the Turkish Lira which depreciated by nearly one-third since the beginning of 2020. As a result, the Turkish Lira soared 2.5% against the US Dollar. Earlier, one USD was traded for 8 Turkish Lira.

EP Rapporteur for Serbia calls for opening of new EU negotiation chapters

Vladimir Bilcik

The European Parliament’s Rapporteur for Serbia Vladimir Bilcik calls in a draft report for the opening of new negotiation chapters with Belgrade. The report, which is expected to be presented in December, underlines that Serbia made progress in several sectors regarding rule of law, fundamental rights and normalization of relations with Kosovo. The document explicitly states that negotiations with Pristina will determine the pace of accession talks, RTS announces. The document quotes the assessment of the international observers that the “Parliamentary elections held in Serbia on June 21, 2020, were efficiently managed”. It also notes that the EP is concerned over the “ruling party’s dominance during Serbia’s last elections in June” and regrets the decision of the opposition to boycott the elections.

Northern Cyprus seeks recognition from Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Libya

Fraternal states will recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Türkiye newspaper wrote. The newspaper claims that the first step towards the recognition of the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cypriot will come from Azerbaijan. The new leader of the Cypriot Turks Ersin Tatar also intends to make efforts to establish official relations with Pakistan, Libya and Gambia by visiting these countries, the newspaper further writes.

Written by: Ivo Ivanov

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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