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Balkan developments

Farewell visit of Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Western Balkans

Before her last term expires, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Belgrade on September 13th. Merkel will hold talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Serbia's European integration. A press conference after the meeting is also planned. In Belgrade, she will also meet with civil society representatives from six countries in the Western Balkans. On September 14th in Tirana, the chancellor will discuss the same issues with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama. There, Merkel will hold bilateral talks with the prime ministers of North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Kosovo, the federal chancellery announced.

Former EU Commissioner from Cyprus becomes a Greek minister

Greek citizenship has been urgently granted to a Cypriot to become a minister in Greece. Former Cyprus Commissioner Christos Stylianides is taking over Greece's new Ministry of Civil Protection and Crisis Management, including the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Greek constitution, it is permissible for ministers to have dual citizenship, one of which must be Greek. Following the devastating summer fires, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis changed the government and created the new ministry. Stylianides is a former EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. He presented a management concept based on prevention and cooperation within Europe and national crisis management plans, BGNES reported.

In Brussels, Kosovo and Serbia are negotiating only technically

Positions remain distant, EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue Miroslav Lajcak said on Twitter. Following the talks in Brussels on September 7 and 8, no significant progress has been made in scheduling a summit between Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti. The issue of missing persons is only discussed. The parties have expressed readiness to provide access to state archives on the subject, summed up the head of the Kosovo delegation, Deputy Prime Minister Besnik Bislimi. The director of the Serbian Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Petar Petkovic, said a new round of dialogue would take place in October. Pristina must implement the agreement establishing the Union of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo, Petkovic insisted.

Government crisis in Romania

Six ministers led by Deputy Prime Minister Dan Barna have resigned in Romania, sparking a government crisis. Coalition partners from the Union for the Salvation of Romania-Party of Freedom, Unity and Solidarity (USR-PLUS) have left the ruling big right-wing coalition, unhappy with the allocation of 10 billion euros under a program for local infrastructure projects. The reformist coalition said that this was a distribution of state money to the political clientele at the local level, DiGi24 TV reported. Reformers have accused Liberal Prime Minister Florin Cîțu of being a puppet of President Klaus Iohannis and demanded a new prime minister, citing Ludwig Orban's name. If no compromise is reached between the Liberals, the Reformists and the Hungarian minority party, Romania will go to the polls again in December 2021.

The Turkish president has published a book in 7 languages

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has published a book entitled A Fairer World is Possible. In it, the statesman reflects on issues such as the migration crisis, international terrorism and Islamophobia. The president believes that the UN needs fundamental reforms based on the "peace is more than five" principle, as is the number of permanent members of the Security Council. According to Erdogan, "Turkey's goal is to establish a system in which power belongs to the one who is right, not the other way around - the one who is strong is right." It is impossible to solve modern problems through institutions created in accordance with the requirements of the past, it is obvious that these institutions create new problems, writes the Turkish leader. All proceeds from the book, translated into English, Arabic, German, French, Russian and Spanish, will be donated to the Ministry of Emergencies Management, ITAR-TASS reported.

Compiled by Ivo Ivanov

English version Rositsa Petkova


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