Breaking News From The Balkans, Albanian Official Language And More

September 27, 2017, Written by

Border Issues Still Plague Region



Image by Boraczek

Macedonia

In the Macedonian parliament, there has been a 6-day debate on the issue of official use of the Albanian language, with no fruitful outcome. The Albanian speaker Taulant Xhaferi postponed the discussions on this new law after the local elections, which will take place on October 15, maintaining they need to adapt it in a regular procedure, through constructive debate, and the proposals should be in line with the constitution. He addressed the Ohrid Treaty regarding the issue, stating that all Macedonians need a unified and multi-cultural country.

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The newly elected government in Macedonia, a coalition of SDSM and two Albanian parties, DUI and AA, has in focus four main objectives from its program, among which is also the new law on the official use of Albanian language in Macedonia. Other important objectives are: efforts to put an end to disagreements with Greece and fostering friendship with all neighbouring countries, to reach the final goal of joining NATO and EU.

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The opposition led by former prime minister Gruevski believes the current government will lose the local elections, referring to the last one, in which he won 56 out of 81 municipalities. He regards the issue on the Albanian language debate as just political pressure on the part of the Albanian politicians, not bringing any real profit. The Macedonian opposition hopes the October voting outcome will bring early political elections for the country.

Analysts are sure that local elections will measure the government’s course, considering them as sort of referendum for the country.




Montenegro

Kosovo Foreign Minister Behxhet Pacolli paid an official visit to Montenegro, where he met with his homologue Darmanivic.

They discussed further cooperation between the two countries, but also touched on the touchy issue of demarcation.

Previously, Kosovo Prime Minister Haradinaj, upon taking seat, asked to review the controversial border deal of 2015, in which 800 hectares of land were left out of Kosovo territory, considering it as completely wrong.

However, according to Montenegrin Foreign Minister Darmanovic, the issue of demarcation is concluded. He stated that Kosovo has to make decisions regarding the ratification of border agreement. The border between two countries has existed since the time of former Yugoslavia. Two commissions were set up previously to certify the borders, helped also by international experts.

For Kosovo, it is a requirement demanded by the EU to resolve all disputes on the resolution of borders, as a pre-condition for its visa liberalization.

Serbia

David McAllister, reporter of European Parliament for Serbia, again demanded of the Serbian government to establish laws and leave more freedom to the media. He maintained that improving relationships with Kosovo is essential for Serbia to open negotiations with EU. He welcomes Vucic declarations for a constructive dialogue between the two countries, but stresses that Serbia needs a constructive approach, while Kosovo should gain support from EU towards its integration in international organizations.

In the meantime, it seems Serbia is making efforts to reconcile with Croatia. A visit of Serbian President Vucic to Zagreb is foreseen in November. Recently, Vucic has considered Croatia as an ally, leaving hostilities behind.