WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • US Special Representative to the W. Balkans and DAS Matthew Palmer is in Skopje, N. Macedonia today to meet with foreign minister Nikola Dimitrov. He continues his trip to 
  • If you’re in Washington DC – career member of the Senior Foreign Service Yuri Kim of Guam is scheduled tomorrow to have a full Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing for her nomination as US Ambassador to Albania at 2:30 p.m. on the Hill. See our events section below for further details.
  • There have been rumors swirling around about the United Kingdom cancelling the October 31 UN Security Council meeting between Serbia and Kosovo. The reasoning? Kosovar Ambassador to the US Vlora Citaku is unable to make the meeting. 
  • But Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, who normally represents Serbia in these meetings, says that the meeting will happen, but noted that the UK did send a formal request for a postponement.
  • “Western Balkan leaders will meet on Tuesday in Brussels with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini during an informal dinner, N1 was told on Monday. The dinner will be attended by the three members of Bosnia’s Presidency, Zeljko Komsic, Sefik Dzaferovic and Milorad Dodik, as well as Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, North Macedonian PM Zoran Zaev, Albanian PM Edi Rama and the President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic.” (N1)
  • ***Please note, it should read PM of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev***
  • US Ambassador to Kosovo Philip Kosnett met with leaders of the runner-up in the early October elections, the LDK, on Monday.
  • The working groups between the LDK and Vetvendosje seem to be going well – they have agreed on about 90 percent on economic policy. 
  • The Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) nominate current Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic for the top post and Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic as the deputy president. 
  • Speaking of political parties – there is drama in BiH: The Croatian Democratic Union in BiH says it will back Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic in Croatia’s upcoming presidential elections. Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Radman Grlic refuted Bosniak Presidency Member Sefik Dzaferovic’s claim that Croatia is working from within the EU to keep BiH dysfunctional. Meanwhile, SDA leader Bakir Izetbegovic said his party supported the ECHR’s rulings and that through their decisions and “the solutions for the requests of the Croat representatives have to be found.” And Bosnian Serb Member Milorad Dodik noted that  “(he) would dismiss the High Representative’s and the Office of High Representative (OHR) Bonn Powers.”
  • At least Mechanism Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz is in BiH until Wednesday preparing his biannual reports for the UN. 
  • Minister of Culture of Montenegro Aleksandar Bogdanović recently met earlier with Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan Republic Abulfas Garayev in Baku. The meeting discussed possibilities of strengthening cooperation between the two countries in the field of culture, since the bilateral relations between Montenegro and Azerbaijan are friendly and content.” (Total Montenegro News)
  • The census planned for 2020 has been delayed due to the snap parliamentary elections on April 12, 2020. The Head of the EU Delegation in N. Macedonia Samuel Zbogar noted, ““The census was delayed because of the snap parliamentary elections and that is a logical occurence. The technical preparations are occurring in the best order and I’m hoping of a political will for operationalisation. There are no obstacles for passing the Law at the Parliament.” 
  • Serbia lifted visa requirements for Armenian citizens and is potentially planning on opening a diplomatic mission in Yemen.
  • “Programs for children, young people and parents, that are successfully implemented in Montenegro, could be a model of good practice for countries in Europe and Central Asia, said deputy regional director of UNICEF for Europe and Central Asia Philip Corey, who is on a visit to Montenegro.” (Total Croatia News)
  • CRIME: The Kosovo town of Gjakova filed another 102 criminal complaints against Serbs, accusing them of a multitude of crimes during the war in Kosovo. This brings the total number of complaints to near 1,600.
  • MIGRANTS: N1 Sarajevo released a short video (2:36) titled “The life of migrants.” It’s worth the watch!

IN OTHER NEWS…