WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY
  • We would like to wish everyone in the United States and overseas a HAPPY THANKSGIVING, especially our servicemen and women, and diplomats abroad.
  • The chairman of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency, Zeljko Komsic, and James Anderson, who is performing the duties of deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, met today at the Pentagon as part of Komsic’s first official visit to the U.S. as head of state since his election last year. Since Bosnia-Herzegovina achieved independence in 1992, the U.S., allies and partners have strengthened their ties with the nation to ensure mutual security and peace in the region, a defense official said.” (US Department of Defense)
  • Pentagon Spokeswoman Carla Gleason told RFE/RL, “Anderson and President Komsic discussed areas of mutual concern, including U.S. support for Bosnia-Herzegovina defense reform and security cooperation. There were no planned deliverables, it was mainly relationship building.”
  • At a Defense conference in Zagreb on Wednesday, Defense Minister Damir Krsticevic announced the US Armed Forces is going to donate sixty Bradley Fighting Vehicles to Croatia. He noted, “These vehicles will be donated by the American government. This is a continuation and a confirmation of our partnership with the government of the United States. Afterwards, a further investment of 25 million US dollars into those vehicles will be made by the United States for their complete modernization.”
  • Croatian MEP Tonino Picula was appointed European Parliament Rapporteur for Recommendations on the Western Balkans.
  • Prime Minister of N. Macedonia Zoran Zaev was presented the Isa-beg Ishakovic award in Sarajevo on Wednesday.
  • Montenegrin Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic is ready to answer questions to the Foreign Affairs Committee after three ambassadors paid the fine for a suspended Ministry of Foreign Affairs adviser after posts on Facebook.
  • The Bosnian Member of Parliament, Sabina Cudic, who uncovered the abuses of children in the Parazic home for people with disabilities, says that representatives in the Federation of BiH government knew about the conditions and ignored requests to investigate.
  • Kosovo Serb politicians were added to the university and faculty councils of the Serb-run University of Pristina temporarily located in Mitrovica.
  • The head of the Macedonian Islamic Religious CommunitySuleiman Rexepi, will not be charged for hate speech towards Macedonians when he said, “We will not allow any obstructions and to prevent us from building mosques. We will never be silent. We hope, Godspeed, that better times will come, and we will construct mosques everywhere, we have people and location of village Lazhec, Bitola region, where for more than 100 years they have not had a mosque. Imagine, what kind of life we share with this wild nation. This is the reason why these nameless and wild people have no identity and will never have one, although we want to help them. They cannot be helped, soulless people never come to their senses.”
  • Montenegro will host the next meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Parliaments of Small European States. Speaker of Parliament Ivan Brajovic is currently in Nicosia, Cyprus attending the latest meetings.
  • “Serbia’s Prosecutors’ Office for Organised Crime demanded the Military Counter-Intelligence Agency (VBA) and civilian secret service (BIA) to launch a probe into arms trade deals of the ammunition Krusik factory with private companies, the Belgrade NIN weekly reported on Wednesday. The Prosecutors sent the request to VBA and BIA on November 18, 2019, to collect information on ‘public claims about some privileged private individuals concerning purchasing and selling the weapons and military equipment made in the Krusik factory,’ NIN wrote.” (N1)
  • Meanwhile, the chief of the BIA in Nis and his deputy were sacked.
  • Serbia will have WiFi at all major  border crossings by the end of next year.
  • MIGRANTS: Twenty-five migrants were injured in N. Macedonia after a truck overturned.
  • CRIME: A Massachusetts man was arrested for shipping the illegal drug MDMA from Slovenia. Police began arresting people in two organized crime groups for falsifying IDs. A Sarajevo man was fined 500 EUR for attacking two LGBTI girls and threatening two others with a knife. The Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) confiscated 212 lbs 100 kg) of marijuana in Trebinje.
IN OTHER NEWS…