WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY
- State Department Officials John Erath and William Berkely met with Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj. The main topic of discussion was the 100% tariffs on Serbia and Bosnia and Herzeogvina, which the US maintained its position that they should be suspended, while Haradinaj continued his steadfast commitment to them. Thaci maintains that Kosovo won’t jeopardize its relationship with the US.
- BiH Media – US UK Joint Statement: “We hope to establish the presidency of the FBiH and the entity government without further delay. As the EU Delegation and the EU Special Representative Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina have already highlighted, the process of establishing power at all levels is a necessary condition for Bosnia and Herzegovina to make further progress in the integration process in the EU, there is no more time to lose. There is a lot of work ahead of us, “
- New York City Councilman Mark Gjonaj was in Kosovo with a delegation of Albanian-Americans that met Prime Minister Ramush Haraidnaj and said: “Kosovo is an independent country and it should start acting like an independent country, without the interference of the international community and external forces. Kosovo should think about its future”
- Congressman Paul Mitchell (R-MI,10) met with representatives from the United Macedonian Diaspora to “discuss Macedonia’s move to join NATO and the European Union.” He added, “I’m dedicated to maintaining and strengthening the positive and mutually beneficial relationship between the United States and Macedonia.”
- Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic: “The word on the unification of the northern (with a Serb majority) and southern (with an Albanian majority) Mitrovica (the town divided by the Ibar River) is a direct threat to our nation. And people say that can only happen with violence…I told them not to seek my answer today, and in the next month and a half, before I meet with the President of China (Xi Jinping) and talk to other important leaders since if Pristina continues with such defensive attitude, we will be in a hopeless situation”
- Slovenian President Borut Pahor traveled to England on a three day visit and hoped to increase bilateral interests after Brexit
- ELECTIONS: Ali Ahmeti and Zoran Zaev have decided on a joint candidate for the President of North Macedonia. That person will be revealed on Friday.
- Croatia is moving further towards the Eurozone.
- Quoted: Kosovo Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli: “Serbia had many leaders who knew that history reserved Kosovo statehood attributes, but none of them had the courage to admit this publically. Subsequently, the Comprehensive Agreement will happen, because there is no other alternative. I Hope You [Vucic] will become the first President of Serbia, who has the courage to face the truth, and recognise the Republic of Kosovo.”
- Greek Media: “Macedonia” is still Greek as far as registered trademarks are concerned“
- Red Alert: Montenegro has issued an Interpol warrant for a former ally of President Milo Djukanovic.
BEYOND THE POLITICS
- Academic Dimitar Bechev gave an interview to European Western Balkans about happenings in the region.
- Carnivores: Bosnia and Herzegovina is green-lighted to send meat to the EU.
- Serbian basketball player Nikola Kalinic had to explain his “unpatriotic” remarks to media. He maintains, “If somebody is good to me, I will return it in the same way.” after people disagreed with him. He has played in Turkey for Fenerbace since 2015.
- Sport? Tickets for Croatia vs. Hungary, the firs European Championship qualifying match, sold out in minutes!
- Want a getaway – check out Tivat in Montenegro!