WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY
- The United States Peace Corps Director Judy Olsen signed a bilateral agreement Montenegro’s Deputy Prime Minister Pazinwith to establish a program in country. It joins Albania, Kosovo, Moldova, and N. Macedonia as active Peace Corps countries in the region. Past countries include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey.
- NATO Admiral James Foggo in BiH on its relationship to NATO: “NATO offered Bosnia and Herzegovina in December (last year) to submit its Annual National Programme. That’s a design of how Bosnia and Herzegovina sees the development of its Armed Forces, not what Brussels is telling you how it should look like. We have seen many discussions, I entirely support the program and want it to be submitted. Once that happens, you will get stability and security, and the Armed Forces that would lead to prosperity.”
- Alaska’s 1-297th infantry of 223 soldiers will head to Kosovo to join NATO’s peacekeeping force.
- In other NATO news: “NATO marks 25th anniversary of Mediterranean Dialogue“: “NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, with the 29 Permanent Representatives of the North Atlantic Council marked the 25th anniversary of the Mediterranean Dialogue on Monday (6 May 2019) in Ankara, Turkey. They were joined by the Ambassador of the Republic of North Macedonia and senior diplomats of the seven nations (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) participating in the partnership forum.”
- Vatican News: “Pope brings message of peace, unity to North Macedonia“: “When Pope Francis arrives in Skopje on Tuesday morning, he will become the first Pope ever to visit North Macedonia.It’s an important moment for the small Catholic community in the country. The Church in North Macedonia comprises less than one percent of the population – a fact reflected in the choice of the motto for the visit, ‘Do not be afraid, little flock.’”
- A non-working day has been declared by the government in N. Macedonia for the day when Pope Francis is in country.
- The Brdo-Brijuni Summit will take place in Albania this year on May 8-9. The presidents of the Brdo-Brijuni Process countries (Albania, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) will be joined by the President of Poland Andrzej Duda and EU Official Federica Mogherini.
- Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic from Sedona, Arizona: “If Western Balkans is the last wagon of the European continent than it is up to EU to make a concrete contribution to the Western Balkans region, so it could overcome the historical gap of regress and catch up the logical, natural switch with modern Europe. I never forget about the importance of Euro-Atlantic partnership when I speak about Europe.” Read EWB’s version here. And Voice of America’s original interview ( in Montenegrin) here.
- Kazakhstan opens a consulate in Split, Croatia.
- Serbia’s public debt is at 50.9% of its planned annual GDP.
- Police recorded over 140 illegal border crossings into Slovenia over the weekend.
- Japanese robotics company Yaskawa opens in Kocevje, Slovenia after two years of construction.
BEYOND THE POLITICS
- George Packer in Foreign Affairs: “The Longest Wars” about Richard Holbrooke.
- University of Missouri St. Louis: “Film series finale brings Bosnia to UMSL, UMSL to the St. Louis Bosnian community“
- Yahoo News/CBC: “Refugee of Kosovo War reflects on coming to Canada 20 years ago“
- “Young Student from Pljevlja (Montenegro) Among Best in High School in England“
- “Dua Lipa is one of the most famous and outstanding pop singers millionaire“
- Tickets are now available for the Association of Croatian American Professionals conference in Cleveland, Ohio.