BRUSSELS AND MOSCOW RAISE CONCERN OVER GOSINCE ATTACK
MIC – April 24, 2015 – 2:16pm

Three days after a group of about 40 gunmen attacked the Gosince checkpoint on Macedonia’s northern border to Kosovo, commentaries by analysts from the region and Europe, and reactions from foreign institutions have not stopped pouring in.

A concern and a recommendation to the authorities of Macedonia and Kosovo to hold a meeting at the highest level and to cooperate have been expressed in the statement of the European Union, which condemned the attack.

“We are concerned about the violent incident at the Gosince police station in Lipkovo Municipality. It is vitally important that this case be resolved in a responsible manner. We expect the authorities and political parties to do all in their power to keep political or interethnic tension from escalating,” said Anka Padurari from the press service of the Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia has also posted a statement on its official website in regard to the Macedonian border incident.

“The incident on the Macedonian border is proof of the lingering sharp ethnic problems and conflict potential in that part of the Balkans. The situation is made worse by a major lack of law abidance and security in Kosovo, which obviously stems from the unresolved Kosovo problem in general. The calls for a Greater Albania that are heard more and more often in the region cannot be overlooked either,” the Russian MFA stated.

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Flash News
MIC – April 23, 2015 – 8:35am

-    President Gjorge Ivanov has been given information by the relevant defense, security and intelligence institutions on the incident in Lipkovo. After the meeting, the state leadership condemned the attack. The statement from the president’s office also says that the relevant authorities are taking all the necessary measures and activities to shed light on the case, and track down and sanction the assailants.

 

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Flash News
MIC – April 22, 2015 – 9:23am

- A terrorist group from Kosovo attacked a police station in the Kumanovo village of Gosince in the early morning hours of Tuesday, the Ministry of Interior confirmed. The group which had about 40 members captured four police officers who were on duty at the time. According to police spokesman Ivo Kotevski, the attackers were heavily armed, wore camouflage uniforms bearing UCK signs, and talked to each other in Albanian. They also had an interpreter and recorded the whole event. They disarmed the police officers, handcuffed three of them and started kicking the fourth.

 

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EU COUNCIL TO PASS CONCLUSIONS ON POLITICAL SITUATION IN MACEDONIA
MIC – April 21, 2015 – 1:41pm

At a meeting of the General Affairs Council of the EU, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU member states are going to pass Tuesday for the first time conclusions concerning the political situation in Macedonia, MIA’s Brussels-based correspondent reports.

They are expected to reconfirm the Union’s Thessaloniki Agenda commitment, the conclusion from the Summit of the European Council of 16 December last year, and Macedonia’s candidate member state status. However, at the proposal of European foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini’s service, the EU will also “raise deep concern over the aggravated situation in the country, especially concerning rule of law, and honoring basic rights and freedom of media, as fundamental democratic values being at the heart of the EU’s enlargement policy”.

At the proposal of the European External Action Service, the Council of the EU is also going to call on all parties to take immediate measures to restart political dialogue and restore trust in institutions, as well as to investigate allegations by fully honoring all procedures.

“The responsibility for this rests with the country’s political leaders,” the conclusion of the Council is expected to underline.

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HOYT YEE: OPPOSITION SHOULD RETURN TO PARLIAMENT, CRIME ALLEGATIONS SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED
MIC – April 17, 2015 – 12:41pm

The opposition should return to parliament and all suspicions and indications of crimes resulting from the wiretapped conversations should be investigated, said US Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Hoyt Brian Yee, after meeting Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski in Skopje on Thursday.

He also met Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki and BDI leader Ali Ahmeti and is yet to meet SDSM leader Zoran Zaev and Ombudsman Ixhet Memeti.

“We discussed the importance of overcoming this crisis, we discussed the importance of the government meeting its responsibility to uphold the basic democratic values that are enshrined in Macedonia’s Constitution, to meet the responsibilities that it was elected to uphold and to defend and to promote, and for the government to meet and to reaffirm its commitment to the Euro-Atlantic principles on which Macedonia will continue to make progress towards joining NATO and the European Union.

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Flash News
MIC – April 9, 2015 – 10:50am

- The political crisis destroys the international image of Macedonia and gives cheap excuses to those who block the euro integration process of Macedonia, stressed Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki in his address to the Assembly Committee for Foreign Politics and added that boycott is not European method for solving problems. The change of Greek governments won’t facilitate the name dispute issue, Poposki stressed.

 

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Flash News
MIC – April 8, 2015 – 10:51am

- Energy and Russian gas were the main topics discussed on the meeting on energy security in Budapest attended by Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki. Macedonia, Hungary, Serbia, Greece and Turkey discussed about their readiness for the new plan of Russia to enter gas on the Balkans and EU through the new pipeline “Turkish Stream”.

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MACEDONIA AND GREECE TO START BUILDING TRUST VIA MARKOVA NOGA
MIC – April 7, 2015 – 1:44pm

The Markova Noga border crossing in Prespa could be the first project to be carried out of the series of trust-building measures between Macedonia and Greece, sources from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both countries have told Dnevnik off the record.

The opening of this border crossing, according to the sources, is quite realistic because it is in the interest of both countries and because it is not a political but practical measure. The Greek MFA is said to be making preparations for the implementation of this project, a difficulty being the absence of infrastructure on the Greek side of the border.

“This can be solved with finances from the EU funds. However, all the Schengen criteria for a border crossing will have to be met,” sources have told Dnevnik.

Sources from the Macedonian MFA, on the other hand, say one should not be overly optimistic bearing in mind the past experience.

Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki is going to hold a bilateral meeting with his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias in Budapest on Tuesday and is going to present the Macedonian proposal of trust-building measures. Aside from the Markova Noga border crossing, his list is said to include such practical measures of cooperation as signing an agreement on double taxation avoidance, establishing a parliamentary committee, or to be more exact, committees in both parliaments responsible to promote the principle of mutual respect for the territorial integrity, not interfering in the other country’s home affairs, and extending mutual support in European integration processes.

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Flash News
MIC – April 7, 2015 – 10:40am

- EU and NATO should declare whether Macedonia will join the international institutions in reasonable time period, urged Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki after the meeting he had with Belgian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders in Skopje. According to Poposki, “a strong political message addressed to Macedonia will be of great help”, and Reynders stressed that “Belgium got a clear message and expect to see Macedonia make progress in order to join EU and NATO in a given time period”.

 

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Flash News
MIC – April 6, 2015 – 9:53am

- Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom Belgium, Didier Reynders Monday will stay an official visit in Macedonia invited by Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki. As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced, Reynders will also meet with President Gjorge Ivanov, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and Vice Prime Minister Fatmir Besimi.

 

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INTERIOR MINISTRY TO PRESS CHARGES AGAINST ZAEV FOR LEAKING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION
MIC – April 3, 2015 – 1:12pm

The Macedonian Ministry of the Interior stated Thursday it intended to press charges against opposition leader Zoran Zaev for leaking classified information. Charges had already been pressed against him for plotting coup d’etat and taking bribe.

According to the Interior Ministry, disclosing classified information is punishable under Article 317 of the Criminal Code with imprisonment of up to ten years.

“At the disgraceful press conference on Wednesday, Zaev uttered numerous fabrications and lies. What is more important, he presented details of an agreement on donation classified as top secret. With his indecent act, the accused in the Putsch case undermined the credibility of the Macedonian services thus directly jeopardizing the security of the Republic of Macedonia,” the press release from the Interior Ministry reads.

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Flash News
MIC – April 3, 2015 – 9:45am

- Macedonia and Albania have great political relations but that is not a trend in the economy. Both Presidents pledge for improved trade exchange, infrastructure connections, and preconditions for the wellbeing of the citizens whose countries strive to join the European family, concluded President Gjorge Ivanov and his host the Albanian President Bujar Nishani.

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ZAEV’S 15TH ‘BOMB’ ALLEGES SHADY PROCUREMENT OF EQUIPMENT FROM ISRAEL
MIC – April 2, 2015 – 1:22pm

SDSM leader Zoran Zaev revealed at a press conference Wednesday recordings of ten more taped conversations, transcripts of text messages and a copy of the passport and a document on the entry into and exit from the country of an Israeli citizen.

The voices in the recordings were said to be those of the chief of the secret security service, Saso Mijalkov, his associate Svetlana Kostova, an Israeli named Haim Hakeini and two unidentified interlocutors.

The opposition leader claimed these conversations proved a commission of several hundred thousand euros was charged for the procurement of communication tracking equipment for the needs of the Security and Counter-Intelligence Office from Israel in 2011. According to Zaev, wiretapping equipment was also procured in 2008, while the amount spent on it amounted to 14 million euros.

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CHARLES GARRETT DECLARES WAR ON HALF MILLION VMRO-DPMNE VOTERS
MIC – April 1, 2015 – 3:47pm

“The possibility of setting up an interim government should be part of the negotiations between the two parties,” said British Ambassador to Macedonia Charles Garrett in his interview with the Alsat M television channel.

It’s not up to me, as ambassador of Great Britain, he said, to say what the solution to this crisis is, yet clearly that particular approach is much talked about and should be raised in the course of the negotiations. Finding a solution would take a great deal of creativity, patience, hard work, a lot of compromises from both sides and of course sincerity, Mr. Garrett added.

In his view, a good start of the process would be hearing a government commentary about the contents of the revealed wiretapped conversations.

“The contents of the revealed conversations and the wiretapping itself are extremely serious issues that need serious handling. A good start would be hearing a government commentary about the contents of the revealed conversations and a good following step would be the spirit of compromise, constructiveness, and creativity from all parties involved at the meetings and discussion held in a bid to find a way out,” he said.

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Flash News
MIC – March 31, 2015 – 11:24am

- Monday, SDSM representatives in Brussels remained firm on their demand for a transit government and resignation of the Ministers, the Chief of Macedonian Radio Television and of the Public Prosecutor and VMRO-DPMNE representatives rejected their demand. That was a quick end of the first meeting of the two parties with mediation of the MEP threesome Eduard Kukan, Ivo Vajgl and Richard Howitt, monitored by David Kulen and Christine Grau from the EC.

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VMRO-DPMNE AND SDSM TO BEGIN TALKS IN BRUSSELS, CHANCES FOR PROGRESS DEEMED AS SLIM
MIC – March 30, 2015 – 1:35pm

It is hard to predict the outcome of the first meeting between high-ranking officials of VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM in Brussels on Monday to be held under the auspices of the international community with the aim of the bringing their utterly conflicting views closer together and hopefully finding a way out of the political crisis.

SDSM deputy leader Radmila Sekerinska and Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki are going to meet behind closed doors in the building of the European Parliament in the attendance of MEPs Ivo Vajgl, Eduard Kukan, and Richard Howitt. However, it is still unknown who else will be part of the party teams conducting the negotiations.  

It is just as mysterious what issues will be on today’s agenda—whether the parties will present their starting positions or the manner in which to conduct talks will merely be defined. The MEPs are not expected to offer a tangible solution. Their mandate is only to try and detect a common ground for an agreement.

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Flash News
MIC – March 27, 2015 – 10:32am

- Special OSCE representative and coordinator of the fight against human smuggling, Ambassador Madina Jarbussynova, after the four-day visit of Macedonia, welcomed government’s efforts for fight against modern slavery.

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Flash News
MIC – March 26, 2015 – 10:03am

- Since EU is a political union, the political criteria should be applied to connect the region. Infrastructure shouldn’t serve only to transport goods and people, but also to integrate the Balkans in the European project, stressed Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki in his address on the Minister Conference on Western Balkans “Better connectivity, strong and vital transportation network”, which was held in Pristina.

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Flash News
MIC – March 25, 2015 – 10:34am

- The first meeting between VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM representatives with European mediators is expected for next week in Brussels. After the two-day conference on political culture and dialogue in the European Parliament the two parties confirmed their readiness to sit on the round table with the MEPs Ivo Vajgl, Eduard Kukan and Richard Howitt.

 

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Flash News
MIC – March 24, 2015 – 10:04am

- Monday and Tuesday, Radmila Sekerinska and Lidija Dimova (SDSM), Antonio Milososki (VMRO-DPMNE), Ljubomir Josifovski (NSDP), Talal Xhaferi (BDI), Imer Aliu (DPA) and Ljubica Buralieva, independent MP, will participate on a Seminar devoted to political culture and the importance of political dialogue in the European Parliament in Brussels. According to MP Milososki, it is expected EU to insist SDSM to return to Parliament and there start the dialogue with the Government.

 

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Flash News
MIC – March 23, 2015 – 10:46am

- The Republic of Macedonia belongs in EU and NATO as equal member which pledges economic prosperity, peace and safety in Europe and the world, stressed Defense Minister Zoran Jolevski in his address on the tenth anniversary of Brussels’ Forum organized by the German Marshall Fund.

 

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Flash News
MIC – March 20, 2015 – 10:23am

- Prime Minister and VMRO-DPMNE leader, Nikola Gruevski Thursday participated on the Conference of European People’s Parties in Brussels and he met with the President of the European People’s Party Joseph Daul. After the meeting Gruevski stressed that President Daul considers that the opposition should return to Parliament and there discuss the political condition.

 

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COMMISSIONER HAHN SAID TO INSIST ON SDSM-VMRO-DPMNE MEETING IN BRUSSELS
MIC – March 19, 2015 – 2:40pm

Johannes Hahn, the Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, is going to coordinate the activities of seeking out a way out of the political crisis in Macedonia, which are set to begin in Brussels soon. Sources from both SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE told Vest on Wednesday that their parties had already been informed that they would be invited to talks in Brussels next week.

Mr. Hahn reportedly told both parties on the phone last week that the process of political reconciliation would begin once Brussels received Prosecutor General Marko Zvrlevski’s request for EU observers. Also, in order to eliminate suspicions and mistrust, the Commissioner is said to have insisted that the first meeting be held on a neutral ground, in Brussels, Vest reports.

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Flash News
MIC – March 19, 2015 – 10:13am

- The European Union demands and expects quick intervention in order to restore the political dialogue in Macedonia, while all developments regarding the “Putsch” case are daily monitored and expect legal and institutional outcome. These are the messages of the newly appointed Secretary General of the European Service for Foreign Affairs Alain Le Roy, after the meeting he had with Vice Prime Minister Fatmir Besimi Wednesday in Brussels

 

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EC CONFIRMS RECEPTION OF PROSECUTOR GENERAL’S REQUEST FOR OBSERVERS
MIC – March 18, 2015 – 2:12pm

The Spokesperson for the European Commission, Maja Kocijancic, confirmed Tuesday that the authorities in Brussels received the invitation of Macedonian Prosecutor General Marko Zvrlevski for sending international observers for the coup (putsch) court case, in which among those accused of collaboration with foreign services is also the leader of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), Zoran Zaev.

Ms. Kocijancic also confirmed that the political groups in the European Parliament would form a group by the end of March whose aim would be to come to Macedonia and try and reconcile the largest political parties in the country.

“Yes, I can confirm we have received an invitation from the prosecutor general. But I can also repeat what Commissioner Hahn said in the European Parliament last week that we welcome any initiative launched by the groups of the European political parties and individual members of the European Parliament to help overcome the deadlock,” said the spokesperson for the EU High Representatives for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini.

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Flash News
MIC – March 18, 2015 – 10:07am

- Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, i.e. the Committee for monitoring the responsibilities of the member countries of the Council of Europe, Tuesday reviewed the information and discussed the situation in Macedonia, and the Spanish parliamentary member Pedro Agramont stressed there is deep concern because the opposition refuses to return to Parliament.

 

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SDSM AND BDI DENY MAKING DEAL ON MUTUAL PROTECTION AND SUPPORT
MIC – March 17, 2015 – 2:51pm

SDSM leader Zoran Zaev and BDI chairman Ali Ahmeti are said to have recently held a meeting, at Ahmeti’s initiative, regarding the wiretapping affair. According to some sources, Ahmeti offered Zaev a deal—in return for his not revealing any compromising material about BDI, BDI would support Zaev’s demand for setting up an interim government and would seek to persuade Prime Minister Gruevski, too, to accept the idea; and according to other sources, Ahmeti was already given the material pertaining to BDI at this meeting with Zaev.

There is also conflicting information as to where the meeting took place. While some say it was held in Zajas, others allege the deal was struck in the Social Democrats’ Skopje-based headquarters.

Ahmeti reportedly demanded that besides organizing early elections, the interim government should also have a mandate to resolve the name dispute with Greece but Zaev rejected it.

Both BDI and SDSM deny that such a meeting ever took place in the wake of the surveillance scandal revelation. Moreover, SDSM add their political ‘bombs’ will not spare BDI.

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VMRO-DPMNE RALLY SUPPORTERS IN RESPONSE TO SDSM’S VOTE-RIGGING ALLEGATIONS
MIC – March 16, 2015 – 3:20pm

Thousands of supporters of VMRO-DPMNE rallied at the Boris Trajkovski Sports Centre on Sunday at which VMRO-DPMNE leader and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, backed by all his government ministers and numerous party officials, reiterated that the opposition allegations against him had been “created” by foreign intelligence services and their domestic collaborators for the purpose of destabilizing the country and seizing power.

“I know that Macedonia will get out of this stronger. I know that those who orchestrated all of this have underestimated us and did not take into consideration our people’s love of their country and future. Therefore, we are going to win, all our citizens are going to win. I call upon you to stand up because we have a campaign ahead of us, from city to city, from door to door. We have a lot of work to do, many more projects to carry out and many more moments to be proud of.

“Chin up and let us show them Macedonian is much more than what they try to present, that Macedonian is much bigger than the petty interests of a handful of people and certain structures, that Macedonia is stronger than the various scenarios and foreign agendas, and that Macedonians are courageous and honorable people. They won’t break Macedonia, not in our time, not until the last one of us breathes,” Prime Minister Gruevski said.

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Flash News
MIC – March 16, 2015 – 10:34am

-    The economic chambers of Macedonia and Morocco are going to sign a memorandum of cooperation as a first step toward promoting cooperation between Moroccan and Macedonian companies. This was agreed at the first meeting of representatives of the two chambers in Dakhla on Saturday, on the sidelines of the Crans Montana Forum, held at President Gjorge Ivanov’s initiative. Morocco businessmen are interested in the Macedonian market, this is the impression President Gjorge Ivanov got.

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Flash News
MIC – March 13, 2015 – 11:11am

- EU will lose credibility unless it starts the membership negotiations with Macedonia, stressed Slovenian MP Alojz Peterle who welcomed the decision of the European Parliament. Peterle expressed concern for the political situation in Macedonia and the deteriorated relations between the Government and opposition.

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