Friday, August 30, 2013

Stërvitja ushtarake në Sazan - Top Channel Albania - News - Lajme

British Navy exercises in Southern Albania

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Gurore në përroin e Palasës - Top Channel Albania - News - Lajme

Albania to support military intervention in Syria

Head of Albanian Socialist Party who will take over the Prime Ministry in September, announced their support for the possible military intervention in Syria


World Bulletin/News Desk
Head of Albanian Socialist Party Edi Rama who won the general elections on June 23 and would take over the Prime Ministry in September, announced their support for the possible military intervention of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Syria.

Rama, in a press statement, said that the government would take side of any action to prevent pressure on the Syrian opposition.

Stating that they acknowledged Syrian opposition to be right in their demand of freedom, Rama said:

"We historically owe to our allies who supported Albanian people's demand for freedom. As a new government, we would support the possible military intervention of NATO in Syria."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Penepirotic Federation of America condemns the violent actions of Albanians in Premeti


The Penepirotic Federation of America (POAKA) strongly condemns the brutal attack on a Greek Orthodox church in the city of Premetis in southern Albania, August 16, from mercenary thugs hired by the government and broke icons, crosses and beat believers who tried to defend unique Christian Church city.

"The attack on the Church of Our Lady, the morning after the day of the feast, revived bad memories of past efforts by government mechanisms outgoing Prime Minister Sali Berisha to harass, intimidate and brutalize origin Greek Orthodox Communities of Albania", said President of The Penepirotic Federation of America Demetrios Koutoulas. "Extreme behavior of municipal authorities in Premeti done with the consent of the Berisha government was outrageous and irresponsible behavior for a country seeking to join the European Union."

Mr. Koutoulas called on the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress to urge the Albanian government to return the church to the Orthodox Christians Premetis who honor and whose ancestors built it.

The church serves the Orthodox community in the region for decades, until 1967, when the Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha banned by law all the manifestations of worship in the country and converted the church of the Virgin in Premeti a cultural center. After the collapse of communism in Albania in 1991, the Orthodox Church had been restored in the country again became Church It operated until August 16, 2013, where security forces hired by Mayor Gilberto Jace, stormed the church, beat priests and faithful, smashed icons and crosses and then the municipality announced the recovery of the building as a cultural center.

These actions were contrary to the Greek government, the Orthodox Church of Albania, political groups representing the Greeks in the country and human rights organizations in the region.

The Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos sent a demarche to Tirana to protest the actions of municipal authorities Premetis and requesting the return of the church.

Archbishop Anastasios, the Primate of the Orthodox Church in Albania, described the violent actions in Premeti as an attack not only for the Orthodox Church, but also for Albania itself. "I wonder if we are in 2013, where we enjoy democracy and we hope to join the European Union or if we relive the nightmare of 1967 when an atheist party believed they could eradicate forever the religious faith of the Albanian people," he said in a statement about the incident.

The Omonia, the policy group representing the ethnic Greek minority in Albania, challenged the claims of the municipality of Premetis that moved under court order to return the church into a cultural center. "A questionable decision of the court can not be used as an excuse to allow some to desecrate such a violent manner a sacred space," said Omonia.

Organizations defending human rights in the region advised the Albanian authorities to end the occupation of the church and find another place for a cultural center.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Albania: "Territory, state of emergency" 

"Territory, state of emergency"

Even though, he isn’t yet official Prime Minister, Edi Rama has started work, with special focus on its governing agenda, issues of urban development and the economy.

The two-day conference "Albania, the next generation", on its first day dealt with urban issues. Since the beginning of his speech, the elected prime minister, Edi Rama said that the country is suffering from the lack of a development model, which the cause of the alarming situation in our country.

This situation, - said Rama, - is the product of the development model followed during these years.

"We are in a national emergency and we are determined to treat the situation as emergency and to face it with all means of emergency. We can no longer sit and wait that the inertia of destruction of the great potential this country has, to be socially, territorially, and economically developed, be undone before our eyes”, said Rama.

In order for this situation to change, by not remaining a mere personal and his government ambition, Rama filed the application of another governance territorial model.

"We will also change the pattern of territorial governance. For this reason, we will include in the territory governance capacities offered by us from abroad. We want to change our country government from a passive development follower into a development leader. We should melt the boundaries between sectors, borders between administrations and we should create an integrated approach”, Rama said.

Architects and urban planners, from different parts of the world, presented their findings from the field, after two days of observation, in informal areas as Paskuqan, Kamëz, former Swamp area in Durrës and the city amphitheatre. They expressed the need for a national plan, composed by consutling a broad public.

While the future Minister of Urban Development and Tourism, Englantina Gjermeni said that the international expertise will be an ongoing approach taking into account the best models in the region.

"This will be not only be in the draft process of this national plan, but certainly in the application, without forgetting the expertise of foreign donors and international organizations, that have really contributed so far and will be supportive to everyone this process, "said Gjermeni.

This big problems with destruction of our territory across the country and trying to save it from even greater degradation, for Edi Rama is not only a challenge but also a great bet. But will Rama and his government win this battle, this time on a national level, as happened locally with illegal buildings that were demolished when he was mayor?

The second day of the conference "Albania, next generation” will focus on the economic problems facing the country.

Syria: west weighs up military options at meeting of top generals in Jordan

With substantial hardware already in region, analysts say first move likely to be show of force without engaging Syria's military
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Russian Buk-M2E air defence missile systems

Robert Booth and Richard Norton-Taylor
The Guardian, Sunday 25 August 2013 18.19 BST
Russian Buk-M2E air defence missile systems
Any western intervention in Syria would have to contend with its considerable air defences, including Russian Buk-M2E missile systems. Photograph: Mikhail Metzel/AP
The increasingly bellicose statements on Syria coming from London and Washington will sharpen the focus of Monday's meeting of top US, British, French and other generals in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

The summit will be led by General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, and his Jordanian counterpart, and attended by General Sir Nicholas Houghton, the British armed forces chief. It will take place little more than 100 miles from Damascus, where an apparent chemical weapons attack killed hundreds of civilians last week.

Top generals from Germany, Canada, Italy, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are also expected to attend a meeting which will coincide with UN weapons experts visiting the site of the attack in an attempt to determine what happened and who was behind it.

The key players in any possible strike against Syria, widely considered to be the US, Britain and France, already have substantial military muscle in the area. Britain has four warships, the Navy's flagship HMS Bulwark, a helicopter carrier and two frigates off Albania. The US has a group of three destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean, which it has bolstered with a fourth, the USS Mahan. France has Rafale and Mirage jets based in the United Arab Emirates which could potentially reach Syria, though the US airbases at Incirlik and Izmir in Turkey and the RAF base at Akrotiri in Cyprus are more likely launch points for any offensive.

The Ministry of Defence is drawing up attack plans that one well-placed official described as a "Libyan suite of options", a reference to the naval, air and land strategies that were considered in the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. A key difference is the strength of Syria's air defences.

Syria - US/British military assets
In recent years, Russia is reported to have supplied Damascus with 36 Pantsir mobile surface to air missile systems and at least eight Buk-M2E mobile surface to air missile batteries. The Pantsirs, considered particularly effective against attacking aircraft, feature a combination of 30mm cannon paired with a radar and anti-aircraft missiles all on the same vehicle.

Western options include strikes by Tornado jets equipped with £500,000-a-shot Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles which can be fired 150 miles from the target, allowing pilots to avoid the need to come within range of Syrian air defences. The US warships in the region are carrying Tomahawk cruise missiles and Washington has F-16 fighter jets and Patriot missile batteries in Jordan.

"President Obama has asked the defence department to prepare options for all contingencies," the US defence secretary, Chuck Hagel, said over the weekend. "We have done that and we are prepared to exercise whatever option, if he decides to employ one of those options."

The question is how to wield western military might against a regime with relatively strong air defences, chemical weapons capabilities and a powerfully ally in Russia. "There are not going to be ground troops, that's for sure," said one British defence official, sounding a widely-held note of caution. Imposing a no-fly zone would need a UN mandate, he added. Such a tactic would anyway be tough to maintain without casualties because Syria's air defences have been recently bolstered by the Russians.

So the first move is likely to be an increased show of force, said Charles Heyman, editor of Armed Forces of the United Kingdom. The allies are already openly moving naval forces closer to Syria, and Heyman said overflying the country with bombers out of reach of surface to air missiles could be next. If Bashar al-Assad is proved to be behind the chemical attack, Heyman believes such sabre rattling would not upset the Russians.

Air surveillance of Assad's troops, conventional artillery and chemical weapons units will already have given a clear picture of the situation on the ground.

"Every spook in the world is listening in to the Syrian units and the people who might be involved in moving chemical weapons around," said Heyman. He added that while the allies are likely to be ready to strike, the best use of military force remains as a deterrent.

Treasuries in London and Washington will also be worried about the cost of war. "The defence secretary, Philip Hammond, will be asking the chancellor for £500m for this operation," he said. The Pentagon is facing a $52bn budget cut in the next financial year.

If strikes were ordered, they would not be against chemical facilities as they are too mobile and present a risk of widespread contamination. Air defences would be hit first, perhaps initially those close to the Turkish border, as a warning shot. Long-range weapons would be used to avoid western casualties.

"If that doesn't work they will start hammering away at the wider Syrian air defences," said Heyman. "That won't be as easy as Libya, but Nato aircraft would be able to take them out in seven days, I believe."

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Russia against "chemical ultimatum" to Damascus

Сергей Лавров МИД телефон конференция лавров телефон
"The Voice of Russia"

Moscow has urged Western leaders to avoid attempts to a priori force biased conclusions on UN inspectors who will look for evidence of reported chemical weapon attacks in the Syria on August 21.
Only immediate access of UN experts to the sites of alleged chemical agents (CA) use in Damascus can save the country from a military strike, experts say. US Secretary of State John Kerry has called Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem and said that Syria must give UN inspectors immediate and full access to the Damascus suburbs.

What else he said and what topics were touched upon during the telephone talk remains unknown. However, Kerry’s statement resembles an ultimatum. What is implied here is absolutely clear: should no access be given to UN inspectors, the West will be sure that the government troops have used chemical weapons in the above-mentioned areas.

The UN experts have been staying in Damascus since August 18th, where they were invited for the investigation into the reports about the use of chemical weapons in Aleppo this spring. The Syrian government says that it is very difficult to guarantee the security of experts because the area where chemical agents (CA) were used is being controlled by the militants. There is hope though that the mediation talks, due to be held in Syria by the UN envoy Angela Kane, will make it possible to speed up reaching agreements guaranteeing UN inspection commission safety.