Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ivanović's SDP wants Belgrade to "freeze dialogue"

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- The civil Initiative (GI) SDP said on Friday that there were "no grounds" for the court's decision to extend detention for their leader Oliver Ivanović.
This political group addded that the court in Priština "thus violated the basic human right of the detainee to be released pending trial. "
"In that way, the court demonstrated distrust toward the Serbian government which had given firm guarantees that Ivanović will be available to the judiciary throughout his trial, and disrespect toward everyone who demanded that Ivanović be given the basic human right," they underscored.

That is the reason why the GI SDP expects the Serbian government to freeze the talks in Brussels until the guarantees offered for the Serbs are not accepted, the SDP said.

At the same time, they urged the court in Priština to consider Ivanović's complaint against the extension of detention for 60 days.

GI SDP members also noted that they were "shocked at the injustice that is being demonstrated toward one of the most distinguished Serbs, and Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija in general."

Suspected criminals and offenders that are not Serbs from Kosovo are allowed home detention and release pending trial, while these rights do not exist for the Serbs facing fabricated accusations, the release reads.

On Thursday, the pre-trial judge of the Basic Court in Kosovska Mitrovica decided to extend the detention on remand for Ivanović for two months, at the request of the Kosovo Special Prosecution Office, and offered the argument that there is the risk of flight and the risk that the defendant might influence witnesses.

Ivanović was arrested on January 27, on suspicion of involvement in an alleged war crime in 1999 and post-war incidents in 2000, including an aggravated murder, and for inciting to ethnically motivated murder.

The Serbian government provided guarantees on February 10 that Ivanović and three other Serbs detainees would be available to the EULEX mission throughout their trials.

Ukraine Puts Military on Combat Alert, Warns Russia of War

VOA News0 Comments 
Saturday, 1 March 2014 (1 hour ago)

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is warning Russia that military intervention would mean war between the two neighbors, after the Russian parliament authorized the use of Russian troops in the southern Ukrainian region of Crimea.Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said Saturday he has put the country's armed forces on combat alert following Saturday's vote in Russia. The approval of Russian President Vladimir Putin's request for military authorization made...
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Source: Associated Press
News video: Crisis Deepens in Ukraine

Crisis Deepens in Ukraine

The international response to developments in Ukraine intensified Saturday as Russia's parliament approved the use of the military to protect Russian interests in the politically and emotionally-divided country. (March 1)Copyright 2014 The...

Russia will protect interests

Here is the full statement from Putin’s office on his call with Obama.

In response to the concern shown by Obama about the plans for the possible use of Russia’s armed forces on the territory of Ukraine, Putin drew attention to the provocative, criminal actions by ultra-nationalists, in essence encouraged by the current authorities in Kiev,” the statement said.
The Russian President underlined that there are real threats to the life and health of Russian citizens and compatriots on Ukrainian territory. Vladimir Putin stressed that if violence spread further in the eastern regions of Ukraine and in Crimea, Russia reserves the right to protect its interests and those of Russian speakers living there.

Ukraine asks EU, US and NATO to look at all possible mechanisms for protecting its territorial integrity, foreign minister says - @Reuters

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Saturday, 1 March 2014 (2 hours ago)

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Source: Reuters Business
News video: Is Ukraine rescue deal possible?

Is Ukraine rescue deal possible?

Ukraine's new prime minister says securing a loan with the IMF is vital for currency stability - and the IMF confirms it will send a fact-finding team there next week. But with tension continuing to flare in Crimea - and revelations that 37 billion dollars went missing from state coffers under ousted...
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Albania: Secret Service spies on Police
01/03/2014 Top Channel TV

Secret Service spies on Police
While crimes have peaked in Albania in the past months, especially the method of putting explosives under vehicles, the Secret Service is more focused on investigating the police rather than gathering information about crimes.

Top Channel has been able to secure a document of the Secret Service, signed by the Director R.T. The document is a response to an urgent operative request of the new government, dated December 2nd, 2013.

The operative request is addressed to the Secret Service Directories in all prefectures, including the autonomous branches, one of which made this document available.

Through this request, the government asks information about persons involved in illegal activities of people who have been appointed in the State Police. The letter of the Counterintelligence Directory asked the service branches throughout Albania to identify the high-rank officials of the State Police in all districts, who have been involved in illegal activities, more concretely the District Director, the Head of Public Order, the Head of Crimes, the head of Precincts, heads of Police Districts and head of Traffic Police.

The document requests that these people should be identified if implicated in illegal activities that are followed by the KKON Directory, for crimes such as traffic of narcotics, of clandestine, of artworks, prostitution, minors or money laundering  and forgery of documents.

This operative request also asks a clarification of the role of the implicated people in these traffics, the phone calls that have been used, the cooperating connections of operative interests, and if they own assets deriving from criminal activities or anything else.

The people who have proposed this request that investigates the chiefs of police are one inspector with initials A.A, and the vice director of the Research Branch, with initials Sh.Sh.

This document shows that during this time, the Secret Service has been able to gather more information for the State Police officers, while the Interior Minister has not hidden the discontent against the Secret Service, who have not given information about any criminal group, in order to prevent or discover criminal acts.

Another question raised after this document, is about what information has been gathered, and to whom were this information sent to.


NATO Needs to Move Now on Crimea

Action may provoke -- but so does doing nothing.

Now that Vladimir Putin's Olympics are over, his gaze has turned inexorably to what he clearly regards as the premier foreign policy priority of the Russian Federation: retaining determinative influence -- if not full control -- over Ukraine.
He went to the Russian parliament to formally request permission for what he has already done -- send troops into Ukraine -- and it approved the move. News reports indicate the Russian military has seized Crimea. This is a volatile, dangerous situation without foreign intervention; and his behavior is reckless. Like a chess player leaning forward, his moves are sweeping the board.
What is NATO's move?
The United States has responded strongly through normal diplomatic channels, with Secretary of State John Kerry calling this an action with "grave consequences" -- freighted language in the world of diplomacy. The president and secretary of defense have echoed this, and further condemnation will no doubt be forthcoming.
Certainly the shadow of recent Russian activity in Georgia, including the invasion and creation of the "independent" states of Abkhazia and Ossetia, looms over the situation, as does Russian activity in Transnistria. Will Crimea be next?
All of this, of course, is magnified by the strategic importance to Russia of the Black Sea port and the presence of a significant part of their fleet and its guaranteed access to the Mediterranean and the Levant.
Hopefully, there can be high-level diplomatic discussions at the United Nations, European Union, and other international organizations that will lead to full territorial integrity of the sovereign state of Ukraine. And the state of the Russian Black Sea fleet has to be sensibly resolved, as do important trading and energy relations. The hope is that cooler heads will prevail.
However, hope is not a strategy, and therefore further action should be considered. Planning is vital to laying out options to decision makers, and NATO's military planners should have a busy weekend at least.
This is a classic case of a situation where the United States should be working in lock step with our allies around the world, but especially our European friends and most notably the 28 members of the NATO alliance.
NATO should call an immediate emergency session and weigh its options in the political, diplomatic, economic, and military dimensions.
In the military sphere, these include ordering the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), led by U.S. General Phil Breedlove, to conduct prudent planning and present options in response to the situation. While such planning should be left to the current commanders and military experts, some ideas to consider would include:
  • Increasing all intelligence-gathering functions through satellite, Predator unmanned vehicles, and especially cyber.
  • Using the NATO-Ukrainian Council and existing military partnerships with the Ukrainian military to share information, intelligence, and situational awareness with authorities in Kiev.
  • Providing advice to Ukrainian armed forces to prepare and position themselves in the event of further conflict.
  • Developing NATO contingency plans to react to full-scale invasion of Ukraine and to a partial invasion likely of Crimea. NATO contingency planning can be cumbersome, but in Libya it moved quickly.
  • Assigning one of the NATO Joint Force Commands (either Naples, Italy, or Brunsum, Netherlands) into direct overwatch of the situation.
  • Standing up NATO crisis centers to full manning, especially at SHAPE and the relevant Joint Force Command.
  • Ensuring that the Land and Maritime Component Commands (Northwood in the United Kingdom and Izmir, Turkey, respectively) are conducting prudent planning in their areas of expertise and feeding their analysis to the Joint Force Command.
  • Bringing the NATO Response Force, a 25,000 man sea, air, land, special forces capability to a higher state of alert.
  • Convening allies with cyber-capabilities (this is not a NATO specialty) to consider options -- at a minimum to defend Ukraine if it is attacked in this domain (as Georgia was).
  • Sailing NATO maritime forces into the Black Sea and setting up contingency plans for their use.
Many will consider any level of NATO involvement provocative and potentially inflammatory. Unfortunately, the stakes are high and the Russians are moving. Sitting idle, without at least looking at options, is a mistake for NATO and would itself constitute a signal to Putin -- one that he would welcome.
The land in Himara belongs to the people of Himara! Land and property registration NOW!

Petitioning European Council

The land in Himara belongs to the people of Himara! Land and property registration NOW!

This is the petition of the people of Himara which is beeing denied his constitutional rights on property.

The right of property constitutes a constitutional right as defined in section 41 of the 42 of the Constitution.
Across the Ionian coast, land was owned by local families, the orthodox churche or the community. There were no big landlords and neither state properties in this area.
Since 1956, with the abolition of land ownership by the communist agricultural cooperative's system, the people of Himara do not enjoy property ownership titles of agricultural land, homes and businesses and even on municipal property such as pastures, forests and beaches.
In 1991 when the contestet 7501 law "About the farming land" was voted in the parliament, although it could not be implemented in Himara region due to its special relations of land-ownership, agricultural lands was redrawn in the region of Himara denying the right of inheritance of property.
Since 2007, any registration of properties in the region of Himara is banned with a government internal order which prohibits the registration of the property in favour of the people of Himara even if there is a court order that compels registration.
Large areas of land owned by the church or by the community are declared free of ownership as they are not registered in the register of real estate and as such they have passed to the land fund to be used for compensation of former owners expropriated during the communism in Tirana, Fier, Berat and other regions of Albania.
The properties of the orthodox church and the community represents important elements of the Himariot community known for its ethnic and religious characteristics. Alienation of these properties on behalf of citizens who are not resident of Himara will create conflicts which will have consequences in the ethnic and religious stability in the region of Himara.
During all this period individuals , groups and entities with political influences and with capitals sometimes comming of criminal activity or unknown origin have ilegaly taken possesion of land which belong to private owners, the church or the community and they have registered this properties bypassing the law and the obstacles which Himara's people cannot overcome when trying to register their legaly owned properties.
Every day that passes, thousands of Himariots cannot inherit their parents' property because these properties are not registered.
Inhabitants of Himara that did build homes or businesses in their property, are being punished with massive destruction of their buildings by the Construction Police because they could not issue any building permit since they don’t have the act of ownership of the land which they own since generations.
The European Union has funded a project for the registration of property in the region of Himara which in 2011 began registering of land and houses under the supervision of the OSCE mission in Albania. But this project, although the first phase of the recording of properties was completed, it was not finalized due to disabilities and gaps in the legislation regarding ownership which forced the process to fail.
If you think that this injustice, done to the people of Himara should stop,
If you think it is time that the people Himara should enjoy theur constitutional right to property which is been denied to them since over 50 years.
If you think that the Albanian government has the obligation to recognize as lawful owner of Himara, the people of Himara, wherever they live in Albania, in Greece, in England, in Germany, in USA, ect:
With respect and faith in the democratic principles governing the Council of Europe as a representative of this principles and ideals of the peoples of Europe and aware of the power of this Institution:

Αυτό είναι το ψήφισμα των Χιμαραίων στους οποίους αρνούνται το συνταγματικό δικαίωμα στην ιδιοκτησία.
Το δικαίωμα στην ιδιοκτησία αποτελεί συνταγματικό δικαίωμα όπως ορίζεται στα άρθρα 41 και 42 του Συντάγματος της Αλβανίας.
Κατά μήκος της Ιόνιας ακτής η γη ανήκε παραδοσιακά στις ντόπιες οικογένειες, στην Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία και στις τοπικές κοινότητες. Δεν υπήρχαν μεγάλοι γαιοκτήμονες καθώς και κρατικές γαίες σε αυτή την περιοχή.
Από το 1956, με την κατάργηση της εγγείου ιδιοκτησίας από το κομουνιστικό καθεστώς και την αντικατάστασή της από το κομουνιστικό σύστημα αγροτικής κοινοκτημοσύνης, οι Χιμαραίοι στερούνται τίτλων ιδιοκτησίας των αγροτικών γαιών, των σπιτιών και των επιχειρήσεών τους ενώ και οι κοινότητες δεν έχουν τίτλους για τη δημοτική περιουσία (βοσκοτόπια, δάση, παραλίες).
Το 1991, όταν ψηφίστηκε από το αλβανικό Κοινοβούλιο ο νόμος 7501 «Περί αγροτεμαχίων», παρότι δεν μπορούσε να εφαρμοστεί στην περιοχή της Χιμάρας εξαιτίας των ειδικών συνθηκών ιδιοκτησίας, ξαναμοιράστηκαν αγροτικές γαίες και στην περιοχή αυτή, στερώντας, όμως, το δικαίωμα να κληροδοτήσει κανείς την περιουσία του.
Από το 2007 κάθε δήλωση και καταγραφή ιδιοκτησίας στην περιοχή της Χιμάρας απαγορεύθηκε με κυβερνητική εγκύκλιο, η οποία εμποδίζει τη δήλωση και καταγραφή των περιουσιών των Χιμαραίων ακόμη κι αν υπάρχει δικαστική απόφαση που επιβάλει την καταγραφή.
Μεγάλες εκτάσεις που ανήκαν στην Εκκλησία ή στην τοπική κοινότητα κηρύχθηκαν ελεύθερες ιδιοκτήτη καθώς δεν είχαν δηλωθεί στο Κτηματολόγιο και ως τέτοιες πέρασαν στην κυριότητα του Ταμείου Γης για να χρησιμοποιηθούν ως αποζημίωση σε ιδιοκτήτες που έχασαν τις περιουσίες του κατά τη διάρκεια του κομουνιστικού καθεστώτος στα Τίρανα, στο Φιέρι, στο Μπεράτι και αλλού.
Η περιουσία της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας και της τοπικής κοινότητας αποτελούν σημαντικά στοιχεία της κοινότητας της Χιμάρας, που είναι γνωστή για τις εθνικές και θρησκευτικές της ιδιαιτερότητες. Η στέρηση αυτής της περιουσίας υπέρ πολιτών που δεν είναι κάτοικοι της Χιμάρας δημιουργεί εντάσεις που ενδέχεται να έχουν επιπτώσεις στην εθνική και θρησκευτική σταθερότητα της περιοχής της Χιμάρας.
Την ίδια στιγμή, κατά τη διάρκεια όλης αυτής της περιόδου ιδιώτες, ομάδες ιδιωτών και νομικά πρόσωπα με πολιτική επιρροή και με κεφάλαια που σε ορισμένες περιπτώσεις προέρχονται από εγκληματική δραστηριότητα νέμονται παρανόμως γη που ανήκει σε ιδιώτες, στην Εκκλησία ή στην τοπική κοινότητα και κατόρθωσαν να δηλώσουν τις «περιουσίες» τους, ξεπερνώντας τη νομοθεσία και τα εμπόδια τα οποία οι Χιμαραίοι δεν μπορούν να προσπεράσουν ώστε να κατοχυρώσουν τις νόμιμες περιουσίες τους.
Κάθε μέρα που περνάει χιλιάδες Χιμαραίοι δεν μπορούν να κληρονομήσουν την περιουσία των γονιών τους επειδή δεν είναι δηλωμένη.
Κάτοικοι της Χιμάρας που έχτισαν σπίτια κι επιχειρήσεις στη γη τους τιμωρούνται με μαζική κατεδάφιση των σπιτιών τους από την πολεοδομία επειδή δεν μπορούν να βγάλουν άδεια ανοικοδόμησης καθώς δεν έχουν συμβόλαια για την περιουσία των προγόνων τους, για την περιουσία που ανήκει στις οικογένειές τους εδώ και αιώνες.
Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση χρηματοδότησε ένα πρόγραμμα καταγραφής των ιδιοκτησιών στην περιοχή της Χιμάρας, το οποίο άρχισε το 2011 την καταγραφή υπό την επίβλεψη του Οργανισμού για την Ασφάλεια και τη Συνεργασία στην Ευρώπη. Η πρώτη φάση της καταγραφής πραγματοποιήθηκε, αλλά το πρόγραμμα δεν ολοκληρώθηκε εξαιτίας κενών στην αλβανική νομοθεσία σχετικά με το ιδιοκτησιακό καθεστώς.
Εάν πιστεύετε ότι αυτή η αδικία απέναντι στους Χιμαραίους πρέπει να σταματήσει,
εάν πιστεύετε ότι οι Χιμαραίοι πρέπει επιτέλους να ανακτήσουν το συνταγματικό τους δικαίωμα στην ιδιοκτησία, το οποίο τους το αρνούνται για περισσότερα από 50 χρόνια,
εάν πιστεύετε ότι η αλβανική Κυβέρνηση έχει την υποχρέωση να αναγνωρίσει ως νόμιμους ιδιοκτήτες της Χιμάρας, τους Χιμαραίους, οπουδήποτε κι αν αυτοί ζουν (στην Αλβανία, στην Ελλάδα, στην Αγγλία, στη Γερμανία, στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες κ.α.)
σεβόμενη και συμμορφούμενη στις δημοκρατικές αξίες που διέπουν το Συμβούλιο της Ευρώπης ως αντιπροσώπου των αρχών και των αξιών των ευρωπαϊκών λαών,
τότε υποστηρίξτε αυτό το ψήφισμα προς το Συμβούλιο της Ευρώπης για να δηλωθούν οι ιδιοκτησίες στη Χιμάρα στους μόνους νόμιμους δικαιούχους, τους Χιμαραίους.
Signe now this petition to the European Councile, for the registration of properties  to the only and single eligible owner: the PEOPLE of Himara.
European Council
The land in Himara belongs to the people of Himara! Land and property registration NOW!
[Your name]

Friday, February 28, 2014

US: Corruption in Albania, main concern

US: Corruption in Albania, main concern
The US State Department underlines in a report published today that the main problems in Albania, regarding human rights, are related to corruption that has spread in all government branches, especially the justice system.

The annual report for human rights in the world underlines that the main problems in Albania during 2013 were the blockage of reforms, especially the blockage of fight against corruption. The political parties focused their attention on the June elections.

Impunity is another problem. The government’s efforts for punishing officials who have violated the rules have been sporadic and not constant.

Government officials, politicians and judges have often escaped justice.

Some smaller officials have been punished for violations. Some government officials who were clearly involved in abuses, were removed from older posts and were placed in other government posts without being punished.

Other human right violations for Albania, according to the report, are domestic violence and discrimination of women.

Yanukovych vows to "fight for Ukraine"

ROSTOV -- Viktor Yanukovych says he will fight for Ukraine, "against the fascist forces that caused violence in Kiev and wish to conquer the land with fear and terror."
The power in Ukraine is now held by "a fascist minority," he said on Friday.
Addressing a news conference in the southern Russian city of Rostov, Yanukovych, for whom the new authorities in Kiev have issued an arrest warrant, said he was forced to leave Ukraine because he feared for his life and the lives of his family members.

He added that, despite everything, he "still had the most support in the country."

Yanukovych said that "regular elections, adoption of a new Constitution, and an investigation against all those who perpetrated violence in the streets" were ahead of him.

"We need to provide normal life to the citizens of Ukraine. It will be difficult to get out of this situation. It will take time to deal with all the causes and consequences of these events, but Ukraine is a strong country and we will resolve everything," said Yanukovych.

He recalled that an agreement had been signed with the opposition, but that they subsequently took up arms, "and began to destroy homes, churches, culture, innocent people."

"And that is still happening," he said.

Asked by reporters if he "felt ashamed," he said he had to apologize first to his people "for allowing this to happen, and not ensuring stability."

Speaking of Crimea, he said that it must remain a part of Ukraine, "of course, with its autonomy."

"I believe that any military action is unacceptable, I believe that Ukraine will remain united," he added.

Asked when he plans to return to his country, said that this will happen when the conditions are fulfilled for himself and his family to be safe there.
Yanukovych, responding to a question, said talks with the opposition were still on the table, but that he has not had any contacts with them in the past days.

"I want a stable Ukraine, enjoying great prosperity," said Yanukovych. "Now everything has turned to chaos and destruction, lawlessness."

He added that a great responsibility for the failure of the agreement with the opposition was on the West and the EU. "The West was in cahoots with leaders of the opposition on Maidan and allowed this to happen," said Yanukovych.

"I never gave an order to the police to shoot. The police did not have weapons until the last moment, until strong attacks against them were launched, " he said, and added that an independent investigation was needed.
Art of drills: 10 NATO war games that almost started armed conflicts

AFP Photo / Brendan SmialowskiAFP Photo / Brendan Smialowski
Vietnamese Navy's first submarine class Kilo 636 (C) named 'Hanoi' (AFP Photo / Vietnam News Agency)
Abkhazia, Asia, Baltic states, China, Greece, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Military, NATO, New Zealand, North Korea, Russia, South Ossetia, Syria, USA, Ukraine
The world’s largest military alliance seems annoyed about Russia’s “lack of transparency” over military drills at a very “delicate time.” NATO, however, has its own long history of war games all over the globe.

Western politicians have leveled criticism at Russia for planned drills on its own territory, seemingly glossing over the many joint military exercises Western powers, namely the US and NATO forces, have conducted on foreign soil over the years.

South Korea
This week, US and South Korean forces began their annual joint military drills, which will last until mid-April. The Foal Eagle exercise is conducted near Iksan and Damyan, South Korea.

The drills prompted a stern reaction from North Korea, which slammed the exercises as “a serious provocation” that could plunge the region into “a deadlock and unimaginable holocaust.”

(FILE) US soldiers of the Second Infantry Division of US Forces Korea attend a live firing drill at the US army's Rodriguez range in Pocheon, south of the demilitarized zone that divides the two Koreas. (AFP Photo / Kim Hong-Ji)(FILE) US soldiers of the Second Infantry Division of US Forces Korea attend a live firing drill at the US army's Rodriguez range in Pocheon, south of the demilitarized zone that divides the two Koreas. (AFP Photo / Kim Hong-Ji)

The US joined Greece, Italy, and Israeli forces at Ovda air base in southern Israel for the ‘Blue Flag’ air-training drills in November 2013. The drills were called the “largest international aerial exercise in history,” by Israeli news outlet Haaretz.

According to Israel National News reports the exercises are geared towards “simulating realistic engagements in a variety of scenarios, based on Israel's experience with air forces of Arab armies in previous engagements.”

An Israeli air force F15-E fighter jet.(Reuters / Baz Ratner)An Israeli air force F15-E fighter jet.(Reuters / Baz Ratner)

Poland and Latvia
NATO’s ‘Steadfast Jazz’ training exercise was held in November 2013, in Latvia and Poland. The drills included air, land, naval, and special forces.

Over 6,000 military personnel from around 20 NATO countries and allies took part in the largest NATO-led drills of their kind since 2006.

NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. Air Force General Philip Mark Breedlove (Reuters / Bernadett Szabo)NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. Air Force General Philip Mark Breedlove (Reuters / Bernadett Szabo)

In October, NATO also held anti-aircraft drills in Bulgaria, along with the Greek and Norwegian air forces. The exercises were held to test responses in conditions of radio interference, according to the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense.

A C-27J Spartan like those used by Bulgaria in the 2013 NATO drill (Reuters / Bogdan Cristel)A C-27J Spartan like those used by Bulgaria in the 2013 NATO drill (Reuters / Bogdan Cristel)

Persian Gulf
In May 2013, the US joined 40 other countries in the Persian Gulf for maritime war games. The US Navy said the mass exercises are aimed at “enhancing capability to preserve freedom of navigation in international waterways.”

The drills provoked a sharp response from the Iranian government who voiced concerns at how the maneuvers came in the run-up to the Iranian elections.

In August 2012, US Marines joined Japanese troops for military drills in the western Pacific. The drills were held in part in Guam, a US holding, just as an old territory dispute reemerged between Japan and China over islands in the East China Sea.

“China will not ignore hostile gestures from other nations and give up on its core interests or change its course of development,” the Chinese Communist Party stated in response to the drills, warning the US and Japan not to “underestimate China’s resolve to defend its sovereignty.”

A file picture taken on April 24, 2010 shows planes and helicopters stationed at the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma base in Ginowan, Okinawa prefecture. (AFP Photo)A file picture taken on April 24, 2010 shows planes and helicopters stationed at the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma base in Ginowan, Okinawa prefecture. (AFP Photo)

The US joined 16 other nations in May 2012 for military exercises in Jordan near the Syria border. The Eager Lion drills included 12,000 soldiers from the participating countries, Turkey, France, and Saudi Arabia among them.

Denying accusations that the violence in Syria had nothing to do with the drills, the US claimed it was “designed to strengthen military-to-military relationships through a joint, entire-government, multinational approach, integrating all instruments of national power to meet current and future complex national security challenges.

Tanks advance during the Eager Lion military exercise near the southern town of Al Quweira, 50 km (30 miles) from the coastal city of Aqaba June 19, 2013. (Reuters / Muhammad Hamed)Tanks advance during the Eager Lion military exercise near the southern town of Al Quweira, 50 km (30 miles) from the coastal city of Aqaba June 19, 2013. (Reuters / Muhammad Hamed)

In August 2010, the US Navy joined Vietnamese forces for drills in the South China Sea, to the dismay of China. Sovereignty claims in the South China Sea have long been a subject of debate and animosity among Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, and Malaysia, though China’s territorial declarations have been the most aggressive.

Vietnamese Navy's first submarine class Kilo 636 (C) named 'Hanoi' (AFP Photo / Vietnam News Agency) Vietnamese Navy's first submarine class Kilo 636 (C) named 'Hanoi' (AFP Photo / Vietnam News Agency)

Ukraine welcomed a fleet of NATO warships for a two-week period of military drills in July 2010. Operation “Sea Breeze-2010” focused on joint anti-terror exercises, despite Kiev’s decision not to enter the NATO alliance. Some 3,000 international military personnel were said to be a part of the drills.

Ukraine began hosting the Sea Breeze exercises in 1997, as part of its commitment to join the alliance. In 2009, the Ukrainian parliament voted against the drills, curtailing then-President Viktor Yuschenko’s efforts to seek NATO membership.

A US naval officer displays an automatic weapon mounted on the USS Taylor in Odessa on July 14, 2010 during the US-Ukraine joint maritime exercises "Sea Breeze 2010". (AFP Photo / Alexey Kravtsov) A US naval officer displays an automatic weapon mounted on the USS Taylor in Odessa on July 14, 2010 during the US-Ukraine joint maritime exercises "Sea Breeze 2010". (AFP Photo / Alexey Kravtsov)

In May 2009, 15 NATO countries held a series of controversial military exercises in Georgia less than a year after it launched an offense against its breakaway region of South Ossetia. Russia called the maneuvers "dubious provocation” saying it may encourage the country’s regime to carry out new attacks.

Georgian soldiers participate in the joint US-Georgia training "Immediate Response 2009", 20km from Tbilisi at the Vaziani military base on October 30, 2009. (AFP Photo / Vano Shlamov)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Washington, Diplomatic moves, of the Himariot Lobby in USA

Himariot Lobby, met with the Albanian and Greek Represent in USA

HSA meets with Albanian Ambassador to USA, Mr. Gilbert Galanxhi

HSA Board members met with Mr. Gilbert Galanxhi, Albanian Ambassador to the USA, on February 14, 2014 in Annapolis, MD.  HSA had the opportunity to discuss matters regarding the Albanian political landscape and the mission to the US, as well as issues particular to Himarra including those of property rights and the outlook for the future of the area. 

We would like to thank Ambassador Galanxhi for taking the time to meet with HSA, and for a forthright and informative meeting and wish him every success in his future endeavors.
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HSA meets with Mr. Christos Panagopoulos Greek Ambassador to the USA

HSA Board members had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Christos Panagopoulos, Greek Ambassador to the USA, on November 14, 2013 at the Greek Embassy in Washington DC in order to discuss issues affecting the Greek minority in Albania and in Himarra specifically.

Of particular emphasis were topics relating to the ongoing property rights problems in Himarra and Albania's EU ascension prospects. Ambassador Panagopoulos expressed his and the Greek government's familiarity with the issues affecting Himarra and offered his perspective as well as his encouragement and support.
We would like to thank Mr. Panagopoulos for taking the time to meet with HSA and wish him every success in his duties.
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Shpërthim eksplozivi në një automjet para Bashkisë Vorë, pamje pa koment

Albania: The explosives attacks in the public area, have bring a dangerous situate on the intern stability of the country. According to Albanian media, there are 22 explosions with telecomande, inside some months, from Vlora to the capital Tirana. 

Drugs seized in Igumenica. Albanian driver arrested

Drugs seized in Igumenica. Albanian driver arrested
The Greek Police in Filat, Igumenica, has seized 215 kg of marijuana close to the Greek-Albanian border.

The police was inspecting a van that was entering Greece from the Albanian border, and found 194 packages with 215 kg of marijuana.

Police arrested the driver, 44 year old Emiliano Stefani, born in Saranda and resident of Athens.

The Greek Police is investigating for finding the collaborators of the 44-year-old.

USA and Greece exercises in Aegean Sea

Central Aegean : F-16 HAF F-15E and the USAFE exercises with the Greek Frigates

Took place yesterday and today exercises RL ' ASTRAPI 2/14 "and" MOMENTUM 2/14 ' in which vessels of RL ' experienced ' " packages » COMAO of fighters the Air Force and the F-15E USAFE located in Crete inclusion with the Greeks operators.

The joint exercise was conducted in areas of Myrtoos and central Aegean Sea, involving Frigates, Ships General assistance, fast boats, submarines, helicopters and personnel of IHR and aircraft Squadrons 340 and 343 in terms of PA and the 494 Fighter Squadron in USAFE.
USA VS Russia in Mediterranean Sea : The USS George Bush aircraft opposite the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft

Strengthen the forces the U.S. in the Mediterranean, one of the newer and more capable aircraft to the USS George HW Bush (CVN 77) is from 24 February in the zone of responsibility of the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean, along with the task force that accompanies it.

More specifically, the U.S. aircraft carrier had left on February 15 from Naval Station Norfolk, in Virginia along with USS Truxtun (DDG 103). Heading Arleigh Burke. The force was supplemented by on board vessels USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) and USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) Ticonderoga class which had sailed from their base in Mayport, Florida, to thereby form the task force CSG 62 (Carrier Strike Group).

The CSG 62 will support the 6th and 5th Fleet conducting maritime patrols and missions in the theater of the Mediterranean and the Gulf as well as support for the operation 'Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan .

Either way towards him stands the Russian aircraft carrier " Kuznetsov " 61,500 sq. with 45 Su-33 fighters and helicopters which has sailed to Cyprus and refilled under the agreement have signed Russia and Cyprus.

Certainly the area of regions of Eurasia boils and developments are momentous in the coming months ...
GREECE AND FYROM Signed Military Pact
February 27, 2014
By SETimes

By Miki Trajkovski

Military and security co-operation between Macedonia and Greece is necessary at a time when the two countries face a variety of security threats, officials said.

Meeting in Athens, defence ministers Talat Xhaferi of Macedonia and Dimitris Avramopoulos of Greece signed a bilateral military co-operation agreement for 2014, exemplifying the good relations the two countries strive to have despite existing political differences.

“[O]ur co-operation, which started in 1991, has shown continual improvement,” Avramopoulos said.

“The plan shows our capacity to overcome all problems that are on the way to our communicating,” Xhaferi said.

The plan includes organising expert meetings on air policing, training and education, military transportation and joint participation in a conference on managing international crises.

The agreement has significant security and political dimensions, said Stojan Kuzev, professor at the European University in Skopje.

“With this act, Macedonia and Greece proclaim their readiness to co-operate in the most sensitive area — defence, which manifests the countries’ readiness to support peace, mutual trust for non-aggression and erase ambitions to change borders,” Kuzev told SETimes.

Both Macedonia and Greece will benefit from the agreement because they are a bridge for all regional developments, said Vasko Nikolovski, professor on terrorism at the MIT University in Skopje.

“The agreement is to be praised not only from a security point of view, but also from the aspect of exchange of cadres,” Nikolovski told SETimes.

Officials said co-operation thus far included military training and education for Macedonian soldiers in Greece.

The two countries have organised expert meetings on security, intelligence, defence policy, military diplomacy, medicine, and pharmacy, and have also met to exchange experiences related to NATO and the EU.

“In addition, the Macedonian defence ministry recently established a Greek language laboratory that was donated by Greece. Last November, the first Greek language graduates received certificates,” Nikolovski said.

Experts said the agreement will help Greece and Macedonia address two acute problems — illegal immigration and extremism.

“The two countries declare a joint struggle against the common sources and security threats. Those are Islamic radicalism and terrorism, but also against a new threat that particularly appears in Greece — nationalism,” Kuzev said.

Kuzev said the problems concerning internal security are pressing and should be addressed with determination and without delay.

“That is because [extremism and] nationalism almost never remain only within the borders.”

Dačić visits Serbian monastery in Greece

MT. ATHOS -- Ivica Dačić visited the Hilandar monastery at Mt. Athos in Greece and said the spiritual edifice was one of the most important treasures of the Serb people.
It must not be neglected, Serbia's outgoing prime minister and leader of the Socialists (SPS) was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
Dačić expressed satisfaction with his visit to Hilandar on the Day of Saint Simeon the Myrrh-streaming, Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja of the Serbian Grand Principality Raška (1113-1199) and the founder of the Nemanjić dynasty.

Dačić said that the aim of his visit was "to establish what has been done in terms of repairs of the consequences of the catastrophic fire which caused extensive damage to the monastery in 2004."

Dačić recalled that the Serbian government invested around EUR 10 million in the reconstruction of Hilandar, which is enough to complete 50 percent of planned works.

He underscored that the government will continue providing assistance to the monastery as "one of the biggest treasures of the Serb people."

"I underscored on several occasions that Serbia needs to preserve its cultural and historic heritage and other Serbian holy sites such as the monuments in Kosovo and Metohija, Corfu and Vido," Dačić said.

He pointed out that the cultural heritage of the Serb people is one of the most important monuments for world culture as confirmed by the fact that the Mount Athos where the Hilandar monastery is situated is included in the list of UNESCO world heritage as of 1988.

"The Mount Athos management expressed gratitude to the Serbian Ministry of Interior Affairs for its assistance in extinguishing the fire which broke out two years ago in which 50 members of fire-fighting units were engaged," Tanjug reported.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Η πρώτη συνέντευξη του Αρχηγού της Χρυσής Αυγής μέσα από τον Κορυδαλλό

The Leader of the Golden Dawn in prison Nikos Mihaloliakos responds the
known journalist in Greece Makis Triandafilopoulos, on Extra 3 TV.

Albania to get grant under EC agreement

TIRANA, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Albania has signed off on a 64.23 million euros (88 million U.S. dollars) grant from the European Commission, Minister of European Integration Klajda Gjosha has announced.

The agreement, signed Tuesday under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) 2013 program, will provide funding for 12 projects connected to key reforms in the country.

Gjosha said Albania and other beneficiary countries in the region were working with Commission to ensure IPA funding was applied effectively.

Head of the European delegation to Albania Ettore Sequi said the EU was "committed to supporting Albania for European integration."

"Our expectations from Albania are also high. We expect Albania to strengthen the rule of law, uproot corruption and fight organized crime, and respect human rights," Sequi said.

Greece's biggest Jewish community takes Germany to court

Thessaloniki Jews seek return of huge ransom paid to Nazi occupiers to free thousands of slave laborers, who were sent to death camps anyway.

By | Feb. 26, 2014 | 3:38 PM

President of Thessalonikis Jewish community David Saltie with Holocaust survivors.l
President of Thessaloniki's Jewish community, David Saltie (mustached), says Greek Jews will continue to flourish. Photo by AP

THESSALONIKI, Greece — Greece's biggest Jewish community has taken Germany to Europe's top human rights court, seeking the return of a huge ransom paid to Nazi occupiers more than 70 years ago to free thousands of slave laborers — who were still sent subsequently to German death camps.
The Jewish Community of Thessaloniki said it also wants "moral vindication" in a lawsuit tabled last week at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
In 1942, thousands of Thessaloniki's Jewish men aged 18-45 were press-ganged into construction projects across Greece by Nazi forces that had invaded Greece a year earlier.
Community leader David Saltiel said this week that about 10,000 men were used as slave laborers, building roads and fortifications or repairing railways, and brutal conditions led to 12.5 percent mortality in the first two-and-a-half months.
Community officials eventually struck a deal with a regional Nazi commander, paying him 1.9 billion drachmas — about 50 million euros ($69 million) today — for their release. But soon after, the city's entire Jewish population was sent to German death camps, which few survived.
"What happened is unbelievable," Saltiel said. "Who could have imagined that [the Germans] would send men to work as forced laborers, that they would free them on payment of ransom and then lead them into the trains going to Auschwitz?"
About 96 percent of Thessaloniki's 50,000 Jews were murdered in Nazi camps.
The community launched a legal fight for return of the ransom through Greek courts in 1997. But after 16 years, in December, the country's Supreme Court rejected the bid, saying it lacked the authority to rule on the matter.
A Jewish community statement said that to raise the "astronomic" sum, in late 1942, the community was forced to sell its assets and raise donations from all its members, as well as from Jewish associations in other parts of Greece and the world.
"There was an organized plan, apart from the physical extermination of the Jews, to wipe them out financially, too," Saltiel said.

Private security team defend a commercial ship attacked by Somali pirates. The pirates fire first but it is impossible to hear the gun shots in the video because of noise and distance.
No end for explosive actions in Albania 

Murder attempt with explosive

Murder attempt with explosive
A murder attempt with explosive was targeting a construction businessman today in Tirana, ending up wounding him and two other people.

Armando Ceka, 33, had escaped a similar attack six months ago. Julian Cela, 26, friend with Armando and his personal driver was also injured during the attack, together with Artur Sharra, 46, his bodyguard.

Police say that Armando was administering a business object at the Budi Street from his uncle, Ilir Mata. It is a two-story building rented by other people. The building was not being used anymore as a hotel or as a cafe.

Police say that Armando was controlling the area where he lived, and the building was used for meetings, since many citizens wanted to meet him about disagreements created with the construction of several apartments.

The explosive was placed in the first floor and was activated after the door was opened. Passerby citizens have heard the explosion and rushed the injured to hospital.

In September 2013, Ceka had his vehicle explode while driving and he escaped without any injuries. Investigators say that the first one might have been a message for the conflicts of the businessman, since the same thing happened to his partner. This is the second explosion in the area, after the murder attempt against the Pakistani Anvar Rizvik, a crime that has not been solved yet.

Putin orders ‘combat readiness’ tests for western, central Russian troops

Published time: February 26, 2014 12:35
Edited time: February 26, 2014 14:57
A Russian column of tracked armored vehicles (RIA Novosti / Pavel Lisitsyn)
A Russian column of tracked armored vehicles (RIA Novosti / Pavel Lisitsyn)
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered an urgent military drill to test the combat readiness of the armed forces across western and central Russia. The drill included troops dealing with mock security and terrorist threats.
The drills are not connected with events in Ukraine at all,” Sergey Shoigu, Russia’s Defense Minister, told journalists Wednesday.
As part of the test, several drills will be held on Russian borders with other countries, including with Ukraine. The main purpose of these drills is to check the combat readiness of the Russian armed forces, Shoigu said.
The surprise drill tested ground troops, Air Force, airborne troops and aerospace defense, according to Shoigu.
Putin ordered to “test combat readiness of troops in dealing with crisis situations that threaten the military security of the country, as well as with antiterrorist, sanitary and epidemiological, or technogenic situations,” Shoigu said.
According to the Defense Minister, the drill, which started at 14:00 GMT, will be held from February 26 until March 3 in two stages. The second stage involves an opposing-force exercise with the participation of Russia’s Northern and Baltic fleet and bomb strike drills.
Some 150,000 troops, 90 aircraft, over 120 helicopters, 880 tanks and 1,200 pieces of military hardware will be involved in the drills, deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Wednesday.

RIA Novosti / Vitaliy Ankov
RIA Novosti / Vitaliy Ankov
While Western media was quick to connect the drill to the situation in Ukraine, such exercises were proposed by Putin as early as last September and followed massive 2013 drills.
In February, the Russian Army staged a surprise ‘combat readiness’ drill in central Russia for the first time in 20 years, which was followed by a Black Sea drill in March.

An exercise testing aerospace defense and Air Force then took place in May, involving thousands of troops with hundreds of aircraft and vehicles.

In July, a massive military drill took place in the Eastern Command. Up to 160,000 troops, 1,000 tanks and armored vehicles, 130 aircraft and 70 vessels took part in the drill.
Following the 2013 exercises, President Putin, in his capacity as Russia’s Supreme Commander-in-Chief, announced that the practice of surprise drills will continue. A comprehensive inspection of Interior Ministry troops was also ordered.

RIA Novosti / Vitaliy Ankov
RIA Novosti / Vitaliy Ankov

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Is this the Kremlin plan to divide Ukraine? 100,000 Russians sign call for 'New Russia’ which would include Crimea – and then map disappears from website

  • In under 24 hours, almost 100,000 had signed support for dividing country
  • Politicians who have taken power in Ukraine see a threat in such a scenario
  • Issued strong warnings over risk of separatism in Russian-speaking areas
  • Putin has so far remained silent on his intentions over Ukraine crisis
  • But he met with his top security aides yesterday to discuss the matters
By Will Stewart
An online petition calling on Vladimir Putin to invade eastern Ukraine was dramatically deleted today after it went viral on the Russian-language web.
A map linked to the petition showed how Ukraine would look if Moscow annexed its eastern regions, creating a separate country or super-region called 'New Russia'.
In less than 24 hours, almost 100,000 had expressed support for dividing the country.
A map linked to a petition calling on Vladimir Putin to invade eastern Ukraine, showed how Ukraine would look if Moscow annexed its eastern regions, creating a separate country or super-region called 'New Russia' (in red) from Ukraine (in green)
A map linked to a petition calling on Vladimir Putin to invade eastern Ukraine, showed how Ukraine would look if Moscow annexed its eastern regions, creating a separate country or super-region called 'New Russia' (in red) from Ukraine (in green)

A similar map shows the political divide that has developed since the country gained independence in 1991. Marked is the Black Sea city of Sevastopol, where the country's fugitive president is believed to have fled
A similar map shows the political divide that has developed since the country gained independence in 1991. Marked is the Black Sea city of Sevastopol, where the country's fugitive president is believed to have fled

Politicians who have taken power in the new Ukraine clearly see a threat in such a scenario and yesterday issued strong warnings over the risk of separatism in Russian-speaking areas.
Ukraine's interim president Oleksandr Turchynov warned of 'very dangerous signs of separatism' in several regions and was yesterday locked in meetings with his security services on how to prevent the country fracturing.
Retired heavyweight boxing champion  Vitali Klitschko launched his bid to become president hoping his fame could reach across the divisions now splitting the ex-Soviet state and unify Ukraine.
Another politician who led opposition to toppled leader Viktor Yanukovych warned of a risk of Putin grabbing control of the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol - which is also the HQ of the Kremlin's Black Sea fleet.
'The situation in Sevastopol has always been complex, and is even more so now. We are calling on our Russian partners not to abuse it,' said Arseniy Yatsenyuk, leader of the Fatherland faction.
'Russia has military presence in Ukraine,' he said. 'We will not tolerate any separatist attempts.'
Yesterday it was confirmed that Russian military units in Crimea had increased their state of readiness but denied reports they were involved in an operation to smuggle ex-president Viktor Yanukovych to Moscow.
Women holding flowers pass by barricades in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Ukraine
Women holding flowers pass by barricades in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Ukraine

Ukraine's interim President Olexander Turchynov is due to form a unity government, as UK and US foreign ministers meet to discuss emergency financial assistance for the country
Ukraine's interim President Olexander Turchynov is due to form a unity government, as UK and US foreign ministers meet to discuss emergency financial assistance for the country

Photos of those killed in recent violence are seen at a make-shift memorial. Ukraine's parliament voted on Tuesday to send fugitive President Viktor Yanukovich to be tried by the International Criminal Court for 'serious crimes' committed during violent anti-government protests in which scores were killed
Photos of those killed in recent violence are seen at a make-shift memorial. Ukraine's parliament voted on Tuesday to send fugitive President Viktor Yanukovich to be tried by the International Criminal Court for 'serious crimes' committed during violent anti-government protests in which scores were killed

While Putin has so far remained silent on his intentions, he met with his top security aides yesterday to discuss Ukraine.
Moscow MPs, meanwhile, demanded passports for ethnic Russians in Ukraine, with new legislation this week introduced into parliament.
MP Leonid Slutsky - in charge of parliamentary links with ethnic Russian abroad - warned: "Ukraine is a gunpowder keg and any provocations could result in bloodshed."
In Crimea last night, he claimed: 'We think that Yanukovych is still the legitimate president.'
It was too early to discuss potential help for mainly Russian areas of  Ukraine, such as Crimea, he said. But a raft of measures would be drawn up in the near future.
'We will not abandon our brothers in Ukraine and more than a million of our compatriots in the current clashes. They have found themselves in a difficult position with the sudden impending collapse of the Russian-speaking sphere.'
The opposition Communist Party in Russian appealed to Putin not to recognise the new authorities in Kiev, while senior senator  Mikhail Margelov claimed there was 'a lack of order' at Ukraine's nuclear power stations.
An anti-government protestor acts as a traffic warden at a crossroads in the centre of Kiev
An anti-government protestor acts as a traffic warden at a crossroads in the centre of Kiev

A man kneels on the ground draped in a Ukrainian flag during a funeral of an anti-government demonstrator in Independence square
A man kneels on the ground draped in a Ukrainian flag during a funeral of an anti-government demonstrator in Independence square

'Ukraine has no normal government so far,' he said.
'This cannot but worry Ukraine and its neighbours.'
The  Russian-language petition website had envisaged these regions being swallowed up by Russia: Odessa, Nikolaev, Kherson, Crimea, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhie, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Lugansk.
The petition was styled: 'To the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin - to annex the South-East of Ukraine to Russia.'
It was backed by at least 93,436 people before being abruptly deleted.
It is unclear who organised it. Nor is it known if it had any official sanction.
There were signs last night the Kremlin was seeking to calm a political and media frenzy over Ukraine, with foreign minister Sergei Lavrov toning down the rhetoric.
Russia had a 'position of non-intervention in Ukraine's internal affairs,' he said.

Calls for Turkey PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan to resign in leaked tape scandal | euronews, world news

Calls for Turkey PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan to resign in leaked tape scandal | euronews, world news

Calls for Turkey PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan to resign in leaked tape scandal

25/02 13:13 CET

A voice recording said to be of a telephone conversation between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his son Bilal is at the centre of the latest political storm in Turkey. In the conversation the pair allegedly discuss how to hide large sums of money on the day police raided houses as part of a corruption inquiry into Erdogan’s government on December 17, 2013.

Erdogan’s office described the recordings as a “dirty immoral fabrication”.
After the alleged leak, Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) held an emergency meeting where they discussed the voice recording. The CHP said the government has lost its legitimacy and called on Erdoğan to step down.
The executive board of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) also held a meeting under the leadership of chairman Devlet Bahçeli. Bahçeli said “the talks between the Prime Minister and his fugitive son is beyond our capacity of understanding.”
In the newly released voice recordings, it’s claimed Erdoğan and his son discuss in five wiretapped phone conversations plans to conceal huge sums of cash from police, who raided a number of venues as part of a corruption investigation that has implicated sons of three Turkish ministers, businessmen and the head of the state bank.
The Prime Minister’s office released a statement late on Monday, claiming that the voice recording is a “product of montage” and it is “completely false.” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ repeated the claim and said those responsible will be brought to justice.
The voice recording is the latest in a series of leaked phone conversations that purportedly reveal wide-range corruption.
The Prime Minister claims that all these are a plot against his government and are completely unfounded. Pro-government newspapers yesterday published reports of what it claims were illegally tapped phone calls.
The political uncertainty hit Turkish markets, with the Turkish Lira losing value against the euro and the dollar.
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