Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Albanian prime minister cancels visit to Macedonia

TIRANA, BERLIN -- Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has canceled his official visit to Macedonia, planned for May 14, Albanian language media in Pristina are reporting.
(Beta/AP, file)
(Beta/AP, file)
Rama was to visit Skopje and Tetovo, the website Albeu said on Tuesday, quoting sources from the Albanian Foreign Ministry.
Rama was to be given honorary doctorate at the state university in Tetovo, the Pristina media noted.

The canceling of the visit comes in the wake of armed clashes between Macedonian police and ethnic Albanian terrorists last weekend in Kumanovo.

Pristina-based outlets are reporting that "relations between Macedonia and Albania are at a critical point," and that the Macedonian Foreign Ministry has asked Albania's diplomats posted in Skopje to explain the position of the government in Tirana.

Germany's daily Die Welt reported earlier that "neighboring countries" have been "adding fuel to the fire" in Macedonia, where the situation "has not yet stabilized."

Specifically, the paper said that the government in Skopje has been receiving "open threats from Albania and Kosovo," as on the political front "a dynamic is developing" that could further aggravate the situation.

The Albanian reaction to the developments in Macedonia has been one of "open threats," the German newspaper said, adding that Tirana "pointed out that a flare up of ethnic conflict could be devastating for Macedonia, and demanded that Skopje improves the rights of the Albanian minority."

According to the report, Albania "considers it possible" that the Macedonian prime minister "provoked the conflict with parts of the Albanian minority to secure his rule." The paper noted that the resignation of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski's government has been demanded since February, "when it was discovered that 20,000 people, among them journalists, opposition leaders and ambassadors, have been spied on and kept under surveillance."

The article also quotes the head of the Serbian Military Security Agency (VBA) Petar Cvetkovic who blamed Western powers for supporting the Greater Albania project, and said Belgrade had warned Macedonia about militant Albanians' plans.

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