Saturday, January 10, 2009

Albania Floats Idea Of Balkan SchengenPristina

Fatmir SejdiuKosovo and Albania said they will soon sign an agreement creating a 'mini-Schengen' zone allowing free movement across their borders, a deal that could lead to a wider no-border zone in the region.

Travel between Albania and Kosovo is currently possible by showing one's passport or driver's license.“The agreement will enable citizens to move freely and ease the administrative procedures”, Albanian President Bamir Topi said during his visit in Kosovo.

He dismissed any possibility of uniting Kosovo and Albania, saying "the unification will happen in Brussels, in the European family."
Albania disposes of 104,000 tons of ammunitions

Up to present, Albania disposes of 104,000 tons of ammunitions. The greater part of the arms and weapons are dangerous and need to be destroyed by 2010, Albanian Defense Minister Gazmend Oketa announced, Macedonian Dnevnik newspaper reports.

“We inherited 194,000 tons of ammunitions from 1992. Now, we have 104,000 tons, as some 84,000 tons of them are dangerous and need to be neutralized by 2010”, the minister reported.

Friday, January 9, 2009



While the villagers continue to confront in Koakomea with police special forces, the Albanian mas media ordinated by the government has blocked the information that what happened in Kakomea.

About 200 special forces armed from Tirana and others from Vlora and Saranda have enclosed the terror to Kakomea. Many others villagers has made a protest in Saranda Town a front of Tribunal for the arrest of about 20 persons from the village of Nivitsa.

In the village of Nivista lives a large old Greek community of Himara Region which protests for the right of property in Kakomea Gulf, while the Albanian government support an Albanian company to invest on the common property of villagers from Nivitsa.

The incident shout make in dangerous crise the Greek Albanian relations seeing the presidential of Greek diplomacy to head the OSCE for 2009.
Albania, Security News

Albanian special forces entered brutally to Kakomea

About 20 villagers from Nivitsa are under arrest from crash with police special forces

Kakomea, Southern Albania. About 200 special forces came from Tirana, are confronted last Friday night with villagers of Nivitsa, Himara Region in Southern Albania. The crash bring the open of the way to Kakomea for the trallers of "Riviera Company" which where blocked since November 2008 by inhabitants of Nivitsa.

The situation is very dangerous after the declarate which the Mayor of Lukovo Vladimir Kumi called the International Institutions that observer the Albanian government including OSCE.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tirana: Serb "ultra-nationalists" to blame

Albanian President Bamir Topi said in Priština today that Serb “ultra-nationalists” were to blame for the recent incidents and clashes in Kosovo.

Bamir Topi, left, "It is clear where the incidents are coming from. The investigation should continue and it is very important in these situations to analyze where all of this is coming from,” Topi told journalists, commending the posture and reactions of the Kosovo institutions and Albanians in Kosovo".

Albania will be among those who will show that this conduct and these negative acts come from ultra-nationalist Serb circles,” he said.

Albanian president visiting Kosovo

8 January 2009

PRIŠTINA -- Albanian President Bamir Topi has begun a two-day visit to Kosovo to meet with representatives from the temporary institutions and the international community.
Bamir Topi, left (FoNet, archive)Topi was welcomed at Priština airport by Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuqi and other Kosovo government officials.

The formal part of the visit will begin with a reception at the provincial assembly building, which also houses the cabinet of Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu, and where the two presidents will inspect the ceremonial Kosovo Guards battalion.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Greece to lodge demarches over harassment of gunboat, helicopter during operation by Turkish patrol boat, jetfighters

A Greek gunboat and military helicopter were harassed by a Turkish patrol boat and a pair of Turkish F-16 jetfighters near the islands of Farmakonissi and Agathonissi in the Aegean on Wednesday morning, and foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis immediately gave instructions for the relevant demarches to be lodged with the neighboring country.

In a statement, Bakoyannis called the Turkish actions "unacceptable", stressing that they were in "blatant violation of International Law" while they also hampered the efforts being made for improvement of Greek-Turkish relations.

According to the Greek National Defence General Staff (GEETHA), during a search and rescue operation underway around Farmakonissi to locate illegal immigrants, in which the gunboat "Nikiforos" and a Super Puma helicopter were taking part, at 9:15 a.m. the gunboat was harassed by the Turkish patrol boat and the helicopter by the pair of F-16s, "despite the fact that the area had been engaged since Tuesday for the execution of this operation, with a NOTAM issued by the Merchant Marine Ministry via the Search and Rescue Coordination Center".

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


The Greek Newspaper "Ta Nea" investigates about the last attack against police team in Athens.

more in greek:

Bouthrotum (Butrint) (Northern Epirus - Albania)

Australian Macedonian Advisory Council
January 06, 2009

The sun had already began to hang low in the sky, like a tantalizingly overripe peach provocatively flaunting its immanent fall, by the time we finished our most excellent fish soup, at Agioi Saranda, the port city of Northern Epirus and took the winding road down the rocky Northern Epirot coast, to Bouthrotum, the ancient capital of the Epirot kings.
Northern Epirots seem to have inherited their southern cousins´ driving skills. After the relative order and overabundance of caution in Australia, seeing manic Northern Epirots racing around blind corners, switching to the lane of oncoming traffic and overtaking at over 100km per hour on steep mountain bends in a race to get to Bouthrotum by sunset tends to have the effect of appreciating the harshness of the terrain, as well as lodging one´s hand in the handrail of the car door and clinging, for life´s sake.
Blast at Albania munitions disposal plant kills 1

The Associated Press

TIRANA, Albania: An explosion at an Albanian ammunition disposal plant killed one worker Tuesday after employees went outdoors to build a fire to keep themselves warm, the Defense Ministry said. The ministry said the blast occurred in Polican, 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of the capital, Tirana. The cause of the blast remained under investigation, but the ministry said the use of munitions packaging as fuel for the fire may have set off an ignition device that contained gunpowder.

Many workplaces in Albania are unheated, and the incident appeared to be unrelated to the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute. There have been subfreezing temperatures in Albania over the past several days. The victim was identified as worker Suzana Kapxhiu, 45, who died of head injuries. Five other workers at the plant were unharmed.
Today in Europe

The plant is one of the Albanian army's factories used to dispose of ammunition kept in storage across the Balkan country since the communist regime fell in 1990.
Last year, 26 people died and around 300 others were injured from a huge blast at a private disposal factory near Tirana.
Albanians protesting in Preševo

6 January 2009 PREŠEVO -- Preševo Valley Albanians are calling for the release of the members of the Gnjilane Group of the Kosovo Liberation Army arrested on suspicion of war crimes. The mayors of Bujanovac and Preševo meet with ministers in the wake of the arrest of the Gnjilane Group (FoNet, archive)The protests will last until every single Albanian arrested on the orders of the War Crimes Prosecution on December 26 is released from custody, says Memet Azizi, one of the protest organizers.

“We want the authorities in Belgrade to release all the suspects on bail because they did not commit the war crimes that the prosecution has accused them of,” says Azizi. The protest will serve to send a message to the public and condemn members of the police and Gendarmerie for their heavy-handed and “spectacular” arrest operation, during which Albanian property was destroyed, the protestors say. The atmosphere has been further charged by an appeal sent to civil rights organizations yesterday.

The appeal was signed by MP Riza Halimi and Preševo and Bujanovac Municipal Presidents Nader Sadiku and Šaip Kamberi. The signatories have called on the organizations to send their representatives to visit the imprisoned Albanians to hear from them how they were physically and mentally abused during the arrests, thus breaching international conventions on human rights and freedoms.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Security increased after Kosovo blasts

PRISTINA, Kosovo-Serbs set fire to two ethnic Albanian-owned shops in the tense town of Mitrovica on Saturday and six firefighters were injured by an explosion while fighting the blaze. NATO and the European Union responded by ordering more troops to the area of northern Kosovo. It was the second such deployment order this week regarding Mitrovica, and it highlighted the challenge that security forces face in preventing ethnic violence in the new country of Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians are a majority and Serbs a minority.

Kosovo's international observers hope to prevent such violence from escalating as the EU begins supervising police operations in Kosovo. French Brig. Gen. Michel Yakovleff, who supervises Mitrovica, said earlier this month that NATO's Kosovo force would not hesitate to act if the EU mission is challenged.

The EU police mission said in a statement Saturday that the latest deployment order was designed to "show its determination" to quell any violence in Kosovo. It began in Mitrovia early Saturday when a mob of angry Serbs gathered following an explosion that damaged eight cars there. The two shops were then set on fire, leading to another explosion. The causes of both blasts were being investigated, police said. President Fatmir Sejdiu condemned the violence and said Kosovo's institutions will "not allow such acts to endanger" the country's future.

Just days ago NATO sent troops to Mitrovica to end riots that followed the arrest of two ethnic Albanians suspected of stabbing a Serb man. Mitrovica has often been the scene of clashes between ethnic Albanians and Serbs. In a separate incident, Kosovo's police said Saturday they were searching for an unidentified gunmen who fired 11 rounds at a Serb's house in eastern Kosovo. Many Serbs bitterly reject Kosovo's declaration of independence, which was issued in February.

Some Albanians fear concessions made to Kosovo's Serbs, such as giving control over police, customs and justice matters, will lead to the country's split along ethnic lines. Serbs treat the EU mission with suspicion since most countries in the EU have recognized Kosovo as an independent state.