Saturday, January 20, 2018

Tsipras-Stoltenberg phone contact - Kotzias-Bushati meeting in Korçë

Tsipras-Stoltenberg phone contact - Kotzias-Bushati meeting in Korçë
By Spiros Sideris / Published on: 19-01-2018, Reuters

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who contacted the Greek premier in order to inform him about his recent visit to fYROMacedonia.

The Prime Minister welcomed NATO's Secretary General's statements regarding the fYROMacedonian name issue, stressing the importance of faithful adherence to the declaration of the Bucharest Summit.

During his two-day visit to fYROMacedonia, the Norwegian politician made it clear to the Skopje government that only by resolving the name issue could the country become a NATO member. "There is no 'plan B' for the country's entry into NATO, there is no way to join NATO if the name issue is not resolved," the NATO Secretary-General noted in his joint statements with Zoran Zaev.

Tsipras: Resolution of the issue with a commonly accepted, compound name, against everyone (who says otherwise)

Addressing the SYRIZA Central Committee, the Greek Prime Minister appeared determined to proceed with a solution regardless of political costs, if he eventually achieved an honest compromise, and attacked those supporting extreme positions or who prepare to take part in rallies.

Alexis Tsipras stressed that the Greek position is clear and one of responsibility. "We are decisively seeking to resolve the issue with a commonly accepted, compound name, and we oppose our adversaries... after the political shift in the neighbouring country, we see a government determined to take steps. But it remains to be seen in practice. We are looking for a name and a broader framework of agreement that leaves no room for irredentism or unrealistic claims."

Nikos Kotzias in Korçë

In the context of government policy to resolve Greece's disputes with neighbouring countries, Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Kotzias is, since Friday afternoon in Korçë, Albania, where there will be two-day contacts with his Albanian counterpart Ditmir Bushati and between officials of the two (Greek-Albanian) ministries. The meeting in Korçë was preceded by a meeting in Crete, in November 2017.

According to ΙΒΝΑ's sources, talks will revolve around bilateral differences that need to be solved and around the promotion of co-operation between the two states.../IBNA

Photo (Library): Alkis Konstantinidis / REUTERS

A murder that speaks of the fragility of the Balkans

A murder that speaks of the fragility of the Balkans

AFP. Newspaper

By Plator Nesturi

The murder of the Serb leader Ivanovic in Northern Mitrovica, showed how fragile is peace and normality in a region where the wounds of the war are still fresh. While in the past few years, the efforts made by the international community, especially the EU, to calm the situation in the region, has stimulated cooperation between countries, a murder or an incident has shown that it is capable of provoking unpredictable developments. This has been felt immediately in Kosovo, because after Ivanov’s murder, there’s a fear that there may be a rise in ethnic conflicts, which are not at all difficult to be provoked. In both Albanian and Kosovar media, this topic has been the focus of numerous analyses and the concern being raised could be summed up with one question: where are we in a situation which could get out of control? And this doesn’t only relate to what the murder taken place in Mitrovica can bring, because the murder itself may lead to nothing, but it did bring a warning as to the position that we would find ourselves in in another situation which could further lead to unexpected situations.

The analyses that were made following this event, showed quite a simplistic approach, whereby, we, Albanians have strong ties with the USA, while the Serbs have strong ties with Russia and based on this, our friendship to the largest super power in the world protects us from anything that may come from the Serbs. Besides this, we’re favored by the fact that we’re a NATO member, while the northern neighbor is not. Nevertheless, we should not only assess our position in relation to our western allies, but also to the countries of the region.

The EU has always served as a centrifuge in normalizing situation in this region through plans to enlarge itself with the Balkan countries. As far as integration is concerned, Albania is last, as it’s overcome by Serbia and Montenegro. We should blame ourselves for this, because we’re a state which doesn’t function in the European spirit. If we continue our analysis, with the USA as the biggest supporter of Albania, it must be said that this moment comes after a serious mistake in terms of foreign policy. In the voting of the UN resolution, Albania aligned itself among those countries which condemned the USA on the issue of Jerusalem. Combined with numerous problems between the EU and USA following Trump’s election, we can say that we’re peripheral to be treated as a priority in a problem that affects us. Even more so when the frictions that exist between the US and EU could also have an impact in the NATO. In view of such situation, we’re mistaken in our calculations.

So far, we’ve been convinced that we have our big brother who will take care of our neighbors if they decide to harass us. This has made us forget to grow up and learn how to walk on our two feet. Even more so in such a difficult region like the Balkans and by ignoring everything.

In its foreign policy, Albania has always played the card of being a determining factor in the region. But it has only done this in terms of the number of Albanians living in different Balkan countries and not in terms of the strength that it can generate. The country has not had a visionary foreign policy with well defined strategies, but it has always operated based on the events that occur, by not anticipating them.

If we take a look at our neighbors, their foreign policies do not only rely on their big friends, but they also rely on their strength and the agreements that they have made with each other within the Balkans. Serbia, which has declared itself neutral in foreign policy, has allowed itself to enter relations with all the countries that interest it, such as Russia or China and also with other countries. This neutrality has not prevented it from increasing its armament and this has also been done by other Balkan countries. Last year, Serbia entered a partnership with an organization which also included five other Balkan countries. Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Poland and Serbia have decided to boost economic cooperation and also military cooperation, with the aim of protecting their interests. This is the reason why the prime ministers of these countries have held two meetings so far.

Albania has merely observed, but has it ever been able to note anything down from everything happening around it? Do we really know how much we’re worth in a region where politics and interests are being combined, where agreements are done and undone depending on the dynamics of events and where historically, the weaker one has always suffered the consequences?


Related image
Jan 19, 2018
SOURCE Vecernje Novosti

The Serbian Army warned KFOR that it would not be just a gloomy observer if the security of Serb population in the north of Kosovo and Metohija is threatened.

The strong will of Belgrade to, in the event of the escalation of violence in the province, protects its people is not a novelty to the international forces in Pristina. According to information obtained by Serbian daily “Vecernje Novosti”, the military top of Serbia regularly informed the all the previous KFOR commanders of its determination to ensure the safety of its citizens.

“We made it clear on several occasions to the command of the international forces in Pristina that they are obliged to maintain order and peace and take care of the security situation of the Serbian people. Our message was that any violence against the Serbs, like the 2004 pogrom, will not be allowed”, said a source from the Serbian military for the daily.

This warning of Belgrade is especially important in the time of increased tensions caused by the assassination of Oliver Ivanovic, as well as political and security tensions in Kosovo. Not even KFOR, the only legitimate army in the province, was spared of these turbulence.

President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic also pointed to the developments within the international forces in Kosovo:

“There is an idea within a country within KFOR to interrupt the control of the administrative line with the Serbian army. Members of the so-called Kosovo Army are increasingly being part of the patrols. I warn everybody that they do not even try to use this situation to introduce KSF (Kosovo Security Forces) to the north for the final seizure of what belongs to the Serbian people”, said, without details, President Vucic.

Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin and Chief of General Staff, General Ljubisa Dikovic confirmed in Raska that Serbian armed forces are ready for all current challenges. After the visit of the members of the Second Brigade of Serbian Army and the Security Zone, they said that our army is on alert and that it is trained, armed and ready to implement every order of the supreme commander and state authorities in defense of the territory and constitutional order of Serbia.

Commenting on the threat of Pristina’s Parliamentary speaker Kadri Veseli that in the case of attempts by Serbia to return to Kosovo, Albanians will reach Nis with their Army, Minister Vulin said to citizens that “they do not need to worry even for a second” because of these words. For Pristina, however, he had a different message:

Friday, January 19, 2018

Διαταγή Πούτιν για έξοδο Σερβίας προς τη θάλασσα – Εντολή ΝΑΤΟ για εξοπλισμό ελληνικού ΠΝ και ναυτική δύναμη περιπολίας σε Ιόνιο – παράλια Αλβανίας και Μαυροβουνίου

Δημοσίευση: 19 Ιανουαρίου 2018, Pentapostagma


Ραγδαίες εξελίξεις στα Βαλκάνια καθώς η Ρωσία υποσχέθηκε ένωση της Σερβίας με την Δημοκρατία της Σερβίας-Ερζεγοβίνης και έξοδο στη Θάλασσα! Πρόκειται για βόμβα μεγατόνων που επηρεάζει άμεσα και τη χώρα μας καθώς φέρνει τσουνάμι αλλαγών και ανακατατάξεων στην ευρύτερη περιοχή, από Μαυροβούνιο, Βοσνία μέχρι ΠΓΔΜ-Κοσσυφοπέδιο-Αλβανία κτλ.

Στο πλαίσιο αυτό, το ΝΑΤΟ το οποίο έλαβε γνώστη της μυστικής αμυντικής συμφωνίας έδωσε εντολή για άμεση σύσταση ΝΑΤΟϊκής Δύναμης περιπολίας σε Ιόνιο και παράλια Αλβανίας-Μαυροβουνίου!

Και κάπου εδώ έρχεται και το ελληνικό ΠΝ για το οποίο οι Αμερικανοί ζητούν την άμεση ενίσχυση του με μονάδες επιφανείας!

Image result

Ολόκληρη η ακτογραμμή από το Ιόνιο μέχρι τις ακτές της Αλβανίας και του Μαυροβουνίου θα πάρει φωτιά.

«Η Βορειοατλαντική συμμαχία θα  αυξήσει κατακόρυφα την ασφάλεια στα Βαλκάνια αναπτύσσοντας μονάδες επιφανείας και  στρατιωτικές δυνάμεις ειδικά στις ακτές της Αλβανίας και του Μαυροβουνίου.

Υπενθυμίζουμε ότι η  Αλβανίδα υπουργός συνοδεύοντας τον Βρετανό υπουργό άμυνας Michael Fallon πριν ένα χρόνο του είχε αποκαλύψει το σχέδιο που συζήτησε η ίδια με Αμερικανούς αξιωματούχους και το οποίο θα άλλαζε  την περιοχή  biza της Αλβανίας  σε κατ’ουσία νατοϊκή βάση .

Μάλιστα το  γεγονός αυτό είχε πιστοποιηθεί και από την άφιξη Ρώσων ειδικών,οι οποίοι εάν και  είχαν  δηλώσει ότι η άφιξή τους στην Αλβανία ήταν ένας έλεγχος ρουτίνας στα πλαίσια διεθνών συνθηκών, στην  πραγματικότητα οι αξιωματικοί από την Μόσχα  ήρθαν με αποστολή να εξακριβώσουν εάν η περιοχή κοντά στην πόλη biza έχει μετατραπεί σε κανονική βάση του ΝΑΤΟ.

Η χθεσινή απόφαση όμως προς το παρόν περιλαμβάνει την δημιουργία στολίσκου από αμερικανικά και βρετανικά πολεμικά πλοία θα έχει έδρα τα  αλβανικά ύδατα και την αποστολή χερσαίων δυνάμεων σε άγνωστη τοποθεσία.

Οι ακτές της Αλβανίας και του Μαυροβουνίου έχουν γίνει στόχος πολλών πλοίων «φαντασμάτων», σαν αυτών που διέρχονται νότια της Κρήτης γεμάτα όπλα , ναρκωτικά και οτιδήποτε παράνομο με προορισμό την Ευρώπη.

Η Αλβανία ως γνωστό έχει καταστεί μια μεγάλη «χασισοφυτεία» από το καθεστώς του Έντι Ράμα και όλη αυτήν την ποσότητα θέλει να την εξάγει στην ΕΕ . Σε αυτό το παράνομο αλισβερίσι πολλών εκατομμυρίων ευρώ  εμπλέκονται και Τούρκοι μεγαλέμποροι.

Οι νατοϊκές δυνάμεις έχουν στην ουσία διττή αποστολή, από την μία πλευρά να ελέγξουν τις ναυτικές κινήσεις και από την άλλη να ελέγξουν το παράνομο εμπόριο όπλων, πυρομαχικών και ναρκωτικών στην περιοχή.

Τo αλβανικό κράτος μαφία με παραγωγή-ρεκόρ 20ετίας σε φυτείες ινδικής κάνναβης , «μεταφέρει» τεράστιες ποσότητες χασίς και κάθε δυνατό τρόπο, από την ξηρά και τη θάλασσα, Ελλάδα και Ιταλία.

Σύμφωνα με παλαιότερα δημοσιεύματα «Εργαστήριο» επεξεργασίας και διακίνησης «σκληρών» ναρκωτικών, που σύμφωνα με εκτιμήσεις είναι ένα από τα μεγαλύτερα στα Βαλκάνια, εντόπισαν οι αλβανικές, σε πρώην στρατόπεδο, στο χωριό Λάμπινοτ του Ελμπασάν.

Αλβανικές αντιδράσεις για την ελληνική «σφραγίδα του Σκεντέρμπεη»

Οι Αλβανοί λένε ότι η σφραγίδα αυτή είναι του 17ου αιώνα και δεν έχει σχέση με τον εθνικό ήρωά τους

Ιανουάριος 19, 2018. Echedoros

Ο Αλβανοτσάμης ιστορικός Άρμπεν Λάλα (Arben Llalla) αντέδρασε για ένα σενάριο που δημοσιεύεται στα ελληνικά και φιλελληνικά μέσα ενημέρωσης της Αλβανίας, ότι η σφραγίδα στην εικόνα επάνω είναι του Σκεντέρμπεη.

Ο ιστορικός Άρμπεν Λάλα, έγραψε στο Facebook:

«Έχουν πάρει στα σοβαρά οι Έλληνες και οι φιλέλληνες αυτό το σύμβολο του Σκεντέρμπεη;
Αλλά, δεν διαβάζουμε ούτε μία λέξη για την Αλβανία ή τον Γεώργιο Καστριώτη Σκεντέρμπεη.

Πού βρήκαν οι Έλληνες ότι η σφραγίδα  αυτή είναι του Σκεντέρμπεη;


Επίσης, ο ιστορικός ερευνητής Έτνορ Τσανάι (Etnor Canaj) έγραψε για αυτήν την ελληνική σφραγίδα που βρέθηκε στο Εθνικό Μουσείο της Δανίας, στη σελίδα του:

«Αυτή η σφραγίδα, η οποία θεωρήθηκε ως σφραγίδα του Σκεντέρμπεη, είναι πλέον ευρέως αποδεκτό ότι δεν έχει καμία σχέση με την περίοδο του ήρωά μας, γιατί είναι του 17ου αιώνα.

Γράφει «Βασιλεύς Αλέξανδρος», ως τίτλος που ο ήρωάς μας δεν το έκανε ποτέ, αν και αυτός ήταν ο στόχος του Πάπα Πίου του Β΄ ότι θα τον ανακήρυττε βασιλιά, κάτι που δεν πραγματοποιήθηκε και δεν έλαβε τον τίτλο αυτόν.

Πώς να γίνει βασιλιάς όλων αυτών των λαών;

Αφού η Βουλγαρία και η Σερβία είχαν τις βασιλικές δυναστείες τους και οι Ρωμιοί (Έλληνες) δεν νομίζω ότι θα δεχόντουσαν να ήταν υπό του Σκεντέρμπεη».

(Στοιχεία από:,

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Iσοπεδωτική αντίδραση Ρωσίας κατά Αλβανών για Σκόπια-Κόσοβο: «Αν συνεχίσετε, ξεσπούν εθνοτικές συγκρούσεις» – Θα επιζήσει το κρατίδιο;

 18 Ιανουαρίου 2018,

Του Βασίλη Καπούλα

Το μεγάλο «πάρτι» γύρω από ένα κρατίδιο που βρίσκεται στην «εντατική» έχει ήδη ξεκινήσει.  Οπως ακριβώς γράψαμε χτες (δείτε σχετικά ΕΔΩ) μετά την πρωτοφανή κίνηση του Προέδρου των Σκοπίων να αρνηθεί να υπογράψει το νόμο για τη διεύρυνση της αλβανικής γλώσσας στη χώρα κάτι που θα σήμανε αυτόματα συνομοσποδία, σήμερα είχαμε την σφοδρότατη αντίδραση της Ρωσίας υπέρ των Σλάβων της ΠΓΔΜ και κατά των Αλβανών και συνολικά της Αλβανίας. Ακολουθεί δεύτερη ανακοίνωση για τη δολοφονία του Σέρβου ηγέτη στο Κόσοβο:

Και στις δύο ανακοινώσεις η Ρωσία μιλά για επερχόμενες «εθνοτικές συγκρούσεις».

Το ρωσικό υπουργείο Εξωτερικών, με ανακοίνωσή του καταφέρεται εναντίον των παρεμβάσεων της Αλβανίας στο πολιτικό σκηνικό του σκοπιανού κράτους , αναφέρει την κυβέρνηση του Έντι Ράμα, και επισημαίνει τον κίνδυνο ξεσπάσματος εθνοτικών συγκρούσεων που θα επεκταθούν στα Βαλκάνια!

Το είπε ευθέως Η ανακοίνωση και όσα αφήνει να εννοηθεί ότι έρχονται μυρίζουν «μπαρούτι» σε όλη την περιοχή.

Ρωσία και ΗΠΑ κονταροχτυπιούνται με αφορμή και την δολοφονία του ηγέτη των Σέρβων του  Κοσσυφοπεδίου,  και  εισέρχονται  εκ νέου σε κρίση η οποία μπορεί να παρεκτραπεί ανά πάσα στιγμή στην περιοχή λόγω της μεγάλης εθνοτικής κόντρας Σέρβων και Αλβανών που «σιγοκαίει» από το 1999.

Η δήλωση του ρωσικού ΥΠΕΞ:

«Λάβαμε γνώση μιας δήλωσης που έκανε ο πρωθυπουργός της Αλβανίας Έντι Ράμα στις 14 Ιανουαρίου, αναφορικά με την εμπλοκή του κυβερνώντος στην Αλβανία Σοσιαλιστικού Κόμματος στη δημιουργία του Εθνικού Απελευθερωτικού Στρατού (KLA) του Κοσόβου, όπως επίσης στην αποφασιστική εμπλοκή του KLA στη μάχη με τη Σερβία.

Επίσης γνωρίζουμε την εμπλοκή του KLA στην υιοθέτηση του νόμου για τις επίσημες ομιλούμενες γλώσσες από το Κοινοβούλιο της Δημοκρατίας της Μακεδονίας (sic). Αυτός ο νόμος καθιστά τα αλβανικά δεύτερη επίσημη γλώσσα μαζί με τα μακεδονικά.

Οι εν λόγω δηλώσεις, επιβεβαιώνουν τις προθέσεις του κ. Ράμα να προωθήσει την διαβόητη Πλατφόρμα των Τιράνων, που ο ίδιος βοήθησε να καταρτιστεί.

Η εφαρμογή αυτού του εγγράφου θα εξάλειφε τα συνταγματικά θεμέλια του Μακεδονικού (sic) κράτους και τη συμφωνία – πλαίσιο της Οχρίδας.

Συνεπακόλουθα θα ήταν η αφορμή για νέες εθνοτικές συγκρούσεις στα Βαλκάνια.

Αυτές οι εξελίξεις έρχονται είναι πλήρως συντονισμένες με τις διαδεδομένες φιλοδοξίες για τη Μεγάλη Αλβανία, οι οποίες βάζουν σε κίνδυνο την εδαφική ακεραιότητα πολλών χωρών στην περιοχή.

Δίνουμε πολύ μεγάλη σημασία στο ζήτημα των γλωσσών και πιστεύουμε πως τέτοιες αποφάσεις θα πρέπει να λαμβάνονται στη βάση της συμφωνίας μεταξύ όλων των εξουσιών σε οποιαδήποτε χώρα και με τη συναίνεση της κοινωνίας» καταλήγει η πρώτη ανακοίνωση των Ρώσων.

Η δεύτερη ανακοίνωση αναφέρει:

«Καταδικάζουμε έντονα τη δολοφονία του Όλιβερ Ιβάνοβιτς, η οποία συμβάλλει στην ανάπτυξη της τρομοκρατίας και των συγκρούσεων στην περιοχή.

«Έμαθα με θλίψη τη δολοφονία του διάσημου πολιτικού Oliver Ivanovic, ενός από τους ηγέτες των Σέρβων που ζουν στα βόρεια της Επαρχίας του Κοσσυφοπεδίου στις 16 Ιανουαρίου. Εκφράζουμε τα βαθύτατα συλλυπητήριά μας στην οικογένεια και στους φίλους του. Καταδικάζουμε αυστηρά αυτήν την αποτρόπαια πράξη.

Η δημιουργία πολιτικών λογαριασμών συμβάλλει με τον τρόπο αυτό στην ανάπτυξη της ατμόσφαιρας τρόμου και στην επανάληψη των διαθρησκευτικών συγκρούσεων στην περιοχή.

Καλούμε όλους τους διεθνείς οργανισμούς που είναι παρόντες στο Κοσσυφοπέδιο να λάβουν ολοκληρωμένα μέτρα για την πρόληψη πιθανών περιστατικών στην επαρχία, σύμφωνα με τις υπάρχουσες εντολές» , αναφέρει η ανακοίνωση του Σ.Λαβρώφ .

Ταυτόχρονα, και ο Σέρβος δημοσιογράφος του σερβικού Sputnik Μπόρις Μαλαγκρούσκι κατηγόρησε έμμεσα τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες για τη δολοφονία του ηγέτη της Πολιτικής Πρωτοβουλίας Όλιβερ Ιβάνοβιτς κατονομάζοντας την Ουάσιγκτον ως κύριο ηθικό αυτουργό της πράξης αυτής.

Ο ίδιος υπενθύμισε την ημερομηνία της 10ης Ιανουαρίου του τρέχοντος έτους, όταν όπως είπε  η αμερικανική πρεσβεία στην Πρίστινα έβγαλε προειδοποίηση  για τον κίνδυνο τρομοκρατικών επιθέσεων στη βόρεια Μιτρόβιτσα. Κάτι που ο γράφων και το ΠΕΝΤΑΠΟΣΤΑΓΜΑ αποκάλυψαν αμέσως.

Στις 16 Ιανουαρίου, ο Μαλαγκούρσκι επισημαίνει ότι έλαβε χώρα  η δολοφονία του σερβικού αξιωματούχου, με τις προεκτάσεις να μην είναι ακόμα «φανερές».

Την ίδια στιγμή η τελευταία έκθεση της Αμερικανικής Επιτροπής Διεθνών Σχέσεων, αναφέρεται αρκετές φορές στο κράτος του Κοσσυφοπεδίου.

Η έκθεση με τίτλο «Ασύμμετρες επιθέσεις Πούτιν για τη δημοκρατία στο Κοσσυφοπέδιο και την Ευρώπη,» επικεντρώθηκε αποκλειστικά στις Σερβο-αλβανικές σχέσεις.

Η έκθεση της αμερικανικής γερουσίας αναφέρει:

«επικρίνουμε το πρακτορείο ειδήσεων Sputnik το οποίο δημοσιοποιεί «προπαγανδιστικά άρθρα  και αναφέρει ότι οι Αλβανοί του Κοσσυφοπεδίου ετοιμάζουν προγραμματισμένη σφαγή των Σέρβων στο Κοσσυφοπέδιο, με την υποστήριξη της Δύσης, ενώ οι ΗΠΑ φέρονταν να δημιουργούν ασταθείς συνθήκες, ώστε να υπάρξουν οι απαραίτητες προϋποθέσεις  για να ανακατευθεί  η Ρωσία στο Κοσσυφοπέδιο».

Το Σπούτνικ, σύμφωνα με την έκθεση , φέρεται να ξεκίνησε την προπαγάνδα  του τον Ιανουάριο του 2015 και αυτή είχε τόσο αρνητικό αντίκτυπο στις σχέσεις Σερβίας-Αλβανίας , ώστε πάνω από  το 60 τοις εκατό των Σέρβων  να εμπιστεύονται αποκλειστικά και μόνο την Ρωσία.

Τα περισσότερα μέσα μαζικής ενημέρωσης στο Βελιγράδι επικρίνουν τις ΗΠΑ ενώ καταφέρονται συνεχώς κατά του ΝΑΤΟ και της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης.

«Οι Σέρβοι αγαπούν τη Ρωσία, και μπορείτε να το παρατηρήσετε στους δρόμους της Σερβίας, καθώς και στα περίπτερα είναι γεμάτα αναμνηστικά που δείχνουν την πίστη των Σέρβων προς τη Ρωσία και τον ηγέτη Πούτιν της», τονίζει η αμερικανική έκθεση.

Οι σχέσεις μεταξύ Ρωσίας και Σέρβων ενισχύονται από πολιτιστικούς θεσμούς όπως η Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία και οι οργανώσεις της κοινωνίας των πολιτών που τους παρέχουν ανθρωπιστική βοήθεια, καταλήγει το αμερικανικό έγγραφο .

Η ιστορία, και ειδικά αυτή έχει καταγράψει τις στενές σχέσεις Σερβίας και Ρωσίας με εξαίρεση  κάποια «διαλείμματα» , οι οποίες ειδικά τώρα έχουν περιέλθει στα επίπεδα του 1ου παγκοσμίου πολέμου.

Ότι και να γίνει η Ρωσία θα είναι για την Σερβία ένας ισχυρός και αξιόπιστος σύμμαχος σε ότι συμβεί από εδώ και στο εξής, ειδικά στο Κοσσυφοπέδιο .

Σημειώνουμε δε επίσης ότι ο Πούτιν θέλει μανιωδώς να «διορθώσει» τα εγκλήματα του Γιέλτσιν σε Βοσνία, Κοσσυφοπέδιο,  δίνοντας στην δύση μια δική του άποψη για την  όλη κατάσταση .

Αυτή είναι η κύρια πολιτική και στρατιωτική θεωρία που επικρατεί στην Μόσχα και εφόσον αυτή «πετύχει» τότε και οι υπόλοιπες βαλκανικές χώρες θα προσχωρήσουν  στο ρωσικό άξονα η μία μετά την άλλη.

Albania, Greece mull project to set up joint border crossing points

Image result for albania greece border
Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-18

TIRANA, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Albania and Greece police authorities discussed Wednesday to set up joint border crossing points which would begin in Kakavija (southern Albania) and later be applied in all the other points along the border with Greece.

The talks were held during a meeting attended by Head of Albania's Border and Migration Department Aida Hajnaj and Greek Police Inspector General for Aliens and Border Protection of Hellenic Police, Zaharoula Tsirigoti, in cross border point of Kapshtica (southeast Albania).

The two officials also assessed a fruitful synchronized border police patrolling which, according to them, helped police of both countries step up efforts against criminal activities at Albanian and Greek border.

The joint police patrolling is aimed to prevent, discover and deal blows to criminal activity, said a press statement of Albanian police.

Hajnaj expressed grateful thanks to her Greek counterpart for the good cooperation, support and assistance given to the Albanian Border Police.

On her part, Tsirigoti highlighted the measures taken in fight against organized crime in the border regions.

She emphasized that so far joint patrols and exchange of information between the two police services had yielded positive results in the arrest of several suspects and at the same time sequester of narcotics.

Moscow calls out Albanian PM on "Greater Albania ambitions"

(Tanjug, file)
Recent by Albanian Prime Minister Albania Edi Rama are "fully in accord with the widespread Greater Albania ambitions."


The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said this in a comment by the Information and Press Department "regarding statements by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on the Macedonian parliament passing the Law on the Use of Languages."

"We have taken note of a statement made on January 14 by Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama regarding the involvement of the ruling Socialist Party of Albania (SPA) in the creation of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and in the battle for Kosovo in the neighboring Serbia, as well as the SPA’s decisive contribution to the adoption of the Law on the Use of Languages by the Assembly (parliament) of the Republic of Macedonia. This law makes Albanian the country’s second official language along with Macedonian," the press release said, adding:

"These statements confirm Mr. Rama’s intention to continue to promote the notorious Tirana Platform, which he helped to draft. The implementation of this document would erode the constitutional foundations of the Macedonian state and the Ohrid Framework Agreement and would consequently provoke new ethnic clashes in the Balkans. These new developments are fully in accord with the widespread Greater Albania ambitions, which endanger the territorial integrity of several countries in the region."

"We attach much significance to the issue of languages and believe that such decisions must only be taken on the basis of agreement between all branches of power in any country and a broad consensus in its society," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Το Ρωσικό ΥΠΕΞ για φιλοδοξίες περί Μεγάλης Αλβανίας

Ιανουάριος 18, 2018. Echedoros

Το ρωσικό υπουργείο Εξωτερικών, με ανακοίνωσή του στιγματίζει τις συνεχείς επεμβάσεις της Αλβανίας, δια της κυβέρνησης του Έντι Ράμα, στο πολιτικό σκηνικό του σκοπιανού κράτους και επισημαίνει  τον κίνδυνο ξεσπάσματος  εθνοτικών συγκρούσεων που  θα επεκταθούν στα Βαλκάνια.

Στο ρωσικό κείμενο τονίζεται  ότι οι παρεμβάσεις του Αλβανού  πρωθυπουργού, Έντι Ράμα με την περιβόητη Πλατφόρμα των Τιράνων, στο σχεδιασμό της οποίας βοήθησε, έχουν ως σκοπό τη διάβρωση των συνταγματικών  θεμελίων του «(Ψευδο)μακεδονικού» κράτους και της συμφωνίας- πλαισίου της Οχρίδας, η οποία διάβρωση  θα προκαλέσει νέες εθνοτικές συγκρούσεις στα Βαλκάνια.

Σημειώνεται χαρακτηριστικά:

Οι νέες αυτές εξελίξεις είναι πλήρως σύμφωνες με τις εκτεταμένες φιλοδοξίες  των Τιράνων για τη Μεγάλη Αλβανία, η οποία θέτει σε κίνδυνο την εδαφική ακεραιότητα πολλών χωρών της περιοχής.

Το ρωσικό υπουργείο Εξωτερικών αναφέρεται στις δηλώσεις του Αλβανού πρωθυπουργού Έντι Ράμα στις 14 Ιανουαρίου ότι το κυβερνών Σοσιαλιστικό Κόμμα της Αλβανίας (SP) συμμετείχε στη δημιουργία  του Απελευθερωτικού Στρατού  Κοσσυφοπεδίου (UCK),   και στις μάχες για το Κοσσυφοπέδιο στην επαρχία της Σερβίας.

Και, τώρα, εμπλέκεται στο θέμα των γλωσσών στα γειτονικά Σκόπια.

«Αποδίδουμε μεγάλη σημασία στο θέμα των γλωσσών και πιστεύουμε ότι οι αποφάσεις πρέπει να λαμβάνονται μόνο βάσει της συμφωνίας μεταξύ όλων των τομέων  σε κάθε χώρα και με την ευρεία συναίνεση της κοινωνίας του».

Το κείμενο του ρωσικού ΥΠΕΞ στην αγγλική του  απόδοση:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Turkish consortium bids to build Vlora airport as Albania prepares to launch national carrier

Image result for skrofotine vlore

By Tirana Times
January 17, 2018 14:23

TIRANA, Jan. 17 – A Turkish-consortium that is building Istanbul’s third airport has offered to build Albania’s second airport in a regional project that also paves the way for Albania to set up its national flag carrier and reduce current ticket prices, among the region’s highest.

The project to build a regional airport in Vlora, southern Albania, comes as part of the assistance the Albanian government has been receiving from the Turkish government and its Turkish Airlines, to open up new airports and set up its national carrier in a bid to offer passengers a new alternative to Tirana International Airport, the country’s sole international airport.

The airport is also expected to benefit Albania’s rapidly growing tourism industry and southern Albanian destinations such as Vlora, Saranda and Gjirokastra, making access to Ionian coastline and UNESCO World Heritage sites easier.

“We have received a request for the great strategic investment on the new Vlora national airport. Construction of works to begin by next June,” Prime Minister Edi Rama wrote on social media on Wednesday.

The country’s infrastructure ministry later unveiled it had received a bid by three Turkish companies, Cengis, Kalyon and Kolin Construction to build the Vlora airport, and that it would set up a special group to examine the technical aspects of the proposal. The three companies are part of the consortium that is building the multi-billion dollar airport that will partially launch operations by February 2018.

The infrastructure ministry says the airport will be a completely private investment, providing no details on the form of partnership. The investment will likely be made through a build-own-transfer concession, the same as the Tirana International Airport was upgraded in 2005 under a 20-year deal with the Albanian government.

“We are at an advanced stage on the launch of our national carrier. I believe we will create conditions for more competition and then lower prices,” Rama said at a TV interview earlier this week.

Prime Minister Rama has earlier unveiled the ‘Air Albania’ national carrier will initially connect Tirana to regional unserviced countries such as Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina and several Western Europe destinations.

Back in May 2017 at a meeting with the CEO of Turkish Airlines in Tirana, Prime Minister Edi Rama said he was optimistic that with the support of the Turkish government and President Erdogan, Albania would have its own ‘Red and Black’ national carrier, open up its second international regional airport in Vlora, and a smaller tourist airport in Saranda, southernmost Albania.

Turkish Airlines, whose 49 percent stake is held by the Turkish government, serves more than 275 destinations in five continents, being one of the fastest growing airlines.

Turkey is one of Albania’s strategic partners, top investors and main travel destinations.

Some 97,000 Albanians travelled to Turkey in the first 11 months of 2017, mostly on holiday to its tourist resorts, a 25 percent increase compared to the same period in the previous year, according to Turkey’s tourism ministry.

The Prime Minister has earlier blamed the expensive air transport situation in the country on the problematic concessionary deal Albania has with country’s sole international airport, preventing the entry of low-cost carriers.

Almost two years after lifting TIA’s exclusive rights on international flights in return for having its original 20-year concession contract extended by two years until 2027, Albania continues to have a sole international airport and one of the region’s highest ticket prices.

Due to expensive prices and low number of low-cost carriers, more and more Albanian passengers have been travelling through neighboring Kosovo, Macedonia or Montenegro airports in the past few years.

Some 17 airlines connect Tirana to European destinations, mostly Italy where most passengers fly considering an estimated community of some 500,000 Albanian migrants in the neighbouring country across the Adriatic.

The Tirana International Airport, which in October 2016 was taken over by a Chinese consortium, handled about 2.2 million passengers in 2016, being the country’s main hub.

Italian carriers have the major market share in Albania’s air transport industry following the bankruptcy of an Albanian-owned company in 2013.

Greece to launch talks with France over FREMM frigates, corvettes

By: Jaroslaw Adamowski   

Greece to launch talks with France over FREMM frigates, corvettes
 Image result for Greece to request acquiring FREMM frigates from France

The French Navy's FREMM warship Normandy on July 2, 2014, in Larmor-Plage, near Lorient, Brittany. (Jean-Sebastien Evrard/AFP via Getty Images)

WARSAW, Poland ― The Greek Ministry of Defence may acquire two FREMM multimission frigates for its Navy, and as such, Athens plans to launch negotiations with the French government in February.

A Greek source close to the deal told local daily Kathimerini that the decision follows an earlier verbal agreement between French President Emmanuel Macron and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The Greek order could be expanded by a further two vessels.

Image result for Greece to request acquiring FREMM frigates from France

Due to the cost of the frigates, which have an estimated tag price of between €500 million and €600 million (U.S. $612 million to U.S. $735 million), the Greek ministry is also considering the purchase of French Gowind-class corvettes for its Navy, according to the source.

The FREMM frigate was jointly designed by the Franco-Italian consortium of Naval Group and Fincantieri for the two countries’ navies. In addition to the potential deal with Athens, Paris has sold one frigate to Morocco and one to Egypt. Naval Group also developed the Gowind.

Naval Group says the FREMM is a versatile vessel enabled to execute a wide range of missions encompassing all warfare domains. These include anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, as well as land attack and command ship missions, among others.

ΕΚΤΑΚΤΟ – Συναγερμός στο ΓΕΝ: Η στιγμή που τουρκική ακταιωρός προσπαθεί να εμβολίσει την Κανονιοφόρο «ΝΙΚΗΦΟΡΟΣ» – Προσχεδιασμένη ενέργεια

Δημοσίευση: 17 Ιανουαρίου 2018,

Pentapostagma Δείτε το Βίντεο των Τούρκων

Του Βασίλη Καπούλα

Στη δημοσιότητα έδωσαν οι Τούρκοι την στιγμή που τουρκική ακταιωρός κατευθύνεται ολοταχώς πάνω στην κανονιοφόρο του Πολεμικού Ναυτικού μας «ΝΙΚΗΦΟΡΟΣ». Δεν πρόκειται για κανένα ατύχημα, πρόκειται για ηλιθιότητα και προσχεδιασμένη ενέργεια γεγονός που σημαίνει πως οι Τούρκοι επιδιώκουν ναυτικό ατύχημα στο πλαίσιο ασύμμετρων απειλών.

Είναι πλέον αποφασισμένοι για επεισόδιο.

Το γεγονός πως οι Τούρκοι βιντεοσκόπησαν όλο το περιστατικό δείχνει και τι θα ισχυριστούν:

Πως εμείς πέσαμε πάνω τους. Ηδη αυτό διαδίδουν!

Η τουρκική ακταιωρός δεν δίστασε να συγκρουστεί με ένα πλοίο πολύ μεγαλύτερο , ενδεικτικό των πολεμικών προθέσεων των Τούρκων.

Δείτε το Βίντεο των Τούρκων

Πηγές του Γενικού Επιτελείου Ναυτικού έκαναν λόγο το μεσημέρι για «επακούμβηση».

Οι ίδιες πηγές του ΓΕΝ αποδίδουν την «επακούμβηση» σε ατυχή χειρισμό των Τούρκων.

Ηδη σε ΓΕΝ και ΓΕΕΘΑ προσπαθούσαν σήμερα μετά το περιστατικό να αποκωδικοποιήσουν το επεισόδιο που συνέβη κοντά στα Ίμια.

Τόσο εκείνο που θέλει κατ’ορισμένους να αποτελούσε ένα στημένο επεισόδιο όσο και εκείνο να επρόκειτο για ελιμό απειρίας ή ο κυβερνήτης του τουρκικού πλοίου να υπερεκτίμησε τις δυνατότητες που του παρεχει το μέγεθος του πλοίου.

Φως προς αυτήν την κατεύθυνση θα ρίξει η αναφορά του κυβερνήτη της κανονιοφόρου «Νικηφόρος», ο οποίος ενημέρωνε λεπτό προς λεπτό την ηγεσία του Πολεμικού Ναυτικού.

Στο Εθνικό Κέντρο Επιχειρήσεων βρέθηκε αμα τη άφιξη του από τις Βρυξέλλες και την 178η Σύνοδο της Στρατιωτικής Επιτροπής του ΝΑΤΟ, ο αρχηγός ΓΕΕΘΑ, Ναύαρχος Ευάγγελος Αποστολάκης, ο οποίος ήταν σε ανοιχτή γραμμή με τον υπουργό Εθνικής Άμυνας κ. Πάνο Καμμένο.

Το περιστατικό σημειώθηκε, ενώ βρισκόταν  σε εξέλιξη το Ανώτατο Ναυτικό Συμβούλιο και την επαύριο της συνάντησης του Αρχηγού ΓΕΕΘΑ, ναυάρχου Ευάγγελου Αποστολάκη με τον επικεφαλής των τουρκικών ενόπλων δυνάμεων, στρατηγό Χουλουσί Ακάρ στην 178η σύνοδο της στρατιωτικής επιτροπής, στην οποία για ακόμη μια φορά έθεσε το ζήτημα της παραβατικής συμπεριφοράς των Τούρκων στο Αιγαίο.

Προηγούμενη ενημέρωση

Στις βραχονησίδες Ίμια είχαμε αναμέτρηση μεταξύ τουρκικών και ελληνικών πλοίων του λιμενικού και πολεμικών πλοίων.

Τα τουρκικά πλοία παρεμποδίστηκαν από την ελληνική κανονιοφόρο η οποία έσπευσε ταχέως στο σημείο από την Λέρο.

Στις 14.30 της Τετάρτης (17.01.2018), τουρκική ακτοφυλακίδα πραγματοποίησε «άστοχο» ελιγμό στη θαλάσσια περιοχή βόρεια των Ιμίων, με αποτέλεσμα να επακουμπήσει την κανονιοφόρο του Πολεμικού μας Ναυτικού «Νικηφόρος».

Τα τρία τουρκικά περιπολικά πλοία που περιπολούσαν προκλητικά στην περιοχή εμποδίστηκαν να πλησιάσουν τις βραχονησίδες Ίμια από το ελληνικό πολεμικό πλοίο που μπήκε ανάμεσα τους.

Περίπου 4 τουρκικά πολεμικά πλοία και περιπολικά σκάφη μαζεύτηκαν στην περιοχή και είχαμε την διενέργεια πολεμικών ελιγμών 1 μίλι μακριά από τις βραχονησίδες .

Κατά τη διάρκεια της έντασης που ξεκίνησε στις 11:00 π.μ., τα σκάφη προσέγγισαν περίπου 50 μέτρα απόσταση .

Το περιστατικό φαίνεται να έληξε περίπου στις 16:00.

Ωστόσο υπάρχουν ακόμα 3 τουρκικές ακταιωροί στην περιοχή.

Η παρουσία 3 ακταιωρών που ενεργούν ως «δόλωμα» για την προσέλκυση ελληνικών πολεμικών πλοίων είναι ενδεικτικό του σχεδίου της Άγκυρας να προκαλέσει στην περιοχή αυτό ακριβώς το διάστημα.

Εδώ και αρκετές ημέρες γύρω από τις βραχονησίδες έχει ξεκινήσει μέρες τώρα η γνωστή “ναυμαχία της τσιπούρας”, με ελληνικά και τουρκικά αλιευτικά να προσπαθούν να ψαρέψουν όσο το δυνατόν πιο κοντά στην περιοχή.

Oliver Ivanovic to be buried in Belgrade

The procession in Kosovska Mitrovica on Wednesday (Tanjug)
A large number of citizens gathered on Wednesday in Kosovska Mitrovica to say goodbye to Oliver Ivanovic.


The leader of the Civic Initiative (GI) SDP was shot six times in front of the party premises in northern Kosovska Mitrovica on Tuesday morning, and died of his injuries in the hospital.

The casket with Ivanovic's remains was on Wednesday transported under police escort from this northern Kosovo town to Belgrade, where the Serb politician will be buried on Thursday.

The citizens who lined the streets through which the procession passed in silence today placed flowers on the vehicle transporting the casket.

Tanjug is reporting that there was no visible increase in police presence in the streets, closed to traffic for the convoy to pass, while a KFOR helicopter at one point flew over the town.

A Serbian Orthodox memorial service for Ivanovic was held earlier in the day in Kosovska Mitrovica, led by Bishop Teodosije.

Σέρβος ΥΠΑΜ: Ο Στρατός είναι έτοιμος για επέμβαση

«Ο Βούλιν ‘απειλεί’ από τη Ράσκα: Ο στρατός έτοιμος για επέμβαση»

Ιανουάριος 17, 2018. Echedoros

Ο υπουργός Άμυνας της Σερβίας, Αλεξάνταρ Βούλιν, δήλωσε ότι οι σερβικές ένοπλες δυνάμεις εξετάζουν προσεκτικά όλα τα περιστατικά που συμβαίνουν και είναι έτοιμος να παρέμβει σε οποιαδήποτε απειλή για τη χώρα και τους πολίτες της Σερβίας.

Πρόσθεσε ότι μετά τη δολοφονία του Όλιβερ Ιβάνοβιτς, η κατάσταση δεν μπορεί να ειπωθεί ότι είναι ήρεμη, σύμφωνα με το πρακτορείο Τανγιούνγκ, όπως το μεταφέρει η «Kla Kosova».

Ο Βούλιν δήλωσε ότι δεν ζήτησε  από κανέναν να εντοπίσει τους δράστες της δολοφονίας του Ιβάνοβιτς, αλλά προέτρεψε όλα τα δεδομένα να δοθούν στις αρχές.

Οι δηλώσεις του ΥΠΑΜ Σερβίας έγιναν κατά την επίσκεψή του στο 21ο Τάγμα στη Ράσκα (κοντά στα σύνορα με το Κοσσυφοπέδιο).

Σοκ στους Αλβανούς- Πρόεδρος Σκοπίων: Δεν υπογράφω νόμο για την αλβανική γλώσσα

«Ο Ιβάνοφ άσκησε βέτο στον νόμο για τις γλώσσες»

Ιανουάριος 17, 2018. Echedoros


Ο πρόεδρος, Γκιόργκε Ιβάνοφ έχει σβήσει τις ελπίδες των Αλβανών.
Σε ομιλία του το βράδυ είπε ότι δεν πρόκειται να υπογράψει το διάταγμα για τη χρήση των γλωσσών.

Ο Ιβάνοφ τόνισε ότι ο νόμος αυτός παραβιάζει το Σύνταγμα της χώρας. Σύμφωνα με τον ίδιο, ο νόμος θέτει επιπλέον σε κίνδυνο τον ενιαίο χαρακτήρα του κράτους, την κυριαρχία και την εδαφική ακεραιότητα της χώρας.

«Αντί για το πνεύμα διαλόγου και της συνύπαρξης για την οικοδόμηση της πολυεθνικής κοινωνίας μας,  μέσω δίκαιων και γενικά αποδεκτών νόμων κάνουμε έναν άδικο και καταπιεστικό νόμο που ευνοεί μόνο την αλβανική γλώσσα, ως εκ τούτου, λαμβάνοντας υπόψη τις εκτιμήσεις μου για τη μη τήρηση του νόμου σχετικά με τη χρήση των γλωσσών από το Σύνταγμα, αλλά και των ενδείξεων των εμπειρογνωμόνων καθώς και του ευρέως κοινού σχετικά με την αντισυνταγματικότητα του νόμου, βάσει του άρθρου 75 του Συντάγματος, έλαβα την απόφαση να μην υπογράψω το νόμο για τις γλώσσες», δήλωσε ο Ιβάνοφ.

Ο Ιβάνοφ πρόσθεσε ότι η απόφασή ελήφθη γιατί η ψήφιση του νόμου από Κοινοβούλιο την 11η Ιανουαρίου 2018, έγινε χωρίς δημόσιο διάλογο, χωρίς τη συμμετοχή εμπειρογνωμόνων και χωρίς τη συναίνεση της αντιπολίτευσης (του VMRO-DPMNE- το οποίο δεν παρευρίσκονταν στην ψηφοφορία).

Steller column: Former top AZ prosecutor works on Albania's reforms

John Leonardo
John Leonardo

Tim Steller Arizona Daily Star  Jan 16, 2018   

No one would have blamed John Leonardo if he had eased into retirement last January.

Leonardo served 19 years as a Pima County Superior Court judge, then in 2012 took over as U.S. Attorney for Arizona, working as the state’s top federal prosecutor for almost five years. He left that job with the change of presidents last year.

Now, though, instead of spending his days on a golf course or cursing at a TV, Leonardo, 71, finds himself holed up in Albanian offices with a team of jurists from the European Union. Leonardo is the only American among eight international advisers in an unprecedented effort to help rid the country of corrupt prosecutors and judges.

It’s a big job with massive significance for Albania and, potentially, other Balkan countries that might imitate the effort. The EU is requiring Albania to vet its 800 judges and prosecutors and remove those who are corrupt or incompetent as a condition for the country’s admission to the union. The EU is paying 10 million Euros to fund the project.

“It’s the first time this particular method has been tried,” Leonardo said. “There’s no template.”

However, there is pressure: “There are very high expectations in the country that a lot of judges and prosecutors are going to lose their jobs.”

I spoke with him by email earlier this month and by FaceTime from Tirana, Albania’s capital, on Tuesday. Here’s a compilation of his remarks, edited for clarity.

Q: What is the legacy problem with Albania’s justice system that you’re trying to address?

A: They just have rampant corruption in this country across many fields: Police, judges, prosecutors. Notoriously the Balkans in general have had that issue. The countries that were behind the Iron Curtain in the 20th century all seem to be having this problem.

Q: How is the process supposed to work?

A: The Albanians amended their constitution last year to require that all judges and prosecutors in the country undergo a vetting process in order to keep their jobs. The new law created a vetting commission made up of 12 Albanian lawyers selected by the Albanian Parliament who will sit in panels of three to investigate and hear evidence as to each of these judges and prosecutors related to three areas: unexplained assets, association with known criminals and professional proficiency.

Q: What is your role as an international observer?

A: There are eight of us, all in one huge room. All of us have at least 15 years as judges or prosecutors in our countries. It’s a pretty experienced group — many have worked in other countries before. We are supposed to give advice to these vetting bodies on legal matters and investigative techniques, organizational structures and interpretations of the vetting law. Then we sit in with them when they’re discussing the investigations of particular judges or prosecutors.

Q: Where are the other international advisers from?

A: Two from the Netherlands, plus Italy, Belgium, Croatia, Sweden and Bulgaria.

Q: How do you deal with the language barrier, since you don’t speak Albanian?

A: We have a staff of interpreters. The official language of the process is Albanian and English. Amazingly to me, of the eight international observers, I’m the only one whose native language is English, and yet we’re doing the official business in English. So I get called upon to be the final arbiter of what’s correct in English and review official documents before they go out.

Q: How far along are you in the process?

A: The first hearings are likely to be in the latter part of February. They’re assuming this process will take four to five years. It’s hard to imagine what it’s going to be like when the hearings start, because it’s going to be more intense. The hearing rooms are very small. They fit like six or seven people. They’re talking about having video feeds.

Q: What sort of problems are you seeing so far?

A: In general what we are seeing in the investigation is judges receiving bribes to dismiss charges against people; being paid to take a side in civil cases; freeing defendants who are wanted for extradition; judges who have assets five or six times more than what they earn.

Judges, in this country, for the last 10 years or so have had to make financial declarations of what they own, what their assets are, but we find they claim to live somewhere much more modest when they actually live somewhere much more lavish.

Q: How are you being received?

A: It’s reassuring to see that Albanians as a whole just expect so much from America.

I sense that I automatically have more credibility with the vetters, the legal community, than the Western Europeans do.

Q: How has your support been?

A: The U.S. ambassador here has been a big proponent of this process. The Albanians have a lot of regard for us and trust in us. Ambassador (Donald) Lu told a luncheon of the judges that if they looked at their wrists and they had a wristwatch that costs more than the average car, they probably wouldn’t be around next year.

Kërkesat për autonomi tensionojnë marrëdhëniet mes Hungarisë dhe Rumanisë

Hungaria dhe Rumania janë në sherr - sërish- mbi çështjen e kërkesës së hungarezëve të Transilvanisë për autonomi, kërkesë për për të cilën ekspertët thonë se Bukureshti do të duhet të përgjigjet një ditë.

Autor: Ana Maria Luca | BIRN | Bukuresht

Festivali Ezekler në Rumani. Foto: Derzsi Elekes Andor/Wikimedia Commons

Kërkesa e rinovuar për autonomi nga minoriteti etnik hungarez në Rumani shkaktoi një tensionim të ri në marrëdhëniet mes Bukureshtit dhe Budapestit.

Rumania këtë vit feston njëqind vjetorin e bashkimit të saj me rajonin e Transilvanisë, i cili dikur ishte pjesë e Hungarisë – por përgatitjet për festë janë shoqëruar me pakënaqësi në rritje mes hungarezëve.

Tri partitë kryesore të hungarezëve në Rumani, Bashkimi Demokratik i Hungarezëve në Rumani, Partia Popullore Hungareze në Transilvani dhe Partia Civile e Hungarezëve nisën më 8 janar një kërkesë të përbashkët për autonomi territoriale, vendore dhe kulturore.

Lëvizja ka mërzitur politikanët në Bukuresht të cilët i shohin kërkesa të tilla si të papranueshme, veçanërisht pasi Hungaria deklaroi të enjten se nisma e tre partive ishte iniciuar dhe ndërmjetësuar nga Katalin Szili, i dërguar i kryeministrit hungarez Viktor Orban.

Gjithsesi, analistët në Rumani thonë se të dy vendet kanë nevojë të trajtojnë çështjen, bazuar në dokumentet historike, ose përndryshe situata mund të përkeqësohet.

Kërcënimet rumune për të ‘varur’ separatistët:

Gjatë një emisioni televiziv në Realitatea TV në Rumani, kryeministri i vendit Mihai Tudose jo vetëm i hodhi poshtë kërkesat për autonomi vendore për bashkësinë e hungarezëve por kërcënoi gjithashtu se do t’i “varë” separatistët.

“I dërgova një mesazh, nëse flamuri Szkler [flamuri i minirotetit hungarez] varet në institucionet vendore, ata do të duhet të varen pranë tij. Szeklers nuk do të marrin autonomi në asnjë mënyrë,” tha ai.

Presidenti i Bashkimit Demokratik të Hungarezëve në Rumani, Porcsalmi Balint, dënoi të martën mesazhin e Tudose duke thënë se një mesazh i tillë “vjen drejtpërsëdrejti nga Mesjeta”.

Të premten, Ministria e Jashtme e Hungarisë thirri ambasadorin e Rumanisë, Marius Lazurca, për shpjegime, duke e cilësuar deklaratën e Tudose të papranueshme.

Por zemërimi është rritur mes politikanëve të Rumanisë, veçanërisht pasi agjencia shtetërore e lajmeve të Hungarisë MTI zbuloi të martën se marrëveshja mes tri partive hungareze në Rumani dhe thirrja e tyre për autonomi ishte iniciuar dhe ndërmjetësuar nga qeveria e Hungarisë.

Deputetët etnikë hungarezë kanë dorëzuar shumë projekte për ligje për autonomi, i fundit në dhjetor 2017, por asnjë prej tyre nuk i është nënshtruar debatit parlamentar.

Në qershor 2017, kur Partia Social Demokrate në qeveri po negocionte me Bashkimin Demokratik të Hungarezëve për mbështetjen e mocionit të shkarkimit kundër qeverisë së asaj kohe, partia në pushtet premtoi se do të fuqizonte të drejtat e bashkësisë hungareze.

Por menjëherë pas marrjes së pushtetit ata e shkelën premtimin dhe ndaluan diskutimin e projektligjit pasi shumë anëtarë të kësaj partie dhe deputetë të opozitës e kundërshtuan planin, veçanërisht një pjesë të tij që flet për shpalljen e 15 marsit ditë feste zyrtare.

Kjo ditë shënon fillimin e revolucionit të vitit 19848 në Budapest, të cilin rumunët nuk e pëlqejnë për shkak se ai revolucion solli bashkimin e Transilvanisë me Hungarinë.

Histori e komplikuar nga këndvështrime të ndryshme:

Ekspertët thonë se marrëdhëniet mes dy vendeve kanë qenë gjithmonë të tensionuara për shkak të historisë së tyre të komplikuara dhe pakënaqësive me rrënjë të thella të përkeqësuara nga regjimet komuniste në të dyja vendet.

Rumania është shtëpia e 1.2 milionë shtetasve hungarishtfolës, shumica e të cilëve Szeklers, një fis që mbretëria e Hungarisë e vuri në Transilvaninë jug-lindore për të siguruar kufijtë e vet në Mesjetë.

Për shkak të rolit të tyre të rëndësishëm ushtarak, ata për shekuj shijuan disa liri dhe privilegje, përfshirë autonominë territoriale.

Pas disa rebelimeve të Szekler dhe pasi rreziqet nga Perandoria Osmane u fashitën, monarkia e Habsburgëve ia hoqi gradualisht privilegjet bashkë me rolin e tyre ushtarak.

Historiani Mihai Georgita, nga qyteti kufitar rumun i Oradeas, i tha BIRn se në gjysmën e parë të shekullit të 19 Szeklers u afruan ngushtë me shtetin hungarez, në atë kohë pjesë e Austro-Hungarisë, por shijuan pothuajse autonomi të plotë si rezultat i ndarjes së perandorisë Austriake në Austro-Hungari më 1867.

Kur Hungaria më 1876 i dha fund autonomisë territoriale të Szeklerëve, bashkësia në Transilvani nuk e kundërshtoi.

Pas kolapsit të Austro-Hungarisë më 1918, fuqitë e mëdha imponuan një marrëveshje ndëshkuese paqeje mbi Hungarinë.

Një mbledhje përfaqësuesish nga Transilvania, ku rumunët ishin maxhorancë, votoi për bashkim me Rumaninë.

Rumania premtoi autonomi të përkohshme në territoret e reja deri sa një parlament të themelohej në Bukuresht, dhe tha se ajo do të respektojë të drejtat e minoriteteve.

Gjatë Konferencës së Paqes të vitit 1919 në Paris, Fuqitë Aleate detyruan Rumaninë të nënshkrojë një traktat mbi minoritetet, duke premtuar autonomi vendore për çështjet fetare dhe arsimore, si për minoritetin hungarez ashtu edhe për atë gjerman.

Por kur Rumania miratoi kushtetutën e re më 1923, megjithëse partitë etnike u lejuan të marrin pjesë në jetën politike, ajo nuk lejoi asnjë autonomi për minoritetet.

Hungaria, ndërkohë, bazoi të gjithë politikën e vet të jashtme para Luftës së Dytë Botërore në dëshirën për të revizionuar kufijtë që iu dhanë vendit pas Luftës së Parë Botërore, duke i bërë me sukses presion Gjermanisë Naziste për të detyruar Rumaninë të jepte pas pjesën më të madhe të Transilvanisë si çmim për mbështetjen e Hungarisë për objektivat ushtarakë të Gjermanisë.

Këto përfitime ishin gjithsesi të përkohshme; sovjektikët detyruan Hungarinë të kthejë të gjithë territorin që pati fituar te Rumania pas vitit 1945, kur të dyja vendet u bënë pjesë e bllokut sovjetik.

Gjithsesi, siç ritregon Georgita, Bashkimi Sovjetik i bëri presion Rumanisë më 1952 që të krijojë Rajonin Autonom Hungarez. Më vonë, më 1960, kjo u kthye në Rajonin AUtonom Mures. Gjithsesi, kjo strukturë u anulua tetë vjet më vonë.

Historianët thonë se gjatë kësaj periudhe popullsia rumune në rajon vuajti diskriminim dhe shumë prej tyre ikën. Hungarezët mendojnë se ekzaktësisht e kundërta ndodhi, duke thënë se regjimi komunist rumun vendosi popullsi rumune në rajonet hungareze për të tretur ndikimin e tyre.

Pas rënies së komunizmit më 1989, partitë etnike hungareze rilindën në Transilvani dhe ripërsëritën kërkesat e tyre për autonomi.

Gjithsesi, me përjashtim të protestave të mëdha që u kthyen të dhunshme dhe lanë pesë të vdekur dhe qindra të plagosur në mars 1990, marrëdhëniet mes rumunëve dhe hungarezëve në kontetë Harghita, Covasna dhe Mures kanë qenë në përgjithësi paqësore.

Më 1995, Hungaria dhe Rumania nënshkruan një traktat, në të cilin Budapesti hoqi dorë nga pretendimet territoriale ndaj Transilvanisë ndërsa Rumania u betua të respektojë të drejtat e minoritetit.

Hungarezët dhe rumunët ndërkohë kanë të drejtë të arsimohen në gjuhët e tyre të lindjes dhe, në qytezat ku përbëjnë më shumë se 20 për qind të popullsisë, kanë të drejtë të përdorin gjuhën e tyre në marrëdhëniet me autoritetet vendore.

Gjithsesi, në nivel politik, tensionet kanë mbetur të larta, të ushqyer nga zërat nacionalistë si në Bukuresht ashtu edhe në Budapest.

Interesat elektoralë formojnë mendimet mbi autonominë:

Si politikanët rumunë ashtu edhe ata hungarezë gjatë viteve të fundit e kanë parë çështjen e autonomisë për hungarezët e Rumanisë më së shumti përmes syzeve të zgjedhjeve dhe votave potenciale, thonë ekspertët.

Politika e kryeministrit Orban të Hungarisë është ngritur në krijimin e mbështetjes mes bashkësive hungarishtfolëse përtej kufijve të vendit, veçanërisht në Transilvani, ku ai ka organizuar një konferencë të përviçme verore dedikuar diasporës Hungareze në resortin turistik Tusnad/Tusvanyos.

Në maj 2010, Hungaria i dha hungarezëve etnikë jashtë vendit të drejtën për të marrë shtetësinë hungareze si shtetësi të dyfishtë, gjë që potencialisht përfshin të drejtën për të votuar.

Në prill 2013, qeveria e Hungarisë njoftoi se 280 mijë nga 400 mijë kërkesa për shtetësi kanë ardhur nga shtetas rumunë, të cilët tashmë kanë të drejtë të votojnë në zgjedhjet hungareze.

Në anën tjetër, qeveria e Rumanisë në përgjithësi ka qëndruar e heshtur në lidhje me të drejtat e minorancës hungareze pavarësisht presioneve nga Budapesti – pikërisht për arsye të tilla elektorale.

Profesoresha e shkencave politike Liliana Popescu beson se politikanët rumunë nuk dëshirojnë të zgjidhin këtë problem për shkak se ata nuk kanë asnjë interes elektoral për ta bërë diçka të tillë.

Shumica e partive rumune u mbështetën në slogane nacionaliste gjatë zgjedhjeve të vitit 2016, ndonëse partitë haptazi nacionaliste dhe populiste dështuan të hyjnë në parlament.

Gjithsesi, shpjegoi Popescu, çështja e hungarezëve mbetet një temë sensitive mes votuesve të Rumanisë.

“Nëse ata [politikanët] thonë ndonjë gjë apo thjeshtë përmendin autonominë [e bashkësisë së hungarezëve], ata humbasin mbështetjen elektorale,” vërejti ajo.

“Elektorati rumun, politikisht është kundër autonomisë dhe ideja e përgjithshme është se nëse qeveria lëshon sadopak, minoranca e hungarezëve do të abuzojë me këto të drejta,” shpjegon Popescu.

Ajo shtoi se ky mentalitet vjen pjesërisht nga dekadat e kaluara nën politikat nacionaliste të regjimit komunist.

Gjithsesi, kjo ëstë lëvizja e drejtë për të folur mbi të dhe mbi minorancën hungareze dhe qeveria e Hungarisë e di këtë, tha Popescu.

Një nga arsyet se pse partitë hungareze e kanë ngritur sërish kërkesën për autonomi është edhe konteksti i festimeve të planifikuara në Rumani për të përkujtuar bashkimin me Transilvaninë dhe këto festime në vetvete bëjnë që kjo çështje të mos mund të injorohet më gjatë.

Për më tepër, socialdemokratët në pushtet kanë nevojë në parlament për mbështetjen e partisë kryesore të hungarezëve, Bashkimi Demokratik të Hungarezëve, të cilët kanë 30 deputetë dhe mjaftueshëm levë presioni për ta mbajtur çështjen e autonomisë në axhendë.

Georgita tha se një debat më i gjerë publik mbi këtë çështje të debatuar është i nevojshëm. “Ekspertë të shumitë nga ligji, sociologjia, shkencat politike, historia e gjeografia, që të gjithë duhet të përfshihen,” i tha ai BIRN.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Parents of Albanian ISIS ‘Martyrs’ Abandoned to Grief

Image result for albanian islamist isis
Their sons went to fight for ISIS in Syria or Iraq, and some even had children in the conflict zone - then they were killed, leaving their impoverished relatives in Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia to suffer.

Serbeze Haxhiaj, Elvis Nabolli BIRN 

Pristina, Shkoder, Skopje

Selim Demolli gripped the table with his hands, and his lip trembled with anger as he spoke.

The previous day he had talked to an imam about his son, who was killed three years ago in Syria. He asked the imam for a religious explanation about what happens to a dead person whose parents have not forgiven him. The answer was hard to take.

“He is not a shahid [martyr]. Those who did not get a blessing from their father cannot rest in peace. The imam even told me so. They are called ‘cursed’,” Demolli said.

 Demolli said that he tried to stop his son from leaving.
Demolli’s son Burim was killed in October 2014 at the age of 31, during an offensive by US forces in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Like Selim Demolli, hundreds of family members of Albanian jihadists from Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia live under the shadow of what their relatives have done, stigmatised and hated by others, and given no official support.

More than 315 people from Kosovo, 120 from Albania and over 100 from Macedonia have joined so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq over the past few years. At least 65 of them were killed in the fighting, leaving their families in an even worse plight.

Demolli, a 67-year-old from Pristina, said that he tried to stop his son from leaving.

“I informed the police, asking them to arrest him so that he could not go there. However, he managed to escape the police search while I was not at home, and he left with his wife and with three children,” he explained.

Burim Demolli was killed two months later, and now his father is searching for the ones who were left alive, his grandson and two granddaughters, who have remained in Syria.

His daughter-in-law, Edona Demolli, 28, was forced to marry another ISIS member, whose nationality Selim does not know. A month ago, she gave birth to a baby boy. Selim can no longer speak to her or his grandchildren.

Edona Demolli’s families, who live in the remote village of Majac, in Kosovo’s Podujeva municipality, feel uneasy about her story, particularly about her forced marriage and her child.

Nevertheless, the family sent 2,000 euros to her in Syria, although they do not want to reveal how they managed to transfer the money.

On an old Samsung smartphone, Selim keeps a video recording of his granddaughters singing an Albanian song. They are in a camp in Raqqa, and shooting can be heard outside.

The road to jihad

Goverments in Kosovo and Albania work with the official islamic communities on fighting violent extremism.
NATO airstrikes in 1999 helped lead Kosovo, a Muslim-majority country, to independence. One of the strongest supporters of the US and the West, Kosovo is also one of the poorest countries in Europe with an unemployment rate around 40 per cent.

Nearly two decades after the war, following the establishment of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, many young people from Kosovo, some of them taking their wives and children, joined ISIS and the al-Qaeda branch, al-Nusra.

Shpend Kursani, the author of research on the reasons for Kosovo citizens becoming foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, cites the ideological and identity aspects as the main points of attraction for Kosovo Albanian youngsters to join ISIS.

“Their ideology is rather revolutionary, calling for revolution abroad, in Arab lands,” he said.

Kursani added that in Kosovo there is also an identity gap which can be exploited.

“There is a whole generation to whom their own identity is not clear anymore - are they Albanians or Kosovars, what is their flag, their symbol?” he says.

Selim Demolli said that after the killing of his cousin, Naman Demolli in Syria, Burim decided to join ISIS along with his two other cousins Fidan and Arben Demolli. Until Burim joined in 2013, he was mostly unemployed.

“Imams from Saudi Arabia would hold lectures and come to our neighborhood. Until then, Burim had been one of the followers of the imam Shefqet Krasniqi. One day he told me that he had met imams better than Shefqet Krasniqi in Pristina and they were teaching Islam accurately. I realised then that things had changed,” Demolli recalled.

After the war ended in 1999, Kosovo was flooded by Islamic organizations, most of them spreading religious propaganda under a humanitarian cloak. This was the time when some imams, originating from Saudi schools, would hold lectures in half-secret locations outside mosques.

Krasniqi, former imam at the main mosque in Pristina, is currently facing criminal charges related to terrorism. He refused to talk to BIRN about the charges.

Like Burim, a young generation of Albanians from Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania challenged traditional Islamic teaching by embracing the radical religious and political views that were taught at lectures at private mosques.

Fahrush Rexhepi, dean of the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Pristina, lecturer on the course ‘History of Religions: Islam and Europe’, said that indoctrination took place over a long period of time.

“Recruiters found suitable ground, especially amongst the younger generation, who are experiencing a deep identity crisis, feelings of hopelessness, losers, and without clear economic prospects for the future,” Rexhepi told BIRN.

Kosovo Special Prosecutor Drita Hajdari, who is leading several cases against former ISIS fighters, also blamed radical imams for grooming recruits.

“Some imams operated freely for a long time in an uncontrolled territory. They formed groups, held lectures and built camps [in Kosovo], while [officially Muslim organisation] the Islamic Community of Kosovo, kept silent. The latter put their heads in the sand and did not want to hear anything,” Hajdari said.

Farush Rexhepi argued meanwhile that Albanians went to fight in Syria and Iraq for ideological and political reasons, and potential recruits need strong explanations to dissuade them.

“What has been missing until now is a convincing, professional theological interpretation that participation in the war of Syria and Iraq is not jihad [an obligation] for Muslims,” he said.

Children born in ISIS camps

 Parents of jihadi figthers often live alone and in relative isolation.
The Demollis currently have the largest number of relatives from Kosovo to have joined ISIS in Syria.

Nineteen members of the Demolli family currently live in a camp run by the Islamist group in Raqqa. The 20th member is a newborn child - although not a blood relation - the offspring of the forced marriage of Burim Demolli’s widow, Edona to an ISIS fighter.

According to Kosovo Police data, more than 30 children of Kosovo parents have been born in recent years at ISIS camps in Syria.

Kosovo remains a vital recruitment ground for fighters for defending the self-proclaimed ‘Caliphate’.

When the Kosovo authorities passed a law in 2014 which prohibited the country’s citizens from taking part in foreign wars, Kosovo Albanians had already risen in the Islamic State hierarchy.

Some of them, such as Lavdrim Muhaxheri, described as a ‘most wanted’ terrorist by Interpol, sent derogatory video messages back home, including a video showing the beheading of a prisoner. Muhaxheri also made another video showing him tearing up Kosovo passports.

Ridvan Haqifi, a young Kosovo imam who was promoted within ISIS under the nickname Abu Muqatil al-Kosovi, meanwhile warned in a video that “black days are coming” for Balkans.

On a September afternoon in Gjilan, the house of the former commander of the Albanian ISIS members seems to be mired in sadness, fear, and isolation.

With his back against the front door, Ridvan Haqifi’s father Isa Haqifi recalled the grief suffered by the family after he lost his three sons in Syria - Ridvan, Astrit, and Irfan. His eldest son was 25 and the youngest just 19.

The family trusted in the Islamic State so much that they sent their 21-year-old son to Syria despite the fact that he was suffering from a serious skin disease.

“Ridvan took Astrit with him, hoping to take the results of his tests to Turkey, but Astrit was the first one to die there. Afterwards Ridvan was killed, and then Irfan, too,” his father explained.

The 52-year-old avoided answering questions about his family’s relations with ISIS, refusing to discuss what his sons did. “God knows if they did right or wrong,” he said.

Anne Speckhard, a professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University, and the director of the International Centre for the Study of Violent Extremism in Washington, said that in Kosovo, propaganda was the impetus for people to join ISIS – as well as poverty.

“They believed in the Islamic State and in the promises made for a better life in the Caliphate. There was the financial reason as well. A life without many prospects is the main reason that makes them join ISIS,” Speckhard argued.

But Isa Haqifi insisted several times that his sons did not join ISIS for financial rewards.

“Does this house represent any profit?” he asked, pointing at the small dwelling behind him.

‘Keep away from them, they are ISIS’

The Muslim community leader in the Skoder, Muhamed Sytari, said it was important not to blame the families of the radicals.
Speckhard said that the authorities should deal carefully with families of those who were killed in Syria, especially as some have children who were born there.

"Most of them are depressed. Some share the same ideology and exalt the death of their relatives, seeing them as ‘heroes’, while in fact they were terrorists. However, most of them suffer from social stigma, which might make them vulnerable," she explained.

Dritan Demiraj, a former Interior Minister of Albania and a graduate of the country’s Military Academy as an expert in terrorism, said that the deradicalisation of relatives of ISIS fighters remains a challenge for the authorities.

“The Albanian authorities should provide social assistance to their relatives, particularly to their children. Such service centres have been established in various countries. So it is made clear to them that they have no future with terrorism,” Demiraj told BIRN.

Otherwise, Demiraj warned, Albania again may raise “a generation which is in danger of becoming radicalised”.

In 2016, an attack on the Israeli football team during a match with Albania was prevented at a stadium of the northern city of Shkoder. The Muslim community leader in the city, Muhamed Sytari, said it was important not to blame the families of the radicals.

“Heirs of those who were involved in the conflict in Syria and Iraq need to be protected from society’s prejudice. They should not be viewed as enemies. In Islam we say that no one is responsible for another person’s guilt,” said Sytari, the mufti of Shkoder.

But the authorities have made prosecution their priority in a thoroughgoing crackdown on Islamist radicals.

Kosovo’s prosecution records has launched160 cases in relation to the wars in Syria and Iraq. Courts have often imposed harsh sentences against returnees from Syria, some of whom had come back voluntarily.

The sentences have reduced the numbers leaving, but have not totally stopped the transfer of money from Kosovo to ISIS.

Authorities in Kosovo and Albania have developed counter-terrorism strategies, but reintegration of those who went to fight then returned remains a difficult task. Their families meanwhile have not been given any assistance.

Governments in both countries face the prospect of more jihadists coming home, bringing their ideology and combat training with them. The Kosovo government’s anti- extremism strategy outlines support and monitoring for returnees who cannot be jailed, but not for their family members.

“In its programme, [Kosovo Prime Minister] Ramush Haradinaj’s government has foreseen additional measures, including soft ones such as the establishment of a division within the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the prevention and reintegration of those radicalised,”Haradinaj’s office told BIRN by email.

Speckhard argued that prosecution should not be the only solution to stop the number of jihadi fighters from increasing.

“Conviction is inevitable, but for those who have no blood on their hands, it would be better to impose suspended sentences and to enroll them in reintegration programmes with an Islamic counter-message. Many of them can be rehabilitated, but some cannot, and they need time in prison,” she said.

Some parents are also ashamed of what their sons did. Depressed, living in poverty and near isolation, they also have to carry the stigma of having a son who will forever be labelled a terrorist.

Selim Demolli recalled how quite often, people have pointed him out accusingly. “There were even cases when they said, ‘Keep away from them, they are ISIS,’” he said.

Isa Haqifi, the father of Abu Muqatil al-Kosovi, who threatened his homeland with terror, said that the ones left behind were being made to suffer.

“This youngest son of mine completed primary school with excellent marks, but they would not admit him to enroll at medical school. Why? They know why; I also know,” he said.

His son then grabbed his arm, trying to make him stop talking to BIRN’s reporter.

Pointing at the neighbours’ houses and yards, the 15-year-old boy said: “They can all see us.”

Albanian imam threatened homeland with terror

Almir Daci, an imam from Albania known by the nickname Ebu Belkise al-Albani, became one of the most terrifying Albanians in ISIS when he sent threatening video messages to the Balkans.

Before he was declared dead in April 2016, Daci also stated in a video: “Our Muslims live proudly in their families.” 

But at his home in Leshnica in Albania’s Pogradec district, his father and paralysed mother live alone and in relative isolation. As well as sickness and poverty, their lives have been troubled by the killing of their son, the ISIS member.

“I didn’t know he would leave. When I saw him on television, I almost died,” recalled his 70-year-old father Xhevahir Daci, unable to stop his tears while stirring Turkish coffee.

“We live in the hope that one day we will see his children. One of them was born there,” he added.

Daci’s parents in Albania also say that after the killing of their son, his wife and his three children no longer make contact with relatives.

But his killing did not prevent his conviction; a year after he died, he was found guilty by Albania’s Court of Serious Crimes for inciting and calling for the commission of terrorist acts and for recruiting people for the purpose of committing terrorist acts.

Government data says that over 120 Albanian citizens joined the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, 13 of them women and 31 children. Eighteen of them are reported to have been killed.

Macedonian mother left bereaved and confused

In the Macedonian capital Skopje, Nebije Abdullahu has marked the fourth year of mourning for her son Sami, who was killed in Syria. Ethnic Albanian imam Sami Abdullahu was known as a skillful memoriser of the Koran and earned quite a lot from lectures he gave at mosques in Germany.

Nebije Abdullahu, 64, told BIRN that since childhood her son was passionate about Koranic teachings and very devout in observing religious rules. He studied in Egypt and then migrated to Germany.

At the beginning of 2013, Sami left his wife and his six-month-old son in Germany and joined al-Nusra and subsequently ISIS, which came as a shock to the family. “I still can’t believe it and can’t accept it. It is hard. I long to know who persuaded him, what happened,” Nebije Abdullahu explained.

The 38-year-old was killed in August 2013 during an attack by Syrian government.

“Imams were never in favour of war,” argued 64-year-old Nebije, who belongs to a strict religious community. “After all, is there a mother who can tell her son, ‘Go and kill and go and get killed’?” she asked.

More than 100 young people from Macedonia have joined Islamic State, but so far, courts in Skopje have only convicted five people who were involved in groups inciting religious extremism and terrorism.