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Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje for historic visit

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VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski met on Friday with Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias. Mickoski emphasized that his party supports developing good neighborly relations, based on sincere friendship and mutual respect. Mickoski pointed out that the Republic of Macedonia must continue its Euro-Atlantic agenda and the process should be unblocked. It will also contribute to the integration and stabilization of the region through enhanced cooperation within the framework of the global structures that Macedonia naturally belongs to.

During the meeting, VMRO-DPMNE’s leader expressed concern about certain steps in the Greek society that irritate and incite negative feeling towards Macedonia, and they are not helpful to the overall process: he also stressed that the solution negotiated by the Zaev’s government should respect state and national interests.

The plan pipeline for transporting gas from Israel to Italy

in ENERGY/MIDLE EAST by

The Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water, Yuval Steinitz told the management and board of the company Israel Gas Lines Company that it was considered the possibility of making it participate in the construction of a gas pipeline to export gas to the ‘Europe. Society plays a significant role in continuing to promote the connection of the economy to natural gas, and the involvement of a government project in this project is believed to increase the chances of it materializing. The plan to transport gas from Israel to Italy via Cyprus and Greece involves the construction of a subsea pipeline of 2,100 km, making it the longest submarine gas pipeline in the world. The construction cost, expected to be completed in 2025, is estimated at 25 billion NIS.

Bulgaria: Interior Minister visits Greece

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Interior Minister Valentin Radev visited Athens, Greece, on Friday, and met with Greek Minister for Immigration Mouzalas and EU Commissioner for Migration Avramopoulos. He congratulated with the efforts achieved by Greece, and added that “in the field of home affairs, the Bulgarian EU Presidency aims to achieve more efficient management of migration and asylum processes and a balance between responsibility and solidarity”.

Kathemerini: positive meeting with Nimetz

in EUROPE/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

The meeting between representatives of Macedonia and Greece with the UN mediator in the name dispute, Matthew Nimetz, scheduled for Dec. 11-12 in Brussels, is a sign of continuity of the positive climate that has been created in the relations between the two countries after change of government in Macedonia, Greek daily Kathimerini reads.The next NATO Summit, to be held on July 11 and 12 in Brussels, is in function of a time frame, which moves to dispute resolution and achieving a mutually acceptable solution. Macedonia hopes that it will finally open the way to becoming a member of the Alliance.Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias has repeatedly stated that the issue will be resolved in the first half of 2018, warning that if this does not happen, there will be major difficulties.The positions expressed by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov are moderate and linked with the spirit of readiness to compromise. However, there is a big difference from the public statements to the essential acceptance of a different position. And certainly it is not just a matter of name that caused big reactions in FYROM. Even if a mutually acceptable solution is reached, it is necessary to have the readiness to use it, Kathimerini writes.Two countries implement confidence building measures, through small and easy steps, but symbolic and very useful.In this context, the Greek media commented on noticeable curbing of passions regarding the agenda of former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski over Skopje 2014 project.

MEFA condemns Greece intervention in Albania’s Interior Affairs

in EUROPE/POLITICS/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEFA) expresses the deepest indignation for the provocative langùage and unprecedented intervention characterizing the statement issued one day ago by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Greece. Through an official statement issued on Friday the MEFA denounced the violation of the diplomatic practice by the Greek authorities through the involvement in a domestic political debate.  Through an official statement issued on Friday the MEFA denounced the violation of the diplomatic practice by the Greek authorities through the involvement in a domestic political debate. Involvement in the domestic political debate in Albania and the fact that these issues, currently under consideration by the justice institutions, are mentioned in this statement constitutes a violation of the diplomatic practice and the spirit of good neighborhood and strategic relations between two countries.

Aegan Airlines to launch Athens-Skopje flight in 2018

in EUROPE/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Skopje is one of the destinations that in 2018 will be included in the list of cities with which Athens will be connected through Greece’s leading carrier Aegean Airlines. 11 new destinations will be introduced next year, company’s Executive Vice Chairman, Eftychios Vassilakis said speaking at a news conference on Tuesday. This past summer, entrepreneurs from Macedonia and Greece demanded the inauguration of a direct flight between Skopje and Athens so as to boost the business ties between the two neighboring countries. Greece is one of the top five trade partners of Macedonia with capital investments in the banking sector, the oil industry, trade and textile companies.

Bulgaria, Greece, Romania Back Serbia’s EU Membership

in EUROPE/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

The prime ministers of Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania have expressed support for Serbia’s bid to join them in the European Union, saying the move would help guarantee regional peace and security. “All of us know that the natural place of Serbia is in the European Union”, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov told reporters after a summit on October 3 in the Black Sea city of Varna. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose, and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic also attended the talks, which focused on joint infrastructure projects, economic and energy cooperation, and security issues. Serbia, along with Montenegro, is the Western Balkan country closest to joining the EU, having initiated accession talks with Brussels in 2014. Serbian leader Vucic, a former nationalist, has remade himself as a pro-European Union reformer while at the same time seeking to maintain good relations with traditional ally Russia. Despite the hopes of EU membership, Vucic on October 3 accused the bloc of having a double standard by refusing to accept this week’s Catalan independence referendum while having previously agreed to an independent Kosovo. “We support Spain. It is our friendly country”, Vucic said. “But the European Commission responded in a different way [regarding Kosovo] and it was against my people and my state”.

Egyptian, Greek and Cypriot public figures discuss strategic cooperation in AUC workshop

in AFRICA/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Several academic and political figures from Greece, Cyprus and Egypt gathered in Cairo on Monday for a workshop on the emerging strategic cooperation between the Eastern Mediterranean countries, especially in the fields of energy and security. The workshop was held under the auspices of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) at the American University in Cairo. The discussions reflected the growth of cooperation between the three nations in recent years, as evidenced by four tripartite summits involving the three nations’ leaders, the last being in Cairo in October 2016. Among the participants of Monday’s workshop was MP Nicholas Papadopoulos, president of the Democratic Party in Cyprus and candidate in the nation’s presidential elections scheduled for February 2018.He highlighted the potential for increased economic cooperation between the three nations, saying he hoped to conclude an Egypt-Cyprus commercial agreement, making Egypt an export hub for the Aphrodite gas field. The export of gas to Europe was of strategic importance to Egypt, he said.

 

Kostias discussed Macedonia name issue with Guterres

in EUROPE/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Greek foreign Minister Kotzias met with the United Nations Secretary Antonio Guterres to discuss Macedonian name issue. Greek medias report that Kotzias said that he fund the discussion interesting and there is a window to begin discussions on the issue following the October 15th municipal elections in Macedonia, on the condition that Macedonia drops what he called “irredentism”. Greece frequently accuses Macedonia of irredentism, which it uses to label acts that undermine the Greek belief that symbols and historic figures from the Classical period belong exclusively to Greece.

 

Macedonia wants EU membership process, Greek talks to run in tandem, FM Dimitrov tells Reuters

in EUROPE/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

FM Dimitrov said to Reuters that Macedonia hopes it has done enough to convince the European Union to start accesion talks while a quarter of a century long row with neighbouring Greece rumbles on. Greece has vetoed the ex Yugoslav republic’s attempts to join both the EU and NATO beacuse according to Dimitrov the name Macedonia implies a territorial claim over Greece’own northerly region of Macedonia. Time it takes to go through the EU membership process might give Greece, which has previously insisted that Skopje use a compound name such as “New” or “Upper” Macedonia, enough comfort that process can be halted if needed. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gave a boost to Macedonia’s EU hopes, and those of Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Kosovo, saying on Wednesday: “We must maintain a credible enlargement perspective for the Western Balkans.

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