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PM Marković in Atlantic Council: This is small step for the USA and its allies, but great day for Montenegro

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Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković attended the ceremony of the Atlantic Council on Monday evening. He said that entry into NATO is a historic moment for Montenegro and that this goes to reiterate the ties of alliance and friendship that exist between his country and the United States. He stressed that Montenegro is ready to take on all the responsibilities that this international commitment entails and will ensure that this goes not only for the benefit of political or economic alliances, but also for the benefit of the citizens themselves. Vice President of the United States Mike Pence particularly welcomed Prime Minister Marković and his Country: He also reiterated the principle on which the alliance is based, namely that a single country attack is considered as an attack on everyone else as well. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright welcomed Montenegro as well.


Clashes reignite in Zawia as both sides reinforce

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Zawia settled into an uneasy calm today after clashes reignited last night between rival Ahneish and Khadrawi militias in the centre of the town. However, despite attempts by tribal elders to mediate a ceasefire, there are fears of fresh fighting. Both sides have been bringing in reinforcements in the expectation of a major battle. The tension was sparked by the murder of one of the Ahneish commanders in a hail of bullets early on Sunday morning. In the subsequent fighting, Ibrahim Ahneish, the clan’s chief military leader, was also killed. He has now been replaced by Mahmoud Bilghait, but the Ahneish want revenge. There has been talk of them planning to take over the entire centre of the town.

Bulgarian PM Borissov Confers with French President Macron

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Prime Minister Boyko Borissov conferred in Paris on Tuesday with newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace. The Bulgarian Prime Minister voiced hope that Macron, with his youth, energy and experience as finance minister, will pull forward a strong and united Europe. “I believe we had a good conversation about current EU topics, as well as ones related to our EU Council Presidency”, Borissov said. He noted Bulgaria’s efforts for entering “the Eurozone waiting room” and its Schengen accession. “The efforts we have made regarding the migration topic, financial discipline and public finances have been recognized, as well as the reforms we have conducted”, he added. According to the Prime Minister, Bulgaria can be seen as a periphery only in geographical terms, because this country is important for the EU’s integrity, unity, protection and defence. Prime Minister Borissov and President Macron noted the importance to further develop bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as the opportunity to implement joint projects.


Tunisia, Palestine sign two co-operation agreements

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Tunisia and Palestine signed two cooperation agreements on Monday, with the presence of Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui and his Palestinian counter- part Riyad Al-Maliki. The first agreements speak about the creation of a joint commission, while the second preview a strengthening partnership between the technical cooperation agencies. Foreign Minister said that the first agreement has the aim to establish a strong cooperation between the two Countries, while the second wants to prospect new opportunities for cooperation with other parties. Khemaies Jhinaoui said that the visit wants to improve bilateral relationship, in light of the visit the Palestinian President will soon make to Tunisia, and he added, during  the visit, that Tunisia is close to the Palestinian people who has the right to establish an independent State.

Threat of Chemical Weapons-Related Provocations in Syria Still Remains

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The threat of provocations related to use of chemical weapons in Syria still remains, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday, adding that terrorists might possess toxic substances. “There was repeated information about possible provocations with usage of toxic substances. And, of course, making it public was likely to help to avoid such provocations”, Peskov added. On Friday, Putin said at the International Economic Forum in Russia’s St. Petersburg (SPIEF) that Russia foiled planned chemical attacks’ reiteration on the Syrian territory by making public the intelligence data on the plot in early May. The Russia leader also refuted the reports of Syrian President Bashar Assad having stockpiles of toxic substances, and people having allegedly suffered from the chemical weapons and called them a “provocation”.


Vucic responded to Thaci's "provocation"

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After the Kosovo president addressed the gathering and said, among other things, that Serbia is “not ready for the EU because it does not recognize Kosovo”. Thaci also repeated a statement he made in during an interview last week – namely, that he “cannot imaging the EU accepting Serbia as a member before Kosovo.” But “You got your independence after NATO’s aggression, without a referendum, and not everyone has recognized you”, Vucic told Thaci according to the report, and continued: “Five EU countries have still not recognized you. You are not an independent state to us. And you are not listening what Serbia is saying, and say that we don’t have a European approach because we won’t recognize Kosovo. Unlike you who are making that person a candidate for prime minister… I said it in the assembly that Serbia must give up on its myths, for the sake of the future of not only Serbs, but also Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija”. “Your problem is that you don’t even know how to accept an extended hand. I see a coordinated campaign of people from the US Congress and your extremists. If you had 30 percent of Albanians, one stone upon another would not be left in Montenegro, while we never asked anything from them. Find me someone in the region who wills talk to Haradinaj without a lump in their throat. So much for democracy”, concluded Vucic.

Guardian: In addition to Montenegro, Russia stoking discord in Macedonia

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The documents obtained by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) suggests that Russia has played a very invasive role in the countries of former Yugoslavia, also to prevent them from being too involved in the gravitational orbit of NATO. The Guardian also comes to very similar conclusions. The most striking example in this sense is the one of Macedonia, where the country’s Social Democrat leader, Zoran Zaev, was sworn in as prime minister, after six months of political crisis. He, who is part of a center-left coalition supported by two ethnic Albanian groups, affirmed that he wants to fight corruption and want to bring Macedonia into NATO. The Macedonian nationalists have given rise to very violent protests against him. This, according to studies, is part of some intelligence operations triggered by Russia since 2008 to prevent the Balkans from approaching too much NATO.  But The Guardian said that on NATO, the Kremlin has experienced setbacks. In April, Montenegro’s parliament voted to become the military alliance’s newest member. Bosnia and Herzegovina are candidates for entry. Even Serbia has deepened ties with NATO, even if the resentment many Serbs feel towards the alliance is not easy to hide because of  the war of 1990s.

EU Urges Azerbaijan To Release Detained Opposition Figures

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The European Union has urged Azerbaijan to release detained opposition figures, in an apparent reference to the alleged abduction and arrest of a journalist critical of Baku and the detention of an opposition politician. The statement on June 4 did not mention names but came after journalist Afqan Muxtarli was kidnapped in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, on May 29 and the arrest of opposition politician Gozal Bayramli. The EU statement said “a review by Azerbaijan of any and all cases of incarceration related to the exercise of fundamental rights, including the freedom of expression, and immediate release [of] all of those concerned is urgent. “We expect that the due process of law is respected, as well as the civil and political rights of citizens and those residing legally in states other than their own”, it added. The EU also said it welcomed the Georgian government’s announcement that it would investigate the alleged kidnapping. Tbilisi denies it was involved in the case

Dozen ISIS fighters killed in Balochistan raid

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QUETTA: Security forces on Sunday said they had killed around a dozen Islamic State (ISIS) militants in a three-day raid prompted by intelligence reports that the group were holding two recently kidnapped Chinese nationals. The operation took place in Mastung district of Balochistan and targeted the hideout cave of a group of IS commanders, a senior security official said. “Some 12-13 IS commanders have been killed after intense gun-battles and the area was cleared late Saturday”, he said, but added that the Chinese pair were not recovered from the scene despite the presence of the vehicle used in their kidnapping nearby.





Van Carrying 17 Illegal Migrants Crashes, Killing 10

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A van carrying 17 undocumented illegal migrants crashed on the Trakia Motorway at 4:20 a.m. on Sunday, the Bulgarian Interior Ministry said in a press release. Ten persons (the driver and nine passengers) were killed in the accident, and eight were injured. The driver was identified as a 16-year-old Bulgarian national with a criminal record. He did not a driving licence. The hospitalized illegals said they were citizens of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Police are yet to find out whether the illegals crossed into Bulgaria from Turkey or Greece. The Interior Ministry Chief Secretary said that between 20 and 50 aliens are attempting daily to cross illegally Bulgaria’s border with Turkey and Greece. Two such attempts were foiled last night, and 13 illegal migrants were found in a heavy-duty truck on the Bulgarian-Greek border.

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