President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria will meet Donald Trump in Washington on April 30 to discuss issues including “fighting terrorism” and economic growth, the White House announced Sunday. “President Trump looks forward to discussing ways to enhance our strategic partnership and advance our shared priorities: promoting economic growth and reforms, fighting terrorism and other threats to peace and security, and building on Nigeria’s role as a democratic leader in the region,” the White House said in a statement. Nigeria, West Africa’s largest economy, is among the countries combatting Islamist extremism with help from the United States. The nation is battling an array of security threats across its territory, from Boko Haram jihadists in the northeast to oil militants in the south.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH, Mladen Bosić, claimed that BiH needs firmer and better cooperation as well as more talks and negotiations in order to preserve regional peace and stability. Bosić also pointed out the importance of a more determined fight against crime and corruption, and the problem of rising populism, “strong leaders” and undermining democratic institutions. In BiH, organized crime, corruption and money laundering are a major problem. Stronger European support, exchange of experiences and better regional cooperation in the fight against crime, corruption and other deviations that are eroding BiH’s society, according to Bosić, are necessary. Therefore, accession of the country to the European Union would be much more than membership.
Due to the increasing presence of migrants in the area, police has intensified patrols in villages that gravitate towards the state border between Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, police forces did not confirm the number of migrants residing in the territory of Pljevlja municipality, nor how many of them managed to cross the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina. When migrants enter the country they are not punished for illegal entry but are directed to submit the requests to the competent Ministry of Interior and accommodated in the competent centers where they can stay until the end procedure. However, many of them do not wait forC the asylum procedure to be terminated but try to illegally leave the territory of Montenegro via Bosnia or, seldom, through Croatia. Migrants enter the abandoned houses of the villages they cross to find refuge.
The Police Administration affirmed that four such cases were reported to them. Indeed, The Pljevlja Security Center has so far registered four citizens’ reports concerning breakouts in four family houses, in which no one lives in the winter. Police also claimed that since August 2017, there has been a slight increase in the number of illegal migrants from the neighboring Republic of Albania. Illegal migration in Montenegro is mainly of an individual and transitory character, mainly for economic reasons. The majority of migrants registered come from Algeria, Syria, Morocco, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, as well as citizens of neighboring countries such as Albania, Kosovo, and Serbia.
The European Commission will recommend that the European Union open membership negotiations with Albania and Macedonia, according to a first draft document by RadioFreeEurope and RadioLiberty.
This document is part of the enlargement European Union package for enlargement to be published on April 17 in Strasbourg and which sets out how far non-EU Western Balkan countries and Turkey are on their way to European Union membership. The European Commission has recommended negotiations with Macedonia every year since 2009, but the European Union member countries in this council, particularly Greece, have blocked talks due to the name issue, which tensed relations between Athens and Skopje, since Macedonia was declared independent in 1991. Athens has opposed its northern neighbor in using the name Macedonia, claiming it implies territorial claims in its northern province of the same name. Also, the draft document confirms that the commission for the first time recommends the opening of Albania’s accession negotiations in the EU, which became an official EU candidate country in 2014. The document emphasizes that public administration reform has been consolidated, with the goal of increasing its professionalism and depoliticisation. He also adds that further action has been taken to strengthen the independence, efficiency and accountability of legal institutions, especially by advancing in the implementation of a comprehensive justice reform.
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, met with Thomas Gerberich, Ambassador of the Republic of Germany to the Republic of Macedonia.The meeting welcomed the reform steps of the Republic of Macedonia and the good neighborly relations that lead to the realization of the strategic Euro-Atlantic goals of the country. German Ambassador Gerberich conveyed support from the Republic of Germany for the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of the Republic of Macedonia, informing that Macedonia has the majority support from the German Bundestag for joining the country in the European Union. Ambassador Gerberich announced that the German Bundestag MPs returned to Germany with positive impressions of the visit to Macedonia for the constructive policies through which the issues important for the progress of the Republic of Macedonia are being addressed.
Chairman of Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce Asadollah Asgaroladi said China is now the biggest trading partner of the Islamic Republic in Asia. Asgaroladi hailed the recent rise in Iranian exports to China. He added that currently, Iran is the top exporter of goods to China among Middle Eastern countries. The official described the past Iranian year (which ended on March 20) as “a good year for the country’s exports”. He also predicted that in the current year, the volume of exports would increase by 5 to 7 percent compared to the last year. China has imported $18.579 billion worth of goods from Iran in 2017, around 25 percent higher than 2016.
Back in January 2016, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Tehran and said, “We predict that the value of economic exchanges between Tehran and Beijing would rise to $600 billion within the next 10 years”.
Montenegrin Minister of Finance Darko Radunović announced that Montenegro became the 150th member of the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Automatic Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. Thanks to technical support provided to the Member States by the Global Forum, Montenegro will be committed to full harmonization of national tax legislation and practice with international standards in the future, and sign the Multilateral Agreement for the implementation of measures aimed at preventing erosion of the tax base and transferring profits, relate to double taxation avoidance agreements.
This will enable the availability and automatic exchange of information between the member countries of the Forum. Minister Radunović announced that Montenegro will work together with other members to fight tax evasion and claimed that membership in the Forum will bring the best standards and practices, as well as a partnership with the most developed countries in the world.
BRIA – In Bria, in the Prefecture of Haute-Kotto (east), eight members of a mission of awareness on peace and social cohesion would be held in hostage by an ex-Seleka group since April 11, in reaction to the disorders which have broken out in Bangui.
The information gathered by RNL state that the sub-prefect of Yalinga, Edmond Sacko, and the two major responsible for Bria’s town hall would be among the victims of this abduction. Other sources state that there are also agents of the international ONG Oxfam working in the region among the hostages.
When the mission was returning to Bria, 12 members have been abducted by a general ex-seleka and its group; of these, 4 would have been released on April 12. In Bangui, neither Minusca neither the authorities have still reacted to this abduction.
Macedonia is highly ranked in terms of energy reforms implemented by the Government and the Ministry of Economy. In the Report on Sustainable Development of the Energy Community, dedicated to the countries of the Western Balkans, the Republic of Macedonia is ranked first in the region in terms of progress in the implementation of energy reforms. Macedonia has the highest ratings on the list of six Western Balkan countries, in the area of energy efficiency, renewable energy, environmental protection, transparency and investment conditions in the field of energy.
Thanks to the dynamics of the energy reforms, Macedonia this year ranks first, and in the Report for Sustainable Development of the European Energy Community for June 2017, it was ranked in the group of countries with significant stagnation in relation to sustainable energy reforms. By the end of March, the Macedonian government approved the new Energy Law, proposed by the Ministry of Economy, and the adoption of this law mainly has an economic impact, since it marks the end of the monopoly and the granting of the right to choose consumers, which means that small and medium enterprises, as well as households, will have the right to choose a supplier of electricity and natural gas.
President of the Democratic Croat Union (HDZ) of BiH Dragan Čović believes that the agreement on amendments to the BiH Election Law will be reached by May 7, when the General Elections in BiH will be announced. BiH Presidency Member Čović stated that there is little time left to find an agreement and that this amendment is necessary for the state. He further claimed that it is only necessary to uphold the decisions of the Constitutional Court of BiH to change the Electoral Law. He stressed that the attitude of the Croatian People’s Assembly regarding the amendments to the Election Law should change legitimately the representation of Croats in the Presidency of BiH and in the homes of the people. Čović attempted to make an appointment with US Ambassador to BiH Maureen Cormack to discuss the above-mentioned amendments, but they still have not met.