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FM Dimitrov : “Macedonia must get dynamic European perspective”

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Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov launched Tuesday his Baltic tour with an official visit to Estonia, the current EU Presidency holder, meeting with counterpart Sven Mikser.Dimitrov briefed Mikser on the Government’s specific measures towards meeting the criteria for the start of EU accession talks and NATO membership. FM Mikser said Estonia was committed to the Union enlargement process and saluted the government’s reform efforts, reaffirming his country’s firm support to Macedonia’s EU and NATO accession, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said in a press release. Interlocutors also referred to the possibilities for more specific cooperation in meeting of EU membership criteria, with FM Mikser voicing Estonia’s readiness to share expertise in the fields of IT and digital administration. In the framework of the visit to Tallinn, FM Dimitrov met with members of the Estonian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, focusing on EU’s role in the enhancement of regional stability and prosperity, which can be seen in the Baltic case.

 

China supports Spanish unity amid Catalan independence declaration

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China Monday voiced support for the Spanish government’s effort to maintain national unity after the Catalan parliament declared independence Friday. “China’s stance on this issue is consistent and clear. China regards it as a domestic affair of Spain and understands and supports the Spanish government’s effort to maintain national unity, ethnic solidarity and territorial integrity”, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said when asked for comment at a regular news briefing held in Beijing. “China opposes moves to split the country and breach the rule of law and believes Spain is capable of protecting social order and citizens’ rights within the legal and institutional framework”, Hua said. China has developed friendly cooperation with Spain in various areas based on the principles of respect for each other’s sovereign and territorial integrity and non-interference in domestic affairs, the spokesperson said.

 

SMI appealed to the National Security Committee for hearing sessions focused on the naval radars scandal

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The vice-chairman of Socialist Movement for Integration (SMI) Luan Rama appealed to the National Security Committee during the Monday’s meeting to include in its agenda a series of hearing sessions focused on the naval radars scandal. He asked for a hearing session with the law enforcement bodies responsible for the radars’ functioning. However, this request was overruled by the committee’s chairwoman, Ermonela Felaj. The refractory attitude against his proposal to guarantee one more time the civilian control over the Albanian Armed Forces (AAF), which is the responsibility of the parliament, to guarantee the transparency of how the public funds are administered through the contracts and procurement procedures. He stressed that SMI is more than determined to unveil the truth about this scandal that hampers national security.

 

Saudi Arabia and Russia ‘clear fog’ before OPEC meeting

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Saudi Arabia and Russia clearly stating support to extend a global deal to cut oil supply for another nine months. OPEC, plus Russia and nine other producers, have cut oil output by about 1.8 million barrels per day since January. The pact runs to March 2018 and they are considering extending it. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said this week he supported keeping the deal in place for nine months, following on from similar remarks by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Oil prices fell on Friday after Brent rallied to just below $60 a barrel the previous session but support from the comments by the Saudi crown prince for extending OPEC-led output cuts created a floor. Oil hit $59.55 on Thursday, its highest since July 2015 and more than 30 percent above its 2017 lows touched in June. US crude prices have been capped by rising US production. Oil prices have been hovering near their highest levels for this year amid recent signs of a tightening market, talk of an extension of production cuts and tensions in Iraq. Friday’s announcement of a cease-fire between Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga from the country’s autonomous northern Kurdish region eased some concerns.

China; New CPC leadership for new era

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unveiled a new leadership line-up Wednesday to lead the world’s most populous nation toward a great modern socialist country. Xi Jinping was again elected general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, leading its seven-seat Political Bureau Standing Committee. The other six members of the top leadership are Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng. They were elected at the first plenum of the 19th CPC Central Committee following the 19th CPC National Congress, a new historic starting point for the Party to realize its ambitious blueprint for the nation’s great revival. During the twice-a-decade congress which concluded Tuesday, the CPC declared a “new era” of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It enshrined Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era into the CPC Constitution as a new component of the Party’s action guide. “The new leaders have rich experience and a strong sense of responsibility”, he said. “I believe that with the guidance of the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context, they can lead the Party and the nation to blaze new trails, overcome difficulties and accomplish the glorious missions in the new era”.

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister met Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs in Palermo

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Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov met with Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Angelino Alfano within the framework OSCE Mediterranean conference taking place in Palermo, October 24-25, 2017.  Ministers stressed the strategic importance of cooperation in energy field between the two countries and in this regards, referred to the Southern Gas Corridor and TANAP and TAP projects. Angelino Alfano emphasized the significance of TAP project in diversification of gas supplies and ensuring energy security of his country. Touching upon the priorities of his country during OSCE chairmanship in next year, Angelino Alfano reiterated that Italy supports the efforts towards the peaceful settlement of conflict with the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. The Italian minister stated that his country will continue to support Azerbaijan’s cooperation with the EU.

US commerce secretary says that Trump and Xi share ‘good personal relationship’

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US President Donald Trump has spoken with President Xi Jinping regularly in “cordial” phone conversations since the two sides first met at Trump’s Florida estate in April, with the most recent chat taking place immediately after a key leadership conference in Beijing that solidified Xi’s position. “At the Mar-a-Lago summit back in the spring, President Xi and President Trump began to develop a very good personal relationship and that’s been fostered since then,” US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said at an event in New York. “They speak on the phone quite often and they’re by and large relatively cordial conversations, so at the human level there’s a much better rapport than the prior administration had had with the Chinese leadership”. The close ties with Beijing, which Trump administration officials have publicised, underscore the US leader’s preference for negotiating with power brokers. China’s 19th party congress made Xi the most powerful Chinese leader in decades when his name was added to the party constitution, a move that put him on a level with late paramount leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. The meeting, expected to take place during Trump’s visit to China on November 8-10, is part of a broader Asia trip likely to be dominated by concerns about North Korea’s ballistic and nuclear programmes. China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reported that Xi expressed a desire to work with Trump to “jointly blueprint future development of China-US ties”. The 19th Party Congress provides the opportunity for us to get some things done in the relationship to put us on a good footing deep into the future.

 

 

Kim Jong Un’s plot: biological weapons

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With the world already fretting about North Korea unleashing a nuclear war, what with its sophisticated hydrogen bombs and other nuclear weapons – another fear has now gripped the region. According to a latest report, the reclusive nation led by Kim Jong Un is now mass producing deadly batches of biological weapons that could kill tens of thousands of people. A report by the Belfer Centre of Harvard University’s Kennedy School has revealed that North Korea is “mass producing deadly batches of smallpox and the plague.” The report stated that the dictator is harvesting agents such as plague, anthrax and cholera. The report quotes the South Korean Defense Ministry as saying, “North Korea has 13 types of biological weapons agents which it can weaponize within ten days, and anthrax and smallpox are the likely agents it would deploy”. It goes on to reveal, “Agents like anthrax could cause mass casualties with a small amount: only a few kilograms of anthrax, equivalent to a few bottles of wine, released into a dense city could kill 50 percent of the population. If used on a large scale, these weapons can cause not only tens of thousands of deaths, but also create panic and paralyze societies”. On Monday, as the report was revealed, North Korea yet again took a potshot at the U.S. President Donald Trump, calling him a “hooligan” and a “lunatic with his finger over a nuclear button.”A statement by the North Korean government quoted in the KNCA said, “Dignitaries of White House, and State and Defense Departments of the U.S. are having a hard time cooling Trump overheated with a war fever, but only the South Korean puppet forces are fanning up the lunatic fingering a nuclear button. What is ridiculous is the puppet forces’ poor plight of being treated as a street girl even though they play the coquette with the U.S. and serve it with devotion”.

 

Meeting between Dhurata Hoxha and Johannes Hahn to discuss Kosovo’s European integration

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Kosovo Minister of European Integration, Dhurata Hoxha has met with the EU Enlargement Commissioner, Johannes Hahn to discuss Kosovo’s integration agenda.On this occasion, minister Hoxha noted the progress made in many areas in Kosovo, including the rule of law, economic development, and good neighborliness.Hoxha has also asked for Commissioner Hahn’s support, especially in the field of economic development with special emphasis on helping young entrepreneurs, a step which according to her, would impact on job creation in the country.Hahn, on the other hand, has reiterated his stance on the European perspective of Kosovo. He emphasized the importance of implementing the European Agenda for Reform and the implementation of the SAA.Hahn also confirmed the support for Kosovo and its European perspective as well as for Minister Hoxha in the efforts to streamline the integration process.

Former US president Jimmy Carter said that he would travel to Pyongyang for talks

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Former US president Jimmy Carter says he has offered to go to North Korea on behalf of the White House to try to allay rising tensions, but has not been asked, The New York Times reported on Sunday. Carter told the Times in an interview at his home when asked if he would go on such a trip for the Donald Trump administration. In recent months President Trump has engaged in an escalating war of words with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, trading personal insults and threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatens the United States. Carter told the Times he is “afraid, too, of a situation”. “I don’t know what they’ll do”, he said of the North Koreans. “Because they want to save their regime”. “I think he’s now got advanced nuclear weaponry that can destroy the Korean Peninsula and Japan, and some of our outlying territories in the Pacific, maybe even our mainland”, Carter said. In recent months, the North has conducted a series of missile launches and its sixth nuclear test, its most powerful yet, in defiance of multiple rounds of UN sanctions.

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