Prime Minister Zoran Zaev will be heading to Rome on Tuesday for talks with Italian Prime Minister Giusepe Conte. The Rome visit is linked to Italy’s initiative to put EU accession talks back on track after the inconclusive enlargement summit debate.
Italy’s Prime Minister said Rome would propose that the European Union restarts talks on enlarging the bloc to include North Macedonia and Albania in November, after the EU blocked the beginning of negotiations with the two Balkan countries.
Earlier this month, EU heads of state failed to reach unanimity on EU enlargement issue after lengthy and inconclusive discussions. All eyes were on France, as President Emmanuel Macron’s position has been the major stumbling block for opening accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania.
Giuseppe Conte told a news conference after the summit that a decision by EU leaders not to begin talks was a “historic error”.
After the meeting with Italian Prime Minister, Zaev will travel to Brussels for a working dinner hosted by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.
The outgoing EU foreign policy and security chief, Federica Mogherini will host an informal gathering with the Western Balkans’ leaders in Brussels October 29. The leaders of all six Western Balkan countries have been invited.
It will be the last in a series of Mogherini’s informal meetings with leaders from the region, when they usually discuss the opportunities to advance the region’s EU integration.
With the leaders, Mogherini will exchange views on developments in the region, discuss common challenges and give a round-up of joint achievements made during her tenure.
Arrest warrant issued for Spasov
Former special police officer Igor Spasov, who has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for murdering Martin Neskoski, is wanted on recall to prison after going missing.
Macedonian police issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday after he failed to show up to begin his sentence. The arrest warrant has been published on the web-site of the Ministry of Interior.
The former member of special police force vanished after ignoring summons to serve time after he was sentenced in prison on murder charges.
The man had probably fled justice to avoid serving a 14-year jail sentence for a murder conviction. He was to report to Idrizovo correctional facility on 18 October.
The murder took place during a late-night celebration of VMRO-DPMNE’s victory in 2011 parliamentary elections.
Matthew Palmer due in Skopje today
The US Secretary of State’s Special Representative for the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, will visit North Macedonia on Tuesday.
Special Representative Palmer is scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.
The two are expected to discuss the bilateral relations between North Macedonia and the United States, including the US support for the country’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic community. They will exchange views on the situation in the country and the region.
In late August, the U.S. State Department appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary Palmer as special envoy for the Western Balkans with a mandate to help integrate the region into Western institutions.
US Secretary of State has appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Palmer as his Special Representative for the Western Balkans. In this role, Palmer will lead our efforts to strengthen U.S. diplomatic engagement in support of peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and focus on integration of the Western Balkan countries into Western institutions.
Zaev: We can give argument to reassure Macron
We can give arguments to reassure President Macron that “methodology prior to enlargement” proposal could be converted into “enlargement along with change in methodology”, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev wrote on his Facebook page, alluding to France’s Emmanuel Macron’s initiative for new enlargement methodology.
“We are not only a strategic interest, we are Europe. It means we will become a member of the European Union once we wrap up the comprehensive reform at home. The pre-accession process and closure of chapters will help us make it happen. The accession negotiations will help us wrap up domestic reform,” Zaev wrote on his Facebook page.