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Macedonia

Zaev rules out changes to Prespa deal text

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Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, in an interview with Greek newspaper Efimerida, spoke about the friendship between Macedonia and Greece, the benefit of Prespa agreement, the ongoing process in parliaments of Macedonia and the Greece, NATO membership prospects, and Nobel peace prize nomination.

Zaev stressed that Macedonia and Greece and the two countries’ citizens could become sincere friends, but he ruled out the possibility of amending the Prespa agreement in the future.

“The process is irreversible. There is no possibility for anyone to change the Prespa Treaty. It is a law, a change of the Constitution. We are amending the constitution because we believe in the future for our citizens and for the region. We want to send a message to Europe a message about European Balkan. Indeed, Greece has the right to be the region’s leader country,” Zaev has told the Greek newspaper.

PM Zaev said he hopes the two countries’ parliaments will greenlight the agreement Macedonia and Greece had signed last year.

“I worry about the final outcome in parliament both in Skopje and Athens. In the end of the day, the parliamentarians have the final say.

Commenting the relations with his Greek counterpart, Alexis Tsipras, Zaev said he is pleased about making a new friend, hoping to meet him in Skopje or Athens soon.
Zaev ruled out the possibility to run for president, saying he would not miss the big moment of deal implementation, “a moment that will bring us the most joy”.

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Macedonia

Arrest warrant issued for Spasov

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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.

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Macedonia

Matthew Palmer due in Skopje today

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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.

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Macedonia

Zaev: We can give argument to reassure Macron

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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.

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