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Jahorina Summit Attended by Presidents and High Representatives of Countries from South-East Europe

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Summit of the member countries of the South-East European Cooperation Process started Tuesday morning in Jahorina, near Sarajevo, and the meeting was attended by the heads of five of the thirteen member states, including the President of Albania, Ilir Meta, who arrived in Sarajevo Monday night despite previous announcements that his country will boycott the event.

Besides the members of the Presidency from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik, Zeljko Komsic and Sefik Dzaferovic, the presidents of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic and our President, Stevo Pendarovski, are also attending the summit.

Albania has previously announced that it will boycott the event in solidarity with Kosovo, whose representatives have rejected an invitation to participate as a neutral state.

Serbia and Bulgaria are represented by the prime ministers Ana Brnabic and Boyko Borissov, while other countries are represented at the level of the foreign ministries.

Despite the fact that the ending of the one-year presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the SEECP is overshadowed by the conflict between the hosts and Kosovo authorities who decided to boycott the summit because their country was not invited with the status of an independent state, given the fact that BiH have not recognized it as such, it is expected that the participants at the Jahorina summit will adopt a joint statement that was generally agreed at the technical level at the meeting held on Monday.

The statement signed by all member states confirms their readiness to continue working together through this initiative launched in 1996, in order to strengthen regional cooperation, security and stability, economic cooperation and cooperation in the field of the judiciary, the fight against organized crime and terrorism.

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Vucic insists on EU membership guarantee as part of Kosovo deal

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Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said he will seek a guarantee that his country would join the European Union in 2025 as part of any deal with Kosovo which would pave the way for both countries to enter the bloc.

Serbia and its former province Kosovo committed to an EU-mediated dialogue to improve relations and resolve all disputes between them in 2013, but little progress has been made since then.

“If we ever reach an agreement with Pristina, Serbia would need to get a clear guarantee that it would become EU member in 2025,” Vucic told The Standard in an interview.

Vucic and Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci abruptly called off a tete-a-tete meeting in Brussels last Friday, where the two sides were expected to discuss a land swap plan for the first time.

Vucic said it could take up to 10 years for Belgrade and Pristina to reach an agreement due to many differences of opinion.

“Sometimes I smile when I hear how people simplify things and say that the deal comes down to a line – I will give you three villages and I will get six villages in return,” he said.

“If we were ever to reach a deal

[with Pristina]

it would have to be an overall deal that would include not only relations between us and the Albanians in Kosovo, but it would also have to include a resolution of our EU path and further economic progress,” he said.

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120 Albanian nationals seeking asylum in France return to Albania

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“Deportation from EU countries is accompanied by additional measures, including a ban on travel to the Schengen area for up to several years, Perparim Dema, the Head of the Rinas Police Commissariat warned.

At the Rinas airport, 120 Albanian nationals, asylum seekers in France, have voluntarily returned, avoiding thus possible penalties stemming from the failure to comply with the Schengen area residence permits.

This was one of the largest voluntary repatriation operations. According to the Head of the Rinas Police Commissariat, Perparim Dema, this operation is important as their return was voluntary – an auxiliary element in preventing irregular movement in the Schengen area.

Appealing to Albanian citizens to respect the rules of movement, Dema said “I want to appeal to all Albanian citizens not to abuse the freedom of movement. Albania is a safe country and it is considered by EU countries. There is no chance to have asylum applications approved.”

Albanian citizens, who agreed to return voluntarily from France, avoided possible penalties from the failure to comply with the regulation of Schengen areas. “Deportation from European Union (EU) countries is accompanied by additional measures, including a ban on travel to the Schengen areas for several years,” a press release said.

Perparim Dema, Director of Rinas Police Station, called on Albanian citizens to respect the rules of movement in Schengen areas.

According to Eurostat official data, 5,035 Albanian citizens applied for asylum in EU countries in the second quarter of 2019.

Another 100 Albanian citizens were repatriated on Wednesday from France, Belgium and Germany for violating the rules of movement in Schengen area.

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Earthquake jolts Albania

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A 3.1-magnitude earthquake hit Albania last night, with tremor felt in western parts of North Macedonia, the Seismological Observatory at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics said on Monday.

The quake struck at 23:15, the epicenter was 115 kilometers southwest of Skopje.

The quake, with a magnitude of 3.1 on the Richter, was felt in the western parts of our country with an intensity of III on the European macro-seismic scale.

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