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Merkel: Solution brings benefit both to northern Macedonia and Greece

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who arrived in Greece on Thursday for a two-day visit, at a joint press conference with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, has referred to Macedonia as Northern Macedonia, according to Greek daily Ekathimerini.

“I am grateful for the Prespa Agreement. It really closes a circle. When Mr. Tsipras came to Berlin for the first time, things were different. Confidence has developed between us, I know that the Greek people have gone through a difficult period. The Greeks had to suffer painful reforms,” Chancellor Merkel has told a news conference.

While referring to the Prespa agreement, Merkel is quoted by Ekathimerini as saying “I am grateful to Alexis Tsipras who worked with Mr Zaev on a solution to the name dispute. The name Northern Macedonia is clear. It is clear that relations are formed. I can only congratulate the Greek Prime Minister because the solution will benefit us all – Greece, Northern Macedonia and the whole of Europe ”.

Merkel welcomed Tsipras’s determined efforts to resolve the perennial row over Macedonia’s name, supporting a landmark agreement that will see Greece’ s northern neighbor being renamed the Republic of Northern Macedonia. Germany, like other EU members, says resolution of the dispute is crucial to shoring up the stability of the fragile western Balkans at a time of mounting Russian influence in the region.

Greek PM Tsipras praised the deal reached between Athens and Skopje, noting that it can set a positive example, a “model” for solving other problems in the region. He described Geece as a pillar of stability in the region. Tsipras said the country used to be a part of the problem but now it is part of the solution.

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Serbian president makes unannounced visit to New York

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Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic is heading to New York for talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the UN headquarters.

The main topic for discussion at the meeting, slated for Tuesday, is the situation in Kosovo.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will address the UN Security Council on Tuesday in a speech that will focus on Iran after the recent tanker attacks near the Strait of Hormuz. The US diplomat will speak during a council meeting about challenges to peace and security in the Middle East.

Pompeo’s trip to the UN comes after skirmishes in the Gulf over the summer that have heightened the prospect of US military action against Tehran. The Secretary will also meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the event.

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Bulgarian police seize 120.000 fake euros and Macedonian denars

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Bulgarian police have reportedly seized 122.000 euros in fake banknotes and arrested a group of suspected distributors of counterfeit currency.

Six people were taken into custody on Friday after officers raided an apartment and found counterfeit currency. The cash included banknotes of 200 euros – adding up to a total face of 122.000, Bgnews agency said on Friday.

During the raid, officers also seized mobile phones, copies of checks from a Turkish bank, US dollars, Macedonian denars.

According to investigation findings, the group of counterfeiters was set up in 2018. They are accused of taking part in crime group, possession and distribution of counterfeit euro banknotes on the territory of Bulgaria.

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Emergency Declared in Serbian Municipality Due to Oil Spill in Moravica River

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State of emergency has been declared on Wednesday in Serbia’s Ivanjica (Western Serbia) after 70 tonnes of waste oil spilled into the Moravica River, the national RTS TV channel reported.

“Waste oil spilled into the Moravica River. Ecological and communal inspectors reacted immediately. For now, I cannot name the cause or who is to blame. It is vital for us to stop the spillage of oil into the Moravica, as this river flows into the Rivers Arilje, Pozega and Chachaka, which can result in an ecological catastrophe in the whole of Western Serbia,” an official said.

According to the TV channel, it was the oil stored for winter in one of the enterprises that spilled into the river. Rescue teams are at the scene, trying to collect the oil products from the water surface.

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