Pope Francis will visit Macedonia on May 7

Skopje, 13 December, 2018 - 17:01 (META) 

The government has announced that Pope Francis will be visiting Macedonia on May 7th, next year, after being invited by the state government.

For now, it is certain that the head of the Roman Catholic Church will visit Skopje, the birthplace of the holy Mother Teresa. For more details of the visit, the Government will release more details closer to the time.

Pope Francis will arrive in Macedonia from Bulgaria, where he will be on a two-day visit, and will visit the capital Sofia and the town of Rakovski.

Matthew Palmer to visit Macedonia on Monday

Skopje, 19 October, 2018 - 13:07 (META) 

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Palmer is scheduled to pay a visit to the Republic of Macedonia on Monday, announced the US Embassy via their social networks.

“Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Palmer will arrive in Macedonia on Monday, October 22, to discuss US support for the Prespa Agreement between Macedonia and Greece, and the importance of continuing Macedonia’s reform agenda. He will meet representatives of the Government and political parties, including Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov,” the Embassy said.

Information war between Pristina and Belgrade after Thachi’s visit to the north of Kosovo

Belgrade, 30 September, 2018 - 16:31 (META) 

New tensions between Belgrade and Pristina were triggered after yesterday’s sudden visit to the north of Kosovo by President Hashim Thaci. Adding to the tension was Belgrade’s immediate and hasty reaction when they raised the threat level to its highest of the army and police, reports Meta’s correspondent in Belgrade.

Everything began when the pro-government media in Serbia reported that large forces of the Kosovo special forces had been deployed in the north of Kosovo and had seized the artificial Gazivoda Lake and had arrested more people. Then, statements from the Serbian Interior Ministry and the Serbian president added to the already tense situation when they raised the threat level of readiness of the police and the military. Police Minister Nebojsa Stevanovic said that the decision was “due to the attack by Albanians in the north of Kosovo and the arrest of Serbs” .

Then, information from Kosovo stated that special forces in the north of Kosovo who were providing security for Thaci, had come to visit the border crossing at Brnjak and had boarded a boat for 15 minutes on Lake Gazivoda and that nothing had occurred and that no arrests had been made.

However, in Belgrade, the event was assessed as a “dangerous provocation”, while the head of the Red Cross Office in Kosovo, Marko Djuric held a press conference claiming that Kosovo forces had entered Gazivoda and had arrested Serbs. He went on to accuse the embassies of Western countries of spreading false information about the withdrawal of the special Kosovo forces.

Later, President Aleksandar Vučić addressed the nation claiming that Pristina’s recent moves had threatened the peace, but that Serbia had “reacted calmly, in moderation and with restraint.” He warned that “Serbia will not tolerate violence against Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija”.

Mattis arrives in Skopje over possible Russian interference in referendum

Skopje, 17 September, 2018 - 13:17 (META) 

US Secretary of Defense, James Mattis landed at the Skopje International Airport this morning and was welcomed by Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska and US Ambassador Jess Bailey.

According to the announced agenda, Mattis is expected to meet Radmila Sekerinska, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and President Gjorge Ivanov today.

Yesterday, Eric Pahon, a spokesman for the Pentagon said that Mattis will urge Macedonian citizens to vote in the referendum and will also emphasize the five million dollars provided annually by the United States for security support.

“Russia seeks to convince the Macedonians that the West is going to abandon them, that Russia is the stable influence in the region. That is just not true. Changing Macedonia’s name and bringing the country into the alliance, would reduce Moscow’s influence. Macedonian accession to NATO is one of Russia’s worst nightmares,” Pahon told the New York Times.

The article by the American newspaper on Mattis’s visit quotes various Western diplomats, who say 40 new sites appear daily on Facebook to encourage people to boycott the referendum. These sites, which originate outside the country, fit into the pattern of Russian influence seen in other elections, say diplomats.

When Mattis announced the visit to Macedonia last week, he said he is coming to support Macedonia ahead of the upcoming referendum on the name and EU and NATO membership, but also to express concerns over possible Russian interference in the vote.

“It worries me … That kind of hardship that Russia is practicing from Estonia to the United States, from Ukraine and now to Macedonia, always adapts to a specific situation and has always been unacceptable,” said Mattis, when announcing the visit.

Merkel to visit Skopje on Saturday to learn more on referendum

Skopje, 3 September, 2018 - 14:57 (META) 

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev today expressed hope that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will come to Skopje on Saturday, but pointed out that final confirmation of the visit, according to protocol, is yet to be announced by the German government.

“I hope that the visit will be on September 8th, but final confirmation should be announced by Germany,” said Zaev, answering a journalist’s question during today’s visit to Radishani.

Greek news agency ANA-MPA announced today that Merkel will come to Skopje on Saturday to form an impression on the upcoming referendum. The focus of the meeting will be “regional developments and bilateral issues”.

Dimitrov to visit US and meet with Pompeo

Washington, 20 August, 2018 - 16:08 (META) 

Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, on invitation of US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, will pay a working visit to the United States from 20 to 22 August, reports the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In addition to the meeting with Pompeo State Secretary, meetings will also be held with senior representatives of the US administration – the National Security Council, the State Department, the Congress, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations and other institutions in Washington.

Bekteshi: One million tourists will visit Macedonia, we will achieve our goal prematurely

Skopje, 14 August, 2018 - 18:17 (META) 

According to the latest data published yesterday by the State Statistical Office, the increase in the number of tourists continues rapidly, so instead of 2020, as we predicted, we are on the verge of achieving this goal ahead of time. This year, we could reach hosting one million tourists with three millions of overnight stays, said Economy Minister Kreshnik Bekteshi.

According to Bekteshi, the share of tourism in the domestic gross product (GDP) is expected to be around three percent, taking into consideration that the projection is to be four percent by 2020. This continuous increase in the number of tourists will mean a larger foreign exchange influx.

“This is a sign that we are moving in the right direction, and that policies are well placed. Macedonia’s entry into NATO will also mean the removal of the last barrier that is often mentioned by foreign tourists who avoided our country, which is the issue of greater safety and security. However, this also means an increase in investments in the tourism infrastructure, which will certainly contribute to the development of the tourism sector,” emphasized Bekteshi.

Kurz will visit Macedonia to support the referendum on 7th of September

Vienna, 6 August, 2018 - 12:12 (META) 

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, will visit Macedonia on 7th of September, three weeks before the scheduled referendum regarding the name, which should resolve the dispute with Greece.

Kurz visits Macedonia at the invitation of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who has also invited several other European leaders before the referendum.

During Zaev’s last visit in Vienna, at the end of June, Kurtz appealed to the citizens of Macedonia to vote in the referendum for the new name “Northern Macedonia”.

“The agreement concerning the name of the country with Greece is a decisive progress in the process of Macedonia’s accession to the EU”, Kurts emphasized.

According to him, achieving progress regarding the European perspective is one of the priorities of the Austrian presidency with the EU.

“EU is not complete without the Western Balkans countries”, underlined Kurtz.

He told the Austrian media that Prime Minister Zaev wants to discuss the progress regarding the screening process.

Zaev on a two-day visit to Brussels, meetings with Tusk, Hahn and Stoltenberg

Brussels, 28 June, 2018 - 11:29 (META) 

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, Deputy Prime Minister Radmila Šekerinska, Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov are on a two-day working visit to Brussels, stated the government’s press office.

Today, during this working visit, the government delegation will meet with the President of the European Council Donald Tusk. They will have a joint statement for the media, and will also meet with the Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn.

Prime Minister Zaev today in the afternoon will address the Crans Montana Forum at the session entitled “Southeastern Europe and its accession to the European Union”.

Tomorrow, a meeting is scheduled with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, followed by a joint press conference..

During the two-day working visit to Brussels, Prime Minister Zaev will participate in the working meeting of the Party of European Socialists.

British Prime Minister Theresa May in Skopje

Skopje, 17 May, 2018 - 17:41 (META) 

This afternoon, British Prime Minister Theresa May is on an official visit to Macedonia together with a government delegation.

She will be first greeted in the Government, followed by a press conference held by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev. At 17 o’clock, Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi is organizing a reception in the Crystal Hall in Parliament.