News 06 Dec 12

Macedonia, Albania Presidents Smoothe Over Incidents

Burning Macedonian flags in Albania, and pelting the Macedonian Prime Minister’s car, were unacceptable incidents, the Presidents of Macedonia and Albania agreed in Montenegro.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic
BIRN
Skopje

Gjorge Ivanov [left] and Bujar Nishani [right]

Macedonia's President, Gjorge Ivanov, and his Albanian counterpart, Bujar Nishani, met on Wednesday at the sidelines of the fourth regional presidential summit under the working title, "Cooperation towards Progress".

The meeting comes just a week after Ivanov last Wednesday ostentatiously missed the celebrations in Tirana marking the 100th anniversary of Albania's independence, citing the incidents that had marred Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s visit to Albania.

The egg-throwing, flag-burning incidents were “unacceptable and irresponsible and the perpetrators should be punished by law to prevent sending the wrong message,” both presidents concluded.

During a visit to Tirana earlier last month, Gruevski's car was pelted with eggs. Several Macedonian flags were also torched in the Albanian capital.

In Budva, Ivanov accepted an invitation to visit Albania next year and agreed that the two neighbouring countries should work on improving infrastructure and trade.

At the summit in Budva, Ivanov also met the President of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga, to whom he expressed his support for Kosovo’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

The host of the summit was the Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic, to whom Ivanov delivered congratulations concerning the opening of Montenegr0's EU accession negotiations.

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