North Macedonia

EU Security Chief upbeat on Macedonia

Javier Solana, the EU's chief for security and foreign affairs, visited Skopje on 15 January, RFE/RL's Macedonian broadcasters reported. His talks with President Boris Trajkovski and high-ranking government officials focused on the implementation of the 2001 Ohrid peace agreement and on the EU's plans to take over the peacekeeping mission from NATO. Solana told reporters, "The EU is ready to take over NATO's peacekeeping mission in Macedonia," dpa reported. After meeting with ethnic Albanian political leader Ali Ahmeti, Solana said: "I do not see the possibility of [any] new escalation of the crisis in Macedonia." Solana repeated his opposition to further border changes in the Balkans, the BBC's Serbian Service reported. UB/PM

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