US warns Albania over nationalism

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by geoBR, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. geoBR

    geoBR Regular Member

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    http://http://www.iol.co.za/news/world/us-warns-albania-over-nationalism-1.1471493#.UR8Hjh2TzKg

    Tirana - The United States has warned leaders in NATO ally Albania in no uncertain terms to stop stoking nationalism in the run-up to an election because they risk destabilising the region.

    Facing a close contest in the parliamentary election in June, Prime Minister Sali Berisha has been ruffling feathers in neighbouring states that are home to millions of ethnic Albanians with his increasingly nationalist statements.

    Last November, the foreign minister of neighbouring Greece boycotted Albanian centenary festivities in Tirana after Berisha hailed a town over the border as “Albanian lands”. The president of Macedonia, where a quarter of the population are ethnic Albanians, also stayed away.

    In a memo to the Albanian Foreign Ministry reported on Friday by a number of newspapers, the U.S. State Department said Albania's leaders were wading into “potentially dangerous” territory, given the history of ethnic conflicts in the Balkans.

    Such remarks “not only promote more inflammatory behaviour and distract from this region's priorities, but also potentially incite violence, erode peace and stability, and impact our relationship”, it said.

    Even more bluntly, it told Albanian politicians to “stay out of the affairs of Serbia”, which is in delicate European Union-mediated talks aimed at normalising ties with Kosovo, whose mostly ethnic Albanian population broke away from Serbia in 1999.

    A U.S. embassy spokesman declined to comment on the memo.

    Berisha has repeatedly complained of foreign “Albanophobia”, and raised eyebrows in Serbia last month when he referred to ethnic Albanian former guerrillas there as “heroes of the Albanian nation”.

    Ethnic Albanians waged insurgencies in both southern Serbia and Macedonia in 2000 and 2001. Those conflicts were a spillover of the 1998-99 war in Kosovo, which broke away from Serbia after a U.S.-led NATO air campaign halted a brutal Serbian offensive to quell separatism.

    Kosovo declared independence in 2008. But poverty, unemployment and a lack of integration continue to fuel discontent among ethnic Albanians across the region.

    Washington was the driving force behind Albania's accession to NATO in 2009, and is pressing Tirana to ensure that its election is free of the violence and fraud allegations of previous votes, so that its bid to join the EU can move ahead.

    Analysts say Berisha may be responding to the emergence of a new nationalist party called the Black and Red Alliance, a name taken from the colours of the Albanian national flag.

    “Berisha is wrong if he wants to build himself a flak jacket made of nationalism to protect him should the elections go wrong,” opposition lawmaker and former prime minister Pandeli Majko told Albanian television.

    But Berisha defended his approach.

    “This nationalism does not have territorial claims,” he told a session of parliament on Friday marking Kosovo's fifth year of statehood. “This nationalism is not based on doctrines of extermination, like the nationalisms around us.” - Reuters


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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The Balkans continues to be the most destabilised place in the world.
     
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  4. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    U.S. troops end last Kosovo patrol - News - Stripes
     
  5. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    yougoslavia should never have been broken up.
     
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  6. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Or, it never should have been cobbled together in the first place.

    Yugoslavia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    All countries are actually cobbled up.

    Be it US, UK, USSR (now Russia) or India!

    It is only the Chinese who claim that they were always there and not cobbled up, all people being Han!

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    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
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  8. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Tito's design was indeed flawed. The road to hell is paved with good will. Those peoples are of the same Slavic roots. The diff. may only include adopting Cyrillic or Latin alphabets, and religion like Bosnians were but converts to Islam under the Ottoman. Once the binding power was gone they quickly succumbed to subnationalitic and religious zeals killing each other. Really sad.

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  9. panduranghari

    panduranghari Senior Member Senior Member

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    Just like India is. Like the Slavic race, the Indic race is the most numerous. Both share a DNA haplo group HG R1a1. Serendipity.
     
  10. panduranghari

    panduranghari Senior Member Senior Member

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    If America decides it happens. They tried that with India but due to the huge size it did not work.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The Balkans was destroyed for strategic reasons so that the Slav influence diminished and it became easier to wean them away from Russia.

    However, in the process, a large segment that emerged has a Muslim majority.

    Albania has about 60% plus Muslims.

    Macedonia has 33% Muslims

    90% of Kosovo's population are from Muslim family backgrounds, most of whom are ethnic Albanians.

    Now that the strategic aspect has been consolidated, the US is worried about the new threat that they have done a Frankenstein on themselves.

    A case of cutting the nose to spite the face?

    Something like what happened and is happening in Afghanistan?

    A rather shortsighted approach without thinking through and preparing at the same time for the negativity of the outcome,

    Just like in Iraq.
     

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