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Balkans News

Balkan countries illegally push back migrants: UNHCR

Belgrade - Illegal deportations of migrants seeking to reach western Europe along the so-called Balkans route have been on the rise, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) warned Monday.

Hungary urges EU to speed up Balkan accession talks

Varsovia - Hungary called on the European Union to speed up accession talks with the western Balkans on Tuesday, so as to "protect" the bloc from a future influx of migrants.

Balkan weapons trafficked west still a 'major problem'

Belgrade - A year after jihadists used weapons manufactured in Serbia to gun down victims in Paris, Balkan countries are struggling to end the scourge of illegal arms trafficking.

Serbian PM dreams of Balkan trade bloc

Belgrade - Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said Wednesday he feared for the stability of the Western Balkans, calling for a regional trade bloc as a way to overcome a painful past."I'm not afraid of our future economically speaking...

Nearly 11,000 still missing from Balkan wars: ICRC

Belgrade - Nearly 11,000 people are still missing from the 1990s Balkan wars, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Tuesday, expressing concern over the slow pace of establishing their fates.

Brexit will not hit Balkan EU aspirants: France, Germany

Paris - The French and German leaders on Monday said Britain's shock decision to exit the EU would not impact on Western Balkan nations aspiring to join the bloc.Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia want to join the European Union.

'Please don't go': Balkan EU hopefuls fret over Brexit

Belgrade - When Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama wrote to the London Times about the risk of Brexit, his message was clear -- and echoed other Balkan nations desperate to join the European Union."Please don't go," Rama pleaded.

Kayakers protest Balkans 'dam tsunami' in lake paddle

Ljubljana - More than 60 kayakers took to Slovenia's Lake Bohinj Saturday to kick off a 35-day environmental protest over plans to build dams on rivers in six Balkan countries.

Politics and war crimes: key figures in Balkan wars

Belgrade - Radical Serb leader Vojislav Seselj was acquitted Thursday on all charges arising from the 1990s Balkan conflicts in the latest verdict handed down by the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

EU 'concerned' about possible humanitarian crisis on Balkan migrant route

Brussels - The EU said on Tuesday it was concerned about the situation on the route migrants are taking through the west Balkans and is making plans to deal with a possible humanitarian crisis.

Biden calls for greater cooperation at Europe's borders

Zagreb - US Vice President Joe Biden called at a Western Balkans summit Wednesday for greater cooperation at European borders to deal with the flow of migrants and to fight terrorist threats.

Germany to send 'tens of thousands' of migrants back to Balkans

Berlin - Germany will send thousands of rejected asylum applicants back to the Balkans in the coming months, the interior minister said Wednesday, as Berlin toughens its stance on economic migrants in the face of a refugee crisis.

EU shuts the door on Kosovans dreaming of a new life

Pristina - They don't come from a war zone, they're not fleeing persecution, and the EU doesn't want them. But for thousands of Kosovans fleeing unemployment and poverty, northern Europe is the only place to go.

Germany wants tougher EU asylum rules for west Balkans nationals

Berlin - Germany is calling on the European Union to tighten asylum rules for western Balkans nationals by designating the states of the region "safe countries of origin", a government spokesman said Friday.

Balkan migrants take desperate steps to 'prove' asylum claim

Tirana - With Europe struggling with a record influx of refugees, would-be migrants from the Balkans are taking desperate measures to 'prove' their lives are threatened in the hope of securing a successful asylum claim.

Merkel says migrant crisis a 'huge challenge' for Balkans

Vienna - Western Balkan countries are facing "huge challenges" due to the tide of migrants trying to reach the EU, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

Migrant crisis set to hijack western Balkans summit

Vienna - Europe's raging migrant crisis is set to hijack a summit in Vienna of leaders from the western Balkans region on Thursday that will also be attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Migrant wave enters EU member Hungary after Macedonia hold-up

Budapest - More than 1,000 migrants and refugees arrived in EU member Hungary late Monday, the first of around 7,000 who found their gruelling journey to Europe blocked when Macedonia declared a state of emergency last week.

German minister says Balkan refugee wave 'unacceptable'

Deutschland - Germany's interior minister said Thursday it was "unacceptable" that 40 percent of a record wave of asylum-seekers in his country were from the Balkans, calling it "an embarrassment for Europe".

Germany tries to stem tide of Balkan asylum seekers

Berlin - Germany, overwhelmed by people fleeing war and poverty, is trying to deter asylum seekers from the Balkans, a region now considered safe at least from armed conflict.

EU to help Balkan countries struggling with migrant wave: Merkel

Belgrade - The European Union will help Hungary and western Balkan countries struggling with an influx of migrants, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday. "Greece and Italy were the first destination for refugees and migrants...

Serb 'war criminal' due to be extradicted from Australia

Sydney - A Serbian war crimes suspect known as "Captain Dragan" was handed over by Australia to Croatia on Wednesday to face allegations of torture and murder after battling extradition for a decade.

Amnesty accuses Balkans of abusing EU-bound migrants

Belgrade - Amnesty International on Tuesday accused Balkan countries of mistreating migrants passing through their territories on the way to the European Union, saying people fleeing war were being "shamefully let down".

EU tells Russia to keep Balkans out of Ukraine crisis

Sarajevo - EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called on Russia Friday not to involve the Balkans in tensions between Brussels and Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis.

Balkans launch fight against jihadist recruitment

Pristina - With the world on high alert over foreign fighters joining jihadist ranks in Syria and Iraq, Balkan states are launching efforts to clamp down on recruiting in their region, considered fertile ground by Islamists.

Massive clean-up in Balkans after flood of the century

Belgrade - The death toll from cataclysmic floods in the Balkans rose by six to 57 on Friday as people returned home to salvage what belongings they could amid a huge clean-up operation.

Deadly floods recede to reveal Balkan desolation

Belgrade - Floodwaters crept lower in the shellshocked Balkans Thursday to reveal widespread devastation after the region's deadliest natural disaster since records began more than a century ago.

Mine explodes in Bosnia as floods clear-up begins

Sarajevo - A landmine dislodged by devastating floods in the Balkans exploded in Bosnia, officials said Wednesday, hurting no one but highlighting the dangers of a huge clean-up operation as governments began counting the costs.

Mine explodes in Bosnia as floods clear-up begins

Sarajevo - A landmine dislodged by devastating floods in the Balkans exploded in Bosnia, officials said Wednesday, hurting no one but highlighting the dangers of a huge clean-up operation as governments began counting the costs.

Waters recede in Serbia to reveal a ghost town

Obrenovac - The roar of an armoured vehicle ploughing through muddy water was the only sound on the deserted streets of Obrenovac, a Serbian town hit by some of the worst flooding of the past week.
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Children in Tirana  Albania fearing blood feuds.
Children in Tirana, Albania fearing blood feuds.
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