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North Macedonia Social Democrats take narrow poll win over nationalists

Skopje - North Macedonia's Social Democrats eked out a razor-thin win over nationalist rivals, official election results showed Thursday, highlighting deep fault lines in a country preparing to start EU membership talks.

Polarised North Macedonia votes amid virus surge

Skopje - North Macedonia heads to the polls Wednesday to elect a government in the midst of a resurgence of coronavirus cases, which has fuelled a bitter blame-game between rival camps.

North Macedonia faces 'necessary evil' when voters head to ballot

Skopje - To choose your leaders or your health? Voters in North Macedonia are facing this conundrum as the country heads towards key elections just as a second wave of the coronavirus is rising.

For Balkan Roma, hunger is the first curse of coronavirus

Tirana - Inside a dark shack outside Albania's capital, 18-year-old Mirela tries to soothe her newborn with the only food she has: a can of powdered milk scrounged from a rubbish bin. "But what to do after that?

EU regains 'crediblity' with Balkan move

Apo - EU ministers on Tuesday approved starting membership talks with North Macedonia and Albania, a move hailed as restoring "credibility" after months of damaging delays and bickering.

Give us hope, give us membership talks, N Macedonia tells EU

Apo - The EU must deliver soon on its promise to open membership talks with North Macedonia, the country's foreign minister has told AFP, warning that messages of hope were ringing hollow after three rejections.

Balkans leaders discuss common market after EU snub

Ohrid - Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia discussed setting up a common market at a summit Sunday, weeks after the European Union snubbed bids by Skopje and Tirana to open membership talks.

North Macedonia to hold snap polls in April

Skopje - North Macedonia's political leaders agreed on Sunday to hold early elections in April, after the EU blocked the start of membership talks.

N.Macedonia PM calls for snap election after EU snub

Skopje - North Macedonia's prime minister on Saturday proposed a snap election after the EU blocked the start of membership talks, scrambling what had been the key policy goal of his administration.

Anger over EU's 'historic mistake' on Skopje, Tirana

Apo - The EU has made a "historic mistake" that risks destabilising the Balkans, senior officials warned Friday, after a handful of countries led by French President Emmanuel Macron again blocked membership talks for North Macedonia and Albania.

Anger and regret over EU block on Skopje, Tirana

Apo - The EU risks trashing its credibility and destabilising the Balkans, senior officials warned Friday, after a handful of countries led by French President Emmanuel Macron again blocked membership talks for North Macedonia and Albania.

EU deadlocked over Albania, N.Macedonia membership talks

Apo - Bitterly divided EU leaders failed Friday to reach agreement on allowing Albania and North Macedonia to start talks to join the bloc, dealing a fresh blow to their membership hopes.

Pompeo warns of 'Russian bots' and 'Chinese bribes' in the Balkans

Ohrid - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned against the "malign" influence of Russian trolls and Chinese investment during a brief tour through the Western Balkans on Friday.

EU chiefs urge membership talks with N.Macedonia, Albania

Apo - The EU's top leaders said in a joint statement Thursday it is "time to start accession talks" with North Macedonia and Albania for them to join the European Union.

Pompeo to combat Russian influence on Balkans trip

New York - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will seek to counter Russian influence during his visit next week to Montenegro and North Macedonia, the latest and the next members of NATO, officials said Friday.

US names envoy to integrate Western Balkans

Washington - The United States on Friday named a veteran diplomat, Matthew Palmer, as special representative for the Western Balkans tasked with helping integrate the area with the West.

N. Macedonia PM under fire over gay slur

Skopje - North Macedonia's Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has apologised for using a gay slur while trying to defend his government against a corruption scandal that has ensnared justice officials.

Russian comedy duo pranks North Macedonia PM

Skopje - Two Russian pranksters famous for hoax phone calls have tricked North Macedonia's prime minister into seemingly agreeing to pay a bribe and accusing Russia of having "many spies" in the Balkans.

Greek road trip: N.Macedonia deal 'last straw' for angry voters

Thessalon - Five months after angry rallies in major cities against Greece's controversial name agreement with North Macedonia, the issue barely registers in the July 7 election campaign.

Greek road trip: N.Macedonia deal 'last straw' for angry voters

Thessalon - Five months after angry rallies in major cities against Greece's controversial name agreement with North Macedonia, the issue barely registers in the July 7 election campaign.

EU delays decision on North Macedonia, Albania membership bids

Luxembourg - The European Union on Tuesday delayed a decision on whether to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia until October, dealing a fresh blow to the Balkan states' hopes.

EU tells Tirana, Skopje membership will have to wait

Apo - EU Council President Donald Tusk said Wednesday the bloc should start accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania, but warned there would be no quick decision, with several member states opposed.

In North Macedonia, Pope urges Balkans to embrace diversity

Skopje - Pope Francis called on the Western Balkans to embrace its patchwork of faiths and ethnicities during a visit to North Macedonia on Tuesday, saying "respect for diversity" is key to the region's efforts to integrate with Europe.

Pope asks Bulgarians to 'open hearts' to migrants

Sofia - Pope Francis urged Bulgarians to open their hearts and doors to refugees as he began a visit to the European Union's poorest country, where the main Orthodox Church snubbed holding joint prayers with the pontiff.

North Macedonia, a country that changed its name

Skopje - Small and landlocked North Macedonia, which votes Sunday in a presidential election, recently made headlines when it changed its name to end a dispute with Greece.

North Macedonia's pro-West candidate claims presidential victory

Skopje - North Macedonia's pro-West candidate announced a victory over his nationalist-backed rival in a tight presidential run-off Sunday, giving a boost to a government that had divided the public by changing the country's name.

Skopje gears up for papal visit to Mother Teresa's hometown

Skopje - When he first heard Pope Francis would visit North Macedonia, the birthplace of the world's most famous Catholic nun Mother Teresa, Marinko Pinjuh thought it was "fake news".

Wary welcome expected for Pope Francis on Balkan visit

Vatican City - Pope Francis begins a Balkan visit on Sunday in Bulgaria, a country with a tiny Catholic community where the Orthodox Church has rejected the idea of holding joint prayers with the pontiff.

Presidental poll threatens crisis for North Macedonia ruling party

Skopje - North Macedonia goes to the polls on Sunday in a presidential run-off vote that will be a litmus test for the pro-Western government, which has warned low turnout could invalidate the vote and trigger a general election.

North Macedonia president vote heads to runoff

Skopje - North Macedonia's centre-left presidential candidate held a razor-thin majority over his right-wing rival after the first round of polls, election results showed Monday, with low turnout spelling potential trouble for the runoff.
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