Macedonia Deputy PM Cancels Bulgaria Visit over Kumanovo Attack

Diplomacy | May 10, 2015, Sunday // 15:41|  views

olicemen watch a carrier truck transporting an armored vehicle as Macedonian special forces engage in a police action against an alleged group of armed Albanians, in Kumanovo, Macedonia, May 10, 2015. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Macedonian Deputy PM on European Affairs Fatmir Besimi has canceled his May 11 visit to Bulgaria, the Foreign Ministry in Sofia has said.

In a statement to the media, the diplomatic service reports that following the incident in Kumanovo, northwestern Macedonia, which has left at least 8 police officers dead and many more injured, Besimi has had to renounce plans for the visit due to the "unexpected circumstances".

Skopje is currently investigating the attack, and two days of national morning have been declared. A security council meeting is due later on Sunday.

Two organizations seeking to establish the so-called "Greater Albania" (out of Albanian-populated territories across Southeast Europe) have claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Interior Ministry in Skopje meanwhile insists a "terrorist group" entered from "a neighboring country", refusing to specify which one.

Ethnic Albanians constitute between a quarter and 30 percent of Macedonia's population.

Besimi, an ethnic Albanian, has assumed various positions in the past decade under PM Nikola Gruevski's governments, having been in charge of portfolios such as economy and defense.

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Tags: Bulgaria, macedonia, Albania, Albanian, Fatmir Besimi, Kumanovo, police, shootout


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