Balkan Republican Parties Mull Regional Union

Republican parties in the Balkans are mulling the creation of a Balkan Republican Union that will unite regional representatives of the same political option under one umbrella.

The idea emerged on Monday from a meeting in Tirana between the Albanian Republican Party leader, Fatmir Mediu, his Serbian counterpart, Nikola Sandulovic, and Faton Kurti from Kosovo.

The Albanian Republican Party was formed soon after the fall of communism as a right-wing free-market party based on the US Republican Party, and it has taken part in various centre-right governments in Albania over the last 25 years.

The Serbian and Kosovo republican parties are smaller and have no representatives in their respective parliaments.

The Albanian Republican leader, former Defence minister Fatmir Mediu, told BIRN that a Balkan Republican Union would serve as a forum for regional political communication and collaboration.

"This forum... will regularly discuss issues that concern us for regional cooperation and European Union integration. Together we can also have better communications with European right-wing representatives and with US Republicans," Mediu said.

During the meeting, the head of Serbian Republican Party, Nikola Sandulovic, apologized for the victims of the war in Kosovo and said Serbia should recognize the independence of the former Serbian province, proclaimed in 2008.

"I apologize in the name of the Serbian people for the crimes committed in Kosovo. We feel sorry that the people of Kosovo suffered so much for the petty interests of Serbian politicians. Kosovo now is free and independent and Serbs have to accept this reality," he said.

Sandulovic was a former advisor to Serbia's late Prime Minister, Zoran Djindjic. He came into the...

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