The Macedonian naming dispute between the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of Macedonia (aka the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), is back in the news due to the Premier of the FYROM Zoran Zaev and his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras’ recent meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos. While many Slavic and Hellenic Macedonians each feel strongly about their respective positions, one should not let Zaev’s seemingly Hellenophile position fool anyone. Zaev is not a “stooge” to Athens and never has been. In reality, Zaev is a stooge to the NATO authored project for a so-called Greater Albania, one that implicitly raises the spectre of terrorism both by default and by design.
The concept of a Greater Albania is an irredentist movement which has gained exponential popularity among politically active citizens in the Republic of Albania since the end of the Communist government in the early 1990s. Agitators for Greater Albania seek to unilaterally annex parts of Serbia, the FRYOM/Republic of Macedonia, Hellenic Republic and Montenegro. Already, the leader of the Tirana regime, Edi Rama has stated that Albania could annex the occupied Serbian Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija if his country doesn’t achieve its desired goal to join the European Union.
Furthermore, Zaev has worked hand in glove with Albanian extremist parties in the FRYOM/Republic of Macedonia in order to achieve his position. While individually, many of the Albanian parties that Zaev has coalesced with are comprised of inexperienced or politically incompetent individuals, they nevertheless receive their marching orders from higher powers, primarily the United States. The US Embassy in Skopje is something of a revolving door for pro-Albanian politicians in the FRYOM/Republic of Macedonia, where they are given everything from money to talking points. This reality is something of the worst kept secret in the Balkans. The grim reality of Albanian-Macedonian politicians showing loyalty not to Skopje but to Tirana was made clear when the Speaker of the Parliament of the FRYOM/Republic of Macedonia was photographed with the flag of the Republic of Albania on his desk.
Albania–terrorism’s playground in Europe
If a state salivating at the thought of annexing the territory of every one of its neighbours isn’t frightening enough, the danger becomes even more apparent when one realises that the method which Albania seeks to achieve its imperialist goal is not through traditional military means but through the use of Takfiri terrorism.
Italian media has sounded the alarm over the fact that Albanian born Daesh (ISIS) terrorists who have been steadily returning to the Balkans from Syria and Iraq now control entire villages in Albania, where the black and white flag of the terrorist group flies proudly as it once did in places like Mosul and Deir ez-Zor. Italian investigative journalists have further stated that Italian authorities should be on the lookout for Albanian Daesh who plan to execute brutal terrorist attacks in Italy.
Albanian police admit that the Daesh threat in their country is very real, although the regime in Tirana has done precious little to prevent Albania from slipping into the hands of Daesh. Making matters more complicated, while Albania has become increasingly bold about representing the residents of the occupied Serbian Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija at a geopolitical level, when it comes to local affairs, things are generally controlled by a NATO puppet regime in Pristina who themselves were former KLA terrorists with strong links to both the notorious Albanian mafia and actors within the Tirana regime. Occupied Kosovo and Metohija is consequently an acutely localised hotbed of terrorist activity. On top of this, the terrorist group MEK which seeks to overthrow the Iranian government has been based in Albania since being kicked out of Iraq by the government in Baghdad between 2009 and 2016. If KLA terrorists, MEK terrorists and Daesh terrorists weren’t bad enough, Albania is also now home to exiled members of the Fethullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) of the US based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Albania, once the most secular state in Europe under the rule of Enver Hoxha, is now a kind of playground for the most notorious Takfiri and crypto-Takfiri groups in the world. In this sense, Albania’s relationship with terrorism in 2018, is not unlike Afghanistan’s relationship with the terrorists in the late 1990s. However, because of the presence of a highly organised mafia in Albania which itself is handsomely funded by the international narcotics trade, in many respects, contemporary Albania is far more lawless than the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was in the 1990s with its strict theocratic government.
Safety first–naming disputes last
Citizens of every state which neighbours Albania should be aware that if the terrorists in Albania become increasingly troublesome for local authorities, regime authorities could give them easy passage to any of Albania’s neighbours in order to export the local terrorist problem. In return, Albanian leaders could easily request that the terrorists carve out enclaves in the name of the “Greater Albanian state”. Thus, one sees the distinct possibility of a marriage based on mutual greed between the Tirana regime and Takfiri groups like Daesh. Just as the US used Takfiris in the Middle East and North Africa to overthrow or neutralise countries that were sceptical of American hegemonic power, the US could easily do the same with Albanian Daesh.
Against this backdrop, it becomes rather absurd for peaceful, Orthodox Christian peoples to fight over the name of a state that is about to be swallowed up by Albanian extremists who threaten both the Hellenic and Slavic Orthodox populations of the region.
–Russia, Iran and Turkey–Astana 2.0 for the Balkans
Ironically, Turkey which once embraced the ethno-nationalist Albanian takeover of Kosovo and Metohija, has now worked to establish historically good relations with Serbia. Of the many reasons behind this rapprochement is the fact that Turkey’s President Erdogan is seething about Albania’s refusal to kick out members of the Fethullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO). Erdogan’s deteriorating relations with the US have also played a role in his turn towards Serbia, as Albania is functionally little more than a client state of Washington.
Adding to this mix, Turkey’s increasingly warm relations with Iran, could help to draw both Iran and Turkey into a conflict resolution role in the Balkans as Albania now hosts the two most hated exiled domestic terrorist organisations of both Turkey and Iran. The final piece of the puzzle is Russia. Russia’s historically fraternal relations with the Orthodox peoples of the Balkans arouses the potential for an Astana Group 2.0 to solve the terrorist problem festering in Albania, with Russia, Iran and Turkey each cooperating in the region, so long as local governments agree to such a pact. The ideological differences between the Russian, Iranian and Turkish states would further guarantee that no one state could exploit regional tensions for their own sectarian gain.
While unthinkable just a year ago, the prospect for Turkey, Iran and Russia to work towards a regional peace process combined with a security advisory role for countries threatened by Albanian terrorism, could be a reasonable and workable solution, assuming that the countries who are mutually threatened by Albanian terrorism can find a way to put aside their historic disputes and focus on a clear and present danger.