World Bulletin/News Desk
The European Union started accession talks with the tiny Adriatic Sea state of Montenegro on Friday, in an effort to persuade other countries in the western Balkans that democratic reforms pay off.
Negotiations will likely take years before the former Yugoslav republic of 680,000 people can become an EU member, and will require Podgorica to make sweeping improvements to its judicial system and to curb corruption and organised crime.
"Montenegro already did a lot. But much more still needs to be done. This next phase ... will mean even more work in more areas, with continued focus on fundamental freedoms and judiciary," EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele said.
EU leaders gave formal approval to the start of talks at a summit in Brussels on Friday.
The economy of Montenegro, which split from Serbia in 2006, is largely based on tourism and real estate along its Adriatic coast. Its politicians have faced frequent accusations of corruption and links with organised crime.
Among other former Yugoslav states, Slovenia is an EU member and Croatia is due to join in July 2013. Others are far behind on the accession path, struggling to shake off the legacy of the ethnic wars that shook the Balkans when Yugoslavia disintegrated.
Transnistria's Parliament will apply to Russia for recognition of their independence from Moldova.
So far this year, 2,370 unaccompanied minors have arrived in Italy, the charity claims. Most journey to Italy to be united with relatives already there. When the Italian authorities fail to reunite them with family, the children often risk the journey alone.
Government ministers said that warnings last week by the U.N. mission in Burundi (BNUB) about possible violence were baseless and possibly spread to justify an extension of its mandate
The International Centre for the Study of Radicalization is a non-governmental think-tank based in London whose mission is to analyze and promote the understanding of political violence and radicalization.
Pakistan Taliban spokesperson blamed the government for a lack of progress in peace talks.
The island, which just has a population of 30 Spanish soldiers, is one of three Chafarinas Islands that have been under Spanish control since 1847.
Jarba said his Syrian National Coalition sought a political solution, according to a statement from the ministry.
NATO fighter aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region, allied ships will deploy to the Baltic sea, the eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere
Saudi Arabia’s aviation authorities have warned Pakistan’s national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), that all their flights will be cancelled if outstanding airport usage fees are not paid by April 17.
Ukraine's defence ministry said the troop carriers were now in Slaviansk, guarded by "people in uniforms who have no relation to Ukraine's armed forces."
Talks were put on hold after an Israeli soldier was shot dead in the West Bank.
Mariam Koofi was shot in one of Kabul's upscale districts late on Tuesday after an argument with a member of the security forces, the interior ministry said in a statement. Her injury was not life threatening.
The lawsuit called for banning all Israeli activities in Egypt, shutting down the Israeli embassy and offices in Cairo, and designating Israel a "terrorist state."
In Lebanon, the post of president must be filled by a Maronite Christian for a term of six years, according to the country's national charter.
More than 280 people remained missing, 164 poeple rescued after a South Korean ferry with 477 people aboard capsized off the country's southwest
An Egyptian court sentenced 119 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood of former president Mohamed Mursi to three years each in prison