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Albania has an Al Qaeda problem. And it's starting to fight back

TIRANA, Albania — The eight people arrested included two radical imams, Genci Balla and Bujar Hysi, believed to be the spiritual leaders of an extremist Islamist group. The news comes amid growing concerns about the number of ethnic Albanians from Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo reported two have joined militant groups fighting in Syria.

Albania refuses request to destroy Syria's chemical weapons on its soil

There are an estimated 1,000-metric tons of chemical weapons that need to be destroyed, including mustard gas and the lethal nerve agent sarin.

It's getting ugly in Sofia: Bulgarian students barricade university

SOFIA — Students are at the epicenter of a five-month protest movement against the corruption and nepotism many Bulgarians say has plagued every administration since the fall of communism in 1989.

Washington asks Albania to help destroy Syrian chemical weapons

TIRANA, Albania — Environmental groups say taking in Syria’s stockpiles could spell disaster, pointing to Tirana’s poor record of destroying its own weapons caches, chemical and conventional.

Migrants flee Greek xenophobia

GJIROKASTRA, Albania — Patience paid off for the police on a Sunday night earlier this month. Hours spent scanning the border with Greece through thermal night vision binoculars were rewarded when a group of 16 people materialized from the pitch black. They were among the more than 1,200 illegal migrants who have been intercepted since the beginning of the year.

Europe’s marijuana capital isn’t Amsterdam

GJIROKASTRA, Albania — The last time police tried to enter the mountainside village of Lazarat near this historic southern city last summer, they prompted a ferocious firefight a local police commissioner describes as “very much like a real war.”

Can one of Europe’s poorest countries change its ways?

HAJMEL, Albania — When Zef Pashuku returned from Greece to take over the family farm in 2000, he quickly realized its success would depend on something that still makes Albanians wary two decades after the communist collapse: going into business with his neighbors. The country's future prosperity may turn on it, too.

EU enlargement: the real answer to ethnic tensions in the Balkans

Commentary: Albanian PM sees this as a key to peace, stability and security for Albania.
Sali berisha albania euEnlarge
Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha arrives at the EU Headquarters for a European People's Party (EPP) enlarged summit on Dec. 13, 2012 in Brussels. (John Thys/AFP/Getty Images)
TIRANA, Albania - Five countries in the Balkans, including Albania and neighboring nations, are at various steps along the path to full membership in the European Union. Recent headlines – and our region’s history – serve as reminders why it is so important that all five nations join the EU, not only for our own economic futures, but also for the peace and stability of our region, our continent and the entire world.

Albania celebrates 100 years of independence (PHOTOS)

Albania celebrates 100 years of independence from the Ottoman Empire, declared on November 28, 1912. Albanians flooded Tirana's main square wearing red and black, with faces painted and ready to eat a giant cake made to look like their country's flag.

Students killed in southern Albania bus crash

The bus was one of two vehicles carrying 75 third-year students from Aleksander Xhuvani University in the city of Elbasan on a pre-graduation trip to the southern city of Saranda.
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