Keyword: Albania

France blocks EU membership talks with Balkan states

At a meeting of European Union (EU) general affairs managers, France, backed in part by the Netherlands but opposed by Germany, vetoed talks on opening uip membership to the bloc to North Macedonia and Albania, arguing that no date should be set for opening accession deliberations until the EU revamps its whole approach to enlargement.

How Balkan dervishes have survived centuries of turmoil

By , and Simon Rico
Long history: the dervish Murtazar from Melan in Albania. © Laurent Geslin Long history: the dervish Murtazar from Melan in Albania. © Laurent Geslin

They form a variety of different, disparate groups, some living in the middle of cities, others taking refuge in mountainous retreats scattered around the Balkans. But all practice the mystical Islam of Sufi religious orders, seen as a “heresy” by followers of rigorous Sunni orthodoxy from the Gulf states. Jean-Arnault Dérens, Laurent Geslin and Simon Rico look at how the Balkans' dervishes have managed to survive to this day, faced with the various challenges posed down the centuries by empire, nationalist upheaval, orthodox Islam, communism and atheism.

Remains of King Zog return to Albania from France

The remains of King Zog I, who died in France in 1961, have been flown back to Albania after being exhumed in a cemetery near Paris.