BREAKING: Europe on Edge as Chemical Attack Rocks Parliament


A partisan feud over a pending border deal led to an attack inside Kosovo’s parliament Wednesday morning.

As CNN reported, members of an opposition party launched canisters of tear gas inside the chamber, resulting in an evacuation as lawmakers emerged wiping their faces.

Two people inside the chamber were injured, according to the U.K. Evening Standard.

Reports indicate members of Levizja Vetvendosje, which opposes the pending ratification of an agreement with Montenegro regarding the border it shares with Kosovo, has used the disruptive tactic in previous attempts to stall or prevent a vote on a contentious issue.

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The current dispute concerns a 2015 deal, which members of the opposition party argue improperly cedes 30 square miles of Kosovar land to its neighbor.

Speaker Kadri Veseli insisted the attack would not have its intended result.

“The Border Demarcation Agreement will be approved by the parliament today, in spite of the attempts of a small opposition party to prevent the vote with violent means,” he said.

The official went on to denounce the actions by opposition members of parliament.

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“We will not give up to violence and populism,” Veseli said, adding that a vote to ratify the border deal “will serve to reinforce the sovereignty of our country and will unblock our path towards European Integration.”

Greg Delawi, who serves as the U.S. ambassador to Kosovo, released a statement Wednesday similarly condemning the attack.

“People with bankrupt ideas resort to political violence to try to achieve their goals,” he said. “This should not be happening in Kosovo. Kosovo is better than this. This should not be happening in a European country.”

He also tweeted his thoughts on the attack and encouraged lawmakers to ultimately pass the resolution.

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Delawi added that attacks using tear gas are “not a European thing.”

Kosovo is among several Balkan nations hoping to gain eventual entry into the European Union. Supporters of the border deal say it is a priority in the nation’s goal of achieving the ability to travel to the EU without a visa.

According to Fox News, members of parliament pushed through with a vote later in the day.

The measure passed with the support of 80 lawmakers, the smallest number possible given a requirement that it receive support from two-thirds of parliament.

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
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