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UNMIK Headlines 29 May

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• Thaçi briefs Jahjaga on talks in Brussels (dailies)
• Government draft law does not define subjects of the agreement (Koha Ditore)
• Nishani to boycott Ohrid summit because of Jahjaga (dailies)
• Soft reaction from Brussels (Lajm)
• Belgrade wants voting centers in Serbia (Tribuna)
• President, what are you waiting for? (Zëri)
• Implementation of agreement in the north, difficult (Koha Ditore)
• Montenegro with an initiative for regional cooperation (Epoka e Re)
• The protest “Five minutes to twelve”, today (Epoka e Re)

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Headlines – 29.05.2013

Thaçi briefs Jahjaga on talks in Brussels (dailies)

President of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga met Prime Minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi who informed her of his last meeting in Brussels with Serbian PM Ivica Dacic. Thaçi on the occasion presented Jahjaga with a copy of the document for implementation of the agreement of 19 April which is to be submitted to the Assembly for ratification.

The two also discussed preparations for local elections which they reaffirmed will take place at the same time throughout the territory of Kosovo including the north.

Government draft law does not define subjects of the agreement (Koha Ditore)

Kosovo Government has proceeded to the Assembly one draft law with three articles, giving the status of international agreement to that reached in Brussels on 19 April. The agreement does not mention the parties who have achieved this, is not signed and does not specify the instruments involved in the reaching of the agreement.

Furthermore, it fails to mention EU High Representative Catherine Ashton as a party though she took part in initialing of this document. After initialing, a document is usually followed by a formal signing ceremony before being sent for voting but this has not been the case with agreement on normalizing relations between Kosovo and Serbia.

Nishani to boycott Ohrid summit because of Jahjaga (dailies)

President of Republic of Albania, Bujar Nishani, will not take part in the summit of the leaders of South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) countries set to take place in Ohrid on 1 June. The news has announced by Nishani’s press office on Tuesday evening.

According to the press office, the reason why Nishani has cancelled his participation has to do with the fact that President of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga, has not been invited to the event. The statement said the failure to invite Jahjaga to such a forum “is in contradiction with the spirit of cooperation and the dialogue which is prevailing in the region and which facilitates achievement of the joint aim, that of European integration”.

Soft reaction from Brussels (Lajm)

The European Union has reacted on the refusal of Macedonian authorities to invite Kosovo at the South-East Europe Cooperation Process Summit. The office of Baroness Catherine Ashton issued a soft reaction over Kosovo’s non-participation at the summit, even though the same office brokered the agreement on Kosovo’s regional representation with a footnote.

Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for Baroness Ashton, told Express on Tuesday that regional cooperation should be based on inclusiveness. “I cannot stress enough the importance of regional cooperation that is based on inclusiveness,” she said. Kocijancic did not specifically comment on Kosovo’s absence from the summit.

Belgrade wants voting centers in Serbia (Tribuna)

Tribuna reports that Belgrade wants to have at least four mobile voting centers in the territory of Serbia at the time when local elections are to be held in Kosovo. Local elections expected to be held in October, for the first time will be organized by OSCE also for the four municipalities in the north of Kosovo.

Sources said that Serbia made the request already and the issue has been discussed in Brussels. According to same sources, Belgrade is requesting this so as to enable Serbs displaced in Serbia to vote for new mayors. The request is said to have the support of Brussels regardless of possible implications on the ground.

Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo Hajredin Kuçi did not reject the possibility of mobile voting centers but said briefly that they are “still thinking about it”.

President, what are you waiting for? (Zëri)

President Atifete Jahjaga continues to delay announcing the date for local elections while the civil society urged her to do so as soon as possible stressing that elections cannot be scheduled in October or in wintertime.

Jahjaga’s advisor Arbër Vllahiu told the paper that the president will announce the date very soon. “A final consultative meeting of the president with parliamentary political parties and other political entities will take place soon to set the date for municipal elections in the whole territory of the Republic of Kosovo”, said Vllahiu.

Implementation of agreement in the north, difficult (Koha Ditore)

Panelists in a conference held in Pristina yesterday by the think tank Security Research Forum Belgrade-Tirana-Prishtina concluded that agreement for normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia will carry consequences for the security in the north and that its implementation is not likely to immediately produce tangible results.

The participants in the conference also argued that there will be delays in implementation of the agreement as both governments will need time to convince their citizens to become part of the implementation process. Ultimately, the agreement will improve the security situation in the north and enable easier integration of Serb community, the panelists concluded.

Montenegro with an initiative for regional cooperation (Epoka e Re)

The Government of Montenegro, through its Minister for Foreign Affairs Igor Luksic, has initiated a new concept for regional cooperation between the countries of the western Balkans, where Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina are included. According to Montenegrin media, the six Balkans countries would work together on Euro-Atlantic integration.

The initiative foresees cooperation in different relevant fields aimed at improving the lives of citizens and adopting a united policy on joint issues. Among other issues, the initiative foresees removal of the obligation to carry passports while crossing the borders of these states.

The protest “Five minutes to twelve”, today (Epoka e Re)

Organizing council of protest which represents 14 trade unions has called on workers, the unemployed, students, civil society and pensioners, to participate today at the protest at 11:55 in “Mother Teresa Square” in Pristina under the motto “Five minutes to twelve.”

Through this protest, the trade unions will request implementation of laws for workers in practice, signing of the collective agreement, implementation of the agreement on the minimal wage of €220, endorsement of the law on pensioners, acceptance of the working experience for the years 1990-1999, creation of the special social fund for workers who were dismissed after privatization and action of the Supreme Court Special Chamber on 20 percent from the privatization of the enterprises.

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