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UNMIK Headlines 7 April

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• Thaci to be sworn in as Kosovo president today (Epoka e Re)
• Closed dialogue between PDK-LDK and AAK-NISMA (Koha)
• Molliqaj: Separate ways with NISMA and AAK (Koha)
• AAK ready to continue protests alone (Kosova Sot)
• AAK to join the government in May (Bota Sot)
• Albanian PM Rama to visit Kosovo today (Kosovapress)
• Telephone code, a condition for the Association/Community (Zeri)
• “Gavric’s explosive, same as one used in France and Brussels attacks” (Koha)
• Another individual from Kosovo killed in Syria (Zeri)

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Headlines – 07.04.2016

Thaci to be sworn in as Kosovo president today (Epoka e Re)

The paper reports that a special session of the Kosovo Assembly is scheduled for today at 11.00 where Hashim Thaci will be sworn in as the new President of Kosovo. Opposition MPs have announced they will boycott the session. On Friday, the ceremony to celebrate Thaci’s inauguration will take place at Pristina’s Skënderbeu square where the outgoing president Atifete Jahjaga will formally hand over the post to her successor.

Closed dialogue between PDK-LDK and AAK-NISMA (Koha)

The paper reports on its front page that representatives of opposition parties, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) and the Initiative for Kosovo (NISMA), met last week with representatives of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), partners in the ruling coalition. The meeting was organized by civil society organizations, the Balkans Group and Democracy for Development, and was monitored by representatives of the European Union, the United States and Germany. Unnamed sources told the paper that the closed dialogue between the opposition and the government addressed the possibilities of overcoming the current crisis. According to the paper, the meeting can be seen as a sign of change in the position of the AAK and NISMA, which until now said they would not meet the ruling parties without the annulment of the agreement on the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities and the agreement on the border demarcation with Montenegro and without an agreement on early parliamentary elections. Sources told the paper that the organizers of the meeting had also invited the Vetevendosje Movement but its leaders refused to take part in the roundtable. NISMA’s Jakup Krasniqi, who was present at the meeting, later told the paper: “There is no reason why we shouldn’t meet and try to find a solution. This, however, doesn’t mean we have given up on the demands of the united opposition. Our goal is through early elections to provide the people with an opportunity to determine who will govern the country. These talks, however, cannot go on forever and they cannot serve for the ruling coalition to buy time”. The European Union Office in Pristina did not want to comment on the meeting, while the U.S. Embassy said their representative was present at the meeting in the capacity of an observer. Asked if the U.S. Embassy has certain expectations from the process, Michelle Schohn, public affairs officer at the Embassy, said the United States has repeatedly said that political solutions are found through dialogue and not through violence. “We welcome all efforts aimed at bringing the parties closer together to discuss a way forward that is consistent with the laws and Constitution of Kosovo,” she said.

Molliqaj: Separate ways with NISMA and AAK (Koha)

The paper reports that Vetevendosje’s Dardan Molliqaj and Ilir Deda, in a debate on KTV on Wednesday evening, talked about an alternative for change that implies separate ways for the Vetevendosje Movement and the other two opposition parties. Molliqaj said the coalition with AAK and NISMA is a closed matter and that they would only continue their cooperation in rejecting the agreements on the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities and the border demarcation with Montenegro.

AAK ready to continue protests alone (Kosova Sot)

The Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) held a meeting of the party leadership last night to discuss latest political developments in Kosovo. In a press release issued after the meeting, the party reaffirms its commitment to continue opposing the actions of the current government it deems unlawful. The AAK also expressed readiness to continue joint protests with other opposition parties but if there is no agreement with them on when to schedule the next protest, “the AAK will very soon call all-out protests on its own.”

AAK to join the government in May (Bota Sot)

Citing unidentified sources, the paper reports that the acting-leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Kadri Veseli and leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), Ramush Haradinaj are discussing the possibility of AAK joining the government in May. According to these sources, Haradinaj would take the post of Deputy Prime Minister. The AAK would also get the Ministry of Internal Affairs and maybe some other ministry. The paper also notes that immediately after reshuffling of the government, the special court for war crimes will file the first indictments against the former KLA fighters.

Albanian PM Rama to visit Kosovo today (Kosovapress)

Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama is expected to undertake a visit to Kosovo today and meet Assembly President Kadri Veseli. According to a statement issued by the Assembly, the two officials will meet this afternoon. Rama is also expected to take part in the swearing in ceremony for president-elect Hashim Thaci though this has not yet been officially confirmed.

Telephone code, a condition for the Association/Community (Zeri)

Kosovo’s Minister without portfolio, Edita Tahiri, told the paper the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities will not be established before Kosovo gets its telephone code. According to Tahiri, the issue of the Association/Community is now in the phase when the statute should be drafted in accordance with the decision of the Constitutional Court. “However, we have not started drafting the statute. This issue should be put on hold because first comes the issue of the telephone code for which Serbia has violated the agreement because this issue was supposed to be completed by 1 March. We have fulfilled all obligations, while the Serbian side did not,” Tahiri said, adding that the EU is committed to work with the Serbian side on this issue. Tahiri said the meeting between Prime Ministers of Kosovo and Serbia will happen only after Serbia’s elections.

“Gavric’s explosive, same as one used in France and Brussels attacks” (Koha)

The paper continues to cover the trial of Serbian national, Slobodan Gavric, who is accused of planning to carry out terror activities after he was caught with a large amount of explosive near Pristina. Muhamet Rushiti, a Kosovo Police expert, told the court on Wednesday that the explosives with which Gavric was caught is as strong and has the same composition as the explosives used during the recent terror attacks in France and Brussels.

Another individual from Kosovo killed in Syria (Zeri)

A 25-year-old from Pristina, Ardian Hyseni is the second man reported to have been killed in Syria in the past few days, while fighting alongside the so-called Al-Nusra front. Hyseni’s killing brings the number of people from Kosovo killed in Syria and Iraq to over 50. While the recent data shows more than 70 other fighters from Kosovo fighting alongside Al-Nusra.

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