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UNMIK Headlines 1 February

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• Thaci: I expect further de-escalating of tensions with Serbia (RFE)
• Dialogue at level of Presidents and Prime Ministers resumes today (media)
• Government fails to respect Assembly’s resolution on Mitrovica wall (Zeri)
• Lunacek: Reconciliation is an obligation (Zeri)
• Zeri: “Fears of possible bomb threats alarm Pristina”
• Koha: “Kosovo Security Force will (not) become Kosovo Armed Force”
• Tsipras: Greece will not change its position on Kosovo (media)

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Headlines – 01.02.2017

  • Thaci: I expect further de-escalating of tensions with Serbia (RFE)
  • Dialogue at level of Presidents and Prime Ministers resumes today (media)
  • Government fails to respect Assembly’s resolution on Mitrovica wall (Zeri)
  • Lunacek: Reconciliation is an obligation (Zeri)
  • Zeri: “Fears of possible bomb threats alarm Pristina”
  • Koha: “Kosovo Security Force will (not) become Kosovo Armed Force”
  • Tsipras: Greece will not change its position on Kosovo (media)

Thaci: I expect further de-escalating of tensions with Serbia (RFE)

Ahead of the new meeting in Brussels with the Serbian delegation, President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci said to RFE that he expects tensions between Kosovo and Serbia to de-escalate further. “I expect the dialogue and efforts for normalization of relations to continue,” said Thaci adding that he believed the process will lead to reconciliation and cooperation between Kosovo and Serbia.

Dialogue at level of Presidents and Prime Ministers resumes today (media)

Talks between Kosovo and Serbia at the level of Presidents and Prime Ministers will resume in Brussels today, Epoka e Re reports on page two. Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa and President Hashim Thaci, and their Serbian counterparts, Aleksandar Vucic and Tomislav Nikolic, will discuss the relaxation of relations between the two countries and the implementation of agreements on the energy, judiciary and the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities. Zeri reports on page five that the leaders are expected to clash over the Association/Community. The paper quotes Kosovo’s Minister for Dialogue, Edita Tahiri, as saying that this phase of dialogue will focus on the mutual recognition between the two countries. Tahiri also said that Kosovo’s institutions were working intensively on removing the wall in Mitrovica North and securing freedom of movement for all citizens.

Government fails to respect Assembly’s resolution on Mitrovica wall (Zeri)

The government of Kosovo has failed to demolish the Mitrovica North wall, erected by Serb leadership of the municipality, as per Assembly’s resolution adopted several weeks ago. The resolution stipulated that the wall has to be demolished no later than end of January. Meanwhile, efforts are under way to reach an agreement on resolving the issue. To this end, the EU Special Representative to Kosovo, Nataliya Apostolova, met with Kosovo’s Minister for Environment and Spatial Planning, Ferat Shala, and expressed the need for finding a solution acceptable to all parties.  In a statement after the meeting, the EU said its position is that the wall should be removed and that the “EU is engaged on building bridges not walls.”

Lunacek: Reconciliation is an obligation (Zeri)

European Parliament Vice President and Rapporteur for Kosovo, Ulrike Lunacek, said that the perspective for Kosovo and Serbia is very clear: reconciliation and EU integration. “Normalisation means everything on which the parties have already agreed to implement. Both sides are obliged to carry this through and not wait for one another,” she said.

Zeri: “Fears of possible bomb threats alarm Pristina”

Two consecutive cases regarding possible bomb threats alarmed Pristina last evening, the paper reports. The first case involved an abandoned bag near the “Elena Gjika” primary school and soon after the police were informed of a suspicious taxi with Belgrade license plates parked near Grand Hotel. Following examination, the police determined that both cases constituted false alarms.

Koha: “Kosovo Security Force will (not) become Kosovo Armed Force”

The paper reports on its front page that even after the statement by U.S. Defence Secretary, James Mattis, about the need for establishing the army of Kosovo, the Kosovo government has yet to act on the matter. Citing unnamed sources, the paper notes that the government could back down from changing the constitutional denomination of the Kosovo Security Force into the Kosovo Armed Force, because it lacks the votes of the Serbian List.

Tsipras: Greece will not change its position on Kosovo (media)

Several media report that Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, said on Tuesday that Greece will not recognise Kosovo’s independence. Tsipras made these remarks after meeting Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade. Vucic thanked Tsipras for not recognising Kosovo and for helping Serbia get closer to European Union membership.

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