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Headlines 28 February

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UN Security Council discusses situation in Kosovo (dailies)
Tahiri: Demarcation should be resubmitted or we head to elections (Epoka)
Konjufca: Those who vote demarcation are traitors (Lajmi.net)
“Dukagjin MPs should not vote demarcation” (Epoka)
European Parliament requests establishment of Association (Kosova Sot)
Lunacek requests five EU member states to recognize Kosovo (Epoka e Re)
Kosovo leaders hail Bangladesh recognition (dailies)

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Headlines – 28.02.2017 

  • UN Security Council discusses situation in Kosovo (dailies)
  • Tahiri: Demarcation should be resubmitted or we head to elections (Epoka)
  • Konjufca: Those who vote demarcation are traitors (Lajmi.net)
  • “Dukagjin MPs should not vote demarcation” (Epoka)
  • European Parliament requests establishment of Association (Kosova Sot)
  • Lunacek requests five EU member states to recognize Kosovo (Epoka e Re)
  • Kosovo leaders hail Bangladesh recognition (dailies) 

Kosovo Media Highlights

UN Security Council discusses situation in Kosovo (dailies)

All papers report on yesterday’s session of the UN Security Council where the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Zahir Tanin, presented the report on Kosovo covering the period between October 2016 and January 2017. Zeri highlights SRSG Tanin’s quote that there is no alternative to dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade at the highest level. He also stressed that “courageous leadership and positive actions are important to promote changes in attitudes. He further expressed appreciation for steps undertaken by some leaders and encouraged more sustained efforts to move beyond the past and focus on the future. At the same time, Tanin noted, addressing unemployment, progress in the rule of law, and fighting corruption remain central for all people in Kosovo.

Kosovo was represented in the session by Ambassador to the U.S., Vlora Citaku, who underlined that Kosovo is an independent country recognised by the vast majority of world countries. She said that “games” such as the attempt of Serbia to send a train with a painted sign of “Kosovo is Serbia” into Kosovo and the construction of the wall in Mitrovica North need to stop. Citaku said Kosovo institutions are determined to establish the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities but it has to be in line with the Kosovo Constitution and legislation. With regards to the transformation of the Kosovo Security Force into an armed force, Citaku said the issue will not be negotiated with Serbia. “This is a legitimate decision of Kosovo,” she stressed. Citaku also spoke about the detention of AAK leader, Ramush Haradinaj, by French authorities on an arrest warrant issued by Serbia saying that he is not being prosecuted but rather persecuted. Gazeta Metro and RTK report that Citaku also pointed out to SRSG Tanin that his reporting on certain developments in Kosovo was “not accurate.”

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic in his address warned that the possible creation of a Kosovo army would destabilize the region and that the Kosovo institutions violated principles of free movement by preventing the Serbian train from reaching Mitrovica. Nikolic also accused Kosovo of not respecting Brussels agreements. “We support resumption of dialogue and not violence and threats.”

The U.S. representative to the UN Security Council session, David Pressman, said his country supports Kosovo in its efforts to gain more recognitions and join international organisations. He said the UN Mission in Kosovo continues to incur costs and should take into account that the situation in Kosovo is not the same as in 1999. Representatives of certain countries, including the U.S., also argued that the reports on the situation in Kosovo should not be presented on a quarterly basis and they should take place less frequently. Ukraine’s representative even suggested UNMIK transforming into a special political mission not an administration as defined by UNSC Resolution 1244. The Russian representative, meanwhile, said he sees no basis for changing the frequency of UN Security Council sessions on Kosovo and that talks of UNMIK downsizing are “unacceptable.”

Tahiri: Demarcation should be resubmitted or we head to elections (Epoka)

Kosovo’s Minister for Dialogue, Edita Tahiri said on Monday for Tribuna cable TV, that ratification of the agreement for demarcation of the border with Montenegro is the responsibility of the governing coalition and not the opposition. According to her, if the Assembly does not manage to perform its duties, Kosovo should head to new elections. “This is common everywhere in the world,” Tahiri said.

Konjufca: Those who vote demarcation are traitors (Lajmi.net)

Head of the Vetevendosje parliamentary group, Glauk Konjufca, said to Rrokum TV that since the Assembly does not have the sufficient votes for the draft laws, Kosovo should go to new elections. He criticized the government saying that it is the biggest in numbers and that even they do not know how many deputy ministers they have. “The entire state is captured, votes are bought, there is control and there is no democracy,” Konjufca said. According to him, those who are ready to vote for demarcation can freely call themselves traitors. 

“Dukagjin MPs should not vote demarcation” (Epoka)

Mayor of Decan municipality, who is also member of the leadership of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), Rasim Selmanaj, appealed at all  Kosovo Assembly MPs, especially to those from Dukagjini region not to vote the demarcation of the border with Montenegro. In an interview to this daily, Selmanaj said that the current version of demarcation is harmful for Kosovo. He is also convinced that the ruling coalition would not gain sufficient votes to ratify the agreement. Speaking about the leader of his party, Selmanaj said that he is convinced that Ramush Haradinaj would return from France on 2 March.

European Parliament requests establishment of Association (Kosova Sot)

The European Parliament requests through a draft resolution recognition of Kosovo by the five EU countries, while from the government of Kosovo, immediate establishment of the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities, in accordance with the agreement signed in Brussels. The draft resolution, which has to be endorsed by the EP Council for Foreign Policy, notes that establishment of the Association should be in accordance with the Constitution of Kosovo. The draft resolution also notes that the statute for the Association has not been initiated yet. 

Lunacek requests five EU member states to recognize Kosovo (Epoka e Re)

The EU Rapporteur for Kosovo at the European Parliament, Ulrike Lunacek, has requested from the five EU member states to proceed with the process of recognition of Kosovo. “In my report, I urge the five EU member states to recognize Kosovo,” Lunacek wrote on her Twitter account. 

Kosovo leaders hail Bangladesh recognition (dailies)

Leaders in Kosovo have welcomed the decision of Bangladesh to recognise the independence of Kosovo. Prime Minister Isa Mustafa said the move is evidence that Kosovo is continuously strengthening its international standing. “The process of Kosovo’s recognition will continue further, until Kosovo gains United Nations membership,” Mustafa wrote on Facebook. Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, meanwhile, used Twitter to express appreciation to Bangladesh for recognising independence of Kosovo. “This is an unstoppable process,” Thaci tweeted. Similarly, Assembly President Kadri Veseli wrote on Twitter: “Wonderful news from Bangladesh.” The media highlight that Bangladesh is the 114th country to recognise Kosovo, which was also confirmed by Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj in a Facebook post.

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