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Headlines 1 March

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• Thaci “warns” the EU (Kosova Sot)
• Veliu: Demarcation is not related to elections (Epoka e Re)
• KSF and missing persons, main failures in implementation of SAA (Koha)
• Delawie observes construction works at Mitrovica Bridge (Epoka e Re)
• Ivanovic appeals for temporary establishment of Association (RTK)
• Vetevendosje activists plead not guilty to terrorism charges (Koha, Zeri)
• 671 police officers under investigation (Epoka e Re)
• Police release Serb man wrongfully arrested for war crimes (Klan Kosova)

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Headlines – 01.03.2017

  • Thaci “warns” the EU (Kosova Sot)
  • Veliu: Demarcation is not related to elections (Epoka e Re)
  • KSF and missing persons, main failures in implementation of SAA (Koha)
  • Delawie observes construction works at Mitrovica Bridge (Epoka e Re)
  • Ivanovic appeals for temporary establishment of Association (RTK)
  • Vetevendosje activists plead not guilty to terrorism charges (Koha, Zeri)
  • 671 police officers under investigation (Epoka e Re)
  • Police release Serb man wrongfully arrested for war crimes (Klan Kosova) 

Kosovo Media Highlights

Thaci “warns” the EU (Kosova Sot)

President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, said in an interview to the German business paper Handelsblatt that Kosovo is being isolated by the EU due to internal developments in the union and dialogue with Serbia. “Unfortunately, there is no vision in the EU for the future of the Western Balkans countries. It is the last opportunity for Brussels to take a positive decision for our country,” Thaci said. He warned that any other move would feed anti-European ideology in Kosovo. 

Veliu: Demarcation is not related to elections (Epoka e Re)

Deputy leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), Agim Veliu, said in an interview to the paper that there would not be early elections even if the Assembly did not approve the agreement for demarcation of the border with Montenegro. He added that functioning or the breakup of the coalition are not related to the demarcation issue. He suggested to the government to proceed with ratification of this agreement, even though he stressed that the final decision is in hands of the Assembly MPs. According to Veliu, opposition parties failed in their cause and added that they are responsible for isolation of Kosovo.

KSF and missing persons, main failures in implementation of SAA (Koha Ditore)

A report on the scale of implementation of Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) had identified that Kosovo institutions have managed to fulfill 55 percent of the conditions set in the agreement and that failures have been noted relating to the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) and missing persons. According to the report, the Constitution has not been amended to pave way for the restructuring of the KSF, nor has the government approved the national security strategy for defence. As for the missing persons, only 37.5 percent of the strategy’s plan has been implemented. 

Delawie observes construction works at Mitrovica Bridge (Epoka e Re)

The U.S. Ambassador Greg Delawie and Mitrovica North Mayor Goran Rakic observed construction progress on King Petar I pedestrian street and roundabout in North Mitrovica. The paper writes that even though no one in Mitrovica believes that the works for reopening of the bridge would be completed by 3 March, when the EU High Representative Frederica Mogherini is expected to inaugurate it, the U.S. Ambassador was confident that works would be completed by Friday and that the bridge would open on schedule. 

Ivanovic appeals for temporary establishment of Association (RTK)

Oliver Ivanovic, accused for war crimes in Kosovo, proposed temporary establishment of the Association/Community of the Serb-majority municipalities. According to him, this Association should be established in order for Kosovo Serbs to survive and maintain good relations with Belgrade. “From our side, we should constitute temporarily, temporary bodies of the Association. These bodies should be comprised by temporary assembly, temporary president and executive with a temporary secretariat of the Association of the Serb-majority Municipalities. All these should establish as soon as possible,” he said. Ivanovic is currently under house arrest, waiting for the new judicial process for crimes committed against Albanians. He was sentenced by the initial judicial process with nine years of prison. 

Vetevendosje activists plead not guilty to terrorism charges (Koha, Zeri)

Four Vetevendosje activists accused of terrorism regarding the attack on the Kosovo Assembly building in August of last year have pleaded not guilty to the charges. One of the accused, Frasher Krasniqi, said the group was not being prosecuted for the attack on the Assembly, as the evidence has shown they are not behind the act. “In a country where theft, crime, and treason are considered as values, you are guilty for being an excellent student and an active citizen of the Republic. In fact, people have died in prison for this,” Krasniqi said referring to the death of one of their fellow-accused, Astrit Dehari, in his detention cell in Prizren. At the same time, Vetevendosje leader Visar Ymeri, said the only reason their activists are being prosecuted is because they opposed border demarcation agreement with Montenegro. He said the whole case against them is political.

671 police officers under investigation (Epoka e Re)

Hilmi Mehmeti, chief executive of Kosovo Police Inspectorate, said on Tuesday during his reporting to the Assembly Commission for Internal Affairs, Security and Supervision of the KSF, that the number of police officers who were under investigation during the last year is 671, which means that it increased for 9.2 percent. Speaking about the arrests during 2016, Mehmeti said that 69 police officers were suspected for abuse of official duty, 300 percent more than the previous year. He noted that high ranking officials are among those investigated, but he did not mention their names. 

Police release Serb man wrongfully arrested for war crimes (Klan Kosova)

Kosovo Police released Dragan Stojanovic from the village of Ranillug, arrested over the weekend on war crimes charges. The police released Stojanovic after realizing that they were after another man who bears the same name. Stojanovic has blamed EULEX for the mix-up.

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