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UNMIK Headlines 20 March

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• Mustafa will not submit law on army without NATO and US consent (Koha)
• President Thaci insists on the army (Epoka)
• Thaci insists army to be formed in cooperation with internationals (Koha)
• Thaci: Internationals can convince Belgrade in 5 minutes (Epoka)
• Liberalization after demarcation and fight against corruption (Koha)
• Hoxhaj indicates new recognitions in New York (Koha)
• Vucic admits he cannot go to Kosovo without Pristina’s permission (Epoka)
• Recica: Dialogue suspended due to Serbia’s destructive actions (Epoka)
• Kosovo bus attacked in Serbia (Koha/Lajmi)
• Albanian and Serb doctors to meet in Mitrovica today (Telegrafi)

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Headlines – 20.03.2017

  • Mustafa will not submit law on army without NATO and US consent (Koha)
  • President Thaci insists on the army (Epoka)
  • Thaci insists army to be formed in cooperation with internationals (Koha)
  • Thaci: Internationals can convince Belgrade in 5 minutes (Epoka)
  • Liberalization after demarcation and fight against corruption (Koha)
  • Hoxhaj indicates new recognitions in New York (Koha)
  • Vucic admits he cannot go to Kosovo without Pristina’s permission (Epoka)
  • Recica: Dialogue suspended due to Serbia’s destructive actions (Epoka)
  • Kosovo bus attacked in Serbia (Koha/Lajmi)
  • Albanian and Serb doctors to meet in Mitrovica today (Telegrafi)

Mustafa will not submit law on army without NATO and US consent (Koha)

The paper reports on its front page that the Kosovo government led by Isa Mustafa will not send to the Assembly the law on the armed forces without the consent of NATO and the United States of America. The latter have advised Kosovo authorities that the Kosovo army should be formed through constitutional amendments. Prime Minister Mustafa told an LDK rally in Podujevo on Saturday: “we will form the army in full coordination and cooperation with the United States of America. We have a clear message that we need to safeguard our friendship with the U.S. and he [late Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova] did not say this accidentally. The United States of America have been by our side in our most difficult times. We have formed our state with the U.S. and we should follow the same suit with the other institutions of the Republic of Kosovo”. Mustafa also said that the U.S. supports the formation of the Kosovo Army, “but they want this process to be done in cooperation and coordination with them and NATO”. “It is the will of our citizens; Kosovo deserves to have its army and it will have it, but in friendship and with the support of the U.S. and NATO,” Mustafa added.

President Thaci insists on the army (Epoka)

The President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, continues to defend his position on transformation of the Kosovo Security Force into an army. According to him, this is necessary considering the continuous tensions in the region. He told Konica.al that there is no other way to become NATO members. “No one accepts you in NATO with firefighters and haunting or some other associations, such as fishing,” Thaci said.

Thaci now insists army to be formed in cooperation with internationals (Koha)

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said on Sunday that Kosovo will have its army in partnership with the international community, which according to him, is not against the transformation of the Kosovo Security Force into an army. “Both internationals and I agree that this needs to be done through constitutional amendments. More work needs to be done so that Serbs can return to the Kosovo Assembly and vote on this. But if they don’t return we will certainly proceed with the law. Allow me to say once again, we will have our army and partnership with the international community,” Thaci said. “We will work until the last minute with the Serbian List and with all international partners so that we can have constitutional amendments, but if Serbia really wants to prevent and threaten Kosovo Serbs not to attend the sessions of the Kosovo Assembly, then we will proceed with option B.”

Thaci: If internationals want, they can convince Belgrade in 5 minutes (Epoka)

The President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, told the paper that there is no turning back on transformation of the Kosovo Security Force into an army. “Belgrade is keeping Kosovo hostage and hesitance of the international community to convince Kosovo Serbs to change the mandate of the KSF, is unjustifiable,” Thaci said. According to him, the international community could convince Belgrade in five minutes, if they only wanted to do so. He reiterated that that if the international community does not convince Serbs to vote constitutional changes, then Kosovo would proceed with the draft law, and it will have its army. Thaci said that they are coordinated with the government to precede the draft law and added that it will reach the Assembly within the legal deadline. Speaking about the ratification of the agreement on demarcation of the border with Montenegro, Thaci said that coalition partners should convince their MPs to vote the agreement, being that the EU would not give up on this condition.

Liberalization after demarcation and fight against corruption (Koha)

In a front-page interview with the paper, the Hungarian Ambassador in Kosovo, Laszlo Markusz said that Kosovo will not get visa liberalization until it ratifies the border demarcation deal with Montenegro and until it creates an efficient register in the fight against corruption. Asked to comment on President Hashim Thaci’s initiative to transform the Kosovo Security Force into an army, Markusz said his country is in line with the United States of America which have opposed the formation of the army through legal amendments and have instead called for constitutional amendments. “Unilateral actions are not good, especially nowadays when there are tense situations,” he added.

Hoxhaj indicates new recognitions in New York (Koha)

Kosovo’s Foreign Minister, Enver Hoxhaj, who is visiting New York, said that “good news and new recognitions” are coming for Kosovo. “I had many meetings with the countries of the CARICOM, Asia and Africa, calling on them to recognize Kosovo’s independence. I am optimistic that we will very soon get good news and new recognitions,” Hoxhaj said.

Vucic admits he cannot go to Kosovo without Pristina’s permission (Epoka)

The Prime Minister of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, stated during the inauguration of a stadium in Novi Pazar that he would want to go to Kosovo during the election campaign. He added that he could have done this without the permission of the government of Kosovo, however he thinks that it would not be proper and that he does not want to cause problems for Kosovo Serbs. “I can enter Kosovo through alternative crossings,” Vucic said.

Recica: Dialogue suspended due to Serbia’s destructive actions (Epoka)

Head of the Assembly Commission for Foreign Affairs, Elmi Recica, said that continuance of the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia under the current circumstances would not make sense. “Serbia continues with its efforts to destabilize Kosovo and the region and it is not implementing the reached agreements,” Recica said.

Kosovo bus attacked in Serbia (Koha/Lajmi)

A bus with Kosovo citizens was attacked on Sunday in Krusevac, Serbia, as it was travelling to Vienna, Austria. Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj condemned the incident. “I strongly condemn vandal attacks against citizens of Kosovo traveling to Serbia. These attacks are becoming systematic and nobody is punished,” Hoxhaj posted on his Twitter account. Kosovo’s Minister for Dialogue, Edita Tahiri, told Klan Kosova that the attack against the Kosovo bus is an unacceptable act and constitutes a violation of the Brussels agreement on freedom of movement. Kosovo’s Ambassador to the U.S., Vlora Citaku, posted on her Facebook account that this is not the first time that buses from Kosovo are attacked in Serbia. “We now find out that the travel company has hidden other cases when buses came under attack. These cases are open with Serbian Police and there are several of them. And I am surprised why others won’t react, when we ourselves are covering up these cases. No comment,” Citaku wrote.

Albanian and Serb doctors to meet in Mitrovica today (Telegrafi)

The news website reports that Albanian and Serb doctors will meet today for the first time after the war in a conference in Mitrovica. The conference titled “Interethnic relations and healthcare in Kosovo” will begin at 11:00 and ten renowned Albanian and Serb doctors are expected to attend.

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