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UNMIK Headlines 29 March

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U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary Yee visits Kosovo (Koha Ditore/Telegrafi)
Vucic refuses Kosovo’s conditions, annuls visit in the north (Epoka e Re)
Luxembourg supports visa-free travel for Kosovo (Zeri)
Hoxhaj: Joint regional market, Serbia’s idea to dominate Balkans (Lajmi)
Tahiri: Kosovo Assembly resolution suspended talks with Serbia (Zeri)
O’Connell: There is lack of fighting corruption in Kosovo (Epoka e Re)

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Headlines – 29.03.2017

  • U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary Yee visits Kosovo (Koha Ditore/Telegrafi)
  • Vucic refuses Kosovo’s conditions, annuls visit in the north (Epoka e Re)
  • Luxembourg supports visa-free travel for Kosovo (Zeri)
  • Hoxhaj: Joint regional market, Serbia’s idea to dominate Balkans (Lajmi)
  • Tahiri: Kosovo Assembly resolution suspended talks with Serbia (Zeri)
  • O’Connell: There is lack of fighting corruption in Kosovo (Epoka e Re)

Kosovo Media Highlights

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary Yee visits Kosovo (Koha Ditore/Telegrafi)

In the first day of his visit to Kosovo, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Hoyt Brian Yee met Kosovo Assembly President Kadri Veseli, Minister for Dialogue Edita Tahiri, and Serbian List officials Slavko Simic and Branimir Stojanovic. Telegrafi reports that Yee also met for the first time Vetevendosje leader Visar Ymeri yesterday at the U.S. Embassy to discuss political developments in Kosovo. “This is an important meeting in the framework of further building of relations between Vetevendosje and the U.S. Government,” Ymeri wrote on Facebook. All meetings took place behind closed doors but according to a press release issued by the Assembly following meeting with Veseli, the U.S. official is said to have assured his interlocutor of the U.S. strong support to Kosovo. At the same time, Yee stressed the need for Kosovo institutions to treat issues such as economic development, transparency, good governance, and fight of corruption as priorities. Yee and Veseli are also reported to have discussed responsibilities of Kosovo as an independent and sovereign country in relation to its citizens and neighbours. Koha Ditore reports that today Yee is expected to meet the Kosovo Security Force Minister Haki Demolli and KSF commander Rrahman Rama but not President Hashim Thaci or Prime Minister Isa Mustafa.

Vucic refuses Kosovo’s conditions, annuls visit in the north (Epoka e Re)

The Prime Minister of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, assessed the conditions of the government of Kosovo to be a circus and decided to annul his visit foreseen for today (Wednesday) in the northern part of Kosovo. The government of Kosovo decided for the Vucic’s visit at a school in the north to last only three hours and also requested for him not to be accompanied by Serbia’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Nebojsa Stefanovic.

Luxembourg supports visa-free travel for Kosovo (Zeri)

The Government of Luxembourg supports visa liberalisation for Kosovo and its membership in international organisations, said Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn in Pristina yesterday. “After my visit in 2004, I was back in 2010 and saw that things changed in the right direction but we are here to help you,” Asselborn said in a joint press conference with Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj. The next stop on Asselborn’s agenda is visit to Belgrade where he said he would reaffirm the need for strengthening of dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia on normalisation of relations.

Hoxhaj: Joint regional market, Serbia’s idea to dominate Balkans (Lajmi)

The idea for a joint regional trade market was strongly supported by the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, during the Sarajevo Summit. However, Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Enver Hoxhaj, said that any market out of the European Union one, does not make sense and it is unacceptable for Kosovo. “We see Balkans and Kosovo as an extension of Europe and European Union, therefore the idea of some countries of the region to have a joint regional market, out of the EU one, to have a joint market with joint customs, is unacceptable for the government of Kosovo and I do not think that it serves the European agenda,” Hoxhaj said. He added that Kosovo was the first one to have information that this idea was initially launched and circulated by Serbia. According to him Balkans needs integration on the European market and not commence such experiments. He said that the idea is also in contradiction with the Stabilization Association Agreement. 

Tahiri: Kosovo Assembly resolution suspended talks with Serbia (Zeri)

Kosovo’s Minister for Dialogue, Edita Tahiri, told the paper that dialogue with Belgrade has been suspended as requested by the Kosovo Assembly resolution to protest against Serbia’s arrest warrant against the leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj. However, advisor to Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa, Bajram Gecaj, said there is no alternative to dialogue and that this is in the interest of Kosovo while political analyst, Mazllum Baraliu, considers the dialogue has only been put off until Serbian presidential elections are over. 

O’Connell: There is lack of fighting corruption in Kosovo (Epoka e Re)

Kosovo’s Institute for Justice, supported by the British Embassy in Kosovo, held on Tuesday a roundtable entitled “Corruption sea in Kosovo: small fish are being caught while the big ones are let free.” They also published a report on the subject, based on the monitoring of treatment of the cases of corruption in the prosecutorial and judicial system of Kosovo. The Ambassador of the United Kingdom, Ruairi O’Connell, said on this occasion that there is lack of fighting crime in Kosovo. He said that the Prosecutorial and Judicial Council should pay attention to drafting secondary legislation and to assessment of the performance of the prosecutors and judges on annual basis, and not only on specific cases.

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