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UNMIK Headlines 4 April

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EU does not back down on border demarcation criteria (Koha Ditore)
Hoxhaj: Demarcation has to be ratified, it is a condition (Epoka e Re)
Vujanovic: Kosovo to ratify border demarcation agreement (Klan Kosova)
“No decision if Kosovo will renew UNESCO bid this year” (Klan Kosova)
Former cellmate of Astrit Dehari dies while in detention (Koha Ditore)
Viets: The governing coalition has a stable majority (Epoka)
“Serbia’s integration to be conditioned with the issue of the missing” (Epoka)
President Thaci condemned attack on the Dragolec returnees (Bota Sot)
OSCE: “Kosovo and Metohija” designation was technical error (Zeri)

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Headlines – 04.04.2017

  • EU does not back down on border demarcation criteria (Koha Ditore)
  • Hoxhaj: Demarcation has to be ratified, it is a condition (Epoka e Re)
  • Vujanovic: Kosovo to ratify border demarcation agreement (Klan Kosova)
  • “No decision if Kosovo will renew UNESCO bid this year” (Klan Kosova)
  • Former cellmate of Astrit Dehari dies while in detention (Koha Ditore)
  • Viets: The governing coalition has a stable majority (Epoka)
  • “Serbia’s integration to be conditioned with the issue of the missing” (Epoka)
  • President Thaci condemned attack on the Dragolec returnees (Bota Sot)
  • OSCE: “Kosovo and Metohija” designation was technical error (Zeri) 

Kosovo Media Highlights

EU does not back down on border demarcation criteria (Koha Ditore)

The paper reports on the front page that the EU is not backtracking from the ratification of border demarcation agreement with Montenegro as a condition for lifting the visa regime for Kosovo. Most recently, Prime Minister of Kosovo Isa Mustafa urged the EU to “modify” the border demarcation criteria so that the people of Kosovo could enjoy the freedom of movement to Schengen zone while the institutions would work on ratification of the border agreement. However, in a written response to the paper, the EU Office in Pristina reaffirms that the conditions for visa liberalisation remain the same as presented in the European Commission progress report for 2016. These include the ratification of the border demarcation agreement with Montenegro and strengthening the track record of fighting corruption.

Hoxhaj: Demarcation has to be ratified, it is a condition (Epoka e Re)

Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Enver Hoxhaj, reported on Monday to the members of the Assembly Commission for Stabilization Association, about the steps undertaken by the Ministry that he leads to fulfill obligations deriving from the Stabilization Association Agreement. He reiterated that the agreement on demarcation of the border with Montenegro should be fulfilled as soon as possible. “It is in Kosovo’s interest. Otherwise the demarcation will be an issue also during 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. If some consider that this condition can be removed, they are wrong,” Hoxhaj said. 

Vujanovic: Kosovo to ratify border demarcation agreement (Klan Kosova)

President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanovic, said he hoped Kosovo Assembly would ratify the border demarcation agreement. “We have understanding and patience for the process in Kosovo. We expect this to be in the best interest of Kosovo because the visa regime I believe depends on ratification,” Vujanovic said. 

“No decision if Kosovo will renew UNESCO bid this year” (Klan Kosova)

Kosovo’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Valon Murtezaj, said Kosovo government has not yet decided whether it will renew its UNESCO bid this year. “We are working on it but it is not certain if we will apply. This requires work and analysis with international partners,” Murtezaj said. 

Former cellmate of Astrit Dehari dies while in detention (Koha Ditore)

Former cellmate of Vetevendosje activist Astrit Dehari who died at the detention facility in Prizren, Naser Makolli, has also died while in detention in Lipjan. Correctional service authorities said Makolli’s death is being investigated.  Dehari’s lawyer Tome Gashi said Makolli’s death is a cause for concern while Vetevendosje leader Visar Ymeri said Makolli was the last person to have seen Dehari alive. At the same time, Vetevendosje MP Albulena Haxhiu called for the resignation of Justice Minister Dhurata Hoxha.

Viets: The governing coalition has a stable majority (Epoka)

The German Ambassador to Kosovo, Angelika Viets, said on Monday that the governing coalition has a stable majority and that they could commence all major duties of Kosovo with a wide consensus. “I believe that you are aware of my assessment that this issue should not become a goal on its own… Prior to elections, Kosovo should prove achieved successes. The major danger in case of early elections would have been a stalemate for Kosovo in an up to one year period,” Viets said adding that Kosovo cannot allow this to happen. “I definitely wish for the Kosovo voters to think next time when they vote about who and how represented them,” Viets said.  

“Serbia’s integration to be conditioned with the issue of the missing” (Epoka)

Head of Kosovo’s government Commission for the missing persons, Prenk Gjetaj, criticized the international community for not including the issue of the missing in the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia that is being held in Brussels. He told the paper that the justification of the international factor was that the current dialogue is of another nature. He said that the fate of the missing is hostage of Belgrade’s policy. He requested from the local and international institutions to treat the matter of the missing as priority. 

President Thaci condemned attack on the Dragolec returnees (Bota Sot)

The President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, said that return of displaced families in their properties is a fair process and any interethnic incident, no matter how small it could be, damages peace, stability and process of the reconciliation in Kosovo’s multiethnic society. “Incidents like the one today in Dragolec, Istog, where the location prepared for the returnees’ houses, are harmful for Kosovo state and society.” Thaci added. He also welcomed voluntary and spontaneous return of 13 families in Lubozhde/Ljubozda village adding the process should be supported by everyone. “Every citizen of the Republic of Kosovo, regardless of ethnic belonging, has the right to return and live on his property. I invite the institutions of the country to do more on facilitation of the return of the displaced as well as for their security and integration in the society,” he said. “We cannot build a better future if we become hostages of the past,” concluded Thaci. 

OSCE: “Kosovo and Metohija” designation was technical error (Zeri)

Zeri reported that the OSCE mission in Serbia considers Kosovo still as part of Serbia, as in a document regarding presidential elections in Serbia, the OSCE referred to Kosovo as “Kosovo and Metohija”. Furthermore, the document also employs “racist vocabulary” by referring to a neighbourhood in a term deemed derogatory for the Roma, Ashkali, Egyptian community. The OSCE however said this was a technical error and that the document that the media published was not edited. “The OSCE mission never uses ‘Kosovo and Metohija’ designation. This can be easily verified on our website or our publications,” the OSCE said in a reply to the paper.

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