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UNMIK Headlines 12 April

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• Tanin: UNMIK supports a stable and democratic Kosovo (Koha)
• UNMIK chief calls for resumption of dialogue (Zeri)
• Tahiri: No dialogue with Belgrade without Haradinaj’s release (Lajmi)
• Mustafa: When I took up office, demarcation was almost a done deal (Zeri)
• Increased support for motion of no confidence against government (Zeri)
• U.S. Embassy does not support early elections (Indeksonline)
• Senator McCain to address Kosovo Assembly on Thursday (media)
• Kosovo’s Foreign Ministry deems UNMIK’s role unnecessary (KTV)

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Headlines – 12.04.2017

  • Tanin: UNMIK supports a stable and democratic Kosovo (Koha)
  • UNMIK chief calls for resumption of dialogue (Zeri)
  • Tahiri: No dialogue with Belgrade without Haradinaj’s release (Lajmi)
  • Mustafa: When I took up office, demarcation was almost a done deal (Zeri)
  • Increased support for motion of no confidence against government (Zeri)
  • U.S. Embassy does not support early elections (Indeksonline)
  • Senator McCain to address Kosovo Assembly on Thursday (media)
  • Kosovo’s Foreign Ministry deems UNMIK’s role unnecessary (KTV)

Tanin: UNMIK supports a stable and democratic Kosovo (Koha)

Mitrovica Mayor Agim Bahtiri and deputy mayor Faruk Mujka met on Tuesday with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Kosovo, Zahir Tanin, DSRSG Christopher Coleman and the head of the UNMIK regional office in Mitrovica, Danilo Rosales Diaz. The meeting focused on the current situation in Mitrovica and the further cooperation between the municipality and the UN mission in Kosovo. Tanin said the purpose of his visit was to get up-close information about the situation and to look into the possibility of furthering cooperation with the mayors of the northern municipalities with the aim of safeguarding peace, stability and calmness in this area. Tanin said he appreciates the engagement of all stakeholders to overcome without problems the situations created in the last couple of months, such as the train and the wall. “My focus has always been to improve interethnic relations and cooperation between the communities, because this is very important for safeguarding peace and stability here. We are here to contribute with our engagement and commitment and help you, because this is our role,” Tanin added. “UNMIK supports a stable and democratic Kosovo. You are the ones that will lead and develop Kosovo and we will support you in this respect. We are willing to provide you with institutional support”.

UNMIK chief calls for resumption of dialogue (Zeri)

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Zahir Tanin, visited Mitrovica North on Tuesday where he met with Mayor Goran Rakic and the coordinator of the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities, Ljubomir Maric, the paper reports on page two. The meeting discussed latest developments on the ground and all three officials said that resumption of dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade would benefit everyone’s interests, resolve pending issues and help maintain peace and stability.

Tahiri: No dialogue with Belgrade without Haradinaj’s release (Lajmi)

Kosovo’s Minister for dialogue, Edita Tahiri, said during her reporting at the Parliamentary Committee that the Brussels dialogue has contributed for Kosovo to sign the Stabilization Association agreement. She added that Kosovo has proved to be a partner that builds peace in the region, and that this made even European non-recognizing countries support Kosovo’s European future. “The Kosovo Government considers that Brussels dialogue has produced significant results and all reached agreements are in accordance with the Constitution of Kosovo,” Tahiri said. She also said that the dialogue with Belgrade could continue after Ramush Haradinaj’s release and return to Kosovo, and after the Assembly of Kosovo abolishes the Resolution on suspension of talks.

Mustafa: When I took up office, demarcation was almost a done deal (Zeri)

Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa told members of parliament on Tuesday that when he took up office, the border demarcation with Montenegro was almost a done deal. “There were another three reports by the respective committee. I then asked the committee to cross-check the information with all the residents and the four municipalities along the border with Montenegro so that we would have no unresolved issue. In June 2015, the committee told me that they had finished their work,” Mustafa said.

Increased support for motion of no confidence against government (Zeri)

The paper reports on its front page that two PDK MPs from the ruling coalition, Shukri Buja and Nait Hasani, and independent MP, Gezim Kelmendi, are supporting NISMA’s initiative for a motion of no confidence against the government. Kelmendi told the paper on Tuesday: “I believe that MPs from the ruling coalition will support this motion and that it will pass in the Assembly”. Kelmendi also argued that Kosovo will soon go to early parliamentary elections. “I believe that new elections will be held either the end of May or early June. The bigger parties, the PDK and LDK, have already started their election campaigns,” he added.

U.S. Embassy does not support early elections (Indeksonline)

The news website reports that opposition parties are calling for early parliamentary elections and that they are supported even by several MPs from the ruling Kosovo Democratic Party (PDK). Meanwhile, the United States Embassy in Pristina does not support the idea of early elections. A spokeswoman for the embassy told the news website: “The Embassy was neither asked to support early elections nor has it expressed support for early elections in a certain date.”

Senator McCain to address Kosovo Assembly on Thursday (media)

Several media report that U.S. Senator John McCain will visit Kosovo on Thursday and address the Kosovo Assembly at 14:30. McCain previously had visited Zagreb, Ljubljana, Belgrade and Sarajevo. During his stay in Belgrade, he discussed with Serbian President-elect Aleksandar Vucic, the process of talks between Kosovo and Serbia in Brussels. McCain called for the resumption of talks and he is expected to give the same message in his meetings with Kosovo’s political leaders.

Kosovo’s Foreign Ministry deems UNMIK’s role unnecessary (KTV)

Kosovo’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) deems that UNMIK’s role in Kosovo is unnecessary. This Ministry has already started an initiative with several Quint countries to downsize up to the final closure of UNMIK in Kosovo. The latter has requested an 8% increase of their annual budget for this year. KTV claims to have seen internal documents by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which one of the justifications refers to the fact that the international supervision of Kosovo, envisaged in the Ahtisaari Plan, has ended in 2012. At the same time, EULEX Mission exists with Kosovo Assembly’s mandate, while KFOR takes care of security and  therefore UNMIK’s role is seen as unnecessary. Another argument used by the Ministry is that “UNMIK has unfortunately turned into an instrument of Serbia, and Russia in particular, since some of its officials, in the north of Kosovo in particular, are used for other goals and the Kosovo Government is concerned about this behavior”.  Even at the United Nations, some members of the Security Council have called for a budget decrease and closure of UNMIK. Pristina-based political analyst Avni Zogiani told KTV that UNMIK has no more work in Kosovo. “I think that foreign missions in Kosovo would need to end once and for all. I think that Kosovo would need to start acting and exercise its capacities as a state, and ultimately function as a normal state as all other states do,” Zogiani said. On the other hand, lawyer Kujtim Kërveshi said that UNMIK cannot be closed and that due to situation created in the country, the mission could see increased responsibilities. For these and many other issues, Head of UNMIK Zahir Tanin will report on Wednesday to MPs of Foreign Affairs Committee.

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