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UNMIK Headlines 26 April

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• EU rejects request of suspension of the demarcation criteria (Epoka e Re)
• Thaci: EU should not be manipulated so easily by Serbia (Kosovapress)
• “UN chief not pleased with Kosovo-Serbia dialogue” (Presheva Jone)
• KSF transformation bill to be submitted to Assembly (Zeri)
• Holding two elections, within a year, challenging for CEC (Epoka)
• Gecaj: There is no indication about breakup of PDK-LDK coalition (Koha)
• Gashi: If coalition breaks up, we will request Thaci’s resignation (Koha)
• Lekaj: Haradinaj extradition means destabilization of Kosovo, Balkans (Epoka)
• Daut Haradinaj to be sued for “ethnically clean Kosovo” statement (Kosova Sot)
• Kosovo and Serbia MPs meet in north of Kosovo (Klan Kosova)
• Border police commander’s vehicle set on fire near Leposavic (Kosovapress)
• Special Court to deliver judgment on rules of procedure and evidence (media)

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Headlines – 26 04 2017

EU rejects request of suspension of the demarcation criteria (Epoka e Re)

The European Union has rejected the request of the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Isa Mustafa, to temporarily suspend the condition of the ratification of the agreement for demarcation of the border with Montenegro. During the meeting, the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, appealed to Kosovo government and political parties to proceed with voting at the Assembly as soon as possible. There was no press conference after this meeting, however Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and Prime Minister of Kosovo Isa Mustafa came up with a joint press release. “Today European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos and Prime Minister of Kosovo Isa Mustafa met in Brussels to discuss the final steps needed to fulfill the remaining requirements of the visa liberalization dialogue with Kosovo. Commissioner Avramopoulos commended the progress made by the government of Kosovo so far, including on the track record of high-level organized crime and corruption cases. Both sides agreed that this progress needs to be sustained, and in particular that the number of actual convictions is increased. Commissioner Avramopoulos also recognized the efforts Kosovo has made to ratify the border demarcation agreement with Montenegro, and encouraged Prime Minister Mustafa, his government and the political parties to proceed with the vote in the Assembly soon. Commissioner Avramopoulos expressed his support to Kosovo in the last stages towards visa liberalization, and offered to visit Kosovo before the summer,” the press release reads.

Thaci: EU should not be manipulated so easily by Serbia (Kosovapress)

The President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, wrote on his Facebook page that the entire campaign orchestrated by Serbia, is prepared from the same protagonists who 20 years ago dealt with the same craft. “There is nothing more sickening and at the same time ridiculous than to listen to Serbia’s nonsense about “the efforts to create Greater Albania,” he wrote. He added that bringing back the old propaganda of Milosevic’s ear is not coincidental. “Initially to legitimize functioning of the Greater Serbia created after the committed genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And then, to induce nationalist and extremist elements to destabilize and violate Kosovo’s territorial integrity,” he wrote. “During the dialogue meetings in Brussels, Serbian representatives without being ashamed, said several times that Serbia would prefer to dialogue with Albania and not Kosovo. But this will never happen, because Kosovo is an independent and sovereign state and this is the eternal reality…Unfortunately, the EU with its usual naivety in relation to Kosovo, is becoming pray of this Serbian propaganda.  As consequence, it is not coincidental that behaviors and statements of some EU officials match with those of Serbian officials, when referring to Kosovo,” Thaci wrote. “I expect from the EU to treat Kosovo as an independent and sovereign state and to be so easily manipulated by Serbia,” he concluded.

“UN chief not pleased with Kosovo-Serbia dialogue” (Presheva Jone)

Responding to a question from the news agency’s correspondent in Geneva, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is quoted as saying that he regretted that the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade was stalling. “If you ask me if I am pleased, it is clear I am not,” said Guterres adding that he would have liked to see much greater progress in the process. “There is no alternative to continuing this process between the parties towards normalization of relations and peace and stability in the region.” Asked on whether Kosovo deserves to be part of the UN when it has already gained recognition by vast majority of EU countries and international organisations, UN chief said: “You know this international organization has strict mechanisms when it comes to admitting countries to United Nations. This is not a decision of the Secretary-General but a decision with clear formula of action.” The remarks were made at a joint press conference of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter.

KSF transformation bill to be submitted to Assembly (Zeri)

The draft law on transformation of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) is expected to be submitted to the Assembly although its initiator, President Hashim Thaci, said he withdrew the bill from the review procedure. Chairman of the Kosovo Assembly’s committee on internal affairs, security and KSF supervision, Daut Haradinaj, said the bill was sent to them by the Assembly presidency but no instructions were attached to it. Haradinaj said the bill would be sent to the Assembly for voting but Thaci would have the right to withdraw it after the first reading.

Holding two elections, within a year, challenging for CEC (Epoka)

Head of the Central Election Commission, Valdete Daka, rejected on Tuesday that the institution she leads has received signals by any relevant institution with regards to holding early elections in Kosovo. She told the paper that CEC is not making any preparations for early general elections, but only for the regular, local ones that will be held in autumn of this year. She stressed that holding two different elections within the same year, would be quite challenging for this institution. However, she added, that if demand for early elections is made, CEC would proceed with them.

Gecaj: There is no indication about breakup of PDK-LDK coalition (Koha)

Kosovo’s Deputy Minister for Local Government, Bajram Gecaj, told KTV on Tuesday evening that the ruling coalition between the PDK and LDK will not break up before the government concludes its mandate. Gecaj said there is no serious indication about the breakup of the coalition regardless of media reports that the date for early parliamentary elections will be announced soon.

Gashi: If coalition breaks up, we will request Thaci’s resignation (Koha)

Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) MP, Arben Gashi, said on Tuesday that if the coalition between the LDK and the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) breaks up, the LDK will call for the resignation of President Hashim Thaci. “If the coalition agreement between the PDK and LDK is annulled, the President [Hashim Thaci] should resign too because he assumed this post as a result of this agreement,” Gashi told Pristina-based Rrokum TV station. Gashi also said that if the agreement is annulled, the LDK leader and the party’s chairmanship must be held accountable.

Lekaj: Haradinaj extradition means destabilization of Kosovo, Balkans (Epoka)

Pal Lekaj, deputy leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), said on Tuesday that extradition of the former Prime Minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, to Serbia would mean destabilization of Kosovo and Balkans. He added that this does not go in favor of any community. “Warning of MP Daut Haradinaj, was not addressed to any community that lives in Kosovo. His reaction was only a warning that through Ramush Haradinaj’s case in France, someone is trying to induce in Kosovo something that is not good. Serb citizens of Kosovo should not allow to become Serbia’s pray and to be used for the intentions of official Belgrade. No one has engaged more than Ramush for integration of communities in Kosovo’s institutions,” Lekaj said. He added that warnings for criminal charges against Daut Haradinaj are nothing more than someone’s tendency to return the achievements on integration of Serb community at point zero. “Leave aside games which induce hate and deal with matters that improve lives of your citizens in Kosovo,” Lekaj wrote on his Facebook page.

Daut Haradinaj to be sued for “ethnically clean Kosovo” statement (Kosova Sot)

The Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) MP, Daut Haradinaj, is to be sued by representatives of Serb civil society for a statement he made in a recent interview to RTV Dukagjini where he reportedly said that if his brother Ramush is not released by French authorities, they would have a Kosovo free of Serbs. Nenad Maksimovic from the Centre for Peace and Tolerance said Daut Haradinaj’s statement not only caused fear among the Serb community but it also represent a criminal act.

Kosovo and Serbia MPs meet in north of Kosovo (Klan Kosova)

Klan Kosova reports that a meeting took place yesterday between a group of Kosovo and Serbia MPs. Representatives from the Kosovo Assembly included Sadri Ferati (LDK), Donika Kadaj-Bujupi (Vetevendosje), Ilir Deda (independent MP) and Zenun Pajaziti (PDK) while Gordana Comic (DS) and Branko Ruzic (SPS) represented the Assembly of Serbia. The meeting is reported to have taken place in a friendly atmosphere although it was clear there were tensions between the two sides.

Border police commander’s vehicle set on fire near Leposavic (Kosovapress)

The news website reports that the vehicle of Milos Dancetovic, commander of the border police station G-31 in Bernjak, near Leposavic, was set on fire on Tuesday night. Citing unnamed sources, Kosovapress reports that the fire was intentional and that no one was injured during the incident.

Special Court to deliver judgment on rules of procedure and evidence (media)

Several news websites report that today at 12:00 hours, the Presiding Judge of the Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, Judge Ann Power-Forde, will deliver the Judgment of the Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court, in relation to the Referral of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence pursuant to Article 19(5) of the Law on the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office.

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