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UNMIK Headlines 17 May

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• UN Security Council discusses quarterly report on Kosovo (media)
• PDK, AAK, NISMA reach pre-election coalition (dailies)
• LDK signs pre-election coalition with AKR and Alternative (dailies)
• Kosovo Police mediators asking for bribe to close investigations (Koha Ditore)

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Headlines – 17.05.2017

  • UN Security Council discusses quarterly report on Kosovo (media)
  • PDK, AAK, NISMA reach pre-election coalition (dailies)
  • LDK signs pre-election coalition with AKR and Alternative (dailies)
  • Kosovo Police mediators asking for bribe to close investigations (Koha Ditore)

UN Security Council discusses quarterly report on Kosovo (media)

All media cover yesterday’s discussions at the United Nations Security Council on the Secretary-General’s quarterly report on Kosovo, focusing mainly on the remarks of Kosovo’s Ambassador to the U.S., Vlora Citaku, and the statement of U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations, Michelle J. Sison. Koha Ditore quotes Citaku as saying that  UNSC Resolution 1244 has expired and that Serbia should recognize Kosovo’s statehood. Citaku argued that UNMIK no longer has a role to play in Kosovo and that there should be a change in the approach of peacekeeping missions. Citaku thanked the U.S. and French ambassadors for suggesting the shutdown of the UN mission in Kosovo. “UNMIK no longer has a role to play in Kosovo and we were surprised to see an increase in its budget for next year,” she added. Under the headline The U.S. hits on UNMIK, Kosova Sot reports that the U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the UN, Michelle J. Sison, has called on the Security Council to hold discussions on Kosovo every six month and criticized UNMIK’s request for a budget increase for next year. The paper also quotes UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres as saying that the EU-facilitated dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade is the best mechanism for the peaceful resolution of differences between the two sides but that the implementation of agreements has been exceptionally slow. Guterres said that no concrete step has been made in establishing the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities and he also expressed concern over increased ethnic-nationalistic sentiments. Pristina-based Lajmi news website quotes UNMIK chief Zahir Tanin as saying that “dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade has reached a dead-end”. He added that resuming dialogue is crucial for Kosovo’s progress in the region and that a constructive engagement is required to achieve this. Klan Kosova reports that SRSG Tanin has called on Pristina and Belgrade to stop accusations and cooperate. “Relations between Pristina and Belgrade are still tense. Frequent election cycles are impeding this process. Except for limited progress in the process of dialogue, the discourse has slipped into intolerant slogans … In the previous three months, we have witnessed tensions but they were prevented as a result of diplomatic interventions. Both sides repeatedly accused one another of provocation, whereas the process of normalization of relations requires cooperation,” Tanin said.

PDK, AAK, NISMA reach pre-election coalition (dailies)

The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) and the Initiative for Kosovo (NISMA) signed a pre-election coalition last night and got registered with the Central Election Commission.  RTK reports that the coalition will include 14 political parties with PDK leader Kadri Veseli leading the ballot. However, the papers report that the list’s candidate for prime minister will be AAK leader Ramush Haradinaj and that this post was what made the AAK join what Zeri is calling “the war wing”. PDK’s Enver Hoxhaj is quoted in the paper as saying that Veseli decided to relinquish prime minister candidacy to AAK for the interest of the people of Kosovo. “Special politicians put the interests of the citizens of Kosovo above any personal interest. This is what Kadri Veseli did today,” Hoxhaj said. At the same time, Pal Lekaj from the AAK confirmed that Haradinaj will be candidate for prime minister and added that the ballot will include 55 candidates from  PDK and 55 from AAK and NISMA.

LDK signs pre-election coalition with AKR and Alternative (dailies)

The Democratic League of Kosovo will also be running in upcoming elections as part of a coalition it reached yesterday with Behgjet Pacolli’s New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) and Mimoza Kusari-Lila’s Alternative. The leader of  LDK, Isa Mustafa, said that the parties signed the coalition for a new development and major turn of Kosovo. AKR leader Pacolli said that this is the biggest coalition that would make major changes in the country. Meanwhile, LDK’s candidate for Prime Minister, Avdullah Hoti said that the agreement will seal the victory of the right coalition and added that he cannot wait to start work after 11 June elections.

Kosovo Police mediators asking for bribe to close investigations (Koha Ditore)

The paper reports on the front page that mediators from the Kosovo Police have been requesting money from a local NGO, which is being investigated for fraud, in order to close the investigations process. When reportedly the NGO officials refused to pay, they got arrested. The paper also claims to be in possession of tapes corroborating these allegations. Officials at the State Prosecution refused to comment on the case as did the NGO officials who are under house arrest and said not allowed to make any statements to the media.

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