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UNMIK Headlines 4 July

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• Thaci and Vucic speak of a new stage in dialogue (dailies)
• Analysts: Thaci using dialogue to promote himself (Koha Ditore)
• Supreme Court acquits Lushtaku of war crimes charges (dailies)
• AAK responds to Mustafa’s invitation for coalition (Epoka e Re)
• Osmani: Neither coalition nor discussions with PDK (Tribuna Channel)
• CEC orders partial recount of 117 ballot boxes (Koha Ditore)
• Tahiri: Association after removal of parallel structures (RTK)
• Russia requests Kosovo to give up creation of army (Lajmi)
• Youth convicted for putting up IS flag in Pristina (Zeri)

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Headlines – 04.07.2017

  • Thaci and Vucic speak of a new stage in dialogue (dailies)
  • Analysts: Thaci using dialogue to promote himself (Koha Ditore)
  • Supreme Court acquits Lushtaku of war crimes charges (dailies)
  • AAK responds to Mustafa’s invitation for coalition (Epoka e Re)
  • Osmani: Neither coalition nor discussions with PDK (Tribuna Channel)
  • CEC orders partial recount of 117 ballot boxes (Koha Ditore)
  • Tahiri: Association after removal of parallel structures (RTK)
  • Russia requests Kosovo to give up creation of army (Lajmi)
  • Youth convicted for putting up IS flag in Pristina (Zeri)

Kosovo Media Highlights

Thaci and Vucic speak of a new stage in dialogue (dailies)

In their first meetings as presidents, Kosovo’s Hashim Thaci and Serbia’s Aleksandar Vucic said they agreed to begin a new stage in the dialogue for normalization of relations. This was also confirmed by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini who is facilitating the progress.

Mogherini said after the meeting that the two presidents “agreed to work on starting a new phase of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina for normalisation of relations and reconciliation, and they decided that the respective teams will start working on preparations. They also stressed the importance of the implementation of the agreements reached in the dialogue without delay”.

Koha Ditore reports that if Kosovo elections resulted in a convincing victory for Thaci’s former party, the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), yesterday’s Brussels meeting would mark the formal raising of dialogue at the level of presidents. However, as things stand, the EU should now wait and see how the forming of the government will go and what the new government’s position to dialogue will be before determining the future actions. Zeri meanwhile says that yesterday’s Thaci-Vucic meeting produced mixed reactions in Kosovo with some saying that Thaci was using the dialogue to further his own interests while others claim he is the right person to lead the process.

Analysts: Thaci using dialogue to promote himself (Koha Ditore)

President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, is using the EU-facilitated dialogue with Belgrade to suit his own purposes, the paper quotes analysts as saying on the front page. “Hashim Thaci is imposing himself as the main address of the Brussels dialogue despite the fact that issues discussed thus far are under the competencies of ministries, and the government, not the president. Furthermore, no one has trusted Thaci with the mandate to lead the dialogue in Brussels”, Imer Mushkolaj said. He added that Thaci was using the institutional gap in Kosovo to promote himself. “The Assembly should decide on Kosovo’s representation at the dialogue with Serbia. Mr. Thaci’s attempts to get involved in the dialogue are not coincidental and suit only him. His goals become even more apparent now when the first special court indictments are expected”, Mushkolaj said. 

Supreme Court acquits Lushtaku of war crimes charges (dailies)

Kosovo’s Supreme Court acquitted yesterday the mayor of Skenderaj/Srbica and former KLA commander, Sami Lushtaku, of war crimes charges after previously convicted by a lower instance court to 12 years in prison. Upon release, Lushtaku told the media that he was wrongfully convicted and that he and his fellow-fighters always sought justice. His first visit after release was to Prekaz, the birthplace of KLA commander, Adem Jashari. Lushtaku’s lawyer Arianit Koci said that the Supreme Court’s ruling is final and cannot be appealed. 

AAK responds to Mustafa’s invitation for coalition (Epoka e Re)

Senior official from the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), Muharrem Nitaj, expressed conviction that the PDK-AAK-NISMA coalition would create the government earlier than expected. Nitaj admitted that Ramush Haradinaj is in continuous contact with representatives of political parties to see possibilities of their involvement in his government. According to Nitaj, it is not fair from the leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), Isa Mustafa, to request from Haradinaj to breach partnership with PDK in order to work with LDK-AKR-Alternativa coalition.

Osmani: Neither coalition nor discussions with PDK (Tribuna Channel)

Speaking about eventual coalitions to form the new government, Vjosa Osmani, elected MP of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), said that LDK is open for coalitions with all other political parties except the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK).  She said that none of the political parties should set the post of prime minister as a condition, without an agreement on a governing program. Osmani added that the possibility for the second mandate does not belong only to Vetevendosje, but to each political party that could obtain 61 votes after possible failure of PAN. She said that she supports a wider coalition which would involve LDK-AKR-Alternativa coalition, Vetevendosje movement, AAK and Nisma because, according to her, such a government would make it impossible for the Serbian List to become part of the government and would impede the vote of this party on major issues of Kosovo. 

CEC orders partial recount of 117 ballot boxes (Koha Ditore)

The Central Election Commission (CEC) has ordered the recount of 117 additional ballot boxes following recommendation from the Election Complaints and Appeals Panel (ECAP). However, not all votes in these boxes will be counted but only those of political parties and/or candidates that filed complaints with ECAP. 

Tahiri: Association after removal of parallel structures (RTK)

Kosovo’s outgoing Minister for Dialogue, Edita Tahiri, said that a day before the decision of the government to establish the Association of the Serb-majority Municipalities, all remaining parallel structures in Kosovo will be eliminated. Tahiri said in an interview given to Serb-language media outlet Kossev that the Association would not have executive competencies and it would not be a third level of the government in Kosovo. “Serbia is blocking the agreements on justice, energy, recognition of diplomas, and Kosovo is creation of Serb municipalities. The Association will be in accordance with the Constitution of Kosovo, Brussels Agreement and decision of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo; Drafting of the statute will undergo several phases in a synchronized manner and it will be completed with removal of remaining parallel institutions,” Tahiri said. 

Russia requests Kosovo to give up creation of army (Lajmi)

Russia expects from authorities in Pristina to give up the idea of creating Kosovo’s army. Russia’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Aleksei Meskov said that Russia requests  these efforts to focus on security and rights of Kosovo Serbs.  Meskov reiterated that Moscow continues to support dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. 

Youth convicted for putting up IS flag in Pristina (Zeri)

A 19-year-old youth from Malisheva/Malisevo has been sentenced to 180 hours of community work for putting up the flag of the so-called Islamic Group in Pristina last year. The defendant pled guilty but said he did not know what the flag represented.

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