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UNMIK Headlines 17 July

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• Quint: We will work with any legally-constituted government (Bota Sot)
• PAN keeps names of MPs secret until Assembly session day (Koha)
• Viets: Kosovo needs a stable government (Zeri)
• Ahmetaj: We risk losing €70 million if we delay government creation (Epoka)
• Serwer: Serbia to recognize Kosovo before joining EU (Koha)
• “Two Croatian generals involved in KSF transformation” (Kosova Sot)
• Montenegrin minister: We will not fight against Kosovo (Bota Sot/Lajmi)
• “Kosovo should condition Regional Economic Zone with recognition” (Epoka)

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Headlines – 17.07.2017

Quint: We will work with any legally-constituted government (Bota Sot)

Quint countries said in a statement that they would work with any legally-constituted government of Kosovo which respects commitments such as European Reform Agenda and its wider European perspective. “We urge the parties that form the next government to prioritize building the rule of law and fighting corruption and organized crime in all parts of Kosovo, in order to attract investment desperately needed for job creation and sustainable economic growth”, said the statement.

PAN keeps names of MPs secret until Assembly session day (Koha)

The coalition of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) and Initiative for Kosovo (NISMA), which won the 11 June parliamentary elections, claims to have the necessary votes to form a new government, but it will keep secret the names of MPs outside their coalition that will vote in favor, until the day when the new Assembly will convene. Avni Arifi, political advisor to PAN’s candidate for Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, told the paper on Sunday that when leaders of the PAN coalition deem necessary they will publish the names of MPs that will vote in their favor. “I don’t have an answer when the coalition partners will be announced, I am not competent to discuss this. They will be announced whenever PAN leaders deem it necessary,” Arifi said.

Viets: Kosovo needs a stable government (Zeri)

German Ambassador to Kosovo, Angelika Viets, said in the first part of a front-page interview to the paper that the election results have not been a surprise. “Vetevendosje Movement won few more votes than we thought while PDK dropped a bit more than we expected”, Viets said adding that the reason why they has an accurate assessment on election results is because they have regular discussions with representatives of all political parties. She said the new government of Kosovo needs to be formed as quickly as possible as there are many problems Kosovo needs to urgently address. “At the same time, we are also interested to have a stable government”. “Mr. Ramush Haradinaj was part of the opposition group which in the past employed teargas in the parliament to oppose the decisions of this parliament. Now if we imagine the new opposition active in the same way as the old one, we cannot speak of stability in this case”, Viets said.

Ahmetaj: We risk losing €70 million if we delay government creation (Epoka)

Acting Minister for European Integration, Mimoza Ahmetaj, said that the sooner the government is formed the sooner the demarcation of the border with Montenegro, visa liberalization and access on EU funds and programs will occur. She said that Kosovo would risk losing €70 million if it delays creation of the new government. “First of all, we have IPA funds for 2016, a project which the Ministry for Integration has completed, but it remained to be voted by the government…The sooner that we have the institutions, this process would be concluded,” Ahmetaj said. She added that delays on creation of the government would also cause problems on implementation of Stabilization Association Agreement (SAA).

Serwer: Serbia to recognize Kosovo before joining EU (Koha)

Daniel Serwer, professor at John Hopkins University, told Belgrade-based Tanjug news agency that the main objective of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic during his visit to Washington will be to create better and direct relations with the new U.S. administration. “I believe Vucic will also ask for support for Sebria’s ambitions to join the European Union,” he said. “A special treatment will depend from Europeans more than from the U.S. But the U.S. is ready to support reasonable proposals to accelerate membership in the EU, not only for Serbia, but for other countries too”. Serwer also said that Washington will not back down from its support for Kosovo’s independence. “Everyone in Washington, Brussels and the Balkans, with the exception of Sebria, know that Belgrade will in one way or another have to accept Kosovo’s independence before joining the EU,” he added. 

“Two Croatian generals involved in KSF transformation” (Kosova Sot)

The paper quotes reports from Serbian tabloid Alo saying that two retired Croatian generals, Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac, are helping Kosovo authorities in transformation of the Kosovo Security Force into an army. The tabloid also claims to have secured a copy of what it says is a detailed plan for establishment of Kosovo armed forces.

Montenegrin minister: We will not fight against Kosovo (Bota Sot/Lajmi)

The statement of the Montenegrin Defence Minister, Predrag Boskovic, that his country would assist NATO in peacekeeping operations in Kosovo caused condemnation in Serbia. Boskovic said however that his statement was taken out of context and that Montenegro would not only get engaged on preserving peace and stability of Kosovo and any other country for that matter.

“Kosovo should condition Regional Economic Zone with recognition” (Epoka)

Gazmend Qorraj, European integrations professor, said that Kosovo should request recognition by Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina as a precondition for successful implementation of the Regional Economic Zone in the Western Balkans. According to him, there is no climate of cooperation among the Western Balkans countries. He added implementation of this plan will be a major problem.

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