- Haradinaj: Everyone should know, Kosovo does not discuss without U.S. (Lajmi)
- Supreme Court rejects PDK’s complaints for Prizren and Klina elections (dailies)
- Veseli: Vetevendosje stole votes in Prizren, we’ll address the court (RTK)
- Hoxhaj reacts to Palestinian ambassador (RTK)
- President Thaci meets Bulgarian President, Radev (Bota Sot)
- Government of Kosovo expects EULEX’s departure (RFE)
- Kosovo, Serbia haunted by ghosts of the past (Koha)
- Police file report against Deputy PM Gashi and others for firing shots (Koha)
- Urgent plan for reintegration of Kosovars that fought in Syria and Iraq (Koha)
- Kosovo plans to spend €7 million on new vehicles next year (Zeri)
Haradinaj: Everyone should know, Kosovo does not discuss without U.S. (Lajmi)
The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, confirmed during Thursday’s Assembly session clashes with head of the EU’s High Representative, Frederica Mogherini. He said there will be no more dialogue with Belgrade without the involvement of the United States of America. “Kosovo has not received any benefit from the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue. We will not sit on the table with the EU without America,” he said. “We have not given up visa liberalization. Is it normal to say come to dialogue because you are going to join EU faster? When we go there, I am forced to tell Mogherini that you have added a footnote to us and isolated the border demarcation”. Haradinaj said that on the one hand, five EU countries have not recognized Kosovo and the EU is status neutral and on the other hand “they say come to discuss the final status”. “How can I come when you do not recognize me?” Haradinaj asked. He said the U.S. was at Kosovo’s side at the most difficult times and it resolved problems. “Kosovo does not sit at the table without America’s presence, everyone should know this. If someone in the EU feels bad about it, let them do the job. They told me you have the demarcation, I do not have a completed demarcation with Serbia, or why do others have visa liberalization and we do not? Kosovo should take what it belongs to it in each process, we are not here only to help processes. We are being told not to become bad as they are, but look where they [Serbia] have reached. I am confident that we should talk with everyone in Kosovo when national matters are at stake,” Haradinaj said.
Supreme Court rejects PDK’s complaints for Prizren and Klina elections (dailies)
Kosovo’s Supreme Court has rejected the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) complaints against the ruling of the Election Complaints and Appeals Panel (ECAP) on mayoral runoffs in Prizren and Klina. PDK complained that the elections in these two municipalities were manipulated and demanded a recount of ballots.
Veseli: Vetevendosje stole votes in Prizren, we’ll address the court (RTK)
The President of the Assembly of Kosovo and leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, Kadri Veseli, said that Vetevendosje Movement stole votes on 19 November during the runoff in Prizren. “There is grounded suspicion that the process was affected. There are flagrant interventions where it can be seen clearly the time of voting, where Vetevendosje together with its partners stole votes. We will send the matter at the Constitutional Court,” Veseli said.
Hoxhaj reacts to Palestinian ambassador (RTK)
After the statement of the Palestinian ambassador in Belgrade that Palestine would never recognize Kosovo, Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, Enver Hoxhaj said that Palestine’s alignment with Serbia’s foreign policy means that Palestine accepts ethnic cleansing and genocidal acts against civilians in Kosovo. He added that Kosovo’s statehood is in complete compliance with international laws and manifestation of the right for self-determination.
President Thaci meets Bulgarian President, Radev (Bota Sot)
President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, met in Sofia his Bulgarian counterpart, Rumen Radev, and discussed ways of increasing cooperation and coordination of actions for the region’s European integration. Thaci said Bulgaria understands well the situation in the region and “realizes that sustainable peace in the Balkans means sustainable peace in the whole of Europe.”
Government of Kosovo expects EULEX’s departure (RFE)
Kosovo government officials told Radio Free Europe that they see no reason to extend the mandate of the EU rule of law mission, EULEX, beyond June 2018 when it is due to expire. Justice Minister, Abelard Tahiri, said Kosovo is entering a stage when it is able to govern on its own without the help of international missions. “We are entering the tenth year of EULEX deployment and work in Kosovo. During this period EULEX has done an extraordinary work in strengthening and developing the capacities of the state of Kosovo but we now consider that the Republic of Kosovo has managed to build its own capacities,” Tahiri said.
Kosovo, Serbia haunted by ghosts of the past (Koha)
The paper reports on its front page on a debate held in Pristina on Thursday titled “Carrots and sticks – European conditioning in the political reality of South-East Europe” as part of the series of summits for the Western Balkans. Veton Surroi, publicist and founder of Koha Ditore daily newspaper, said the biggest problem in relations between Kosovo and Serbia are not license plates but how to address the past. “Not by accusing one another, but by accepting a joint narration. We are not working on this because we have issues that limit the political life, we have the special court and the Brussels Agreement. One cannot talk about the Association of Serb-majority municipalities without talking about relations between the Serb and the Albanian communities. Societies must go through the process of mourning, rationalize death and move on to the next phase,” he said. Surroi also added that in 1968 in Germany there was a movement which said that Germany must assume responsibility for everything it had done during World War Two and he suggested that Serbia should do the same now. The German Ambassador to Kosovo, Christian Heldt, said the ghosts of the past are impeding the Balkans’ path toward the future. “There need to be changes in the way of thinking and in this respect we need programs and exchanges between societies, including those that may have been in conflict in the past. Overcoming the ghosts of the past is the only way to achieve reconciliation,” Heldt said.
Police file report against Deputy PM Gashi and others for firing shots (Koha)
Kosovo Police has filed a criminal report against Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Diaspora, Dardan Gashi, and others, for firing shots in a closed environment. Officers at the police station in Malisheva confirmed the information. “Kosovo Police, namely the police station in Malisheva, after receiving information, initiated the case and in cooperation with the State Prosecution has launched investigations,” a police spokeswoman said. “During the investigations and with the authorization of the prosecutor, we have taken several operational steps, interviewed several people and the complete case together with a report was submitted to the Basic Prosecution in Gjakova”.
Urgent plan for reintegration of Kosovars that fought in Syria and Iraq (Koha)
Kosovo’s authorities are working on a detailed plan for the reintegration of Kosovars that took part in the fighting in Syria and Iraq, the paper reports in one of its front-page stories. The national reintegration strategy 2018-2022 foresees policies and measures and provides an institutional framework for the management and reintegration of repatriated Kosovars. The government is expected to adopt the strategy in a few weeks. The paper further notes that in another strategic document, the government has expressed fear from Kosovars that have returned from the conflict zones and views as them as actors of potential terror attacks.
Kosovo plans to spend €7 million on new vehicles next year (Zeri)
The paper reports on the front page that Kosovo institutions plan to spend more than €7 million on purchase of new vehicles next year, vast majority of which will be for the Kosovo Security Force and the Kosovo Police. The paper goes on to list other major expenditures that the government has planned for 2018 including €4.5 million for the purchase of Kosovo embassy buildings, as well as half a million for the construction of the Office of the President, and €2.4 million for the returns process.