- Montenegro PM visit to Kosovo gets underway (dailies)
- Markovic’s visit will not resolve border demarcation (Koha Ditore)
- Assembly chairmanship does not forward demarcation bill to MPs (dailies)
- LDK MPs meet Apostolova, discuss border demarcation (Telegrafi)
- Vetevendosje and Apostolova agree on importance of integration reforms (RTK)
- Only general outline for Kosovo’s “European way” (Koha Ditore)
- Thaci: Specialist court a closed issue since 2015 (Telegrafi/Koha)
- Serbia receives autopsy results on Oliver Ivanovic’s death (Lajmi)
- German FM postpones visit to Kosovo (Klan Kosova)
- AKR MP Tahiri withdraws signature for abrogation of Special Court (Lajmi)
- Interior Ministry and KFOR assess security situation as stable (Koha)
- Haradinaj issued with U.S. visa (dailies)
Kosovo Media Highlights
Montenegro PM visit to Kosovo gets underway (dailies)
As the visit of Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic to Kosovo gets underway, Kosovo media contemplate the possible effects of the visit on the border demarcation issue. Under the headline “Demarcation duel”, Zeri reports on the front page that the topic of border demarcation is going to be discussed by the two prime ministers and if a compromise is not reached, the Assembly of Kosovo will not ratify the agreement which in turn translates into no visa liberalisation for Kosovo. In his Kosovo visit, Markovic will arrive at the Pristina airport at 8 a.m. and will be met by Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli. He will then proceed to meet with his Kosovo counterpart, Ramush Haradinaj. Markovic will also meet Assembly President, Kadri Veseli, but not President Hashim Thaci who is to travel to the U.S. today to take part in the morning prayer.
Markovic’s visit will not resolve border demarcation (Koha Ditore)
A Kosovo government representative told the paper that there is no anticipation that the visit of the Montenegro Prime Minister, Dusko Markovic, to Kosovo today will help to resolve the border demarcation issue. “At the outset of preparing the agenda the focus was to speak more on economic and trade cooperation than demarcation. It could be raised in the meeting but there is no magic formula to give this problem a turning point,” the source said.
Assembly chairmanship does not forward demarcation bill to MPs (dailies)
The Kosovo Assembly chairmanship has decided not to forward the border demarcation agreement to the Assembly for vote in its next plenary session, media report. President of the Assembly, Kadri Veseli, said after the meeting of the chairmanship that the issue of border demarcation requires broad political consensus. The Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) opposed the decision not to forward the agreement to MPs saying it was regrettable. The party’s head of parliamentary group, Avdullah Hoti, said the border demarcation was supposed to be the main item on Thursday’s session of the Assembly. “It’s almost three years that this issue is going back and forth. This coalition was formed for major decisions but it is obvious it is dispersed. The country no longer needs such a government,” Hoti told reporters.
LDK MPs meet Apostolova, discuss border demarcation (Telegrafi)
The head of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) parliamentary group Avdullah Hoti along with a group of fellow-party MPs met today the Head of the EU Office in Kosovo, Nataliya Apostolova, and discussed the current situation in Kosovo, particularly the border demarcation agreement with Montenegro. Hoti expressed the disapointment of the LDK with the decision of the Kosovo Assembly chairmanship to postpone the voting on the deal while Apostolova highlighted EU priorities for the coming period.
Vetevendosje and Apostolova agree on importance of integration reforms (RTK)
The leader of the Vetevendosje Movement Albin Kurti, and head of the Vetevendosje Assembly Group, Glauk Konjufca, met on Monday with head of the EU Office in Kosovo, Nataliya Apostolova. According to a press release issued by the Vetevendosje Movement, they discussed political developments at Kosovo institutions, socio-economic situation and challenges of state building and integration. “Both parties agreed on the importance of Kosovo’s integration in the EU which would increase implementation of law and order, as well as economic and social cooperation,” is stressed in the communique.
Only general outline for Kosovo’s “European way” (Koha Ditore)
The European Commission enlargement strategy for 2018 set to be approved today at the College of Commissioners chaired by President Jean-Claude Juncker will only provide a general outline on Kosovo’s prospects for joining the European Union, the paper reports on the front page. A possible accession date mentioned in the report is 2015 but that is only with regards to Serbia and Montenegro. At the same time, EC has expressed readiness to prepare recommendations for the start of accession negotiations with Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) while in the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EC has mentioned the possibility of it being granted candidate status. As for Kosovo however, the strategy will only make reference to formal enlargement steps such as progress in implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) and in advancing on the way to the Union when “objective circumstances permit”.
Thaci: Specialist court a closed issue since 2015 (Telegrafi/Koha)
In an interview to RTV Dukagjini, President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci said the issue of specialist chambers has been sealed when Kosovo Assembly passed the law for its establishment. “This issue was closed as far back as the summer of 2015 and different noises later on were unnecessary and with no impact,” Thaci said. He said the initiative to abrogate specialist chambers was “exaggerated” and resembled a “media stunt”. With respect to the border demarcation agreement with Montenegro, Thaci said it required broad political consensus. “I am in continuous discussions with Assembly President Kadri Veseli, Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj and certain opposition parties [and] they are all aware that a swift ratification of demarcation paves way for visa liberalisation,” Thaci noted adding that he hoped the matter would be resolved this month. “I cannot speak about dates but I believe this agreement will be closed in the near future. I hope it happens this month but this will largely depend on overcoming of personal egos and grudges.” Speaking about the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade, Thaci said he was hopeful a historic agreement would be achieved this year which, in his view, would imply Kosovo’s membership to the UN. Nevertheless he voiced skepticism that Serbia would actually recognise Kosovo. “It would be a miracle if Serbia reconised Kosovo. Should it happen? No doubt about it but seeing the political class in Serbia it is highly unlikely,” Thaci said.
German FM postpones visit to Kosovo (Klan Kosova)
The visit of the German Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, to Kosovo set to take place on February 7 has been postponed for a later date, said Kosovo government spokesperson Donjeta Gashi. She said the postponement is a result of internal political developments in Germany and that the visit will take place in the coming weeks.
Serbia receives autopsy results on Oliver Ivanovic’s death (Lajmi)
There is no suspect in Oliver Ivanovic’s murder despite the fact that it happened three weeks ago. However, Kosovo authorities have started cooperation with Serbia in order to shed light to the case. Basic Prosecution in Mitrovica has accepted to submit some of the documents of this case to the Serbian party. This was confirmed by Kosovo’s Minister of Justice, Abelard Tahiri, who did not specify which documents were submitted. However, Klan Kosova has learnt that Kosovo institutions submitted autopsy documents performed by the Forensics Institute.
AKR MP Tahiri withdraws signature for abrogation of Special Court (Lajmi)
Kosovo Assembly MP, Labinot Tahiri, from the New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) took to Facebook to inform that he has withdrawn his signature from the initiative to abrogate the Law on specialist chambers. “Considering that many politicians are playing with the feelings of the population, I did not want to be one of them. I have wholeheartedly signed for those thousands of warriors thinking that it is a right thing, because I valued and I will eternally the liberation war. There is no doubt that the Special Court is harmful for Kosovo, however I am not part of political calculations, I am not calculative,” Tahiri wrote.
Interior Ministry and KFOR assess security situation as stable (Koha)
Kosovo’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Flamur Sefaj, met yesterday the KFOR Commander, Major General Salvatore Cuoci. The two discussed the overall security situation in Kosovo and agreed that it was calm and stable. Sefaj and Cuoci also agreed on the need to step up cooperation and discussed possible ways how to achieve this in line with the mandate of the Kosovo Police and KFOR troops.
Haradinaj issued with U.S. visa (dailies)
Prime Minsiter of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, has been issued with a U.S. visa, the papers report. Kosovo government spokesperson, Donjeta Gashi, confirmed the news saying that PM Haradinaj is expected to travel to the U.S. to attend the morning prayer on February 8.