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UNMIK Headlines 14 April

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Thaci convinced there will be visa liberalisation this year (RTK)
Ahead of Balkans visit, Mogherini says it’s time for change (Koha)
Bejtush Gashi appointed new interior minister (dailies)
LDK: Kosovo army cannot be formed without international backing (Zeri)
“Appointment of new specialist court chief prosecutor being delayed” (Zeri)

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Headlines – 14.04.2018

  • Thaci convinced there will be visa liberalisation this year (RTK)
  • Ahead of Balkans visit, Mogherini says it’s time for change (Koha)
  • Bejtush Gashi appointed new interior minister (dailies)
  • LDK: Kosovo army cannot be formed without international backing (Zeri)
  • “Appointment of new specialist court chief prosecutor being delayed” (Zeri)

 Kosovo Media Highlights

Thaci convinced there will be visa liberalisation this year (RTK)

President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, said in an interview to the public broadcaster RTK that the ratification of the border demarcation agreement with Montenegro is an extraordinary success and that Kosovo has met all visa liberalisation criteria, including fight against corruption. “There is no more dilemma now,” Thaci said adding that he was assured in meetings with EU officials, Johannes Hahn and Federica Mogherini, that Kosovo will gain visa liberalisation this year. Thaci also spoke about the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities: “Kosovo has made progress and this has also been proved by the decision of Prime Minister Haradinaj to push forward the Association, while Serbia has a couple of things it has not implemented, the agreement on the bridge and that on energy,” Thaci said.  He further noted that the Association/Community will be set up in line with Kosovo legislation and the ruling of the Constitutional Court. Asked about the detention of the head of the Serbian Government’s Office for Kosovo, Marko Djuric, Thaci said this should not affect relations between Kosovo and Serbia. “He violated Kosovo laws and got what he deserved.” 

Ahead of Balkans visit, Mogherini says it’s time for change (Koha)

EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said ahead of her visit to Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Montenegro, and Serbia that the Western Balkans region is part of European Union’s future. “This is the moment to deliver positive change in order to make irreversible and transformative progress towards the EU,” Mogherini said in a statement.

Bejtush Gashi appointed new interior minister (dailies)

Bejtush Gashi from the New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) has been appointed by the Government of Kosovo to the post of Minister of Internal Affairs after his predecessor Flamur Sefaj was dismissed by Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj following the arrest and deportation of six Turkish nationals. Gashi previously served as Deputy Minister of the Kosovo Security Force and taught at the University of Pristina.

LDK: Kosovo army cannot be formed without international backing (Zeri)

The Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) General Secretary, Ismet Beqiri, said in the weekly press conference that while Kosovo needs to have an army, this force cannot be formed without international support. “We could have an army on paper but without the support of our international allies it would not be a functional force,” he said. Beqiri also dismissed reports that the party will hold internal elections in the coming days, saying that LDK’s priority involves Kosovo heading to general elections as soon as possible.

“Appointment of new specialist court chief prosecutor being delayed” (Zeri)

The paper reports that the Specialist Chambers have not yet appointed a new chief prosecutor to replace David Schwendiman, whose mandate expired end of March. Christopher Bennett, the court’s prosecution spokesperson, told the paper that the acting chief prosecutor, Kwai Hong Ip, enjoys all the authorities of his predecessor while Maja Kocijancic, EU foreign policy spokesperson, said the process of appointment of new prosecutor is ongoing. “Member states and EULEX have been invited to propose qualified candidates with a high moral character,” Kocijancic said adding that the panel decided on the right candidate consists of experts in the field of international law and criminal justice.  At the same time, Avis Benes, spokesperson for the Specialist Chambers said there are no delays in the process of selecting replacement for Schwendiman.

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