- Thaci: Denying crimes in Kosovo is like denying the holocaust (RTK)
- Limaj: Serbia continuing Milosevic’s mindset (Kosovapress)
- Government ready to discuss all topics, including free trade (Koha)
- Thaci traveled to Brussels to meet Tusk and Hahn (Epoka)
- Norway calls for suspension of tax and resumption of dialogue (Zeri)
- Vucic: Lift the tariff in order to resume with dialogue (RTK)
- Analysts: PDK signals government’s fall (Zeri)
- No political party applied for elections in the north (Epoka)
- Verbal confrontations at PDK party election rally (media)
- Sexual violence survivor: This crime cannot be ignored any longer (media)
- Thirty days detention for Serb man accused of war crimes (Kosova Sot)
Thaci: Denying crimes in Kosovo is like denying the holocaust (RTK)
President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci has condemned the statements of Serbian officials denying crimes committed against Albanians during the conflict in Kosovo.
“Leaders of Serbia are trying to deny before the world crimes, ethnic cleansing and genocide perpetrated by the Serbian army in Kosovo. Denying Serbia’s genocide against Albanians in Kosovo is the same as denying the Hitler’s Nazi holocaust. There is only one difference: the holocaust has been punished while Serbia’s crimes are going unpunished by the international community!” Thaci wrote on Facebook. He added that such an approach on the part of Serbia is not helpful for normalisation of relations and reconciliation.
Limaj: Serbia continuing Milosevic’s mindset (Kosovapress)
Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister Fatmir Limaj said in an interview with Kosovapress that statements coming from Serbian officials against Albanians are unacceptable: “We cannot accept the language and mindset employed by Belgrade which is unfortunately spreading to some Serb colleagues,” Limaj said. “As you know the prime minister has dismissed a minister but we think this is not enough and these should be sanctioned by law. No one can be allowed to deny the history and the past,” he added referring to PM Ramush Haradinaj’s dismissal of Ivan Teodosijevic from the post of Minister of Local Government after he disputed the Recak Massacre.
“We have also asked the international community to put pressure and comment on the position of the Serbian president. Not long from the anniversary of Recak Massacre, President of Serbia held a press conference denying the crime,” Limaj noted. He said these actions show that Serbia is continuing the mindset of its former leader Slobodan Milosevic and not only is it not ready not to apologise but it is also denying the crimes.
Government ready to discuss all topics, including free trade (Koha)
The Berlin Summit is expected to give a new impetus to the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia. The agenda of the summit has not been revealed yet and it is not known if the President and Prime Minister of Kosovo will hold a same position on the process, the paper reports on page three. Prime Minister Haradinaj earlier said that he would address the issue of visa liberalization at the meeting. Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Kosovo Government said on Sunday that the Prime Minister would be available to discuss all topics. “The Prime Minister has already said he is in favor of dialogue. All topics, including free trade, can be discussed in this dialogue,” the spokeswoman said.
Thaci traveled to Brussels to meet Tusk and Hahn (Epoka)
The President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci traveled on Sunday for Brussels, to meet EU high representatives. Thaci will meet during his visit there with the President of the European Council Donald Tusk as well as with EU Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn.
Thaci will request from EU leaders to continue their support and speedy implementation of visa liberalization for Kosovo people, as well as the necessity to accelerate the agenda of European integration for Western Balkans.
Norway calls for suspension of tax and resumption of dialogue (Zeri)
Norwegian Ambassador to Serbia, Arne Sannes Bjornstad, has called on Kosovo to lift the import tax on products from Serbia and enable the resumption of the dialogue for normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina.
“The introduction of the 100-percent tax on Serbia has prevented progress of the two countries and has caused a setback. There are different stances coming from Kosovo. We hear one thing first and then something else that contradicts the first. Kosovo has realised it has made a mistake and it is difficult to come out of this without admitting that the tax was a wrong move,” the Norwegian diplomat said in an interview with Belgrade-based media.
Vucic: Lift the tariff in order to resume with dialogue (RTK)
Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic said on Sunday that the dialogue with Kosovo will not resume as long as Pristina does not lift the tariff on Serbian goods. He said Berlin meeting on 29 April will be very difficult for Serbia and rejected speculation of the media that he intends to sign recognition of Kosovo’s independence there.
He said he did not have any pressure from French President Emmanuel Macron or German Chancellor Angela Merkel, however he mentioned that the German ambassador has recently repeated the stance that dialogue should resume without lifting the tariff. “This is not possible to happen, we are not fools, and we do not allow someone to undervalue us,” Vucic said.
Analysts: PDK signals government’s fall (Zeri)
The statement made by the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) deputy leader Enver Hoxhaj that Kosovo’s dignity can be won back only with the leader of the party Kadri Veseli becoming prime minister is seen by political analysts as signal that the government of Kosovo’s fall is imminent.
PDK officials deny their goal is to bring down the current government led by Ramush Haradinaj. “We are currently part of the governing coalition and are making efforts to see this mandate through,” said PDK MP Elmi Recica. But the opposition party – Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) – says that bearing in mind PDK’s past practices, the fall of the government is a very likely prospect.
No political party applied for elections in the north (Epoka)
A week after the announcement of the extraordinary elections in four northern municipalities, no political party has applied to participate in them. Valmir Elezi, spokesperson for the Central Election Commission (CEC), told the paper that political parties have four more days to certify their participation in elections. According to him, usually the political parties wait until the last day to submit their requests for certification.
Verbal confrontations at PDK party election rally (media)
The paper reports that a rally organised in one of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) branches in the village of Klina e Eperme turned nasty when a group of persons stormed the event. The group, believed to be supporting a fraction group led by Nuredin Lushtaku and Bekim Haxhiu, verbally confronted supporters of Sami Lushtaku. Officials at the PDK in Skenderaj told Zeri that the branch elections have been postponed for another time but denied reports by some media that a physical confrontation occurred between the supporters of the two groups.
Sexual violence survivor: This crime cannot be ignored any longer (media)
Vasfije Krasniqi Goodman, survivor of sexual violence during conflict in Kosovo, visited the site where she was assaulted by Serb forces twenty years ago. Accompanied by representatives of the Kosovo Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims, Krasniqi Goodman called on institutions to announce 14 April as a day for commemorating victims of sexual violence. “Justice to me was denied but I will not stop and will continue seeking justice for 20,000 other women,” she said.
Thirty days detention for Serb man accused of war crimes (Kosova Sot)
The Basic Court in Pristina has issued a thirty-day detention period measure to a Serb man suspected of involvement in committing war crimes during the 1999 conflict in Kosovo.