- German Chancellor Merkel to meet Kosovo PM Haradinaj in Berlin (media)
- Roth: No border changes, Kosovo has met visa liberalisation criteria (Zeri/Koha)
- Meta: Kosovo deserves visa liberalisation (media)
- Vucic reacts to Quint statement, says it doesn’t make sense (Zeri)
- Kosovo Assembly seeks justice for Dubrava Massacre (media)
- Risk from “soft division” keeps 30 government decisions suspended (Koha)
- Admiral James Foggo to visit Ministry of Defence today (Lajmi)
- Jahjaga: Corruption is killing Kosovo (Epoka)
- Apostolova: Only 10 percent of businesses owned by women (Epoka)
- Former KLA fighter reveals what he testified about in The Hague (Koha)
German Chancellor Merkel to meet Kosovo PM Haradinaj in Berlin (media)
Kosovo media report that Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj is expected to travel to Berlin on 6 June for a meeting with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Kosovo government spokesperson, Donjeta Gashi, confirmed for KTV that Haradinaj will be travelling to Berlin on the invitation of the German Bundestag to attend Morning Prayers. She added at the same time that while there, Haradinaj will also have a working meeting with Chancellor Merkel.
According to Zeri, issues that will be discussed in the meeting include the unblocking of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, the lifting or suspension of the tax on imports from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and visa liberalisation.
The paper also reached out to Merkel’s cabinet to confirm the meeting with Haradinaj but was told that the Chancellor’s agenda for 6 June will be made available on 31 May.
Express meanwhile reported that Haradinaj’s relationship with Germany is very different to the one President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci and Assembly Speaker Kadri Veseli have. It notes that even though Thaci has held different leading posts in Kosovo, as prime minister and president, he has never been received in Germany by Chancellor Merkel and has only met her at the sidelines of different summits.
Roth: No border changes, Kosovo has met visa liberalisation criteria (Zeri/Koha)
Michael Roth, Germany’s State Minister for Europe, opposed the idea of border changes as part of the agreement between Kosovo and Serbia saying that it would provoke new divisions in the region.
“This proposal does not conciliate, it provokes new divisions. There should be no doubt that the future of societies in the Western Balkans is multiethnic and multireligious. There can be no new demarcations along ethnic lines,” Roth said in an interview for the German magazine Der Spiegel.
Roth further said that Kosovo has met all necessary criteria for visa-free travel. “We do not promote that as a generous gift but because Kosovo has fulfilled EU conditions,” he said adding that if vacuum is left in the Western Balkans, the region becomes susceptible to the influence from Russia, China, and Turkey.
Meta: Kosovo deserves visa liberalisation (media)
President of Albania, Ilir Meta, said Kosovo has fully met all criteria for visa liberalisation and deserves to be given green light for visa-free travel.
In a Facebook post after meeting Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister Fatmir Limaj, Meta said they discussed implementation of agreements that will strengthen even more cooperation between Kosovo and Albania and commended extraordinary elections held in the northern municipalities of Kosovo.
Vucic reacts to Quint statement, says it doesn’t make sense (Zeri)
President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic has reacted to the statement issued by Quint countries on elections in the northern municipalities in Kosovo where they state that the process seemed to have gone in an atmosphere of calm but also expressed serious concern that the shortcomings identified in 2017 elections like intimidation in many Kosovo-Serb areas, especially against political parties competing against Srpska List remained unaddressed.
Vucic said Quint countries sent their observers to the polls to try to find any irregularity for which they would blame the Serbs and that failing to find anything they mentioned 2017 elections in their statement “What sense does this make?” asked Vucic.
Kosovo Assembly seeks justice for Dubrava Massacre (media)
All media report that the Kosovo Assembly held a special session on Tuesday commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Dubrava Massacre and called for the perpetrators of the atrocity to be brought to justice. Assembly President Kadri Veseli said during the session that it is time for Kosovo to seek justice for the crimes and massacres committed during the war and for the Serb perpetrators to be brought to justice. “Until 2015, pictures of missing persons were outside the building of the Kosovo Assembly. We could not even discuss the issue in the Assembly. Today we are talking about this, and we can provide documents about the crimes that were committed. It is the duty of Kosovo’s institutions to point the finger to Serbia and the criminals that committed these atrocities. We need to take institutional measures and turn from a crying society into a society that seeks justice and makes sure that justice is served,” Veseli said. Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj, took to Facebook to say that the massacre at Dubrava Prison by Serbian forces in 1999 is one of the most monstrous crimes committed in Kosovo and that it is painful that no one has been brought before justice yet. “The killing of 160 Albanian inmates and the wounding of 200 others at Dubrava Prison, 20 years ago, by Serbian forces is one of the biggest atrocities. The Dubrava Massacre is one of the most monstrous crimes and despite hundreds of witnesses that survived and the undeniable testimonies, no one has been brought before justice yet. It is extremely painful that even after two decades, justice has not served its mission to apprehend the perpetrators of this barbaric crime. Failing to condemn this crime of genocidal proportions and denying it is proof that the Serbian state does not want to confront the crimes it has committed. Kosovo will never stop seeking justice,” Haradinaj wrote.
Risk from “soft division” keeps 30 government decisions suspended (Koha)
The paper reports on its front page that for six months now, the Kosovo Government has suspended all its decisions for transforming socially-owned properties into municipal properties. A working group created at the time has yet to say the final word on what will be done with the decisions, while the Office of the Prime Minister claims that the entire decision-making process was legitimate. The paper notes that the government had decided to suspend the decisions only after President Hashim Thaci asked the Constitutional Court to interpret one of the government’s decisions according to which all socially-owned enterprises in the territory of Mitrovica North would be transferred to the municipality. In an interview to KTV at the time, Thaci argued that such decisions would lead to the “soft division” of Kosovo.
Admiral James Foggo to visit Ministry of Defence today (Lajmi)
The news website report that Admiral James Foggo, commander of the Allied Joint Force Command Naples, will visit the Kosovo Ministry of Defence today, and meet with Minister Rrustem Berisha and Kosovo Security Force Commander Rrahman Rama.
Jahjaga: Corruption is killing Kosovo (Epoka)
Former Kosovo President, Atifete Jahjaga, said during a debate in Pristina on Tuesday, that corruption is one of the biggest obstacles for the democratic, economic and social development of Kosovo, the paper reports on page seven. Jahjaga said Kosovo is being “strangled” by nepotism, clientelism, employments based on party and political affiliations, abuse of duty and other forms of corruption. “Kosovo, like never before, needs positive change,” she was quoted as saying.
Apostolova: Only 10 percent of businesses owned by women (Epoka)
Nataliya Apostolova, head of the European Union Office in Kosovo, said on Tuesday that although half of Kosovo’s population are women, only 10 percent of businesses are owned by women. “The EU Office in Kosovo every day supports the narrowing of the gap of inequality between women and men in entrepreneurship … Women make up over 50 percent of the population of Kosovo and this is why they need to assume the power that belongs to them in the area of the economy too,” Apostolova said.
Former KLA fighter reveals what he testified about in The Hague (Koha)
Ahmet Rrahmanaj, former member of the Kosovo Liberation Army, spoke to KTV about what he was asked during his interview with Specialist Prosecutor in The Hague.
Rrahmanaj said he was invited in the capacity of a witness and his interview lasted for two days during which time he was asked more specifically about events of July 1998. “They wanted to know about the command chain. In July 1998 the Rahovec battle took place, so this was the central topic,” he said adding that the prosecutors also asked about the fate of missing Serbs which he said was because a Serb family, an elderly woman with her daughter-in-law and grandchild, came from Rahovec to the KLA HQ in Malisheva. He said the family was fed and then handed over to the Red Cross.
Rrahmanaj also said he was asked about an allegation made by the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) branch in Malisheva in 2000 accusing the KLA for preventing their activity to which Rrahmanaj said the KLA only asked the LDK to free the premises it was using.