- Admiral Foggo: KSF transition in close cooperation with NATO (media)
- Mustafa and Kurti agree to push ahead no-confidence motion (media)
- Opposition parties with ‘secret’ strategy to bring down government (Zeri)
- Opposition has differences on how to bring down government (Koha)
- Jahjaga: Redrawing of borders, dangerous rhetoric (Zeri/Epoka)
- Meta: Not so easy to redraw borders (RTK/Epoka)
- Serbia decides not to take Kosovo to arbitration over tax (Klan Kosova)
- O’Connell: Reconciliation begins with telling and hearing the truth (Facebook)
- Kosovo, Albania, Croatia begin joint military exercise (media)
- UK Embassy: Independence for prosecutors that investigate corruption (Zeri)
- CSOs seek clarification about reference to Veseli in criminal case (Koha/Klan)
Admiral Foggo: KSF transition in close cooperation with NATO (media)
Admiral James Foggo, commander of the Allied Joint Force Command Naples, said yesterday in a visit to Kosovo where he met Kosovo’s Minister of Defence, Rrustem Berisha, and the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) Commander, Rrahman Rama, that the transition of the KSF into an army should take place in close coordination with NATO.
The focus of the meeting, according to a statement issued by KFOR, was the security situation in Kosovo in the context of KFOR’s mandate to provide a safe and secure environment for all people in Kosovo, in line with UN Security Council resolution 1244.
Admiral Foggo is quoted to have said that the KSF transition process should be a progressive, transparent and inclusive effort closely coordinated with NATO and the international community.
Mustafa and Kurti agree to push ahead no-confidence motion (media)
Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti met today leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Isa Mustafa.
In a Facebook post, Kurti wrote that they discussed the motion of no confidence against the current government of Kosovo led by Ramush Haradinaj. “Kosovo needs economic development and not institutional corruption,” Kurti wrote.
He added that the citizens of Kosovo want a new governance that would be fair and not one that increases debt, misuses the budget and bankrupts the enterprises. “We agreed to make necessary preparations for overthrowing the government,” he said.
In a statement, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) said the current coalition government is not working in the interests of Kosovo and has no majority in the Assembly.
“LDK considers the country needs to head to elections through a motion of no confidence against the current government of through the dissolving of the Assembly,” the party said.
“Mustafa and Kurti assessed that despite the coordination of opposition activity between the parliamentary groups of LDK and LVV against the damaging governance and a series of this government’s and coalition’s scandals, the situation in Kosovo is worsening. High corruption, unemployment, nepotism and people leaving Kosovo are the best evidence that the country needs a new responsible government,” LDK said adding that the two parties will move to concrete action in the coming days.
Opposition parties with ‘secret’ strategy to bring down government (Zeri)
The paper writes on the front page that despite the two main opposition parties – the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and Vetevendosje – announcing they will coordinate actions to bring forward a motion of no confidence against the government, they have not yet revealed what their actual strategy is.
The paper writes that the opposition does not yet have the necessary votes to secure a successful motion that would lead Kosovo to early elections but LDK leader, Isa Mustafa, has said he also plans to meet leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Shpend Ahmeti in a bid to push the motion forward.
At the same time, LDK MP Driton Selmanaj, said the future steps will be made public in the coming period and will depend on how the meetings between opposition leaders go.
Opposition has differences on how to bring down government (Koha)
The paper reports on its front page that opposition parties have renewed their attempts for a motion of no-confidence against the Haradinaj-led government. Unlike previous attempts when the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and Vetevendosje Movement (VV) did not consider the Social Democratic Party (PSD) as a worthy partner, things have now changed, and they are now trying to undertake a joint initiative. There are however differences in their positions, as the PSD does not want to use eventual votes of the Serbian List to bring down the government. LDK and VV representatives meanwhile did not comment on an eventual support from the Serbian List.
Jahjaga: Redrawing of borders, dangerous rhetoric (Zeri/Epoka)
Former president of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga, said that the issue of border changes is sensitive and a return to the past period of sufferings and divisions.
Speaking at a conference in Tirana organised by the George C. Marshall on the topic of security challenges in the Balkans, Jahjaga said: “Our region is exposed to a dangerous rhetoric regarding redrawing of borders.”
Meta: Not so easy to redraw borders (RTK/Epoka)
President of Albania, Ilir Meta, spoke in critical tones about the option of Albanians being united in one state.
Speaking at a conference in Tirana organised by the George C. Marshall on the topic of security challenges in the Balkans, Meta said: “We are hearing things like why don’t all Albanians unite? But in this case why wouldn’t all the Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks do the same.”
He said such talk is part of an effort from authoritarian leaders to avoid internal accountability. “Redrawing of borders is not so easy. We know how good relations Montenegro and Kosovo have but we also know what happened with a demarcation agreement. I want to be clear, we have all the opportunities, as we have shown, to be a factor of stability,” Meta said.
Serbia decides not to take Kosovo to arbitration over tax (Klan Kosova)
Klan Kosova is quoting Belgrade-based paper Vecernje Novosti saying that Serbian authorities have decided not to initiate procedures for taking Kosovo to a court of arbitration over the import tax and has decided instead to impose counter measures.
The reason behind the decision, according to the paper, was because UNMIK which signed the free trade agreement CEFTA on behalf of Kosovo has declared itself to be ‘not competent’. In such a situation, Serbia could only sue Kosovo as a legal person which could be implied as recognition of its statehood.
O’Connell: Reconciliation begins with telling and hearing the truth (Facebook)
The UK Ambassador to Kosovo, Ruairi O’Connell said on Wednesday that all victims in Kosovo, whether Albanian, Serb, Roma, Ashkali or Bosniak, deserve justice and that they deserve their stories to be told and accepted. “I met today families of the victims of the masacre of 22nd May 1999 in Vushtrri. Every victim, whether Albanian, Serb, Roma, Ashkali, Bosniak deserves justice. But more than anything they deserve for their story to be told and accepted. Reconciliation begins with telling and hearing the truth. We must remember and acknowledge what happened in Kosovo. I was humbled by something a woman who lost her brother told me today: “We don’t want revenge. We just want justice, so this never happens again,” O’Connell wrote on a Facebook post.
Kosovo, Albania, Croatia begin joint military exercise (media)
Kosovo Security Force troops are taking part in the “Immediate Response 19” military drill alongside the Albanian and Croatian armies in the Croatian port of Zadar. The drill is being led by the US army and involving 15 countries.
UK Embassy: Independence for prosecutors that investigate corruption (Zeri)
The United Kingdom Embassy in Kosovo signed a contract with the Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) to monitor serious cases of corruption and organised crime.
In a statement, the British Embassy said: “It is essential that prosecutors are allowed to tackle cases of organised crime and corruption transparently and independently, in line with Kosovo’s laws and Constitution.”
CSOs seek clarification about reference to Veseli in criminal case (Koha/Klan)
Several news websites reported on Wednesday that a group of twenty-four civil society organisations have raised concerns over the failure of Kosovo institutions to clarify the context in which the name of the Assembly Speaker Kadri Veseli was mentioned in a video clip which is a subject of criminal investigation into an alleged case of usury. “It is not the first time Kosovo media report on similar cases involving institutional leaders and representatives which are then followed by a total lack of accountability,” the civil society organisations said. They called on Kosovo institutions, namely Kosovo Assembly Speaker Veseli, to clarify to the citizens the nature of his name mentioned in the video footage. In one of its front-page stories, Koha Ditore reports today that Veseli was not interviewed by the investigators in the case, even though his name was mentioned in several videos. Telegrafi reports that Veseli will hold a press conference on the matter today at 10:00.