- Foreign dignitaries in Kosovo on 20th anniversary of NATO’s deployment (media)
- Clinton: World needs to see Kosovo committed to improve (media)
- Haradinaj wants framework agreement at Paris Summit (media)
- Palmer: U.S. wants a sustainable Kosovo – Serbia agreement (Koha/Zeri)
- Hoxhaj: Dialogue with Serbia to end by spring 2020, at the latest (Klan Kosova)
- “KFOR proud of providing security in Kosovo for 20 years (Koha)
- Foggo: NATO membership is a political process (Zeri)
- Haradinaj meets Heldt: Germany serious partner (media)
- Vucic reacts to Serwer’s statement about agreement with Kosovo (media)
- Juncker slams Kosovo and Serbia: No EU without agreement (Express)
- Unknown persons attack police officers in the north (Klan Kosova)
Foreign dignitaries in Kosovo on 20th anniversary of NATO’s deployment (media)
Media are reporting that a number of foreign dignitaries, including the former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, have arrived in Kosovo to take part in ceremonies marking the 20th anniversary of NATO troops entering Kosovo.
Media also report that former U.S. general Wesley Clark, who commanded NATO troops during airstrikes in 1999, and former Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, are going to be present at the central ceremony today in Pristina.
Clinton: World needs to see Kosovo committed to improve (media)
All daily newspapers cover in their leading front-page stories the visit by former U.S. President Bill Clinton on the 20th anniversary of the deployment of NATO troops in Kosovo. Koha Ditore quotes Clinton as saying, “The whole world today needs to see Kosovo as a place of democracy, committed to improve and grow and live in peace with its neighbours, which is something that every country, small and big, needs to work on”. Under the leading front-page headline Welcome Mr. President, Zeri notes that “Clinton returned to the state whose citizens he saved two years ago”. “He said in Pristina on Tuesday that he feels honoured to have been President of the United States when the decision was made to intervene militarily in Kosovo,” the paper adds. Epoka e Re refers to Clinton as “the hero of Kosovo’s freedom” and quotes the former U.S. President as saying, “I will always be proud that I was U.S. President at a time when you needed someone to step up for you and say that there will be no more ethnic cleansing”. “Kosovo deserves to become a member of NATO and the European Union as an independent country,” Clinton is quoted as saying in Telegrafi.
Haradinaj wants framework agreement at Paris Summit (media)
Kosovo’s Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said on Tuesday that the import tariff on Serbian goods is not an obstacle to the Kosovo – Serbia dialogue, and that Belgrade’s lack of readiness for mutual recognition is what is hindering the process, the news website reports. “The tariff is never an obstacle. We have asked for a framework agreement that includes freedom of movement too. Their lack of readiness for mutual recognition is the obstacle, not the tariff,” he said.
Asked about the upcoming Paris Summit, Haradinaj said that before moving forward it should be clear what a possible agreement between Kosovo and Serbia contains, at least its framework. “If dialogue resumes in autumn, we need a framework agreement so that we know what dialogue will include. There is no point in having dialogue without knowing the elements. We cannot discuss borders with Serbia, we have an international agreement,” he added.
Palmer: U.S. wants a sustainable Kosovo – Serbia agreement (Koha/Zeri)
The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Matthew Palmer, said the U.S. would not be determining the parametres of talks regarding a future agreement between Kosovo and Serbia but that it wants to see a sustainable and right agreement.
Speaking to Belgrade news agency FoNet, Palmer said: “We want to see a process, something that would bring about a permanent and right agreement which can be ‘sold’ to the opinion on both sides.”
Palmer however noted that there is not specific timeframe within which the agreement needs to be reached but underlined that the U.S. would like to see it happen as quickly as possible. And while he did not wish to comment on what solution would be preferred by the U.S., he did say that anything that would include forceful displacement of people would be unacceptable.
“We hope the parties will seize the opportunity to find common ground, achieve mutual understanding on the road ahead and the journey towards a brighter, European, future,” Palmer said.
“We understand that taxes are an obstacle to dialogue; we would want them lifted. When the tax issue is resolved and parties return to dialogue, it is important for the process to continue and conclude in a mutual agreement about the way forward.”
Hoxhaj: Dialogue with Serbia to end by spring 2020, at the latest (Klan Kosova)
Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister Enver Hoxhaj said that the agreement with Serbia should be reached this year or by spring of next year.
“Based on meetings I had in recent couple of weeks, without going into too many details, the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue is expected to conclude by the end of 2019 or March 2020 in an agreement for mutual recognition.” Hoxhaj said.
“Kosovo-Serbia dialogue has not to do so much with what Serbia stands to gain. Dialogue is about us wanting to conclude Kosovo’s state-building by raising the Kosovo flag at the UN or whether we want to wait for another ten years,” Hoxhaj said.
“In my view, late achievements of one people are not achievements. If you manage to join UN in 2030, I don’t know what will the organisation of the United Nations be like then, what will be the international order,” Hoxhaj said.
“KFOR proud of providing security in Kosovo for 20 years (Koha)
KFOR Commander, Major General Lorenzo D’Addario said at the ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of NATO troops’ deployment to Kosovo that KFOR has provided security and freedom of movement for all the people in Kosovo by working together with other international organisations and missions, as mandated by the UN SC resolution 1244.
“As a result, Kosovo is a place much different to that 20 years ago. Kosovo has experienced 20 years of peace and progress. This progress has not come for free. During these years, more than 200 soldiers lost their lives serving with KFOR. Kosovo is witness to the development of an energetic society. The journey is full of challenges and there are still many difficulties that need to be overcome. When I look back, I don’t see any more people trying to stay alive, save their heads, but I see people ready to build the wellbeing and future of their children.”
Foggo: NATO membership is a political process (Zeri)
Commander of the NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, Admiral James Foggo, said yesterday in Pristina that Kosovo’s membership to NATO is a political process.
Asked by reporters to comment on when he thought Kosovo could join NATO, Adm Foggo said: “When there is a membership request from a country, from an ally country or a future ally such as North Macedonia, it calls for a political process and this is something that would be discussed between the governments,” he said.
Admiral Foggo was in Kosovo to attend KFOR’s ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of its troops’ deployment where he said that KFOR is Alliance’s biggest operation in Europe. “It was June of 1999 when the United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 established the Kosovo Force as ‘international security presence authorized to create a safe and secure environment for all people in Kosovo.’ We can happily look back and see KFOR has done just that,” he said.
Haradinaj meets Heldt: Germany serious partner (media)
Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj met yesterday the German Ambassador to Kosovo Christian Heldt and said that the government is committed to fulfilling obligations towards Euro-Atlantic integrations and bilateral relations with Germany. “We discussed recent developments in the country, meeting with Chancellor Merkel and other important bilateral projects where Germany is standing as a serious and consistent partner,” Haradinaj wrote on social media.
Vucic reacts to Serwer’s statement about agreement with Kosovo (media)
President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, has reacted to the statement made by the U.S. Balkans analyst Daniel Serwer that he is not ready to sign agreement with Kosovo. “I am ready for compromise, but I am not ready for us to give everything and not gain anything. That scenario should be forgotten by him and all the others,” Vucic is reported to have told Serbian media.
Yesterday, Express quoted U.S. Balkans analyst Daniel Serwer as saying that Kosovo and Serbia were not making real efforts to find a solution and added that it is wrong to think that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic will reach a historical agreement with Kosovo. “The political leaders in Belgrade and Pristina have not shown interest to move things forward like the leaders of North Macedonia and Greece that ended their dispute,” he said.
Serwer suggested that Serbia should stop its campaign against Kosovo’s membership of international organizations, and that Kosovo should lift the 100-percent import tariff on Serbian goods and get visa liberalization.
He also that the land swap idea is bad because it would result in the instability of the region and beyond. “Kosovo and Serbia must prove they are capable of treating all their citizens equally, but the border correction idea shows how incapable they really are.”
Juncker slams Kosovo and Serbia: No EU without agreement (Express)
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday that if Belgrade and Pristina do not resolve their disputes, they won’t be able to join the European Union. “I was always in favor of a constructive dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo. I am not pleased that the process is not going toward the right direction,” Juncker said. “If the dispute between Serbia and Kosovo is not resolved, none of them will be able to become members of the European Union … We don’t want to impose instability int eh EU. We want to export stability to these countries or whatever you call them”.
Unknown persons attack police officers in the north (Klan Kosova)
Kosovo Police confirmed on Tuesday that a border patrol unit in Leposavic were attacked by several persons suspected of smuggling. A police spokesman told Klan Kosova that the police officers tried to stop a car suspected of smuggling in the village of Jashanica, in Leposavic municipality. The car refused to stop and tried to hit the police officers, and the latter had to use their official weapons. “No persons were injured during the incident,” the spokesman said.