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UNMIK Headlines 15 August

By   /  15/08/2019  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Headlines 15 August

• Political parties ignoring Quint’s calls (Zeri)
• Mustafa: I have no hesitation to cooperate with past opponents (media)
• Kosovo’s enemies and allies, part of campaigns by political parties (Koha)
• Krasniqi: Tariff will remain if Veseli leads new government (RTK)
• Gordy: Kosovo won’t make any steps prior to election of new government (RFE, Klan)
• Kosovo between early elections and a technical government (Radio Free Europe)
• Kosovo’s consulate in Denmark, vandalised (media)
• Tomor Morina not extradited to Serbia, returns to Kosovo (media)
• O’Connell slams Ministry of European Integration statement (media)
• Missing persons issue to be discussed in Belgrade-Pristina dialogue (RTK/Koha)

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  • Political parties ignoring Quint’s calls (Zeri)
  • Mustafa: I have no hesitation to cooperate with past opponents (media)
  • Kosovo’s enemies and allies, part of campaigns by political parties (Koha)
  • Krasniqi: Tariff will remain if Veseli leads new government (RTK)
  • Gordy: Kosovo won’t make any steps prior to election of new government (RFE, Klan)
  • Kosovo between early elections and a technical government (Radio Free Europe)
  • Kosovo’s consulate in Denmark, vandalised (media)
  • Tomor Morina not extradited to Serbia, returns to Kosovo (media)
  • O’Connell slams Ministry of European Integration statement (media)
  • Missing persons issue to be discussed in Belgrade-Pristina dialogue (RTK/Koha)

Political parties ignoring Quint’s calls (Zeri)

The paper writes on the front page that political parties in Kosovo are ignoring the statement by Quint countries calling for a suspension of the tariff on Serbia and resumption of dialogue with Serbia. According to the paper, none of the parties have endorsed the view to suspend the tax and all are focusing on the prospect of early elections.

Edita Tahiri, Kosovo’s former chief negotiator in dialogue with Serbia, said Kosovo is not ready to return to the table of talks at a time when it is considering new elections. “At this time when Kosovo has no legitimate institutions for the fact that the government has resigned and all parties seek elections, I think Kosovo is not ready to resume Brussels dialogue. Only once legitimate institutions are formed, elected by the free vote of the citizens, can Kosovo continue the dialogue.”

At the same time, Jeta Krasniqi from the Kosovo Democratic Institute (KDI) said the Quint statement is seen as a support for the process of dialogue and the two parties concerned. “For us it is important that the process of dialogue is supported by ally countries and is led, as stipulated by the Constitution, by the prime minister in coordination with the president and full oversight of the Assembly,” Krasniqi said.

Mustafa: I have no hesitation to cooperate with past opponents (media)

Leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Isa Mustafa wrote on Facebook that he and his party have been accused and threatened by all other political parties without exception and all are now seeking cooperation with LDK. “Some called me traitor saying I sold out a part of territory with the Demarcation Agreement with Montenegro. Others chanted in violent protests: ‘Isa, Serbia’s servant’. The third would say that he submitted to the Prosecution over 70 cases about my work as Pristina Mayor. The fourth would say I was a coward and had no courage to take big decisions. I was called Rrahman Morina’s minister and called me Putin,” Mustafa wrote on Facebook saying that these never frightened him and derailed him from his work.

“I have never asked, neither VV nor AAK, NISMA, PSDK or PDK or certain media why they accused me so harshly. Because the mere fact that they accept to cooperate with me and the LDK shows that they never had any argument against us,” said Mustafa adding that this was why he doesn’t hesitate to cooperate with yesterday’s political opponents.

“However, I am noticing that this is bothering very much those that embezzled Kosovo and those that silently applauded this embezzlement. We cooperate with other parties for Kosovo on issues on which we have no differences or on those where differences can be overcome. Those wishing Kosovo well have nothing to be worried about,” he wrote.

Kosovo’s enemies and allies, part of campaigns by political parties (Koha)

The paper reports on its front page that leaders of political parties in Kosovo are using their meetings with foreign diplomats to attack their political opponents even though early parliamentary elections have not been announced and the election campaign has not begun. Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) leader, Kadri Veseli, said on Wednesday after meetings with the British and Croatian ambassadors, said that upcoming elections will be crucial because the citizens of Kosovo will decide between those that strengthen the alliances with Kosovo’s international friends and those that treat the partners as enemies. “I have always believed in partnership. I think that in order to be successful and prosperous we must safeguard the special ties we have built with the United States and the European Union. I am confident that by damaging these ties Kosovo will be damaged and we must not allow this to happen,” Veseli said.

Krasniqi: Tariff will remain if Veseli leads new government (RTK)

Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) deputy leader Memli Krasniqi, said on Wednesday that the import tariff on products from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina will remain if PDK leader Kadri Veseli leads the new government. “Unfortunately, the tariff has become a ‘blanket’ to cover all the other issues and problems in Kosovo. When we set the tariff, it was a decision as means of objection to [Serbia’s] diplomatic aggression and now it has become as a goal, not means. Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj turned it into a goal. We had a proposal in coordination with Kosovo allies to suspend the tariff,” Krasniqi said.

Gordy: Kosovo won’t make any steps prior to election of new government (RFE, Klan)

Eric Gordy, expert on South-East Europe and Professor at University College London, said while commenting the joint statement of Quint state that he does not believe Kosovo would undertake any step prior the election of the new government. He considers that currently, there is no sufficient trust among the parties (Pristina and Belgrade) to work on a comprehensive agreement. “I do not think that it helps much, in the sense that it is not clear what agreement are we talking about. There is quite some time that exchange of territories is being discussed, but which appears not to be an implementable proposal, despite the fact that Vucic and Thaci made campaign about this idea. This did not make major impact in the public opinion in Serbia and Kosovo,” Gordy said. He added that there is no special reason for Serbia and Kosovo to undertake some major step as nothing is being offered in exchange, despite the mentioning of EU membership, which according to him is not realistic in a short term. “Another problem is the tariff on import of Serbian goods imposed by the government of Kosovo. There is no strategy on this matter either, and politicians in Kosovo do not have any special reason to give up the measure, which has become famous in Kosovo,” he added. “As far as the tariff is concerned, I do not think that Kosovo will withdraw this decision if it does not gain something in exchange,” he added. Gordy said the parties are not ready to restart the dialogue. “They are not ready for now. I think that Vucic is aware that he does not have support on this. On Kosovo’s side, we have an unsustainable government. I think that nothing can be done there until the election of the new government,” he said.

Kosovo between early elections and a technical government (Radio Free Europe)

Following the resignation of Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, most parliamentary parties in Kosovo said they favor early general elections and not the formation of a technical government, the news agency reports. However, representatives of some political parties and political commentators argue that not all possibilities for a technical government have been exhausted. Vetevendosje MP Albulena Haxhiu told RFE that some parties and mechanisms are using all possibilities to prevent early general elections. “These engagements have not stopped; we have bitter experiences in this respect … The strangest coalitions were formed in the past only to have political stability and not go to early elections. Vetevendosje believes that early elections are the solution and we think that the current opposition should lead the new government,” she said. Political commentator Ramush Tahiri said that despite statements by political parties in favor of early elections, there is still time to form a technical government and that this would help Kosovo overcome the current crisis. “There is always time for a technical government if the parties agree and if there is a platform and objective for this,” he added.

Kosovo’s consulate in Denmark, vandalised (media)

Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli announced on Facebook that Kosovo’s Consulate in Denmark was attacked by “Serb bandits and hooligans”.

“We condemn this cowardly act that violations the Vienna Convention on the safety of diplomatic and consular premises,” Pacolli wrote attaching to his posts pictures of the Kosovo’s emblem at the entrance of the consulate showing stickers with Serb nationalist symbols.

Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister Enver Hoxhaj condemned the attack saying on Twitter: “Serb vandals attacked today the Consulate of the Republic of Kosovo in the Kingdom of Denmark. They can damage our emblem but not what it represents. Kosovo is independent, sovereign and democratic state since 2008. Serbia and its hooligans better to get use with this reality.”

Tomor Morina not extradited to Serbia, returns to Kosovo (media)

The media report that Tomor Morina, former member of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), detained by authorities in North Macedonia on 24 July on an international arrest warrant issued by Serbia, has returned to Kosovo after the Supreme Court of North Macedonia ruled there are no grounds to extradite him to Serbia.

Kosovo’s Foreign Minister, Behgjet Pacolli, expressed appreciation to North Macedonia. “I am thankful to authorities of North Macedonia for principled decision on this issue and the cooperation we had to resolve this in the best possible way,” Pacolli wrote.

O’Connell slams Ministry of European Integration statement (media)

United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Kosovo, Ruairi O’Connell, has slammed a statement issued by the Ministry of European Integration following his meeting with Minister Dhurata Hoxha.

O’Connell, who is finishing his mandate in Kosovo, said what he will not miss is “the unprofessional and unfriendly practice of Kosovo politicians putting words into my mouth.”

“I met Minister of European Integration today, who is an old friend. After the meeting, her Ministry issued a press statement attributing positions to me. This was not agreed with my Embassy,” O’Connell wrote on Facebook adding that he did not offer any opinion on the implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) in Kosovo. “We did not even discuss it.”

“We did discuss the rule of law and fight against corruption and organised crime. I said that Kosovo is at a crucial point, and needed to take steps to clean politics from criminality.

I offered no evaluation about the work of the institutions,” he said. “To be absolutely clear: the UK does not support or oppose any political party in Kosovo. Kosovo citizens have the right and the duty to take responsibility for their vote and its consequences.”

The Ministry of European Integration has meanwhile issued a corrected version of the statement and apologized. “The United Kingdom Ambassador, Ruairi O’Connell, said Kosovo is at a crucial point and steps need to be taken to move forward. Fighting corruption and nepotism remains important as does encouragement of a culture of transparent processes of recruitment within the civil service,” the new statement reads.

Missing persons issue to be discussed in Belgrade-Pristina dialogue (RTK/Koha)

Panelists at a public debate in Cagllavica Media Centre said that the EU doesn’t want the issue of missing persons to be part of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and that the governments in Kosovo and Serbia are responsible for this as they never initiated such talks. Head of the Missing Persons Resource Centre in Pristina, Bajram Qerkini, said the most important thing is to determine the fate of missing persons and that the issue of missing persons should be included at the table of talks. “We were promised this would happen last year, but it didn’t,” he said. Koha Ditore quotes Qerkini as saying, “Politics is obstructing. But Brussels too is responsible because in 20 years they didn’t hold a single meeting [on missing persons], even though they said this would happen”. Coordinator of the Association of Serb Abducted and Missing Families, Milorad Trifunovic, at the same time said that one of the first promises made in Brussels was to focus on missing persons. Trifunovic mentioned UNMIK providing a ground-penetrating radar for detecting human remains as part of efforts to determine the fate of missing persons but that it produced no results. Political science professor Nexhmedin Spahiu said the plight of families of missing persons should be taken more seriously by relevant institutions while Gordana Djoric from the women business association “Avenija” said the missing and abducted persons are the weakest point for families and the society.

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