- Veseli: We will clean up the justice and police system (Klan Kosova)
- Haradinaj: I took dialogue out of Thaci’s hands (Zeri)
- Serb campaign against Kosovo fails at Geneva forum (Zeri)
- Scott: Kosovo-Serbia agreement brings stability to Western Balkans (media)
- Thaci thanks Iowa governor for support to Kosovo (media)
- Daka: Election observation critical for CEC (RTK)
- Interviewees urged not to be cooperating witness to Specialist Chambers (Epoka)
- Special prosecution expands investigations in the north (Koha)
- Rakic: Petrovic is lying to justify his role as Pristina’s preferred politician (media)
- Judge arrested on abuse of authority charges (Telegrafi/Kallxo)
- Ministry of Environment political staff spent €46,000 only on telephone calls (Koha)
Veseli: We will clean up the justice and police system (Klan Kosova)
Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) leader and candidate for Prime Minister, Kadri Veseli, said in an interview to Klan Kosova on Thursday evening that the main point in his government program is the fight against corruption and nepotism and that he will wage this war with the help of many young people that have joined the PDK. “I will make public calls too, in addition to the exceptional resources of the PDK and the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo, where I am confident there are outstanding police officers, prosecutors and judges that will take this to the end – they need support … We will clean up the justice and police system,” he said.
Veseli said corruption and nepotism are the main obstacles that are hurting the hopes of young people and businesses. “Without overcoming this challenge, we cannot move on to sustainable employment and the development of a strong and competitive economy”.
Veseli said he is not alone in the fight against corruption. “I have nothing personal against anyone, but I will stand against anyone that violates the law. I will not make any actions without coordinating them with the U.S. and the European Union. These are their requests”.
On the import tariff on Serbian products, Veseli said “the Americans asked for a 120-day suspension” and that it was decided in writing, but his partners left him out to dry. “They think they have hurt me, but in reality, they hurt Kosovo and themselves,” he added.
Veseli also said that the United States have never brought up the land swap option between Kosovo and Serbia. “There has been a lot of speculation about the dialogue and they have damaged our relations with the U.S. It is dishonest because the U.S. have never mentioned the option of Kosovo’s partition or land swaps,” he said. “I am the only leader from all political parties that has presented a document on my position and the PDK position on dialogue for over a year now”.
Veseli said he does not fear sitting at the table of talks with Serbian President Vucic. “I have a million arguments and options compared to him. Why should we allow to be cornered?”
Veseli did not want to comment if he would choose between an Association Plus of Serb-majority municipality or border correction if these were the only two options on the table of talks. “Why should Kosovo choose from a worst-case scenario? There will be no Republika Srpska in Kosovo and they won’t be able to bring up Mitrovica. Their meetings on the sidelines are useless … Kosovo is what we declared on February 17. We will talk to Serbia. The day I got sworn in I will sit down with my American and European partners and clarify my position … I will meet Vucic, even though I never miss seeing him, but because I represent my people, I know the exact reason why I go there and that is UN membership”.
Haradinaj: I took dialogue out of Thaci’s hands (Zeri)
Acting Prime Minister of Kosovo and leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj said that he did not in fact leave President Hashim Thaci in charge of dialogue with Serbia.
Speaking at a “Fol Hapur” debate yesterday, Haradinaj said: “I did not leave in the president’s hands but took it off him. We moved the dialogue from being behind closed doors and secret agendas to a serious table with two leaders like Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron.”
He said none of Kosovo leaders has a clear stance on dialogue with Serbia but that he was hopeful a solution would be found. “Relations with a party need to be clear and not fogged. My clarity in relation with Serbia leaves no room for dilemma as to what the solution will be,” he said.
With regards to visa liberalisation, Haradinaj said the positive decision on Kosovo could be taken by the end of the year. “We are now at the Council of Ministers and it could make the agenda before 1 November. It is an option we could get the news before Christmas time,” he said.
Speaking about the shortcomings of his term in office, Haradinaj admitted that there were things that he regrets. “If we speak about the salaries’ increase, it was not a good decision. The decision however did have an end-goal as it resulted in the increase of salaries for prosecutors and judges.”
With regards to the import tariff on products from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Haradinaj said: “The tax is a process that has manifold effects, one of which I admit is political populism. But I assure you that the decision has instated Kosovo as an equal.”
Serb campaign against Kosovo fails at Geneva forum (Zeri)
Kosovo representatives are attending the International Forum on Diplomatic Training in Geneva as are representatives from Serbia but according to the head of the Kosovo’s Diplomatic Academy, Fatmir Haxholli, Serbian representative walked out of the training in sign of protest towards Kosovo’s participation.
“Director of Serbia’s Diplomatic Academy, Mirjana Milosavljevic, in her attempt to challenge participation of the Republic of Kosovo’s Academy left the works,” Haxholli wrote on Facebook and added that no institution in Serbia is managing to “adjust to the new international reality whereby Kosovo is an equal and active participant.”
Scott: Kosovo-Serbia agreement brings stability to Western Balkans (media)
The U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Kyle Scott said neither Belgrade nor Pristina benefit from the current stalemate of the dialogue for normalisation of relations and an agreement would contribute to greater stability in the Western Balkans.
After his farewell meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Scott also said that his country would continue encouraging parties to return to the dialogue and underlined that the new government of Kosovo should be willing to lift the tax on Serbian products while Serbia in return would have to take steps towards normalisation of relations.
Thaci thanks Iowa governor for support to Kosovo (media)
During his visit to the U.S., President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci met Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds whom he thanked for support to Kosovo.
“We have good cooperation in the field of security between the Iowa National Guard and the KSF, but also in the field of education and renewable energy. But I am particularly happy with the ‘Women in Energy’ program that will prepare students from Kosovo to take on key roles in the energy sector in Kosovo”, Thaci said on the occasion.
Daka: Election observation critical for CEC (RTK)
Head of the Central Election Commission (CEC) Valdete Daka met yesterday chief of the EU Election Observation Mission to Kosovo Viola von Cramon-Taubadel who was accompanied by the head of EU Office in Kosovo and Special Representative Nataliya Apostolova.
Daka briefed her interlocutors about preparations underway for 6 October elections and noted that election observation is critical for the CEC as “it increases trust in the election process and the observers’ findings help the CEC to address certain issues.”
Interviewees urged not to be cooperating witness to Specialist Chambers (Epoka)
Criminal law professors and representatives of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) associations have called on all interviewees not to agree to become cooperating witnesses for the Specialist Chambers in The Hague, Epoka e Re reports.
Upon return from The Hague, former Klina Mayor and KLA fighter Sokol Bashota said the prosecutors made him an offer which he said would have been favourable for him but damaging for the KLA.
Legal experts Ismet Salihu and Tome Gashi said that the offer to Bashota was to become a cooperating witness which deputy head of the KLA war veterans’ association Nasim Haradinaj said constitutes pressure on former KLA fighters. “I don’t believe there is any former KLA fighter that would agree to such an offer as this would bring shame to his war. We were comrades and ready to die for one another, Haradinaj said.
Special prosecution expands investigations in the north (Koha)
The Special Prosecution is expected to expand investigations four months after the anti-smuggling operation in the north where 19 police officers were arrested, the paper reports on page five. Another four police officers in Mitrovica North are now under investigation.
Rakic: Petrovic is lying to justify his role as Pristina’s preferred politician (media)
Serbian List leader Goran Rakic said on Thursday that SLS leader Slobodan Petrovic has made “a series of lies” against Marko Djuric, head of the Serbian Government’s Office for Kosovo, “in order to justify his role as a preferred politician among Albanian political circles in Pristina”. “The election process has enabled Slobodan Petrovic to remind all Serbs once again how a private Serb of Albanian politicians from Pristina looks like,” Rakic said.
Judge arrested on abuse of authority charges (Telegrafi/Kallxo)
Sali Berisha, a judge with the Basic Court in Peja, has been arrested on charges he abused authority. The arrest was confirmed by spokesperson of the Kosovo Prosecution Ekrem Lutfiu who said that Berisha is being remanded in police custody for a period of 48 hours.
Ministry of Environment political staff spent €46,000 only on telephone calls (Koha)
The paper reports in its leading front-page story that over a two-year period, the political staff of the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning spent over €46,000 in telephone calls. Another paradox, the paper notes, is that the driver of the Minister spent twice as much in travelling than the minister himself.