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UNMIK Headlines 10 October

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• Kurti to meet Mustafa and Osmani today (RTK)
• Kurti: Content of dialogue more important than deadlines (RTK)
• Grenell to Kurti: Lack of agreement with Serbia, obstacle for investments (RTK)
• Kosnett on Thaci-Grenell meeting (RTK)
• President Thaci received Ambassador Richard Grenell (media)
• Vetevendosje leader Kurti’s interview to TV Klan
• Joseph: White House believes Grenell will convince Germany on land swap idea (RFE)
• Philips: Border changes idea has died (media)
• Jahjaga: Girls and women are suffering from injustice, don’t trust institutions (media)
• Civil society condemns police force against protesters in Shterpce (media)
• Pride Parade to be held in Pristina today (media)
• Crvena Zvezda returned to Serbia, after being stopped by Kosovo Police (media)

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  • Vetevendosje leader Kurti’s interview to TV Klan
  • Kurti to meet Mustafa and Osmani today (RTK)
  • Kurti: Content of dialogue more important than deadlines (RTK)
  • Grenell to Kurti: Lack of agreement with Serbia, obstacle for investments (RTK)
  • Kosnett on Thaci-Grenell meeting (RTK)
  • President Thaci received Ambassador Richard Grenell (media)
  • Joseph: White House believes Grenell will convince Germany on land swap idea (RFE)
  • Philips: Border changes idea has died (media)
  • Jahjaga: Girls and women are suffering from injustice, don’t trust institutions (media)
  • Civil society condemns police force against protesters in Shterpce (media)
  • Pride Parade to be held in Pristina today (media)
  • Crvena Zvezda returned to Serbia, after being stopped by Kosovo Police (media)

Vetevendosje leader Kurti’s interview to TV Klan

Albin Kurti, leader of the Vetevendosje Movement, which won the October 6 parliamentary elections, said in an interview to Tirana-based TV Klan on Wednesday evening that he will meet today with Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) leader Isa Mustafa and Vjosa Osmani to discuss a coalition government. “The post of Prime Minister cannot be a topic of discussion; the people of Kosovo have decided this on October 6. Who wins the highest number of votes gets the post Prime Minister. The winning party gets the mandate from the President to form the new government. Vetevendosje will lead the new government, otherwise we will have to go to elections again,” he said.

On the dialogue with Serbia, Kurti said: “dialogue has been interrupted. I am in favor of a principled dialogue and I think this dialogue needs to be well-prepared and not fail. I am interested in replacing the tariff with the principle of reciprocity. We will act symmetrically in all aspects vis-à-vis Serbia”. He also said that the United States have taken on the leading role in the process of dialogue.

Kurti said he would not be arrogant with the opposition. “I will create a negotiating team together with the opposition and I will not allow Serbia to divide us. I will lead the dialogue … The President will be the President. He is a representative of foreign policy, but he does not create foreign policy,” he added.

Asked about the post that LDK’s candidate for Prime Minister, Vjosa Osmani, could get, Kurti said, “I believe it is up to Ms. Osmani to say this, she wanted to become Prime Minister, and now we have to see what Plan B is. I don’t know what Plan B is. I have had excellent cooperation with Ms. Osmani as colleagues in Parliament. I believe we will co-govern well together. I believe that she would do a great job as Minister of Foreign Affairs or as President of the Assembly”.

Kurti to meet Mustafa and Osmani today (RTK)

Albin Kurti, leader of the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) said on Wednesday he will meet today with the leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Isa Mustafa and the candidate for prime minister of this political party, Vjosa Osmani.

Speaking for Albania’s Klan broadcaster, Kurti informed that this meeting marks negotiations for creation of the government of Kosovo, after the elections held last Sunday, where LVV came as a winning political party, followed by LDK.

Kurti did not speak about the details of the discussions saying only that they will discuss possibilities of governing together. “It remains for Vjosa Osmani to talk,” he said.

This meeting was earlier on announced by LDK leader Isa Mustafa, who wrote on his Facebook account that they will continue with their discussions from where they left them prior to the election process.

Kurti: Content of dialogue more important than deadlines (RTK)

Vetevendosje Movement leader Albin Kurti took to Twitter to inform about his position during the meeting with U.S. Presidential Envoy on Pristina-Belgrade discussions, Richard Grenell.

“Today I met with USA Ambassador to Germany Mr. Richard A. Grenell and the USA Ambassador to Kosovo Philip S. Kosnett. I thanked Mr. Grenell for continued US support to Kosova in war and peace time. Regarding dialogue between Kosova and Serbia I said that the content is more important than deadlines,” Kurti wrote.

Grenell to Kurti: Lack of agreement with Serbia, obstacle for investments (RTK)

Vetevendosje Movement issued a press release which informs about the meeting of their leader Albin Kurti and deputy leader Glauk Konjufca with the U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard A. Grenell and the U.S, Ambassador to Kosovo Philip S. Kosnett. The communique informs that Ambassador Grenell stressed that lack of the agreement between Kosovo and Serbia is the main obstacle for foreign investments in Kosovo’s economy.

Kurti on the other hand expressed his readiness to as new prime minister of Kosovo, deepen cooperation with the U.S. The press release further notes that Grenell and Kurti agreed that Kosovo needs an economic development and foreign investments, “but that the problem on this matter is especially high level of corruption which causes insecurity which frightens businesses, poverty spread among population which keeps a low aggregate demand as well as difficult approach to finances for business due to the high interest rates on bank loans.”

As far as the dialogue with Serbia is concerned, Kurti said that the content and the process of the agreement is more important for sustainability than the deadline for it.

Kosnett on Thaci-Grenell meeting (RTK)

The U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo Philip Kosnett, took to Twitter to write about the meeting of the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy Richard Grenell with the President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci.

“Special Presidential Envoy Grenell looks forward to working with President Thaci and other leaders of Kosovo to help bring peace, justice and prosperity to Kosovo and the region,” Kosnett wrote.

President Thaci received Ambassador Richard Grenell (media)

The Office of the President of Kosovo issued a press release to inform about Wednesday’s meeting between Thaci and the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Pristina-Belgrade discussions.

“Since 2008, there has not been as much US attention to Kosovo” stated President Thaçi and added that “this increases our confidence and faith in search of a Peace Agreement with Serbia,” notes the press release adding that  the Peace Agreement between Kosovo and Serbia would contribute to the development of Kosovo and of the whole region was stressed in the meeting

Grenell, said that he hopes that Kosovo and Serbia shall meet soon and that they will find a solution. He also added that an agreement between the two states will lay the foundation for economic growth and shall contribute to the well-being of all citizens.

Thaçi reportedly said that Kosovo will be constructive in finding of a solution, which shall pave the way to progress and added that “active participation of the USA in finding of the final solution between Kosovo and Serbia is determinative.”

Joseph: White House believes Grenell will convince Germany on land swap idea (RFE)

Edward Joseph, U.S. analyst, told Radio Free Europe that the appointment of Richard Grenell as special envoy for Kosovo-Serbia peace negotiations is an indicator that the White House believes it can convince Germany to support the land swap idea.

“It is both positive and concerning. Positive because each U.S. administration that shows increased interest in the Balkans is a good thing. It’s been several years since the U.S. has distanced itself from the Balkans and has lowered it from its priorities. However, this issue clearly requires high-level efforts in order for Kosovo and Serbia to make progress. At the same time, it is strange and concerning. Why has ambassador Grenell been appointed when Matthew Palmer has recently been appointed special representative? Palmer has of course extensive experience on the region while ambassador Grenell has worked in the United Nations, has knowledge on the region, but not at the same level. It is a good thing that the White House, in times of many other crises, is interested in resolving this issue but, on the other hand, it is strange and remains to be seen what will this mean for the American policy in the region,” Joseph said.

Joseph said it is unusual for the U.S. to have two envoys covering more or less the same region and said this “creates confusion”. “But at the same time, it is not all bad. Grenell is ambassador in Germany and, although he had disagreements there, is aware about Germany’s concern with regards to the policy raised by the former U.S. national security advisor John Bolton which it seems is in favour of territorial exchange. It is possible that the White House continues to be engaged in the Balkans and believes Grenell is the person that can convince Germany. However, in the views of leaders in the region, land swap is dangerous and destabilizing.”

Philips: Border changes idea has died (media)

David Philips, a professor from Columbia University, said in an interview to Voice of America on Wednesday that the United States need to adjust their position toward the new government of Kosovo in line with the will of the people of Kosovo. He said that Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti, whose party won in the October 6 early parliamentary elections, has changed his positions in due time. According to Philips, the idea for border changes between Kosovo and Serbia has died and that when negotiations with Serbia will resume Kosovo will go to the table of talks with a platform of territorial integrity. Philips also said “as the parties with the highest number of votes, the LDK and Vetevendosje need to meet and talk about a coalition. As Vetevendosje has the highest number of votes and chances are that it will assume responsibility for the negotiations and for Albin Kurti to become Prime Minister. The United States need to support these efforts, and the LDK, instead of asking for a vote recount, it should start agreeing to talks in order to effectively represent the people that voted for it in the election”.

Jahjaga: Girls and women are suffering from injustice, don’t trust institutions (media)

Former Kosovo President, Atifete Jahjaga, said on Wednesday that women and girls in Kosovo are suffering from injustice as they don’t trust the institutions, several media report. During a debate organised by her foundation and GIZ on equal access for women to justice, Jahjaga said that a genuine justice system is the main pillar of a functioning state that enables the protection of women from domestic violence and sexual abuse. “There are cases of domestic and sexual violence which are not reported, because some of them don’t trust the judiciary. Unfortunately, we have had some cases of fatalities too. Such cases are unacceptable, and we must not tolerate any of them,” Jahjaga added.

Civil society condemns police force against protesters in Shterpce (media)

Several media report that civil society organisations reacted on Wednesday against a clash between Kosovo Police special units and protesters in the village of Biti e Poshtme, who were protesting against the construction of hydropower plants in that region. CSOs said the use of violence by police against the protesters was unacceptable and that every citizen is entitled to protest.

Pride Parade to be held in Pristina today (media)

Several news websites report that the Pride Parade will be held in Pristina today starting from 11:30. Pride Week was opened on Monday in a ceremony attended by Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and the U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo, Philip Kosnett.

Crvena Zvezda returned to Serbia, after being stopped by Kosovo Police (media)

Most media reported that a bus with the Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) football players is returning back to Serbia after Kosovo Police banned their entrance to Kosovo. The match planned for today at 15:00 hours between the club of Kosovo Serbs and Crvena Zvezda in Kosovo territory will not take place as Kosovo Police at Jarinje did not allow them to enter Kosovo’s territory. Kosovo’s Football Federation (KFF) has objected participation of Kosovo Serb clubs in Serbia’s competitions, insisting that only KFF has the right to organize competitions in the territory of Kosovo and complained to UEFA and FIFA about this attempt of Serbia to interfere in the territory of Kosovo.

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