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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, November 8, 2019

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Albanian Language Media:

LVV deputy leader talks about merging of some ministries (Kosovapress)
Majority of female MPs secured seats without gender quota (Radio Free Europe)
Reciprocity towards Serbia through CEFTA (RFE)
Mustafa requests from Serbia not to interfere in Kosovo’s internal affairs (RTK)
Lladrovci summoned by Specialist Chambers (media)

Serbian Language Media:

Serbia adopts new IPAP with NATO (N1)
US Embassy confirmed: Director of US Task Force 231 is coming to Belgrade (Tanjug, B92)
SLS files 42 complaints on election irregularities (KIM radio)
Serbia’s FM Dacic: No US sanctions because of arms buying (FoNet, N1)
Djuric in Mitrovica for St. Dimitris’ day, defends the murdered Oliver and calls Kurti to withdraw his words (KoSSev, Kosovo online)

International:

Hague Prosecutors to Question Kosovo Party Leader Veseli (Balkan Insight)
Haradinaj Defends Award for Retiring Kosovo Intelligence Chief (Balkan Insight)
Kosovo Charges Man Returned From Syria With Fighting for IS (AP/NYT)

Development/Humanitarian:

Free Zone Opening Ceremony, Petrovic: We miss the heroes (B92, Tanjug)

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Albanian Language Media:

  • LVV deputy leader talks about merging of some ministries (Kosovapress)
  • Majority of female MPs secured seats without gender quota (Radio Free Europe)
  • Reciprocity towards Serbia through CEFTA (RFE)
  • Mustafa requests from Serbia not to interfere in Kosovo’s internal affairs (RTK)
  • Lladrovci summoned by Specialist Chambers (media)

Serbian Language Media:

  • Serbia adopts new IPAP with NATO (N1)
  • US Embassy confirmed: Director of US Task Force 231 is coming to Belgrade (Tanjug, B92)
  • SLS files 42 complaints on election irregularities (KIM radio)
  • Serbia’s FM Dacic: No US sanctions because of arms buying (FoNet, N1)
  • Djuric in Mitrovica for St. Dimitris’ day, defends the murdered Oliver and calls Kurti to withdraw his words (KoSSev, Kosovo online)

International:

  • Hague Prosecutors to Question Kosovo Party Leader Veseli (Balkan Insight)
  • Haradinaj Defends Award for Retiring Kosovo Intelligence Chief (Balkan Insight)
  • Kosovo Charges Man Returned From Syria With Fighting for IS (AP/NYT)

Development/Humanitarian:

  • Free Zone Opening Ceremony, Petrovic: We miss the heroes (B92, Tanjug)

 

 

Albanian Language Media

 

LVV deputy leader talks about merging of some ministries (Kosovapress)

The news website reports that an eventual coalition between the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) and the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) will downsize the number of government ministries. The two parties have agreed in recent negotiations that the new government should have 12 ministries, as many ministries will merge.

LVV deputy leader, Besnik Bislimi, told Kosovapress today: “the Ministry for Economic Development will be a ministry on its own and other ministries will merge with it. According to one of the versions, the Ministry of Trade and Industry would merge with this ministry. The Ministry of Labour. Also, a part of the Ministry of Innovation and a part of the Ministry of the Diaspora which deals with strategic investments. This means this will become a super ministry. The Ministry of Innovation would merge with the Ministry of Education and one of its objectives would also be to support scientific research”.

Majority of female MPs secured seats without gender quota (Radio Free Europe)

The news website reports that most future female MPs, after the October 6 parliamentary elections, have secured seats in the Kosovo Assembly without needing the gender quota. The law on gender equality in Kosovo provides that 40 percent of women must be included in decision-making positions, and that 30 percent of Kosovo’s legislators must be women.

Albert Krasniqi, political commentator, wrote in a Facebook post that only 13 out of 39 female MPs will use the gender quota after the recent elections. He added that the gender quota is gradually losing its importance. “The time has come to consider a gender quota in the list of candidates 50/50,” Krasniqi suggested. He also noted that all Vetevendosje female MPs have secured seats in the new Assembly based on the votes they won in the elections. From the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), nine female MPs have secured seats from their votes, and two MPs will join the new Assembly through the gender quota. From the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), eight female MPs have secured seats from their votes and another six through the gender quota. From the AAK – PSD coalition, four female MPs have secured seats from their votes and five from the gender quota. 

Arberesha Loxha, Executive Director of the Pristina-based Group for Legal and Political Studies, told the news website that female MPs securing seats without needing the gender quota highlights the growing political power among women.

“In a way, this shows that voters are viewing as an advantage voting for women and the contribution they can bring to the Assembly and the institutions, and not necessarily only because of the quota. I still believe that the gender quota must remain in force for several reasons: Kosovo is a young democracy, we don’t have a high level of awareness among the political parties about the role and contribution of women in representation in the parties and the institutions,” she added.

Eugen Cakolli from the Kosovo Democratic Institute said there is a growing trend of female MPs that win mandates without needing the gender quota. He added that although the gender quota might seem discriminating in some respects, it should remain in force at least for several other rounds of elections. “The growing trend … shows there is cultural and civic emancipation among Kosovo voters, who have overcome gender barriers or stereotypes that once existed in our society. We are however still far from a satisfactory quota of women representation in the institutions,” he added.

Reciprocity towards Serbia through CEFTA (RFE)

Radio Free Europe reports that officials from the two parties currently in negotiations for the forming of the new government of Kosovo have said that any measure that Serbia has imposed on Kosovo could be met with reciprocity. 

These reciprocity measures can also be introduced to replace the 100 percent import tax towards Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as has been several times so far suggested by Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti.

Sytrime Dervisholli, director of the Trade Department with the Ministry of Trade and Industry said for RFE that neither tariffs nor reciprocity help trade between two countries but noted that when a country changes approach to another country with whom it has a contractual agreement, as is the case with Kosovo and countries in the region who are all part of the Central Europe Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), the damaged party is entitled to introduce the same measures. 

“Reciprocity should be implemented only in the cases when one country treats another country differently. For example, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina employ unfair trade practices towards Kosovo and Kosovo can in turn do the same, as per international practices. Serbia does not recognise Kosovo license plates, trade documents, travel documents. Kosovo can apply the same action towards above mentioned countries,” Dervisholli said.

Meanwhile, Arian Zeka from the American Chamber of Commerce said there are barriers to trade exchanges between the countries in the region but noted that these are in violation to the free trade agreement.

“The American Chamber of Commerce has called on the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Government of Kosovo to use these mechanisms within the CEFTA agreement which stipulate the resolution of any trade dispute between the signatory parties,” Zeka said. 

Mustafa requests from Serbia not to interfere in Kosovo’s internal affairs (RTK)

Kosovo’s Acting Minister for Internal Affairs Ekrem Mustafa participated at Salzburg Forum which is being held in Vienna, Austria. 

The meeting has gathered Salzburg Forum members as well as friendly countries, among them Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

They discussed illegal migration, border control, war against migrant smuggling and other security matters. 

At the Forum, which is being presided by Austria’s Interior Minister Wolfgang Peschorn, Minister Mustafa stressed the need of cooperation of Western Balkans countries, countries of the migrants’ origin as well as the EU countris. He informed the participating states on the actions undertaken to manage the flux of migrants, as well as police actions in combating smuggling of migrants. 

During the Forum, Minister Mustafa had several confrontations with the representative from Serbia, who tried to present the children returned from Syria as terrorists and dangerous for the region and Europe. 

Mustafa requested from the Serbian representative to refrain from untrue statements, which induce hatred and to not interfere with internal matters of Kosovo. 

The Serbian representative remained alone in her failed efforts by telling further falsehoods, as she was no longer given the floor nor support by those present, reports the news portal. 

Minister Mustafa also informed that return of, 74 children and 32 women from Syria has established a new standard and with this, Kosovo has demonstrated commitment to its state responsibilities. He also stresses that the operation was highly valued by the U.S., EU and international organisations. 

The Salzburg Forum is a Central European security partnership based on an initiative of the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior. Salzburg Forum Member States are Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Group of Friends of this Forum are Western Balkan countries and Moldova. 

Lladrovci summoned by Specialist Chambers (media)

The mayor of Drenas, Ramiz Lladrovci, has been summoned by the Specialist Chambers. He announced the news through a post on the social network Facebook.

“I joined the wave of invitations from the Specialist Chambers as a witness. I have no information or knowledge more than written in the invitation. The testimony date is December 19, 2019.

Never in my life have I doubted or had dilemma about the justice of our liberation war, the path pursued to liberation, and its exemplary purity.

Eternally proud of the Kosovo Liberation Army!’ Lladrovci wrote.

 

Serbian Language Media

 

Serbia adopts new IPAP with NATO (N1)

Serbia has adopted the second cycle of the Individual Partnership Action Plan – IPAP with NATO for the years 2019-2021, the Serbian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

It added that the adopting of the new IPAP is confirmation of an upwards trend in cooperation between Serbia and NATO. “It creates conditions to continue the regular structured dialogue on all issues of mutual interest and makes coordination in bilateral cooperation with NATO member states and partners easier,” the statement said.

The new document is based on Partnership for Peace principles of maintaining peace on a voluntary, flexible and transparent basis and its basic premise is Serbia’s clearly defined military neutrality policy. The ministry said the IPAP would be published on its web site.

US Embassy confirmed: Director of US Task Force 231 is coming to Belgrade (Tanjug, B92)

The Director of US Task Force 231 of the Bureau of International Security and Non-proliferation, Tomas Zarzecki will visit Serbia on Friday, the US Embassy in Belgrade confirmed, B92 reports.  

“In the spirit of our bilateral cooperation, Tomas Zarzecki, Director of Task Force 231 of the Bureau of International Security and Non-proliferation, is making a short, pre-planned visit to Serbia”, the US diplomatic mission in Belgrade said.

Moreover, the US Embassy states that Zarzecki “will meet with government officials to consult on the US Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), passed by the US Congress”.

“Dr Zarzecki had already toured through more than 60 countries on this duty”, the US Embassy in Belgrade added.

According to the announced agenda, Serbian Foreign Affairs Minister Ivica Dacic will first meet Zarzecki.

See at: https://bit.ly/2NurDRM

SLS files 42 complaints on election irregularities (KIM radio)

The Complaints and Petitions Panel today received 80 complaints on irregularities recorded during the October 6 parliamentary elections, after the Central Election Commission announced the final results. 

The Liberal Independent Party (SLS) has filed as many as 42, Slobodan Petrovic, president of the party, told RTV KiM.

If the Panel rejects the appeals, the parties have the right to appeal to the Supreme Court within 24 hours.

Serbia’s FM: No US sanctions because of arms buying (FoNet, N1)

Ivica Dacic, Serbia’s Foreign Minister, said on Friday he had a fair and good meeting with Thomas Zarzecki, who heads the US State Department’s Task Force 231, and that Washington would not punish Serbia for violating sanctions against Russia by buying arms from that country, the FoNet news agency reported.

According to Dacic, Zarzecki was satisfied with what he was told and added that “we have nothing to hide.”

“He (Zarzecki) estimates if a person, company or country should be under sanctions. It’s not a spectacular visit, he had already toured 60 states,” Dacic said.

He added that the main message he passed on Zarzecki was that Serbia wanted an open relationship and had no intention whatsoever to enter a conflict with the US.    

Djuric in Mitrovica for St. Dimitris’ day, defends the murdered Oliver and calls Kurti to withdraw his words (KoSSev, Kosovo online)

Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Djuric is attending the North Mitrovica patron saint day. 

Bishop of Raska – Prizren Bishop Teodosije will serve the liturgy at the temple of Saint Dimitri’s in North Mitrovica on the occasion of St. Dimitri’s day. 

Djuric made comments about Kurti’s statement regarding late Oliver Ivanovic. 

“The whole of Serbia is appalled that some politicians in Pristina call Oliver Ivanovic a war criminal. Oliver Ivanovic was not a war criminal. Oliver Ivanovic was one of the leaders of the Serbian people, who represented his people in a difficult time, fought for its interests, and has made the greatest sacrifice a man can bear, and I urge them to treat him and the sacrifice with reverence and not to classify themselves in the galaxy of those who, in a monstrous way, are abusing this murder to fuel ethnic tensions, “said Marko Djuric in Mitrovica North during his visit, reports KoSSev portal. 

”By his own admission, this was an important message to be delivered from this very spot, and he expects Albin Kurti to “withdraw the word, ” reports KoSSev.

According to Kosovo online portal, Djuric is planned to visit it the afternoon the renovated Leposavic Health Center, which operates within the Kosovska Mitrovica Clinical Hospital Center.

The portal reports that in anticipation of the first indictment for the murder of Ivanovic, which happened almost two years ago, Djuric spoke about the detained Marko Rosic, who is charged with involvement in the Ivanovic’c murder. 

The testimony given by the father of detained Marko Rosic these days to the Kosovo Online Portal, in which he made shocking claims about alleged torture and coercion to falsely accuse Serbian authorities and testify about the murder of Oliver Ivanovic in the testimony, Djuric says that testimony should be heard by “our whole public.”

KoSSev also recalls that Albin Kurti was not the only politician who had harsh words at the expense of the murdered Serbian politician.

Oliver Ivanovic was for Marko Djuric, in 2017, the “destroyer of Serbian unity” among other things.

 

International  

 

Hague Prosecutors to Question Kosovo Party Leader Veseli (Balkan Insight)

Kadri Veseli said on Thursday that he has been invited for questioning by the Kosovo Specialist Prosecution in The Hague, which is investigating alleged violations by Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA fighters during and just after the 1998-99 war.

“As one of the KLA’s leaders, I received an invitation today from the Specialist Prosecution to be interviewed on December 4 in The Hague,” Veseli, who served as parliamentary speaker until the recent elections, told a press conference in Pristina.

https://bit.ly/2NQeaTo

Haradinaj Defends Award for Retiring Kosovo Intelligence Chief (Balkan Insight)

Outgoing Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj has rejected criticism for awarding the retiring head of the Kosovo intelligence agency, KIA, Shpend Maxhuni, with the prestigious Skanderbeg medal for “professionalism and loyalty shown in the service to the nation”.

Maxhuni resigned from the top intelligence post on Wednesday, immediately drawing a media controversy over his reasons for stepping down.

https://bit.ly/2NrcyjS

Kosovo Charges Man Returned From Syria With Fighting for IS (AP/NYT)

Kosovo prosecutors have filed terrorism charges against a man suspected of fighting with the Islamic State group in Syria.

A statement Thursday from the prosecutors’ office said that, in July 2015, the man identified as A.M. went to neighboring North Macedonia and secured a false passport, then continued to Syria via Greece and Turkey.

https://nyti.ms/2WYN6Wi

 

 

Development/Humanitarian

 

Free Zone Opening Ceremony, Petrovic: We miss the heroes (B92, Tanjug)

Free Zone deals with topics that seem to turn into one big cry for heroes

“So, we live in times when we don’t have such a hero, that’s why we need a movie about Diana Budisavljevic”, Festival Director Rajko Petrovic told Tanjug, just before the opening ceremony in Kombank Arena. 

He said that “when looking at the content of these films, it seems obvious that somehow this is something what they all have in common, therefore, regardless of the diversity of topics since the rise of the right wing parties, through the crisis of democracy and EU institutions, the issue of migrants, the issue of human rights and various vulnerable groups, it all comes to a single phenomenon – one big outcry for heroes”. 

“We live in times when we don’t have such a hero, and we live in a world where we need to make a film about Diana Budisavljevic, where we want to make films about monuments that were built during the socialist period and about significant architectural buildings and structures that were made after the Second World War – so one cry for something positive to move us from this point to where we are stuck right now”, Petrovic said last night. 

https://bit.ly/2PW1r42

 

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