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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, November 13, 2019

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, November 13, 2019

Albanian Language Media:

• Hoti: We rejected a similar model to the Mini-Schengen in 2016 (media)
• Maas: Germany remains opposed to Kosovo-Serbia change of borders (DW)
• Lebet: Border changes do not create sustainable peace (Koha)
• Kurti: We have harmonized eighty percent of our governing program (media)
• Mustafa: Prior to certification of results, we can meet with Kurti only for coffee (RTK)
• Kosovo NGOs request from EC not to elect Alexei Kondratiev rapporteur for Kosovo (RTK)
• Kurti: As PM, I will work with communities to remove prejudices (media)

Serbian Language Media:

• Dacic: Only compromise solution ensures lasting peace (RTS, TV N1)
• Self-determination ‘fights’ in favour of votes from Serbia, appeals to Supreme Court (KoSSev)
• Simic: Kurti is not defending Serbian List but his three mandates (Kosovo-online)
• Kosovo prosecution still without official information on “poisoning” case (KoSSev)
• Vucic’s remarks on Macron, Thaci meeting, elections in Kosovo (Prva TV, B92, Tanjug)
• Vucic: Serbian heritage in Kosovo needs protection (RTS)
• “Western Balkans six would save € 3.5 billion by implementing “mini Schengen”” (B92)
• Detention of Zlatan Krstic extended for two more months (Radio KIM, Kosovo-online)

Opinions:

• What does Macron really want on Western Balkans? (EUobserver)

International:

• Kosovo’s Thaci Insists On Resuming Dialogue With Serbia ‘Without Conditions’ (RFE)
• Ghana Withdraws ‘Premature’ Kosovo Recognition (RFE)
• Montenegro Rejects Balkan ‘Mini Schengen’ Proposal (Balkan Insight)
• Kosovo Warns Council of Europe about Russian Rapporteur Candidate (Balkan Insight)

Humanitarian/Development:

• Roof of newly constructed Basic Court in Gracanica collapsed (Gracanica-online, KoSSev)

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Albanian Language Media:

  • Hoti: We rejected a similar model to the Mini-Schengen in 2016 (media)
  • Maas: Germany remains opposed to Kosovo-Serbia change of borders (DW)
  • Lebet: Border changes do not create sustainable peace (Koha)
  • Kurti: We have harmonized eighty percent of our governing program (media)
  • Mustafa: Prior to certification of results, we can meet with Kurti only for coffee (RTK)
  • Kosovo NGOs request from EC not to elect Alexei Kondratiev rapporteur for Kosovo (RTK)
  • Kurti: As PM, I will work with communities to remove prejudices (media)

Serbian Language Media:

  • Dacic: Only compromise solution ensures lasting peace (RTS, TV N1)
  • Self-determination ‘fights’ in favour of votes from Serbia, appeals to Supreme Court (KoSSev)
  • Simic: Kurti is not defending Serbian List but his three mandates (Kosovo-online)
  • Kosovo prosecution still without official information on “poisoning” case (KoSSev)
  • Vucic’s remarks on Macron, Thaci meeting, elections in Kosovo (Prva TV, B92, Tanjug)
  • Vucic: Serbian heritage in Kosovo needs protection (RTS)
  • “Western Balkans six would save € 3.5 billion by implementing “mini Schengen”” (B92)
  • Detention of Zlatan Krstic extended for two more months (Radio KIM, Kosovo-online)

Opinions:

  • What does Macron really want on Western Balkans? (EUobserver)

International:

  • Kosovo’s Thaci Insists On Resuming Dialogue With Serbia ‘Without Conditions’ (RFE)
  • Ghana Withdraws ‘Premature’ Kosovo Recognition (RFE)
  • Montenegro Rejects Balkan ‘Mini Schengen’ Proposal (Balkan Insight)
  • Kosovo Warns Council of Europe about Russian Rapporteur Candidate (Balkan Insight)

Humanitarian/Development:

  • Roof of newly constructed Basic Court in Gracanica collapsed (Gracanica-online, KoSSev)

 

 

Albanian Language Media

 

Hoti: We rejected a similar model to the Mini-Schengen in 2016 (media)

Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) senior official, Avdullah Hoti, said today that in 2016, Kosovo had rejected the Balkans Customs Union, which was a similar model to the Balkans Mini-Schengen.

Hoti lists several reasons why such a project is not in the interest of Kosovo and most countries in the region.

  1. It prevents Kosovo from setting controls (tariffs or full reciprocity) on goods that deregulate Kosovo’s market, primarily vis-a-vis Serbia and Bosnia as two countries that dont recognise Kosovo and obstruct it in every way.
  2. It enables unimpeded movement for Serbian officials to come to Kosovo and engage in a political campaign against the state of Kosovo.
  3. It defactorises Kosovo politically and economically in the context of regional agreements, as the agreement involves delegating state powers to the Mini-Schengen.
  4. It economically favors Balkans countries that border EU member states through the tariff policies, whereas Kosovo is not bordered with the EU.
  5. It creates room for an invasion of goods from Russia and countries of the Russian economic zone because Serbia has a free trade agreement with Russia.
  6. As the country with the largest number of population and the biggest economy in the region, Serbia will try to use this idea to keep the Balkans region outside the EU as long as possible, waiting for new geopolitical balances with an increased role of Russia.

Maas: Germany remains opposed to Kosovo-Serbia change of borders (DW)

In an interview with Deutsche Welle ahead of his visit to the Western Balkans region, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said  that exchange of territories or border changes do not contribute to stability in the region. 

“With regards to the idea of exchange of territories or changes of borders between Kosovo and Serbia, we don’t think this contributes to stability in the region. What we support is quick resumption of dialogue facilitated by the EU whose goal is a comprehensive agreement that would enable the two countries to get closer to EU,” Maas said. 

“Strengthening of neighbourly relations and economic cooperation are in favour of each of the six Western Balkans countries. They make the Western Balkans generally more important. With the Berlin process we support these efforts for years and we have achieved a great deal, for instance we set up the regional youth organisation RYCO and practically, lowered roaming tariffs,” Maas said adding that European Union supports the perspective of a life in freedom, security and relative wellbeing. “No one offers any other model to compete with this one.” 

Lebet: Border changes do not create sustainable peace (Koha)

The Swiss Ambassador to Kosovo, Jean-Hubert Lebet commented today on the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, the news website reports. “History has given us plenty of evidence that rushing into an agreement or changing borders does not create sustainable peace. I understand that discussions within the LVV – LDK coalition will accept this reality and I would like to compliment you on this,” Lebert was quoted as saying.

Kurti: We have harmonized eighty percent of our governing program (media)

Albin Kurti, leader of the Vetevendosje Movement and candidate for the Prime Minister of Kosovo, said ‘on 6 October, citizens decided for political change and told who should lead the state.’

He added further that discussions with the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) on harmonization of the governing program are eighty percent completed.

Asked about the distribution of ministries and the next meeting with the LDK leader, Kurti said: “We could have discussed these matters prior to 6 October, in fact even before the 6th of September when we submitted lists as separate entities, however this is the verdict of the population, which determined many things. What we have been doing in the meantime is a new culture of establishment of the government, prior to having a new governing culture. We have discussed subjects, matters. We have harmonized joint governing program and eighty percent of this is completed, and I am very happy with this. The other part which concerns share of responsibilities, functions, posts, so, ministries, has remained to be decided together with  the leader of LDK. We of course will both meet and reach an accord, because the people have set and defined such thing,” Kurti said.

Mustafa: Prior to certification of results, we can meet with Kurti only for coffee (RTK)

Isa Mustafa, leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) said there will be no agreement for co-governance with Vetevendosje Movement without certification of election results.

He said the working groups agreed on the majority of issues; however, some matters have remained opened and they have to be closed among the two political leaders.

“There will be nothing serious without certification of results. The results will not be certified in 15 or 20 days, until then we do not know the final number of LDK’s or LVV’s MPs, and how we are going to constitute a future agreement of the coalition. We can meet to have a coffee, but we cannot meet to reach an agreement, because the issues are not concluded. I can see that there is pressure from public, blaming some times us and sometimes LVV, in fact no one has the right to blame us because we are doing our job as far as the harmonization of program is concerned, but we cannot reach an agreement without certification of the results,” Mustafa said.  

He further added that if things went well, the agreement with LVV would have happened within a week, but the ECAP decision to recount ballots of 1472 polling stations, will impact the agreement against their will.  

Kosovo NGOs request from EC not to elect Alexei Kondratiev rapporteur for Kosovo (RTK)

A large number of Kosovo’s civil society organizations have backed an open letter addressed to the Council of Europe, calling for Russia’s Alexei Kondratiev not to be elected as Rapporteur for Kosovo ‘because of his previous human rights abuses.’

“As civil society organisations working to promote human rights, democracy and rule of law, we do not think that Mr. Kondratiev is suitable to become a rapporteur for Kosovo, because of his previous action that violated basic human rights, and extreme prejudice against Kosovo. 

Alexei Kondratiev, is accused of attempting to kidnap a woman in Kosovo while serving as a member of the Russian military contingent in Kosovo between 1999-2000. He escaped prosecution and returned to Russia. 

At this crucial moment for all the countries of the Western Balkans as they struggle to counter malign influence of foreign actors and build democratic resilience that fosters human rights, it is more vital than ever to maintain a strong and credible commitment from the Council of Europe with our region. 

While kidnapping attempts of people should be good enough reason to dismiss his candidacy, his potential appointment as Rapporteur for Kosovo on behalf of the Council of Europe will have serious ramifications for our joint efforts to advance human rights and democracy in Kosovo. 

Council of Europe Rapporteur for Kosovo must lead by example. The rapporteur is someone who is required to speak out for the protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, as well as produce credible reports to inform members of the Council of Europe on the situation in Kosovo. 

Assigning someone to this position who is a former colonel in the infamous Russian intelligence agency GRU, and who was directly engaged in violating human rights in Kosovo is in contradiction to the founding principles of the Council of Europe and will hinder credible engagement with Kosovo, and the region at large. How can institutions in Kosovo, civil society and other actors, see as credible reports coming from a rapporteur who has spoken in numerous occasions against Kosovo in xenophobic terms, and who himself violated human rights?

In our view, Alexei Kondratiev is not the right person for this task. His appointment will most likely lead to a period of frozen relations between Kosovo and Council of Europe, which will be detrimental to the much-needed access to human rights protection mechanisms for citizens of Kosovo. 

In our view, Mr. Alexei Kondratiev is unfit to promote human rights, democracy and the rule of law in compliance with the existing ethics rules of the Council of Europe as well as the principles that define this institution,” is written in the letter of the organisations which urge the Parliamentary Assembly and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to oppose the candidacy of Mr. Alexei Kondratiev as a rapporteur for Kosovo. 

Kurti: As Prime Minister, I will work with communities to remove prejudices (media)

The leader of the Vetevendosje Movement Albin Kurti participated at the Multicultural Festival that is being held for the first time in Pristina.

The manifestation is organized by “Voice of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians.”

Kurti said there that communities should not be seen by politicians only as a program.

“I am aware that there are many leaders who spoke here, I did not come here for a good speech and neither to make promises, I am here because I see economic development on the development of the citizen, without exclusions,’ Kurti said.

“Based on Constitution, minorities enjoy special rights, in this sense, the Constitution has an entire chapter on communities, the rights are guaranteed. It should not be allowed to make anyone’s peculiarity become differentiation and exclusion.”

“Our problems are common, none of us can make it without the other.”

Kurti said children should not be in the streets but at school, they should neither be working but they should be at school, they should not get married but be at school.

“As Prime Minister, I will engage for free public education. Communities, due to poverty are affected by lack of public healthcare.”

“During my mandate, I will work with communities to remove prejudice.” 

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

Dacic: Only compromise solution ensures lasting peace (RTS)

Serbian Foreign Affairs Minister Ivica Dacic said at the opening of NATO’s week in Belgrade that only compromise solution reached by Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, supported by the international community, can ensure a lasting peace and stability, RTS reports. He also added that partnership relations with NATO is an important element of Serbia’s state policy.

Dacic further noted there is no reason whatsoever that something agreed by the two sides is unacceptable to any other third stakeholder, adding he remains convinced that any agreement on resolving the open issues could make an encouraging impact in preserving the peace and stability in the region.

He also stressed the guaranties that Kosovo Security Forces and other armed formations, made of Albanians, cannot enter the north of Kosovo without consent of KFOR commander are very important to Serbia.

He noted that unfortunately, intrusion of such formations in the Serb-majority areas happened several times and represent an act that carries potential to escalate to the proportions that cannot be controlled.

“That is why we expect that KFOR, in line with the mandate, acts preventively in order to prevent similar future actions in the north of Kosovo and Metohija,” Dacic said. 

Speaking about Serbia’s relations with NATO Dacic said Serbia is open to promoting the political dialogue and specific cooperation with NATO in all areas of mutual interest. “The policy of military neutrality, as the basis for our policy not just towards NATO but also towards every other military alliance, is not in doubt,” Dacic noted.

He also said relations with NATO remain delicate because of the 1999 bombing of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. “(…) NATO intervened in 1999 without UN Security Council authorization which for us was an act of aggression on a sovereign country… We can’t forget those events and we will always remember the people who died,” he said and added that all those involved in the events of 1999 have an obligation to cooperate to keep the peace in the region, despite different views.

Dacic said Serbia understands its neighbors’ decision to join NATO and expects understanding for its contacts with non-NATO countries, TV N1 reported. 

Self-determination ‘fights’ in favour of votes from Serbia, appeals to Supreme Court (KoSSev)

Election Complaints and Appeals Panel (ECAP) ordered the Central Election Commission in Pristina to void the ballots received from central Serbia out of the total number and recount the ballots from 1,472 polling stations in Kosovo, KoSSev portal reports.

The ECAP made this decision after receiving numerous complaints from political parties following the Monday announcement of the final election results.

Srpska Lista (SL) that won most of these votes called it ‘a political calculation’, however, the SL did not appeal this decision to the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile Self-determination Movement (LVV) did appeal to the Supreme Court against such a decision, regardless of the fact that, only a month ago, the same party requested that these “illegal votes,“ as they described them at that time, be rejected.

While the LVV appealed the decision that could cost them 3 seats in the parliament, NISMA leader, Fatmir Limaj celebrated. According to him, without these votes, the NISMA-AKR-PD coalition will pass the threshold for the assembly and win six seats.

See at: https://bit.ly/351voUR

Simic: Kurti is not defending Serbian List but his three mandates (Kosovo-online)

Serbian List (SL) Vice President Igor Simic said yesterday that based on the Kosovo Constitution, the SL should be part of the government, adding that Albin Kurti was not defending the Serbian List by complaining about the exclusion of votes from Serbia, rather he was defending his three seats in the Kosovo Assembly, Serbian media report.

Simic who took part in RTV Dukagjini talk show “Debate Plus” emphasized that it was not only important for them to have a minister in the government, but they would like to have their guaranteed rights.

He also pointed out he was often forced to “protect Kosovo Constitution from Albanian parties”.

“Does Vetevendosje respect Kosovo laws and institutions? From what we saw, when they were in opposition, they did not uphold all Kosovo laws”, Simic said.

Speaking about the results of the October 6 elections, he emphasized Serbian List won because of their hard work and dedication to the Serbian community.

Kosovo prosecution still without official information on “poisoning” case (KoSSev)

One month after the Albanian members of the Central Election Commission (CEC) in Pristina who were in physical contact with the ballots received from central Serbia reported an unpleasant outdoor from the envelopes and experienced health difficulties such as nausea, redness and itching of the skin, the Kosovo investigative bodies still do not have a response as to what has caused these unpleasantries, KoSSev portal reports.

The portal also recalled that 9 affected CEC members spent more than a week in a clinic for infectious diseases in Pristina.  

In addition to that there was no official information about this case since the day of the incident, the Kosovo prosecution also refused to reveal to what European laboratory the samples had been sent for analysis, nor how long this analysis should be waited for.

In a brief statement to the Radio Free Europe, spokesperson of the Kosovo prosecution Ekrem Lutfiu confirmed the investigation is still ongoing, but did not answer the question to what laboratory the samples have been sent for analysis, KoSSev portal added.

On 23 October, before the results of the investigation, the CEC instructed continuation of verification and counting the ballots from central Serbia, suspected of causing health difficulties among CEC members.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic urged the EU on two occasions to declare itself on this issue, while the EU and the European Commission refused to comment on this event, saying they are waiting for the results of the investigation of the Kosovo investigative bodies.

Apart from the majority of media that on the day of the incident despite lack of official information claimed CEC members were poisoned by Serbia, Self-determination Movement was one of the rare political parties making the same unverified claims, KoSSev portal further writes.

“The state bodies should examine the cause of poisoning as well as that packages arrive from Serbia in an organized manner. These packages were not sent by mail, as the Law on Election stipulates, instead the Serbian liaison office brought them in an illegal manner. Such illegally delivered votes, must be rejected,” the party said earlier, KoSSev portal reports.  

Vucic’s remarks on Macron, Thaci meeting, elections in Kosovo (Prva TV, B92, Tanjug)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told Prva TV the topic of a surprise meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and Hashim Thaci was dialogue resumption.

“The main topic was the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, the continuation of the dialogue, when it might be expected, when the government in Pristina will be formed, that is, how we can proceed and what the goals are and what are realistic expectations”, Vucic said.

Asked what conclusions of the meeting were, he responded, “nothing particularly exclusive”, adding: “we both said we wanted to continue the dialogue, we know what the condition is for the dialogue to continue. We are waiting for them to form a government and see what will happen.”

Vucic noted he does not expect the government in Pristina will be formed prior to January, and that he could only discuss the resumption of the dialogue later. He added he told Macron things were not as pink and favorable to them (Pristina) as they were saying.

“I also said that Serbia would not agree to an ultimatum, but to a compromise”, President Vucic stressed. In his view, “Macron wants to see Serbia in the EU, but before that, he wants to set some new rules within the EU”.

“He speaks honestly, frankly, I love that approach, you know where you stand. Better than claiming that everything is just wonderful, and then you spend 50 years as Turkey waiting for that (EU accession). You can talk to Macron in an honest, fair way. He regards Serbia as a very important partner, as the largest and most important Western Balkan country in European integration and I have no doubt about it. He has his own agenda and wants to discuss the European future with other EU countries. It remains to be seen what will come out of it”, Vucic said.

Asked whether the fact that Fatmir Limaj and Behgjet Pacolli’s coalition will enter the Kosovo Parliament means that Albin Kurti will not be new prime minister, Vucic responded he is not the one to make the majority in the Kosovo Assembly.

He reminded that he kept saying for almost 30 days they wanted to steal Serbian votes in Pristina, in order to show the number of Serbs smaller than they were, to further humiliate Serbia and to invent poisoning scandals.With this regard, he announced that he had prepared a new set of questions to the competent authorities in Europe and the world, pertaining to the case of false poisoning.

“But the third, the most important thing for them is to reduce the basis on which to calculate whether certain parties have crossed the threshold or not. If the DPK took on its quota the Coalition of NISMA, Limaj and Pacolli, it would mean that Kurti is no longer the greatest force. Then it remains to be seen whether Vjosa Osmani or Kurti will be the prime minister, but those are their things”, Vucic said.

Asked who he would prefer to negotiate with, he pointed out that he is not here to choose, nor does he want to choose among the Albanians.

“I wanted the Serbian List to win, and we managed to achieve that, so that we could have a unique approach for our people in Kosovo and Metohija, that the whole of Serbia would be united, that was important to us. However, it is not up to us to elect Albanian representatives. They have been chosen and they make decisions they consider best for them”, Vucic said.

He emphasized it would certainly not be easy for Belgrade, because for us there is no good or especially friendly environment, but that it must be talked about, because it is 100 times better to talk than to wage a war.

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

Vucic: Serbian heritage in Kosovo needs protection (RTS)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in Paris on the occasion of 40th session of UNESCO General Conference there are still pressures to handover Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija to somebody else, adding the protection of that heritage is necessary, RTS reports.

Vucic stressed that Serbia advocates for the respect of UNESCO Charter. He also noted that the protection of the cultural heritage from all forms of violence is necessary.

He pointed out that Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija, which is under UNESCO protection, has been endangered, mentioning as the examples Visoki Decani Monastery, Gracanica Monastery, Pec Patriarchate and other sites.

Following the address, Vucic also voiced belief that Kosovo cannot become a member of this international organization.

“We have good relations with UNESCO and there is no fear that someone could infringe the order by which the UNESCO members are internationally recognized states only. It means I am convinced that Kosovo cannot become a member of UNESCO and that Serbia would succeed in defending its interests in this very significant organization in the future as well,” Vucic said.  

“Western Balkans six would save € 3.5 billion by implementing “mini Schengen”” (B92)

All the critical remarks and attacks on the initiative to form a “mini Schengen” strongly confirm how much it is good and worthy of attention, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in Paris, adding the World Bank estimate that its implementation would save the Western Balkans six (WB6) with 3.5 billion euros, B92 reports.

“Extremists, both Albanian and Serbian, and whatever you like, resent anything that brings people together, they resent anything that brings peace, stability and development. They would like to enjoy the stale water and stagnation, where there is no progress”, the President told Serbian journalists in Paris and regretted the fact that it is quite difficult to talk to people with no vision.

Vucic noted that the other thing, when it comes to the initiative, is whether all the countries will be able to withstand that amount of pressure.

To those from Montenegro who claim to have already liaised in the region, he said they have not done so when Serbia is concerned.

“You hadn’t ‘liaise’ with us. Maybe with some other country in the Western Balkans you did, but not with Serbia. We don’t have fast-track lines for trucks, so our trucks spend 100 hours at the border crossings, waiting, and I will remind you that World Bank estimated that Western Balkans six would save 3.5 billion euros if we were able to implement this initiative and put it in effect”, Vucic told reporters in Paris after addressing the 40th UNESCO General Conference.

See at: https://bit.ly/2O9GOPj

Detention of Zlatan Krstic extended for two more months (Radio KIM, Kosovo-online)

Special Court in Pristina has decided to extend for two more months detention of Zlatan Krstic from Kragujevac, suspected of allegedly committing war crimes in Kosovo in 1999, Kosovo-online portal reports.

His lawyer, Dejan A. Vasic told the portal that “prosecution lacks grounding bases to initiate proceeding.”

“In my reply to the prosecutor’s request to extend detention of Zlatan, I noted that the prosecutor had 149 working days at disposal during which he could commit to work on the case, and he worked on it ten days perhaps. In my opinion, many acts that were unnecessary were performed, such as the order for the new exhumation of the family murdered during the war, although the fact that these people were heinously murdered is not disputed at all,” Vasic said.

Vasic also said that the witnesses interviewed so far do not bring Zlatan in relation with this murder, or at least there were no clear evidences that he has done it.

“There is no grounded suspicion that Zlatan committed a criminal act. If someone was seen, allegedly wearing a uniform and carrying a weapon, it says nothing. The prosecution must have evidence that he carried out certain acts, which in this case does not exist,” Vasic concluded.

Zlatan Krstic was detained in April this year, and his detention has been extended in May, July and September.

 

 

Opinions

 

What does Macron really want on Western Balkans? (EUobserver)

French president Emmanuel Macron’s enlargement veto is not a ploy for concessions in other areas, his diplomats and MEPs say.

His calls for prior EU reforms are short on detail and if Europe gets it wrong, it could destabilise its closest neighbours, experts warn.

But there might still be time to make big changes before a crunch meeting in Zagreb.

Macron caused shock at an EU summit in October by saying no to accession talks with North Macedonia despite the fact it had done everything the EU had asked.

See at: https://bit.ly/2XcqJwI

 

 

International

   

Kosovo’s Thaci Insists On Resuming Dialogue With Serbia ‘Without Conditions’ (RFE)

Following talks with his Serbian counterpart in Paris, Kosovar President Hashim Thaci said dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade on normalizing ties should continue, but “without any conditionality.”

Thaci made the comments in an interview with RFE/RL by telephone on November 12, after meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on the sidelines of a Peace Forum in the French capital. The talks were facilitated by French President Emanuel Macron.

See at: https://bit.ly/2O5X8AU

Ghana Withdraws ‘Premature’ Kosovo Recognition (RFE)

Ghana says it has reversed its recognition of Kosovo as an independent state, a move hailed by Serbia as an “important decision.”

A November 11 statement from the Ghanaian Foreign Ministry said the 2012 decision to recognize the former Serbian province’s statehood turned out to be “premature” in view of UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

See at: https://bit.ly/373nonR

Montenegro Rejects Balkan ‘Mini Schengen’ Proposal (Balkan Insight)

Montenegro’s economy minister Dragica Sekulic said on Monday that joining the ‘mini Schengen’ initiative for Balkan states proposed by Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia would be a waste of energy because her country has already “opened its borders” and lifted trade barriers to its neighbours.

She said that Montenegro is a member of CEFTA, the Central European Free Trade Agreement, a regional initiative for the Western Balkan countries which guarantees the free flow of people of goods.

See at: https://bit.ly/33JBtoF

Kosovo Warns Council of Europe about Russian Rapporteur Candidate (Balkan Insight)

Kosovo’s outgoing foreign minister, Behgjet Pacolli, has warned the Council of Europe it will refuse to cooperate with Russian senator Aleksei Kondratev if he is appointed as the rights body’s Parliamentary Assembly rapporteur for talks between Belgrade and Pristina.

Reports in Kosovo say Kondratev is in line for the job, drawing swift condemnation from Pacolli via Twitter.

“I have expressed my deep concern to the Council of Europe and Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe about the candidature of Alexei Kondratev as Rapporteur for Kosovo,” he wrote.

See at: https://bit.ly/2Ob5Jlw

 

 

Development/Humanitarian

 

Roof of newly constructed Basic Court in Gracanica collapsed (Gracanica-online, KoSSev)

The roof of a newly constructed Basic Court in Padaliste settlement, Gracanica municipality has collapsed yesterday afternoon due to the strong wind, Gracanica-online portal reports.

The roof fell on a nearby shelter for elderly people and so-called “Container Settlement” accommodating internally displaced persons from Kosovo.

Nobody was injured in the incident, Gracanica municipal department for health and social welfare announced, KoSSev portal reported, adding the municipal services were quick to evacuate elderly people from the shelter and container settlement inhabitants whose objects were damaged.

Gracanica Mayor Srdjan Popovic came to the spot and visited evacuated persons.

“Luckily no one was injured in this incident. Thanks to the quick intervention of the municipal services people were evacuated. They feel disturbed. We will request the entire project related to the construction of the court building be examined and responsibility for obviously poorly carried out works determined,” Popovic said.

Dejan Jovanovic, director of urbanism department in Gracanica municipality, said the municipality was not in charge of the reconstruction, project and oversight of the court building.

The project and the funds for construction of the Basic Court in Gracanica were secured by the Judicial Council from Pristina, and they were in charge to oversee the works, Gracanica-online portal reports.

 

 

 

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