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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, December 3

By   /  03/12/2019  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, December 3

• Kurti and Mustafa fail to finalise coalition agreement yesterday (media)
• Kosnett: U.S. has never actively pushed for major border changes (Koha Ditore)
• Kosovo President to attend Friends of Europe summit in Brussels (media)
• Serwer: Vucic not to interfere in Ivanovic’s murder process (VOA/Telegrafi)
• Djuric reacts to indictment in Oliver Ivanovic case (Express)
• “Indictment in Ivanovic case aimed to shift attention from special court” (RTK)
• Pacolli meets Quint countries’ ambassadors (media)
• Kosovo leaves Serbia’s energy regulatory system, joins that of Albania (media)

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  • Kurti and Mustafa fail to finalise coalition agreement yesterday (media)
  • Kosnett: U.S. has never actively pushed for major border changes (Koha Ditore)
  • Kosovo President to attend Friends of Europe summit in Brussels (media)
  • Serwer: Vucic not to interfere in Ivanovic’s murder process (VOA/Telegrafi)
  • Djuric reacts to indictment in Oliver Ivanovic case (Express)
  • “Indictment in Ivanovic case aimed to shift attention from special court” (RTK)
  • Pacolli meets Quint countries’ ambassadors (media)
  • Kosovo leaves Serbia’s energy regulatory system, joins that of Albania (media)

Kurti and Mustafa fail to finalise coalition agreement yesterday (media)

Leader of Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) Albin Kurti met yesterday the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) leader Isa Mustafa but the two failed to finalise a coalition agreement as was widely anticipated.

According to Koha Ditore, the agreement failed because the two leaders did not agree on division of posts. A source told the paper that LDK is insisting on getting the post of Kosovo president, Assembly speaker, deputy prime minister and five ministers. At the same time, LVV wants the post of president to be exchanged for an additional ministry which would make it have one ministry more than LDK. LDK is reported to have rejected this proposal.

Kurti said after the meeting that he was hopeful there would be an agreement. “We did not agree but there is progress in discussions. Once we have the full agreement we will present it in detail,” he said. Mustafa at the same time also confirmed no agreement was reached yesterday but said they will continue to look into ways to harmonise their positions.

Kosnett: U.S. has never actively pushed for major border changes (Koha Ditore)

In a front-page interview with the paper, the U.S. Ambassador Philip Kosnett said his country has not actively pushed for major border changes but that it is possible for Kosovo and Serbia to look into the border demarcation option as part of the final agreement.  Kosnett also said that an agreement can be reached during next year and that Kosovo needs to suspend the import tariff and Serbia to suspend derecognition campaign.

He said there were people who misunderstood the U.S. position that it would review any agreement between Kosovo and Serbia, including one that could consist of border changes, before endorsing it as a sign that the U.S. supports the border change idea. “It was never the case. Furthermore, our position was that any agreement between Kosovo and Serbia should be acceptable to the people of the two countries not only to some politicians.”

“My government is focused not only in bringing the government of Serbia and that of Kosovo to the negotiating table but also to ensure conditions for a successful conclusion of a comprehensive agreement. In other words, to reach the finish line not only the starting line,” Kosnett underlined.

He noted that it was important for Kosovo to be treated as an equal to other countries in the region and that he expects Kosovo to be invited as such to future talks on the mini-Schengen idea: “The government should go; it should send a delegation. If the proposal contains elements that Kosovo doesn’t like, then Kosovo should say that. It should present arguments at the table, negotiate as an equal to other countries. Perhaps the mini-Schengen arrangement will partly evolve because of Kosovo helping to shape it.”

Kosnett said it is clear that the people voted for change in recent parliamentary elections and that this is an exciting time for Kosovo. “I think we will have to see great progress in 2020,” he said.

Asked to comment on Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti’s remarks that he will not include the Serbian List as part of the new government of Kosovo, Kosnett said: “Mr. Kurti understands the Constitution of Kosovo. I think he is a realist and knows that he will not be able to govern without listening to the voice of the members of the Serb community. The fact is that the Serbian List represents – not every individual – not every Serb is a supporter of the Serbian List – but it is an important voice. I don’t think it is realistic to speak about the country’s governance without respecting constitutional principles regarding the role of minorities and without acknowledging the political reality of the Serbian List.”

Kosovo President to attend Friends of Europe summit in Brussels (media)

Most media report that Kosovo President Hashim Thaci will attend the Friends of Europe summit in Brussels entitled “It takes two to tango: The Western Balkans between hope and reality”. President Thaci will talk about Kosovo and the Western Balkans relations with the European Union and the diminishing European influence in the region. He is also expected to talk about the EU-facilitated dialogue with Serbia in Brussels and efforts for the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia.

President Thaci tweeted on Monday: “It does take “two to tango”. Will be speaking tomorrow in #Brussels at @FriendsofEurope event dedicated to hopes and the reality of the relations between #Balkans and EU. #Kosovo is keen to move forward, but we need to see promises like visa liberalisation fulfilled.”

Serwer: Vucic not to interfere in Ivanovic’s murder process (VOA/Telegrafi)

The U.S. Balkans analyst Daniel Serwer said he hoped Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic would not interfere in the judicial process regarding the murder of the Kosovo Serb political leader Oliver Ivanovic and cooperate in locating three additional persons that Kosovo has charged with Ivanovic’s murder and who remain at large.

“[Vucic] should realise that there is no other way to close this case. It is in Kosovo’s authority to enforce the law in its territory and the same applies to Serbia for its territory,” Serwer told Voice of America.

Djuric reacts to indictment in Oliver Ivanovic case (Express)

Marko Djuric, head of the Serbian Government’s Office for Kosovo, commented on Monday on the indictment against several persons for the assassination of Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic, saying that “it is a continuation of an organised attacked by Kosovo’s authorities”. “In doing so they are trying to blame our people in Kosovo for the crime,” Djuric told reporters in Belgrade. “Their aim is to weaken the position of Serbs and to delegitimise Serb representatives so that Albanians and their sponsors can win in the elections”.

The Special Prosecution of Kosovo has filed an indictment today against six persons in connection to the murder of the Kosovo Serb political leader Oliver Ivanovic in January of 2018. The six persons, three of which are already in detention and three others at large, are charged with acting in an organised criminal enterprise with formally assigned roles. The accused are said to have knowingly and actively participated in the group’s criminal activities and also in Ivanovic’s murder.

“Indictment in Ivanovic case aimed to shift attention from special court” (RTK)

The Serbian List reacted on Monday to the indictment raised by Kosovo’s Special Prosecution against six persons in connection to the assassination of Kosovo Serb political representative Oliver Ivanovic in 2018, the news website reports. The Serbian List said in its reaction that “the indictments are aimed at shifting the attention of the people in Pristina away from the work of the Special Court”. The Serbian List further argued that the indictment is also aimed “at weakening the resistance of the Serb people”.

Pacolli meets Quint countries’ ambassadors (media)

Acting Foreign Minister of Kosovo Behgjet Pacolli met yesterday ambassadors of Quint countries and the head of the EU Office in Kosovo Nataliya Apostolova.

The meeting focused on priorities of Kosovo’s foreign policy, a statement issued by Kosovo’s Foreign Ministry said. It added that Pacolli highlighted the need for close coordination with all partner countries in Kosovo’s international agenda. He further said that Kosovo’s foreign policy will not only be focused on strengthening Kosovo’s sovereignty but also on increasing foreign direct investment.

Kosovo leaves Serbia’s energy regulatory system, joins that of Albania (media)

The Kosovo energy transmission system operator, KOSTT, said in a statement to the media that after a period of intensive work and efficient cooperation it has reached an agreement with Albania’s system operator to establish joint regulatory energy system blocs, a move which KOSTT said was historic.

KOSTT said that the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO) is aware of the agreement signed with Albania while its CEO Ilir Shala said the agreement with Albania enables Kosovo to leave Serbia’s regulatory zone and hailed it as a historic achievement.

The agreement is expected to enter into force in April of next year.

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