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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, December 5

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• Increasing international calls for creation of new government (Zeri)
• Sources: Thaci to convene Assembly’s constitutive session on the 19th (Telegrafi)
• “If no coalition with LVV is reached, LDK will go to opposition” (RTK/Telegrafi)
• Thaci travels to Berlin to speak about dialogue with Serbia (media)
• “Grenell to arrange meeting between Thaci and Kurti in Berlin” (Klan Kosova)
• “Normalisation of Kosovo – Serbia relations means mutual recognition” (RTK)
• Thaci: NATO in Kosovo doing an excellent job (media)
• Appathurai: NATO hopes for agreement between Kosovo and Serbia (Koha)
• Borrell: I cannot visit Kosovo as government is not formed yet (media)
• Varhelyi: I welcome “Mini-Schengen” but I have a condition (RTK)
• Mogherini gets new post at UN (Kallxo)

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  • Increasing international calls for creation of new government (Zeri)
  • Sources: Thaci to convene Assembly’s constitutive session on the 19th (Telegrafi)
  • “If no coalition with LVV is reached, LDK will go to opposition” (RTK/Telegrafi)
  • Thaci travels to Berlin to speak about dialogue with Serbia (media)
  • “Grenell to arrange meeting between Thaci and Kurti in Berlin” (Klan Kosova)
  • “Normalisation of Kosovo – Serbia relations means mutual recognition” (RTK)
  • Thaci: NATO in Kosovo doing an excellent job (media)
  • Appathurai: NATO hopes for agreement between Kosovo and Serbia (Koha)
  • Borrell: I cannot visit Kosovo as government is not formed yet (media)
  • Varhelyi: I welcome “Mini-Schengen” but I have a condition (RTK)
  • Mogherini gets new post at UN (Kallxo)

 Kosovo Media Highlights

Increasing international calls for creation of new government (Zeri)

The paper reports on the front page that calls from international community representatives for the quick formation of the new government of Kosovo are increasing in the absence of a coalition agreement between the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) and the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).

Following the recent developments, the LDK yesterday issued a statement expressing commitment to achieving a coalition deal with LVV. In it, the party also said the negotiations will not be undermined by any public pressure. “The Democratic League of Kosovo has worked and is ready to reach a balanced, sustainable and long-term agreement,” the party said adding that coalition talks will continue in ‘good faith’.

Fatmire Kollcaku from LVV also confirmed that negotiations will continue but did not say when the next meeting between the two parties will take place. “It is true we are having a moment to reflect but since we have agreed on programming issues the remaining part is to be harmonised now,” she said.

Yesterday, LDK and LVV officials also met separately the leader of the European People’s Party (EPP) Manfred Weber who said political parties in Kosovo need to find modalities to form a new government and that the will of the people of Kosovo who voted for change should be respected.

At the same time, the German Ambassador to Kosovo Christian Heldt also urged the parties to swiftly form new government. “There is a large number of promising challenges the future government could fac. Form this government as quickly as possible, convene the parliament as there is a great deal of work ahead,” he said.

Sources: Thaci to convene Assembly’s constitutive session on the 19th (Telegrafi)

RTV Dukagjini quotes sources saying that President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci will call the constitutive session of the Assembly on 19 December.

Analysts meanwhile say that the constitutive session can be prolonged. Eugen Cakolli from the Kosovo Democratic Institute said practice has shown that the first session can last months. “But it is important for the Assembly to be constituted to pave way for the formation of the government. There is a 40-day deadline to form the new government once the candidate for prime minister is mandated,” Cakolli said.

“If no coalition with LVV is reached, LDK will go to opposition” (RTK/Telegrafi)

Deputy leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Lutfi Haziri spoke to RTK about negotiations with the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) to form the new government. He said that patience and trust are needed for the agreement to be achieved.

“We are building a coalition in trust and the fact that 99 percent of the agreement is ready shows that recent developments cannot impair the good will of the two sides to form a government,” he said.

“We don’t want to enter a government for a year but for an entire mandate and beyond. The role of the president also needs to be clarified. LDK and LVV have will, this is not about specific names but about clarity so that LDK and LVV do not have any more crises and not allow ticking bombs.”

Haziri also ruled out the possibility of Kosovo heading to new elections saying that LDK will either join the government with LVV or go to the opposition. 

Thaci travels to Berlin to speak about dialogue with Serbia (media)

President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci has travelled to Berlin to take part in a conference organised by the “East-West” Institute.

A press release issued by his cabinet states that Thaci will be on a panel that will discuss the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia and the European perspective of the Western Balkans region. Former German ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, former U.S. envoy Frank Wisner and the former EU High Representative Catherine Ashton will also be on the same panel.

“Grenell to arrange meeting between Thaci and Kurti in Berlin” (Klan Kosova)

The news website reports that the political gap between Kosovo President, Hashim Thaci, and Vetevendosje leader and candidate for Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, is so big that it takes a great U.S. engagement in one of the most influential capitals in Europe [Berlin] to arrange a meeting between them. Both Thaci and Kurti have been invited to attend the conference “Balkan Dialogues” organised by the East-West Institute in Berlin. Citing unnamed sources, Klan Kosova reports that U.S. Ambassador to Berlin and Presidential Envoy for the Kosovo – Serbia Dialogue, Richard Grenell has been engaged to set up a meeting between Thaci and Kurti.

“Normalisation of Kosovo – Serbia relations means mutual recognition” (RTK)

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Palmer said on Wednesday that the U.S. want to see complete normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, which according to him implies mutual recognition. “If they recognise each other, they can resolve their disputes as neighbours,” Palmer said in an interview with Sarajevo-based N1.

According to him, it is necessary for the parties ‘to sit at the table and reach an agreement and draw together the road towards European future.”

Palmer said the reason of negotiations is that both Serbia and Kosovo are aiming Europe and it has to be seen what compromises are required in order to reach progress.

“An agreement that will be accepted and supported by the public of both sides is the best way forward,” Palmer said. Adding that it is important for the agreement to be implementable, fair and sustainable.

He also said that he has very close relations with the U.S. Presidential Envoy Richard Grenell, and that this is not the first time the U.S. nominates two envoys on the same issue.

Palmer said that Western Balkans remains priority of the U.S. foreign policy and that they want to see U.S. and Europe as their chosen partners.

Thaci: NATO in Kosovo doing an excellent job (media)

As NATO celebrates its jubilee, President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci took to Facebook to commend NATO troops in Kosovo which he said are doing an ‘excellent’ job.

“On behalf of the institutions and the people of Kosovo, I would like to extend limitless appreciation to member states that 20 years ago saved our people from Serbia’s genocide. At this time of challenges and new threats to global security, NATO’s mission in Kosovo is doing an excellent job. Kosovo with its new army is working to soon become part of NATO and contribute to peace and stability in the world,” Thaci said.

Appathurai: NATO hopes for agreement between Kosovo and Serbia (Koha)

NATO’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, James Appathurai, told the paper on Wednesday that the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia is one of the key priority issues in the Western Balkans and that NATO follows the issue very closely.

“In essence there are three substantial challenges in the region. One is North Macedonia, the resolution of the name and the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration, and clearly there has been substantial progress in that area. Second, there are challenges related to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where at least we have achieved progress on their path toward NATO … and the third challenge is the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade, and the resolution of issues between the two sides,” Appathurai. “This is why we really hope that dialogue can resume. There is a new leadership in the European Union, and I know that they are committed, including Mr. Borrell to re-energise the process of dialogue.”

Appathurai also said NATO will do its share of the work through KFOR and engage in the resolution of disputes over Kosovo’s air space.

“I believe that dialogue can bring about fundamental changes in terms of security and political relations throughout the region. Once you have reached a solution, this will unblock your Euro-Atlantic integration and increase economic prosperity,” he added.

Borrell: I cannot visit Kosovo as government is not formed yet (media)

The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, said on Wednesday that he cannot keep his promise that he will visit Kosovo first because the government has not been formed yet, news outlets report.

“I want to go to Kosovo and Serbia as soon as possible, but the government in Kosovo has not been formed yet so there is no relevance in going there until the government is formed,” Borrell said. “This is why I am not able to keep my promise that I would visit Kosovo first in this capacity”.

Borrell also said that Western Balkans countries must remain at the top of the European agenda and that their perspective must not be closed.

Varhelyi: I welcome “Mini-Schengen” but I have a condition (RTK)

The Eu Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi said the initiative the initiative for creation of the mini-Schengen among the Western Balkans countries is welcome, with the condition that the entire region is united in it.

“I welcome the initiative, but He added that any regional cooperation among the Western Balkans countries prior to acceptance in the European Union is welcome.” He said mini-Schengen would facilitate crossing of the borders, help trade and contacts among Western Balkans people.

Mogherini gets new post at UN (Kallxo)

The former EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini has been entrusted with a new post at the UN, the news website reports.

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed members of his team that will work on internal displacement. “Following his statement of 23 October announcing the establishment of a High Level-Panel on Internal Displacement, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has today appointed its eight members. The Panel will be co-chaired by Federica Mogherini, the former High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and former Vice-President of the European Commission, and Donald Kaberuka, the former President of the African Development Bank and current Chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria,” the UN said in a statement.

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