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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, December 16

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• President’s post keeps LVV-LDK agreement up in the air (Koha/Zeri)
• Abazi: LDK wants what it doesn’t belong to it (media)
• Engel: I expect the new government to be formed soon (Zeri)
• Brussels still in search of envoy for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue (Koha Ditore)
• Vucic to Haradinaj and Kurti: I do not want to insult, I want peace (Epoka)
• Dardan Molliqaj elected PSD leader (media)

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  • President’s post keeps LVV-LDK agreement up in the air (Koha/Zeri)
  • Abazi: LDK wants what it doesn’t belong to it (media)
  • Engel: I expect the new government to be formed soon (Zeri)
  • Brussels still in search of envoy for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue (Koha Ditore)
  • Vucic to Haradinaj and Kurti: I do not want to insult, I want peace (Epoka)
  • Dardan Molliqaj elected PSD leader (media)

Kosovo Media Highlights

President’s post keeps LVV-LDK agreement up in the air (Koha/Zeri)

The two papers on their front pages both write that the differences on the post of Kosovo president are preventing a coalition agreement being reached between the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) and the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).

Zeri writes that LVV leader Albin Kurti and LDK’s Isa Mustafa held consecutive meetings last week in an effort to reach an agreement but failed to do so. LDK keeps insisting on getting the post of Kosovo president as part of the deal while Vetevendosje wants the issue not to be part of the coalition deal. The paper goes on to quote political commentators expressing concern that the constitutive session of the Assembly, set to take place on the 24th, could find the parties with no agreement in place.

Koha Ditore at the same time reports that the meetings the parties’ leaders had last week only created a larger distance between them and that the parties have barricaded themselves behind their positions.

Vetevendosje officials told the paper that this week will be crucial while the party’s MP Albulena Haxhiu said that LVV doesn’t want the post of president to be included in the coalition agreement and focus only on the formation of the government and the Assembly. She said the candidate for president’s post should be apolitical “that represents the unity of the people.” “This is also because of procedural constitutional requirements of two-thirds, so we need to aim to find a consensual and unifying candidate,” Haxhiu said.

Abazi: LDK wants what it doesn’t belong to it (media)

Most media report that Vetevendosje MP Haki Abazi said on Sunday that the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) “wants what it does not belong to it” by insisting on the post of Kosovo President.

Abazi’s remarks came as a reaction to a statement by LDK MP Hikmete Bajrami who argued that “no one can condition the LDK from not nominating the candidate for Kosovo President”.

Engel: I expect the new government to be formed soon (Zeri)

The U.S. congressman Eliot Engel called on political parties that won Kosovo parliamentary elections in October to form new institutions as soon as possible warning that delays could harm Kosovo.

“The more the formation of the new government is delayed, the easier for Kosovo enemies to undermine Kosovo’s progress. I am hopeful and expect the winning parties to agree as soon as possible and form a government that will be functional, effective and show the world that Kosovo is democratic,” Engel said.

Brussels still in search of envoy for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue (Koha Ditore)

The paper writes that the new EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell and other EU senior officials are still in the process of completing their teams and apart from seeking a candidate to succeed Nataliya Apostolova as the head of EU Office in Kosovo, the EU is also trying to find the right candidate for the post of managing director for Western Europe and the Western Balkans at the European External Action Service.

Sources from Brussels told the paper that Angelina Eichhorst, currently in the post of managing director, is interested in staying for another term but some have expressed concerns that because of her closeness with the previous EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, Borrell may choose to seek a different candidate for the job.

“There are very good high-profile candidates. If such a candidate is appointed to the post, Borrell could decide to entrust this person with the role of Kosovo-Serbia dialogue coordinator, without needing to appoint a special envoy for the job,” an unnamed EU official told the paper.

Vucic to Haradinaj and Kurti: I do not want to insult, I want peace (Epoka)

Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic replied to the statement made by Kosovo’s Acting Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj that ‘Aleksandar Vucic and the others cannot deny that KLA guys expelled them from Kosovo.’

Vucic said he understood Haradinaj’s message just as the one coming from Albin Kurti that ‘no territory will be given to Serbia as comfort for loosing Kosovo.’

Vucic said Albanians think that they are very strong, and Serbs are weak. He added that it is better for Serbs to be responsible and serious, being aware of t heir national and state interests.

“They are serious people and serious messages, we have accepted and understood them. They know what the interests of their population are and we know what the interests of our people are. Our primary interest is peace and safeguarding peace,” Vucic said. “It does not cross my mind to insult them. Our job is to keep peace and help our population to endure, to have as less as possible judgment for verbal deeds. It is better to judge me than our population. I am always interested in deeds not words,” Vucic said.

Dardan Molliqaj elected PSD leader (media)

Dardan Molliqaj has been elected to lead the Social Democratic Party (PSD) after its leader Shpend Ahmeti stepped down following the party’s poor results at Kosovo’s early parliamentary elections in October.

Molliqaj got elected on Sunday during the party’s convention and received 83 percent of the delegates’ votes. PSD spokesperson Natyra Kuci said several candidates were proposed for the post but only Molliqaj accepted candidacy. Molliqaj said on Facebook that PSD is led by idealism and is not affected by occasional failures.

At the same time, Ahmeti said in his resignation that from now on he plans to only focus on the post of Pristina mayor and will not run for any post in the PSD.

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