Albanian Language Media:
- EU Office: A swift government formation is needed in Kosovo (media)
- Osmani: New elections if institutions are not formed (Ekonomia Online)
- Veliu: Both prime minister and president are too much for LVV (media)
- Haradinaj: Vetevendosje to end process of forming institutions (Koha)
- Beyer: Dont talk through media, arrange a meeting, form coalition (Express)
- Kurti and Bislimi meet German MPs, discuss new government (RTK)
- VV leader Kurti talks government program during visit to Rome (media)
Serbian Language Media:
- Oliver Ivanovic’s 10,000-page indictment in Albanian language only (RTV Puls, Kosovo Online, Vecernje Novosti)
- Serbian military chief says KFOR only legitimate armed formation in Kosovo (N1, Beta, KIM radio)
- Kosovo Law Institute: How did Pacolli obtain documents about crimes? (Kosovo-online)
- KRIK editor banned to enter UAE returns to Belgrade; Serbian MIA issued statement on his case (B92, Serbian media)
- North Macedonia PM: I support ‘mini-Schengen’, Vucic’s initiative beneficial (FoNet, N1, TV Pink)
- Former CIA Chief: Washington returns to the Balkans, which is not good news (Nedeljnik, B92)
- Moscow Points Out Hypocrisy In Ex-NATO Commander’s Remarks On Russian Interests In Balkans (urdupoint.com)
- Marinelli: Serbia is becoming an increasingly important partner to NATO (European Western Balkans)
- Kosovo Journalists Condemn Minister Accused of Punching Reporter (Balkan Insight)
Albanian Language Media
EU Office: A swift government formation is needed in Kosovo (media)
The Office of the European Union to Kosovo issued a communique which requests swift formation of the new government of Kosovo.
“The constitutive session of the Assembly has been scheduled to take place on 26 December. The general elections of 6 October gave the opportunity to the people of Kosovo to exercise their democratic right to vote and elect their leaders. This is the essence of the democratic process.
We trust that the parties concerned will reach the necessary consensus to overcome remaining challenges.
Kosovo needs to resume urgent work on reforms of economic and social development as well as rule of law, on the implementation of the EU-Kosovo Stabilisation and Association Agreement and on the EU-facilitated Dialogue with Belgrade.
A swift government formation is needed to take forward these processes, in the interest of Kosovo and its people and in line with the constitution and the expressed wish of the electorate,” is written in the press release.
The U.S. Embassy to Kosovo shared on Facebook the EU communique noting that “We concur with the EU: the people of Kosovo are impatient for a Government that will bring positive change.”
Osmani: New elections if institutions are not formed (Ekonomia Online)
Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) deputy leader, Vjosa Osmani, said in an interview with Ekonomia Online today that the LDK expects the Vetevendosje Movement (VV) to match their readiness for a coalition agreement.
“I cannot speak on behalf of Vetevendosje, I don’t know their reasons, you should ask them about their positions. We have expressed our readiness to meet again and explain our positions as LDK and then see what will happen. What is important is that we have expressed our full readiness and I would like to see Vetevendosje to match our readiness,” she said.
Osmani said Kosovo could go to new parliamentary elections if the new government is not formed after the constitutive session of the new Assembly. “These are the constitutional procedures. If there is no agreement by December 26, then it is up to the first party to decide whether or not they want to nominate a candidate for Assembly President and form the institutions or to leave it for another date. The country could go to new elections if after the constitution of the Assembly, the new government is not formed in two tries as foreseen by the Constitution,” she said.
Osmani also said the post of Kosovo President is a matter of balancing powers and nothing more. “We will discuss these issues at the next meeting. This is not a matter of hesitation, it is rather a balance of powers and nothing more,” she said. “I think it is very important to understand that these issues were raised at the [LDK] General Council and that they have given full support to the President and to us as deputy leaders who negotiate with Vetevendosje to discuss the remaining issues and to try and reach an agreement that is good for Kosovo”.
Veliu: Both prime minister and president are too much for LVV (media)
Deputy leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Agim Veliu said today that it would be too much for the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) to get both the post of prime minister and that of president.
“We are not insisting on the president but we do think we are entitled to it for the sake of political balance because having both the prime minister and president is too much for LVV. We are open to talks, this coalition should be built on trust,” Veliu told reporters outside the LDK offices.
Haradinaj: Vetevendosje to end process of forming institutions (Koha)
Acting Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj called on Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) to end the process for formation of the government.
“We are an opposition party, we are not part of bilateral LVV-LDK talks. In principle, the burden for the formation of the government falls with the winning party,” Haradinaj said adding: “In my experience, it is up to the first party to find formulas and accomodate parties’ expectations.”
In a joint press conference with the German Ambassador to Kosovo Christian Heldt, Haradinaj spoke about implementation of a renewable energy project which envisages 27 wind turbines being put up in the Bajgora region. Haradinaj said the project is expected to be concluded in 2021.
Beyer: Dont talk through media, arrange a meeting, form coalition (Express)
Peter Beyer, member of the German Bundestag said the agreement between the Democratic League of Kosovo and Vetevendosje Movement should not fail because of the technical details.
“I am very pleased to be here in Kosovo. We are here together for the second time this year. We met representatives of both political parties. I can confirm that our expectations are that all parties understand the importance of the responsibility that they have after 6 October elections, to form a stable government,” Beyer said.
“When I say this, time is very important. 26 December has set a time limit. What we are doing here is that we are not interfering inside the coalition negotiations, that is not our intention. But we came to listen about the talks that are taking place. One thing that should be understood is that coalition negotiations have reached a certain point where it should be clear to everyone that time should not be wasted with technical details. You should look each other in the eye, as trust is the essence. You should trust each other and not be lost on technical details. Coalition has reached the point that it should not breach this will due to technical details,” Beyer said.
“Call each other, set a date for talks and conclude the coalition agreement,” he added.
“Our expectations are that no one should try to divide the parties on building the government. This is the message. Also, our expectations are for the parties to be relaxed, not talk to the media, but call each other on the phone and arrange the meeting,” he added.
Kurti and Bislimi meet German MPs, discuss new government (RTK)
Vetevendosje Movement deputy leader Besnik Bislimi informed that together with the party’s leader Albin Kurti met with the German MPs who are visiting Kosovo to discuss LVV-LDK coalition.
“Last night, together with the leader of the Vetevendosje Movement Albin Kurti, we had a very constructive meeting at the German residence with the German Bundestag MPs and members of the Committee for Foreign Affairs at the Bundestag, Mr. Peter Bayer and Mr. Christian Shmidt as well as the German Ambassador to Kosovo Christian Heldt.”
“The MPs expressed interest during the meeting about the flow of the talks for formation of the new government of Kosovo, key elements accorded in the governing program as well as the reasons and eventual consequences from the current stagnations in this process. Both parties stressed the importance of successful finalization of the negotiations, so that the frequently mentioned will of the citizens for radical change, in no circumstances will be called into question,” Bislimi said.
VV leader Kurti talks government program during visit to Rome (media)
Vetevendosje Movement (VV) leader and candidate for Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, is visiting Rome, most news websites report. “I started my one-day visit to Rome with a meeting at the Italian Parliament where I was welcomed to a hearing by the chairs of the Parliamentary Committees on Foreign Affairs and Defence, Marta Grande and Gianluca Rizzo. Also present at the meeting were 15 MPs from these two committees and different political parties,” Kurti wrote in a Facebook post. “Their questions involved different topics: investments by the diaspora, minority rights, the importance of KFOR, relations with Albania, the dialogue with Serbia, war crimes … I invited the Italian representatives to visit Kosovo next year and we agreed that during the seventh legislative we will further the Kosovo – Italy friendship group”.
Serbian Language Media
Oliver Ivanovic’s 10,000-page indictment in Albanian language only (RTV Pulse, Kosovo Online, Vecernje Novosti)
Lawyer Jovana Filipovic, representative of Silvana Arsovic, former secretary of the assassinated GI SDP leader Oliver Ivanovic, says she expects the preliminary hearing on December 30 to see what about the evidence which was delivered to them only in Albanian language and on a disc.
Filipovic told Vecernje Novosti that the evidence submitted so far contains about 10,000 pages, so she hopes that a translation into Serbian will be provided before the preparatory hearing so that they can understand what alleged evidence the prosecution has at its disposal.
Serbs indicted and their attorneys received the indictment, and the first preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 30.
There will be no witnesses then, and the lawyers then will have a month to appeal the indictment.
The indictment was also delivered to lawyer Mahmut Halimi, defense attorney of Marko Rosic, who has been in custody for more than a year.
“Our lawyer went alone to take the indictment in the prosecution,” says Rosic’s father, Nebojsa.
Serbian military chief says KFOR only legitimate armed formation in Kosovo (N1, Beta, KIM radio)
Army of Serbia (VS) chief of staff General Milan Mojsilovic told KFOR commander Major General Michele Risi that the NATO-led force holds the greatest responsibility for the safety of the population in Kosovo, the Serbian Defense Ministry said in a press release on Wednesday.
According to Mojsilovic, KFOR is the only legitimate armed formation in Kosovo which means that it is “the most responsible for the security of the population all over Kosovo”.
The press release said that the two generals discussed the security situation, activities on the ground and maintaining peace and security in Kosovo.
This was the first meeting between the Serbian chief of staff and the new KFOR commander since Risi took command in November.
Kosovo Law Institute: How did Pacolli obtain documents about crimes? (Kosovo-online)
Kosovo Ministry of Foreign Affairs submitted to the Special Prosecution more than ten thousand pages of documents about the crimes committed during the conflict in Kosovo, however, legal experts question how did outgoing Minister of Foreign Affairs obtain these documents and why the ministry kept the documents in its possession, Kosovo-online portal reports referring to Pristina-based Albanian language media.
The portal further said, referring to KTV report that the legal experts see Pacolli’s act as disturbing and of a political nature.
Kosovo Law Institute opined that the prosecution should interview Pacolli on how he came in possession of the evidence material and why the same material was kept in the ministry. They see Pacolli’s act as detrimental to the families because it evokes hopes.
KoSSev portal recalled that the Humanitarian Law Centre in Pristina recently warned that information and documentation collected by the Kosovo Foreign Affairs Ministry, the prosecution may treat as information only, because they were not collected in a manner as stipulated by the law and in line with the criminal procedures.
KRIK editor banned to enter UAE returns to Belgrade; Serbian MIA issued statement on his case (B92, Serbian media)
The Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said the KRIK editor, Serbian citizen Stevan Dojcinovic, who was banned to enter UAE where he travelled to attend an international conference of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, had not turned to the Serbian Embassy in UAE, B92 reports.
When presented with the information that Stevan Dojcinovic was detained at Abu Dhabi Airport (UAE) and denied entry to the UAE, after which he was returned to Serbia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the Serbian Embassy in Abu Dhabi reported Dojcinovic did not address the embassy representatives, nor asked for consular assistance and protection.
Also, as it was pointed out, the UAE state authorities did not address the Embassy of Serbia in Abu Dhabi on this occasion, nor did they inform us about the detention of our citizen, including the reasons why he was denied entry into the UAE.
The MFA added that the Ambassador of Serbia, who attended the international conference of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, was informed about the incident at the conference indirectly, by the participants of the conference. In accordance with diplomatic practice, citizens who are detained by foreign authorities are allowed, on their request, to contact their Embassy to provide consular assistance.
The MFA notes that each state is entitled to prevent the entry of foreign nationals at its own discretion and is under no obligation to give reasons for its position.
The same thing happened to Stevan Dojcinovic earlier, when he was denied entry to the Russian Federation, the statement said.
As for Serbia, the Foreign Ministry, the Government of the Republic of Serbia – have never suggested to any country in the world that they place any Serbian citizen on restrictive lists, nor does it intend to do so, the statement said.
The Embassy of Serbia in Abu Dhabi has asked for information on the reasons for detaining a Serbian citizen and denying him to enter the UAE.
See at: https://bit.ly/2M7i6is
North Macedonia PM: I support ‘mini-Schengen’, Vucic’s initiative beneficial (FoNet, N1, TV Pink)
Zoran Zaev, North Macedonia’s Prime Minister, said on Thursday he had supported Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic’s initiative to create a “mini-Schengen” since that visa regime would bring the benefit for the whole Balkan, the FoNet news agency reported.
He added that the French ‘no’ to set a date for the opening of the accession negotiations with the European Union for Skopje and Tirana, was disappointing for him and his country’s people.
“I support every way in which the Balkans cooperate, instead of waiting for someone from the EU to assembly us. We can show our capacities ourselves,” Zaev told Serbia’s pro-government Pink TV.
He added he thought that “the time for improving relations with the EU member states will come while we are still negotiating.”
Zaev reiterated Skopje would continue to go along the European road.
“As people in Serbia, we also want not only to join the EU but to live better, to be richer,” Zaev said.
Former CIA Chief: Washington returns to the Balkans, which is not good news (Nedeljnik, B92)
Steve Meyer, former CIA Chief for the Balkans, wrote in an article in Nedeljnik that United States are fundamentally disinterested in the Balkans and its people.
Trump administration has once again become entangled in the Balkans, he said, for two reasons, one of them being Russia, and now there is a “spy war” on the territory. He told Balkan politicians, and above all Serbia, to try to fight for what it wanted.
Meyer began his article by saying that the Trump administration had decided it was time to deal with the Balkans again when, in August last year, Matthew Palmer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, also became a Special Envoy for the Western Balkans.
Also, the administration hired current US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell as Special Envoy for dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo. Palmer has experience with the Balkans, Grenell has none, according to Meyer.
“But whether they have experience in the Balkans or not, they are both linked to the State Department’s hidden policy, which has not changed for 25 years,” the former CIA chief points out, explaining that the policy can be briefly described by US leaders for years believing God personally engaged America to “save” the world by spreading democracy around the globe, especially among people who, in the belief of these leaders, are incapable of taking care of themselves.
“With this attitude, the United States became involved in wars for the Balkan heritage in 1993. When those wars ended in 1995, with the signing of the Dayton Agreement, the United States thought they had brought peace, prosperity and democracy to Bosnia and the rest of the Balkans. United States became less interested in the Balkans after Dayton, and so it was until 1999, when the administration thought it necessary to ‘save’ Kosovo and recognize Kosovo as an independent state. In the next twenty years, Washington paid very little attention again to this region, assuming they have succeeded in their ‘noble’ work to build a democratic state. But it has become clear that US efforts in the Balkans are far from successful and Washington now believes that more work remains to be done”, Meyer writes.
“In the past few years, there have been various calls for America to re-engage in Balkan affairs. These calls were prompted by the mistaken assumption that Washington has answers to complicated questions in the region. But Washington does not have them, and is not particularly interested in the Balkans per se, nor in the people living in the Balkans”, he further points out.
See at: https://bit.ly/35D4un1
Moscow Points Out Hypocrisy In Ex-NATO Commander’s Remarks On Russian Interests In Balkans (urdupoint.com)
MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 19th December, 2019) Wesley Clark, the former commander of NATOforces in Europe who gave out orders to bomb Yugoslavia, is now working with several companies that conduct business in the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.
Marinelli: Serbia is becoming an increasingly important partner to NATO (European Western Balkans)
Serbia is becoming an increasingly important partner to NATO, Brigadier General Cesare Marinelli, Chief of NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade said in an interview with EWB portal. We had the opportunity to speak about the cooperation between NATO and Serbia, key events that have shaped it in 2019, as well as new Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which was adopted last month.
Full interview is available at: https://bit.ly/2PYwj2k
Kosovo Journalists Condemn Minister Accused of Punching Reporter (Balkan Insight)
The Association of Kosovo Journalists, KJA, condemned an attack on journalist Ensar Ramadani on Wednesday after he claimed the Acting Trade Minister, Endrit Shala, assaulted him at a hospital.
The union condemned the attack on Ramadani, a journalist at IndexOnline news portal, calling on “police, the prosecution and the entire justice system to treat journalists’ cases as a priority”.
“The KJA condemns this attack and any other verbal and physical attacks by politicians and institutions,” a press release on Wednesday said.
Besim Kelmendi, coordinator of the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor for handling threats and attacks on journalists, told BIRN that he had been informed that a case has been opened at the Basic Prosecution in Pristina “in connection with the case”.