- Kurti and Mustafa expected to meet today (Gazeta Blic)
- Kurti: Regional initiatives to be guided by inclusiveness, reciprocity (media)
- Mustafa: Agreement with LVV to be achieved without pressure (Telegrafi)
- Haziri: The issue of president could be left for a later stage (Koha)
- Haradinaj lists successes and challenges of 2019 (media)
- LVV: We would not be able to give president’s post to LDK even if we wanted to (Express)
- Osmani: We want agreement with Serbia but not at cost of Kosovo borders (Koha)
- Kurti informs non-majority communities on discussions with LDK (Telegrafi)
- Kosnett: The U.S. will continue to support Kosovo (dailies)
Kurti and Mustafa expected to meet today (Gazeta Blic)
Gazeta Blic news website quoted sources saying that the leader of the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) Albin Kurti and that of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Isa Mustafa are expected to meet today in an effort to come to an agreement to jointly form the new government of Kosovo.
Sources said that although the two parties have not shifted from their positions, an agreement can nevertheless be expected by Wednesday evening or Thursday before the constitutive session of the Assembly gets underway.
Kurti: Regional initiatives to be guided by inclusiveness, reciprocity (media)
Leader of the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) Albin Kurti commented on the recent Mini Schengen initiative meeting in Albania saying that regional initiatives should be based on the principles of inclusiveness and reciprocity.
On Twitter, Kurti commented on the recent reports that the relations between Kosovo and Albania have cooled following the summit in Durres: “The road from Belgrade to Tirana goes through Prishtina. We are and always will be one people and no one can stand between us. We need more cooperation not confrontation!”
Mustafa: Agreement with LVV to be achieved without pressure (Telegrafi)
Leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Isa Mustafa said at the ceremony organised to mark the 30th anniversary of the party’s establishment that the coalition with the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) will be reached without pressure and that the agreement should include all institutional posts.
“In our efforts to reach agreement with Vetevendosje Movement, we are aware of our ideological differences as well as the political culture and the political past. However, by respecting the will of the citizens for change, we are trying to find a way to jointly pursue in governing as we did while in opposition,” Mustafa said.
“Our approach with LVV in the government is to split responsibilities in equal proportion with the vote, address all posts and responsibilities with which we will be faced during a four-year term and ensure a balance of power in order to contribute to democracy in the country,” Mustafa said noting that they want the coalition agreement with LVV to be achieved without pressure.
Haziri: The issue of president could be left for a later stage (Koha)
Deputy leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Lutfi Haziri said in an interview with the Tirana-based ABC News that he was hopeful a coalition agreement would be reached with the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV). “We are working to ensure an agreement that gives air to democracy in this country for the first time without internal or external mediators. We are working to make sure this agreement is reached as soon as possible,” Haziri said.
Haziri said his party has no name for the candidate for president of Kosovo and added that any candidate would have to get the support of the two parties. “If this fails to happen, there are two risks. The first is that coalition parties will work for a name or support the current president by trying to gain a majority. The second is that we will face a political crisis that takes us to early elections.”
“Political mistrust is one of the main obstacles dividing us. If the prime minister is acceptable to us all so should a president follow the same line of thought. I also am in favour of a president beyond the coalition’s framework,” Haziri said.
On the final question as to whether the Assembly will be disbanded if a coalition agreement is not reached by Thursday, Haziri said: “I don’t think it will come to that.”
He said there are a couple of options at the table to prevent such a scenario and asked to elaborate further, Haziri said: “Clarifying of the president [post] could be left for a later stage.”
Haradinaj lists successes and challenges of 2019 (media)
Acting Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj recapped the year in going saying that his resignation after the summon from the Specialist Chambers was a test for democracy and showed that it is stable and that in critical times, the people have the final say.
In a Facebook post, Haradinaj listed successes which he said include the creation of Kosovo army, Kosovo’s energy independence from Serbia, the establishment of the German-backed innovation park in Prizren, extension of rule of law in the north, and transparency in political decisions and official documents.
In the list of challenges, Haradinaj mentioned visa liberalisation which he said was delayed by the EU for political reasons, “return to the right track of the dialogue between countries and not a dialogue for subjugation – this logic should continue until mutual recognition in existing borders without delays and artificial challenges.” Haradinaj also underlined that the 100 percent tariff does not hinder reciprocity and that the Mini-Schengen initiative is aimed as a way to bypass the tariff imposed by Kosovo on Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Another challenge Haradinaj mentioned is the danger from, as he said, the abuse of religious sentiment for geopolitical gains.
LVV: We would not be able to give president’s post to LDK even if we wanted to (Express)
Vetevendosje Movement’s executive director in Tirana Boiken Abazi, accused the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) for playing “a dirty game” and added that request of the leader of this political party Isa Mustafa to take over the post of the president is more a justification to breach the coalition.
“Even if we wanted to, we would not be able to give it them, because we do not have the votes required to elect the president. It seems to me more as a justification to breach the coalition. Vjosa Osmani has withdrawn, Isa Mustafa claims the post of the president, which even if we wanted to, we would not be able to give. Bundestag also told us that citizens elected their new government, not the president,” he said. “This could also be some kind of pressure from LDK. We have been generous by giving in on the post of Assembly Speaker. LDK can coalition with others or we can go for new elections. A dirty game is being played. LDK should reflect, form the new government which was voted by the citizens,” Abazi said.
Osmani: We want agreement with Serbia but not at cost of Kosovo borders (Koha)
Deputy leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Vjosa Osmani said in an interview with the Austrian paper Der Standard that Kosovo is ready for an agreement with Serbia for not for one that would affect its borders.
“We are absolutely against exchange of territories, partition of Kosovo, or other forms of border changes because this would only threaten Kosovo’s territorial integrity and its statehood,” Osmani is quoted as saying. She added that the territorial aspect is one of the most important elements of a statehood. “We have fought this idea for two and a half years with the president of Kosovo. He can speak for himself and continue to dream but with this government, no matter who insists, such agreement cannot go any further.”
“Alike in the 90s, Serbia is not interested about the people but only about territory. It is time for Serbs in Kosovo to realise that we are political leaders that represent their interests. We want to live in a Kosovo where they feel safe and can have a successful life.”
Osmani also said that Kosovo Serbs have not gained anything from the EU-facilitated dialogue for normalisation of relations and that this needs to change. “The dialogue was not about preserving or building the careers of presidents of the two countries or make them become good friends. This needs to be made clear to the people,” she said. “Agreements can integrate people in Kosovo, allow them to live together and prosper economically,” Osmani underlined.
Speaking about visa liberalisation, Osmani said Kosovo being left out of the visa-free travel zone is hypocrisy on the part of the EU but expressed hope that the issue would be included in the agenda during the six-month Croatian presidency starting in 2020.
Kurti informs non-majority communities on discussions with LDK (Telegrafi)
Albin Kurti, leader of the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) met on Monday with representatives of non-majority communities at the Assembly of Kosovo, to inform them about the flow of the talks for reach of governing coalition with the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).
According to a press release issued by LVV, Kurti assured representatives of these communities about the will of his government to completely fulfil expectation of the people of Kosovo, state building, rule of law and creation of new jobs for everyone without distinctions.
“This is achieved only by cooperating and coordinating steps and we are in that direction,” Kurti said at the meeting attended by Rasim Demir from the Vakat Coalition, Emilija Rexhepi from the NDS, Duda Balje, Fikrim Damka and Fidan Zholta from the KDTP , Veton Berisha from PLE, Albert Kinoll from PREBK, Etem Arifin from PAI and Adem Hoxha from JGP.
According to the press release, Kurti gained support of all representatives in overcoming the problems that the people and communities face.
Kosnett: The U.S. will continue to support Kosovo (dailies)
The U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo Philip Kosnett sent holiday greetings and best wishes for the New Year. He said 2019 was an exciting year for Kosovo and added that 2020 will be an exciting one too. “A year when the United States continues to support the people of Kosovo in their efforts to build the future of peace justice and prosperity,” Kosnett said.