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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, January 11

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• Grenell annuls his visit to Kosovo (RTK)
• Haziri: LDK-LVV are discussing options, we are in the final phase (RTK)
• Veliu: Up to Vetevendosje to find a modality and struck a deal on government coalition (Express)
• Haradianj: AAK is not part of negotiations to form the government (Express)
• Government allocates 250 thousand euros to support Global Coalition against ISIS (RTK)
• Doris Pack: LVV and LDK to prove they are ready to create a stable government (G. Express)

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·    Grenell annuls his visit to Kosovo (RTK)

·    Haziri: LDK-LVV are discussing options, we are in the final phase (RTK)

·    Veliu: Up to Vetevendosje to find a modality and struck a deal on government coalition (Express)

·    Haradianj: AAK is not part of negotiations to form the government (Express)

·  Government allocates 250 thousand euros to support Global Coalition against ISIS (RTK)

·  Doris Pack: LVV and LDK to prove they are ready to create a stable government (G. Express)

 Grenell annuls his visit to Kosovo (RTK)

The U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Kosovo – Serbia discussions has annulled a visit to Pristina due to the stalemate which is ruling among the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) and the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) on formation of the new government.

“To answer your question, I can say that we have annulled our last travel because not all parties were ready, unfortunately,” said spokesperson of the Special Envoy Dick Custin.

Haziri: LDK-LVV are discussing options, we are in the final phase (RTK)

Lutfi Haziri, deputy leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) said after election of the Assembly Speaker, a new situation which requires patience has been imposed in the discussions between his political party and the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV). He said the teams of both political parties are working on the reach of the ruling coalition.

Asked about the letter of the President of Kosovo on the name of the nominee for the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Haziri said the President should wait until he receives the name in accordance with procedures.

Asked if LDK would request renegotiation of the position of the Assembly Speaker, he said the agreement should be seen as a package and define responsibilities as such.

Asked when the agreement is expected to be signed, Haziri said that that is a million dollar question.

Veliu: Up to Vetevendosje to find a modality and struck a deal on government coalition (Express)

First deputy head of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), Agim Veliu, told Gazeta Express that is up to Vetevendosje to find a solution on co-governance. He confirmed that no meeting will be held on Friday between leaders Albin Kurti and Isa Mustafa. Veliu said Kurti’s party as winners of elections should find a modality acceptable to them.

He also confirmed that the two parties are disagreeing over the speaker’s post. “The LDK has lost the election, it is not the leading party, we should wait for the Vetevendosje who are responsible to create institutions,” he said.

Vetevendosje and LDK met for three days in a row after a two-weeks recess in an attempt to finalise the coalition agreement.

Haradianj: AAK is not part of negotiations to form the government (Express)

Kosovo’s outgoing prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj, addressing media after the Government’s meeting Friday said his party, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) is not negotiating with the Vetevendosje (LVV) to form new government.

Haradinaj said that the LVV as winners of elections are obliged to form the Government and he has not received any invitation from them.

Haradinaj, whose party was ranked as fourth in October’s election, said that he is not part of any negotiations on creation of institutions. “We cannot ask a meeting with them, neither with the Vetevendosje nor LDK, I was not part of the negotiations. The AAK is not part of any negotiation,” Haradinaj said.

Government allocates 250 thousand euros to support Global Coalition against ISIS (RTK)

Kosovo’s outgoing government during a meeting on Friday has allocated 250 thousand euro in support of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. This was the only point of the agenda of Friday’s meeting headed by outgoing prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj.

The government in a statement said the funds will be taken from the unforeseen expenses of the state budget. Since his resignation as prime minister in July 2019, Haradinaj has called several meetings of the Cabinet mainly to allocate funds on different purposes.

Acting Foreign Minister of Kosovo Behgjet Pacolli said additional fund allocated for the Global Coalition shows that Kosovo is a serious partner of the U.S. and Global Coalition to defeat ISIS.

“We stand together with our U.S. allies and other members of the Global Coalition in defense of our values and our manner of living,” Pacolli said.

Doris Pack: LVV and LDK to prove they are ready to create a stable government (G. Express)

German politician Doris Pack in an interview with Gazeta Express speaks on political developments in Kosovo focusing on the government formation after elections held in October 2019. The Head of the Women Forum of the European People’s Party (EPP) said the winners of elections – Vetevendosje and LDK – should make compromises and sign a coalition deal as soon as possible. Pack also said that Albin Kurti should be given time to prove himself as prime minister.

When talking on delaying of the visa liberalisation, Pack says that it is unjust to keep Kosovo citizens isolated, adding however that she believes Kosovo will get visa free regime in 2020. Pack says that neither Kosovo nor Serbia will join the EU without having solved their bilateral problems. She commented also on  regional initiative called as Balkans Mini-Schengen, stating that this initiative cannot succeed without Kosovo’s involvement.

Do you think that the two parties should sign the coalition to form the new government of Kosovo as soon as possible?

A stable government that will address the needs of the citizens and continue the required reforms for economic development and Rule of Law should be formed as soon as possible. Kosovo Democracy is fragile and it can not handle not to have functional government. Both parties who won the elections should be able to sign the agreement that would give Kosovo a stable government based on mutual respect and trust. Therefore both partners have to make compromizes, this is how democracies function. Look to Austria! After the election I met members of both parties and had the impression, that there is an understanding for this.

Given the right and left political orientation of LDK and Vetëvendosje, do you think that both parties will do a good  job governing the country, and how do you see Mr. Albin Kurti as the next Prime Minister of Kosovo?

I knew Mr. Kurti when he was a student and visited me in my office in Brussels. I remember him in prison and understand therefore his personality a bit.

Mr. Kurti was not proven in public offices until now. While he was in opposition he was strongly opposing all the governments and he even had concrete plans for governing the country differently. I believe we should all give him some time to prove himself and to both parties for the coalition to work. As everywhere, when parties with different political orientation form a coalition there are challenges on finding the mutual path but there is always chance when the culture of dialogue and compromise and trust is cultivated.

The main challenge of the new government will be the dialogue with Serbia that has stopped for more than one year now. Do you think the resuming of the dialogue between two countries will end up recognizing each other’s   independence on actual borders?

Neither Serbia nor Kosovo will join the EU without having solved their bilateral problems. The past should not so much burden the process, the wellbeing of the citizens today and the fate oft he next generations should be the driving force for both sides. Partition is not in anyone’s interest, it would create even more problems. I am in favor of an agreement on current borders between both countries that will address all the remaining issues and that can be implemented in the field. This means also, that the Plan of Martti Ahtissari on which the independence was based. should be fulfilled. Kosovo’s citizens are still facing isolation and cannot travel without visas in Schengen zone.

Do you think that this year EU decision-making institutions will remove visa regime for Kosovo?

As I underlined it very often I feel ashamed , that Kosovo is still the only country in SEE with this regime. Kosovo has fulfilled all the required criteria set by the European Commission. This was confirmed several times from the Commission itself. The European Parliament has also several times urged the Member states to give green light. Therefore, it is important to move as soon as possible on this regard and to grant visa-free regime to the Kosovars. Let’s hope that this will be the year when this happens, I count on the Croatian presidency to foster this.

Serbia, Albania and North Macedonia initiated the formation the Mini-Schengen between the three countries more or  less like the Schengen zone of EU. As we know Kosovo is not part of the initiative. Do you think the Mini-Schengen will be successful without Kosovo in it?

Regional initiatives are fully successful when all the countries are included. Mini Schengen is a nice but empty word ,it serves some leaders to making as if they were changing something for better. Fact is: Without Kosovo this cannot happen. If PM Rama really would agree he would commit a betrayal to Kosovo.

Doris Pack: Vetevendosje and LDK to prove they are ready to create a stable government

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