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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, January 15

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  • Vetevendosje confirms offer to LDK: Government with 14 ministries (media)
  • LDK’s Osmani says Vetevendosje’s last offer is serious (media)
  • German MP calls for formation of new government in Kosovo (media)
  • Quint: Victims, families of Recak massacre to have full access to justice (media)
  • Prosecutor in Mitrovica wants mandatory fine for two Russian nationals (RFE)
  • Forest guard found dead three months ago was a protected witness (T7)

Vetevendosje confirms offer to LDK: Government with 14 ministries (media)

Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) deputy leader Besnik Bislimi made public on Tuesday the coalition government offer that LVV leader and candidate for Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, made to Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) leader Isa Mustafa.

Bislimi said it was unreasonable for LDK representatives to say that they are expecting new proposals from Vetevendosje and that the last proposal is a major compromise.

Bislimi said Vetevendosje has suggested for the new government to have 14 instead of 12 ministries and that the LDK would get six ministries, LVV would get five and three ministries would go to the minority communities.

“The additional ministry for the LDK would come from one of the biggest ministries that the LVV has. Three ministries will go to the minorities as foreseen by the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo. The earlier agreement is still valid that the Principal Deputy Prime Minister would go to the LDK and the second Deputy Prime Minister to the LVV,” Bislimi wrote in a Facebook post.

LDK’s Osmani says Vetevendosje’s last offer is serious (media)

Commenting on the latest proposal for a coalition government from Kurti’s Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) to the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), LDK MP Vjosa Osmani said on Tuesday that any attempt at approximating positions between the two parties should be seen as a serious effort and that LDK bodies will have the final say on the matter.

“I cannot comment on the offer and its details because this has been our agreement in the previous meetings. But in principle any attempt at approximating our positions must be seen as a serious attempt. All proposals, ideas and assessments aimed at reaching an agreement and not failing one, should be carefully addressed. The LDK General Assembly and LDK MPs are the ones that will have the final say,” Osmani told Pristina-based Gazeta Express.

“All voices … that are making final efforts to prevent the change and to kill hope must understand that we that carry the burden of change in Kosovo, we have almost half a million citizens behind us. The citizens made the change through their votes and we must not allow anyone to stop that from happening”.

German MP calls for formation of new government in Kosovo (media)

Several news websites report that Nikolas Lobel, a CDU MP in the German Bundestag, called today for the formation of the new government in Kosovo. Lobel tweeted: “It is time to conclude negotiations to form the government in Kosovo. Will of people for change and democracy expressed on October 6 last year should be translated in effective and democratic governance and rule of law to ensure EU future and prosperous life for Kosovar citizens.”

Quint: Victims, families of Recak massacre to have full access to justice (media)

Most media cover a joint statement issued on Tuesday by the Quint ambassadors in Kosovo (France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States) commemorating the 21st anniversary of the Recak massacre when Serbian forces massacred 45 unarmed Albanian civilians in January 1999. The statement reads:

“Twenty-one years ago, the massacre that occurred in Recak eventually prompted NATO allies to intervene and end a humanitarian catastrophe.

We honor the memory of those who were lost in Recak and all the other massacres in Kosovo two decades ago by working together to build a future of peace, justice, and prosperity for the next generations. The governments of Kosovo and Serbia need to ensure victims and their families have full access to justice, and to information about the fate of their loved ones. Citizens of all ethnicities should feel at home and free to live and work in peace with their neighbors. As the Declaration of Independence of this country says, Kosovo is a country “committed to confronting the painful legacy of the recent past in a spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness. Dedicated to protecting, promoting and honoring the diversity of our people.” Our shared aim is to continuously support Kosovo on this path.”

Prosecutor in Mitrovica wants mandatory fine for two Russian nationals (RFE)

Kosovo Police arrested two Russian nationals in the north on Monday – a man and a woman – under the suspicion that they illegally crossed the border between Kosovo and Serbia, the news website reports. Slobodan Bakic, a prosecutor with the Mitrovica Basic Prosecution, told RFE on Tuesday that he has asked for the two Russian nationals to be fined. Nikola Kabasic, President of the Basic Court in Mitrovica, said that “the request of the prosecution to issue a mandatory fine has arrived at the court” and that “the deadline to make a decision is January 15”.

Citing unnamed sources, Radio Free Europe reports that the two Russian nationals told Kosovo’s authorities that they were trying to reach a rehabilitation centre in southern Serbia near the border crossing point of Jarinje, but that their navigation system led them to the border with Kosovo. They claimed their intention was not to enter Kosovo’s territory.

Forest guard found dead three months ago was a protected witness (T7)

Pristina-based T7 TV station learns that a forest guard who was found near Badovc Lake near Pristina was a protected witness for the Special Prosecutor’s Office that are addressing war crimes allegations in Kosovo. According to the TV station, Nazmi Rrustemi was interviewed by investigators of the Specialist Chambers three months before he was found dead.

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