- 15-day countdown for Kurti begins (media)
- Reintroduction of Pristina-Belgrade air route facilitated by the U.S. (Koha)
- Kosovo leaders hail Pristina-Belgrade flight agreement (media)
- KDI seeks transparency on Pristina-Belgrade flight agreement (Zeri)
- British Embassy calls for swift formation of government (media)
- LDK to hold meeting of presidency today (media)
- Nagavci: Together with LDK, we should fulfill hopes for change (media)
- PDK: LVV responsible for current crisis (media)
- LDK nominates Abdullah Hoti caucus, LVV has not made a proposal yet (RTK)
- Thaci to participate at Davos World Economic Forum (media)
- Apostolova: EU remains committed to help Kosovo’s path towards EU (media)
Kosovo Media Highlights
15-day countdown for Kurti begins (media)
The papers report that the 15-day constitutional period for forming the new government of Kosovo has begun countdown yesterday following President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci decreeing Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti as nominee for future prime minister. Thaci issued the decree after Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) formally proposed Kurti for the post.
Papers also highlight that the decree comes at a time when there is still no coalition agreement between LVV and the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) although Kurti in a video message called on LDK to return to the negotiating table and find alternatives acceptable for the two parties.
Koha Ditore on the front page cites the Constitution of Kosovo and the ruling of the Constitutional Court stipulating that the candidate for prime minister needs to present the composition of the new government no later than 15 days after being officially nominated. The provisions also state that if the winning party or coalition fail to form the new government, it will be in the President of Kosovo’s discretion to decide who should be given a chance to form new institutions. Zeri meanwhile reports that at least 61 votes of MPs are required for the new government to be endorsed.
Reintroduction of Pristina-Belgrade air route facilitated by the U.S. (Koha)
The agreement to reintroduce direct flights between Pristina and Belgrade has been facilitated by the U.S., writes the paper adding that the parties has signed a letter of intent enabling the German airline company Lufthansa to operate the flights.
The signing ceremony took place at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and was signed on behalf of Kosovo by the head of Civil Aviation Authority Eset Berisha. “We as institutions of Kosovo have supported such an initiative,” Berisha said. He explained that he traveled to Berlin as delegated by the acting Minister of Infrastructure, Pal Lekaj.
Berisha also said that the letter of intent is with the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and will be published as soon as it is delivered to the parties.
At the same time, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany and Special Representative for Kosovo-Serbia negotiations Richard Grenell confirmed direct involvement in the agreement saying in a Twitter post: “President @realdonaldtrump once again led us to an historic victory. Kosovo and Serbia today signed an agreement to create the first direct flight between Pristina & Belgrade in 21 years. Thank you @lufthansa, @NATO, @robertcobrien and the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia.”
The U.S. President Donald Trump also hailed the agreement: “Everyone said it couldn’t be done. But for the first time in a generation, there will be direct flights between Serbia and Kosovo. Another win. Thanks to @WHNSC Ambassador Robert O’Brien and Ambassador @RichardGrenell,” he tweeted.
Yesterday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed initiative for establishing direct flights between Belgrade and Pristina. “This is an important step, which will make the circulation of people and goods easier and faster within the Western Balkans region. The Commander of our KFOR mission retains the authority in the airspace over Kosovo, according to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244. And NATO will remain involved through the long-standing Balkans Aviation Normalisation Meeting process, which we lead,” he said in a statement.
Kosovo leaders hail Pristina-Belgrade flight agreement (media)
President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci and acting Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj have welcomed the agreement to restore direct air flights between Pristina and Belgrade.
Thaci said that the move would facilitate freedom of movement and normalisation of relations. “I welcome the letter of intent b/w #Kosovo & @lufthansa to open an air route between #Prishtina & #Belgrade. This is an important step for the movement of citizens & normalization process. Grateful to Nat. Sec. Advisor O’Brien & @RichardGrenell for facilitating the process,” Thaci wrote on Twitter.
Haradinaj meanwhile said: “The initiative to open Kosovo’s third civilian air route for commercial flights with Serbia, after Albania and Macedonia, is a giant step forward in advancing good neighborly relations and consolidating Kosovo’s sovereignty. Grateful to Robert Cobrien, Richard Grenell and Lufthansa.”
KDI seeks transparency on Pristina-Belgrade flight agreement (Zeri)
Kosovo Democratic Institute (KDI) has called on relevant authorities to be more transparent in disclosing modalities of the agreement to introduce flights between Pristina and Belgrade.
In a statement, KDI said the citizens of Kosovo are not informed about the content of the agreement or what process preceded it. “Furthermore, the public has no information over the implications this agreement may have such as what travel documents will be required for travelling in the two capitals and other issues stemming from the agreement.”
British Embassy calls for swift formation of government (media)
The British Embassy in Pristina has welcomed President Hashim Thaci’s decision to nominate Albin Kurti as candidate for prime minister.
“Kosovan voters have waited three and a half months for this moment. Their hope and desire for change, expressed so clearly on 6 October, deserve to be respected. Kosovo’s elected politicians and their parties now need to show courage and creativity in forming a government that reflects the wishes of the electorate. We call for rapid progress in negotiations, in a spirit of tolerance and partnership,” the Embassy said in a statement.
LDK to hold meeting of presidency today (media)
The Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) has called for today a meeting of party presidency in light of recent developments regarding appointment of Albin Kurti candidate for prime minister. The meeting will take place at party headquarters at 2 p.m.
Nagavci: Together with LDK, we should fulfill hopes for change (media)
Deputy leader of the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) Arberie Nagavci called once again on the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) to return to the table of discussions forming of the coalition and government among these two political entities. She took to Facebook to write that processes and institutions cannot remain pending; therefore, the government should form as soon as possible.
“There is not much time left, 15 days from tomorrow, Albin Kurti should present the composition of the government to the Assembly. We cannot wait eternally, we cannot endanger endorsement of the budget and create dangerous financial situations for hundreds of thousands of families and neither block forming of the institutions,” Nagavci wrote.
PDK: LVV responsible for current crisis (media)
The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) has accused the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) as being responsible for the delays in the formation of new institutions of Kosovo.
In a statement, PDK said that it was concerned with developments over the last four months. “The Democratic Party of Kosovo believes responsibility for forming new institutions rest with the election winner and this healthy concept in the new democracy of Kosovo cannot be damaged.”
PDK added that any effort on the part of LVV to find justifications for the delays is unacceptable. “This political party is responsible for current delays and ending the crisis is entirely in its hands.”
LDK nominates Abdullah Hoti caucus, LVV has not made a proposal yet (RTK)
Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) has not proposed a name for the caucus of their political entity. In the past mandate, current Assembly Speaker Glauk Konjufca led with LVV’s parliamentary group.
The Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) informed that they nominated Avdullah Hoti, who was one of the most mentioned names for a ministerial post. The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) nominated Bedri Hamza, while the Serbian list, Igor Simic. Caucus for the Multiethnic parliamentary group will be MP Albert Kinolli.
Thaci to participate at Davos World Economic Forum (media)
President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, travelled on Monday to Switzerland where he will participate at the Davos World Economic Forum.
Thaci will be participating at the “Diplomatic Dialogue on the Western Balkans” panel on Tuesday, and will also have many bilateral meetings with various state leaders attending this forum during the rest of the day.
“President Thaci will also be present during the address of the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump to the leaders of participating countries. Thaci will also be attending the official dinner laid by the organisers of the World Economic Forum for the state leaders in attendance in Davos,” reads a press release issued by the Office of the President.
Apostolova: EU remains committed to help Kosovo’s path towards EU (media)
Kosovo’s Assembly Speaker Glauk Konjufca met on Monday with head of the EU Office in Kosovo Nataliya Apostolova. They discussed current political developments in Kosovo, process of building new institutions, Kosovo’s EU agenda and its obligations in this process. Apostolova congratulated Assembly Speaker Glauk Konjufca for the new institutional responsibility. She stressed that the European Union remains committed to help Kosovo in its European path and all other processes and steps.
Konjufca on the other hand stressed commitment of the Assembly to continue with strengthening of cooperation with the EU Office in Kosovo and to engage on fulfilling all the criteria for the integration process.