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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, January 22

By   /  22/01/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, January 22

• Kosovo statehood undermined in Pristina-Belgrade flights agreement (Koha)
• EU learnt of Pristina-Belgrade flights through the media (RFE)
• Mustafa says negotiations with LVV need to be concluded by week’s end (media)
• Thaci expects new government to be formed soon (Bloomberg/RTK)
• Nagavci hopes Mustafa’s statement is not a blackmail or ultimatum (Klan)
• Beqiri does not exclude coalition with AAK, NISMA and minorities (media)
• Grenell to visit Kosovo tomorrow (media)
• Borell to visit Kosovo next week (Gazeta Express)
• Thaci meets President Trump’s adviser Robert O’Brian (RTK)
• Haradinaj to hold meeting of the government today (RTK)

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  • Kosovo statehood undermined in Pristina-Belgrade flights agreement (Koha)
  • EU learnt of Pristina-Belgrade flights through the media (RFE)
  • Mustafa says negotiations with LVV need to be concluded by week’s end (media)
  • Thaci expects new government to be formed soon (Bloomberg/RTK)
  • Nagavci hopes Mustafa’s statement is not a blackmail or ultimatum (Klan)
  • Beqiri does not exclude coalition with AAK, NISMA and minorities (media)
  • Grenell to visit Kosovo tomorrow (media)
  • Borell to visit Kosovo next week (Gazeta Express)
  • Thaci meets President Trump’s adviser Robert O’Brian (RTK)
  • Haradinaj to hold meeting of the government today (RTK)

Kosovo Media Highlights

Kosovo statehood undermined in Pristina-Belgrade flights agreement (Koha)

The paper reports on the front page that the statehood of Kosovo has been undermined in the text of the agreement for establishing direct flights between Pristina and Belgrade.

Kohavision claims to possess a copy of the letter of intent signed by the parties at the premises of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and that it describes the Kosovo Civil Aviation Authority as the Civil Aviation Authority IN Kosovo and adds that the agreement bears the signatures of four parties: Lufthansa airline company, Pristina International Airport, KFOR and the Civil Aviation Authority of Kosovo which the paper says shows that the Kosovo and Serbian authorities signed two different agreements.

The two-page agreement further speaks about the establishment of a special route between Pristina and Belgrade and avoids using state terminology. It also makes no mention of the State Navigation Agency and only refers to the Air Traffic Unit, a term which the paper says was used before Kosovo declaring independence.

It also specifies that the passengers of the Pristina-Belgrade flights will be subjected to all procedures as set out by the agreement on freedom of movement which means they will be able to travel with ID cards instead of passports.

The final part of the agreement underlines that the Kosovo civil aviation and KFOR need to sign agreement ensuring implementation of the air route as KFOR has authority over the Kosovo airspace.

EU learnt of Pristina-Belgrade flights through the media (RFE)

Radio Free Europe quotes what it says are reliable sources in Brussels saying that European Union was not involved in any way in the agreement to establish direct flights between Pristina and Belgrade. Numerous sources told RFE that EU officials learnt about the agreement through the media and were caught unawares by the recent developments.

EU only reacted to the agreement on Tuesday after spokesperson Peter Stano was asked in a press conference about the commercial aspect of the deal. “EU supports all connections in the region that strengthen communication between people in Serbia and Kosovo. This is a way to advance normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina,” Stano said adding that the agreement has no implications on the EU’s position on Kosovo status.

At the same time, EU High Representative of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borell said the agreement represents a “positive signal”.

Mustafa says negotiations with LVV need to be concluded by week’s end (media)

Leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Isa Mustafa said after the meeting of the party presidency yesterday that negotiations with the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) for formation of the new government need to be finalised by the end of the week.

“We have presented a proposal we think is balanced and Vetevendosje should consider it with special attention,” he said. He added that the two parties should sit together and “either reach agreement or conclude there are no conditions for achieving it.”

“The agreement needs to represent a balanced government with balanced responsibilities between the two parties, in harmony with what the citizens voted for,” Mustafa is quoted in Koha Ditore.

Zeri interprets Mustafa’s statements as an ultimatum to LVV. The paper also points out that Mustafa did not answer the reporters’ question of whether the LDK would vote in favour of an LVV-led government even if no coalition agreement with LDK is reached.

Thaci expects new government to be formed soon (Bloomberg/RTK)

Kosovo’s president Hashim Thaci said he hopes a new government will be formed “very soon” as the nation needs to proceed with reforms.

“We have one goal: to move as fast as possible toward European integration and to be a member of NATO,” Thaci said Tuesday in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Thaci on Monday gave Albin Kurti, whose party won October elections, 15 days to create a new government. Coalition talks have dragged on for months as the top two parties, both previously in opposition, wrangle over key posts and future endorsements for next year’s presidential race.

Thaci also hailed a U.S.-brokered agreement signed Monday by Serbia and Kosovo that will allow flights to resume between their capitals for the first time since they fought a 1998-1999 war. He said it should be seen as a “crucial step” toward mending the ties, which the EU has set as a condition for both countries to win membership.

 “Kosovo will keep trying to win further recognition among nations and integration in international organizations,” he said.

Nagavci hopes Mustafa’s statement is not a blackmail or ultimatum (Klan)

Arberie Nagavci, deputy of the Assembly Speaker of Kosovo from the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) took to Facebook to comment the statement of the leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Isa Mustafa that it has to be defined by the end of the week if there is going to be an agreement with LVV.

She noted that LVV is also in the same line when it comes to commitment on forming the new government. “As we have a declarative expression of the will of LDK representatives, I expect this to be also implemented in practice. It is very good for this agreement to be reached by the end of the week. I am considering this to be a will and readiness, hope it is not a blackmail or ultimatum as reported by some media,” Nagavci wrote.

Beqiri does not exclude coalition with AAK, NISMA and minorities (media)

Ismet Beqiri, member of the leadership of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) spoke about the options of forming the government, if agreement with the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) fails. He said LDK has not discussed yet the option of a coalition with AAK, NISMA and minorities. “I am not saying this will not be in the agenda if Kurti does not manage to form the government, if there is no agreement with LDK,” he said. He however added that LDK absolutely supports reach of the agreement with LVV.

Beqiri added however that the option of reaching coalition with LVV and then go for new elections when the time of electing the President comes, is also not excluded.

She regretted involvement of family members of the political exponents in the debate of forming the coalition between LDK and LVV, especially from the latter one.

According to Beqiri, the fact that they are seated at the table with LDK, is a compromise from LDK’s side, ‘considering the harms that they did to LDK officials in the past, with teargas and setting vehicles on fire.’

Grenell to visit Kosovo tomorrow (media)

Several news outlets are reporting that the U.S. Special Envoy for Kosovo-Serbia negotiations, Richard Grenell, is expected to be in Pristina on Thursday and meet Kosovo leaders.

President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic also said he expects Grenell to soon visit Belgrade in the coming days.

Borell to visit Kosovo next week (Gazeta Express)

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borell is expected to visit Pristina next week, the news outlet reports quoting sources. Belgrade will also be a stop in Borell’s visit.

Borell has previously stated that he would be visiting Kosovo very soon but he was unable to do so for the fact that there is no new government in place. His visit would come at a time when the timeline for the conclusion of the LDK-LVV coalition negotiations has been determined and in light of the recent agreement for establishing Pristina-Belgrade direct flights, brokered by the U.S., Gazeta Express adds.

Thaci meets President Trump’s adviser Robert O’Brian (RTK)

The President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci, met within the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos with the United States National Security Advisor Robert O’Brian.

Media reported that O’Brian met also with the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic on Tuesday.

RTK reports that O’Brian also participated on the signing of the official document between Kosovo’s Civil Aviation with ‘Lufthansa’ air-company for the Pristina-Belgrade line.

The Office of the President of Kosovo informed that they discussed special relations between Kosovo and the U.S. as well as about the efforts to reach a final peaceful agreement between Kosovo and Serbia.

Haradinaj to hold meeting of the government today (RTK)

Kosovo’s public broadcaster RTK reports that the outgoing Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj, has called members of the outgoing government for a meeting today, at 13:00 hours. The last meeting of the government took place on 10 January.

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