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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, February 10

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• Thaci optimistic Kosovo-Serbia dialogue to end with mutual recognition (RTK)
• Dialogue and reciprocity with resolutions (Koha)
• EU Council calls informal meeting of Western Balkans leaders (Zeri)
• German Chancellor Merkel invites PM Kurti for visit (Epoka e Re)
• Der Spiegel: Kurti and Osmani can make the change in Kosovo (RTK)
• Haxhiu: Vetting process in justice will commence within 24 months (RTK)
• British national tests negative for coronavirus (media)
• Vucic: We are in a difficult situation, nothing good for Serbs (RTK)

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  • Thaci optimistic Kosovo-Serbia dialogue to end with mutual recognition (RTK)
  • Dialogue and reciprocity with resolutions (Koha)
  • EU Council calls informal meeting of Western Balkans leaders (Zeri)
  • German Chancellor Merkel invites PM Kurti for visit (Epoka e Re)
  • Der Spiegel: Kurti and Osmani can make the change in Kosovo (RTK)
  • Haxhiu: Vetting process in justice will commence within 24 months (RTK)
  • British national tests negative for coronavirus (media)
  • Vucic: We are in a difficult situation, nothing good for Serbs (RTK)

Thaci optimistic Kosovo-Serbia dialogue to end with mutual recognition (RTK)

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said on Sunday he is fully convinced that under the leadership of the President Trump and excellent work of Ambassador Grenell the process of the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia will conclude very soon with recognition between Kosovo and Serbia.

“The U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed great attention on strengthening peace and stability in Western Balkans. His letters have drawn the epilogue of the process of the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, which should conclude with mutual recognition. Under the leadership of President Trump and excellent work of Ambassador Grenell, I fully trust that this process will soon conclude with recognition between Kosovo and Serbia. We are blessed with eternal support of the U.S. for Kosovo population and state,” Thaci wrote on his Facebook account.

Dialogue and reciprocity with resolutions (Koha)

The paper reports on its front page that the Kosovo Government has yet to present reciprocity measures vis-à-vis Serbia. Prime Minister Albin Kurti has implied that he will resort to a resolution dated December 2011 that he proposed when he was in opposition, in terms of political, economic and trade reciprocity with Serbia.

The paper recalls that the 2011 resolution has three points: the first point obliges the government to undertake full political, economic and trade reciprocity measures toward Serbia; the second point obliges the Ministry of Trade and Industry to encourage and lead cooperation with local producers and trade enterprises to find replacements for products from Serbia and the third point obliges the government to strengthen all state mechanisms in order to ensure the full implementation of reciprocity measures. Several months later however, then-Prime Minister and current President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, had imposed a counter-resolution that practically annulled reciprocity with Serbia.

Prime Minister Kurti was asked to comment on the reciprocity issue with Serbia on Saturday. “We are making all necessary preparations so that the reciprocity can replace the 100 percent tariff. We should not be late, but we should not hurry either,” Kurti told reporters.

EU Council calls informal meeting of Western Balkans leaders (Zeri)

Zeri reports quoting Tirana-based Top Channel that the President of the European Council Charles Michel has called an informal meeting with Western Balkans leaders for 16 February.

Sources said that the meeting with also be attended by the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic as Croatia is currently holding the EU presidency, as well as by the European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen and the High Representative and Vice President Josep Borrell.

German Chancellor Merkel invites PM Kurti for visit (Epoka e Re)

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti on his election and invited him for a visit to Berlin.

“Important and difficult challenges lie ahead of you. These include building and strengthening the rule of law, fight against corruption and organised crime, improvement of economic situation and, in particular, the dialogue for normalisation of relations with Serbia. These are key steps to strengthen your country’s European perspective. The Federal Government will continue to support Kosovo in this way.

“I would be happy to see you soon in Berlin. I wish you good luck and success on the tasks ahead.”

Der Spiegel: Kurti and Osmani can make the change in Kosovo (RTK)

The well-known German daily Der Spiegel has published an article on the new government of Kosovo led by Prime Minister Albin Kurti.

After analysis of the political and economic situation in Kosovo, the paper notes that  Kosovo’s sustainability would have been difficult without international support.

The paper also reports that the rule of law in Kosovo is superficial, due to the high level of corruption. According to the article, there are chances for this to change now.

“In the beginning of the week, Albin Kurti took the post of the Prime Minister in Pristina. His government is the first one from the end of the war in 1999 which enjoys full democratic legitimacy. It was not created by underground bargaining or by support of the countries which defend Kosovo,” Der Spiegel reports.

“This is a signal that should not be underestimated in a region ruled almost everywhere by autocrats. EU should see this signal and take seriously the will of the citizens in Western Balkans in the future,” the paper notes.

Haxhiu: Vetting process in justice will commence within 24 months (RTK)

The recently appointed Minister of Justice Albulena Haxhiu has announced that the Vetting process in justice will commence within 24 months.

This process is being seen by lawyers Kujtim Kerveshi and Argjent Tigani as necessary and beneficial for the justice system, however they consider that 24 months are not sufficient for this process to be successful. They consider that more time is needed in order for the process to be successful, just and unbiased.

According to Tigani, the vetting process will return trust of the citizens on institutions.

“I think that Kosovo initially has an immediate need for endorsement of a la for Vetting and the required constitutional changes, however starting from point of view, the 24- month time, calculating initially the process of the endorsement of the special law on Vetting, is not sufficient,” Tigani said.

British national tests negative for coronavirus (media)

Online media report that a female British national working in Kosovo, who sought medical assistance after showing flu-like symptoms upon return from a winter holiday in France, has tested negative for coronavirus.

In a statement, Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health announced that the patient had slight fever and cough but that the tests showed she does not have the Novel Coronavirus. At the same time, in a press conference before the tests came out, Minister of Health Arben Vitia said there was no reason for panic.

Vucic: We are in a difficult situation, nothing good for Serbs (RTK)

Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic is expected to travel to Berlin to meet the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to discuss the methodology of the discussion  on resolving the Kosovo issue.

Serbian news agency B92 reports that the discussions do not concern a plan to resolve Kosovo matter as reported in the media. “I do not think that there will be discussions for a new plan. No one can come up with a plan which says ‘take it or leave it,’” Vucic said.

Asked if Berlin is accelerating the discussions on Kosovo dur to the U.S. activities, Vucic said he does not want to comment on this, “but the situation for us is certainly difficult.”

“There is no doubt that it is difficult for us as any solution coming from outside will be a solution for some kind of recognition of independence. Therefore, we have to find a form of normalisation  that would pass without it (recognition of independence of Kosovo)… Or they will offer something better for Serbs, which I do not believe,” Vucic reportedly said.

Asked if the position of the German Chancellor would change as she congratulated Albin Kurti, he said “to Chancellor Merkel the discussion with Kurti is more important than with him, because she should see what kind of policy will Kurti lead, what can she calculate on and what can she do.”

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