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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, February 11

By   /  11/02/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, February 11

• Reciprocity still just an idea, Grenell doesn’t support it (Koha/Express)
• The U.S. Embassy with the same stance as Grenell: Lift the tariff (RTK)
• EU expects from Kosovo to lift the tariff (Gazeta Metro)
• PM Kurti to visit Tirana today (media)
• Kurti: Righteous protests advanced justice (media)
• Italian foreign minister visits Kosovo today (media)
• PDK to Osmani: We are boycotting you, not the Assembly (RTK)
• Kurti appoints two deputy prime ministers (media)

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  • Reciprocity still just an idea, Grenell doesn’t support it (Koha/Express)
  • The U.S. Embassy with the same stance as Grenell: Lift the tariff (RTK)
  • EU expects from Kosovo to lift the tariff (Gazeta Metro)
  • PM Kurti to visit Tirana today (media)
  • Kurti: Righteous protests advanced justice (media)
  • Italian foreign minister visits Kosovo today (media)
  • PDK to Osmani: We are boycotting you, not the Assembly (RTK)
  • Kurti appoints two deputy prime ministers (media)

 Kosovo Media Highlights

Reciprocity still just an idea, Grenell doesn’t support it (Koha/Express)

Koha Ditore quotes on the front page the spokesperson for the U.S. Special Envoy for Kosovo-Serbia negotiations Richard Grenell, Dick Custin, as saying that while there is support for Kosovo lifting the import tariff on Serbia, there is none for introducing reciprocity measures instead.

Custin told RFE: “Kosovo should lift the tax on Serbian goods without reciprocity. Not only suspend the tax but lift it altogether. The ambassador does not support the idea of reciprocity.”

Gazeta Express meanwhile quotes Custin as saying that Grenell has not set any timelines to leaders in Kosovo and Serbia for reaching the final agreement. “For as long as the two parties continue to talks, he will be involved,” Custin said.

At the same time, the government of Kosovo has yet to specify what its reciprocity measures entail while Kurti has said that based on the LVV-LDK coalition agreement, the reciprocity measures will affect the political, economic, and trade aspects, Koha reports. He also said that the Kosovo Customs will soon get instructions on how to deal with products from Serbia but such guidelines have not yet been submitted to the Customs.

The U.S. Embassy with the same stance as Grenell: Lift the tariff (RTK)

The U.S. Embassy to Kosovo has requested lifting of the 100 percent tariff on Serbian goods and at the same time requested from Serbia to stop the campaign for withdrawal of recognitions of Kosovo’s independence.

In an exclusive statement for RTK, the Embassy wrote that “The U.S. position on Kosovo’s 100 % tariff has not changed. As Special Presidential Envoy Grenell recently stated, the tariffs must be dropped and Serbia’s derecognition campaign must stop.”

EU expects from Kosovo to lift the tariff (Gazeta Metro)

The EU Ambassador to Albania Luigi Soreca said on Monday to the media in Tirana that it is important for Kosovo to lift the 100% tariff on the goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“It is important for Kosovo that the new government restarts work on reforms, including implementation of the Stabilisation Association Agreement and based on European agenda, bring tangible results for the citizens. The Commission is looking forward to working with the new government of Kosovo and help its European Reform Agenda, focusing on strengthening of the rule of law, public administration and economy. It is also important for Kosovo to lift the tariffs and renew its engagement on regional initiatives and cooperation,” Soreca said.

PM Kurti to visit Tirana today (media)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti will be visiting Tirana today in his first visit outside Kosovo since taking on the new post, media report. Kurti is scheduled to meet President of Albania Ilir Meta, Prime Minister Edi Rama, Assembly Speaker Gramoz Ruci and opposition leader Lulzim Basha.

“There will be meetings with all institutional leaders in Tirana. There will be discussions, including on the Western Balkans. We will express our positions and speak after the meeting,” Kurti said ahead of the visit.

Kurti and Rama are expected to hold a joint press conference following their meeting. Kurti will also be presented with the “Tirana’s Key” by Mayor Erion Veliaj.

Kurti: Righteous protests advanced justice (media)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti, accompanied by members of his cabinet and Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) officials, paid tribute to two of LVV activists who were fatally shot 13 years ago by UNMIK Police as they were protesting against Ahtisaari’s status package.

He said UNMIK should undertake steps to respond to the Human Rights Advisory Panel opinion which ruled that the police were responsible for the deaths of Mon Balaj and Arben Xheladini. “”We will never forget and will cultivate ideals of Mon and Arben, our common ideals. Glory to Mon, Arben and all nation’s martyrs,” Kurti said.

“We protested against the discrimination in Ahtissari’s package which was published on 2 February 2007. The noun Serb was mentioned there 37 times and the Albanian only once. That package put up huge obstacles which we face to this day. The double majority, international domination on local institutions, ceasing of the KPC, ethnic decentralization and Serbia’s external debt which was prescribed to us,” he added.

Koha reports that despite calls from international human rights organisations and the Human Rights Advisory Panel, UNMIK has not provided compensation to the families of the killed and injured in the protest concluding that the victims were killed or wounded by unidentified members of the Romanian police units which had already left Kosovo by the time the findings of the inquiry were made public.

The paper also notes that no independent investigation in Kosovo was opened into the case while an internal investigation led by a Romanian prosecutor in 2009 fell short of identifying the authors of the killings.

Italian foreign minister visits Kosovo today (media)

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Luigi Di Maio, will stay for an official visit to Kosovo today and meet institutional leaders and representatives of Italian KFOR.

Di Maio’s visit to Kosovo follows that to Serbia and North Macedonia.

PDK to Osmani: We are boycotting you, not the Assembly (RTK)

After the statement of the Assembly Speaker Vjosa Osmani on Monday that the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) is boycotting the Assembly Chairmanship meetings from the day it was established, PDK came up with e press release which stresses that they are boycotting her and not the Assembly.

“Vjosa Osmani lied again publicly today in front of the journalists saying that PDK is boycotting the Assembly from 3 February when the government was voted. This is not true. And there will be no boycott, as she wants. The boycott is addressed to her and her manipulations to mechanise her political games at the highest institution of the country. All citizens followed the 3 February session and PDK MPs were there, furthermore, they all discussed at that session. However, PDK MPs could not participate at the other session of that day for the election of Assembly Speaker, because that session was clandestine,” is written in the press release, adding that they were informed only five minutes before the session.

Kurti appoints two deputy prime ministers (media)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti appointed yesterday two new deputy ministers.

Taulant Kryeziu from Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) was appointed Deputy Minister of European Integrations while Imri Demelezi, also from LVV, was appointed Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development.

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