- Kurti: We will not avoid challenges, we will face them (TV stations, KTV)
- Kurti: In Munich we explained our position on joint success (Kosovapress)
- Borrell announces consultations about appointment of special envoy for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue (RTK)
- Braathu: Kosovo has made progress since 2008 (RTK2)
- PDK, LDK, and Vetëvendosje to run in early election in Podujevë/Podujevo (TV stations, RTK)
- Assembly Presidency to convene on Tuesday (TV stations, KTV)
- This year, New Born honours survivors of sexual violence (KTV)
Kurti: We will not avoid challenges, we will face them
(TV stations, KTV)
The Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti, on a video message, congratulated citizens of Kosovo on 12th anniversary of the independence declaration.
He said that currently Kosovo is one-step behind its people, and added that Kosovo is not on its best days, but it has greater hopes than ever before.
“We all have our disagreements and differences, but as a government it is the time for us to take decisions. We will not avoid challenges, but we will face them,” he said.
Kurti stated that now there is a government, which will meet demands of its people.
Kurti: In Munich we explained our position on joint success
Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, commented on Monday about his visit to Munich, saying there had never been more meetings with international diplomats and politicians within two days than the last weekend. He, however, declined to comment on the country’s inter-institutional co-operation on foreign policy.
“I returned to Kosovo around midnight for the 12th anniversary of independence. I take this opportunity to congratulate everyone,” he said. “This is the first anniversary of our government, which is organizing this important date for the state of Kosovo. At these international conferences we are talking to our friends and partners who have helped us a lot in supporting the new government. We are patiently working to explain our positions and build the bridges needed for a joint success.”
Kurti made these comments following his visit with the Speaker of Parliament, Vjosa Osmani, to the Adem Jashari military barracks, on the occasion of the 12th anniversary of Kosovo’s independence.
Borrell announces consultations about appointment of special envoy for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue
The EU High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security, Josep Borrell, has announced that he will begin consultations with ministers of the Member States about appointment of a special representative, who will be in charge of facilitating the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.
Diplomatic sources told Radio Free Europe that on Monday Borrell announced his plans about the meeting of the EU Council of Foreign Ministers in Brussels.
His idea is that at the next meeting, possibly in March, to make public the concrete proposal of the person who will be appointed to this position.
Although no specific name has been confirmed, diplomatic sources say that it will be the current Slovak Foreign Minister, Miroslav Lajcak.
Borrell and Lajcak had a bilateral meeting on Monday in Brussels, in the margins of the meeting of the Council.
Braathu: Kosovo has made progress since 2008
Kosovo has made progress in infrastructure, security and the empowerment of its institutions, said Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Jan Braathu, when asked how he sees Kosovo after it declared its independence.
He said in an interview with the Razgovor show that the differing views between the President and Prime Minister of Kosovo over Kosovo-Serbia dialogue issues could influence future talks with Belgrade.
Since 2008, Kosovo has definitely made progress, said Braathu, answering the question of how he sees Kosovo 12 years after declaration of independence. Ambassador Braathu said that there has been an improvement in infrastructure and security, a strengthening of institutions, and that economy-related issues are a challenge.
“Economy is still not as advanced as it should be for all people to have jobs and it is affecting all communities,” he said.
Talking about the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue process, Braathu said that the US, through its special envoy Richard Grenell, intends to encourage this process, as proven by the recent signing of a memorandum on air link, as well as railway and highway links.
Braathu, however, believes that Hashim Thaci’s and Albin Kurti’s differing views on resumption of the dialogue may be an obstacle to talks with Belgrade. “I think it shows that there is a need for more consultations and for greater coordination here in Pristina,” he said. “That will probably be quite difficult, but I see no alternative but to make it happen.”
Establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, supported by the OSCE, is a profound and time-consuming process, and the involvement of the Association of Families of Killed and Missing Serbs and Albanians is crucial, Braathu emphasized.
“The families of those killed and missing, whether Albanian or Serb, have the same sentiment and they actually have more communication with each other than some others in civil society that have not lost anyone. These families are trying to help one another and I think we owe it to the youth of Kosovo,” he said.
Young people in Kosovo from different communities do not know each other and are full of stereotypes, says Braathu and believes that this can be dangerous for the future. “Normalization [of relations between Kosovo and Serbia] should be about ordinary people and solving their problems,” he said.
PDK, LDK, and Vetëvendosje to run in early election in Podujevë/Podujevo
(TV stations, RTK)
Naim Fetahu of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Nexhmi Rudari of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), and Shpejtim Bulliqi of Vetëvendosje (VV) will run for the mayor of Podujevë/Podujevo in the 15 March early elections in Podujevë/Podujevo.
The deadline for submitting candidate names has expired today (17 February) at 18:00. According to the Central Election Commission (CEC), only these three political parties have decided to enter the race.
The CEC spokesperson, Valmir Elezi, told the media, “Now the Political Party Registration and Certification Office will review all these applications and then submit recommendations to the CEC on whether political entities should be certified. According to the operational plan approved by the CEC, the certification process will be concluded by 25 February.”
Assembly Presidency to convene on Tuesday
(TV stations, KTV)
The Presidency of the Assembly of Kosovo will convene on Tuesday, beginning at 11:00 am to discuss three topics of the agenda.
The Assembly Speaker Vjosa Osmani has announced that the Presidency meetings would be held every Monday, but this week the meeting has been postponed to Tuesday due to celebrations of the 12th anniversary of Independence.
Agenda: 1. Proposal to form friendship groups; 2. Proposal of members to delegations that will be representing the Assembly to International Organizations; 3. Review of requests.
This year, New Born honours survivors of sexual violence
This year, the New Born obelisk has been turned to a symbol of awareness raising about women survivors of sexual violence during the war. According to editors, the purpose is to fight stigma and to mobilise society in providing support to the victims.
Since 2008, New Born is considered as the symbol of independence. Through art, for many years, New Born has conveyed various messages, including gratitude and protests.
However, a little bit further from the capital city, namely in the village of Babimoc, Obiliq/Obilic municipality, the house in which Vasfije Krasniqi was raped, has started to be demolished by its new owner.
A person who introduced himself as the owner of the parcel, not only did not allow the KTV crew to film the place, but he also denied that the house that he has started to demolish was the place where Vasfije had been mistreated. Nevertheless, he admitted that he had bought the house from a Serb man.
On the other hand, sharing her bad feelings about the situation, Vasfije Krasniqi-Goodman told KTV that she intended to purchase the house and turn it into a museum, but she has failed to do so.
Krasniqi called for the institutions to provide greater support to the women who were raped during the war.
Feride Rushiti, Head of the Kosovo Centre for Rehabilitation of Torture Survivors, said that the failure to react to demolishing of the house represented negligence by the institutions.
Vasfije Krasniqi–Goodman, the first war sexual violence survivor who spoke publically about her terrible experience, also expressed her criticism that none of the institutions paid tribute to the Monument of Heroines in Prishtinë/Pristina. However, on Monday afternoon, it was the Kosovo Assembly Speaker Vjosa Osmani that visited the Monument.