- Jamaica recognizes Kosovo’s independence (TV stations, RTK)
- Grenell temporarily director of intelligence, Trump will appoint someone else to the post (GazetaExpress, KTV)
- US Ambassador urges Kosovo’s new Government to drop tariffs (TV stations, portals)
- US Embassy informs Kurti that US military presence in Kosovo is under consideration (GazetaExpress)
- AAK continues collecting signatures, requests session on the tariff (RTKlive)
- Minister Bajrami receives Head of OSCE Mission in Kosovo (portals, Klan Kosova)
- Haxhiu annuls notaries’ appointment process (TV stations, portals)
- Most of dismissed consuls belonged to previous ruling parties (TV stations, KTV)
- Isa Mustafa presents five new deputy ministers from LDK (TV stations, TV21)
- Two members of Serb List convicted in Kosovo for abuse of office (N1)
- Survey in multi-ethnic municipalities: Reconciliation needed for the vast majority but the north (Kossev)
Jamaica recognizes Kosovo’s independence
(TV stations, RTK)
Jamaica has recognized Kosovo’s Independence, the president of Kosovo Hashim Thaci, announced on Twitter. “Great news! I just was notified from our Ambassador Vlora Citaku that Jamaica has recognized the Republic of Kosovo as sovereign and independent. I know this is a result of hard work and lobbying of several years, including US Senator Eliot Engel. Good work. Thank you dear friends from Kingston!” Thaci wrote on Twitter.
Grenell temporarily director of intelligence, Trump will appoint someone else to the post
The US ambassador to Berlin and the envoy for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Richard Grenell, has been appointed by President Trump as acting Director of the National Intelligence.
Grenell himself and the Embassy in Berlin have announced that he will be in charge of US intelligence temporarily, until Trump nominates someone else. Grenell’s spokesperson, Dick Custin, told Gazeta Express that the ambassador remains 100 percent committed to Kosovo-Serbia negotiations.
“I will note that Ambassador Grenell agreed at President Trump’s request to step in as acting Director for National Intelligence for a limited period of time, and that the White House will announce its actual nominee soon,” Custin said.
“Given those facts, Ambassador Grenell is keeping his appointments as U.S. Ambassador to Germany and Special Presidential Envoy to the Serbia and Kosovo Peace Negotiations, to which he remains 100% committed. We can confirm that Ambassador Grenell will be serving as U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Special Presidential Envoy for Serbia and Kosovo Peace Negotiations, and – now – Acting Director of National Intelligence, simultaneously.”
US Ambassador urges Kosovo’s new Government to drop tariffs
(TV stations, portals)
US Ambassador to Pristina, Philip Kosnett made it clear to Kosovo leaders, Prime Minister Albin Kurti, Assembly Speaker Vjosa Osmani, and ministers of new Government that the tariffs on Serbian goods should be revoked.
The US Embassy in a statement on Thursday published in Facebook said that Ambassador Kosnett continues his ongoing meetings with representatives of the new government by meeting with Interior Minister Veliu today. He has met with the Prime Minister Kurti, Assembly Speaker Osmani, Deputy Prime Ministers Avdullah Hoti and Haki Abazi, and with Foreign Minister Glauk Konjufca, and he looks forward to meeting the other ministers. He is also continuing his regular meetings with the leaders of the opposition parties.
“In all of these meetings, as in his regular meetings with Prime Minister Kurti, Ambassador Kosnett speaks about the importance of the U.S. relationship with Kosovo, with a focus on advancing our mutual goals of securing peace, justice, and prosperity, and the economic benefits to come by immediately eliminating the tariffs,” the US Embassy said in a statement.
The US officials ask the new Government of Kosovo to drop 100 percent tax on Serbian imports and give up its plans to introduce reciprocity with Serbia.
US Embassy informs Kurti that US military presence in Kosovo is under consideration (GazetaExpress)
The US has gone a step further in pressuring the Government of Kosovo to abolish the tax on Serbian goods. Sources told Gazeta Express that the US Embassy officials in Pristina have told Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti that the US is also considering withdrawal of its troops from Kosovo unless tax on Serbia is abolished. This is the most serious US threat to Kosovo.
Months ago, it was widely speculated that Americans are considering removing the Bondsteel camp from Kosovo if its political leadership continues to disobey international suggestions for tax abolishment. But this information was never confirmed.
However, this option seems to be seriously considered. “The US Embassy in Pristina has told Kurti that the presence of US forces in Kosovo is already under consideration,” the source told Gazeta Express.
It is at the most serious threat the United States has made to Kosovo since the Kosovo government imposed a 100 per cent tariff on goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, in response to Serbia’s aggressive diplomatic campaign for de recognition of Kosovo’s independence.
Albin Kurti and Vjosa Osmani, as candidates for prime minister in the 6 October elections, had promised to lift the tax and replace it with broad reciprocity measures with Serbia. Now that they lead the ruling coalition, they have not yet made any decision on this matter.
AAK continues collecting signatures, requests session on the tariff
The Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) continues to collect signatures for the call of an extraordinary session to discuss lifting of the 100 percent tariff on Serbian goods.
Pal Lekaj, MP from the AAK, said they managed to collect 31 signatures so far: 13 from the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), five from the Social-Democratic Initiative (NISMA), and 13 from the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK).
The AAK has objected to the position of the Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti to replace the tariff with complete reciprocity on economy, politics, and trade.
The AAK leader Ramush Haradinaj has recently requested from Kurti to lift the 100 percent tariff only in case of the final contract of recognition of Kosovo with existing borders.
Minister Bajrami receives Head of OSCE Mission in Kosovo
(Portals, Klan Kosova)
Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Hykmete Bajrami, received on Thursday Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Jan Braathu, with whom she discussed the situation in education, and the priorities to improve and develop the education system at all levels.
Braathu congratulated Bajrami on her new position and highlighted that the OSCE will always be available to providing support in achieving the goal of assuring quality education.
Bajrami thanked Braathu for the work that the Organisation has done over the years and informed him about the Kosovo Government platform for the education sector, pointing out that support from development partners is crucial for implementation of the platform.
Haxhiu annuls notaries’ appointment process
(TV stations, portals)
Kosovo’s Minister of Justice Albulena Haxhiu has annulled the appointment of the notaries, citing lack of transparency and legality in the process.
“I cannot move forward a compromised process,” Haxhiu said, adding that the majority of candidates that passed the notaries’ test are either affiliated to political parties or are friends with the members of the evaluation commission.
“After consultations with relevant departments, as minister of justice I have decided to annul the notaries’ process,” Haxhiu said today at a press conference.
Former Minister of Justice, Abelard Tahiri, in an interview for EkonomiaOnline said there were no irregularities in the process of selection of notaries regular. According to Tahiri, the decision of Minister Haxhiu was arbitrary and not in line with law. He also announced that he would address the Constitutional Court about this case.
Most of dismissed consuls belonged to previous ruling parties
(TV stations, KTV)
The consuls, who were illegally appointed by former Minister of Foreign Affairs Behgjet Pacolli, have been dismissed on Thursday.
The new Minister of Foreign Affairs Glauk Konjufca has revoked the decisions for appointment of 14 consuls, 11 of which, Koha Ditore had found that were illegally signed.
Referring to the research carried out over the last two years, many of the appointees were affiliated to the governing political entities in the previous term, such as to PDK, AAK, Nisma and AKR, as well as one to LDK. They were either functionaries of political parties, or members of cabinets of the Prime Minister or ministers, KTV reported.
The dismissed consuls are Lutfi Bilalli, Xheraldina Rexhepi, Modesta Imeri, Festim Lushtaku, Ngadhnjim Makolli, Ramiz Ismajli, Ismet Hajdini, Liridon Sadrija, Diellza Hoti, Kadri Gërvalla, Henor Pakashtica, Xhavit Gërbeshi, and Eshref Haxhiu.
Isa Mustafa presents five new deputy ministers from LDK
(TV stations, TV21)
The Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) leader Isa Mustafa has presented five new deputy ministers from his political party, whose names he has submitted to the Prime Minister Albin Kurti.
The new deputy ministers are as follows: Agim Krasniqi, Deputy Minister of Finance and Transfers; Xhavit Rexhaj, Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation; Fatbardha Emini, Deputy Minister of Local Government Administration; Ismet Beqiri, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport; and Florian Dushi, Deputy Minister of Justice.
Two members of Serb List convicted in Kosovo for abuse of office
The Basic Court in Kosovo’s divided town of Mitrovica sentenced two members of the Serb List, a political organisation supported by Belgrade, charged with abuse of office, to a six-month suspended sentence, KoSSev website reported on Thursday.
Vinka Radosavljevic, the head of the Pec District, was convicted for using office car for private purpose in 2018.
The mayor of Novo Brdo Svetislav Ivanovic was charged with exceeding authority “in gaining an illegal benefit for the local Hunter Association in 2017 and 2018.”
Survey in multi-ethnic municipalities: Reconciliation needed for the vast majority but the north
In a recent United Nations Development Programme study carried out in seven Kosovo multi-ethnic municipalities, 88% of respondents said they believe reconciliation in Kosovo is necessary.
According to the UNDP, this is “a promising indicator of willingness to reconcile“, however, other figures say otherwise, as 60% of citizens of North Mitrovica believe that reconciliation is not necessary.
Study findings show that people in Serb majority municipalities in Kosovo, except for Strpce, are less likely to feel comfortable in multi-ethnic environment. While 79% of Kosovo Albanians at least somewhat agree that reconciliation is possible in Kosovo, less than half of Kosovo Serbs (47%) believe the same.
According to almost half (48%) of respondents, inter-ethnic relations in Kosovo are friendly, while only 13% of Kosovo Serbs share this opinion. Indeed, 36% of Kosovo Serbs consider the relations between different ethnicities in Kosovo as tense compared to 10% of Kosovo Albanians and none of Kosovo’s other communities who share the same opinion. (Read more here)