- Grenell to remain envoy for Kosovo-Serbia negotiations (Zeri/Bota Sot)
- Weber: EU heading towards a Mogherini 2.0 policy (Koha Ditore)
- Haziri requests to lift the tariff (RTK)
- Haradinaj: No guarantees that lifting tariff brings Serbia’s recognition (RTK)
- Citaku on Jamaica’s recognition: Everything will be clarified in time (Telegrafi)
- PDK blames Konjufca for Jamaica recognition affair (media)
- Thaci leaves for the U.S. to meet with U.S. Administration officials (RTK)
- Vucic: Serbia will this year face ultimatum for recognition of Kosovo (Koha)
- U.S. Embassy, Kurti support K-Serb that plays football for Kosovo (media)
Kosovo Media Highlights
Grenell to remain envoy for Kosovo-Serbia negotiations (Zeri/Bota Sot)
Voice of America quoted the U.S. President Donald Trump as saying that Richard Grenell, who was recently appointed acting director of national intelligence, will continue his job as envoy for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue as he has done a very good job.
“He knows the officials well. He has done a fantastic job. He will continue,” Trump said adding: “Everyone said it was an impossible agreement but he achieved it. It was something very positive for these two countries.”
At the same time, Trump announced he is looking for a candidate to replace Grenell to the post of the country’s ambassador to Germany, following his recent appointment as acting director of national intelligence. “I will appoint an ambassador to Germany,” Trump is reported to have told the media outside the White House.
Weber: EU heading towards a Mogherini 2.0 policy (Koha Ditore)
Bodo Weber, researcher with the Berlin-based Democratization Policy Council, said that the appointment of the Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak to lead the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue would be wrong on many levels.
In an interview with Koha Ditore, Weber said that apart from Lajcak coming from a country that has not recognised Kosovo, he is also attributed with a “history of failures in the Balkans” during his mandate as EU high representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Last but not least, he has a history of putting his personal career interests above political ones. This is confirmed by the fact that he seems to have requested a wider portfolio than just Kosovo-Serbia talks, meaning Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region, when it is evident that dealing with Kosovo-Serbia dialogue in itself is a full time job,” Weber said.
He said that he fears the EU High Representative Josep Borrell is unwittingly stepping into his predecessor Federica Mogherini’s shoes. “In order for the European Union to reestablish serious negotiations principles for a final, comprehensive, and legally binding agreement between Kosovo and Serbia, Mr. Borrell and the EU would have to be aware and first define European policies that would guide the dialogue and reestablish leading role of the European Union. Then, based on these policies, appoint a special envoy/representative with a profile that matches this politics. It seems that with identification of Mr. Lajcak for this post, the opposite has happened.”
“To sum up, appointment of Mr. Lajcak based on the current Brussels ‘philosophy’ would lead the EU to a Mogherini 2.0 policy,” Weber said.
He also commented on the role of the U.S. special envoy for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Richard Grenell, saying that him splitting his duties between the ambassadorial post in Germany, envoy in Kosovo-Serbia talks, and head of U.S. intelligence, “could be characterised with placing of obstacles and self-promotion. “The economist, transactional approach of the type ‘any agreement is a good agreement’ is a losing approach and leads to failure – as the history of political dialogue proved, namely the last published episode of the ‘Peace Plan’ in Palestine.”
Haziri requests to lift the tariff (RTK)
Lutfi Haziri, Deputy Chair of the Democratic League of Kosovo said lifting of the 100 percent tariff on Serbian goods is part of the political agreement between the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) and the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).
“It is part of the political agreement not only the tariff issue as an inherited decision-making from the former government but also from our pre-elections programs. Both our political parties revealed it also in the coalition agreement. It is a harmonized policy and we support PM Kurti in realisation of this new policy which is now in accordance with the international community, especially the Quint group. The sooner the better, as priorities are high when it comes to the region we live in,” Kurti said.
Haradinaj: No guarantees that lifting tariff brings Serbia’s recognition (RTK)
Former Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj called again the current Prime Minister Albin Kurti, not to lift the 100 percent tariff on Serbian goods.
“Kosovo does not have a single guarantee that lifting of 100 percent tariff on Serbia’s products brings the final agreement for mutual recognition in existing borders. Today, Serbia continues to get armed by Russia with the latest military equipment, while Kurti government promises lifting of the tariff ensuring Serbia’s economic occupation of Kosovo. A publicly call on Kurti and his governing partners not to lift the tariff without recognition. Powers are nothing when safeguarding and defending sovereignty of the state is concerned. Trade, only with recognition,” he wrote.
Citaku on Jamaica’s recognition: Everything will be clarified in time (Telegrafi)
Kosovo’s Ambassador to the U.S., Vlora Citaku, commented on statements made by Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister Haki Abazi accusing her of being responsible for the false information that Jamaica recognised Kosovo and for representing the interests of Kosovo President Hashim Thaci rather than those of Kosovo.
“I have refrained from public comments regarding the chaos caused with Jamaica’s recognition because many other parties are involved. Parties that are outside of Kosovo. It would be undiplomatic, unfair, and unnational for me today, to defend myself, reveal names and details. Everything will be clarified in time,” Citaku said.
“It is general knowledge that I was appointed Ambassador through the political key, as many other ambassadors. This is not a violation or anything extraordinary. In fact, it is regulated by law. As an Ambassador, I have served Kosovo,” Citaku added.
In an interview with a Tirana-based media outlet Abazi spoke about Jamaica recognition issue saying it demonstrates the fragility of the way former institutions have functioned and a result of no respect for the institutional chain. He also said the responsibility is with those individuals that hold diplomatic posts.
“We have an embassy in the U.S. which, unfortunately, not to point a finger, but has served more the interests of the president than those of Kosovo, being that both the president and the ambassador come from the same political party, from the same line of interest,” Abazi said.
PDK blames Konjufca for Jamaica recognition affair (media)
The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) has blamed Foreign Minister Glauk Konjufca over the recognition from Jamaica issue, which resulted to be untrue.
According to PDK, Konjufca should not have hastened into thanking Jamaica for the recognition without first receiving the note verbale.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs meanwhile said that they are reviewing the situation and will take appropriate measures.
Last week, President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci published on Twitter that he has received news from Kosovo’s Ambassador to the U.S., Vlora Citaku, of Jamaica recognising independence of Kosovo. The move was hailed by other Kosovo leaders but was later refuted by Jamaica’s foreign minister.
Thaci leaves for the U.S. to meet with U.S. Administration officials (RTK)
The President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci travelled for the United States of America to meet senior officials of the U.S. administration. Prior to leaving, Thaci said Kosovo is lucky that the U.S. are keeping their commitment to Kosovo, and to peace, stability and prosperity of Kosovo and the entire region.
“President Trump’s leadership, support of Secretary Pompeo and direct engagement of the Special Envoy, Ambassador Grenell, are encouragement for us,” Thaci said.
“We are blessed with our eternal friendship, our special relation with the United States of America,” he added.
Vucic: Serbia will this year face ultimatum for recognition of Kosovo (Koha)
President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, said that this year Serbia is expected to face an ultimatum for recognition of Kosovo.
“We will be given guarantees for EU membership and recognition of Kosovo. I also know who the envoy for negotiations with Pristina will be, but I cannot say for the time being. And we will be offered special status for Serbs in certain regions. And what then? I will ask the people,” Vucic said in an interview with a media outlet in Belgrade.
Asked how he would respond to such an ultimatum, Vucic is reported to have said: “You will see.”
U.S. Embassy, Kurti support K-Serb that plays football for Kosovo (media)
After the news that Ilia Ivic’s parents were dismissed from their jobs in Gracanica, the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo congratulated him for deciding to play for Kosovo’s national team at U19.
“Congrats to Ilija Ivic! He inspires all young people in Kosovo to work hard, develop their talents and follow their dreams. Politics has no place in sports. This is a moment to celebrate diversity and a talented young Kosovo athlete. Kosovo is Your Home.” U.S. Embassy Pristina wrote on Twitter and Facebook.
Kosovo’s PM Albin Kurti also reacted to the news saying that ‘yesterday, the 17-year-old from Gracanica called Ilija Ivic, was subjected to separation from local structures influenced by Belgrade because of his desire to associate with Albanians.”
“Deals alone cannot cure one’s problems of racism and hatred of others.
“Let Ilija play freely wherever he chooses,” he wrote.