- Kurti: Hiding correspondence with NATO constitutes flagrant violation (media)
- NATO reaffirms: KSF cannot go to north without KFOR’s permission (Koha)
- Serbia had sought guarantees that KSF would not deploy to north (Koha Ditore)
- Thaci sends message to Kurti from Washington (media)
- Osmani: Calls for upholding Constitution should not be misinterpreted (media)
- Abazi says Kosovo’s partnership with int’l allies can never be questioned (media)
- Haradinaj: KSF can be deployed throughout Kosovo territory (media)
- Veseli: Concerning that a Kosovo PM questions agreements with NATO (media)
- Thaci: Kosovo blessed with trust and partnership of U.S. (media)
- Rama to Lavrov: Kosovo should be recognised by all (media)
- Vucic: Matter of time before Serbia recognises Kosovo (media)
Kosovo Media Highlights
Kurti: Hiding correspondence with NATO constitutes flagrant violation (media)
Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti said that he suspects President of Kosovo unilaterally agreed to provide assurances to NATO that Kosovo Security Force (KSF) would not go to the north of Kosovo without prior approval from KFOR and that the move could have been a prologue for implementation of border changes.
Speaking to reporters following his letter to Assembly Speaker Vjosa Osmani where he disclosed a previously unseen correspondence between then prime minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaci and former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Kurti said that it needs to be determined who asked for KSF not to deploy to the north.
“I don’t think Brussels asked it. It may have been Serbia but this needs to be clarified. This exchange of letters between the former secretary Rasmussen and former prime minister Thaci, according to the legal opinion of the Prime Minister’s Office, constitutes an international agreement based on the Vienna Convention. We consider that hiding such an agreement, dated 19 April 2013, is a flagrant violation which should be addressed by judicial authorities,” Kurti said.
Kurti said he would be meeting today the KFOR Commander Major General Michele Risi underlining the importance of alliance with NATO. “The KSF, KFOR and NATO are always together and on the same side,” he said.
NATO reaffirms: KSF cannot go to north without KFOR’s permission (Koha)
NATO has confirmed that Kosovo Security Force troops cannot deploy to the north of Kosovo without prior concurrence from KFOR’s commander.
“For twenty years, peace and stability in Kosovo was a priority for NATO. Our mandate has not changed and we will continue our peacekeeping mission. NATO also supports the resumption of the dialogue facilitated by the European Union between Belgrade and Pristina as the only political and sustainable solution for the region,” NATO said in response to the publication of Hashim Thaci’s letter to NATO.
Serbia had sought guarantees that KSF would not deploy to north (Koha Ditore)
Following the publication of the exchange of letters in 2013 between then prime minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaci and former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen where Thaci is seemingly providing assurances that Kosovo Security Force (KSF) would not deploy to the north of Kosovo without KFOR’s prior consent, Koha Ditore reports that it was Serbia that actually requested for such guarantees.
The paper writes that it had reported back in 2013 about a letter that Thaci sent to NATO guaranteeing that KSF troops would not deploy to the north and that only once such guarantees were pledged did the Serbian side agree to sign in Brussels the deal for the formation of the association of Serb-majority municipalities.
Thaci sends message to Kurti from Washington (media)
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci has replied to criticism from Prime Minister Albin Kurti after the latter claimed that Thaci had made a secret deal with NATO when he was Prime Minister. Thaci did not mention Kurti by name but sent him an indirect message from Washington.
“It is not wise to confront someone and to hurt our strategic partnership with the US, NATO and the European Union. Above all, we are blessed to have the new and concrete interest of the US for Kosovo,” Thaci said.
“Kosovo is blessed to have NATO in Kosovo and this partnership will advance until Kosovo becomes part of NATO. A concern for Kosovo should be the paranoia about NATO and not the presence of NATO”.
Osmani: Calls for upholding Constitution should not be misinterpreted (media)
Kosovo Assembly Speaker Vjosa Osmani commented on the publication of letter exchange between former prime minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaci and former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen where Thaci offered assurances that Kosovo Security Force (KSF) would not deploy to the north of Kosovo without KFOR’s prior consent.
Osmani said that she has forwarded the letters she recieved from Prime Minister Alin Kurti to all MPs as well as the opinion of the Prime Minister’s Legal Office. She also noted that upholding the Constitution is an obligation for all as is fostering of partnership with strategic allies.
“Requests for every institution in Kosovo to respect the Constitution and constitutional procedures should not be misinterpreted as an attack or dispute towards NATO but, on the contrary, as an advancement of democracy and transparency and of respect for country’s laws and Constitution,” Osmani said.
Abazi says Kosovo’s partnership with int’l allies can never be questioned (media)
Haki Abazi, Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister, said that Kosovo’s partnership with NATO, EU, and the U.S., as well as “our undisputed national alignment with the west will never be put into a question.”
“We are committed for Kosovo to respect any obligation and international agreement,” Abazi said adding: “However, what is being questioned seriously is the loyality of the president of the country towards national and state interests and towards the constitution on which the authority of his post rests.”
Haradinaj: KSF can be deployed throughout Kosovo territory (media)
Former prime minister and leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj said that on 9 January 2019 he wrote to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg informing him about the transformation of the Kosovo Security Force into the Army of Kosovo adding that the aim of the letter was to announce invalidation of territorial limitations Hashim Thaci had agreed to in 2013.
Haradinaj said that in his letter he had requested NATO to sign through KFOR a new protocol of cooperation, “this time without territorial limitations.”
“To avoid populisms and concerns raised today about the 2013 letter, and the possible legal and Constitutional implications, I assure the citizens of Kosovo that today FSK has a full mandate throughout the territory of Kosovo, without any limitations,” Haradinaj wrote.
He added that relations with NATO are vital for Kosovo and need to be maintained with maturity and wisdom.
Veseli: Concerning that a Kosovo PM questions agreements with NATO (media)
Leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) Kadri Veseli wrote that it was concerning that for the first time a Kosovo prime minister is considering agreements with NATO to be against Kosovo’s interests.
“Our goal is to join NATO and not oust it from every part of Kosovo. Today, sovereignty of Kosovo is not endangered by NATO and agreements with NATO but by Serbia’s aggressiveness and threats,” Veseli wrote on Facebook.
“NATO is guarantee of Kosovo’s sovereignty and integrity,” he concluded.
Thaci: Kosovo blessed with trust and partnership of U.S. (media)
Most news outlets report that Kosovo President Hashim Thaci met on Wednesday with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his visit to Washington.
“Brilliant exchange & full accordance on the way ahead. US & Kosovo enjoy excellent relations & we’ll cont. deepening them. Thank you @SecPompeo for your commitment to support Kosovo’s full integration in the Euro-Atlantic family. Kosovo is blessed w/ the trust & partnership of US,” Thaci tweeted after the meeting.
Thaci also said that a permanent peace agreement between Kosovo and Serbia means peace for all South-East Europe, a turn to the future, development and prosperity.
In Washington, Thaci also met the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, David Norquist, and thanked him for the support.
“Kosovo has its own army, professional and with NATO standards, ready to be involved in humanitarian and peacekeeping missions in the world, side by side with the United States of America,” Thaci is quoted to have said.
Rama to Lavrov: Kosovo should be recognised by all (media)
Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama met yesterday with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and said that there is no reason why Kosovo should not be recognised as an independent country.
At a joint press conference following the meeting, Rama confirmed that they also discussed Kosovo. “I think it is good for everyone, including Serbia, to recognise Kosovo,” Rama said adding that they will continue to support dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.
“The interested parties should find an agreement and we believe that the key factor to move forward is the implementation of the decision for creation of Serb communities,” Lavrov meanwhile said. He also reiterated President of Russian President Vladimir Putin that Moscow would accept any agreement that Belgrade and Pristina reach.
Vucic: Matter of time before Serbia recognises Kosovo (media)
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in an interview with O2 that it is only a matter of time before Serbia recognises Kosovo’s independence.
Vucic said that after Pristina lifts the import tariff on Serbian products, Serbia will be faced with outstanding pressure to agree to Kosovo’s membership in the United Nations.
“Their objective is to bring Kosovo into the United Nations and this is the essence. We should expect this and it is a matter of time before it happens – in three months, six months, one year … it is going to happen,” he said.