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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, March 5

By   /  05/03/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, March 5

• Thaci: U.S. is taking the lead of Kosovo-Serbia dialogue (media)
• PM’s office: U.S. will not withdraw troops from Kosovo (RTK)
• Haziri speaks after LDK senior leadership meeting (RTK/Telegrafi)
• Nagavci: President to respond to Kurti’s meeting request (media)
• Veseli responds to Kurti’s request for meeting, sets the place (Zeri/Insajderi)
• BIRN publishes air, rail, and road links agreements (Prishtina Insight)
• Thaci: I was not interviewed by Specialist Chambers (Zeri/Telegrafi)
• Kurti recaps on the government’s one-month performance (media)

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  • Thaci: U.S. is taking the lead of Kosovo-Serbia dialogue (media)
  • PM’s office: U.S. will not withdraw troops from Kosovo (RTK)
  • Haziri speaks after LDK senior leadership meeting (RTK/Telegrafi)
  • Nagavci: President to respond to Kurti’s meeting request (media)
  • Veseli responds to Kurti’s request for meeting, sets the place (Zeri/Insajderi)
  • BIRN publishes air, rail, and road links agreements (Prishtina Insight)
  • Thaci: I was not interviewed by Specialist Chambers (Zeri/Telegrafi)
  • Kurti recaps on the government’s one-month performance (media)

Kosovo Media Highlights

Thaci: U.S. is taking the lead of Kosovo-Serbia dialogue (media)

President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci held a press conference upon return from the U.S. and said that the United States will be taking the lead of the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue and that he has received commitment of the U.S. administration to invest billions of dollars in Kosovo if an agreement with Serbia is reached quickly.

Thaci said Kosovo has faith on the leading role of the U.S. in the process.

“The United States of America, apart from the opportunity given to us for achieving a peace agreement and bringing investment worth billions to Kosovo, also request us to be correct in our responsibilities, and to be credible and reliable partners,” he said.

Thaci said that the attention the Kosovo-Serbia negotiating process is getting from the U.S. administration, President Donald Trump and his special envoy Richard Grenell, should be seized.

“This is a new momentum. It is a new opportunity which we all, as institutions, as politics, as civil society, as citizens, need to seize,” he noted warning that missing out on this ‘momentum’ will carry a price. “Delays, stagnation, status quo. No economic development, no progress, and no welfare for the citizens.”

Thaci is also quoted to have said that recognition from Serbia cannot be secured if the dialogue is led by the EU and refused to be involved in such negotiations.

“The European Union and EU member states did not yet manage to convince five EU countries to recognise independence of Kosovo. There is no hope on the horizon that the EU will manage to convince these countries to recognise independence of Kosovo, let alone convince Serbia. Chances are equal to zero, I don’t even seen an effort,” Thaci added.

Koha Ditore covers Thaci’s press conference on the front page under the headline: “Thaci declares dialogue in Brussels over” while Epoka e Re quotes on its cover Thaci as saying that the U.S. has made a powerful comeback in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. Bota Sot at the same time quotes Thaci: “We leaders are replaceable but U.S. role is irreplaceable.”

Thaci decided to address a press conference yesterday after the Assembly Speaker Vjosa Osmani did not call a session of the Assembly as Thaci requested. Osmani said Thaci’s request came at short notice and that the MPs will not be available as they are taking part in annual activities for the KLA Epopee.

PM’s office: U.S. will not withdraw troops from Kosovo (RTK)

Erzen Vraniqi, advisor to Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti, spoke about the telephone conversation Kurti had with the U.S. special envoy Richard Grenell and the National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien saying that the U.S. will not halt economic assistance to Kosovo or pull its peacekeeping troops out.

“The United States are committed to increase economic development and strengthen security in the region. At the end of the conversation, both parties agreed to continue communication and cooperation,” Vraniqi said.

Haziri speaks after LDK senior leadership meeting (RTK/Telegrafi)

Deputy leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Lutfi Haziri spoke to reporters following a meeting that deputy leaders had with party leader Isa Mustafa yesterday.

Haziri said the meeting focused on recent political developments and the LDK’s role in the assembly, government, and at the local level.

With regards to import tariff on Serbia, Haziri said they are coordinating future steps. “Our most senior representatives will coordinate amongst themselves, will undergo consultations and of course will come out with a joint position in order to give this country other opportunities.”

At an interview for RTV Dukagjini, Haziri said LDK has not issued any ultimatums to its coalition partner, the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV), concerning the tax and reciprocity measures.

“LDK’s role is to strengthen stability and not undermine the existing one. I believe that the mere fact that the Prime Minister came out publicly to announce removal of the tax is a huge political step,” he said.

Nagavci: President to respond to Kurti’s meeting request (media)

Arberie Nagavci, deputy Speaker of the Kosovo Assembly from the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV), said that since the President Hashim Thaci has stated many times that he respects the Constitution of Kosovo, he should make sure to respond to Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s invitation to meet.

“Someone should make it clear to President Thaci that he first needs to respond to the invitation of Prime Minister Albin Kurti for a consultation, to make sure he undersands what is the foreign policy that the Government proposes and implemented and then represent Republic of Kosovo outside the country, in accordance to prior coordination,” Nagavci wrote on Facebook.

Veseli responds to Kurti’s request for meeting, sets the place (Zeri/Insajderi)

Leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) Kadri Veseli had responded to the letter sent to him by Prime Minister Albin Kurti asking for a meeting.

Veseli said that he would be ready to receive Kurti at the PDK offices and discuss strengthening of Kosovo’s position towards Serbia but also expressed concerns for what he said were Kurti’s anti-American sentiments.

BIRN publishes air, rail, and road links agreements (Prishtina Insight)

BIRN has reported that is has secured the letters of intent signed between Kosovo and Serbia officials at Munich for establishment of air, rail and road links.

The letter of intent for establishing Belgrade-Pristina air route is reported to state that the Civil Aviation Authority in Kosovo, the Airport in Prishtina and the NATO Mission in Kosovo express their intention to establish the direct Belgrade-Pristina Special Air Route and that it also notes that consent will be required by Kosovo institutions to issue registration and the necessary permits, but that these should not be withheld if Eurowings or a carrier of the Lufthansa Group is able to present “typical and relevant aircraft documentation.”

There are also stipulations regarding taxes that can be applied to the flight. “Institutions in Kosovo confirm that the operation to/from Belgrade/Prishtina and vice versa shall operate without further additional taxes, fees and charges for a service on a BPSAR,” the letter states. “In any case fees, tax and charges shall not be discriminating.”

Prices for tickets, as well as fares for cargo and mail will be set by Lufthana while the responsibility for implementing the flight and ensuring its safe operation lies with the Kosovo Civil Aviation Authority and KFOR.

At the same time, the agreement on railway connection between Pristina and Belgrade, through the Merdare crossing point, states that in order for this to be achieved, infrastructure “must be renewed and built.”

In terms of financing, the statement advises that “Kosovo intends to seek international support and financing to make operational all railway routes linking Kosovo to its neighbouring countries.”

Merdare is also envisioned as the connection point for the Prishtina-Belgrade highway, where, according to the ‘statement of intent to complete the Prishtina-Belgrade Highway’, the road will then connect to Nis “through the development of a new road.”

See more: https://bit.ly/39oXyM9

Thaci: I was not interviewed by Specialist Chambers (Zeri/Telegrafi)

Speaking to reporters yesterday about his recent visit to the U.S., President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci was also asked to comment on whether he was interviewed by the Specialist Chambers.

“I was not interviewed either in Pristina or in Vienna,” Thaci said.

Kurti recaps on the government’s one-month performance (media)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti published a list of actions the government took in its first month.

Kurti said that some of the most important decisions taken during this period include that for halving the salaries of government staff, abolishing the posts of national coordinators, allocating financial assistance for the region of Peja and Istog following damage caused from strong winds, dismissing the boards of directors of the Telecom of Kosovo, Kosovo Railways – Infrakos, and Trepca enterprises.

The respective ministers meanwhile decided to cancel appointment of 14 consuls, annulled the tender for Pristina-Gjilan highway announced without budgetary approval, annulled the construction of residences near the Badovc Lake, and also annulled three decisions of the former minister of European integration which save the Kosovo budget almost half a million euros.

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