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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, March 6

By   /  06/03/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, March 6

• Kurti calls for unity, says alliance with U.S. cannot be broken (Koha/Telegrafi)
• Grenell: Partial tariffs harm Kosovo’s economy (media)
• Borrell: I am committed to support advancing the EU-facilitated dialogue (Klan)
• “Thaci resumes efforts to paralyse Specialist Chambers” (Koha Ditore)
• U.S. rep to OSCE speaks about dialogue and fight against corruption (Kallxo)
• Germany, France expected to send envoys to Pristina next week (Express/Zeri)
• Kosnett briefed on the situation of non-majority communities in Kosovo (Epoka)

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  • Kurti calls for unity, says alliance with U.S. cannot be broken (Koha/Telegrafi)
  • Grenell: Partial tariffs harm Kosovo’s economy (media)
  • Borrell: I am committed to support advancing the EU-facilitated dialogue (Klan)
  • “Thaci resumes efforts to paralyse Specialist Chambers” (Koha Ditore)
  • S. rep to OSCE speaks about dialogue and fight against corruption (Kallxo)
  • Germany, France expected to send envoys to Pristina next week (Express/Zeri)
  • Kosnett briefed on the situation of non-majority communities in Kosovo (Epoka)

 Kosovo Media Highlights

Kurti calls for unity, says alliance with U.S. cannot be broken (Koha/Telegrafi)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti called for unity in Kosovo’s foreign policy saying that while internal differences may have an impact on political parties, they should have no bearing on the way Kosovo is represented externally.

Speaking at an event marking the 22nd anniversary of the Kosovo Liberation Army Epopee, Kurti said: “We can overcome polarization on internal policies but not differences in the foreign policy because it undermines our territorial integrity, our strategic interests and our institutional integrity. When we don’t agree on internal politics, it is the leaders and the parties that suffer but when we don’t agree on joint aspirations in the foreign policy the state suffers.”

Kurti also said that permanent alliance with the United States is Kosovo’s vital and strategic interest.

“This alliance surpasses narrow and temporary interests because we share common aspirations for a free and open society, based on human rights, market economy and equal opportunities. This alliance cannot be undermined or broken by anyone. The United States want a strong and independent Kosovo that advances democracy and contributes to peace in the region, that protects and advances its interests,” Kurti is quoted.

Grenell: Partial tariffs harm Kosovo’s economy (media)

The U.S. Special Envoy for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue Richard Grenell commented on the recent conversation he and the National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien had with Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti saying that they made it clear that the decision not to lift the tariffs on Serbia in entirety are damaging to the economy of Kosovo.

“The US would not waste our assistance if Kosovo’s leadership kept harming its people this way,” Grenell wrote on Twitter as a reaction to Kurti advisor’s statement that the United States are committed to increase economic development and strengthen security in the region and that the parties agreed to continue communication and cooperation.

Leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, Kadri Veseli, also reacted. “I am shocked that the Kosovo Prime Minister is giving false information about the seriousness of US intentions! PDK appreciates the work of Ambassador @RichardGrenell to reach a final agreement b/w #Kosovo and #Serbia and is committed to US efforts for peace in #WesternBalkans,” he tweeted.

Borrell: I am committed to support advancing the EU-facilitated dialogue (Klan)

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, spoke to Euractiv.hr news portal and underlined that EU’s commitment to the Western Balkans region.

Asked about whether the EU was losing its influence in the region and who is benefiting from Washington’s mediation in the Kosovo-Serbia relations, Borrell said: “I am committed to support advancing in the EU-facilitated Dialogue, in my role as facilitator. To help enhance my engagement and efforts, I decided to appoint a Special Representative for the Dialogue and the Western Balkans.

“Any engagement in support of the EU facilitated Dialogue by Member States as well as by our international partners, is of course welcomed. We work with all partners, the situation continues to require the efforts of all who want to achieve the same goal, that is, the prosperity of the people in the countries concerned, as well as their European perspective.”

“Thaci resumes efforts to paralyse Specialist Chambers” (Koha Ditore)

President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci has resumed efforts to paralyse the work of the Specialist Chambers by testing the U.S. position, Koha Ditore writes on the front page today. It adds that Thaci’s attempt is happening at a time when the U.S. has taken the lead of the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue and that while Thaci publicly spoke about his recent activities, he did not reveal the activities he took to prevent the work of the Specialist Chambers.

In a letter sent to Secretary Pompeo on 29 November 2019 a copy of which Koha has secured, Thaci raised concerns about the work of the Specialist Chambers saying that the government could redefine the court’s mandate, its functioning as well as geographical location.

“I write to formally bring to your attention our concern that after the passage of five years, the originally envisaged transitional period, there has been little progress in delivering the intended mandate of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers. I must also express grave reservations, on behalf of the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo, that the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and the Kosovo Specialist Prosecutor’s Office has not delivered on its mandate in the manner envisaged,” Thaci wrote.

“It is with deep regret that I must express my concern that the manner in which the respective institutions continue to operate is in direct contrast to that which was originally foreseen and agreed upon,” he added.

Pompeo meanwhile responded to Thaci’s letter reaffirming the U.S. support for Specialist Chambers and listing consequences Kosovo would face.

 “Abrogating or undermining the work, structure, or location of the Specialist Chambers of Specialist Prosecutor’s Office in any way would seriously damage Kosovo’s international credibility and standing; leave these allegations as a permanent mark over Kosovo; call into question Kosovo’s commitment to the rule of law; deny justice to victims; and cloud Kosovo’s future as a member of the Euro-Atlantic family and international community. The Specialist Chambers, operating in the current format, is the best way for Kosovo to close this chapter in its history and secure the continued ability of the United States to counter the arguments of Kosovo’s detractors and champions its further international integration,” Pompeo said.

Yesterday while attending activities marking the 22nd anniversary of KLA Epopee, Thaci was asked to comment on the letter to Pompeo. He said: “That letter is valid, very accurate.”

U.S. rep to OSCE speaks about dialogue and fight against corruption (Kallxo)

Harry Kamian, the U.S. Charge d’Affaires to OSCE said that stability, prosperity and sustainable peace in the Western Balkans can be achieved only when Kosovo is integrated as a full and equal member.

Speaking at the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna in response to the report by the head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo Ambassador Jan Braathu, Kamian said that the United States welcomes the new Kosovo government’s recent steps in the fight against corruption.

“In February, Kosovo’s new government was formed, following elections characterized by the EU election observation mission as “well-administered and transparent.”  Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s government now has an opportunity to advance shared priorities, including normalizing relations with Serbia, strengthening rule of law, and fostering economic growth,” he said.

The U.S., Kamian added, is focused on advancing ties between Pristina and Belgrade and that two U.S. special envoys are working to break through the impasse in Serbia-Kosovo relations.

“The recent agreements to increase air, road and rail connections between Pristina and Belgrade prove that practical solutions are possible and demonstrate that citizens in both countries will see tangible economic benefits from normalizing the relationship.  This is the message Presidents Thaci and Vucic received in Washington last week. The United States has made clear that Kosovo’s government must suspend the tariffs, and both parties must revive negotiations to unlock their countries’ full potential.”

Germany, France expected to send envoys to Pristina next week (Express/Zeri)

Germany and France are expected to send a joint delegation to Kosovo next week consisting of advisors to Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron, Gazeta Express reported quoting sources.

Sources said that Jan Hecker from Germany and Emmanuel Bonne from France will be in Pristina in the coming days, but the visit was not officially confirmed by authorities in Berlin.

Kosnett briefed on the situation of non-majority communities in Kosovo (Epoka)

Kosovo’s Minister of Local Government Administration, Emilia Rexhepi, met yesterday the U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo, Philip Kosnett, and USAID Kosovo Mission Director, Lisa Magno, with whom she discussed the situation of the non-majority communities, the priorities of the new government, and the importance of the continuation of the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.

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