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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, March 19

By   /  19/03/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, March 19

LDK initiates motion of no confidence (media)
Prime Minister Kurti press conference (media)
Veseli: PDK will soon decide on no-confidence motion (Indeksonline)
Osmani: Me and Lumir Abdixhiku were against the motion (media)
Kurti and Risi discuss security implications of COVID-19 (RTK)
Merkel and Vucic for reopening of Kosovo-Serbia dialogue as soon as possible (media)

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  • LDK initiates motion of no confidence (media)
  • Prime Minister Kurti press conference (media)
  • Veseli: PDK will soon decide on no-confidence motion (Indeksonline)
  • Hoti: It was almost impossible to find common language with Kurti (KTV)
  • Osmani: Me and Lumir Abdixhiku were against the motion (media)
  • Kurti and Risi discuss security implications of COVID-19 (RTK)
  • Merkel and Vucic for reopening of Kosovo-Serbia dialogue as soon as possible (media)

LDK initiates motion of no confidence (media)

The Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) initiated a no-confidence motion against Kurti’s government, all media report.

The decision was made during the meeting of LDK’s leadership on Wednesday afternoon, called after Agim Veliu’s dismissal from the post of the Minister of Interior.

Leader of the LDK Isa Mustafa said the coalition partner Vetevendosje, has violated several points of the agreement for co-governance. He also spoke about disagreements on the tariff for Serbian goods.

“I held the meeting of the party’s leadership. We discussed the current situation in our country, caused by risking breach of relations with the U.S. as a result of not lifting the tariff, based on their constant request and the problem today which arouse after Veliu’s dismissal. I want to tell you that I met Kurti on March 12 together with the Assembly Speaker Osmani and Deputy PM Hoti, and I asked him to lift the tariff unconditionally, as requested by the U.S. because endangering relations with them is not in our favor and that Kosovo cannot lose its main ally because of a tariff which was neither imposed by LVV nor by LDK,” Mustafa said.

“I have not received a positive response, because the deadline for Mr. Kurti to act partially as promised was on 15 of this month, with which we did not agree. I wrote to Kurti on Monday to lift the tariff by the end of this week because he is risking relations with the U.S. This is obvious also through freezing of the MCC funds,” Mustafa said.

“If we do not have an orientation of peace, then the U.S. can withdraw its military troops. Yesterday happened withdrawal of the investor [the new power plant] As far as this is concerned, we had our critiques about this project, but we did not expect such withdrawal. Another unexpected and announced action of the Prime Minister, in contradiction with the coalition agreement, happened today as well. As for such decision he should have consulted me, but he did not do this and it is an arbitrary decision,” Mustafa said.

He said that due to the deteriorating of the relations with the U.S., they will initiate motion of no confidence, as such governing cannot be allowed.

“To us, it is an action which tells that Kurti does not want to cooperate with us and undertake actions that would ensure healthy relations with the U.S. We have decided for LDK to initiate a no confidence motion to bring down Kurti’s government, as we do not want to be in such governing, as it indangers relations with the U.S.,” Mustafa said.

He also said the country should undertake measures against coronavirus in full capacity.

“All countries around us have undertaken measures, and some of them by declaring a state of emergency and we should do the same. Except for the problem of the spread of this serious illness, we have major economic problems, and this can leave many people without jobs, therefore, what Kosovo needs is operation and a synergy between all institutions in order to win the battle against this pandemic,” Mustafa said.

He further requested cooperation between Thaci and Kurti during the current situation.

“In no case did LDK simplify the problem saying that we are with Thaci or with Kurti, we are with Kosovo, as politics is less important than people’s lives. Thaci and Kurti should cooperate,” Mustafa said.

“I want to inform you that this is our position, we do not see reason any more to co-govern with Vetevendosje. We do not see reason for LVV with such actions to lead the country. Our essential clash is about the deteriorating relations with the U.S. and we dont agree with this. We have not discussed the issue with other political parties,” he said.

Asked if they had an agreement with President Hashim Thaci about these actions, Mustafa said “I can guarantee you that we had no agreement with Thaci. We did not request in an explicit manner to declare a state of emergency. As far as the tariff and reciprocity is concerned, it is true that we said in the agreement for co-governance that the tariff should be replaced with reciprocity, but we had the interference of our friends. We have not given up reciprocity, but we have to wait how Serbia will act,” Mustafa said.

Despite the motion of no confidence, Mustafa said that they will remain in the coalition government until the coronavirus is overcome.

“We have the decision for the motion of no-confidence. I do not see a possibility for the country to go to elections at this time but we have expressed our readiness until the emergency situation is passed. But I cannot allow Kurti to joke with our ministers. We told Kurti that we do not accept his action, as it is an arbitrary one,” Mustafa said.

“I think that activities to fight coronavirus should continue. The motion does not send the government home, but we cannot continue in this manner. We have reached a situation where we have deteriorating relations with the U.S. Ambassador Grenell asks us on a daily basis when we are going to lift the tariff,” he said.

Mustafa said Kosovo’s relations with the US are crucial for his party’s decision.

“I am not saying that the position on the no-confidence motion is a result of this decision, but the most essential problem are relations with the US and their first-ever sanctions against Kosovo,” Mustafa said.

Prime Minister Kurti press conference (media)

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti at a press conference on Wednesday evening was asked to comment on the no-confidence motion against government initiated by the partner in the ruling coalition, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).

“We need to wait and see what they will do, what they will write and how they will act, and then we will respond,” Kurti said. He added that the LDK is their partner but that this party should not identify with a statement made by former Interior Minister Agim Veliu who supported the proposal to declare a state of emergency. Veliu was sacked from his position over his remarks.

“A Minister cannot declare a state of emergency at midnight. I think the LDK should not identify itself with a statement made by a minister at midnight … ,” Kurti said.

Kurti also said that Veliu spread panic in the public with his statements that the number of people infected with the coronavirus was increasing by the hour and that he was forced to relieve from duty because of “double treason”. “He made a double treason, against the government and the Kosovo Police. To be an Interior Minister and to call for a state of emergency on your own, this means disrespecting the police and a job they have done very well”.

Kurti said Kosovo is the most pro-American country in the world and that no one believes claims that the Vetevendosje Movement is anti-American.

“When we fight crime and corruption in a state that remains captured … the opponents try to hide and they find shelter in desperate calls that no one believes anymore, claiming that the Prime Minister is anti-American … These are desperate calls. Kosovo is probably the most pro-American country in the world.”

“We have and we want to continue to have good relations, a broad partnership and a strong alliance with the US. We need both the US and the EU. They dont replace one another. It is wrong to say yes to the US and no to the EU, or vice versa. Yes to the US and yes to the EU. The trans-atlantic alliance is crucial for Kosovo and Albanians”.

On the import tariff on Serbia, Kurti reiterated his position for gradually replacing the tariff with reciprocity measures. “In this case we would make the first step and then follow up with other steps depending on the reaction from the other side. Serbia must stop the campaign against Kosovo’s independence and it also needs to drop non-tariff barriers against Kosovo,” he said.

Veseli: PDK will soon decide on no-confidence motion (Indeksonline)

Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) leader Kadri Veseli told the news website on Wednesday evening that his party will very soon announce their position on the no-confidence motion against the Kurti government.

“The PDK will announce its position very soon,” Veseli said.

Hoti: It was almost impossible to find common language with Kurti (KTV)

Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti said they rather bring down the government than harm relations with the United States of America. He said they did not find common language with Prime Minister Albin Kurti on lifting of the tariff on Serbian goods.

“We have been negotiating for several weeks now, pleading Kurti to be careful and maintain the partnership with the U.S., but it was almost impossible to find a common language. Partnership with the U.S. is more important than staying in the government, as there cannot be consolidation of our state in the international arena. But also, today’s decision was extremely hastened, as the agreement was to accord with the LDK leader in such cases. Perhaps it is also a matter of how Kurti sees the governing,” Hoti told KTV adding that he considers this to be a message from Kurti to Mustafa.

“Kurti has received Mustafa’s notification that we should agree on lifting the tariff within this week. We cannot risk by having drastic decisions from the U.S. such as MCC and CounterGlobal, despite the warnings about this last one. We of course cannot stay in a government which endangers partnership with the U.S. We would rather see the government go down than affect partnership with the U.S.” Hoti said.

He added that they will immediately proceed with motion of no confidence to the Assembly, while procedures will be followed in accordance with the Constitution.

Osmani: Me and Lumir Abdixhiku were against the motion (media)

After the announcement of the leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Isa Mustafa about the initiation of no confidence motion on Kurti’s government, LDK’s deputy leader and Speaker of the Assembly of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani, informed that she was against Mustafa’s decision. She added that Minister Lumir Abdixhiku also was against motion of no confidence.

“Me and Lumir Abdixhiku did not vote for the motion of no confidence,” Osmani told Kallxo.com.

Kurti and Risi discuss security implications of COVID-19 (RTK)

The Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti hosted on Wednesday a meeting with KFOR Commander Major General Michele Risi, to discuss security implications with regards to spread of COVID-19. Commander Risi stressed splendid cooperation between the government and KFOR. He welcomed exchange of information between the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior and Health Ministry.

He also commended the continued coordinated approach of these authorities to keep security in Kosovo.

PM Kurti and Major General Risis agreed to be in regular communication during the following days and weeks.

Merkel and Vucic for reopening of Kosovo-Serbia dialogue as soon as possible (media)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic held on Wednesday a videoconference. Merkel’s Office informed that the exchanged opinions on close bilateral and economic relations, process of Serbia’s acceptance in the EU and related reforms, as well as the situation in the region. They also discussed extensively about the challenges on facing COVID-19, informs a joint press release.

Merkel welcomed readiness of the Serbian President to enter a dialogue mediated by the EU on removing trade, non-tariff barriers between Kosovo and Serbia.

The press release also notes that Chancellor Merkel welcomed Serbia’s readiness to implement Brussels agreements on integrated border management, which should start implementing at Merdare border crossing.

“President Vucic insisted on fulfillment of all dispositions of the Brussels Agreement,” informs the press release.

They also agreed on the resumption of the dialogue for normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia as soon as possible. President Vucic promised he will undertake al required steps to make the dialogue successful and avoid mutual obstacles, in order to create a constructive atmosphere and open discussions.

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