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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, March 21

By   /  21/03/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, March 21

• Kosovo partially lifts import tariff on Serbian, Bosnian goods (media)
• LDK ignores calls, activates non-confidence motion (Koha)
• Abazi: LDK pressured yesterday not to vote lifting of the tariff (RTK)
• Number of confirmed cases with coronavirus reaches 24 (media)
• All parks in Kosovo to be closed from today (media)
• Thaci: Lajcak’s mission destined to fail (media)
• EU spokesman reacts to Thaci tweet (media)
• EP member: Fight corona, not each other (RTK)
• Meanwhile, America’s Kosovo Strategy Is Melting Down (Foreign Policy)

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  • Kosovo partially lifts import tariff on Serbian, Bosnian goods (media)
  • LDK ignores calls, activates non-confidence motion (Koha)
  • Abazi: LDK pressured yesterday not to vote lifting of the tariff (RTK)
  • Number of confirmed cases with coronavirus reaches 24 (media)
  • All parks in Kosovo to be closed from today (media)
  • Thaci: Lajcak’s mission destined to fail (media)
  • EU spokesman reacts to Thaci tweet (media)
  • EP member: Fight corona, not each other (RTK)
  • Meanwhile, America’s Kosovo Strategy Is Melting Down (Foreign Policy)

 

Kosovo partially lifts import tariff on Serbian, Bosnian goods (media)

The government of Kosovo has approved the decision to partially lift the import tariff on goods from Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, at least on a temporary basis.

Prime Minister Albin Kurti wrote on Facebook on Friday that the 100 percent tariff on raw materials from the two countries will be lifted, although import duties on other products will remain in place for now.

“In a vote of 10 in favor and two abstentions, it was decided to remove the 100 percent tariffs on imports of raw materials from Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina,” Kurti wrote.

He said the borders between Serbia and Kosovo will be open for import of raw materials as of the early morning of March 21. He however warned that if Belgrade did not respect Kosovo’s act of goodwill, then beginning on April 1, Kosovo would reciprocate in kind,  first in trade and then in political terms.

LDK ignores calls, activates non-confidence motion (Koha)

The news website that the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) has played deaf to calls from citizens, civil society and diplomats and even some of its own MPs, and activated the non-confidence motion aimed at bringing down the Kurti-led government at a time when Kosovo too has been hit by the coronavirus.

The news website noted that the LDK submitted the motion to the Assembly on Friday despite the fact that Prime Minister Albin Kurti partly met one of the conditions, by removing the import tariff on raw materials.

Abazi: LDK pressured yesterday not to vote lifting of the tariff (RTK)

Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister Haki Abazi stated that the direction taken by Mustafa, Veliu, Hyseni lead the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) to be ‘swallowed by Thaci and lead Kosovo in a horror that has never been experienced so far.

In a Facebook post, Abazi said political COVID is endangering the state.

He also wrote that if the LDK overthrows the government, a state of emergency will be declared within a short time and Thaci will take things on his hands. “LDK will of course experience the knife behind its back as it did in the past,” he writes.

“The division that Thaci failed to reach with champagne will reach it with blood proclaiming a state of emergency,” Abazi wrote.

According to Abazi, LDK made pressure on Friday not to lift the tariff ‘and this proves that it is not the tariff but the “debt” to Thaci and PDK. Veliu and the state of emergency are sides of the same coin,’ Abazi wrote.

Number of confirmed cases with coronavirus reaches 24 (media)

Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health informed on Friday that another two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed, totalling to 24 cases. The two new cases are from Suhareka and Gjakova and they had contacts with infected persons.

All parks in Kosovo to be closed from today (media)

All news websites report that all parks in Kosovo will be closed from 08:00 to 20:00 starting from today. The decision was made by the inter-institutional group for managing incidents. The group said in a media statement that Kosovo Police members will be present in all parks and will not allow visits by citizens.

Thaci: Lajcak’s mission destined to fail (media)

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci took to Twitter to say that “EU officially appointed a Special Envoy on the dialogue between Kosovo & Serbia. I congratulate him for the nice job he got. But his new mission is designed to fail due to his record to stop Slovakia to recognize Kosovo & the vote against Kosovo’s seat in UNESCO.”

EU spokesman reacts to Thaci tweet (media)

EU spokesman Peter Stano reacted to a tweet by Kosovo President Thaci who said that Miroslav Lajcak’s mission is destined to fail.

“Surprised to see such inaccurate & factually incorrect statement, procedures within the EU are ongoing,no decision was taken, no appointment made nor announced, once the process is completed, we will announce officially,” Stano tweeted.

EP member: Fight corona, not each other (RTK)

European Parliament member Lucas Mandl has called on Kosovo leaders to fight the coronavirus and not each other.

Austrian Christian Democrat Mandl said that in these difficult times the Government should stay and not have a political crisis.

“#Kosovo-officials should stick together at these difficult times, to keep the gvt instead of producing a political crisis, to overcome difficulties for the sake of our common enemy,” reads his tweet.

Meanwhile, America’s Kosovo Strategy Is Melting Down (Foreign Policy)

As the coronavirus pandemic raises tensions, the Trump administration’s strategy of bowing to Serbia’s authoritarian president is coming completely undone.

As the world struggles to combat the coronavirus pandemic, an extraordinary development has been unfolding in the Balkans: a challenged, dependent, and typically pliant little country has been openly defying the mighty administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

The Republic of Kosovo has refused to knuckle under to hardball pressure from Richard Grenell, the acting director of national intelligence who also serves as U.S. envoy for peace talks between Serbia and Kosovo. Neither country can join the European Union until they resolve the standoff over Kosovo’s independence, which Serbia refuses to recognize. Belgrade doggedly isolates the Republic of Kosovo, leaving the fledgling state outside the United Nations and most international organizations.

More on Foreign Policy website

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