- One new case of Covid-19, 28 recoveries (media)
- Kurti: Thaci and Vucic have a secret deal (media)
- Germany supports agreement that contributes to stability (Express)
- Varhelyi: Kosovo needs a stable government (RFE)
- Kurti on letter to Pence: I clarified the position of Kosovo govt (Koha)
- LDK deputy leader Lutfi Haziri debate on T7
- VV deputy leader and Finance Minister Bislimi interview to KTV
- PDK deputy leader Krasniqi interview to Klan Kosova
- Behramaj: Kurti ruined his relations with U.S. over Borrell (media)
- A week on, LDK has not made public coalition agreement with SL (Telegrafi)
- Kurti and Abbott discuss pandemic and economic recovery (media)
- UK refuses in silence Kosovo ambassador (Koha)
- Increase in cases of domestic violence during pandemic (Express)
Kosovo Media Highlights
One new case of Covid-19, 28 recoveries (media)
The Public Health Institute confirmed one new case of Covid-19 over the last 24 hours out of 194 tested samples.
The new case is from the Kamenica municipality.
The Institute also said that 28 patients have recovered, raising the number of recoveries to a total of 561.
At the same time, yesterday, a 66-year-old woman from Dragash died from the virus. She is reported to have been suffering from underlying health problems.
Kurti: Thaci and Vucic have a secret deal (media)
Most local news websites cover an interview that Kosovo’s acting Prime Minister and Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti gave to Tirana-based TV Klan on Thursday evening.
Kurti argued that Kosovo and Serbia Presidents, Hashim Thaci and Aleksandar Vucic, have already reached a secret deal and according to Kurti, Kosovo would not win any territories in the municipalities Bujanovac and Medvedja in southern Serbia. “According to this agreement, Kosovo would have to give away its municipalities north of the Ibar River and Serbia would also get another Serb municipality south of the Ibar River … In exchange, it is said that Kosovo would get some villages in Presevo Valley, but not Bujanovac and Medvedja”. Kurti said he is confident that such an agreement exists. “They have reached a deal. The secret agreement is secret. I don’t have it. If I had it, I would have shown it to you”.
Kurti said U.S. Presidential Envoy for the Kosovo – Serbia Dialogue, Richard Grenell, initially said Kosovo should lift the 100 percent import tariff on Serbia and that Serbia would have to stop its campaign against Kosovo recognitions. According to Kurti, Grenell later abandoned the second part of his position after a visit to Belgrade. “I had intensive communication with him. His position was that Kosovo should lift the tariff on Serbia and that Serbia would have to stop its campaign against Kosovo’s independence on the international arena. He then abandoned the second part after a trip to Belgrade,” he said.
Kurti said that in the end Grenell was against reciprocity measures with Serbia. “I continued to communicate with him in positive fashion, but I cannot agree for Kosovo not to have reciprocal relations with Serbia,” he added.
Germany supports agreement that contributes to stability (Express)
The German Government said in a written reply to the news website on Thursday that they support an agreement between Kosovo and Serbia that would benefit the peoples of both countries and one that would contribute to the stability of the region.
Asked to comment on recent remarks by EU High Representative Borrell and if they are against the idea of border changes, a spokesman for the German Government said: “The Federal Government continues to strongly support the EU-facilitated dialogue for the normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo. The objective remains to have a legally binding agreement for a comprehensive normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia that would serve peoples in both countries and that would contribute to the stability of the region.”
Varhelyi: Kosovo needs a stable government (RFE)
European Commissioner for Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, said in an interview with Radio Free Europe that Kosovo needs a stable government.
Asked whether he thinks Kosovo should head to new elections or whether he believes there is an option that would end the political stalemate in Pristina, Varhelyi said that he hoped “all political parties, together with the president, will be able to find a sustainable solution.”
“It is not up to me to offer an option. I think they are already fully engaged on this. They also asked for the opinion of the Constitutional Court. Therefore, I am certain that the political leadership in Kosovo will be ready to find a tangible solution.”
Kurti on letter to Pence: I clarified the position of Kosovo govt (Koha)
Acting Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti refused to describe his letter to the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence as a complaint against envoy Richard Grenell.
Kurti said he sent a clarification letter on the position of the Kosovo government regarding dialogue with Serbia.
“I expressed our positions, as a government of Kosovo, mine as acting prime minister, on different matters including the dialogue. I did not complain to anyone about ambassador Grenell but I expressed my views about the dialogue and how it should be principled. This was because there is a lot of misinformation about our government, me as a politician and what I say and do so I made my positions clear to avoid misunderstandings,” Kurti said yesterday after he donated blood at the Kosovo Blood Transfusion Centre.
LDK deputy leader Lutfi Haziri debate on T7
Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) deputy leader and Gjilan Mayor, Lutfi Haziri, said in a debate on T7 that he would not be part of a new government led by the LDK and that would he keep his position as Gjilan mayor.
Haziri argued that an agreement between Serbia and Kosovo can be reached with the involvement of the Quint countries “and even without Kosovo on the table”.
Haziri said “Serbia has some control from the Ibar River to the north. They want an agreement of rivers not an agreement of borders. Serbia de facto controls the north and if talks include territories then Serbia could get control over the south-eastern part of Kosovo. Serbia wants to come down from Karadak to Morava,” he argued.
VV deputy leader and Finance Minister Bislimi interview to KTV
Kosovo’s acting Minister of Finance, Besnik Bislimi, who is also deputy leader of the Vetevendosje Movement, said in an interview to KTV that if Kosovo were to go to new elections now, his party would win 59 seats in parliament. Bislimi said this does not even include the votes from the Albanian diaspora, “which would further strengthen the power of the Vetevendosje”.
Commenting on President Thaci’s decree of LDK’s Avdullah Hoti for Prime Minister, Bislimi said the Constitutional Court “will not allow a government against the will of the people, because this would set a very dangerous precedent”.
Bislimi also ruled out reports in some media according to which there is growing disagreement between VV leader and acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti and VV deputy leader and acting Foreign Minister Glauk Konjufca. “Their relations were never better,” he said.
PDK deputy leader Krasniqi interview to Klan Kosova
Kosovo Assembly Vice President from the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) Memli Krasniqi said in an interview to Klan Kosova that Health Minister Arben Vitia should resign following the tragic death of a 26-year-old man at the student dormitory in Prishtina.
Krasniqi said it was clear from the moment that the victim arrived in Kosovo that he should be sent to self-isolation. “We have asked for the resignations of Minister Vitia and [acting Interior] Minister Svecla the moment when the tragic event happened … There was evidence even before he arrived in Kosovo that he should be sent home for self-isolation,” he added.
Krasniqi also said that his party – the Democratic Party of Kosovo – is consistent in its positions and that it will remain in the opposition until the new general elections. “The PDK will not vote in favor of the new government. This is the position of the PDK chairmanship and its parliamentary group,” he said.
Krasniqi said the Constitutional Court was right to introduce an interim measure on President Thaci’s decree. He said the PDK never contested the decisions of the Constitutional Court “even when they were not in our favor”.
Behramaj: Kurti ruined his relations with U.S. over Borrell (media)
Adil Behramaj, advisor to Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, argued in a Facebook post that acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti ruined his relations with the United States of America over the EU High Representative Josep Borrell. According to Behramaj, Kurti lifted the import tariff on Serbia in coordination with Borrell and not with Washington.
“He [Kurti] trusted Borrell and his envoy over the U.S. envoys for the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia. He sided with Borrell whenever Grenell was mentioned. He ignored Washington whenever Brussels was mentioned,” Behramaj wrote. “But now, the so-called ‘godfather’ of this government and Kurti’s friend, is himself promoting the idea of border changes”.
A week on, LDK has not made public coalition agreement with SL (Telegrafi)
Telegrafi reports that while the coalition agreements between the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) with the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) and the Social Democratic Initiative (NISMA) were made public the day they were signed, the coalition agreement with the Serbian List (SL) has not yet been disclosed to the public.
LDK’s candidate for prime minister, Avdullah Hoti, had announced that an agreement with SL was reached on 29 April and the party leader, Isa Mustafa, had soon after said that the agreement would be made public. This however has not yet happened.
Officials from the LDK did not comment.
Kurti and Abbott discuss pandemic and economic recovery (media)
Acting Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti met the British Ambassador to Kosovo Nicholas Abbott and discussed the current situation in Kosovo, particularly concerning efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kurti briefed Abbott on the drastic decline of Covid-19 cases in Kosovo and the two also spoke about pandemic’s negative effects on the economy and the measures the government has taken towards economic recovery.
UK refuses in silence Kosovo ambassador (Koha)
Koha reports that even a year since being decreed by President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci as Kosovo’s Ambassador to United Kingdom, Frymezim Isufaj has not yet received the approval from the government in London.
A source from Kosovo’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the paper that the new ambassador has been refused in silence. The source added that this was not because the UK has anything against Isufaj’s profile but because he was appointed by a government that had resigned and was a caretaker in functions.
Increase in cases of domestic violence during pandemic (Express)
The news website reports that there has been an increase in cases of domestic violence during the coronavirus pandemic. 169 cases of domestic violence have been reported in March alone according to Kosovo Police.