Albanian Language Media:
- Kurti says next dialogue with Serbia meeting depends on Brussels (KP/Koha)
- LDK vows to distribute at least €400 mill for economic recovery if in power (media)
- Hamza: PDK to be constructive on international financial agreements (Telegrafi)
- Tahiri: Kurti could not strengthen relations with internationals (KP)
Serbian Language Media:
- No new Covid-19 infection cases in Serb areas in Kosovo (Kosovo-online)
- The Balkans will be one of the US main fronts, so they want the Kosovo issue resolved (Kosovo Online, B92)
- Djuric: Kurti’s audacity is surprising, he is hitting out at US diplomacy (KoSSev, TV Happy)
- Gorazdevac: Kosovo police intend to remove Serbian flags (Kontakt plus radio, Kosovo Online)
- EU for Kosovo-online: Taken property to return to Visoki Decani Monastery (Kosovo-online)
- “Initiatives to face past were unsuccessful” (Radio KIM)
- US Ambassador: Washington allocates additional € 850,000 to Serbia (FoNet, N1)
- Opening of the administrative line towards Serbia as of tomorrow (Radio Mitrovica Sever)
- Kosovo Tries Again to Establish War Crimes Research Institute (Balkan Insight)
- KWN concerned with approach to women in decision making posts (media)
- Bringing Back the Bodies: The Balkan Emigrants Repatriated in Death (Balkan Insight)
- Serbian epidemiologist criticizes political gatherings during epidemic (N1)
Albanian Language Media
Kurti says next dialogue with Serbia meeting depends on Brussels (KP/Koha)
Acting Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti said that the calendar of future meetings between Kosovo and Serbia depends on Brussels and that Kosovo will be represented by its prime minister.
“I am in regular contact with the EU representative, Miroslav Lajcak. He of course is preparing for the start of dialogue. We want this dialogue to have principles and be well prepared, well organised. We are ready, we have experience, we will protect the interests of our country and will represent the Republic of Kosovo in line with the Constitution, our laws and the people of Kosovo,” Kurti said in a visit to Suhareka today.
He added: “The dialogue with Serbia’s future calendar depends on Brussels and according to the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo and last year’s ruling, Kosovo is represented by its prime minister.”
LDK vows to distribute at least €400 mill for economic recovery if in power (media)
The Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) candidate for prime minister, Avdullah Hoti, presented to party members the governing programme if it forms the new government.
“The governing programme will have two pillars. First will focus on management of the pandemic where we aim to include all protocols, particularly those of European Commission, and the second involves economic recovery,” LDK’s Arban Abrashi told reporters.
Abrashi said that the Albin Kurti-led government is causing daily losses to businesses and that LDK would distribute at least €400 million by autumn to the economic sector adding that the figure could reach one billion during a later stage.
Hamza: PDK to be constructive on international financial agreements (Telegrafi)
Head of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) parliamentary group Bedri Hamza said that the party MPs will play a constructive role.
Asked by Telegrafi whether the PDK will support the adoption of international financial agreements that the acting government has forwarded to the Assembly, Hamza said: “In principle we support any initiative that is in the interest of the country and the citizens and whenever they are put up for discussion at the Assembly, we will be constructive.”
Assembly Speaker Vjosa Osmani said several days ago that there is no positive mood on the part of certain parliamentary groups to forward these agreements to the Assembly recalling that international agreements require two-thirds of MPs’ votes.
The Kosovo Prime Minister’s Office told Telegrafi that in addition to 17 international agreements, seven draft laws have also been submitted to the Assembly of Kosovo.
Tahiri: Kurti could not strengthen relations with internationals (KP)
Kosovo’s former chief negotiator in talks with Serbia, said in an interview with Kosovapress, that the principle of reciprocity is included in all agreements between Kosovo and Serbia when she was chief negotiator. She said that acting Prime Minister Kurti should have respected the reciprocity in those agreements and that in doing so he would not have jeopardised the partnership with international allies.
Tahiri also argued that Kurti’s Vetevendosje lacks the culture of cooperation and that it has no diplomatic skills to maintain international relations.
Serbian Language Media
No new Covid-19 infection cases in Serb areas in Kosovo (Kosovo-online)
There were no new Covid-19 infection cases registered over the last 24 hours in the Serb areas in Kosovo, Kosovo-online portal reports. One patient has been cured, while one person has passed away, Crisis Committee of Mitrovica North announced.
The cured person is from Leposavic, while the person who passed away was from Zubin Potok.
Since the outbreak of pandemic a total of 116 persons were infected, 104 persons have been cured, and 10 persons have passed away.
The two remaining active patients are at Clinical Centre in Mitrovica North, and at Students’ Center in the same town.
The Balkans will be one of the US main fronts, so they want the Kosovo issue resolved (Kosovo Online, B92)
Laris Gaiser, a Slovenian analyst and geopolitics professor, claims that the Balkans will become focal point to great powers in the forthcoming months
He also states that the influence of the United States will be strengthened, while Chinese foreign policy will face the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, pointing out that the appointment of Lajcak and Borrell as special envoys for the dialogue on Kosovo is a wrong move on the part of EU.
“With the current crisis, the Balkans will become even more important for the great powers. Global frictions between China and the United States will intensify, and given that China wanted to exert pressure through the Balkans and Central Europe in order to destabilize the EU and NATO systems, it is normal that Washington will now try to strongly oppose this by using Chinese weaknesses. Chinese foreign policy will suffer long-term consequences due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Balkans will become one of the main fronts for the United States. Under such a scenario, I think the U.S. would want the Kosovo knot to be resolved quickly,” he told portal Kosovo Online.
Asked whether it is now possible to expect a conference that was prepared by official Paris and Berlin before the pandemic, he answered that it is unlikely.
“The conference could be possible, but it is unlikely that it will be organized soon. The EU has suffered a crisis within the crisis and must stabilize first. Due to the lack of an appropriate response to the Italian and Spanish crises, the EU has strengthened the general perception of the importance of individual countries, failing to become anchored in our common destiny,” he says, adding:
“COVID-19 has accelerated the process of reshaping the international order. The EU and the EC used to be important projects for the United States after World War II. Now Brexit, along with German dominance in Europe, is the reason for Washington’s deeper, renewed engagement in our regional balance of power. The conference is welcome as a clarification on options, but any future conference on Kosovo will be far from the French-German idea present prior to the pandemic”.
Djuric: Kurti’s audacity is surprising, he is hitting out at US diplomacy (KoSSev, TV Happy)
The head of the Kosovo Office, Marko Djuric announced that he is not surprised that the United States wants an active role, a solution and to be involved in mediation between Belgrade and Pristina. According to Djuric, however, he is surprised by the ”audacity” of Albin Kurti and some other Albanian leaders who are ”hitting out at American diplomacy”. Djuric also revealed that Pristina politicians have never acted like that without ”someone powerful standing behind them”.
During a guest appearance on Belgrade based TV Happy, Djuric also spoke about the transformation of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF), noting that the strengthening of this formation should not be underestimated.
”3,500 people are not to be underestimated… while some officers and petty officers have attended top Western schools,” he claimed.
The head of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija said that Belgrade managed to deter a ”three-digit number of Serbs” involved in these armed forces before the start of the transformation.
Apart from the fact that Serbia was engaged on the international scene with the goal of strengthening its position, it also worked on Kosovo with the goal of consolidating the Serbian corps, Djuric said, recalling that the Serbian List won all 10 seats in the Kosovo Assembly.
According to Djuric, if Srpska Lista had not been created, there would have been ”the same or an even worse seizure of holy sites in Kosovo than in Montenegro”.
The American embassy recently reacted, reminding that the Kosovo authorities have not yet implemented the decision of the Constitutional Court to return more than 20 hectares of land to the monastery of Visoki Decani. Djuric welcomed their appeal, warning that ”there is no illusion that a desire to legitimize the institutions in some way’ ‘in Kosovo lies behind this.
Djuric underlined that there is currently a conflict of great powers in Kosovo over domination among Kosovo Albanians.
”It is up to us not to participate in that and to wish them good luck in solving mutual problems,” he added.
Gorazdevac: Kosovo police intend to remove Serbian flags (Kontakt plus radio, Kosovo Online)
There is an idea to remove Serbian flags in Gorazdevac, says Milos Dimitrijevic, president of the Provisional Municipal Authority, reports Kontakt plus radio.
This information was passed on to him by Nue Nikola, the commander of the police station in Pec.
Dimitrijevic claims that he has already gone to the police station twice because of this problem, when he was suggested to take down the flag.
Dimitrijevic adds that this problem has been reported to the OSCE, the European Union Office in Kosovo and other representatives of the international community.
“We see that the international community has reacted, the OSCE representatives talked to me today. I don’t know what will happen, but I know I won’t take down the flag,” said Dimitrijevic.
In many places in Kosovo, flags of Albania, often other countries, were hoisted.
Dimitrijevic wonders how it is possible that only one flag bothers the law enforcement authorities, and that is exactly in the Serbian environment.
“We Serbs should have our own flag and insignia in this area. We are not bothered by the flags of other countries that have been set up all over Kosovo and Metohija,” Dimitrijevic said.
A spokesman for the Kosovo Police for the Pec region, Fadil Gashi, said in a short telephone statement for Radio Gorazdevac that there was no information about this case and directed the journalists to the commander of the police station in Pec, Nue Nikola, who did not respond to calls and messages.
EU for Kosovo-online: Taken property to return to Visoki Decani Monastery (Kosovo-online)
EU Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Virginie Battu-Henriksson, regarding the attempt to take away property of Visoki Decani Monastery, told Kosovo-online portal that the decision of the Constitutional Court must be respected and that politicians must act in line with it.
“We carefully monitor the situation in Kosovo. Political processes are in the hands of Kosovo political leaders. It is essential that all respect the Constitution. It also means the full respect of the role of the Constitutional Court and its decisions. At the times of unseen challenges due to global pandemic, we expect that political actors in Kosovo act responsibly and focus on the needs and interests of people,” she told Kosovo-online portal.
“Initiatives to face past were unsuccessful” (Radio KIM)
Establishment of the Institute for war crimes, announced by the Kosovo Government is wrong, Nora Ahmetaj, member of the preparatory team for establishing Truth and Reconciliation Commission and human rights activist told RTV KIM.
She considers the establishment of such an institute would fall under the shadow of existing “unserious initiatives” from the past.
“Why to establish something that exists and was not annulled? What is the ground for the new establishment of such an institute? Because an old man has not recovered? Even if they establish it, and ensure its financial stability and expertise, the question remains if this institute would sustain, having in mind the fact that initiatives dealing with the past and very difficult issues from the past have not been successful or were established in wrong circumstances. Moreover, they (Kosovo Government) have highlighted disharmony between institutions within state apparatus and civil society, or segments of the civil society dealing with this topic over 30 years,” Ahmetaj said in a written statement to RTV KIM.
If such an institute is established, Ahmetaj thinks the mission of that institute should be shedding the light on events during the war in Kosovo, and afterwards determining responsibility of different actors.
“This institute would not be important if it would only deal with documenting the crimes against Albanians during the 1998-1999 conflict,” she said.
The Kosovo Government announced establishment of a new Institute for war crimes, committed during the war in Kosovo, including the crimes against humanity and genocide. The institute would serve to “create dossiers dedicated to collective memories,” RTV KIM recalled.
US Ambassador: Washington allocates additional € 850,000 to Serbia (FoNet, N1)
The US Ambassador to Serbia Antony Godfrey tweeted that his country had secured EUR 850,000 in additional aid to Belgrade for fighting the coronavirus epidemic consequences, FoNet news agency reports.
A large amount of the aid is in cash as direct help to families in need of necessary things to ‘get back on their feet,’ Godfrey wrote in Serbian late on Wednesday.
The rest, he added, will go to companies working on innovation design and new medical and protective equipment which might be used in any new crisis.
“We fight hand-in-hand with our friends in Serbia. We’ll win together,” the US Ambassador wrote.
See at: https://bit.ly/3cM6TiF
Opening of the administrative line towards Serbia as of tomorrow (Radio Mitrovica Sever)
Radio Kosovska Mitrovica reports that the Government of Serbia received the recommendation of the Infection Disease Crisis Response Team to open today administrative crossings to Kosovo. Citizens can travel to Serbia but not in the opposite direction because the Government of Kosovo has not yet decided on opening administrative crossings to central Serbia.
”Kolasin prevoz” buses are ready to start transporting passengers and to open all intercity lines that functioned until the introduction of the measures, but they are waiting for the decision which should be adopted by the Government of Kosovo.
Director of ”Kolasin prevoz”, Srdjan Milovanovic told the radio that they were ready to start within a few hours’ time.
Passengers who happened to be in Kosovo before the pandemic and would now like to cross the administrative crossing can use the services of the ”Joe Travel” agency from yesterday, because they provide passenger transport services to the administrative crossing.
The owner of the agency, Goran Antic said in a statement for RTK 2 that it was possible to travel to Serbia as of yesterday, although not the other way round, but passengers would have to cross the crossing on foot.
On May 19, the Infection Disease Crisis Response Team in Serbia gave a recommendation to the Government of Serbia on opening the crossing to Kosovo on Friday, May 22. As it was announced, for the entry to Serbia, coronavirus testing will not be needed, nor a special permit for Serbian or foreign citizens. This recommendation should be confirmed today at the session of the Government of Serbia.
However, the Government of Kosovo stated that the decision on opening of the crossing has not been made yet. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in the Government of Kosovo, Faik Hoti, pointed out that the final decision on that issue will be made at the beginning of June, after a reassessment of the epidemiological situation.
Kosovo Tries Again to Establish War Crimes Research Institute (Balkan Insight)
Kosovo’s Justice Ministry decided last week to put together a preparatory team to analyse how to establish a new War Crimes Research Institute, after a previous attempt launched nine years ago was abolished because it did not deliver significant results.
The Justice Ministry has tasked a team of 15 people, including state officials, civil society representatives and university professors, with drafting a report by September this year on how the new institute should function.
KWN concerned with approach to women in decision making posts (media)
Kosovo Women’s Network has expressed concern over what it called as recent attacks on women in decision-making positions.
“KWN condemns portrayal of women in decision making as being incompetent,” the organisation said in a statement to the media.
It added that instead of women in senior positions being treated based on their performance, “we are witness that a patriarchal mindset is continually being expressed towards them.”
Bringing Back the Bodies: The Balkan Emigrants Repatriated in Death (Balkan Insight)
Emigration has long afflicted the countries of the Balkans. But many of those who leave know they will return in death.
Once a month, Atdhe Gashi makes the short trip east from his home in the Kosovo capital, Pristina/Prishtine, to the hilltop village of Mramor where he was born 53 years ago.
Each time, he visits the grave of his father, who died last year in Vienna aged 74.
Gashi’s father, Skender, was a professor and, for more than two decades, head of the Albanian language department at the University of Vienna. But despite settling down in Austria, Skender always knew he would be laid to rest in Mramor at the end of a narrow road that snakes into the hills.
“He wrote in his will that he wanted to be buried here,” said Gashi, a short, bespectacled Kosovar-Austrian dual national and keen beekeeper. “And one day I will be buried in the same place, close to my relatives.”
See more at: https://bit.ly/2z95Ef3
Serbian epidemiologist criticizes political gatherings during epidemic (N1)
Zoran Radovanovic, an epidemiologist, told the Belgrade NIN weekly’s Thursday edition, that “it’s senseless to pack people into small places while the coronavirus epidemic was not yet over.”
He referred to both the regime and opposition in Serbia.
“It is particularly hypocritical on the part of the authorities – curbing the epidemic on the one hand and spreading the virus among its supporters on the other by squeezing them into packed buses and sending them to rallies,” Radovanovic said.
He added there was no proof that the coronavirus had weakened, that it had changed, but only his chance to reach vulnerable people had been less.
At the same time, Darija Kisic Tepavcevic, the country’s ‘Batut’ Institute for Public Health deputy director, and a member of the Government Crisis Team said that “everything goes toward a gradual fading out of the epidemic.”
See at: https://bit.ly/3bO20UP