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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, May 23

By   /  23/05/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, May 23

• 21 new cases of coronavirus in last 24 hours (media)
• Kurti to respect Court’s ruling if it is no more than legal interpretation (Koha)
• Germany and France: Re-start the EU-led dialogue now (media)
• Kurti meets Quint, EU reps – discusses political situation, Covid-19 (media)
• Switzerland considers Kosovo’s borders unquestionable (Koha)
• Kurti, BiH presidency chairman agree land swap is dangerous (media)
• U.S. commits additional $500,000 for Kosovo’s response to Covid-19 (media)

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  • 21 new cases of coronavirus in last 24 hours (media)
  • Kurti to respect Court’s ruling if it is no more than legal interpretation (Koha)
  • Germany and France: Re-start the EU-led dialogue now (media)
  • Kurti meets Quint, EU reps – discusses political situation, Covid-19 (media)
  • Switzerland considers Kosovo’s borders unquestionable (Koha)
  • Kurti, BiH presidency chairman agree land swap is dangerous (media)
  • U.S. commits additional $500,000 for Kosovo’s response to Covid-19 (media)

Kosovo Media Highlights

21 new cases of coronavirus in last 24 hours (media)

Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health announced that of 267 tests carried out yesterday, 21 have tested positive for coronavirus.

Of the new cases, 19 are from Prizren and two from Suhareka.

Media meanwhile report that of the 19 new cases confirmed in Prizren, 12 are police officers who have been exposed to the virus after one of their colleagues tested positive several days ago.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Kosovo currently stands at 1,026; of which 172 active cases.

Kurti to respect Court’s ruling if it is no more than legal interpretation (Koha)

Acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti said he would respect the ruling of the Constitutional Court on the legality of President Hashim Thaci’s decree for mandating Avdullah Hoti from the LDK to form the new government if it only consists of interpretation of the Constitution.

“I want to believe that those that they will deliberate in a professional, independent, and impartial manner… We will respect the ruling of the Constitutional Court for as long as it is a constitutional interpretation which is the mission of the Constitutional Court,” Kurti said.

According to Koha, Kurti has thus left open the possibility of disputing the court’s ruling if it sets out deadlines for the winning party to come forward with a name for the future prime minister although such a timeframe is not stipulated in the Constitution of Kosovo.

Germany and France: Re-start the EU-led dialogue now (media)

In a joint opinion piece published in Koha and Kossev, the German and French foreign ministers, Heiko Maas and Jean-Yves Le Drian, called for immediate resumption of the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue under the EU facilitation.

The two ministers said that together with Serbia and Kosovo they are determined in resolving all remaining obstacles and that “the unresolved situation between both countries remains a destabilizing factor for the entire Western Balkans and is as such a European security issue.”

“For that purpose, EU Member States nominated one of Europe’s most seasoned diplomats, Miroslav Lajčak, as Special Representative for the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and for other regional issues. France and Germany stand ready to support him and his team with all of our political, diplomatic and economic potential. In April 2019, Chancellor Merkel and President Macron invited leaders of the region to a summit in Berlin. Now that Miroslav Lajčak has taken office, it is high time for the dialogue to restart. The goal should be to reach a sustainable, comprehensive, legally binding agreement between Belgrade and Pristina that solves all open issues and contributes to regional stability. President Macron has declared his readiness to hold a second summit in Paris. However, readiness for dialogue is a prerequisite for that.

“We are aware of the numerous open questions that must be solved before reaching an agreement. There are no shortcuts and no quick fixes. A serious approach requires well-structured, in-depth negotiations, with the EU as an honest broker. More robust mediation and political resolve are needed – something you can expect from Miroslav Lajčak and his team – with the backing of High Representative Borrell, as well as of Berlin and Paris.

“It is encouraging to see how pragmatically Kosovo and Serbia have been tackling the Corona virus across borders. We also welcome the decision by Prime Minister Kurti to suspend the 100 percent tariffs on goods from Serbia as well, as Bosnia and Herzegovina. We also expect Serbia to do its share of the efforts. In addition, we expect all agreements reached between Belgrade and Pristina since 2011, through the EU-facilitated dialogue, to be implemented.

“This is not the time for political maneuvering. If anything, the current crisis will increase social tensions and political discontent. Taking the demands of the citizens seriously means strengthening institutions, tackling corruption and organized crime, and developing economic opportunities for everyone. That’s the way forward we suggest. That’s where we will be at your side.”

Kurti meets Quint, EU reps – discusses political situation and Covid-19 (media)

Acting Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti had a meeting with ambassadors of Quint countries and the EU Special Representative.

Kurti briefed the ambassadors on the current situation with Covid-19 and the recent decisions for relaxation of measures.

“The parties also discussed the political situation in Kosovo, in advance of the Constitutional Court ruling. The ambassadors expressed the need for stability and democracy in the country,” a statement issued by the Government of Kosovo reads.

Kurti, BiH presidency chairman agree land swap is dangerous (media)

Acting Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti had a telephone conversation yesterday with the chairman of the Bosnia and Herzegovina presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic and discussed bilateral relations and the situation with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Mr. Dzaferovic thanked acting Prime Minister Kurti for the removal of the 100% tariff on goods from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Acting Prime Minister Kurti said the Republic of Kosovo should not and will not treat Bosnia and Herzegovina as Serbia,” a press release issued by the Kosovo Government reads.

“Both concluded that the biggest threat the two countries face is the type of politics that was unsuccessful during the 90s war and that the idea of territorial exchange between Kosovo and Serbia is dangerous as it takes us back to the 90s.”

Switzerland considers Kosovo’s borders unquestionable (Koha)

The Swiss Embassy in Kosovo has refuted reports that it has cut investments in North Mitrovica allegedly because Switzerland does not wish to spend money in a territory which is part of discussions to join another country, namely Serbia.

In a reply to Koha, the Embassy called such reports speculations: “Sovereignty of Kosovo and its territorial integrity are unquestionable. Speculations about exchange of territories, movement of border etc have no legal power and cannot be taken into consideration for implementation of our projects.”

U.S. commits additional $500,000 for Kosovo’s response to Covid-19 (media)

The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has committed an additional $500,000 to support Kosovo’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, media report quoting a press statement issued by USAID in Kosovo.

“The fight against COVID-19 is not over, and this additional assistance from the American people will provide continued operational support and increase Kosovo’s capability to stop further transmission and mitigate COVID-19’s impact,” USAID said.

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