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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, June 20

By   /  20/06/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, June 20

• 82 new cases of coronavirus in last 24 hours in Kosovo (media)
• Minister of Health implies mass testing for COVID – 19 (media)
• Hoti: We allowed Serbian elections, according to earlier practices (Koha)
• LDK, partners to enable Thaci to get another term in office (Kosovapress)
• Pacolli, Von Cramon, Grenell tweet over visa liberalisation for Kosovo (media)
• Lama, Biserko say land swap idea came from Serbia (media)

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  • 82 new cases of coronavirus in last 24 hours in Kosovo (media)
  • Minister of Health implies mass testing for COVID – 19 (media)
  • Hoti: We allowed Serbian elections, according to earlier practices (Koha)
  • LDK, partners to enable Thaci to get another term in office (Kosovapress)
  • Pacolli, Von Cramon, Grenell tweet over visa liberalisation for Kosovo (media)
  • Lama, Biserko say land swap idea came from Serbia (media)

82 new cases of coronavirus in last 24 hours in Kosovo (media)

Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health said in a statement on Friday evening that 82 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the last 24 hours. 41 new cases are from the municipality of Prishtina.

The Infectious Disease Clinic at Prishtina Hospital said in a statement today that another patient has succumbed to the coronavirus. There have been 35 fatalities from the virus in Kosovo so far. There are currently 986 active coronavirus cases in Kosovo.

Minister of Health implies mass testing for COVID – 19 (media)

Kosovo’s Minister of Health Armend Zemaj, in a video message today, called on the citizens of Kosovo to respect the protective measures against COVID – 19, most news outlets report. Zemaj said he has supported the National Institute for Public Health to step up the testing and said he is engaged to enable mass testing for the coronavirus.

“To help us and the healthcare staff and to have an easier life, please respect the protective measures … The normalisation of the lives of the people of Kosovo is the key objective of our work. But the virus is still present,” Zemaj said.

Hoti: We allowed Serbian elections, according to earlier practices (Koha)

Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti said today that he allowed Serbian elections in Kosovo according to practices that have been in place since 2011. Hoti told reporters after a visit to Peja municipality that there is an arrangement on the matter between Kosovo’s institutions and international institutions.

“Since 2011 there is an arrangement between Kosovo’s institutions and international partners for organising the collection of ballots in Kosovo. I have allowed to same arrangements to continue for these elections through the OSCE,” Hoti said.

Asked to comment on the upcoming meeting between the Kosovo and Serbia delegations in Washington on June 27, Hoti said the meeting will focus on economic cooperation. “We expect the process of dialogue to resume and the focus will be on economic cooperation. We are working on the ideas together with the Minister of Infrastructure. There are several projects that will bring Kosovo back at the center of economic development. These are major infrastructure projects that will completely change the economic landscape in Kosovo,” he said.

LDK, partners to enable Thaci to get another term in office (Kosovapress)

The news website reports that the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), its partners in the ruling coalition, and the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), will try to get Kosovo President Hashim Thaci another term in office. Kosovapress says by making constitutional amendments through an election reform, these parties will try to fulfil Thaci’s wish for the President to be elected directly by the people. The election reform is part of Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti’s governance program.

Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) leader Ramush Haradinaj, a partner in the ruling coalition, told the news website that they are in favor of the idea of the president being elected directly by the people. “We have proposed this, and we have taken part in discussions between the parties for making amendments to the Law on Election for several years now. We suggested back then that the President should be elected directly by the people … The race would not be limited, President Thaci would run for office, but so would other candidates,” Haradinaj said.

Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) representatives meanwhile said they have yet to decide on the issue.

Pacolli, Von Cramon, Grenell tweet over visa liberalisation for Kosovo (media)

Several news outlets report that Kosovo’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Behgjet Pacolli said in a tweet today that EP Rapporteur for Kosovo Viola von Cramon “should be more concerned” over the lack of visa liberalisation for Kosovo. “You as MEP should be more concerned about this situation than us. Member States are not trusting @EU_Commission & @Europarl_EN decisions and opinions and are not moving forward. We are much much better than all in the region who travel freely. We had more criteria’s to implement”.

Von Cramon wrote in her reply: “As I explained to @RichardGrenell it’s up to @EUCouncil to decide on this matter. Unfortunately. But if you guys want to play a constructive role here pick up the phone &ask @EmmanuelMacron why he is so reluctant on granting visa liberalisation to Kosovo. You’ll be surprised about his answer.”

U.S. Presidential Envoy for the Kosovo – Serbia Dialogue, Richard Grenell, said in a tweet on Friday, directed at Von Cramon: “Viola, instead of criticizing everything the Trump Administration does to help normalize the economies of Kosovo and Serbia, why don’t you concentrate on the one thing you were supposed to do: visas for Kosovo. You’ve been complaining about others for 20 years. Do your part!”

Lama, Biserko say land swap idea came from Serbia (media)

Several news websites report that Kosovo’s Ambassador to Italy, Alma Lama, said in a Facebook post that the land swap idea came from Serbia and not from former U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton. Lama’s remarks were supported by Sonja Biserko, President of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia. “It was the only option that Belgrade pushed forward. Dobrica Cosic was the first one to promote the idea. It has been a state strategy for a long time,” Biserko said.

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