- 52 new cases of coronavirus in last 24 hours (media)
- Another patient succumbs to COVID – 19 (media)
- Air transport in Kosovo to resume on June 28 (media)
- Thaci: No land swap discussions in Washington (media)
- Hoti: Visits to Brussels doesn’t substitute meeting in Washington (media)
- Veseli: Kosovo’s negotiating position is very weak (Telegrafi)
- EU confirms continuation of Kosovo – Serbia dialogue in July (Lajmi)
- Stoltenberg: No one can dictate a solution for Kosovo and Serbia (Koha)
- Assembly fails to endorse international financial agreements (media)
- Internationals want Serbs to try Serb cases in Kosovo (Koha)
- U.S. Embassy calls on government to appoint experienced professionals (media)
- Vucic: We talked about things you cannot discuss publicly (media)
- Kosovo government declares Hezbollah a terrorist organisation (media)
Kosovo Media Highlights
52 new cases of coronavirus in last 24 hours (media)
Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health said in a statement on Tuesday evening that 52 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the last 24 hours.
Majority of new cases are from the municipalities of Prizren (15) and Prishtina (13).
There are currently 1,123 active coronavirus cases in Kosovo.
Another patient succumbs to COVID – 19 (media)
All news outlets reported on Tuesday that a 72-year-old man has succumbed to COVID – 19. The deceased was from the municipality of Vushtrri.
So far there are 40 fatalities from the coronavirus in Kosovo.
Air transport in Kosovo to resume on June 28 (media)
All media reported on Tuesday that the Kosovo Government has decided to reopen the Prishtina International Airport “Adem Jashari” and for air transport to resume on June 28.
At a meeting on Tuesday, government ministers decided to annul earlier decisions that had suspended airlines from high-risk and medium-risk countries. Flights to and from Prishtina were suspended in March with the outbreak of the coronavirus. All incoming passengers in Kosovo are recommended to have a negative COVID – 19 test not older than four days.
Health Minister Armend Zemaj said the proposal was made following recommendations from Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health. He also said that if cases cannot be monitored in the coming week and if there is a new epidemiological situation, the recommendation is to reintroduce strict measures.
Thaci: No land swap discussions in Washington (media)
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said in an interview to T7 on Tuesday that there will be no land swap discussions between Kosovo and Serbia in Washington on June 27. “We will go to Washington with the flag of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Kosovo. There will be no land swap discussions, there haven’t been any such talks in the past and there will be none in the future. For the final agreement on mutual recognition between the two countries, there will have to be teams of experts that will delineate the border,” he said.
Thaci said relations between Kosovo and Serbia are not only economic. “Everything is political. Issues that have remained pending could be opened too, but I expect to be informed about this upon my arrival in Washington,” he added.
Thaci said he is engaged in a final agreement with Serbia that includes mutual recognition. “The meeting in Washington is being organised at the right time for Kosovo. This is the first time that these two countries of the Balkans will be meeting at the White House in a process led by the U.S. Highly encouraging were President Trump’s letters to the Presidents of Kosovo and Serbia to move forward with the peace process and to reach a final agreement that includes mutual recognition,” Thaci said.
According to Thaci, Serbia has remained hostage to the past while Kosovo has move forward. “The Serbian delegations looks more to the past, they remain hostage of the past and of false myths about Kosovo, whereas Kosovo has made huge steps forward. Kosovo is free and independent. The reality in Kosovo is different from what Serbia claims. Two fully equal states will sit at the table. I think it won’t be an easy day, but it will be very important for peace and stability”.
Hoti: Visits to Brussels doesn’t substitute meeting in Washington (media)
Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti said on Tuesday that his visit to Brussels on Thursday doesn’t substitute the meeting with the Serbian delegation in Washington on June 27. “Our visit to Brussels on Thursday is not a substitute for the meeting in Washington. The aim of our visit there is to call on the high institutions of the European Union to give visa liberalisation to Kosovo,” he said.
In his address before the Kosovo Assembly, Hoti said it will soon be known if the process of dialogue will be successful or not. “We have lifted the measures of reciprocity to give a chance to the dialogue, it is that simple. We are going into the process for mutual recognition. If dialogue is not successful, and we will find this out very soon, it is a matter of weeks before we will know if we will move forward in the process, whether we can conclude an agreement or not. We maintain our right as a sovereign country to introduce all measures of reciprocity,” he said.
Hoti said dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia is for mutual recognition. “Our platform for dialogue is clear. Dialogue for mutual recognition, all other issues are daily politics. We are going to be fully transparent. We have reached this point only through the process of dialogue,” he said.
“We will either have a good agreement in line with the Constitution or there will be no agreement … There is no other way. We cannot go through Moscow for membership in the United Nations, but only through Brussels and Washington. There is no other way,” Hoti said.
Hoti also said that the Prime Minister leads the dialogue, “because this is what the Constitution says and also the decision of the Constitutional Court last year”. He said there are key principles in the dialogue: the territorial integrity is non-negotiable; the constitutional arrangements are non-negotiable and the agreement must be in line with the Constitution.
Veseli: Kosovo’s negotiating position is very weak (Telegrafi)
Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) leader Kadri Veseli said on Tuesday on the eve of the meeting in Washington that Kosovo’s negotiating position with Serbia is very weak. In his address at the Kosovo Assembly, Veseli said: “In the last 21 years, I cannot recall a more scandalous position by the government. This speaks volume about the negotiating position with Serbia, it is very weak,” he said.
Veseli argued that the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and the Vetevendosje Movement (VV) are creating more internal problems and disputes rather than providing solutions.
Veseli also said: “we will never want a conflict as long as Serbia does not threaten our territory and our people. We want dialogue that will get Kosovo a seat at the United Nations. Wherever the United States are, Kosovo must be there too. The European Union must recognise the state of Kosovo and make way to integration and visa liberalisation. We are and we will forever be proud Europeans”.
EU confirms continuation of Kosovo – Serbia dialogue in July (Lajmi)
Dick Custin, spokesman for U.S. Presidential Envoy for the Kosovo – Serbia Dialogue, told the news website on Tuesday that he cannot reveal what will be discussed at the upcoming meeting between the two delegations at the White House on June 27. “Unfortunately, I cannot say anything about the composition or the content of the meeting,” Custin said.
European Union officials meanwhile have said that the United States are an important partner in the process. “For the European Union, the United States of America are an important partner. They were and always will be an important partner,” EU spokesman Peter Stano told Lajmi.
Stoltenberg: No one can dictate a solution for Kosovo and Serbia (Koha)
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in response to a question from VOA about what would be a good outcome of a meeting between Pristina and Belgrade that “the good outcome will be that they agree to really restart the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue and agree to really make an effort to find a political solution to the situation in Kosovo.”
“We will strongly welcome the resumption of talks between Belgrade and Pristina to try to find a solution. It’s not for NATO or any other countries to dictate the outcome, but the fact that they meet is at least encouraging. It’s hopefully a first step to have a resumption of real talks between Pristina and Belgrade,” he said adding that he was certain that the EU and the United States will be able to coordinate their efforts.
“At the end of the day, it is no-one outside that will dictate the outcome. At the end of day, it has to be the parties – Pristina, Belgrade – that have to own the process, they have to define the outcome. So what the US can do, what the EU can do, what others can do, is to support, but the parties have to find a solution.”
Assembly fails to endorse international financial agreements (media)
Kosovo Assembly had no quorum yesterday in order to vote on ratification of several international financial agreements, media report.
Ratification of international agreements requires a minimum of 80 votes of MPs and only 58 were present in the session.
Koha reports that representatives of the civil society have criticised the legislators for not ratifying the deals which provide important financial assistance. “The country is in urgent need of those international loans,” said Agron Demi from GAP Institute.
Political analyst Imer Mushkolaj at the same time said politicians should leave aside personal interests and vote for the good of the people. “International laws and agreements that help economic recovery are very important and should not be dismissed because of personal or party grudges,” he said.
Internationals want Serbs to try Serb cases in Kosovo (Koha)
The Special Department at the Basic Court and the Court of Appeals in Prishtina was created exclusively to try charges raised by the Special Prosecution. Same as the Special Prosecution, the Special Department tries complicates cases at the Kosovo-level. One year after it has become operational, there is increased pressure for Serb defendants to be tried only by a Serb-majority court panel.
The news website learns that international representatives in Kosovo have asked the judiciary for only Serb-majority court panels to try high-level crimes involving Serb defendants. Hasan Shala, President of the Court of Appeals, however said that this is not foreseen in the legal infrastructure for the Special Department. The regulation of the Kosovo Judicial Council notes that the court panel must consist of three professional judges, without mentioning their ethnic background.
However, the Legal Office of the Ministry of Justice several weeks ago announced a legal opinion that a Serb-majority composition of a court panel that tries Serb defendants is legal. The opinion was announced several days before the Hoti government was voted in the Assembly.
Albulena Haxhiu, former Minister of Justice, told Koha that she was not informed about the opinion and that she saw it only after it was sent to the court.
U.S. Embassy calls on government to appoint experienced professionals (media)
The United States Embassy in Prishtina said on Tuesday that the government must appoint experienced professionals.
“Today we recognize those officials who honorably serve their country and call on #Kosovo’s new government to appoint experienced professionals, rather than political allies. #PublicServiceDay,” the Embassy said in a Twitter post.
Vucic: We talked about things you cannot discuss publicly (media)
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Tuesday that they talked about things “you cannot discuss in public”.
Vucic said the meeting was very fruitful and that it focused on the Kosovo issue and the overall situation in the region and the world. He said he received very useful analysis and advice from Putin. Vucic said Putin will visit Belgrade in October. He also confirmed that he will be travelling to Brussels on Thursday.
Kosovo government declares Hezbollah a terrorist organisation (media)
Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti said in a Twitter post on Tuesday that the government has declared Hezbollah a terrorist organisation.
“The Government of Kosovo supports all global initiatives peace and security in the world, so today, we decided unanimously to declare the Hezbollah organization, its political and military wings, a terrorist organization in the territory of the Republic of Kosovo!” Hoti tweeted.