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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, June 26

By   /  26/06/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, June 26

• White House meeting between Kosovo and Serbia postponed (media)
• Albanian FM Cakaj in Washington for Kosovo-Serbia agreement (Koha)
• Grenell reacts to NYT story on Washington mtg, says it has ‘lots of errors’ (media)
• Hoti: Now is the right momentum to conclude the dialogue (media)
• French Embassy: France, Germany expect dialogue to resume soon (media)
• President’s Office: EULEX’s mandate in Kosovo over (media)
• Haradinaj comments on indictment against Thaci, Veseli (Telegrafi)
• Former KLA fighter sent to The Hague (media)
• Kosovo PM to visit Tirana next week (media)
• Covid-19: 69 new cases over last 24 hours (media)

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  • White House meeting between Kosovo and Serbia postponed (media)
  • Albanian FM Cakaj in Washington for Kosovo-Serbia agreement (Koha)
  • Grenell reacts to NYT story on Washington mtg, says it has ‘lots of errors’ (media)
  • Hoti: Now is the right momentum to conclude the dialogue (media)
  • French Embassy: France, Germany expect dialogue to resume soon (media)
  • President’s Office: EULEX’s mandate in Kosovo over (media)
  • Haradinaj comments on indictment against Thaci, Veseli (Telegrafi)
  • Former KLA fighter sent to The Hague (media)
  • Kosovo PM to visit Tirana next week (media)
  • Covid-19: 69 new cases over last 24 hours (media)

Kosovo Media Highlights

White House meeting between Kosovo and Serbia postponed (media)

The U.S. Presidential Envoy for Kosovo-Serbia negotiations, Richard Grenell, announced via Twitter that the meeting in Washington between Kosovo and Serbia representatives set to take place on June 27 has been postponed.

The move follows the indictment on war crimes against Kosovo President Hashim Thaci who was expected to travel to the U.S., after which the Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti also called off his participation.

Grenell said in response to Hoti’s tweet cancelling attendance: “Thank you, Prime Minister Hoti. We understand your decision and we look forward to re-scheduling the meeting soon.”

Albanian FM Cakaj in Washington for Kosovo-Serbia agreement (Koha)

The paper reports quoting sources that the acting Foreign Minister of Albania, Gent Cakaj, has travelled to the U.S. and that he was planning on meeting the U.S. envoy Richard Grenell on June 26, a day ahead of the now-cancelled meeting between Kosovo and Serbia.

Cakaj’s visit to the U.S. has not been made public and neither has his agenda. Cakaj refused to comment on the Grenell meeting while the office of the U.S. envoy neither denied nor confirmed the meeting.

“I am afraid I have nothing for you regarding a meeting. Maybe you should verify this with the Albanian side,” said Grenell’s spokesperson Dick Custin.

Koha recalls that Albanian PM Edi Rama and Minister Cakaj have many times been accused of being part of the land-swap plan between Kosovo and Serbia.

Grenell reacts to NYT story on Washington mtg, says it has ‘lots of errors’ (media)

The U.S. presidential envoy for Kosovo-Serbia negotiations, Richard Grenell, reacted on Twitter to a story published in which according to him is inaccurate and contains ‘lots of errors’.

Under the headline, U.S. Postpones Balkan Peace Summit, in Blow to Trump Foreign Policy, the New York Times wrote that that an American-mediated initiative to stabilize the Balkans, which the Trump admin hoped might burnish its foreign policy credentials in an election year, was postponed on Thursday after the Kosovo president was charged with war crimes.

 “Lots of errors in this piece. And no wonder….the reporter never spoke to me.

-our approach has always been to concentrate on jobs and the economy.

-we never believed this would be a quick win (a constant media narrative that is totally wrong and without any facts),” Grenell wrote.

He added that he had spoken directly to the German and French national security advisors to coordinate their approach and that “land swamps have never been discussed in front of me.”

“We don’t get involved in the politics of Kosovo/Serbia. We coordinate w/whoever is in charge,” he said.

Meanwhile, the author of the article replied to Grenell’s tweets saying he had reached out to him for comment on multiple times and that each request was rejected to which Grenell replied: “I don’t dispute that I refused to speak to you because you are incredibly biased. And now your story is filled with lots of errors. It’s the consequence of your bias.”

Hoti: Now is the right momentum to conclude the dialogue (media)

Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti said on Thursday that during his visit to Brussels he witnesses the full commitment of key EU member states for the Kosovo – Serbia dialogue and that he believes now is the right momentum to conclude the process.

Hoti said the key topics of his meetings in Brussels were visa liberalisation for Kosovo and the process of talks between Kosovo and Serbia.

“The purpose of my visit is to show the commitment of Kosovo and its new government for the Euro-integration agenda. I have asked to visit Brussels. I had meetings with the most senior officials. Visa liberalisation remains our key topic, and also the issue of dialogue and are readiness to enter into the process,” he said.

Hoti also said that the recent developments surrounding the charges against President Thaci “have put us in a difficult position but there is no alternative to the dialogue”. “We expect the date of the Paris Summit to be set very soon. There is full commitment and great interest from key EU member states,” he added.

French Embassy: France, Germany expect dialogue to resume soon (media)

The French Embassy in Prishtina said on Friday that France and Germany expect the talks between Kosovo and Serbia to resume soon.

“France and Germany expect Dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia to resume soon. Together with Chancellor Merkel, President Macron remains ready to host a Summit in the Paris,” the Embassy said in a Twitter post.

President’s Office: EULEX’s mandate in Kosovo over (media)

The Office of Kosovo President said on Thursday that the mandate of the EU Rule of Law mission in Kosovo (EULEX) is over and that it is no longer needed in Kosovo.

“The time has come for all EULEX competencies to be transferred to the local institutions. Kosovo no longer needs EULEX, but it will accept any support for strengthening the rule of law from the European Union, as is the case with other countries in the region. EULEX no longer has the mandate to stay in Kosovo,” the President’s Office told Kosovapress news agency on Thursday.

Meanwhile, EULEX officials told Koha that they are in contact with Kosovo institutions and civil society to decide on the future of the mission and they said that they believe their mandate should be extended.

“It is important that our aid and assistance in the rule of law area continues. The rule of law is one of the cornerstones of the EU’s engagement in Kosovo and a fundamental criteria for its EU prospects,” EULEX officials said.

Haradinaj comments on indictment against Thaci, Veseli (Telegrafi)

Leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj commented on the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office indictment against Hashim Thaci and Kadri Veseli saying that the Specialist Chambers is ‘unjust’ towards Albanians.

“On a day like this, we as Kosovo express support and respect for all our fellow-fighters who are still fighting to prove their innocence, in this case for President Thaci and leader Veseli and all the others. Kosovo wants justice for all victims regardless of their ethnicity but Kosovo has remained the only one of former parties of the Balkans wars that has a court only for Kosovo. Such an international court, one way or another, harms our perspective,” Haradinaj said.

Former KLA fighter sent to The Hague (media)

Former Kosovo Liberation Army fighter, Adem Zogiani, is reported to have been sent to Specialist Chambers in The Hague by EULEX.

Adem’s son, Liridon, said his father was originally summoned to EULEX offices and that he was taken to The Hague from there.

Kosovo PM to visit Tirana next week (media)

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said in an interview on Thursday that Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti is expected to visit Tirana next week. “I have received a message to host a meeting with Hoti here on July 3 so we will talk,” Rama said.

Covid-19: 69 new cases over last 24 hours (media)

Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health said in a statement that over the last 24-hour period it has tested 281 samples of which 69 have tested positive for coronavirus and that 75 patients have recovered.

Of this number, 37 cases are from Pristina Municipality.

The Ministry of Health has meanwhile reported that one person from Istog has died from coronavirus, which raises the number of fatalities to 42.

The active number of Covid-19 cases in Kosovo is at present 1,149, of which 475 in Pristina.

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