- Hoti: Liberation war is sacred, territorial integrity will not be discussed (media)
- German Foreign Office: We support Specialist Chambers (Express)
- German MPs: Parliament not to give in to efforts to abolish special court (media)
- EU considers EULEX has legal mandate to continue mission (Koha)
- Schutz: Germany fully supports vital role of EULEX (media)
- Limaj calls for unity after indictment against Thaci and Veseli (media)
- “Any obstacle to Special Court and EULEX, grave consequences” (media)
- “Call for Justice” supports Specialist Chambers’ work (Kallxo)
- Cakaj after meeting Grenell: No plans for Kosovo partition (media)
- Serb “that threatens the situation” not allowed to enter Kosovo (Koha)
- 62 new coronavirus cases in last 24 hours in Kosovo (media)
Kosovo Media Highlights
Hoti: Liberation war is sacred, territorial integrity will not be discussed (media)
In a press conference following his return from Brussels, Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti commented on the war crimes accusations against President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci and PDK leader Kadri Veseli saying that Kosovo’s liberation war is the greatest achievement of its people.
“All institutions will show maturity in this situation as has always been the case in the past,” Hoti said noting that the recent developments have affected the ‘dynamics’ in Kosovo.
Nevertheless, he stressed that Kosovo remains committed to dialogue with Serbia. “Regardless of the changes in the agenda of recent days, we remain committed and strongly believe that there is no alternative to dialogue. It is in the interest of Kosovo for this process to be concluded as soon as possible,” he said.
He underlined that Kosovo’s territorial integrity will not be discussed with Serbia.
Hoti said that in his Brussels meetings he raised the visa liberalisation issue and added there is understanding in the EU about the need of the people of Kosovo to be able to move freely. “We will work with each EU state to demonstrate our commitment to reforms.”
German Foreign Office: We support Specialist Chambers (Express)
The German Federal Foreign Office said in a statement on Friday that it fully supports the work of the Specialist Chambers and that it expects the same from Kosovo.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said the Merkel government fully supports the Specialist Chambers and that they were established by Kosovo.
“The Specialist Chambers of Kosovo were established by the Republic of Kosovo and they enjoy the full support of the German Federal Government. There are clear expectations from the International Community, including the German Federal Government, for Kosovo to honor this engagement and to support the work of the Specialist Chambers of Kosovo,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman also told the news website that they expect the Prishtina – Belgrade dialogue to resume without further delay. “We fully support the efforts of EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajcak in this regard,” he added.
German MPs: Parliament not to give in to efforts to abolish special court (media)
Several news outlets carried on Friday a press release by Peter Beyer and Christian Schmidt, both Members of the German Bundestag and rapporteurs for the Western Balkan countries in the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Beyer is a member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Schmidt is a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU).
The press release notes:
The recent developments in the Republic of Kosovo with the indictment served on President Thaci are closely followed in Germany and in the international community.
For us it is of utmost importance to emphasize that the Specialist Chambers are an integral part of Kosovo‘s own judiciary. They have been created by Kosovo itself. This court is not a foreign legal body sitting in judgment over citizens of Kosovo.
As an integral part of Kosovo‘s own legal system, it goes after war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by individuals during the war. It is not the independence fight itself conducted by KLA/UCK being in the dock. This should be very clear for everybody to understand correctly and clearly. We know that certain forces in Kosovo try to spread their false propaganda in a way that the international community in general and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office in particular are a foreign force going after the KLA/UCK as a whole. This is not true and nothing but willful disinformation. It also does not reflect the longstanding commitment by Germany and the international community to assist in the development of an independent and democratic Kosovar state.
It is in the utmost interest of the international reputation of Kosovo that the indispensable role of the Specialist Chambers as an independent court is fully understood, accepted and supported by all political and civil forces in Kosovo. The parliament should not give in to already ongoing efforts to abolish the legal foundation of the Specialist Chambers.
Rehabilitation of a nation‘s past, especially of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity, is absolute key to reconciliation, no matter who committed them. Truth and truthfulness are craved for by the people of Kosovo. They expect this from their political leaders. As does Germany and the European Union.
EU considers EULEX has legal mandate to continue mission (Koha)
The European Union believes that the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) has the legal mandate to continue its operation although President Hashim Thaci has not signed the exchange of letter to extend the mission’s mandate.
EU spokesman Peter Stano told Koha on Friday that EULEX has the mandate based on international law and Kosovo’s laws to operate in Kosovo. He said it is in the interest of Kosovo, the European Union and EU member states, to strengthen law enforcement institutions in Kosovo and that Kosovo’s citizens expect this.
Stano also said Kosovo has assumed obligations with the Stabilisation/Association Agreement to strengthen the rule of law through the EULEX mission too. He said he welcomes Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti’s statement that Kosovo’s government is ready and committed to meet all its international obligations.
Schutz: Germany fully supports vital role of EULEX (media)
Susanne Schutz, Director for Western Balkans in the German Federal Foreign Office, said on Friday that Germany fully supports EULEX’s role in helping Kosovo institutions and the Specialist Chambers.
“Since 2008@EULEXKosovo has been a pillar for a safe & secure environment in Kosovo. Vital role of EULEX in assisting Kosovo law enforcement institutions and to the Specialist Chambers has Germany’s full support & needs to be preserved,” Schutz tweeted.
Limaj calls for unity after indictment against Thaci and Veseli (media)
NISMA leader Fatmir Limaj called on Kosovo’s political parties on Friday to harmonise a comprehensive action strategy following the indictment against President Hashim Thaci and PDK leader Kadri Veseli.
Limaj said given the context of the dialogue with Serbia, Kosovo needs its political leaders to coordinate actions and prove that state interests are above individual interests.
“It is high time for the government and opposition to set aside differences and harmonise an action strategy with broad-based participation. The coordination of our policies in these very important times would send a clear message to our citizens and international friends that wish well on Kosovo. In doing so we would also contribute to reducing tensions and strengthening peace in this part of South-East Europe which is crucial for our strategic path and Kosovo’s integration in EU and NATO,” Limaj said.
“Any obstacle to Special Court and EULEX, grave consequences” (media)
Demush Shasha, Director of the Prishtina-based EPIK Institute, said in a Facebook post on Friday that any obstacle by Kosovo’s institutions to the Specialist Chambers and EULEX would have grave consequences for visa liberalisation for Kosovo.
Shasha also argued that any attempt to create obstacles to these institutions would result in Kosovo’s total isolation.
“Call for Justice” supports Specialist Chambers’ work (Kallxo)
The “Call for Justice” association founded by the families of victims of political violence expressed support for the Specialist Chambers and encouraged the court to continue efforts to resolve all murders in Kosovo.
Chairman of the association, Kastriot Imeri, said there is no alternative to justice. “After so many years of waiting, suffering and plights for justice, we are excited about the Republic of Kosovo Specialist Prosecutor’s Office address regarding delivering of justice, primarily for the victims as a moral and spiritual satisfaction for our families,” he said.
Imeri added that the Specialist Chambers work does not undermine the righteous war of the Kosovo people for freedom. “Trials of crimes are aimed against individuals and in no way against organisations founded for the freedom of the country. Justice above all,” the association said in a statement.
Cakaj after meeting Grenell: No plans for Kosovo partition (media)
Albania’s Foreign Minister Gent Cakaj said on Friday after meeting U.S. Presidential Envoy Richard Grenell, that there are no plans for Kosovo’s partition, or territorial exchange or any damaging agreement.
Cakaj said he discussed with Grenell the importance of a sustainable agreement between Kosovo and Serbia and for stimulating the economic development of the Western Balkans.
Serb “that threatens the situation” not allowed to enter Kosovo (Koha)
Kosovo Police confirmed on Friday evening that it did not allow Milorad Arlov, a Serb from Republika Srpska, to enter Kosovo’s territory.
Arlov, who calls himself “president of the aid committee for Serbs in Kosovo”, was stopped at the Jarinje border crossing. He said he was planning to take part in meetings and activities of the Serb community in Kosovo.
He told Srna news agency that police presented him with a document which noted that his entrance to Kosovo would threaten the political, national and health situation in Kosovo. Kosovo Police later confirmed the information to Koha.
62 new coronavirus cases in last 24 hours in Kosovo (media)
Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health said in a statement on Friday evening that 62 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the last 24 hours.
32 new cases are from the municipality of Prishtina.
Media meanwhile report that two new deaths have been reported in Kosovo, taking the total number of victims to 47.