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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, June 30

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• President Thaci’s address to the people after proposed indictment (media)
• Hoti: We will react with dignity toward new developments (media)
• Rama starts his day by distributing his speech on defense of KLA (media)
• Vetevendosje’s Nagavci says Thaci’s address was scandalous (media)
• Haradinaj: A great power behind Specialist Chambers (media)
• Zeka: List includes other very powerful political actors (Klan Kosova)
• Abrahams: EU, US to seek justice in Serbia for Kosovo crimes (media)
• Kicmari: I think the President should’ve resigned tonight (T7)
• 136 new coronavirus cases in last 24 hours (media)
• US State Department Country Report on Terrorism for Kosovo (media)

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  • President Thaci’s address to the people after proposed indictment (media)
  • Hoti: We will react with dignity toward new developments (media)
  • Rama starts his day by distributing his speech on defense of KLA (media)
  • Vetevendosje’s Nagavci says Thaci’s address was scandalous (media)
  • Haradinaj: A great power behind Specialist Chambers (media)
  • Zeka: List includes other very powerful political actors (Klan Kosova)
  • Abrahams: EU, US to seek justice in Serbia for Kosovo crimes (media)
  • Kicmari: I think the President should’ve resigned tonight (T7)
  • 136 new coronavirus cases in last 24 hours (media)
  • US State Department Country Report on Terrorism for Kosovo (media)

President Thaci’s address to the people after proposed indictment (media) 

The main story in all news outlets on Monday evening was President Hashim Thaci’s first address to the people after a prosecutor at the Specialist Chambers of Kosovo recommended an indictment against Thaci and Kadri Veseli, leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and former Assembly President. Thaci said in the televised address that if the indictment is confirmed he will resign his post. He said the press release issued by the Specialist Chambers and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office prevented the meeting between the Kosovo and Serbia delegations at the White House and delivered a serious blow to an eventual peace agreement between the two countries. “I do not know whether it was chance or intrigue that, midway toward the White House, the notification for an unconfirmed indictment was released,” he said.

“I want to assure you that I will not face justice from this office. If the indictment is confirmed, I will immediately resign as President and I will face the charges. Kosovo is a young country, but its leaders must behave as real statesmen. I will carry this burden and I will defend myself, our fight for freedom, with every strength I have,” Thaci said.

“No good intention or willingness for justice does not justify the fabrication of a media bomb to incriminate the President of Kosovo, especially at a time when the dialogue with Serbia had entered a new phase thanks to the direct engagement of the White House,” Thaci added.

Thaci also said: “Kosovo must ensure a stable functioning of state institutions under any circumstance. In this new and difficult chapter, we can move forward only if we stand united, both domestically and internationally. In the coming days, I will consult political leaders on the future steps”.

Thaci said he might have made political mistakes in peacetime but that he never committed any war crimes. He said the only law he violated was that of former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

Thaci argued that the European Union has followed double standards in its approach toward Serbia and Kosovo. He said that while Serbia is moving toward EU membership, Kosovo’s citizens are being denied freedom of movement.

Hoti: We will react with dignity toward new developments (media) 

Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti said on Monday that Kosovo will react with dignity toward new possible developments in the coming days in relation to the proposed indictment against President Hashim Thaci.

“I believe that after all these days we have established an institutional culture and maturity. Whatever situations may arise, we will react with dignity toward the new developments,” Hoti said.

Hoti also said Kosovo is determined to move forward in the process of dialogue with Serbia “with the aim of reaching a permanent agreement of peace and stability that will include mutual recognition between the two countries”.

Asked to comment on Vetevendosje’s repeated request for early parliamentary elections, Hoti said the current government will continue its work. “As far as elections are concerned, Kosovo has a fully functional and constitutional government and as long as the government has the support of the majority of MPs, it must continue its work,” he said.

Rama starts his day by distributing his speech on defense of KLA war (media)

Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama arrived on Monday for a two day visit to Kosovo. On his first day, Rama met with Assembly Speaker Vjosa Osmani, Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti, Vetevendosje Movement’s leader Albin Kurti, leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) Kadri Veseli, and leader of the Social-Democratic Initiative (NISMA) Fatmir Limaj. There were no statements for the media after his meetings.

Rama started his second day of his visit by posting on social network Facebook his speech at the Albanian Parliament with regards to the announcement for the initiated indictment against Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci and PDK leader Kadri Veseli.

“If you count the over-investigated cases in the territory of Kosovo, you get tired, but in Serbia, zero! Just counting post-war statements about the need to create a new court is tiring. You can get as tired as you want, and you will hardly find, not to say zero such statements in Serbia after the bombing. And Serbia was not bombed by Thaci and Veseli, but by the democratic world. It was not a victim, but the aggressor and Thaci and others rebelled against the aggressors, this is a fact,” Rama stated among other things in front of the MPs of the Albanian Parliament in the lastest session.

The video is illustrated with images of Hashim Thaci, Kadri Veseli, Ramush Haradinaj and the Kosovo Liberation Army as well as the moments of the NATO bombing.

While describing the video, Rama writes: “Good morning from Prishtina, I wish you all a good day”.

Vetevendosje’s Nagavci says Thaci’s address was scandalous (media) 

Vetevendosje senior member and Kosovo Assembly Vice President, Arberie Nagavci, said in a Facebook post on Monday that President Hashim Thaci’s televised address after the proposed indictment was scandalous.

Nagavci argued that Thaci places his own interests above everything else and that he always produces crisis for his own political survival. “He was scandalous again, not only in his pathetic and disappointing address, but above all in his scenarios that one could read between the lines. This is not a good plan for the country, an effort to save himself. And as always, the others will be his marionettes,” she wrote.

Haradinaj: A great power behind Specialist Chambers (media) 

Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) leader and former Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj, said in an interview to TV Dukagjini on Monday that there is a great power behind the Specialist Chambers and that Kosovo cannot interfere in the process.

Commenting on the proposed indictment against President Hashim Thaci, Haradinaj said: “It is apparent that there is a great power behind the Specialist Chambers and the Prosecution. There is also legal courage if I can call it to act in the way they did, to make public the indictment the way they did. This shows that this is a powerful court”.

Haradinaj said that “if the Court puts the blame on the high levels of the former Kosovo Liberation Army, this will put Kosovo in a very bad spot on the international arena”.

Haradinaj also said that he does not expected to be indicted by the Specialist Chambers.

Zeka: List includes other very powerful political actors (Klan Kosova) 

Milaim Zeka, political commentator and former MP, said in an interview to the TV station on Monday that in addition to President Thaci and PDK leader Veseli, a list of the Specialist Chambers includes nine other very powerful actors in the political scene.

“The list is very serious. The political landscape will get a very hard blow. These are high-profile people – three of them are from Drenica, the others are from other parts of Kosovo. There are three indictments. Together with Thaci and Veseli there are nine others, and then there are another two indictments,” Zeka was quoted as saying.

“I had this information five years ago. The court was created for these people. The judge is French, and the prosecutor is an American. From earlier practices that I am familiar with a judge does not reject an indictment raised by the prosecutor”.

Zeka also said: “in the next couple of days, we will have more earthquakes in Kosovo’s political landscape. In the group of 11 people, nine of them are high-ranking politicians. There will be major blows to the political landscape”.

Abrahams: EU, US to seek justice in Serbia for Kosovo crimes (media) 

Fred Abrahams, Human Rights Watch associate director for program, commented in Twitter on Kosovo President Thaci’s televised address on Monday.

“One point Thaci made tonight rings true: impunity for war crimes by Serbian forces against #Kosovo Albanians is deep and widespread. The EU and US should demand justice there, too,” Abrahams tweeted.

Kicmari: I think the President should’ve resigned tonight (T7) 

Sabri Kicmari, former diplomatic representative of the Kosovo Liberation Army, said in an interview to T7 that he expected President Thaci to announce his resignation tonight. “This is a very sensitive moment for the President. It is a very delicate moment for our country and society,” he said. “The accusation is very serious. This is a heavy burden for our state and society.”

136 new coronavirus cases in last 24 hours (media) 

Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health confirmed 122 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. The majority of cases are from the municipality of Prishtina (41). Healthcare Director in Prishtina municipality Bujar Gashi said in a Facebook post on Monday that there are 444 active coronavirus cases in Prishtina. The biggest number of active cases in the municipality are from the age groups 25 – 34 and 35 – 44.

There are 14 additional cases among the Serb community in Kosovo.

US State Department Country Report on Terrorism for Kosovo (media) 

Most news outlets covered on Monday the findings of the U.S. State Department Country Report on Terrorism for Kosovo for 2019. The report notes:

Kosovo continued to fight the threat of terrorism through close cooperation with the United States. Kosovo is a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. The Government of Kosovo (GOK) is approaching the end of the timeframe envisaged by its comprehensive CVE strategy and is preparing a new comprehensive strategy and action plan for the incoming government to consider for 2020-2025.

On April 20, with U.S. assistance, Kosovo repatriated four suspected FTFs and 106 family members from Syria, becoming one of the first countries to return a large number of civilians from the conflict zone. Three of the four alleged FTFs were held in pretrial detention, while the fourth, an 18-year-old, was released and will be investigated as a juvenile. The women and children, following an initial holding period of 72 hours to provide physical and mental health screenings, were returned to their families and communities. The GOK professionally handled the returns during the initial 72-hour period. Although the government is operating a Prevention and Reintegration Division within its Ministry of Internal Affairs, limited resources and capacity continue to impede the government’s ability to provide returnees with adequate services and assistance.

Read full report at: https://bit.ly/3i82Lg5

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