- 73 new coronavirus cases in Kosovo in last 24 hours (media)
- Another two patients succumb to COVID – 19 (media)
- North Macedonia considering shutting down Kosovo border (media)
- Assembly President calls for new elections (Gazeta Express)
- Hoti: The Prime Minister represents the state in dialogue (media)
- EULEX: Mandate guaranteed by Kosovo and international laws (media)
- What is Council of Experts’ role in Kosovo – Serbia dialogue? (RFE)
- Vucic: To recognise Kosovo’s independence? Forget about it (media)
73 new coronavirus cases in Kosovo in last 24 hours (media)
Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health confirmed on Thursday evening 7 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours. 44 new cases are from the municipality of Prishtina. 63 patients have recovered from the virus on Thursday.
Gazeta Express reported that there is little room for new patients in Kosovo’s clinics and that the country is fighting the coronavirus with limited capacities. Indeksonline reported that according to a chart of the National Institute for Public Health, 257 healthcare professionals have been infected with the coronavirus so far.
Another two patients succumb to COVID – 19 (media)
Most media reported on Thursday that another two patients at Prishtina Hospital have succumbed to COVID – 19. So far 56 people have died from the coronavirus in Kosovo.
North Macedonia considering shutting down Kosovo border (media)
Several news outlets report that North Macedonia will decide today whether or not it will shut down its borders with Kosovo following a significant increase of coronavirus cases in the region.
The Ministry of Health said in a statement: “As a result of the developing situation with the coronavirus in neighboring countries, the Committee for Infectious Diseases will discuss on Friday on the eventual border regime or even closing the borders with Serbia and Kosovo.”
Assembly President calls for new elections (Gazeta Express)
Kosovo Assembly President Vjosa Osmani said on Thursday that Kosovo should go to new elections. “When will new elections be held? To be honest I don’t know. I hope they will be held soon. It is important to go to elections, to go back to the people, to regain legitimacy, both the ruling parties and the opposition. I think dialogue is important too, but … unemployment and fighting corruption are of paramount importance,” Osmani said.
Hoti: The Prime Minister represents the state in dialogue (media)
Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti said in an interview to Klan Kosova on Thursday that the Constitution provides him with the right to represent Kosovo in the process of dialogue with Serbia.
Hoti said Kosovo has all the mechanisms for representation in dialogue and added that he is ready to go to the meeting at the White House as soon as he gets an invitation.
Hoti said the meeting will not discuss on Kosovo’s territorial integrity but rather on issues related to the mutual recognition between the two countries.
Asked if he will go to Washington without President Hashim Thaci, Hoti said: “the Constitution is very clear on the dialogue. The Prime Minister represents.”
“We will not discuss territories; we will not discuss territorial integrity or any issues related to the character of the state. The agreement must be in line with the Constitution.”
EULEX: Mandate guaranteed by Kosovo and international laws (media)
The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) said on Thursday that its mandate is guaranteed by local and international laws. In a statement to Euronews Albania, EULEX said: “the presence and operation of EULEX is guaranteed with Kosovo and international laws, including the decisions of the European Council”.
“We will continue to work with the Kosovo Government to push forward our common agenda for strengthening Kosovo’s law enforcement institutions. Kosovo has assumed obligations with the Stabilisation/Association Agreement … to work with the European Union, including EULEX, in strengthening its law enforcement institutions. We have had a strong partnership since 2008 and our support and assistance for Kosovo institutions in the rule of law area continues,” the mission said.
What is Council of Experts’ role in Kosovo – Serbia dialogue? (RFE)
James Ker – Lindsay, professor at the London School of Economics and Western Balkans analyst, told the news website on Thursday that the formation of Kosovo government’s Council of Experts for the dialogue with Serbia will only render more difficult a final agreement between the two countries.
“Kosovo needs a leader with a good team, good political, legal and economic advisors. When you form these councils, you often complicate matters. I have seen it before, in Cyprus and in Kosovo. They often prepare many documents that are completely unrealistic. You will never reach an agreement if these councils determine the policies. In essence you need people that make final decisions. I don’t mean authoritarian leaders, but a leader for a peace process that can make decisions that are neither easy nor simple, but knows that in the end can present these decisions to the people,” he said.
The Kosovo Government on Wednesday decided to form a Council of Experts for the dialogue with Serbia. Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti is to appoint a coordinator for the dialogue, who will also lead the Council. The Council will function within the Office of the Prime Minister and its members will be tasked to draft specific analysis and advise the Prime Minister and the government on the dialogue with Serbia.
Jeta Krasniqi, an analyst with the Kosovo Democratic Institute, said the Council should have been formed earlier in order to prepare for topics that are expected to be discussed in the dialogue process. “There are many areas where it can offer expertise be it in the area of international law or other specific issues. Experts need to be highly engaged in the process,” she added.
Xhavit Beqiri, political advisor to Prime Minister Hoti, said the Council will include people from the academia, civil society and political representatives that were involved in earlier negotiations in Rambouillet and Vienna. “In addition to technical support and advice, the Council will also represent unity in addressing our challenges. Regardless of political differences … when it comes to capital issues, Kosovo has displayed a high democratic culture. Political parties have proved capable of reaching consensus for the country’s major interests,” he added.
In an article on the issue, Koha reports that civil society representatives are criticising the initiative to form the Council of Experts. Some representatives argue that the Council is being formed with the sole purpose of accommodating members of parties in the ruling coalition.
Vucic: To recognise Kosovo’s independence? Forget about it (media)
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday evening that Serbia will do everything in its power not to shoulder any blame for the lack of dialogue with Kosovo. “We will fight so that we are not blamed for the lack of dialogue. We are talking and negotiating with the West, not with the Albanians,” he said.
Vucic said recognising Kosovo’s independence is not an option for Belgrade. “To recognise the independence of Kosovo – forget about it. I don’t see a solution,” he said. Vucic also said that Serbia’s path toward the European Union could be stopped if a solution for Kosovo is not found.