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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, July 09, 2020

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Albanian Language Media:

• Kosovo government not in support of draft law on pandemics (RTK)
• Government endorses action plan for increase of Covid-19 tests (Telegrafi)
• Kosovo PM ready to declare state of emergency over coronavirus (Gazeta Express)
• Roth: EU must grant Kosovo promised visa liberalization (Die Welt, Express)
• LVV does not vote international agreements, endorsement fails (media)
• Gucati: Indictment proposal against KLA leaders, direct attack on Kosovo (media)
• Assembly does not approve LVV’s draft resolution on dialogue (media)
• UNMIK assists Malisheva with anti-Covid-19 protection equipment (Klan)

Serbian Language Media:

• In all Serb areas, 139 newly infected in the last three weeks of testing (Kontakt plus radio, KIM radio)
• Dacic: Visit to Paris important, matter of Kosovo recognition does not exist for Serbia (TV Pink, Tanjug)
• Vucic: We know how to maintain peace (N1)
• Stefanovic: An attempt to seize power by force (B92)
• New riots in Belgrade; speculations about who provokes clashes (N1)
• Vucic: No compromise with the vandals; Involvement of foreign security services proven (B92)
• Russian Ambassador rejects allegations or Russia’s involvement in unrests in Belgrade (B92)
• US Embassy closely follows events, condemns all violence (media)

Opinion:

• “Kosovo Serbs always suffer the consequences of instability in Serbia” (KIM radio)
• What ‘Twiplomacy’ reveals about the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue (neweasterneurope.eu)

International:

• Kosovo’s Thaci To Go To The Hague For Interview With War Crimes Prosecutor (RFE)
• Serbia Protests Meet Violent Response in Europe’s 1st Major Virus Unrest (The New York Times)
• Serbian President ‘Has the Evidence’ to Resolve US Albanians’ Murders (Balkan Insight)

Humanitarian/Development:

• Kosovo’s hospitals receive influx of COVID-19 patients (Prishtina Insight)

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Albanian Language Media:

  • Kosovo government not in support of draft law on pandemics (RTK)
  • Government endorses action plan for increase of Covid-19 tests (Telegrafi)
  • Kosovo PM ready to declare state of emergency over coronavirus (Gazeta Express)
  • Roth: EU must grant Kosovo promised visa liberalization (Die Welt, Express)
  • LVV does not vote international agreements, endorsement fails (media)
  • Gucati: Indictment proposal against KLA leaders, direct attack on Kosovo (media)
  • Assembly does not approve LVV’s draft resolution on dialogue (media)
  • UNMIK assists Malisheva with anti-Covid-19 protection equipment (Klan) 

Serbian Language Media:

  • In all Serb areas, 139 newly infected in the last three weeks of testing (Kontakt plus radio, KIM radio)
  • Dacic: Visit to Paris important, matter of Kosovo recognition does not exist for Serbia (TV Pink, Tanjug)
  • Vucic: We know how to maintain peace (N1)
  • Stefanovic: An attempt to seize power by force (B92)
  • New riots in Belgrade; speculations about who provokes clashes (N1)
  • Vucic: No compromise with the vandals; Involvement of foreign security services proven (B92)
  • Russian Ambassador rejects allegations or Russia’s involvement in unrests in Belgrade (B92)
  • US Embassy closely follows events, condemns all violence (media)

Opinion:

  • “Kosovo Serbs always suffer the consequences of instability in Serbia” (KIM radio)
  • What ‘Twiplomacy’ reveals about the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue (neweasterneurope.eu)

International:

  • Kosovo’s Thaci To Go To The Hague For Interview With War Crimes Prosecutor (RFE)
  • Serbia Protests Meet Violent Response in Europe’s 1st Major Virus Unrest (The New York Times)
  • Serbian President ‘Has the Evidence’ to Resolve US Albanians’ Murders (Balkan Insight)

Humanitarian/Development: 

  • Kosovo’s hospitals receive influx of COVID-19 patients (Prishtina Insight)

 

Albanian Language Media

 

Kosovo government not in support of draft law on pandemics (RTK)

The government of Kosovo did not support at today’s meeting the initiative of some MPs for a new legal regulation which would limit some of the guaranteed freedoms by the Constitution of Kosovo.

The government assesses endorsement of the draft law for prevention of the Covid-19 pandemics unnecessary, with the justification that applicable laws regulate sufficiently the field of prevention of infectious diseases in Kosovo. “It considers that the Constitution of Kosovo contains special dispositions which note that the institutions of Kosovo are obliged to undertake certain measures in case of danger to the public health. It also considers that the commitments for legal regulation of the definition for some of the fundamental freedoms and rights are guaranteed by the Constitution,” Deputy Prime Minister Driton Selmanaj said.

Government endorses action plan for increase of Covid-19 tests (Telegrafi)

The Government of Kosovo has approved today the action plan for increasing the coverage of citizens’ testing for COVID-19.

Minister of Health Armend Zemaj said the increased number of the infected with coronavirus and of deaths pushed them to implement a governing action plan on Covid-19 tests and new strategies based on the WHO recommendations.

He said that after comprehensive analyses, the professional group of the Ministry decided to increase coverage of the population with Covid-19 tests and three other goals which contain activities that would help to reach the main targets.

Zemaj said this action plan of increasing the number of tests will help in reaching a more realistic picture of the spread of the infection. 

Kosovo PM ready to declare state of emergency over coronavirus (Gazeta Express)

Kosovo prime minister Avdullah Hoti addressing the Parliament on Thursday said that legal experts of his Office have concluded a draft law on managing COVID-19, sponsored by the Speaker Vjosa Osmani, is insufficient in case the country needs to take more extreme measures to prevent further spread of the virus.

“The Government has reviewed the draft law on pandemic. This draft law does not solve problems. The only solution if we want to take extreme measures in restriction of movement at the country level is to declare the state of emergency,” Hoti told MPs. He said that such a thing can be done, and his Government is considering introducing such measures to prevent further spread of virus, Gazeta Express reports.  

“I am in close consultation with the National Institute of Public Health and the Committee led by the minister of Health, and I will not hesitate to declare the state of emergency if this is recommended by the Ministry of Health and the Institute,” Hoti said.

Roth: EU must grant Kosovo promised visa liberalization (Die Welt, Express)

Germany’s Minister for Europe Michael Roth says Kosovo should be granted visa liberalization.

In an opinion published by Die Welt, Roth said the situation in the Western Balkans remains fragile adding that the reconciliation in the region is a key factor to peace and changes, opening a better perspective for the Western Balkans.

“The EU role is clear: We have a special responsibility for the yard of the European house. We should do everything in our power for the sake of peace, reconciliation and democracy in the Western Balkans,” Roth said adding that the future of the Western Balkans is with the EU. Roth said the EU should give Kosovo promised visa liberalization. 

Speaking on priorities of Germany during the EU Presidency, Roth said that one of the priorities of Germany is to support the Western Balkan countries in their European path. He said Germany will give new spirit to the dialogue and has also commented on the idea on exchange of borders between Kosovo and Serbia referring to it as a “dangerous deal.” 

“Considering tensions in the region, we should give a new spirit to the dialogue on normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo. This is because we need a sustainable solution of conflicts – and not dangerous ‘deals’, which with fantasies on land swap threaten to open again the Pandora Box,” German minister said.

LVV does not vote international agreements, endorsement fails (media)

The Assembly of Kosovo failed once again to vote five international agreements, due to the lack of quorum. 75 MPs voted in favor of these agreements. Different from the last time, MPs of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) voted this time in favor of the agreements. Assembly Speaker Vjosa Osmani said the agreements will be voted again at another session.

  1. Voting of the Draft Law on ratification of the Financing Agreement between Kosovo and the International Development Association for the Financing Project of the Financial Sector.
  2. Review of the Draft Law on Ratification of the Loan Agreement between Kosovo and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for the Wastewater Development Project in Gjilan.
  3. Review of the Draft Law on Ratification of the Financing Agreement of the Real Estate Cadastre Project and Geospatial Infrastructure between Kosovo and the International Development Association,
  4. Review of the Draft Law on Ratification of the Agreement between the European Union and Kosovo on Kosovo’s Participation in the Union Program “Customs 2020”,
  5. Review of the Draft Law on Ratification of the Agreement between the European Union and Kosovo on Kosovo’s Participation in the Union Program “Fiskalis 2020”.

Gucati: Indictment proposal against KLA leaders, direct attack on Kosovo (media)

The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)  war veterans protested today Kosovo-wide with the motto ‘Defending Liberation War.’

Head of the Association of KLA Veterans, Hysni Gucati, called the indictment against former members of the KLA as unjust, biased and politically motivated.

“We have gathered throughout Kosovo under extraordinary conditions and circumstances to oppose the unfair and biased accusations, politically influenced by a part of the international community against the KLA for 20 years now, orchestrated by both Serbia and its allies. The unusual announcement of the charges against KLA leaders surprised the civilian world. The reckless and unfair action of the prosecutor who in order to exercise public pressure issued a statement prior to the confirmation or denial of the accusation by the court,” Gucati said. 

“The people of Kosovo who fought against killing-machine of ex-Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, remained deeply disappointed, because those who for 20 years taught us on the rule of law now are violating these laws and this was proven on the way how the indictment was filed by interfering justice, and making these courts vulnerable to politics,” he added.

Assembly does not approve LVV’s draft resolution on dialogue (media)

Kosovo Assembly MPs did not approve the draft-resolution on Kosovo-Serbia dialogue,  proposed today by the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV). 31 MPs voted in favor, 60 MPs were against, while one MP abstained while voting the four point draft-resolution presented by the LVV caucus, Rexhep Selimi. These are the points of the draft-resolution:   

  1. The Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo reiterates that the unitary character of the Republic of Kosovo is untouchable and inviolable.
  2.  Taking into account the confirmed facts regarding the topic addressed during the current dialogue, that of the exchange of territories which is in contradiction with the constitutional obligation and safeguarding the sovereignty and integrity of Kosovo, the assembly requests from the institutions in charge that during the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia under no circumstances or level discuss issues related to sovereignty or integration or that risk the creation of some kind of a third and administrative power;
  3.  Prior to any meeting within the dialogue with Serbia, the Assembly of Kosovo must approve the platform for dialogue, which will include the principles on the grounds of which the dialogue will take place and will be voted with 2/3 of the votes of the deputies of the Assembly of Kosovo;
  4.  The Assembly of Kosovo demands opening of the way for a democratic electoral process from which a legitimate government would emerge and there would be legitimacy for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.

UNMIK assists Malisheva with anti-Covid-19 protection equipment (Klan) 

The Office of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo supported the Municipality of Malisheva today with a donation of masks and gloves, in the continuation of their support for the municipalities of Kosovo.

Some time ago, UNMIK supported the municipality of Malisheva, also with food packages for the families in need.

Malisheva mayor Ragip Begaj, expressed while hosting  in his office the UNIMIK officials Lino Sciarra and Abedin Lataj, appreciation for this help, as well as for the previous assistance to the Municipality of Malisheva.

Sciarra on the other hand said that he is pleased that they have the opportunity to help municipalities in Kosovo with protective equipment, in order to show solidarity in the joint fight against Covid-19 through direct help for municipalities.”

Begaj and Sciarra talked about the general situation with Covid-19 in Malisheva.

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

In all Serb areas, 139 newly infected in the last three weeks of testing (Kontakt plus radio, KIM radio)

Kontakt plus radio reports that according to the results so far, 258 patients with coronavirus have been registered in Serbian communities in Kosovo, of which 97 are residents of North Mitrovica, said today at a press conference an epidemiologist from the Institute of Public Health in Kosovska Mitrovica, Dr. Aleksandar Antonijevic.

According to him, as of March 12, 2,252 people have been tested, of which, 258 have the coronavirus. This is the data for all Serb areas in Kosovo, reports the radio.

There are 139 newly infected, for the last three weeks of testing in all Serb areas in Kosovo.

Out of that number, 17 patients live south of the Ibar, while 122 are in the north of Kosovo.

Out of 139 patients, 42 are hospitalized in the infectious department of the Clinical Hospital Center (KBC) in North Mitrovica, two are in the Nis KBS, while one person is being treated in the Kragujevac KBC. 

There are 94 people in self-isolation.

Dr. Antonijevic states that among 97 cases of Covid-19 were registered in North Mitrovica, among which are three health workers.

According to him, the patients mostly had a milder clinical picture.

There were many complaints that people who have been diagnosed with the presence of coronavirus, walk freely around the city, even though they have been quarantined.

Dr. Antonijevic reminds that if one member of the family is infected, the other members are obliged to stay in self-isolation.

During yesterday, another 60 samples were tested. 

When it comes to Serb communities in central Kosovo, two new cases were registered in Gracanica, one each in Lipljan and Strpce, four in Priluzje and three in Gnjilane.

Dacic: Visit to Paris important, matter of Kosovo recognition does not exist for Serbia (TV Pink, Tanjug)

We are facing different attempts of foreign partners to resuscitate the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue which has been for a long time in a phase of “a clinical death”, Serbian Foreign Affairs Minister Ivica Dacic told TV Pink. Dacic added the problem of lack of coordination between those partners and factors exists.

Dacic further elaborated that given the series of meetings to be organized on the Kosovo issue one could have the impression we are close to some sort of solution, however, according to him, we are not even close to the solution, but to the renewal of the dialogue.

He also noted that the visit of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to Paris is important and Belgrade needs to demonstrate it is a constructive factor in the dialogue, adding that this visit is important to Serbia bilaterally as well.

“There would be a video summit of Angela Merkel, Emanuel Macron, Belgrade and Pristina, and on Saturday and Sunday in a way the dialogue in Brussels would restart again. That is why the visit of Vucic to Paris is of major significance for us bilaterally and for the state as a whole because we must demonstrate we are a constructive factor, as we were before,” Dacic said.

He underlined it is important that Serbia acts in a principled manner, and remains constructive.

“There is no dilemma that Vucic would advocate for our policy till the very end that we are for a compromise, but we are not for ultimatums and imposed solution, respectively that the matter if Serbia would recognize Kosovo does not exist for us at all, and it is not on our agenda,” he added.

He recalled the US tried to schedule the meeting in Washington on June 27, however that meeting was cancelled due to indictment against Hashim Thaci. He explained this does not mean that the US gave up on organizing such a meeting, adding that France and Germany wanted to organize the meetings also last year, but didn’t do so because Ramush Haradinaj refused to revoke the tariffs on the Serbian goods.

“It is obvious Europe is not thrilled that the US has primacy in that dialogue”, Dacic said, adding that a change occurred in Europe and Mirolsav Lajcak was appointed with a role to model the dialogue.

Commenting on protests taking place for the last two nights at Belgrade and other cities in Serbia, Dacic said those protests aim at weaken position of Serbia, because as he said, people think that President Vucic is vulnerable now and won’t be able to advocate for national and state interests of our country in a full capacity.

Dacic also noted that gatherings full of violence and intentional provocation of incidents caused great damage to Serbia, both when it comes to its image in the world and in terms of needed state and national unity so Serbia could be strong.   

Vucic: We know how to maintain peace (N1)

President Aleksandar Vucic posted a video message recorded on the plane to Paris on his Instagram account, telling the citizens of Serbia that the state knows how to keep the peace in the country, N1 reports.

“The state will know how to protect peace and stability despite the criminal, hooligan, violent attacks … which shocked everyone,” Vucic said in the video message posted on Instagram account “Future of Serbia”.

The president compared the unrest in Novi Sad with the fascist assault on that city in 1941 and called the population “in Belgrade, Novi Sad and all other cities … to not oppose the thugs”. “We will do that as a state. We will do it and win. We will keep the peace for our country. Surrender was never an option,” Vucic said.

“I am flying to Paris now to fight for our Serbia. See you soon. Serbia wins!”, Vucic said. The Serbian President is scheduled to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron later this afternoon.

See at:  https://bit.ly/2BSvm8N

Stefanovic: An attempt to seize power by force (B92)

“It is clear that we have a situation that can be described as bare violence,” Serbian Minister of Internal Affairs Nebojsa Stefanovic said last night at an extraordinary press conference commenting on the protests that took place in Belgrade, B92 reports.

“These are attempts to take power without the will of the people, without participating in the elections,” Stefanovic added.

“You could see the completely calm and restrained behavior of the police, despite protesters throwing stones and bricks towards them. Despite all that, the members of the police were restrained, they reacted only when their lives were endangered. They were attacked by everyone, even with shovels, Molotov cocktails”, Stefanovic pointed out.

He said that these were attempts to take over power by force and violence, without the will of the people, and that the protest was illegal and that no one reported it. As he stated, many were under the influence of alcohol.

Stefanovic announced the arrests of everyone who dared to physically endanger any person or anyone’s property and asked the prosecutors’ office to react as soon as possible in line with the law. He also said that 10 police officers were injured.

“They have been calling for the destruction of law and order for days, and unfortunately they are committing violence,” Stefanovic emphasized.

He added that the courts and the Prosecutor’s Office will do what is within their jurisdiction and that the public will be informed about that.

“Everyone has the right to protest, but you need to report the protest. Go to the polls, run, show your ideas, and do not solve everything with violence,” Stefanovic said in his address to the media.

See at: https://bit.ly/3iHQX4h

New riots in Belgrade; speculations about who provokes clashes (N1)

Gendarmerie and special police units beat on Wednesday demonstrators who fell in a stampede after the police threw teargas in the crowd, Belgrade-based N1 reports, while speculations arose about who has provoked the unrest, with the opposition, some analysts and some protesters blaming the authorities.

The anti-government protest continued on Wednesday night, after violence on Tuesday in which the police used teargas, horses and dogs to disperse the protesters who initially surprised them and briefly entered the Parliament building, N1 added.

Earlier on Wednesday afternoon, Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic blamed far-rightists, criminals, opposition and foreign security services for Tuesday night’s riots. He said no one would destabilize Serbia and that those responsible for attacking the police would be punished ‘without mercy.’

Some demonstrators told N1 they suspected authorities of organising hooligans to provoke incidents by provoking the police. Vuk Jeremic, an opposition leader, charged that the authorities sent hooligans to make unrest.

They said the riot suits the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and its leader Vucic to portray people’s dissatisfaction with their handling of the coronavirus epidemic like the opposition’s attempt to grab power without elections and that they have support from abroad.

A political analyst Vuk Velebit, told N1 that “unlike last night, we have organised groups of hooligans who are provoking conflicts with the police.”

During the protest, Bosko Obradovic, one of Serbia’s opposition leaders, was among those who received a few blows by the police, N1 reported. 

See at: https://bit.ly/2W3N4x3

Vucic: No compromise with the vandals; Involvement of foreign security services proven (B92)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in a public address on Wednesday afternoon condemned Tuesday’s protests organized in front of the National Assembly, as “an act of political violence”, B92 reports.

“Last night in Belgrade, we witnessed the most brutal political violence in recent years. In the past eight years, the Republic of Serbia has fully respected the freedom of gatherings and protests, as well as a different opinion,” he said.

“Last night it was not about the coronavirus, it was an unannounced political rally, against the law,” Vucic said, adding that “it happened that people of right-wing orientation attacked the building of the National Assembly and entered it, which means committing at least two criminal acts”.

He emphasized that the police reacted only when the gathered protesters started to vandalize the building of the National Assembly.

“Faced with all this, the police took legal measures. It was enough for decent and peaceful people to see how those people treated each other and how they mistreated the police. Five police vehicles were set on fire, 43 police officers were injured, and one has a fractured skull”, Vucic said, and then showed photos of police officers, some of whom, according to him, were attacked with a knife.

See at: https://bit.ly/2CjquJP

Russian Ambassador rejects allegations or Russia’s involvement in unrests in Belgrade (B92)

Russian Ambassador to Serbia, Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko rejected today allegations of “the Russian trace” in the organization of unrest in Serbia, B92 reports.  

Ambassador wrote on Twitter that voicing groundless accusations by certain individuals on the account of Russia was not a rare occurrence.

“Although voicing absurd, groundless accusations on the account of Russia by CEAS is not a rare occurrence, it came as a surprise how distorted perception of reality could be among “the experts” who have found “the Russian trace” in the organization of unrests in Serbia,” he wrote on Twitter.

Botsan-Kharchenko added “it was regrettable that an organization pretending to have a role of a “center of studies” acts as an instigator of propaganda about “Russian threat” and spreads primitive Russo-phobic cliché acts by rejecting all professional and neutrality standards.”

He added “it was particularly regrettable when such fabrications were recklessly supported by a series of media in a country”.

US Embassy closely follows events, condemns all violence (media)

The US Embassy to Serbia reacted to the recent protests by saying that they follow closely the events of the last two evenings in Belgrade and other cities of Serbia and we are deeply concerned by incidents of violence, the media report.

“We condemn all violence, including what appeared to us to be coordinated attacks on police seemingly intended to provoke overreactions as well what appeared to be the use of excessive force by police

“Nevertheless, the right to peaceful assembly and free expression are the foundations of a democracy.  America is a nation undergoing its own challenges with protests and civil unrest right now.

“The concerns and debate at the heart of this matter in Serbia and elsewhere in the world – how a nation keeps its people safe in the face of the deadliest pandemic of our time — are serious and must be part of a calm and peaceful national discussion.

“A free media environment and reforms in the area of rule of law are important for encouraging this kind of dialogue in Serbia”, the Embassy said in a statement.

 

 

Opinion

 

“Kosovo Serbs always suffer the consequences of instability in Serbia” (KIM radio)

KIM radio portal wrote about the protests being held in Serbia due to dissatisfaction with the recent announcement by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on reintroducing curfew over the coming weekend due to a new wave of the coronavirus epidemic. 

The protesters have been fiercely clashing with the police for two nights now, and there were riots in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Nis and Kragujevac.

Protesters in Belgrade on Wednesday demanded the appointment of a new Crisis Staff and called for the responsibility of the commander in the police for the brutal beating of dozens of people. 

Derogatory chants, various slogans are part of the folklore that inevitably accompanies the protests.

The program director of the NGO Aktiv Miodrag Marinkovic believes that the protests are the result of civil distrust in the moves of the government.

“What is currently happening in Belgrade is a kind of consequence of the crisis of trust that has been created in Serbian society, after the publication of recent data that information about the number of patients and the number of deaths has been hidden or concealed. The announcement of some rigorous measures has lost its credibility and the people have taken to the streets to protest because of that,” Marinkovic said in a telephone statement for RTV KIM.

The editor-in-chief of Radio Gorazdevac Darko Dimitrijevic believes that people are tired of this kind of regime and bans. He is of the opinion that the protests will not have great consequences for the Serbs in Kosovo.

“It is known that Kosovo Serbs are used to being with the government, not to say, being disciplined. Kosovo Serbs, in case that bigger and more massive protests start, will not be ready to come out in a huge number and express their dissatisfaction. And I think that there are a lot of dissatisfied people,” said Dimitrijevic.

Although, formally, the protests started because of the announced measures, “they were slowly turning into protests related to Kosovo,” Marinkovic pointed out.

“Kosovo Serbs always suffer the consequences of instability in Serbia, because Kosovo Serbs mostly rely on Serbian society, on the Serbian government. Every instability in Serbia has certain consequences for Serbs in Kosovo, although I do not think that in this case there can be any worsening of the security situation,” Marinkovic stated.

Commenting on the departure of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to Paris while Serbia is shaken by protests, Marinkovic said that Vucic left “because of the announced promises”.

“What is happening in Serbia is a consequence of the government’s attitude towards the Kosovo issue, a relationship in which there is a lack of consultations, a lack of communication with the people. For two years, we have not been able to find out what is the true plan of President Vucic and the ruling party regarding the Kosovo issue. We are left to speculate, and in a situation where there is a lot of speculation, there are people who can interpret Serbia’s intentions to recognize Kosovo or bring some harmful solutions,” Marinkovic pointed out.

Darko Dimitrijevic states Aleksandar Vucic has “his own way to surprise the public and citizens”.

“It is another of his typical moves, to show in some way how important he is and how important he is in every story, even in this one. I will refer to the message in which he tells the citizens he goes to fight for Serbia. Now, how much this fight is real, honest and accurate, let the people judge about it,” Dimitrijevic said.

What ‘Twiplomacy’ reveals about the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue (neweasterneurope.eu)

Special US Presidential Envoy for Serbia and Kosovo Peace Negotiations Richard Grenell has divulged a number of interesting insights regarding the ongoing negotiations through social media.

There was a time when mediators kept their thoughts on the negotiation processes under a tight lid. Times have changed, and by 2011, the word “Twiplomacy” was coined in recognition of the increasing use of social media by diplomats. Richard Grenell, President Donald Trump’s Special Envoy for the ongoing Serbia-Kosovo dialogue, is the quintessential Twiplomat with an impressive following of nearly half a million people. Over the past few weeks, Grenell has divulged a number of interesting insights regarding the ongoing negotiations.

See at: https://bit.ly/2ZQvAoN

 

 

 

 International

 

Kosovo’s Thaci To Go To The Hague For Interview With War Crimes Prosecutor (RFE)

Kosovar President Hashim Thaci has said that he will travel to The Hague next week to be interviewed by a special prosecutor whose office was set up to pursue allegations of war crimes committed during and after Kosovo’s war of independence in the late ’90s.

In a message to his country’s roughly 2 million citizens, the former guerrilla commander said via Facebook that “many former co-combatants have been interviewed by the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, inside and outside of Kosovo,” in the past two years.

https://bit.ly/2O4Yjkq

Serbia Protests Meet Violent Response in Europe’s 1st Major Virus Unrest (The New York Times)

To counter a second coronavirus wave, President Aleksandar Vucic announced a new lockdown. Protesters reacted with fury at his inconsistency, amid wider anger over his strongman leadership.

Thousands of Serbs demonstrated for a second consecutive night on Wednesday in response to President Aleksandar Vucic’s management of the coronavirus crisis and wider concerns over the state of democracy in Serbia.

See at: https://nyti.ms/3fdSAol

Serbian President ‘Has the Evidence’ to Resolve US Albanians’ Murders (Balkan Insight)

Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic has “the evidence and the ability” to catch the killers of the three Bytyqi brothers, but “the only thing he lacks is the will”, the Bytyqi family said in statement to mark the 21st anniversary of this crime.

The three Bytyqi brothers, Ylli, Agron, and Mehmet, US citizens of Albanian origin, went to fight for the Kosovo Liberation Army against Belgrade’s forces in 1999. They were arrested by Serbian police after the war ended when they strayed over an unmarked boundary line between Serbia and Kosovo.

https://bit.ly/3ed1m4D

 

 

Humanitarian/Development

 

Kosovo’s hospitals receive influx of COVID-19 patients (Prishtina Insight)

With the Infectious Disease Clinic in Prishtina nearing capacity, hospitals across Kosovo are treating more and more patients suffering from COVID-19.

According to a report from the University Clinical Centre of Kosovo, UCCK, published on Wednesday, 270 patients are currently being treated for COVID-19 across the country’s public hospitals.

186 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19 at UCCK in Prishtina, including 107 in the Infectious Disease Clinic, which had been housing the majority of patients until the recent increase in cases. Two patients in the clinic are in intensive care, while 55 are being treated with oxygen therapy. The clinic has eight beds in its intensive care unit, as well as 120 beds spread across six departments.

https://bit.ly/2W22Qs3

 

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