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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, 21 July

By   /  21/07/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, 21 July

• COVID-19: 142 new cases over last 24 hours, four deaths (media)
• Technical teams to meet Thursday, Kosovo without a coordinator (Koha)
• Hoti: Drafting of final agreement starts this week (Prishtina Insight)
• Who will be appointed state coordinator for dialogue? (Klan)
• Hoti called to report to Assembly on dialogue with Serbia (media)
• Von Cramon: I never interfered in Specialist Chambers’ work (Klan)
• Thaci: Women of Krusha are a symbol of survival and force (media)
• “There’s still a mindset that women are not worthy of inheritance” (Koha)
• Djuric: We will never discuss recognition of Kosovo (media)

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  • COVID-19: 142 new cases over last 24 hours, four deaths (media)
  • Technical teams to meet Thursday, Kosovo without a coordinator (Koha)
  • Hoti: Drafting of final agreement starts this week (Prishtina Insight)
  • Who will be appointed state coordinator for dialogue? (Klan)
  • Hoti called to report to Assembly on dialogue with Serbia (media)
  • Von Cramon: I never interfered in Specialist Chambers’ work (Klan)
  • Thaci: Women of Krusha are a symbol of survival and force (media)
  • “There’s still a mindset that women are not worthy of inheritance” (Koha)
  • Djuric: We will never discuss recognition of Kosovo (media)

Kosovo Media Highlights

COVID-19: 142 new cases over last 24 hours, four deaths (media)

Director of Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health, Naser Ramadani, announced on Monday that 142 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Kosovo over the last 24 hours. There have been 101 recoveries reported over the same time period and four deaths.

The highest number of new cases are in the municipality of Pristina (47).

Ramadani said that the coronavirus situation is being normalised and that there are currently 2,669 active cases of COVID-19 in Kosovo.

Kallxo news website reports on what it calls “the threat of collapse” as 500 healthcare workers, 120 of them doctors, so far have been infected with COVID-19.

Gazeta Express reports that 300 patients with COVID-19 are being treated in Kosovo’s health facilities. 14 patients are reported to be in critical condition. 

Technical teams to meet Thursday, Kosovo without a coordinator (Koha)

The TV station reported on Monday that a draft of the final agreement between Kosovo and Serbia is expected to be prepared at the meeting between the two delegations in Brussels on Thursday. Kosovo however has yet to appoint its state coordinator for the dialogue.

European Union officials meanwhile say that the meeting on Thursday will be held at the level of experts and they will discuss issued addressed by Kosovo Prime Minister Hoti and Serbian President Vucic at their meeting on July 16.

A spokeswoman for the EU told the TV station: “As you were informed by the EU High Representative Miroslav Lajcak, after the high-level meeting last week, the two leaders have agreed to continue intensive work at the level of experts next week. This will be held in Brussels. Kosovo and Serbia are invited to send their experts to further discuss issues addressed at the level of leaders last Thursday. We will not share further information about the meeting at the level of experts.”

Hoti: Drafting of final agreement starts this week (Prishtina Insight)

Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti said on Monday that a meeting in Brussels on Thursday will see the beginning of the drafting of a “final agreement” between Kosovo and Serbia, while EU officials state work will continue on issues discussed last week between Hoti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti has stated that the drafting of a final agreement between Kosovo and Serbia will commence at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday. He added that Kosovo will be represented in the meeting by a ‘state coordinator’ for the dialogue, who will be appointed soon.

Following a meeting between Hoti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on July 16, Miroslav Lajcak, the EU Special Representative for the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue, stated that “both leaders agreed to continue to work intensively at expert level next week.”

However, Hoti dismissed the notion that this meant a continuation of a technical dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia on Monday, stating that “only the issue of mutual recognition and normalization of relations between the two countries” will be on the table.

“There is no technical dialogue but only a political dialogue for mutual recognition and normalisation of relations,” the prime minister added.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci also spoke of the need for the dialogue to move past technical discussions at a press conference on Monday. “The process should be concluded with mutual recognition as soon as possible,” Thaci said.

Nabila Massrali, the EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy told Prishtina Insight on Monday that meetings held this week in Brussels will be a continuation of work on issues discussed by Hoti and Vucic on July 16.

“Kosovo and Serbia are invited to send their experts to follow up on the issues already discussed on the leaders’ level last Thursday,” Massrali stated.

At the July 16 meeting, Hoti and Vucic are reported to have discussed the issue of missing and displaced persons from the Kosovo war as well as economic cooperation, which Hoti stated included the payment of reparations from the Kosovo war, and contributions for unpaid pensions.

The prime minister also announced on Monday that he had invited political leaders to meetings to discuss the dialogue, and requested the Kosovo Assembly to hold a parliamentary session to inform MPs about the dialogue process.

Prishtina Insight contacted Hoti to request further information on Thursday’s meeting and the appointment of Kosovo’s state coordinator for the dialogue but received no response.

Who will be appointed state coordinator for dialogue? (Klan)

Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti said on Monday that he will soon appoint a state coordinator who will represent Kosovo at the meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

According to Hoti, the state coordinator will discuss and draft the final agreement on mutual recognition between Kosovo and Serbia. Citing unnamed sources, Klan Kosova reported on Monday that Skender Hyseni, former Foreign Minister, will be appointed to the coordinator position.

Hoti called to report to Assembly on dialogue with Serbia (media)

Kosovo Assembly Speaker Vjosa Osmani said that in consultation with the chairmanship they have set Friday as the time when Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti is called to report about the dialogue with Serbia process.

Osmani said PM Hoti will also be replying to MPs’ questions at this session. “There was a continuous request of the Kosovo Assembly to have regular reports from the prime minister, before the beginning of these new rounds of dialogue and also upon return. We have received the letter where he expresses readiness to do so and following consultations with Assembly chairmanship, we have invited him on Friday at 12:00hrs.”

Von Cramon: I never interfered in Specialist Chambers’ work (Klan)

European Parliament’s Rapporteur for Kosovo, Viola von Cramon, denied allegations that by visiting the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office at The Hague she has interfered in the work of the judiciary.

“Not at all,” von Cramon told Klan Kosova on Monday. “I have never interfered. I would never do such a thing. No one from the European Parliament would interfere in the work of the judiciary. When you talk to the Specialist Prosecutor Jack Smith, the people in the registry, and with the President of the Chambers, you will see that they are completely independent. They will not allow you to ask any questions about ongoing cases.”

Von Cramon said that the Specialist Chambers are an important structure for the rule of law in Kosovo and “it is my obligation to be informed about the work of this institution at The Hague and this was the key purpose of my visit”.

Von Cramon also said that she is under the impression that by the end of the summer the proposed indictment against President Thaci and several other persons will be confirmed or denied.

Thaci: Women of Krusha are a symbol of survival and force (media)

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci visited on Monday the village of Krusha e Madhe where 240 civilians were killed by Serbian troops during the war. “The women of Krusha are a symbol of survival and force to rise from the ashes of war, with losses in human lives, and never surrendering from efforts to build a new life,” Thaci said in a Facebook post.

“There’s still a mindset that women are not worthy of inheritance” (Koha)

Valmira Rashiti from the Kosovo Women’s Network said in a debate on KTV on Monday that there is still a mindset in Kosovo that women are not worthy of inheriting their family’s property.

“The key problem is the pressure from the family. Women still feel they are not worthy of inheriting the property of their families, to continue these activities and to inherit what is theirs by law. A major role is also played by the institutional patriarchal mindset. There is an issue with prolonged legal proceedings. There are still some judges who if they would interpret the law correctly, they would shorten these proceedings and the women would be able to enjoy their rights,” Rashiti said.

Luljeta Demolli from the Kosovo Centre for Gender Studies, said women automatically inherit property when there is no will in place, without having to settle disputes with their relatives in courts. “No moment is more difficult than having to face your own mother in court who favors her sons and to say that you won’t give up on your property, because you will leave the court session and at some point you will go to the same house,” she added.

Djuric: We will never discuss recognition of Kosovo (media)

Marko Djuric, head of the Serbian Government’s Office for Kosovo, argued on Monday that Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti was deceiving both the Kosovo and international public. He said Serbia will never discuss an agreement for recognising Kosovo’s independence.

“The meeting in Brussels on Thursday will initially discuss Prishtina’s obligations from the dialogue in Brussels so far, followed by efforts for economic normalisation and cooperation, because this is what concerns ordinary people, and also the issue of missing persons, because we owe this to their families,” Djuric said.

“Hoti can only dream about Kosovo’s independence. He is further away from it every day. He and Isa Mustafa can only recognise one another.”

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