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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, August 15

By   /  15/08/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, August 15

• COVID-19: 159 new cases, eight deaths (media)
• Thaci welcomes announcement of Washington meeting (media)
• Kurti: Grenell wants a foreign policy success in final hours (media)
• Mustafa: Washington meeting reconfirms U.S. engagement (media)
• Limaj: Wherever dialogue is held, Kosovo goes for final agreement (media)
• Pompeo and Schallenberg: We support Kosovo – Serbia dialogue (media)
• Kuci: Lack of quorum for economic revival law, shameful (media)
• Assembly adopts two international agreements worth €146 mil (media)
• Vucic calls for urgent halt of construction in Decani Monastery zone (media)
• Down Syndrome Centre risks closure (Prishtina Insight)

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  • COVID-19: 159 new cases, eight deaths (media)
  • Thaci welcomes announcement of Washington meeting (media)
  • Kurti: Grenell wants a foreign policy success in final hours (media)
  • Mustafa: Washington meeting reconfirms U.S. engagement (media)
  • Limaj: Wherever dialogue is held, Kosovo goes for final agreement (media)
  • Pompeo and Schallenberg: We support Kosovo – Serbia dialogue (media)
  • Kuci: Lack of quorum for economic revival law, shameful (media)
  • Assembly adopts two international agreements worth €146 mil (media)
  • Vucic calls for urgent halt of construction in Decani Monastery zone (media)
  • Down Syndrome Centre risks closure (Prishtina Insight)

COVID-19: 159 new cases, eight deaths (media)

159 new cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Kosovo and eight deaths over the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, 201 recoveries were confirmed for the same time period.

Thaci welcomes announcement of Washington meeting (media)

President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci has welcomed the announcement that leaders of Kosovo and Serbia will meet in Washington on 2 September.

“I welcome the announced meeting at the White House on negotiations between Kosovo and Serbia. We are greatful [sic.] to the US for the tremendous dedication to peace & stability in the region,” Thaci wrote on Twitter.

Koha highlights that Thaci’s post does not make it clear who on Kosovo’s part would be travelling to the U.S. to take part in the meeting.

Earlier, Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti also confirmed the Washington meeting saying it will focus on economic projects.

Kurti: Grenell wants a foreign policy success in final hours (media)

Leader of the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV), Albin Kurti, commented on the meeting between Kosovo and Serbia officials expected to take place in Washington on 2 September saying that the host of the meeting, special envoy Richard Grenell, wants a success in the field of foreign policy in the final hours.

“There are about 80 days left until new elections in the U.S. where President Donald Trump faces Democratic candidate Joe Biden. The campaign there is intensifying without even officially beginning. In this context should the 2 September meeting be seen,” Kurti said.

“In his announcement, Grenell no longer speaks about dialogue but about negotiations. And negotiations imply compromise. The Constitution of Kosovo incorporates the painful compromise of the Ahtisaari package while the Constitution of Serbia continues Milosevic’s goals by stating in its second sentence that Kosovo is an integral part of Serbia. There can be neither justice nor gain from such an approach,” Kurti wrote on Facebook.

Kurti said that those who will speak on Kosovo’s behalf in Washington have “no legitimacy, no credibility, authority or competency. As a result, their agreements are unimplementable and not worth the paper they are written in.”

Mustafa: Washington meeting reconfirms U.S. engagement (media)

Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) leader Isa Mustafa said on Friday that the upcoming meeting between the Kosovo and Serbia delegations in Washington on September 2 reconfirms the engagement of the United States in the process of dialogue.

“Kosovo has never lost faith in the strong partnership with the United States of America and is grateful for all its support,” Mustafa wrote in a Facebook post. “The role of the U.S. and the EU in concluding the process of dialogue with Serbia with mutual recognition is of exceptional importance for Kosovo”.

Limaj: Wherever dialogue is held, Kosovo goes for final agreement (media)

Fatmir Limaj, leader of NISMA, a junior partner in the ruling coalition, said on Friday that the meeting between Kosovo and Serbia delegations in Washington on September 2 is the best proof of the U.S. commitment for a final deal between the two countries.

“Wherever dialogue is held, in Washington or Brussels, Kosovo is ready to sit at the table of talks in order to reach a final agreement on mutual recognition between the two countries,” Limaj said. He also added that Kosovo is blessed to have the friendship of the U.S.

Pompeo and Schallenberg: We support Kosovo – Serbia dialogue (media)

The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met on Friday in Vienna with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and discussed among other issues on the region of the Western Balkans, with special emphasis on the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.

Following their meeting, Pompeo and Schallenberg issued a joint statement expressing their support for the region and for the Kosovo – Serbia dialogue.

“The Western Balkans is a region where Austria and the United States have worked together to promote peace and stability for many years … through our joint commitment to maintain peace in Kosovo and in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” the statement notes. “The United States and Austria share the same vision for the region, a strong basis for productive cooperation and regular high-level consultations. We will continue to work together in promoting the Belgrade – Prishtina dialogue and to push forward the integration of these countries in the trans-Atlantic community, with full membership in the EU as an objective for the whole region of the Western Balkans”.

Kuci: Lack of quorum for economic revival law, shameful (media)

Kosovo’s Minister of Economic Development, Blerim Kuci, said on Friday it was shameful that there was no quorum in the Assembly to adopt the draft law on economic revival.

“The objective of this law is above any interest … This law is crucial to come to the aid of businesses and the citizens of Kosovo. I echo the position of Minister Hykmete Bajrami for the draft law to be presented to the Assembly again these days. Any delay will have negative reflections on the country’s economy,” Kuci said.

Assembly adopts two international agreements worth €146 mil (media)

Members of the Kosovo Assembly adopted two international agreements amounting to €146 million. One agreement is with the International Development Association for funding an emergency project for Kosovo in the fight against COVID – 19. The other agreement is with the European Union.

Vucic calls for urgent halt of construction in Decani Monastery zone (media)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic called on the halt of construction in the zone of Decani Monastery in Kosovo saying that this act goes against “values of civilisation” and that “Prishtina is violating the rules it has signed”.

Vucic said at the upcoming meeting in Brussels he will ask the Prishtina delegation and European mediators to immediately stop the construction work in the zone.

Down Syndrome Centre risks closure (Prishtina Insight)

Down Syndrome Kosova has still not received a response from the government one month after it requested financial assistance to ensure it can provide therapy to over 300 people with Down Syndrome in the country.

Around 300 people with Down Syndrome, of which 120 are children aged under 12, are on the verge of being left without therapeutic services due to a lack of funds at Down Syndrome Kosova, DSK.

The organisation, which supports itself mainly through grants and donations, runs the Down Syndrome Centre in Prishtina, which has been providing psycho-social services for people with Down syndrome for 13 years.

Sebahate Hajdini-Beqiri, the Executive Director of DSK, told BIRN that the organisation’s four branches, in Prishtina, Ferizaj, Prizren and Mitrovice may no longer be able to operate after September if financial assistance is not provided soon.

A month ago, on July 14, DSK sent an official request to Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti, as well as Minister of Finance Hykmete Bajrami and Minister for Social Welfare Skender Recica. In the request, DSK asked Kosovo’s state institutions to consider the possibility of allocating part of their budget to support psycho-social services for people with Down Syndrome.

“DSK has addressed the request directly to Mr. Hoti and we are still waiting for an answer,” Ermira Shabani, a psychologist at DSK told BIRN on Friday. “Unfortunately, due to the created situation, we risk closure, and we are calling on all institutions for support.”

DSK has launched a campaign ‘Support the Development of My Potential’ in which they have requested financial support to provide therapeutic services for children with Down syndrome.

“So far, a number of individuals, some businesses and a few MPs have joined this campaign,” Shabani said. “Providing therapeutic services for people with Down syndrome is essential, so we thank all of those who have joined us in this initiative and invite others to do so.”

As well as addressing the relevant ministries, DSK also invited all 120 MPs at the Kosovo Assembly to support the campaign. According to Shabani, in the month since the request was sent, only three MPs, Endrit Shala, Faton Bislimi and Valdete Idrizi have responded.

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