- COVID – 19: Six deaths, 141 new cases (media)
- Hyseni: Serbia was unconstructive at the meeting in Brussels (Koha)
- Quint ambassadors: We call on parties to strictly adhere to Kosovo laws (media)
- Veseli: PDK supports US engagement – doesn’t take part in delegation (media)
- Tahiri: President cannot be elected without AAK (RTK)
- Shala: Kosovo needs broader coalition to conclude talks with Serbia (KTV)
- Serbs, Kosovo Albanians make joint appeal for missing persons (Balkan Insight)
COVID – 19: Six deaths, 141 new cases (media)
Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health said in a statement on Thursday that six deaths and 141 new cases of coronavirus have been recorded over the last 24 hours. 143 persons have recovered from the virus during this period. The highest number of new cases is from the municipality of Prishtina (23).
Hyseni: Serbia was unconstructive at the meeting in Brussels (Koha)
Kosovo’s State Coordinator for the dialogue with Serbia, Skender Hyseni, said the Serbian delegation was unconstructive at Thursday’s meeting in Brussels. He said the Serbian delegation “has resorted to elements on which we had agreed in principle”. The meeting discussed the issue of missing persons and economic cooperation.
“The Serbian delegation proved unconstructive today. And this needs to be made loud and clear. The Serbian side today even resorted to elements on which we had agreed in principle. Serbia tried to reopen certain chapters of the comprehensive agreement on which we had agreed in principle. All this proves the concern I have always expressed that Serbia tried to delay and table issues that have only one objective – to delay the process and to slip into something that we will not accept,” he said.
“Nevertheless, Kosovo today continued to be very constructive in the sense of protecting its interests but at the same time being the party that is really interested in the process and wants to reach a peace and normalisation agreement with Serbia. This agreement must inevitably result in mutual recognition between Kosovo and Serbia. There can be no other agreement. Mutual recognition creates the basic prerequisite to address all outstanding issues of mutual interest between the two states. There will always be such issues between two sovereign and independent states. The framework that guarantees the resolution and implementation of every agreement on any issues is mutual recognition. Without this framework we can only slip into another decade of unnecessary wasting time and could see growing disagreements.”
Hyseni said “Serbia should not be allowed to manipulate the process … because there are quite serious signs that it wants to manipulate the whole process”.
Quint ambassadors: We call on parties to strictly adhere to Kosovo laws (media)
All media covered on Thursday the statement issued by the heads of mission of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States. “On Thursday, August 27, 2020, Ambassadors or Charges d’Affaires of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, together with representatives from the EU, KFOR, and OSCE, visited the Decan/i region on a fact finding trip. They met separately with Mayor Bashkim Ramosaj and Father Sava Janjic of the Decani Monastery. We call on parties to strictly adhere to Kosovo’s laws, in particular the 2008 law on the Special Protective Zones, and to address any remaining concerns within the framework of the Implementation Monitoring Council (IMC), prior to taking any action. Furthermore, we urge the Kosovo authorities to implement the Constitutional Court ruling of 19 May 2016 on the land dispute case in Decani. Finally, we request the Government of Kosovo to expeditiously resolve the road works issue in accordance with the above,” the statement notes.
Veseli: PDK supports US engagement – doesn’t take part in delegation (media)
Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) leader Kadri Veseli replied on Thursday to Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti who called on the PDK to send a representative at the process of dialogue in Washington on September 4 and in Brussels on September 7.
Veseli said in his letter that the PDK strongly supports the engagement of the United States and the European Union in the process of dialogue as strategic international partners. He said the PDK will play its constitutional role in the process of the dialogue, as an opposition in the Kosovo Assembly, but that it will not take part in the delegation.
“The Democratic Party of Kosovo supports only a comprehensive and final agreement that it is in line with our platform, which guarantees mutual recognition, state sovereignty, territorial integrity, the unitary character of the state and Kosovo’s membership of the United Nations,” Veseli said.
Tahiri: President cannot be elected without AAK (RTK)
Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister Besnik Tahiri said in an interview with RTK on Thursday that when the time comes to elect a new President of Kosovo this cannot be done with the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK).
“The President post is not a topic; that will come next year. We are not preempting the current mandate. We are not contesting President Thaci. But the elephant is in the room. Without an agreement with the AAK, the new President cannot be elected,” Tahiri said.
Shala: Kosovo needs broader coalition to conclude talks with Serbia (KTV)
Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) MP Haxhi Shala said on Thursday that Kosovo needs a broader coalition to conclude the talks with Serbia. He said the responsibility to make changes in the ruling coalition belongs to the biggest party, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and that he is not against the inclusion of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) in the government.
“I believe the country needs a broader coalition to conclude the talks with Serbia. It is being said that the PDK will join. The PDK has said it will not be part of the talks, but I call on both the PDK and the Vetevendosje Movement to be at the table of talks,” Shala said.
Serbs, Kosovo Albanians make joint appeal for missing persons (Balkan Insight)
Missing persons’ families from Serbia and Kosovo held a joint press conference to urge both countries’ authorities to do more to establish what happened to 1,600 people who still haven’t been found since the Kosovo war.
Associations of Serb and Kosovo Albanian missing persons’ families told a press conference in Belgrade on Thursday that both countries must open up wartime archives and reveal information about people who are still listed as missing from the 1998-99 Kosovo war.
“There is no progress in any society as long as there are secret graves and unexcavated bones,” said Natasa Scepanovic, president of the Association of Kosmet Victims.
“We demand the opening of all the archives and evidence related to potential graves, we demand comprehensive and professional investigations, and we demand witness protection,” Scepanovic added.
Bajram Qerkinaj from the Missing Persons Resource Centre in Pristina said that “we should not be fooled” that Serbia and Kosovo’s representatives at talks in Brussels to normalise relations will reveal anything about the missing persons.
“It’s not just [Serbian] President [Aleksandar] Vucic, but all politicians in Serbia and Kosovo have never said what they know. What they should have done, they never did,” Qerkinaj said.
The missing persons’ representatives said that at the moment, there are 1,643 people still listed as missing from the Kosovo war.
“That is 1,643 families that today do not know where are their dearest ones,” said Gordana Djikanovic from the Association of Kosmet Victims.
The event entitled ‘The Missing Must not Remain a Number – They Have Names’ was organised by the Association of Kosmet Victims and the Missing Persons Resource Centre in Pristina ahead of the International Day of the Disappeared on August 30.
An event with the same name and the same participants was also held in Pristina on Tuesday.