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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, September 9

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• COVID-19: 97 new infections, no deaths (media)
• Kosovo PM Hoti meets NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg (media)
• In Brussels, PM Hoti meets Commissioner Varhelyi (media)
• “Another major deal! How President Trump brought Serbia and Kosovo together” (Express)
• LVV: Washington agreement in violation to Constitution of Kosovo (media)
• PDK welcomes Hoti’s reporting next week, LVV considers it is too late (RTK)
• “Mini-Schengen strengthens Serbia’s influence over regional market” (Koha)
• Grenell: One thing is for sure, Albin Kurti is always against the United States (Express)
• Osmani speaks about cooperation with LVV (Kanal10)
• KLA association official publishes footage of man who ‘dropped off Specialist Court files’ (media)
• Specialist Chambers do not comment on whether they visited KLA associations (Koha)
• Member of Bosnia’s presidency seeks a session for recognition of Kosovo (Klan)

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  • COVID-19: 97 new infections, no deaths (media)
  • Kosovo PM Hoti meets NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg (media)
  • In Brussels, PM Hoti meets Commissioner Varhelyi (media)
  • “Another major deal! How President Trump brought Serbia and Kosovo together” (Express)
  • LVV: Washington agreement in violation to Constitution of Kosovo (media)
  • PDK welcomes Hoti’s reporting next week, LVV considers it is too late (RTK)
  • “Mini-Schengen strengthens Serbia’s influence over regional market” (Koha)
  • Grenell: One thing is for sure, Albin Kurti is always against the United States (Express)
  • Osmani speaks about cooperation with LVV (Kanal10)
  • KLA association official publishes footage of man who ‘dropped off Specialist Court files’ (media)
  • Specialist Chambers do not comment on whether they visited KLA associations (Koha)
  • Member of Bosnia’s presidency seeks a session for recognition of Kosovo (Klan)

Kosovo Media Highlights

COVID-19: 97 new infections, no deaths (media)

Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health announced yesterday that of 481 samples tested over the 24-hour period, 97 have tested positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, there have been no deaths and 139 recoveries reported over the same time period.

Telegrafi reported that this is the first time since 29 June that Kosovo has not reported any coronavirus-related deaths while Minister of Health Armend Zemaj hailing the news said it does weaken the commitment to continue battling the pandemic with the same energy as until now.

There are currently 3,203 active cases of COVID-19 in Kosovo.

Kosovo PM Hoti meets NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg (media)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti met yesterday in Brussels NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Hoti thanked Stoltenberg for KFOR’s contribution to Kosovo saying the mission’s presence is of special importance for strengthening of peace and stability in this part of South-East Europe. He also said Kosovo is committed to building a Euro-Atlantic future and join NATO as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile welcoming the latest round of EU-facilitated talks in Brussels on Monday, Stoltenberg underscored that dialogue is the only way to achieve a lasting political solution in the Western Balkans. The two officials also discussed the agreement reached in Washington to normalise economic relations between Belgrade and Pristina.

Stoltenberg stressed that NATO is firmly committed to stability in the Western Balkans and that KFOR’s mandate remains unchanged while with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NATO Secretary General said they are looking into how the Alliance can further support Kosovo in responding to it, a NATO statement reads.

In Brussels, PM Hoti meets Commissioner Varhelyi (media)

During his Brussels visit, Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti also met European Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi.

“Great discussion w PM @Avdullah Hoti of #Kosovo today. Pleased that good progress was made at Monday’s high-level meeting of #EU-facilitated dialogue. As to agreements signed at @WhiteHouse, #EU ready to work on common follow-up to advance economic development & reconciliation,” Varhelyi tweeted after the meeting.

Hoti on his part thanked the EU institutions for support to Kosovo in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. He also stressed the need to conclude the visa liberalisation process as soon as possible, emphasizing that the citizens of Kosovo deserve to move freely like other peoples, a press release issued by Kosovo government states.

It adds that Hoti also spoke about the agreement on normalisation of economic relations signed in Washington which he said is an act of good will to move forward towards a comprehensive agreement between the two countries, which should result in mutual recognition.

“Another major deal! How President Trump brought Serbia and Kosovo together” (Express)

The news portal carries the press release issued by the White House on the economic agreement between Kosovo and Serbia reached in Washington.

“President Trump met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovan Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti at the White House on Friday, where the leaders announced a historic commitment to economic normalization between Serbia and Kosovo.

“By focusing on job creation and economic growth, the two countries were able to reach a major breakthrough—something that nobody thought was going to be possible,” President Trump said.

President Trump’s Administration has delivered recently on a number of major peacemaking deals. The agreement between Kosovo and Serbia follows just weeks after another huge breakthrough brokered between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

A key side benefit of the Serbia-Kosovo deal, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said on Friday, is that it now allows for “the establishment of diplomatic relations between Kosovo, a majority-Muslim state, and the State of Israel.”

In the Oval Office, President Vučić and Prime Minister Hoti thanked President Trump and his team for their commitment to peace and stability in the region.

“I look forward to seeing Serbia and Kosovo prosper as we work together on economic cooperation in the region. Going forward—I look forward to going to both countries someday in the not-too-distant future,” President Trump said,” reads a press release, through a link to the Facebook account of the White House.

LVV: Washington agreement in violation to Constitution of Kosovo (media)

Officials from the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) said in a press conference that the recently signed agreement in Washington is unconstitutional and that in light of this, they will initiate a motion of no confidence against the government of Kosovo led by Avdullah Hoti.

LVV deputy leader Glauk Konjufca also said that the future government of Kosovo, which he said will be led by Vetevendosje, will not uphold commitments the Kosovo side pledged to in Washington. “Hoti’s retraction from recognition is bad news as this only suits the Government of Serbia. Nothing between Kosovo and Serbia can be solved without recognition,” he said. “Kosovo should not give anything from its statehood in exchange for recognition from Serbia,” Konjufca added.

Konjufca further said that the Washington agreement is only support by half of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and half of the Social Democratic Initiative (NISMA). “It is time to reintroduce the motion and realise it is the right time to bring down the Government.”

Albulena Haxhiu on the other hand stated that the agreement signed in Washington undermines Kosovo’s territorial integrity.

PDK welcomes Hoti’s reporting next week, LVV considers it is too late (RTK)

The Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti is expected to report to the Assembly of Kosovo about the reached economic agreement with Serbia in Washington.

Arberie Nagavci, deputy Assembly speaker from the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) told KosovaPress that although it is too late for reporting, they have submitted a request for Hoti to appear in front of the MPs to justify the Washington agreement.

“It is already too late for reporting. The Prime Minister of the country should have reached unity in advance instead of only reporting on his platform and objectives, but to gain complete responsibility, in order not to reach to the current situation which resembles a ticking bomb,” Nagavci said, adding that she has submitted on Monday LVV’s request for Prime Minister’s reporting.

She said she understood that PDK also plans to submit such request however she added it is to regret that PDK, is unfortunately ‘a pseudo-opposition’ which has never supported LVV’s initiatives.

Avni Bytyci, spokesman of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, said they are collecting signatures for an extraordinary session where PM Hoti should report, on what he called deviation from the main intentions of the dialogue with Serbia, “which was final agreement, in which mutual recognition between Serbia and Kosovo and Kosovo’s seat at the UN would be unavoidable.”

“Mini-Schengen strengthens Serbia’s influence over regional market” (Koha)

Koha Ditore quotes on the front page analysts saying that Kosovo will be unlikely to benefit from joining the Mini-Schengen initiative as the power of the Western Balkans countries is disproportional. They say the project plays into Serbia’s influence over the regional market.

Arbresha Loxha from the Pristina-based Group for Legal and Political Studies think tank said the Mini-Schengen should not be viewed as a replacement for European Union integration and that “in principle, the Mini-Schengen favours Serbia at the largest market in the region and gives it the benefit of being the main country in the free movement of persons and goods in the region.”

At the same time, Arian Zeka from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce office in Kosovo said the industrial power of Western Balkans countries is disproportional but that Kosovo needs to use its unique competition advantages.

Grenell: One thing is for sure, Albin Kurti is always against the United States (Express)

US Special Envoy on Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Richard Grenell, has answered the Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti who criticised the Agreement reached last week between Kosovo and Serbia at the White House.

Kurti took Twitter to publish the Washington Agreement saying that his party is not bound by the commitments of as he said “Kosova’s illegitimate PM” Avdullah Hoti when they return to office. “His [Hoti’s] signature below incoherent and opaque texts is against the people’s will, democratic order and violates Kosova’s constitution and laws,” Kurti said adding that such an agreement will not be ratified in Parliament. “Mediators should refrain from pushing deals that cause further disruption between Kosova and Serbia. Only principled and well-prepared dialogue leads to just and sustainable agreements,” Kurti said.

Grenell reacted to Kurti’s tweet saying that Kurti is always against the United States. “One thing is for sure, you can always count on Albin Kurti to be against the United States. He was against Obama’s ideas, and he was against Bush’s ideas. Symbolism doesn’t pay the rent; jobs do,” Grenell Tweeted.

Osmani speaks about cooperation with LVV (Kanal10)

After leaving the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), Vjosa Osmani is expected to establish a new political entity. She rejected possibility of joining any political party in Kosovo, however she left open the option of cooperating with the Vetevendosje Movement.

“I cannot exclude possibility of pre-election coalition with Vetevendosje Movement. I always said that I consider LVV to be the only partner. There should be a unification of forces to beat the evil,” Osmani said.

Speaking about Washington agreement, Osmani said that they are one sided obligations taken over, and signed with the U.S.

“I had meetings with Grenell and I gave him many ideas. We discussed every day about different ideas. The U.S. saved us from extinction. There is no Albanian in Kosovo who is anti-American,” she said.

KLA association official publishes footage of man who ‘dropped off Specialist Court files’ (media)

Deputy Chairman of the Kosovo Liberation Army War Veterans’ Associations, Nasim Haradinaj, published on his Facebook account the image of a man who he says dropped over 4,000 files pertaining to the work of the Specialist Chambers to their offices.

Haradinaj also published footage of when Specialist Chamber investigators visited their offices yesterday to take the files.

Specialist Chambers do not comment on whether they visited KLA associations (Koha)

The Specialist Chambers in The Hague did not comment on whether its officials paid a visit to the Kosovo Liberation Army War Veterans’ Associations to get copies of the files they alleged were dropped to their offices by an anonymous person.

“We have taken note of the media reports on this issue. We have no comment to make,” said Spokesperson Angela Griep.

Christopher Bennett, spokesperson for the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office, also refused to comment on the matter.

Koha meanwhile quotes sources reporting that the Special Prosecution of Kosovo has not yet authorised an investigation into the files that the KLA association officials claim contain information on the work of the Specialist Chambers.

Member of Bosnia’s presidency seeks a session for recognition of Kosovo (Klan)

Zeljko Komsic, the Croat member of Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, has called on the collective head of stat to schedule a special session on recognition of Kosovo as an independent country.

At the same time, Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of the presidency, said a session should be called to discuss the initiative to move the Bosnian embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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