- COVID-19: 48 new cases, three deaths (media)
- In first court appearance, Mustafa refuses to plead (media)
- German government: Association in accordance with Kosovo law (DW/media)
- Grenell: Washington agreement, result of parties seeking U.S. involvement (media)
- COMKFOR: Establishment of Association of Serb-majority municipalities, disputed (media)
- Haxhiu: We should dismiss the Prime Minister who hugged Vucic (media)
- Biserko: Serbia, Russia seem to divert focus from Kosovo to Montenegro (Zeri)
- Kosovo War: Salih Mustafa’s case is the first for Hague court (BBC)
- Op-ed: How to defend the liberation war? (Prishtina Insight)
Kosovo Media Highlights
COVID-19: 48 new cases, three deaths (media)
Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health announced that of 645 tests carried out in the last 24-hour period, 48 new COVID-19 infections were recorded.
Meanwhile, three deaths and 142 recoveries were also recorded over the same time period.
Currently there are 1,710 active cases of COVID-19 in Kosovo.
In first court appearance, Mustafa refuses to plead (media)
In his initial a before the Specialist Chambers, former KLA commander Salih Mustafa refused to plead saying he wishes to consult with his lawyer.
In the 30-minute long session, Mustafa was read the indictment against him that includes charges of arbitrary detention, cruel treatment, torture and murder as war crimes.
Meanwhile, deputy head of the KLA War Veterans Association Nasim Haradinaj, arrested on 25 September on an arrest warrant issued by a judge of the Specialist Chambers, is scheduled to make his first appearance at a courtroom this afternoon.
German government: Association in accordance with Kosovo law (DW/media)
Spokesperson of the German Government Steffen Seibert, said that the Agreement on the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities in Kosovo should be based on the agreements reached in 2013 and 2015.
He said on Monday during a press conference in Berlin in the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, which is taking place under the facilitation of the EU, all the outstanding issues should be discussed.
“It is very important that both parties work towards reaching a compromise, despite their naturally different perspectives,” Seibert said.
“The goal is a truly comprehensive and legally binding agreement for the full normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo. In order to reach such an agreement, Belgrade and Prishtina must discuss all the outstanding issues,” Seibert said.
Asked about the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities, Seibert recalled the two agreements reached in the framework of the technical dialogue, in April 2013 and August 2015.
“The features and then the exact powers must be agreed on exactly this basis, and they must be in harmony with Kosovo law. The Association’s powers are described quite clearly in these agreements and they include, for instance: education, health, economic development, etc.”
Grenell: Washington agreement, result of parties seeking U.S. involvement (media)
The U.S. special envoy for Kosovo-Serbia negotiations, Richard Grenell, said in a recent interview that the Washington agreement of September 4 came as a result of Kosovo and Serbia wanting to achieve the deal which he said is aimed at opening new jobs in the region.
Speaking about the involvement of the U.S. President Donald Trump in securing the agreement on normalising economic relations, Grenell said: “Traditionalists, Balkans experts in the State Department said political problems need to be discussed. We have done that for 22 years and nothing was achieved. Trump said let’s go in and speak about the economy and see if it works.”
Commenting on the idea of Ujman/Gazivoda Lake being renamed to honour President Trump, Grenell said the proposal began as a joke but “turned out to be a form of solution.”
COMKFOR: Establishment of Association of Serb-majority municipalities, disputed (media)
Online media carry the remarks of KFOR Commander, Major General Michele Risi, made to NATO’s Defence College saying that the formation of the Association of Serb-majority municipalities is a disputed issue which carries a certain risk.
“Some representatives of Kosovo Albanians warned about the danger of Kosovo’s ‘Bosnianisation’ which would undermine the state entity,” he said.
Risi added that the Washington agreement of 4 September has helped create a favourable momentum for building of trust between Belgrade and Pristina.
Haxhiu: We should dismiss the Prime Minister who hugged Vucic (media)
Albulena Haxhiu from the Vetevendosje Movement commented the statement of the Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti who said that governing coalition is stable and that they do not need agreement with other political parties.
“Hoti neither has the support of the Assembly nor citizens’ support. Any prime minister would have resigned or seek motion of confidence,” Haxhiu wrote on her Facebook account.
However, Haxhu added, Hoti loves his power more and will not undertake either of these steps. Therefore, she requested from the political entities to sign the petition for bringing down the Prime Minister “who did not only hug Vucic, but each request of Serbia.”
Biserko: Serbia, Russia seem to divert focus from Kosovo to Montenegro (Zeri)
Sonja Biserko, head of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, said in an interview for a Bosnia-based portal that through the Washington Agreement, Serbia and Russia have given up on Kosovo and instead turned their attention to Montenegro considering it a more important strategic goal.
She said both Serbia and Russia want to see U.S. President Donald Trump win another term. “It increasingly seems that with the Washington Agreement in reality they are giving up Kosovo and turning to Montenegro,” Biserko said. “If this is truly the case, Kosovo is in a more favourable situation. Belgrade will certainly though try to win influence in Kosovo through the Association of Serb-majority municipalities.”
Kosovo War: Salih Mustafa’s case is the first for Hague court (BBC)
A former separatist commander has become the first defendant to appear at a tribunal in The Hague covering the Kosovo War in 1998-1999. Salih Mustafa, 48, was arrested on the outskirts of Kosovo’s capital, Pristina, last week.
He faces charges of torture, false imprisonment and murder during the fight for independence against Serbia, but has not yet entered a plea.
See more: https://bbc.in/3cFptcT
Op-ed: How to defend the liberation war? (Prishtina Insight)
To protect the truth about its just fight for freedom, Kosovo must be prepared to support convictions for those who misused the war of liberation, even as Serbia fails to convict crimes committed by its own state apparatus, writes Shkelzen Gashi.
“Members of the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, have been investigated, tried, and even sentenced by a number of courts, including the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, in the Hague, as well as courts established by the international community in Kosovo such as those run by UNMIK and EULEX.
However, until now there have been no trials involving members of other armed formations active in Kosovo during the 1990s, such as the National Movement for the Liberation of Kosovo, LKCK, or the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kosovo, FARK.
That changed last week, when the Office of the Special Prosecutor published its first indictment against a former guerilla commander in the LKCK, Salih Mustafa, a member of the BIA group, whose name is an acronym formed from the initials of Bahri Fazliu, Ilir Konushevci and Agron Rrahmani, and who were deployed in the Llap Operational Zone.”
Read more: https://bit.ly/3kVWhkR