- COVID-19: 53 new cases, no deaths in last 24 hours (media)
- Haradinaj says he does not recognise Specialist Chambers (media)
- Gashi: EULEX did not carry out arrests in Kosovo (T7/RTK)
- Hoti: Agreement on Kosovo’s energy independence to enter into force (media)
- Kosovo minister accuses Serbia of violating Washington agreement (media)
- Godfrey: Washington agreement is political commitment, not legally binding (Express)
- Stano: Work on Kosovo-Serbia dialogue continues (RFE/Koha)
- Haziri: Elections viable option, Kosovo war needs to be purified (media)
- EU HR Borrell warns of threat from misinformation in Western Balkans (RTK)
- MP Arifi set to serve prison sentence after surrendering to authorities (Prishtina Insight)
- Kosovo parliamentarians establish Group of Greens (Koha)
Kosovo Media Highlights
COVID-19: 53 new cases, no deaths in last 24 hours (media)
Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health said in a statement yesterday that 54 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the last 24 hours.
There were no deaths from the virus during this period, and 72 patients have recovered.
The highest number of new cases is from the municipality of Prishtina (26).
The current number of active COVID-19 cases in Kosovo is 1,692.
Haradinaj says he does not recognise Specialist Chambers (media)
In his initial appearance before the Specialist Chambers, deputy chairman of the KLA War Veterans Organisations Nasim Haradinaj said he does not recognise the court whose mandate, he claimed, has expired in August.
Haradinaj, charged for obstruction of justice for intimidation of witnesses, retaliation and violation of secrecy of proceedings, accused the Specialist Chambers of unlawfully detaining him and of violating the Constitution of Kosovo.
Meanwhile, the chairman of KLA organisations Hysni Gucati is scheduled to make his first court appearance on 1 October. He is also facing charges of obstructing administration of justice.
Gashi: EULEX did not carry out arrests in Kosovo (T7/RTK)
Tome Gashi, lawyer representing Kosovo Liberation Army War Veterans Organisations, said that EULEX was not the authority that carried out the arrests of Hysni Gucati and Nasim Haradinaj in Pristina last week and that the operation was done by foreign police forces authorised by the Specialist Chambers.
“The procedures were conducted through a police operation. We initially thought it was the EULEX but it turns out there are four polices in Kosovo,” Gashi told T7.
Hoti: Agreement on Kosovo’s energy independence to enter into force (media)
Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti announced that the Continental Europe Regional Group, part of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, has decided that the connection agreement signed with Kosovo’s electricity transmission system operator will be entering into force.
The agreement, hailed as the end of Kosovo’s reliance on Serbia’s electricity grid, was signed on 30 June 2020.
Hoti said the Kosovo has met all conditions set out in the agreement and is ready to start operating as part of a joint energy bloc with Albania. “Through our right and support from allies, energy independence was made possible,” he said in a statement.
Kosovo minister accuses Serbia of violating Washington agreement (media)
Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla accused Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic of violating the Washington agreement aimed at normalising economic relations between Kosovo and Serbia.
“As expected, #ivicadacic is NOT tired of conflicts & diplomatic aggression: Today he thanked #Angola’s Amb. to Belgrade for not recognising #Kosovo & respecting the so called “Serbia’s territorial integrity,” she wrote on Twitter.
In Washington, Kosovo committed to suspending for one year efforts to join international organisations while Serbia pledge to hold off lobbying for derecognition of Kosovo.
Godfrey: Washington agreement is political commitment, not legally binding (Express)
The U.S. Ambassador to Serbia, Anthony Godfrey, said that he considers the Washington agreement on normalisation of economic relations between Kosovo and Serbia more like a political commitment than a legally binding document adding that the idea for an economic normalisation is important in bringing hope for improvement of living standard of the people.
In an interview with Serbia’s TV Nova, Godfrey said Washington will implement its side of commitments and that the opening of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation office in Belgrade is an indicator of this. “The United States wants to have an agreement between Pristina and Belgrade that is acceptable for both sides. We cannot impose a solution that would be permanent, it has to come from the two sides, to be in their interest and there will be compromise from both.”
Stano: Work on Kosovo-Serbia dialogue continues (RFE/Koha)
Peter Stano, spokesperson for the EU foreign policy, said work on Kosovo-Serbia dialogue continues despite the cancellation of this week’s meetings between the parties.
Stano did not comment on the issue of the Association of Serb-majority municipalities which the Kosovo side refuses to tackle while Serbia insists on it being treated with priority saying he has nothing new to add.
The media however quote him as saying recently that it is Kosovo’s duty to establish the association based on the agreements of 2013 and 2015. Kosovo’s Constitutional Court concluded that the principle set out in the agreement for establishment of the Association of Serb-majority municipalities are not in line with the Constitution but that they can be harmonised through a legal act of the Government of Kosovo.
Haziri: Elections viable option, Kosovo war needs to be purified (media)
“If we want to overcome president’s election and indictments, then Kosovo will need stability as it oxygen. We have offered ourselves for stability and if others don’t want to join, elections are an option. If they do not want stability through political dialogue, the option of elections is not ruled out,” Haziri said adding that the election of the president in this case would be after the conclusion of the elections.
Speaking about the recent arrests warranted by the Specialist Chambers, Haziri said this court is the last instance that should close the chapter of war in Kosovo. “I have emphasised that Kosovo needs to be purified, the war needs to be purified as we are dealing with this for 15 years,” Haziri told RTK.
EU HR Borrell warns of threat from misinformation in Western Balkans (RTK)
The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell warned that misinformation and disinformation have proliferated in the Western Balkans, in the European Union and in the whole world during the pandemic.
“This has been dangerous for all of us. Above all because lies about medical issues can even kill,” he said in his opening remarks at the EU-Western Balkans Media Literacy Conference.
Borrell added that global engagement is required to counter disinformation and work is needed to protect and promote fundamental rights, such as the freedom of expression and media pluralism. “During this crisis, fact-checkers and media organisations in the Western Balkans… debunked fake news, exposed disinformation trends and informed citizens.”
MP Arifi set to serve prison sentence after surrendering to authorities (Prishtina Insight)
Isuf Iberdemaj, the Director of the Prishtina Detention Centre, has confirmed for BIRN that Etem Arifi, an MP from the Ashkali Party for Integration, handed himself in to the Centre on Tuesday morning.
Arifi, who was convicted of fraud in 2018, was due to begin serving his sentence on March 9, but twice successfully requested to have the sentence postponed on grounds of ill health. An arrest warrant was issued for Arifi on August 4 after a third request for the sentence to be delayed was rejected.
Iberdemaj told BIRN that Arifi will remain at the Centre for between one week and one month while a decision is taken over where his sentence will be served.
Read more: https://bit.ly/2Scf4Ms
Kosovo parliamentarians establish Group of Greens (Koha)
A group of green MPs was established in the Kosovo Assembly whose goal will be to promote green policies.
Assembly Speaker Vjosa Osmani said green policies are at the centre of the economic development concept and that this is also clearly states in the European Green Agreement. “Therefore, it is time for the Kosovo Assembly to adopt a proactive approach in addressing environment challenges and promotion of green agenda,” Osmani said.