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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, October 19, 2020

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• COVID-19: 137 new cases, one death (media)
• Hoti calls for caution after increase in COVID-19 cases (media)
• Zemaj urges for implementation of COVID-19 preventive measures (media)
• Osmani: Battle against COVID-19 is not over (media)
• PDK, VV and SL to start talks for ousting Hoti government (Indeksonline)
• Vetevendosje doesn’t trust Hoti about the Association (media)
• Biden: A settlement that respects Kosovo’s territorial integrity (media)
• Hoti wants assault on reporter to be resolved (media)
• Journalist association condemns attack on Kajtazi in strongest terms (media)
• Jashari: Serbia, not Kosovo, must change its constitution (media)
• Serbia continues to invest in Mitrovica North, builds football field (Lajmi)

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  • COVID-19: 137 new cases, one death (media)
  • Hoti calls for caution after increase in COVID-19 cases (media)
  • Zemaj urges for implementation of COVID-19 preventive measures (media)
  • Osmani: Battle against COVID-19 is not over (media)
  • PDK, VV and SL to start talks for ousting Hoti government (Indeksonline)
  • Vetevendosje doesn’t trust Hoti about the Association (media)
  • Biden: A settlement that respects Kosovo’s territorial integrity (media)
  • Hoti wants assault on reporter to be resolved (media)
  • Journalist association condemns attack on Kajtazi in strongest terms (media)
  • Jashari: Serbia, not Kosovo, must change its constitution (media)
  • Serbia continues to invest in Mitrovica North, builds football field (Lajmi)

 

COVID-19: 137 new cases, one death (media)

Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health said on Sunday that 137 new cases of COVID-19 and one death were recorded in the last 24 hours.

49 persons have recovered from the virus during this time. The highest number of new cases is from the municipality of Prishtina (54).

There are currently 1,821 active cases of COVID-19 in Kosovo.

Hoti calls for caution after increase in COVID-19 cases (media)

Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti said on Saturday that Kosovo’s institutions were preparing to respond to the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and called on citizens to have maximum caution. Hoti said the recent increase in cases has led the institutions to make the necessary plans to avoid what he called “a total lockdown”.

“We need to be maximally cautious in work, at school, in businesses, on the streets and in every activity where people assemble. We need to show understanding and avoid public gatherings of any kind as recommended by the Ministry of Health and the National Institute for Public Health,” Hoti said.

Zemaj urges for implementation of COVID-19 preventive measures (media)

Kosovo’s Minister of Health Armend Zemaj urged for caution in face of recent increase of new coronavirus infections.

In a Facebook post, Zemaj said all local and central level institutions should ‘urgently’ cancel all seminars, workshops and other events that include gatherings of people. “Online forms of meetings are recommended,” he said. He added that the Kosovo Police and all inspectorates will work alongside the municipalities to make sure the preventive measures are upheld.

“Testing figures have today reached a record high. 1,028 tests have been carried out, of which 148 resulted positive and no deaths during the 24-hour period,” Zemaj said.

Osmani: Battle against COVID-19 is not over (media)

Kosovo Assembly President Vjosa Osmani said on Saturday that the battle against the coronavirus disease is not over and that there is growing threat. “Our battle with COVID-19 is not over and in the coming months the threat will grow bigger as is evident with the increase in the number of infected persons. As I have always said, behind every new case is a history, a family, pain and fear, and overcoming many challenges. This is why being cautious for our health is even more important now,” she said.

PDK, VV and SL to start talks for ousting Hoti government (Indeksonline)

Citing unnamed sources, the news website reported on Saturday that the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) will soon start negotiations with the Vetevendosje Movement and minority communities to bring down the Hoti-led government. Sources said the PDK’s readiness comes after the recent dismissals signed off by Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti.

Vetevendosje doesn’t trust Hoti about the Association (media)

Vetevendosje Movement (VV) representatives do not believe that the issue of the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities will not be addressed at the table of talks between Kosovo and Serbia. VV senior member and Kosovo Assembly Vice President, Arberie Nagavci told Kosovapress on Saturday that Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti is unreliable because he often changes his positions.

“Hoti is not a man that has not changed his positions. We have seen him change his statements not every month, but every day. With regards to the Association, he said that this is a closed topic, but he also said that there is an agreement in 2013, an agreement in 2015 and the decision of the Constitutional Court. The decision of the court renders unimplementable both agreements in 2013 and 2015. But he mentioned all of them. So, judging from his past we cannot trust his words,” Nagavci said.

Biden: A settlement that respects Kosovo’s territorial integrity (media)

Most news websites reported on Saturday that U.S. Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden said in a letter to the Albanian community in the U.S. that he will work with the European Union to revitalize the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia with the goal for a “comprehensive settlement between the two countries that respects Kosovo’s territorial integrity and achieves full mutual recognition.” 

Biden said Kosovo’s independence is irreversible and that the approach of President Trump towards Kosovo and Serbia must be changed by establishing justice and equality in their relations and by working on greater cooperation.

Hoti wants assault on reporter to be resolved (media)

Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti called on law enforcement authorities to resolve the assault against a reporter in Mitrovica, Shkumbin Kajtazi, on Saturday evening. Kajtazi posted on Facebook that six shots were fired at his vehicle.

Hoti in his reaction: “The freedom of the media and the freedom of speech are guaranteed by law and will be protected in every circumstance. I call on law enforcement authorities to treat this case with priority and resolve the circumstances behind the assault. Attacks against reporters and the media are direct attacks against democratic values”.

Journalist association condemns attack on Kajtazi in strongest terms (media)

The Association of Kosovo Journalists (AGK) has strongly condemned the shots fired at the car owned by reporter Shkumbin Kajtazi who works for the online news outlet Reporteri.net.

Quoting information from the police that the case is being investigated, AGK said the incident is very concerning and undermined not only the journalism climate but also the lives of those that practice it. “Any attack on journalists is an attack on the public interest and democracy in the country.”

Jashari: Serbia, not Kosovo, must change its constitution (media)

Skenderaj Mayor Bekim Jashari said on Sunday that Kosovo’s Constitution must not be changed for the sake of reaching a final settlement with Serbia. “Our country has made repeated and painful compromises for the sake of agreements with Serbia, including the positive discrimination in Kosovo and the double voting on substantial issues,” Jashari said. “Serbia must change its constitution, and also assume the responsibility for the missing persons, the victims of war, the genocide against an innocent population and for the material damages caused during the last war in Kosovo”.

Jashari also said “Kosovo’s state leaders must make it clear to the international community that our country will make no more compromises and that we are the most advanced country in the Balkans in terms of respecting minority rights”.

Serbia continues to invest in Mitrovica North, builds football field (Lajmi)

The news website reported on Sunday that Serbia continues to invest in the Mitrovica North municipality and that it has most recently started building a football field there.

This is causing concern among the Albanian residents in the municipality. PDK municipal assembly member in Mitrovica North, BashkimCimili, told Lajmi that Serbia’s investments in Kosovo are on the rise. He complained that Kosovo’s central institutions have forgotten about this municipality.

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