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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, October 27, 2020

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• COVID-19 report: Three deaths, 205 new cases (media)
• Hoti meets Quint ambassadors, EU Special Representative (media)
• Thaci speaks about his interview with Specialist Prosecutor (media)
• Konjufca: Osmani could soon exercise president’s functions (media)
• Borrell: Normalisation agreement, key for European path of Kosovo and Serbia (RFE/media)
• Association knot blocks Kosovo-Serbia dialogue (Koha)
• Stano: Next rounds of dialogue in line with Belgium’s anti-Covid measures (media)
• Haziri: LDK has no candidate other than Isa Mustafa (KP/Koha)
• Osmani: Assembly planning to apply to join an international organisation (Klan)

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  • COVID-19 report: Three deaths, 205 new cases (media)
  • Hoti meets Quint ambassadors, EU Special Representative (media)
  • Thaci speaks about his interview with Specialist Prosecutor (media)
  • Konjufca: Osmani could soon exercise president’s functions (media)
  • Borrell: Normalisation agreement, key for European path of Kosovo and Serbia (RFE/media)
  • Association knot blocks Kosovo-Serbia dialogue (Koha)
  • Stano: Next rounds of dialogue in line with Belgium’s anti-Covid measures (media)
  • Haziri: LDK has no candidate other than Isa Mustafa (KP/Koha)
  • Osmani: Assembly planning to apply to join an international organisation (Klan)

COVID-19 report: Three deaths, 205 new cases (media)

Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health said in a statement yesterday that three deaths and 205 new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the last 24 hours.

62 patients have recovered from the virus during this time. The highest number of new cases is from the municipality of Prishtina (111).

There are currently 2,605 active cases of COVID-19 in Kosovo.

Hoti meets Quint ambassadors, EU Special Representative (media)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti held a meeting yesterday with ambassadors of Quint countries and the EU Special Representative in Kosovo with whom he is said to have discussed cooperation in the rule of law field, particularly in the fight against organised crime and corruption.

“Prime Minister Hoti expressed determination to empower fight against crime and corruption and his readiness to work together with governments of Quint member states in this direction,” a statement issued by the Government of Kosovo reads.

Koha highlights that the meeting comes days after Quint and EU countries criticised the Government of Kosovo for dissolving the anti-corruption task force that operated within the Kosovo Police.

Thaci speaks about his interview with Specialist Prosecutor (media)

President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci said that his interview with the specialist prosecutors in The Hague focused on his role in the Kosovo Liberation Army and not on his political activity.

“Everything was transparent. I was interviewed as a suspect. There was nothing bad to testify about, only about war values. We had a circumstance that was involuntarily imposed on us, the establishment of Specialist Chambers. Nothing challenges me in face of the interest of the state of Kosovo to preserve good relations with the U.S. and the EU,” Thaci said in an interview with Tirana-based News 24.

Thaci said that he has supported the Specialist Chambers from the outset. “If it wasn’t for my support, it would in no way pass the Kosovo parliament.” Thaci said he was proud of his role in the KLA. “I felt it was a duty to tell the success story and I have nothing to hide from anyone.”

He said Serbia’s crimes in Kosovo have been clearly proven on many occasions so far. “The tendency for the victim to become the aggressor and the aggressor a victim is unjust but I am confident we will come out of this not easy process victorious.”

Konjufca: Osmani could soon exercise president’s functions (media)

Vetevendosje Movement deputy leader Glauk Konjufca commented on what could happen in Kosovo if the Specialist Prosecutor’s indictment against President Hashim Thaci is confirmed.

“I have no evidence or argument that the indictment has been confirmed. I know though that Mr. Thaci has vowed to resign when indictment is confirmed,” he said.

Konjufca added that in this case, Assembly Speaker Vjosa Osmani could very soon be exercising the functions of Kosovo president. “She would take president’s decisions on Kosovo. If Vjosa Osmani accepts to run for president, this would be a new situation in Kosovo but I don’t think she will legitimise Hoti-led government for three more years. It would be good for the post of president to be initially exercised by Vjosa Osmani,” Konjufca said in an interview with Syri TV.

Borrell: Normalisation agreement, key for European path of Kosovo and Serbia (RFE/media)

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Josep Borrell said a comprehensive agreement for normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia is decisive for their progress towards European integration.

“The two parties need to make further important efforts to achieve a comprehensive, legally binding agreement on normalisation,” he said. “Such an agreement is urgent and crucial in order for Kosovo and Serbia to be able to make progress in their European path.”

Association knot blocks Kosovo-Serbia dialogue (Koha)

Koha Ditore reports on the front page that disagreements over the modalities of the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities have weakened the enthusiasm of parties for reaching a final and legally binding agreement. Although officially denied, the negotiations stalled when the Serbian side insisted the issue of the Association be included in the table of talks which Kosovo refused.

Meanwhile, adds the paper, neither officials in Brussels nor those in Pristina were able to give a date as to when the dialogue will resume. However, EU foreign policy spokesperson Peter Stano said that they are making preparations for the upcoming meeting. “We will announce the date and agenda o the future meetings when appropriate,” Stano said.

At the same time, sources from the Kosovo Government said the Kosovo side is not ready to resume engagement on the issue of the Association because of developments that this can trigger regarding the composition of the ruling coalition and the objections within.

Stano: Next rounds of dialogue in line with Belgium’s anti-Covid measures (media)

EU foreign policy spokesperson Peter Stano said that the future meetings between Kosovo and Serbia delegations in Brussels will have to be in line with measures introduced by Belgian authorities to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stano is reported to have made the comments to Belgrade’s Tanjug news agency following the announcement of the German presidency of the EU that physical meetings in Brussels will be reduced to an ‘absolutely necessary minimum’ after recent spike of coronavirus infections.

Haziri: LDK has no candidate other than Isa Mustafa (KP/Koha)

Deputy leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Lutfi Haziri ruled out the possibility of running for the post of Kosovo president saying that the party has no candidate other than Isa Mustafa.

Speaking to Kosovapress news website, Haziri said: “We still don’t have an agreement for the president [but] I emphasise that the LDK has continuously played a constructive role in providing stability to the country.”

He said LDK supports the idea of a consensual president. “LDK agrees in principle on any name that brings all parties closer.”

Osmani: Assembly planning to apply to join an international organisation (Klan)

Kosovo Assembly Speaker Vjosa Osmani said the institution she leads is looking into the possibility of applying to join an international organisation whose name she did not disclose.

“It is neither wise nor right if I reveal what organisation is concerned as this would only enable Serbia to try and prevent such efforts,” Osmani said.

Klan Kosova reports that Osmani’s statement is in conflict to the commitment Kosovo made in Washington to suspend applications to international organisations for one year.

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