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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, November 27

By   /  27/11/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, November 27

COVID – 19: 827 new cases, 19 deaths (media)
Hoti: Decision on visits in accordance with circumstances (media)
Lajcak criticises Kosovo for blocking Vucic’s visit (Balkan Insight)
Kosovo Foreign Minister responds to Lajcak (media)
“Visits by Serbian officials, without facing past, cannot be welcome” (media)
MP Haradinaj: No visits while stepping on mass graves of Albanians (media)
Constitutional Chamber rejects Thaci’s proposed amendments (media)
Kurti tells EU: Kosovo needs new elections before new President (media)
Vetevendosje will try to block Deputy PM from attending Assembly (media)
Report on Russian influence in Kosovo (Telegrafi)

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  • COVID – 19: 827 new cases, 19 deaths (media)
  • Hoti: Decision on visits in accordance with circumstances (media)
  • Lajcak criticises Kosovo for blocking Vucic’s visit (Balkan Insight)
  • Kosovo Foreign Minister responds to Lajcak (media)
  • “Visits by Serbian officials, without facing past, cannot be welcome” (media)
  • MP Haradinaj: No visits while stepping on mass graves of Albanians (media)
  • Constitutional Chamber rejects Thaci’s proposed amendments (media)
  • Kurti tells EU: Kosovo needs new elections before new President (media)
  • Vetevendosje will try to block Deputy PM from attending Assembly (media)
  • Report on Russian influence in Kosovo (Telegrafi)

COVID – 19: 827 new cases, 19 deaths (media)

827 new cases of COVID-19 and 19 deaths have been recorded in the last 24 hours in Kosovo. 574 persons have meanwhile recovered from the virus. The highest number of new cases is from the municipality of Prishtina (306). There are currently 14,361 active cases of coronavirus in Kosovo.

Hoti: Decision on visits in accordance with circumstances (media)

Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti said on Thursday that he would decide on the visits by Serbian officials to Kosovo “in accordance with circumstances”. Asked to comment on recent remarks by Foreign Minister Meliza Haradinaj – Stublla that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic would be allowed to visit Kosovo only after he apologises, Hoti said he makes the decisions in the government. “I represent the official positions of the government, no one else. I coordinate matters with the ministers who sometimes might have certain positions, but in the end they coordinate with me,” Hoti said.

Lajcak criticises Kosovo for blocking Vucic’s visit (Balkan Insight)

Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti on Thursday promised to respond to a letter from the EU Special Envoy to Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, criticising his government’s decision not to allow Serbia’s President, Aleksandar Vucic, to visit Kosovo.

“I have received a letter from Lajcak; I will respond, and any request for a visit will be treated in the context of the sensitivity we encounter,” Hoti told the media.

In his letter, Lajcak said he considered the veto a violation of the Freedom of Movement Agreement and the Official Visits Agreement, according to Kosovo’s public broadcaster, RTK.

“As defined in the Agreement on Freedom of Movement, individuals of each party are able to travel freely in the territory of the other,” Lajcak reportedly wrote, emphasizing the importance of these agreements in the EU-led Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.

“Non-compliance with these agreements sends a very negative signal to Kosovo’s credibility as a party to the Dialogue process,” he added.

On November 21, in an interview for Albanian media outlet ABC, Kosovo Foreign Minister Meliza Haradinaj Stublla said that “as long as Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic continues with the language of hate and violence, he will not be allowed to enter Kosovo”.

See more at: https://bit.ly/3fGDV6g

Kosovo Foreign Minister responds to Lajcak (media)

Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Meliza Haradinaj – Stublla, took to Twitter to react to a letter in which EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajcak sent to Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti protesting on the ban of the visit by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. “Freedom of Movement, first and foremost means the immediate opening of the #Ibër Bridge in Mitrovica,” Haradinaj – Stublla tweeted.

“Visits by Serbian officials, without facing past, cannot be welcomed” (media)

Several news websites reported on Thursday that Vetevendosje Movement (VV) leader and former Kosovo Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, said during a visit to Mitrovica North that visits by Serbian officials to Kosovo without addressing the past cannot be welcome.

“The visits by Serbian officials to Kosovo in the current context and when they don’t address the past and continue their aspirations and tendencies toward our country, can certainly not be welcomed,” Kurti was quoted as saying.

Kurti said that the dialogue between the two countries must continue but in a different way. “Kosovo and Serbia need a new dialogue with principles and well-prepared,” he argued.

MP Haradinaj: No visits while stepping on mass graves of Albanians (media)

The Alliance for the Future of Kosovo MP, Daut Haradinaj, came out in support of Foreign Minister Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla’s decision not to permit a delegation of Serbian officials wishing to visit Kosovo.

“The acceptance of the blame for the genocide, apology, repatriation of remains of all Albanians missing in mass graves and the surrender of Serb perpetrators before justice are the only and the right step that could ensure normalisation and free movement,” Haradinaj wrote on Facebook.

Constitutional Chamber rejects Thaci’s proposed amendments (media)

The Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court has delivered its judgment on the referral of the amendments proposed to Article 162 of the Kosovo Constitution (‘Constitution’), on the Specialist Chambers and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office saying that they diminish the rights and freedoms guaranteed by Chapter II of the Constitution.

“In its judgment, the Constitutional Chamber assessed the proposed constitutional amendments with due regard to the specific context and features of the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office. The Constitutional Chamber also confirmed that, pursuant to Article 162(3) of the Constitution, it had exclusive jurisdiction to carry out this assessment since the proposed amendments relate to the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office.

The Constitutional Chamber also reiterated that, pursuant to Article 162(13) and (14) of the Constitution, the mandate of the Specialist Chambers and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office has continued and shall continue until notification by the Council of the European Union of completion of the mandate,” Specialist Chambers said in a press release.

The constitutional amendments had been proposed in August by then President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci and were subsequently referred by the President of the Assembly of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani to the Chamber for a prior assessment.

Kurti tells EU: Kosovo needs new elections before new President (media)

Vetevendosje Movement (VV) leader Albin Kurti said in a meeting with EU representatives in Prishtina on Thursday that Kosovo needs to hold new parliamentary elections before a new President is elected. According to Kurti, the Hoti-led government lacks legitimacy.

Kurti, who met with the EU Head of Office Tomas Szunyog, said that “the government is incapable of leading the country toward economic development and EU integration. The unity of the political corps comes after the election of a government that has civic legitimacy. First legitimacy, then unity”.

On the dialogue with Serbia, Kurti said that a new beginning is needed “for the process to have credibility”. “To achieve this, there must be a democratisation and Europeanisation of the dialogue and we need to replace the transactional approach with a transformative and trans-Atlantic approach,” he said.

Vetevendosje will try to block Deputy PM from attending Assembly (media)

Vetevendosje Movement (VV) representatives said on Thursday they will block Deputy Prime Minister Driton Selmanaj from attending the sessions of the Kosovo Assembly. A Vetevendosje MP told Klan Kosova that their parliamentary group will meet on Friday and decide how it will block Selmanaj. The situation comes after VV representatives claimed that Selmanaj said that the issue of missing persons has been exaggerated and after saying in an interview that “we have grown tired of this topic”. Selmanaj later said his statement was “misinterpreted and manipulated to score political points”. Lajmi notes in a headline that there could be tensions in the Assembly today.

Report on Russian influence in Kosovo (Telegrafi)

The news website reports that the Prishtina-based Kosovo Center for Security Studies published a report titled “Russian influence in Kosovo in the shadows of myth and reality” highlighting that there is average influence by Russia in Kosovo and that this influence is made through Kosovo Serbs who are used to create political instability.

This report sheds light on the extent to which Russian influence in Kosovo and the region has been exercised. It provides a thorough contextual understanding of the Russian foothold in the region and particularly Kosovo. The report as such provides for the first time comprehensive empirical based research on the myriad of Russian influence in the broader fields of politics, security, economy and culture. It adds to the growing knowledge of non-western powers influencing the dynamics in Kosovo and Western Balkans, often to the detriment of democracy and liberal peacebuilding efforts. In short, the report provides answer to set of questions pertaining Russian interests vis-à-vis Kosovo.

Read the full report at: https://bit.ly/2V65oEX

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