- COVID-19: 467 new cases, 9 deaths (media)
- Lajcak arrives in Prishtina, meets Kurti and Kosnett (media)
- Lajcak: Kurti knows international community expects dialogue to resume (RTK)
- Hoxha: Revoking Radojicic warrant was unexpected (Kallxo)
- Ismaili: AAK, safest and most natural partner for Vetevendosje (media)
- Shasha: Embassy in Jerusalem, a done deal (Koha)
- Prosecution senior official arrested on abuse of duty (media)
- Deadly provocation: How village killings kindled Kosovo’s resistance (BIRN)
COVID-19: 467 new cases, 9 deaths (media)
467 new cases of COVID-19 and nine deaths from the virus were recorded in the last 24 hours in Kosovo. 214 persons recovered from the virus during this time. There are 8,026 active cases of COVID-19 in Kosovo. Most news websites reported on Monday evening that Kosovo’s Ministry of Health has admitted that it has not reached an agreement for anti-COVID vaccines with Pfizer. Koha recalls that both Prime Minister Hoti and Health Minister Zemaj had earlier said that 500,000 vaccines had been secured from Pfizer.
Lajcak arrives in Prishtina, meets Kurti and Kosnett (media)
All media reported on Monday that European Special Representative for the Prishtina – Belgrade dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, began his three-day visit to Kosovo on Monday and met Vetevendosje Movement (VV) leader Albin Kurti in the evening. Kurti said after the meeting that he does not deny the importance of the dialogue with Serbia but that the process needs to be well prepared and honest. Kurti said he is not under the pressure of time. “There is no date [to resume the dialogue] because we need to form the government, and the results of the elections need to be certified. The government will also have a Foreign Minister. I am not against dialogue in principle, I am in favor of a principled dialogue,” Kurti told reporters. Some news websites quote Kurti as saying that the dialogue with Serbia continues to be his fourth priority. Lajcak wrote in a Twitter post after the meeting: “Had a good and constructive meeting with @albinkurti tonight. We discussed in depth the Dialogue also with a view to next steps.”
The EU Special Representative met on Monday evening with U.S. Ambassador Philip Kosnett. The latter tweeted after the meeting: “At today’s meeting with EUSR @MiroslavLajcak, reaffirmed U.S. support for a collaborative, EU-led dialogue process. Our goal: a comprehensive settlement and deeper Euro-Atlantic integration that benefits all Kosovo and Serbian citizens.”
Lajcak wrote in another post on Twitter: “Arriving in Kosovo today, I met with the @USAmbKosovo and @NATO_KFOR Commander to speak about current developments. Good opportunity to confirm our strong transatlantic unity.”
Lajcak is scheduled to meet this morning with Kosovo Acting President Vjosa Osmani and give a joint press conference. Lajcak is also scheduled to meet Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) Acting Leader Enver Hoxhaj.
Lajcak: Kurti knows international community expects dialogue to resume (RTK)
European Union Special Representative for the Prishtina – Belgrade dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, said in an interview with RTK that Vetevendosje Movement (VV) leader Albin Kurti knows that the international community and the European Union expect the dialogue to resume. Watch the full interview in the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kEmxEDLXJs
Hoxha: Revoking Radojicic warrant was unexpected (Kallxo)
Syle Hoxha, former Special Prosecutor of Kosovo, reacted to news that the international warrant against Serbian List deputy leader Milan Radojicic has been revoked. Hoxha, who led the investigations into the assassination of Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic, said the revoking of the warrant may damage the process. “I did not expect this. I cannot know what forms they used. I had evidence back then because without evidence the court would have not approved the warrant. This decision now may damage the process,” Hoxha said.
Ismaili: AAK, safest and most natural partner for Vetevendosje (media)
Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) member Dardan Islami said in an interview with Klan Kosova on Monday that the AAK is the safest and most natural partner for the Kurti-led Vetevendosje Movement. “A political agreement is needed … The safest, best and most natural partner for the Vetevendosje Movement is the AAK. As far as I know, Vjosa Osmani doesn’t have the votes [to be elected Kosovo President],” he said.
Islami said he agrees with VV leader Albin Kurti on the dialogue with Serbia. “I agree with Mr. Kurti that the dialogue should be the third priority. The pandemic should be the top priority. But this also doesn’t mean that the dialogue must not be a priority,” he added.
Shasha: Embassy in Jerusalem, a done deal (Koha)
EPIK Institute Executive Director Demush Shasha said in an interview with KTV on Monday evening that Kosovo’s embassy in Jerusalem is a done deal. He said Kosovo is part of an isolated club of countries that have opened their embassies in Jerusalem but that this is now a closed issue. “This issue is closed. The embassy has been established. It is not going to be easy to manage this, because we have positions from Turkey and the European Union. In addition to Kosovo, only two other countries have embassies in Jerusalem, the United States and Guatemala. Kosovo is part of an exceptionally isolated group of countries that have taken this action,” Shasha said.
Prosecution senior official arrested on abuse of duty (media)
All media reported on Monday that Lavdim Krasniqi, director of the Secretariat of the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council, was arrested on Monday on the suspicion of abuse of duty. Sources in the Basic Prosecution in Prishtina told Koha Ditore that Krasniqi received a vehicle in the value of €20,000 from a person with a criminal background in exchange for closing a case against the person in the prosecution. The sources also said that the vehicle was passed under the ownership of Krasniqi’s assistant who was also interviewed by the police and placed under 48-hour detention.
Deadly provocation: How village killings kindled Kosovo’s resistance (BIRN)
23 years on, residents from Qirez and Likoshan recall how their relatives were murdered in attacks by Serbian forces that galvanised support for armed resistance to the Yugoslav regime.
At Sheremet Sejdiu’s home in the village of Qirez, there is a black marble plaque commemorating his four sons, who were killed 23 years ago, on February 28, 1998.
His sons Beqir, Bekim and 24-year-old twins Nazmi and Bedri Sejdiu were all killed during a series of attacks by Serbian forces on villages in the Drenica region, including in Qirez, that left 24 ethnic Albanians dead.
Back then, Bedri and Nazmi were students of chemistry and physics at the University of Prishtina. They were among thousands of students who attended parallel education courses in the 1990s after the Yugoslav authorities barred Albanian students from using state educational facilities.
Sheremet Sejdiu’s four sons were killed in the Spring of 1998. Photo: Agan Kosumi.
“On Friday, Bedri graduated, and on Saturday he was killed,” 79-year-old Sheremet Sejdiu tells Prishtina Insight. “He didn’t even tell us he had graduated.”
Sejdiu was not in Qirez that day as he was visiting a relative, but when he tried to return, he found the village packed with Serbian forces. “I was told by dozens of local residents that a battle was unfolding in Likoshan and Qirez, and I heard voices telling me to stop going forward,” he recalls.
Sejdiu knew nothing of the fate of his family and only later, after the gunfire ceased after midday, did he enter the village. “On the way, I met a person from our village who was crying,” he says. “Two members of his family were killed and his father was also wounded – ‘Your sons were killed,’ he told me.”
When Sejdiu got home, his wife told him that she was inside the house when three uniformed policemen executed his four sons and two other men who happened to be in the back garden of the family house that day.
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