- COVID-19: 12 new cases, no deaths (media)
- U.S. to donate vaccines to Kosovo (media)
- Bulgaria to provide up to 150,000 COVID vaccines to Balkan countries (Reuters)
- Greek FM Dendias visits Kosovo today (media)
- Kurti-Vucic meeting between 14 and 17 June (Klan/Telegrafi)
- Government of Serbia not happy with Kurti’s remarks on dialogue (Koha)
- After Kosovo, Top U.S., EU Envoys Visit Serbia To Press For Renewed Dialogue (RFE)
- Can EU-US coordination salvage the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue? (Prishtina Insight)
- Assembly adopts draft law to try war crimes in absentia (media)
- Kosovo Post CEO sacked by board (media)
COVID-19: 12 new cases, no deaths (media)
Kosovo has recorded 12 new cases of COVID-19 and no deaths in the last 24-hour period. 182 recoveries were also confirmed during this time.
There are currently 1,669 active cases of coronavirus in Kosovo.
U.S. to donate vaccines to Kosovo (media)
President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani announced via Facebook that the U.S. will donate a considerable number of COVID-19 vaccines to Kosovo. Osmani said the U.S. President Joe Biden has positively responded to Kosovo request made in March for support in vaccine donation. “We are happy to announce that President Biden, on behalf of the USA, has decided to donate a significant number of COVID-19 for the Republic of Kosovo.”
Prime Minister Albin Kurti hailed the news as “testament of genuine friendship and excellent bilateral relations” between Kosovo and the United States. “We are grateful for the support and the solidarity,” he wrote on Twitter.
A statement issued by the White House notes that the United States will share vaccines in service of ending the pandemic globally and to this end announced the framework for sharing these vaccines worldwide. “Approximately 6 million will be targeted toward regional priorities and partner recipients, including Mexico, Canada, and the Republic of Korea, West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Haiti, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, India, Iraq, and Yemen, as well as for United Nations frontline workers,” the statement reads.
Bulgaria to provide up to 150,000 COVID vaccines to Balkan countries (Reuters)
Bulgaria plans to provide about 150,000 COVID-19 vaccines to its Balkan neighbours, Health Minister Stoicho Katsarov said on Thursday.
Bulgaria has the lowest inoculation rates in the European Union, but Katsarov said the country has agreed about 13 million -14 million doses under the EU supply scheme by the end of the year and can afford to help other countries.
“The idea is to distribute up to 150,000 doses among our neighbouring western Balkan countries,” Katsarov told reporters, adding that Sofia has received requests from North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and Bosnia.
Read more at: https://reut.rs/34Re1aZ
Greek FM Dendias visits Kosovo today (media)
Foreign Minister of Greece Nikos Dendias is expected to arrive for a visit to Kosovo today and meet institutional leaders.
Dendias is will first meet Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Donika Gervalla-Schwartz and the two will hold a joint press conference following the meeting. He will also meet Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani, Assembly Speaker Glauk Konjufca, and Prime Minister Albin Kurti.
In Kosovo, the media have been describing the visit as a sign that Greece is moving towards recognition of Kosovo’s independence. Greek authorities have meanwhile said the position on recognition remains unchanged but that the country supports Kosovo’s European integration path.
Kurti-Vucic meeting between 14 and 17 June (Klan/Telegrafi)
Klan Kosova reports quoting Belgrade-based media that the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue will resume between 14 and 17 June and that this was agreed in a meeting yesterday between the U.S. and EU envoys, Matthew Palmer and Miroslav Lajcak, and the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
Lajcak is reported to have told Serbian media earlier that the date for the meeting between Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti and Serbia’s Vucic and the EU High Representative Josep Borrell had been set.
Telegrafi meanwhile quotes EU foreign policy spokesperson Peter Stano saying that they would announce the date, time and the agenda of the upcoming meeting in a timely fashion.
Government of Serbia not happy with Kurti’s remarks on dialogue (Koha)
Koha Ditore writes that authorities in Serbia said the positions of the Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti on dialogue are unacceptable. Kurti said that the upcoming meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic would be their first in the framework of dialogue and that they would see what the future chapter of the process will be. He also said the Brussels meeting in June would not be a continuation of the previous dialogue.
Serbia’s Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said Kurti’s remarks do not contribute to the dialogue. “It is unacceptable for Pristina to avoid fulfillment of its obligations, especially with regards to the formation of the community of Serb municipalities, by insisting only on mutual recognition,” he said after meeting the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Palmer.
Serbian List also reacted to Kurti’s statements saying they represent an attempt to avoid dialogue. Igor Simic said there is no readiness in Kosovo to find a solution that would be in the interest of both Albanians and Serbs.
At the same time, Kurti spoke about dialogue again yesterday at the Kosovo Assembly reaffirming his previous stance: “The mid-June meeting, announced again, is not foreseen to continue the old dialogue but is a discussion on the format and course of talks in the future.”
After Kosovo, Top U.S., EU Envoys Visit Serbia To Press For Renewed Dialogue (RFE)
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Palmer and the EU envoy for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, are visiting Serbia to press its leaders to resume talks on the normalization of ties with Kosovo.
“I believe in the possibility of reaching a compromise solution in the dialogue with Kosovo,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic wrote on Instagram on June 3 after the meeting with the U.S. and EU officials in Belgrade.
The Serbian government has stated that the normalization process with Kosovo is one of its priorities.
“But it is necessary to implement everything previously agreed within the dialogue. Belgrade has fulfilled all its obligations and we expect to see the same from the other side as well, so that the dialogue makes sense,” Prime Minister Ana Brnabic’s office quoted her as telling Palmer.
Read more at: https://bit.ly/2Txiopm
Can EU-US coordination salvage the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue? (Prishtina Insight)
The EU and the US are back on the same team, but is it enough to save the dialogue from its flaws and deliver a final agreement, asks Drilon S. Gashi in an opinion piece for Prishtina Insight.
“EU envoy Miroslav Lajcak and US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Palmer visited Prishtina this past week to deliver key messages and hear from Kosovo’s new leadership.
“The visit was an encouraging sign from what is an otherwise all-too-discouraging EU-mediated negotiation process between Kosovo and Serbia. The talks have not delivered concrete results, and confidence in EU facilitation continues to wane.
“However, this most recent dialogue reset could prove to be successful, if the EU and US make it so.”
Read more at: https://bit.ly/34MW7GE
Assembly adopts draft law to try war crimes in absentia (media)
Kosovo legislators adopted with a unanimous vote the draft law for supplementing and amending the Criminal Procedure Code paving way for war crimes to be tried in absentia.
Chairman of the Assembly committee on legislation, mandates, immunities and oversight of the Anti-Corruption Agency, Adnan Rrustemi, presented to MPs changes proposed to be made to the code relating to war crimes in Kosovo. He said the new legislation would enable the Special Prosecution to investigate, indict and try all perpetrators of war crimes in Kosovo.
The draft law was passed with 68 votes in favour, no votes against and no abstentions.
Kosovo Post CEO sacked by board (media)
Xhevdet Smakiqi, chief executive officer of the Kosovo Post, has been dismissed from job by the company’s board of directors.
“They were informed that my appointment was lawful and yet decided to dismiss me,” Smakiqi told Koha, adding that he plans to appeal the board’s decision.
Telegrafi recalls that Smakiqi was appointed to the post in March of this year by then prime minister Avdullah Hoti.
Kallxo meanwhile reported that Smakiqi’s appointment was unlawful as he ran for MP with Fatmir Limaj’s Social Democratic Initiative (NISMA) in 2019 in conflict to the law on public enterprises which stipulates that senior officials of public enterprises should not have a political past in the last 36 months before appointment.