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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, June 10, 2021

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• COVID-19: 21 new cases, one death (media)
• Fear about agreement produced by dialogue that will start on 15 June (Koha)
• Osmani: Justice is precondition to peace (media)
• Konjufca: Serbia to open state archives (media)
• Kusari-Lila: Reaching final agreement with Serbia, difficult (Telegrafi)
• Tirana to host summit of Western Balkans leaders (media)
• US Extends Blacklist of Persons Destabilising, Corrupting Balkans (BIRN)
• Kurti meets representatives of the Berlin Center for Integrative Mediation (media)
• Gervalla holds virtual meeting with Swedish FM Ann Linde (media)
• Kosnett: Parties to refrain from spreading disinformation (media)
• LDK announces eight candidacies for upcoming local elections (media)
• Kamberi: EU should set conditions to Serbia to recognize its crimes (RTK)
• Serbia begins construction of university in the north of Kosovo (media)
• Petkovic: Belgrade ready for dialogue, recognition is not a topic (Tanjug, Klan)

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  • COVID-19: 21 new cases, one death (media)
  • Fear about agreement produced by dialogue that will start on 15 June (Koha)
  • Osmani: Justice is precondition to peace (media)
  • Konjufca: Serbia to open state archives (media)
  • Kusari-Lila: Reaching final agreement with Serbia, difficult (Telegrafi)
  • Tirana to host summit of Western Balkans leaders (media)
  • US Extends Blacklist of Persons Destabilising, Corrupting Balkans (BIRN)
  • Kurti meets representatives of the Berlin Center for Integrative Mediation (media)
  • Gervalla holds virtual meeting with Swedish FM Ann Linde (media)
  • Kosnett: Parties to refrain from spreading disinformation (media)
  • LDK announces eight candidacies for upcoming local elections (media)
  • Kamberi: EU should set conditions to Serbia to recognize its crimes (RTK)
  • Serbia begins construction of university in the north of Kosovo (media)
  • Petkovic: Belgrade ready for dialogue, recognition is not a topic (Tanjug, Klan)

 

COVID-19: 21 new cases, one death (media)

Kosovo has recorded 21 new cases of COVID-19 and one death in the last 24-hour period. 111 recoveries were also confirmed during this time.

There are currently 853 active cases of coronavirus in Kosovo.

Fear about agreement produced by dialogue that will start on 15 June (Koha)

As a new stage of dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia is set to resume on Tuesday with the first meeting of Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Kosovo expects the finale of the process to conclude in mutual recognition but senior officials have expressed concern that Kosovo could be damaged if the establishment of the Association with Serb-majority municipalities is imposed, Koha reports.

President Vjosa Osmani said before the Atlantic Council that Kosovo heads into the process well-prepared and with clear objectives: “Kosovo is prepared to go to talks to achieve mutual recognition.”

Ahead of the Brussels meeting, Kosovo Assembly will debate agreements reached in the course of the dialogue with PM Kurti opposing the agreement on establishment of the Association with Serb-majority municipalities.

Similarly, Speaker Glauk Konjufca said during a recent visit to Tirana that the Association would be very damaging for Kosovo. Konjufca is said to have sought out the assistance of Albania is adopting a resolution at the parliament that would condemn Serbia’s genocide in Kosovo. “Such a resolution at this time would present a huge help for Kosovo’s position,” a source said.

Osmani: Justice is precondition to peace (media)

President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani said in a discussion with the Atlantic Council said Serbia should open its archives to reveal what happened to the missing persons from Kosovo. She said there is one precondition to peace and that is justice.

“No one in Kosovo is asking for revenge, we are simply asking for justice. There are issues that will be clearly discussed in the dialogue. Any time I speak of these crimes, I clearly state they were committed by Milosevic’s regime [and] is time for Serbia to make the difference and distance itself from that regime,” Osmani is quoted in Koha.

Telegrafi meanwhile quotes Osmani as saying that it is time for Serbia to decide what it wants and that Kosovo has demonstrated it is a constructive party in the dialogue. She said Kosovo’s sole objective in the process is to achieve mutual recognition. “We have always reached out the hand of cooperation in this process. Kosovo is a good neighbour; it is time for Serbia to behave as a good neighbour not only towards us as a country but also towards Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia.”

Media report that Osmani travelled to official two-day visit to Estonia where she is scheduled to meet President Kersti Kaljulaid, Parliament Speaker Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, as well as the chair of the European affairs committee Siim Kallas.

Konjufca: Serbia to open state archives (media)

Kosovo Assembly Speaker Glauk Konjufca joined the calls to have Serbia open its archives in order to shed light to the fate of the missing persons.

Konjufca said in a meeting with the Regional Director of the International Committee of the Red Cross for Europe and Central Asia, Martin Schuepp that the issue of missing persons has not received adequate attention in the dialogue and reiterated the commitment of Kosovo institutions to treat the matter as a main priority.

In an interview with RTK, Konjufca commented on the indictments of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers against former KLA commanders. He is quoted as saying that the most prominent KLA commanders are being detained at The Hague and that the KLA led a just war.

Kusari-Lila: Reaching final agreement with Serbia, difficult (Telegrafi)

Acting caucus of the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) parliamentary group Mimoza Kusari-Lila said that not much can be expected from the meeting of the Kosovo PM Albin Kurti with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic in Brussels and that reaching a final agreement with Serbia led by Vucic is very difficult.

“It is very difficult to reach a final agreement that would be credible with this Vucic’s Serbia, as far as we can see now, based on what is obvious, it remains to be seen if it can be reached,” Kusari-Lila said.

She said that “as far as priority is concerned, it is true that the international community requests it, ‘but I absolutely do not agree with the fact that Kurti is exhausting his entire energy or time dealing with the dialogue with Serbia.’

“He was in Brussels to meet also the commissioners, Brussels is not only about dialogue but about the unavoidable process or our road towards EU integration, and the manner in which is being aimed to portray it, is a bit heavier than the reality,” she told the news portal.

According to her, it is difficult to foresee what will be reached at the meeting in Brussels, ‘however chances for approximation in any aspect, are not being seen.’

“Prime Minister will be at the Assembly to report prior to leaving for Brussels, and I believe after returning as well. It remains for him to tell the approaches and expectations, even though from what is being seen so far, we cannot expect much from this meeting in Brussels,” she said.

Asked if she will be LVV’s candidate for Gjakova mayor, Kusari-Lila said the decision was not made yet, and added that she has gained the trust of the citizens to do her current, duty which is quite challenging and requires responsibility.

Tirana to host summit of Western Balkans leaders (media)

A meeting between the leaders of the Western Balkans and EU officials will take place in Tirana today.

The summit will be attended by European Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi and the leaders of the six Western Balkans countries. It will be chaired by Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama. Kosovo will be represented at the forum by Prime Minister Albin Kurti.

US Extends Blacklist of Persons Destabilising, Corrupting Balkans (BIRN)

The Biden administration on Tuesday extended the Executive Order barring several Balkan public figures from the US, saying corruption and destabilisation of peace agreements was hampering the region’s progress.

The Executive Order signed on Tuesday by US President Joe Biden is seen by experts as an indication of the seriousness of the White House Administration’s commitment to honouring and implementing agreements in the Balkans.

“Support for democracy in the Balkans is taking the form of challenging attempts to sow political aggression and conflict internally and between states, including attempts to challenge territorial integrity,” Drilon Gashi, a Washington-based international development specialist, told BIRN.

“Regional leaders should thus see this as an added deterrent to political and economic corruption,” he added.

The White House on Tuesday announced that President Joe Biden had extended an Executive Order blocking assets and suspending entry into the United States of persons allegedly contributing to the destabilization of the Western Balkans.

Biden also expanded the scope of the ban with Albania, a move that the US Ambassador to Albania, Yuri Kim, welcomed, saying: “Countering corruption is a core US national security interest.”

Last month, the US State Department declared Albania’s former president and former PM Sali Berisha – a central figure in Albania’s post-communist politics – unwelcome, citing his “corrupt acts” in office, especially when he was prime minister.

Read more at: https://bit.ly/2TienVS

Kurti meets representatives of the Berlin Center for Integrative Mediation (media)

The Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti, together with the Deputy Prime Minister for Development, European Integration and Dialogue Besnik Bislimi, received the team of the Berlin Center for Integrative Mediation (CSSP), led by the director, Mr. Christoph Luettmann.

Mr. Luettmann congratulated Prime Minister Kurti on taking office and briefed him on the work his organization has done in the past in Kosovo and what they are doing now. He offered the full support of the organization for the processes related to the communities of Kosovo.

PM Kurti thanked CSSP for the work done so far in Kosovo and stressed the importance of interethnic cooperation for the development of the economy and the improvement of living standards. He said that communities should cooperate and come together on issues related to their interests such as jobs, fighting corruption, protecting the environment, etc.

CSSP is a German organization based in Berlin, with local offices in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania, dealing with issues of interethnic dialogue and cooperation.

Gervalla holds virtual meeting with Swedish FM Ann Linde (media)

Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Donika Gervalla, held Wednesday a virtual meeting with her Swedish counterpart Ann Linde.

Gervalla emphasized that Kosovo and its citizens will always be grateful for the continuous cooperation and support that Sweden has provided to Kosovo over the years. She also emphasized Sweden’s contribution through its presence in KFOR and also Swedish development cooperation.

She further informed the FM Linde about the political developments in Kosovo and the priorities of the new government, highlighting strengthening of the rule of law.

They also discussed about feminist foreign policy and the need to exchange experiences in this regard as well as to deepen cooperation in the field of culture. They also spoke about the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.

Kosnett: Parties to refrain from spreading disinformation (media)

The U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo Philip Kosnett called on political parties to refrain from spreading disinformation saying that this is a tool used by authoritarian regimes. He also said disinformation was present to a large degree in Kosovo during last elections with candidates spreading false allegations against one another while women candidates were targeted by use of sexist speech.

Speaking at a two-day conference organised by the USAID and NDI, Kosnett said: “As we head to local elections, I call on all to refrain from spreading disinformation.”

LDK announces eight candidacies for upcoming local elections (media)

The Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) held a meeting of the chairmanship yesterday and took the decision to formally announce eight candidacies for mayors in upcoming elections expected to take place this autumn.

The candidates include: Perparim Rama (Prishtina), Gazmend Muhaxheri (Peja), Ekrem Hyseni (Podujeve), Ardian Shala (Suhareke), Imri Ahmeti (Lipjan), Burim Berisha (Fushe Kosove), Sokol Haliti (Viti), and Xhafer Tahiri (Vushtrri).

Media also report that head of the LDK’s branch in Podujeve and former mayor, Agim Veliu, has been dismissed from the post. Veliu told Indeksonline that the decision is unlawful and in violation to the party’s statute.

Kamberi: EU should set conditions to Serbia to recognize its crimes (RTK)

Albanian MP at the Serbian Parliament Shaip Kamberi, along with other members of the opposition group in the parliamentary procedure, have submitted a resolution to the Serbian Parliament requesting from Serbia to officially recognize the crimes and genocides committed during the break-up of the former Yugoslavia.

“Apart from the demand to recognize the genocide and condemn it, we have demanded to stop (Serbia’s) procedure of denying in the territory of the former Yugoslavia and any glorification of war criminals, especially those convicted by the Hague Tribunal.”

Kamberi said that given the composition of the Serbian Parliament, where 243 out of 250 deputies are in the parliamentary majority, it is unlikely that the resolution will pass.

“We do not expect any support if there is no pressure from the international community. As an opposition parliamentary group, we have decided to start the procedure in these moments when the final verdict was given for the Bosnian criminal.”

Kamberi told Info Magazine that in Serbia, Ratko Mladic is being portrayed as a hero in the press controlled by President Vucic.

The Albanian MP assessed that there is no positive move by Serbia towards the recognition of genocide in the countries where they were committed. “The EU should force Serbia or condition its membership with recognition of committed crimes.”

Serbia begins construction of university in the north of Kosovo (media)

Media report that the government of Serbia is funding the construction of a university in the northern part of Mitrovica and according to its Office for Kosovo, the project has launched implementation stage.

“By carrying out this project we are fulfilling another promise given to our citizens in the province by President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic,” said head of the Office for Kosovo, Petar Petkovic.

Petkovic: Belgrade ready for dialogue, recognition is not a topic (Tanjug, Klan)

Head of the Serbian Government’s Office for Kosovo Petar Petkovic said Belgrade is absolutely ready to continue the dialogue with Pristina, but mutual recognition is not a topic at all.

According to the Office statement, Petkovic stated that “Albanian politicians, with the threatening message that the only result of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina should be the so-called mutual recognition, directly proved that they are not interested in dialogue, agreement and a compromise solution”.

“Instead of fooling the public and sabotaging the dialogue on a daily basis, let them acknowledge that they are not interested in building peace and stability, but in protecting the frozen conflict and the daily tensions on the ground, which are unfortunately a risk and an alternative to dialogue, do not even help in mutual understanding and agreement, but increase the tensions and the gap that exists between the peoples in the territory of Kosovo,” he was quoted as saying.

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