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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, July 19, 2021

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• COVID-19: Seven new cases, no deaths (media)
• Kurti and Vucic set to meet today in Brussels (media)
• Calendar of events does not guarantee a quick agreement (Koha)
• PM Kurti attends Cannes Festival (media)
• Svecla: Kosovo repatriates 11 citizens from Syria (media)
• Situation in Decan improving, number of persons treated declines (Kosovapress)
• Prosecution investigating two Serbs sighted in Decan over health crisis there (media)
• Odalovic was not allowed to enter Kosovo (Koha)
• KSF, interior ministry raise level of alertness following recent rainfall (media)

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  • COVID-19: Seven new cases, no deaths (media)
  • Kurti and Vucic set to meet today in Brussels (media)
  • Calendar of events does not guarantee a quick agreement (Koha)
  • PM Kurti attends Cannes Festival (media)
  • Svecla: Kosovo repatriates 11 citizens from Syria (media)
  • Situation in Decan improving, number of persons treated declines (Kosovapress)
  • Prosecution investigating two Serbs sighted in Decan over health crisis there (media)
  • Odalovic was not allowed to enter Kosovo (Koha)
  • KSF, interior ministry raise level of alertness following recent rainfall (media)

COVID-19: Seven new cases, no deaths (media)

Seven new cases with COVID-19 and zero deaths from the virus were recorded in the last 24 hours in Kosovo. Two persons recovered from the virus during this time.

There are 103 active cases with COVID-19.

Kurti and Vucic set to meet today in Brussels (media)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti and President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic are expected to meet today in Brussels as part of the dialogue for normalisation of relations facilitated by the European Union. Kurti and Vucic will first meet separately the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell and will then have a three-partite meeting.

The EU is expected to issue press releases ahead and after the meetings, Telegrafi reports.

The Kosovo side has previously stated that the topics that will be discussed in today’s meeting will include missing persons as well as the proposals PM Kurti presented in the previous round of talks.

Calendar of events does not guarantee a quick agreement (Koha)

The dynamic and calendar of possible meetings between Kosovo and Serbia representatives does not guarantee that a comprehensive agreement is likely to be reached soon, Koha reports quoting political commentators. An agreement is also unlikely as local elections are expected in Kosovo this October while Serbia heads to presidential elections in April of next year.

At the same time, Germany and France – the two countries that have been a driving force for the achievement of an agreement between Kosovo and Serbia – will also head to elections next year.

A possible agreement on an agenda for dialogue after the summer holidays is the only expectation from the second meeting between Prime Minister Kurti and Serbian President Vucic. While the Kosovo side expects discussions to take place on Kurti’s four proposals from the first meeting, Serbia will insist on implementation of the Agreement on establishment of the Association of Serb-majority municipalities. Due to the diametrically opposed positions of the parties and the developments of the coming months at home and abroad, analysts find it difficult for an agreement to be reached soon.

PM Kurti attends Cannes Festival (media)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti, accompanied by his wife and daughter, walked the red carpet at the annual film festival in Cannes.

In a Facebook post, Kurti said Kosovo filmmakers that were part of the competition were part of the most prominent world artists that took part in the festival. “The Government I lead will stand by our artists and support them as never before,” Kurti wrote.

Svecla: Kosovo repatriates 11 citizens from Syria (media)

11 Kosovo citizens have been repatriated over the weekend from conflict zones in Syria, announced Minister of Interior Xhelal Svecla who also said that Kosovo remains a proud and fully dedicated member of the global coalition against ISIS. “We shall continue our strong fight against extremist and terrorism,” he tweeted.

The move has been hailed by the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo which said: “The U.S. commends yesterday’s repatriation of Kosovan citizens from conflict zones in Syria. These returns demonstrate Kosovo’s willingness to take responsibility for its citizens while setting an example for others. Kosovo is a leader in the fight against terrorism & extremism.”

Situation in Decan improving, number of persons treated declines (Kosovapress)

Director of the main family healthcare centre in Decan, Selmon Berisha, said that the health emergency situation in Decan is on the mend and that they have been receiving fewer patients in need of medical attention.

“We expect that the number of patients coming to us will decrease significantly in the three-four coming days,” he said.

Prosecution investigating two Serbs sighted in Decan over health crisis there (media)

The Basic Prosecution in Peja said Saturday that two Serbs sighted in the municipality of Decan a few days before the poisoning of thousands of citizens from drinking water there, have been identified.

The prosecution said in a press release that it was investigating a possible link between the two Serbs and the situation in Decan. It said it identified the two Serbs based on footage from security cameras and in coordination with the Kosovo Intelligence Agency.

Odalovic was not allowed to enter Kosovo (Koha)

A delegation from Belgrade, headed by the chairperson of Serbian government’s missing persons commission Veljko Odalovic, was not allowed to enter Kosovo on Sunday.

Odalovic told Serbian news agency Tanjug that the Kosovo Police did not allow the delegation to enter into Kosovo.”The police officer told me I was banned from entering Kosovo.” Odalovic said the move was unacceptable and a display of what he said was arrogance of Kosovo institutions. He said the fact that Pristina did not allow Belgrade representatives to take part in a memorial service in Hoqa e Madhe ahead of the dialogue confirms Pristina is not interested in dialogue.

KSF, interior ministry raise level of alertness following recent rainfall (media)

Kosovo Security Force has raised the level of alertness over the recent heavy rainfall in Kosovo. Minister of Defence Armend Mehaj said KSF is ready to perform supporting tasks to civilian and local authorities to assist citizens affected by possible floods. Interior Minister Xhelal Svecla meanwhile said that they were following the situation closely and have increased the level of alertness.

Floods have been reported in several cities across Kosovo, with Gjilan being one of the most affected municipalities. Pristina has also seen floods but Mayor Shpend Ahmeti said the situation was under control.

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