Albanian Language Media:
- Rama, Vucic and Zaev sign cooperation agreement in line with Open Balkan initiative (euronews.al)
- In 2023 there will be no borders between our countries, Vucic says (euronews.al)
- Zaev: A new wind of cooperation is blowing today in Skopje (euronews.al)
- Rama: Regional cooperation brings us closer to the EU (euronews.al)
- Vucic: If you consider Asterix a disgrace, put Serbia with a square sign (media)
- Concept Paper on justice vetting proceeded for public consultation (Telegrafi)
- Health Ministry: Compatriots living abroad can be vaccinated in Kosovo (media)
- COVID-19: 72 new cases, no deaths (media)
Serbian Language Media:
- “Open Balkans” new name for “mini-Schengen” (Kosovo Online, Tanjug)
- Vucic, Rama and Zaev today at the economic forum in Skopje (media)
- Serbia-US friendship and alliance in 140 years of diplomatic relations (N1)
- Bishop Teodosije met German diplomat Berger (Radio KIM)
- Non-paper: European Council definitively rejects access to document (N1 Slovenia, N1 BiH)
- OSCE on burglary of Dragica Gasic’s flat (KoSSev, media)
- Kosovo Faces Uphill Fight in Claiming Yugoslav-Era Property (Balkan Insight)
Albanian Language Media
Rama, Vucic and Zaev sign cooperation agreement in line with Open Balkan initiative (euronews.al)
The Economic Forum for Regional Cooperation held today in Skopje concluded with the signing of a cooperation agreement between Albania, Serbia, and North Macedonia.
Rama, Vucic, and Zaev also decided to give a new name to the initiative aiming to remove borders as well as facilitate bureaucracies among Western Balkan neighbors, calling it Open Balkan.
Known earlier as the mini-Schengen, the initiative sparked a debate among the countries of the Western Balkans, with Kosovo, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina refusing to join it.
“Our countries are walking on the same path, we share the same vision and European values. This Open Balkan initiative is the initiative that the region needs”, said in his closing remarks, North Macedonia’s premier Zoran Zaev.
In 2023 there will be no borders between our countries, Vucic says (euronews.al)
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that Albania, North Macedonia, and Serbia must stand united in order to increase the level of economic cooperation among them.
His remarks came during the Economic Forum for Regional Cooperation taking place in Skopje.
During his speech Vucic emphasized that “we must leave the past behind” and look toward the future to secure a better life for citizens.
Zaev: A new wind of cooperation is blowing today in Skopje (euronews.al)
“A new wind of cooperation is blowing today in Skopje”, were the opening remarks of North Macedonia’s Zoran Zaev at the Economic Forum in the capital which brought together the Albanian, Macedonia, and Serbian heads of state.
The forum, which aims to increase regional economic cooperation was also attended by over 300 business companies from the three countries.
“This is a strong message that the Balkans are creating a high level of understanding that economic interconnection and the creation of a vivid Balkan economic area is a mutual ambition”, said Zaev.
Rama: Regional cooperation brings us closer to the EU (euronews.al)
Prime Minister Edi Rama defended the idea of a closer regional economic cooperation as the “right initiative”, but also “delayed”.
The region cannot continue to remain a hostage of the past in any aspect, and whoever doesn’t understand how small we are when apart, when it comes to growing our economies, create more workplaces, to open new perspectives for better-paid jobs, especially for our youth, is doomed to live in the past”, said Rama.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, North Macedonia’s premier, and PM Edi Rama are eying to sign an agreement after the forum, which according to them will facilitate the movement of goods, services, and people among the three countries.
Klan Kosova has quoted Rama as saying that whoever says this is an initiative designed in the basements of the former Yugoslavia to recompose Yugoslavia and give Serbia hegemony, that Serbia is bigger and will come to take everything we have, lives in a parallel world, and is against the increase of welfare and the strengthening of bridges between people.
“If the EU is the great Yugoslavia, then yes it is the little Yugoslavia. In fact, this is neither more nor less than creating a space that lives by the principles, values and mechanisms of the EU while each country makes its own effort to integrate into the European Union. “
Vucic: If you consider Asterix a disgrace, put Serbia with a square sign (media)
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has said that Serbia is ready to do something to facilitate Kosovo’s participation in the initiative that was recently renamed “Open Balkan”.
He said that there is no problem for Kosovo to use a square sign for Serbia.
“When someone is prepared to join this initiative then they can. If any facilitation is required from Serbia and if it is disgraceful for you that Kosovo is written with an Asterix, then put a square sign for Serbia, it is not a problem. Do something to cooperate and achieve results. Do not look for excuses that there is no cooperation, that the economy is not working or that citizens are not living better,” Vucic said.
He added that Bosnia and Montenegro have no problems with Serbia and yet they are not participating.
“I do not know why we do not have good cooperation. If we succeed, there will be obstacles from the side.”
Vucic said that a constant campaign is being carried out in Pristina against the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama because he is sitting at a table with him.
Political issues are also easier to resolve, especially when you bring business and the economy together. If an opposing campaign starts like this in Prishtina, not against me because they have learned this, and this is 24/7, but against Rama because he is sitting with him, “I think that I am doing the best thing for my country, just as Rama is.”
Concept Paper on justice vetting proceeded for public consultation (Telegrafi)
Kosovo’s Minister of Justice, Albulena Haxhiu has announced that the draft Concept Paper for the Development of the Vetting Process in the justice system has been proceeded for public consultations.
Haxhiu, through a Facebook post, wrote that Vetting is an extraordinary project that has the improvement of the integrity of justice institutions in Kosovo and restoring of the trust of citizens in the justice system, as a strategic priority.
Health Ministry: Compatriots living abroad can be vaccinated in Kosovo (media)
The spokesman of the Ministry of Health, Faik Hoti said that all the conditions have already been created for the mass vaccination to flow with an increased dynamics in order for the majority of the population to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by autumn.
Hoti stressed that all compatriots living abroad who have Kosovo citizenship can be vaccinated in Kosovo.
“The vaccination process has gained a new dynamic this week when we have an increase in interest in vaccination. What encourages us especially is that young people are being vaccinated a lot and based on the records we are seeing, a large number of students have been vaccinated,” he said.
He said that the Infectious Diseases Clinic signals that those hospitalized are mainly citizens who have been infected with coronavirus as a result of not being vaccinated or those who have not yet passed the virus.
The spokesman of the Ministry of Health in a statement for RtvDukagjini said that there is already a possibility for selection and combination of vaccines.
The spokesman of the Ministry of Health also spoke about the vaccination card.
“The vaccination box given by the Ministry of Health is quite advanced and has a QR code and tit will be recognized internationally.”
COVID-19: 72 new cases, no deaths (media)
72 new cases of COVID-19 and no fatalities from the virus were recorded in the last 24 hours in Kosovo. 17 persons have recovered from the virus during this time.
There are 305 active cases of COVID-19 in Kosovo.
To date, 400,217 vaccine doses have been administered in Kosovo.
Serbian Language Media
“Open Balkans” new name for “mini-Schengen” (Kosovo Online, Tanjug)
The President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic and the Prime Ministers of Northern Macedonia and Albania Zoran Zaev and Edi Rama signed three documents today in Skopje that will facilitate trade in the region and enable a single labor market, but also mutual assistance in emergency situations, and the “mini-Schengen” initiative in the future will be called “Open Balkans”, reported Kosovo Online, quoting Tanjug.
The leaders of the three countries signed at the regional economic forum, within the initiative “mini Schengen”, the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in facilitating the import, export and movement of goods to the WB, the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation on free access to the WB labor market and the Agreement on cooperation in disaster protection at WB.
It shall also contribute to the exchange of information between customs and other competent authorities to the extent permitted by the legislation of each of the Contracting Parties.
It also envisions promoting the harmonious development of economic ties between the contracting parties through the expansion of trade and the gradual removal of barriers to trade.
The WB Disaster Protection Cooperation Agreement aims to help the parties, in accordance with their available capacities, assist each other in the event of a disaster when the requesting party is unable to deal with the consequences of the disaster using its own resources.
This Agreement regulates the framework of conditions for voluntary assistance in case of disasters, especially in planning and implementation of protection measures against floods, earthquakes, fires, environmental pollution, shipping accidents, radiological risks, various pandemics, as well as industrial and other disasters.
Then, mutual notification about the threats, occurrence and consequences of catastrophes is envisaged.
Mutual assistance in rescuing, aiding and eliminating the consequences of disasters by land and air forces and vehicles for interventions in cases of mass fires, floods, earthquakes and other disasters.
It is also planned to educate and train the staff of protection and rescue units, fire brigades and other members of rescue teams through briefings, courses, trainings, seminars and other forms of cooperation, as well as organizing and conducting joint rescue and assistance exercises and the like, as well as the exchange of scientific and technical data, as well as other documents of importance for disaster protection.
Also, cooperation in the development and production of rescue equipment and assistance. The Memorandum for Free Access to the WB Labor Market aims to simplify the procedures for all contracting parties to obtain work permits for citizens of each of the three countries, as well as to use the work permits obtained in the territory of any of them.
Vucic, Rama and Zaev today at the economic forum in Skopje (media)
A large regional economic forum will be held in Skopje today as part of the mini Schengen initiative, in which the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic and the Prime Ministers of Northern Macedonia and Albania Zoran Zaev and Edi Rama will participate, reported Serbian media.
The forum, which will bring together about 350 companies from the Western Balkans, will announce the new name of the regional initiative and sign three agreements to boost cooperation in the region.
These are the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Facilitating the Import, Export and Movement of Goods, the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Free Access to the Labor Market and the Agreement on Cooperation in Disaster Protection in the Western Balkans.
The Economic Forum for Regional Cooperation is organized by the Chambers of Commerce of Serbia, Northern Macedonia and Albania.
Today, on the second day of his visit to Skopje, the President of Serbia will first receive a letter of thanks for the assistance provided in vaccinating the citizens of Northern Macedonia during the Covid 19 virus pandemic – a letter of thanks from the Macedonian Association of Journalists and a letter of thanks from the Chamber of Commerce of Northern Macedonia.
The economic forum will begin with the address of Zaev, Vucic and Rama, then the presidents of the chambers of commerce of Serbia, Northern Macedonia and Albania, Marko Cadez, Branko Azeski and Ines Muqostepa.
After the discussion with the representatives of the economy, Vucic, Zaev and Rama will sign the three mentioned documents and publish the new official name and logo of the regional initiative and address the media.
Business meetings of businessmen in B2B format (business to business) will follow.
The Skopje Forum on Regional Cooperation in the Western Balkans will bring together companies from Serbia, Albania, Northern Macedonia and BiH, as well as other regional and European economies, as well as representatives of governments, financial institutions, universities, international delegations and associations.
The largest number of participating companies comes from the construction sector, agri-food industry, energy, machinery, automotive and textile industries, tourism, ICT and telecommunications, transport and logistics.
Serbia-US friendship and alliance in 140 years of diplomatic relations (N1)
The US Ambassador to Serbia Anthony Godfrey said Wednesday for him “the anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Serbia and the United States represents a solid foundation of common interests and mutual respect”, N1 reports.
Serbian Parliament Speaker Ivica Dacic agreed, saying the two countries have a rich tradition of friendship and alliance.
Addressing the presentation of the special edition of “Volunteer Herald – Serbs and Americans, 140 years later“, at the Serbian Parliament, Godfrey recalled that relations between the two countries were based on the values of the alliance in both world wars and that now they shared a common vision of Serbia’s future as a part of a community of free European nations.
“US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken understands the importance of our bilateral relations“, Godfrey said, adding Washington was firmly committed to the Western Balkans.
He reiterated he was impressed with the economic progress of Serbia, in which American technical assistance also played a role.
Dacic said the US and Serbia would mark the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year.
“We have had setbacks in the long history of cooperation, but our obligation to our ancestors is to nurture positive examples in collaboration. That is an even more outstanding obligation towards our descendants”, Dacic said.
He added that as the Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister, he had insisted on a unique thing in the history of mutual relations – when the flag of Serbia was flying at the White House in 1918.
That is a fact that was little known or even less talked about, Dacic has said, adding that only two nations in history have had that honour, Serbian and French.
“We strengthened our friendship in the Second World War, but we also share the civilizational values of freedom, cooperation, anti-fascism and democracy in peace, as the foundations of cooperation in the modern world“, he added.
See at: https://bit.ly/2TFYuZM
Bishop Teodosije met German diplomat Berger (Radio KIM)
Raska-Prizren Eparchy Bishop Teodosije informed the German State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office Miguel Berger about the problems Serbian Orthodox Church and Serbian people face in Kosovo, Radio KIM reports.
German Ambassador in Pristina Jorn Rhode and Abbot of Visoki Decani Monastery Sava Janjic were also present.
“Bishop of Raška-Prizren Teodosije w/his associates met at Gračanica Monastery the German State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office Mr Berger, @GermanAmbKOS Mr Rohde & their associates and discussed the problems #Serbian #Orthodox #Church & Serbian people are facing in #Kosovo”, Eparchy wrote on Twitter.
Berger wrote on Twitter that he was “impressed by cultural heritage during my visit to Monastery Gračanica. Thank you Bishop Teodosije and Father Janjic from Serbian Orthodox Church @DecaniMonastery. Discussing the situation of Kosovo-Serbian minority”.
Non-paper: European Council definitively rejects access to document (N1 Slovenia, N1 BiH, APA)
The European Council has definitively rejected a request for access to a document relating to “alleged Slovenian non-paper on changing borders in the Western Balkans”, N1 BiH cited.
The request for access to non-paper was denied.
“The requested document addresses a very sensitive topic, and its publication would have a clear and direct impact on the EU’s relations with the neighborhood, thus undermining the public interest in international relations,” the European Council said in a response received by Austrian news agency APA on Tuesday, quoted N1 in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
Due to this assessment and the relevant legal provisions, they have no choice but to refuse to submit the document, regardless of the central importance of media freedom, the European Council decided.
OSCE on burglary of Dragica Gasic’s flat (KoSSev, media)
The OSCE Mission in Kosovo expressed concern over recent events hampering displaced persons’ right to return, in particular the burglary of Mrs. Dragica Gasic’s apartment, KoSSev portal reports.
OSCE Mission made these remarks following the burglary of Dragica Gasic’s apartment in Djakovica, who is the first and the only returnee to this town.
“The OSCE has always supported the right of all displaced people to return to their homes. This is a basic human right and the OSCE Mission in Kosovo has constantly engaged in coordinated efforts with partners and stakeholder to create the conditions for this. Against that background the Mission expresses concern about latest developments hampering the exercise of that right in Djakove/Djakovica, in particular the burglary of the apartment of Mrs. Dragica Gasic. Attempts to intimidate or harass returnees are unacceptable. We appreciate the dedication of Kosovo Police in providing security to returnees throughout Kosovo and in particular their efforts in this case, which we hope will lead to the swift identification and prosecution of the perpetrators”, OSCE Mission wrote on Facebook.
Kosovo Faces Uphill Fight in Claiming Yugoslav-Era Property (Balkan Insight)
Kosovo says it is the rightful owner of more than 160 properties belonging to Yugoslav-era socially-owned enterprises, and it wants them back.
More than two decades since it broke away from Serbia in war, Kosovo is trying to claim ownership over more than 160 properties dotted around the former Yugoslavia.
So far, proceedings have been started in the case of two properties in neighbouring Montenegro totalling some 37,500 square metres in the coastal municipality of Budva.
See more at: https://bit.ly/3ybyIf1