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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, May 20, 2022

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• Kurti: To normalise relations – Serbia needs to change (VOA)
• Sarrazin: Germany’s final goal is to have Kosovo part of NATO (Kallxo)
• Lajcak and Escobar discuss way forward in dialogue (media)
• Foreign ministers of CoE member states set to meet today (RTK)
• Citaku: Kosovo to be serious and present an offer in dialogue (Koha)
• Svecla: All security mechanisms need to exercise added vigilance (Koha)
• Rizvanolli: Clean energy, objective of MCC’s Compact project (Telegrafi)
• Mehaj: National Security Strategy to soon be presented to the Assembly (Kosovapress)
• Peja School Denies Discrimination Against Minority Pupils (BIRN)
• COVID-19: 12 new cases (media)

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  • Kurti: To normalise relations – Serbia needs to change (VOA)
  • Sarrazin: Germany’s final goal is to have Kosovo part of NATO (Kallxo)
  • Lajcak and Escobar discuss way forward in dialogue (media)
  • Foreign ministers of CoE member states set to meet today (RTK)
  • Citaku: Kosovo to be serious and present an offer in dialogue (Koha)
  • Svecla: All security mechanisms need to exercise added vigilance (Koha)
  • Rizvanolli: Clean energy, objective of MCC’s Compact project (Telegrafi)
  • Mehaj: National Security Strategy to soon be presented to the Assembly (Kosovapress)
  • Peja School Denies Discrimination Against Minority Pupils (BIRN)
  • COVID-19: 12 new cases (media)

 

Kurti: To normalise relations – Serbia needs to change (VOA)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti gave an interview to the Albanian service of the Voice of America where he spoke about his visit to the United States and that he was conveying the message in his meetings that “Kosovo is a suitable country for investments as it has a democratic governance” and has potential of becoming a type of Estonia in the south-east Europe in the information technology field.

On the issue of normalisation of relations with Serbia, Kurti said that the United States President Joe Biden worded the issue very well in stating that full normalisation of relations should be achieved through a legally binding agreement centred on mutual recognition. “I am ready to mutual recognition, Serbia is not and no instance of the independent state of Kosovo is to blame for the fact we have no desired success in dialogue with Serbia. Kosovo is an independent and sovereign country, its being is not problematic. Relations with Serbia are not normal, we want to normalise them, but to do so Serbia needs to change,” Kurti said.

“For as long as Serbia says that we will never recognise you and its president says that Recak is not a real event, namely the massacre of 15 January 1999, then this is where the problem that we do not have such an agreement yet lies. We are willing, constructive, committed, creative. We gave our proposals for a declaration of peace not to attack each other, then for reciprocity of rights, but they were rejected by Serbia which in turn did not give any idea.”

Asked about the Association of Serb-majority municipalities, Kurti said that the Constitutional Court of Kosovo concluded there can be an association of municipalities but not one formed on ethnic basis.

Find the full interview at: https://bit.ly/3sNDyye

Sarrazin: Germany’s final goal is to have Kosovo part of NATO (Kallxo)

Manuel Sarrazin, Germany’s envoy to the Western Balkans, said in an interview with BIRN, that Germany’s final goal is for Kosovo to be a full-fledged member of NATO and the European Union. He also said the country supports Kosovo’s Council of Europe membership bid but warned at the same time that obstacles may be encountered on the journey which he compared to a marathon. “In a good marathon you should not run for the first kilometers … you should maintain a clear pulse and a clear cadence to walk with.” He added: “We will join Kosovo all the way on the marathon route, give some drinks, cheer and support and talk to everybody to support Kosovo to be successful.”

Sarrazin expressed the firm position in support of Western Balkans’ European Union integration and noted that his appointment is a sign of Germany’s commitment to the region. “My job is finished when they are in the EU,” he said.

Watch the full interview: https://bit.ly/3PxKtp5

Lajcak and Escobar discuss way forward in dialogue (media)

The EU Special Representative for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, met the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary and Special Envoy to the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, during his three-day visit to the United States.

Lajcak tweeted after the meeting: “Had a number of intense and productive consultations on our EU-US cooperation in the Western Balkans and the way forward in the Dialogue on normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia.”

Foreign ministers of CoE member states set to meet today (RTK)

Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Council of Europe’s 46 member states will hold their annual session today in Turin, Italy, RTK reports. It also quotes CoE spokesperson saying that Kosovo’s application is not in the agenda of the meeting.

RTK notes that if application of Kosovo is not discussed at today’s meeting, the issue will most likely not be addressed until May of next year, emphasizing that the committee of ministers only meets annually.

Citaku: Kosovo to be serious and present an offer in dialogue (Koha)

Deputy leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Vlora Citaku, said Kosovo should be serious in the process of dialogue with Serbia and present an offer. She said Prime Minister Kurti should not act as if dialogue began now.

“He should learn and use our memory in the function of our empowerment in the dialogue. Agreements are dictated by the political will because in essence the problem of Kosovo and Serbia is not technical in nature but political,” she said, adding that now is an important momentum to reach an agreement since, as she said, Russia is currently isolated due to the scale of sanctions it has been imposed with by the West. “Serbia’s ally is very weak. We do not know how long this situation will last. We need to use it, be serious.”

Svecla: All security mechanisms need to exercise added vigilance (Koha)

Kosovo’a Minister of Internal Affairs, Xhelal Svecla, urged added vigilance by security mechanisms. He added however that the security situation in Kosovo is stable.

He said Kosovo has stood in line with European policies in imposing sanctions on Russia and Belarus. “Serbia has not aligned itself like this, through attacks on Kosovo officials and verbally it has confirmed that it is Russia’s proxy and supporter of Russia’s policies. Russia’s provocations continue to be present in Kosovo to this day,” Svecla said at the Assembly. He added that different criminal groups, which he said are supported by Serbia, see the actions of Kosovo law enforcement institutions as an obstacle to their activity.

Rizvanolli: Clean energy, objective of MCC’s Compact project (Telegrafi)

Kosovo’s Minister of Economy, Artane Rizvanolli, said that the agreement reached between the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Government of Kosovo aims at securing clean energy and its conservation.

Speaking at the Assembly of Kosovo yesterday, Rizvanolli noted that USD 202 million have been pledged by the MCC while the rest of the project will be covered by the Government of Kosovo. “The government will establish an entity that will be responsible for the implementation of the program and to supervise it”, the Minister said, adding that the objective of the project is to conserve energy that will support a cleaner energy future.

Mehaj: National Security Strategy to soon be presented to the Assembly (Kosovapress)

Kosovo’a Minister of Defence, Armend Mehaj, said that the Assembly would soon receive the National Security Strategy document.

“The Strategy does not depend only on the Ministry of Defence, it is of all of Kosovo, therefore it is undergoing harmonisation and will very soon reach the Assembly,” Mehaj said at the Assembly yesterday.

Peja School Denies Discrimination Against Minority Pupils (BIRN)

Educational institutions in Peja have rejected allegations of discriminating against pupils from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in a festival program.

Numerous reactions have followed a news story shown by local television station Klan Kosova on Tuesday concerning the alleged omission of some pupils from minority communities in a Peja school’s festival.

The festival of the primer ABC-book  is a regular celebration organized after primary school pupils complete a reading and spelling book for beginners.

The TV story showed some pupils from non-majority communities with festive hats being placed in the upper area of the sports hall, where the audience is separated from the pupils celebrating in the centre.

Representatives of educational institutions in Peja have denied that this was an act of discrimination against non-majority students.

Read more at: https://bit.ly/3wESpxD

COVID-19: 12 new cases (media)

12 new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Kosovo in the last 24 hours. There are 247 active cases of COVID-19 in Kosovo.

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