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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, May 24, 2022

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Albanian Language Media:

• Kurti meets Vice President Berset: Switzerland strongly supports Kosovo’s CoE membership (media)
• Austria supports visa liberalization for Kosovo (media)
• Serbian Ministry of Interior uses derogatory term for Albanians ‘Siptari’ (Kallxo)
• Suspicions of possible explosion in UP Rectorate, Police surround the building (Kallxo)
• MPs suspect in KEK procurement process, Board admits there was mismanagement (Koha)
• COVID-19: 12 new cases (media)

Serbian Language Media:

• Vucic in World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, Wednesday (Tanjug, media)
• Petkovic: Bislimi’s statement confirms that we are fighting resolutely in Brussels (Radio Mitrovica sever)
• Vucic: Serbia’s position on Ukraine conflict unchanged (Tanjug)
• Petkovic on the protest in Osojane: We solve problem by problem, we follow priorities (Kontakt plus radio, gracanicaonline.info)

International:

• Serbia buying our homes to kick us out, say Albanians living in Mitrovica (euronews.al)

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Albanian Language Media:

  • Kurti meets Vice President Berset: Switzerland strongly supports Kosovo’s CoE membership (media)
  • Austria supports visa liberalization for Kosovo (media)
  • Serbian Ministry of Interior uses derogatory term for Albanians ‘Siptari’ (Kallxo)
  • Suspicions of possible explosion in UP Rectorate, Police surround the building (Kallxo)
  • MPs suspect in KEK procurement process, Board admits there was mismanagement (Koha)
  • COVID-19: 12 new cases (media)

Serbian Language Media:

  • Vucic in World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, Wednesday (Tanjug, media)
  • Petkovic: Bislimi’s statement confirms that we are fighting resolutely in Brussels (Radio Mitrovica sever)
  • Vucic: Serbia’s position on Ukraine conflict unchanged (Tanjug)
  • Petkovic on the protest in Osojane: We solve problem by problem, we follow priorities (Kontakt plus radio, gracanicaonline.info)

International:

  • Serbia buying our homes to kick us out, say Albanians living in Mitrovica (euronews.al)

 

 

Albanian Language Media  

 

Kurti meets Vice President Berset: Switzerland strongly supports Kosovo’s CoE membership (media)

The Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti met during the World Economic Forum in Davos with the Vice President of Switzerland Alain Berset.

During the meeting, the close friendly relations and close human ties between Kosovo and Switzerland were highly praised and Vice President Berset said that Kosovo is a priority country for the Swiss Confederation.

Vice President Berset confirmed the strong support of Switzerland for the official application of Kosovo in the Council of Europe, one of the oldest and largest European organizations, which will enable the citizens of Kosovo to use the mechanisms of the European Court to Human Rights.

Opportunities for sustainable economic development of Kosovo, to improve the well-being of citizens, to ensure social and economic justice, as well as opportunities for bilateral exchange in various fields, especially in health, were discussed.

Prime Minister Kurti stressed the institutional stability, rule of law, fight against crime and corruption and positive economic indicators of Kosovo. He emphasized the Kosovo diaspora in Switzerland as an integral part of the development of Kosovo.

Talking about the developments in Ukraine, Mr. Berset said that Switzerland welcomes the clear position of Kosovo. Prime Minister Kurti stressed the need for further coordination and close cooperation between Kosovo and the democratic world, to oppose Russian aggression, but also to face the impact and possible consequences in the Western Balkans region.

Austria supports visa liberalization for Kosovo (media)

Austria’s Minister for Europe and the Austrian Constitution Karoline Edtstadler expressed on her Twitter account support for visa liberalization for Kosovo.   

After meeting Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Donika Gervalla, Edtstadler wrote: ‘Good exchange withVice-Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Donika Gervalla-Schwartz. The Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue is crucial not only for the stability of the region but also the European perspective of the Western Balkans.’

She further noted that Kosovo has met the 95 criteria for visa liberalization, and the European Parliament has consistently reported in favor of visa liberalization.

“It is the final time to grant visa liberalization for Kosovo,” she said.

Serbian Ministry of Interior uses derogatory term for Albanians ‘Siptari’ (Kallxo)

Serbian institutions have legalized the use of derogatory and discriminatory terms against Albanians. It is common for Serbian Minister of Interior Affairs, Aleksandar Vulin, to use the derogatory term ‘Siptari’ when referring to Albanians in general, the news website reports. But this term is now also being used on the official website of the Serbian Ministry of Interior Affairs. In a news item published on Friday on May 20, Vulin is quoted as saying that “Vucic is a great Serb and President of all Serbs, whereas the little Kurti is not even president of all ‘Siptars’ of Kosovo”. Kosovo’s institutions have yet to react to this.

Suspicions of possible explosion in the UP Rectorate, Police surround the building (Kallxo)

Another alarm for an explosion in the Rectorate of the University of Prishtina was reported today at noon. The case was confirmed for KALLXO.com by the Kosovo Police. The spokesperson of the Kosovo Police for the region of Prishtina Florie Ahmeti said that Information has been received about the suspicions related to a possible explosion in the Rectorate of the University “Hasan Prishtina” in Prishtina, around 12:00 hours. According to her, the first information indicate that the suspicious threat came via e-mail.

 “The police immediately went to the scene and started taking the necessary operative actions to manage the situation,” she said.

The building of the Rectorate is surrounded on all sides with tapes and traffic is not allowed, while the movement of citizens on the sidewalks near the Rectorate is allowed.

Days ago, there was a bomb alert at the UP Rectorate, but it turned out to be false.

MPs suspect in KEK procurement process, Board admits there was mismanagement (Koha)

During the review of the performance audit report “Procurement in the Kosovo Energy Corporation (2018-2020)”, the chairwoman of the Financial Supervision Commission Hykmete Bajrami, stressed that the findings of the auditor in KEK, are very worrying, as there are dozens of contracts signed with direct negotiation and lack of transparency.            

MP Bajrami said that 181.5 million euros were spent in that period, of which about 60 million euros with negotiated contracts, which caused more expensive choices.

The Chief Executive Officer of KEK Nagip Krasniqi, did not deny the findings of the auditor, but said that he does not take responsibility, since he came to the position in KEK in October 2021. He said that the negligence has influenced KEK to “sink” in these types of negotiated contracts.

Skender Haziri, Chairman of the KEK Board, said there is no complete information on procurement activities that have occurred in the period 2018-2020, but promised that the new Board will take measures to improve procurement in KEK.

“There has been mismanagement, there is room for improvement, some of them have started to improve from 2021. I assure you all the recommendations of the CAO will be implemented,” Haziri said.

PDK MP, Rashit Qalaj, assessed the procurement report in KEK as very bad and disturbing. According to him, the procurement process in KEK is questionable.

During the reporting, there was a verbal clash between PDK MP Hajdar Beqa and Halil Thaci from Vetevendosje Movement (LVV). Beqa said that Thaci had an impact on the last competition in KEK, while the LVV MP said that these are slanders.

COVID-19: 12 new cases (media)

12 new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Kosovo in the last 24 hours. There are 148 active cases of COVID-19 in Kosovo.

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

Vucic in World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, Wednesday (Tanjug, media)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic will be attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos on Tuesday and Wednesday.

During the two-day visit to Davos, Vucic will take part in a session on diplomatic dialogue on the Western Balkans and a discussion on establishing peace, renewing growth, and achieving sustainability.

At this year’s WEF meeting, Vucic will also have a series of bilateral meetings with international officials and representatives of financial institutions and leading global companies.

Petkovic: Bislimi’s statement confirms that we are fighting resolutely in Brussels (Radio Mitrovica sever)

The director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija and Belgrade’s chief negotiator in the dialogue with Pristina, Petar Petkovic, wrote on his Twitter profile that Besnik Bislimi’s statement, that the dialogue would be more constructive if Petkovic would be replaced by someone older and more experienced, confirmed that Serbian the side was fighting resolutely in Brussels, reported Radio Mitrovica sever.

“The fact that Besnik Bislimi would like someone else in my position as chief negotiator is just a compliment and confirmation to me that the Serbian side is fighting resolutely in Brussels. Woe to the one who is praised by Bislimi. Greetings from the monastery of St. Archangels near Prizren,” Petkovic wrote on Twitter.

Pristina’s chief negotiator in the dialogue, Besnik Bislimi, said yesterday that “the years of Belgrade’s chief negotiator are the reason for the failed dialogue”, Radio Mitrovica reported. 

“If there was someone in his place who is a little older and more experienced, maybe the process would be more constructive and productive,” Bislimi said, reported the media.

Vucic: Serbia’s position on Ukraine conflict unchanged (Tanjug)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic reiterated on Monday Serbia had not joined any restrictive declaration on Russia and added that a recent Tirana declaration backed by Belgrade had nothing to do with sanctions and that Serbia’s position on the issue and on support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine was unchanged, reported agency Tanjug.

Responding to questions from reporters, Vucic said the Tirana declaration, a document of the Adriatic Ionian Initiative, was a regional one and had nothing to do with sanctions against Russia.

He noted that Serbia had not voted for any of the existing “22 or 23” declarations imposing restrictive measures on Russia.

“We are the only country that has not voted for any restrictive measure against Russia on our European path,” Vucic said.

He added that UN declarations backed by Serbia were legal and political in nature and had nothing to do with sanctions.

Therefore, there is no change in Serbia’s stance, he said.

“Our stance has been the same since day one and since the National Security Council session: we condemn the incursion into the territory of a sovereign country such as Ukraine. Nothing has changed when it comes to sanctions, either,” Vucic noted.

He said he would address the citizens and tell them the truth in case Serbia was no longer able to maintain its policy but that, as before, the country remained firmly on the same position it had held for the past 89 days.

Petkovic on the protest in Osojane: We solve problem by problem, we follow priorities (Kontakt plus radio, gracanicaonline.info)

In Osojane near Istok, several families, dissatisfied with their social status, began protests. Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Petar Petkovic, said that he was aware that life in Metohija was not easy for the Serbian people, reported Kontakt plus radio.

“In Metohija, where the greatest number of attacks and sufferings of our people are, especially those who want to return and who have returned, i.e., returnees, we are doing absolutely everything we can to help Osojane and all other places. It is not easy; it is not simple. The state of Serbia does everything. We have helped and are helping when it comes to new jobs, but you must understand one thing. If there were no new employments for decades, if the situation was difficult here in Serbian communities and now when we in recent years, thanks to President Vucic, that we raised the budget of the state of Serbia, we can allocate more money for Kosovo and Metohija, so we hire over 300 doctors and nurses and do a lot for all our other institutions, not to mention them all now. I say, there is still space and of course we still have a lot to help,” said Petkovic during his visit to Velika Hoca, emphasizing that problem by problem is being solved and that employment is being done according to priorities.

Petkovic promised that he and his associates would talk to dissatisfied citizens in Osojane and do everything to help.

He added that he would send his assistants to see what the problem was and, if necessary, to change the staff in the municipal administration.

 

 

International 

 

Serbia buying our homes to kick us out, say Albanians living in Mitrovica (euronews.al)

Albanian residents living in Mitrovica North are saying that Serbia is buying their property for a price that is higher than their market value. They report that in the past their neighborhood was inhabited by 80% ethnic Albanians, whereas now that number has gone down to 10%. According to them, this is just an effort to assimilate Albanians living in this area.

A resident in the area known as ‘Lagjia e Boshnjakve’, Fetija Pirqi, says that she is at a crossroads. “Yes, Albanian homes are being sold as we remain here alone. The government isn’t doing anything for us and we don’t know what to do at this point. For now, I don’t intend to sell my home but later, if I remain the last one here then I will have to sell it,” – she said.

Another resident, Tomor Bahtiri, blamed all the past governments and the current one for allowing something like this and warned that if this trend continues then there will be no more Albanians living here.

On the other hand, the representative of this neighborhood, Fevzi Beqiri, commented on the situation, accusing the Serbian government of buying these homes. “It’s very concerning, our homes are being sold, some of them secretly some out in the open. They are being sold directly to the Serbian government, not individuals, or Serbian citizens in Kosovo, but directly to the Serbian government,” – said Beqiri.

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