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UNMIK Headlines 18 September

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• Opposition bloc doesn’t give up (Kosova Sot)
• PDK’s scenario to cut short the session (Tribuna)
• Jablanovic: We will not vote for the PDK candidate (Gazeta Blic)
• Jahjaga: Visa liberalization for Kosovo citizens (Epoka e Re)
• Kosovo Government imposes sanctions on Russia (dailies)
• Jacobson praises Kosovo for proactive approach against extremism (Bota Sot)
• Reporter receives death threats after denouncing religious extremism (Koha)
• The softening of Vetevendosje continues (Lajm)
• Germany supports Kosovo in path toward EU (Lajm)
• COMKFOR visits Karaceva (Zeri)
• €800 million for reconstructing Kosova A power plant (Koha)

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Headlines – 18.09.2014

Opposition bloc doesn’t give up (Kosova Sot)

Opposition bloc parties continued consultations on Wednesday ahead of the Assembly’s constitutive session and said after the meeting that they are convinced the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) will fail to elect the Assembly President. Commenting on the possibilities for the Serbian List joining the new institutions, opposition’s candidate for prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj, said that this political entity is obliged by the Constitution of Kosovo to be part of the new government which, he stressed, will be led by Democratic League of Kosovo, Alliance for Future of Kosovo (AAK) and Initiative for Kosovo (NISMA).

PDK’s scenario to cut short the session (Tribuna)

The paper reports that the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) has failed to secure sufficient votes to elect an Assembly President from its own ranks and is therefore expected to cut short today’s constitutive session. This would prevent the post-election coalition bloc from continuing the session. “We need at least four more votes which are almost impossible to secure”, said a PDK source.

Jablanovic: We will not vote for the PDK candidate (Gazeta Blic)

Head of Serbian List, Aleksandar Jablanovic, had a meeting late yesterday with post-election candidate for Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj, and spoke about today’s constitutive session of the Assembly. Sources from the meeting said Jablanovic assured Haradinaj that Serbian List MPs will not vote for Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) candidate. Instead, the Serbian List will support bloc’s candidate for Assembly speaker, Isa Mustafa. The List however still has problems with the prospect of Vetevendosje joining the new government.

Jahjaga: Visa liberalization for Kosovo citizens (Epoka e Re)

Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga met on Wednesday with Owen Jenkins, Director for Balkans at the British Foreign Office, and discussed current developments in Kosovo, the process of Kosovo’s consolidation in the international arena and the process of normalization of relations with Serbia. Jahjaga said Kosovo has entered contractual relations with the European Union through the Stabilization/Association Agreement and highlighted the importance of receiving equal treatment with other countries that have gone through the process. Jahjaga said dialogue on visa liberalization should be concluded successfully and that Kosovo citizens must enjoy free movement. In Tribuna, Jahjaga is quoted to have said in the meeting that Serbia should demonstrate commitment in normalizing of relations with Kosovo and should also be more cooperative by relinquishing influence with Kosovo Serb citizens.

Kosovo Government imposes sanctions on Russia (dailies)

The Government of Kosovo on Wednesday decided to impose sanctions against the Russian Federation, thus following steps taken by the European Union. Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj said at the government meeting that the decision was taken in coordination with EU partners and the United States of America because of the situation in Ukraine and because Kosovo needs to meet all criteria foreseen in the Stabilization/Association Agreement. Hoxhaj also said this decision shows Kosovo enjoys equal treatment in international relations as a stable partner.

Jacobson praises Kosovo for proactive approach against extremism (Bota Sot)

The US Ambassador to Kosovo, Tracey Ann Jacobson, joined others who have supported the latest operation by Kosovo authorities against extremism and radicalism. Jacobson wrote on her Twitter profile: “Once again I commend Kosovo on its proactive approach against foreign fighters and extremism.”

Reporter receives death threats after denouncing religious extremism (Koha)

Artan Haraqija, reporter of Pristina-based news website Indeksonline, received death threats on Wednesday after his appearance in a TV show on religious extremism. The Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AGK) issued a reaction saying that authorities need to seriously address such threats. “This is not the first time that Astrit Haraqija has been threatened for his public statements on religious extremism in Kosovo. The AGK expresses concern over such threats and calls on fellow reporters not to fall under the influence of threats. We also encourage Haraqija as well as all reporters to inform law enforcement authorities about such cases,” the AGK reaction noted.

The softening of Vetevendosje continues (Lajm)

Albin Kurti, leader of the Vetevendosje Movement, is continuing to open up to foreign diplomatic representatives. Accompanied by other Vetevendosje officials, Kurti met on Wednesday with Owen Jenkins and Beatrice Rose from the United Kingdom Foreign Office, who were accompanied by the British Ambassador to Kosovo, Ian Cliff. The meeting focused on recent political developments in Kosovo, with special emphasis on the 10 September agreement between the opposition coalition and the Vetevendosje Movement. They also discussed possible developments at today’s session of the Kosovo Assembly.

Germany supports Kosovo in path toward EU (Lajm)

The German Ambassador in Kosovo, Angelika Viets, said on Wednesday that the focus of cooperation between Kosovo and Germany will be on supporting Kosovo’s path toward integration in the European Union. Viets made these remarks during a conference organized by the German Embassy for the 15th anniversary of cooperation between Germany and Kosovo.

COMKFOR visits Karaceva (Zeri)

KFOR Commander Francesco Paolo Figliuolo visited the region of Karaceva on Wednesday to meet with Serbian military authorities after recent tensions in the region especially after the deployment of Serbian gendarmerie there. “KFOR, through unbiased dialogue, continues to support all parties in securing a safe and peaceful environment for all people in the region,” a KFOR statement noted.

€800 million for reconstructing Kosova A power plant (Koha)

A German company called Bilfinger has presented a project to the government of Kosovo for the reconstruction of the Kosova A power plant. The reconstruction would cost €800 million, €200 of which would be a direct investment by the government, and the other €600 would be invested from the incomes of the Kosovo Power Corporation (KEK). The reconstructed power facility is foreseen to have a capacity of 800 megawatts and would be functional in the next 30 years.

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