Mustafa: We don’t need SAA without visa liberalization (Kosova Sot)
Prime Minister of Kosovo Isa Mustafa said in a meeting called by Interior Minister Skender Hyseni with Kosovo mayors on the implementation of the visa liberalization criteria that the EU has no political reasons not to grant Kosovo visa-free travel to Europe and that the government of Kosovo has met all its obligations from this process. “We are very thankful for the Stabilisation and Association Agreement as it is a significant step in our contractual relations with the EU but this agreement is not worth much because we do not have visa liberalization,” said Mustafa adding that this prevents Kosovo businesses from moving and communicating freely with the EU market.
Zbogar: Political crisis doesn’t help visa liberalization (Epoka e Re)
The head of the EU Office in Kosovo, Samuel Zbogar, said yesterday the political crisis would adversely affect the visa liberalization process. He said Kosovo has been quite proactive in meeting the eight additional recommendations for this process. “After the publication of the latest report we see that all the authorities of Kosovo have been very proactive in order to meet all the recommendations. It is normal that the political crisis does not help this process,” Zbogar said. He made these comments at a meeting organized by Interior Minister Skender Hyseni to discuss the repatriation of people from Kosovo from the EU countries.
Opposition against international mediation (Zeri)
Opposition parties and political analysts stated they are against any possible international mediation to resolve the political crisis in Kosovo. This stance comes after an article in the Austrian newspaper Der Standard, which mentioned Carl Bildt and Marti Ahtisaari as possible mediators in Kosovo. The leader of Vetevendosje, Visar Ymeri, said this is not necessary since the situation in Kosovo is very clear. According to him, the only solution is the resignation of the government. Meanwhile, Kosovo government supports any option aimed at resolving the crisis.
Caushi: Upcoming protest before 17 February (Telegrafi)
Vetevendosje deputy leader Driton Caushi told RTV Dukagjini that the opposition will not wait for Kosovo’s Independence Day on 17 February to organise the next protest but will stage one much sooner. He said that the opposition leaders are still discussing the date of the next protest and that most likely it will take place sometime this month.
Group of experts to draft Association/Community’s statute (Zeri)
The paper reports the government of Kosovo has not yet started to draft the statute of the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities. Deputy Minister of Local Government, Bajram Gecaj, told the paper that Prime Minister Isa Mustafa is establishing a group of experts for drafting the statute that very soon will begin to work on this issue. “Prime Minister Mustafa also invited the opposition parties to participate in this group. Hopefully the work will start as soon as possible,” Gecaj said. He added that there is a possibility also to include international experts in this group.
Jahjaga to oversee border demarcation committee with Montenegro (Koha)
Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga will oversee the work of the international committee on the border demarcation with Montenegro and the Kosovo government, the paper reports on page three. Officials in Jahjaga’s office confirmed to the paper that they are working on the issue but provided no further details. “The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Madam Atifete Jahjaga, is establishing an ad hoc committee with independent international experts that will assess the demarcation of our state border with Montenegro, as the only institutional and credible way. The Office of the President will inform the public in timely fashion about all the details,” noted an official reply from Jahjaga’s office.
Mustafa: We will not allow liquidation of Trepca (Koha)
Kosovo’s Prime Minister Isa Mustafa said on Thursday that the Trepca mining complex should no longer remain a socially-owned enterprise and under the responsibility of the Privatization Agency of Kosovo. “We will not allow the liquidation of Trepca and we have made this clear with a decision of the Kosovo Assembly,” Mustafa said. He added that a combination of public ownership and public and private co-ownership can be discussed as a possible solution for the future of the enterprise. Mustafa made these remarks during a meeting with institutional leaders on Thursday.
PDK prepares electorate before leadership change (Koha)
The chairmanship of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) continued the series of closed meetings on Thursday to discuss the current political crisis and preparations for voting PDK leader Hashim Thaci to the post of Kosovo President. Although PDK deputy leader Kadri Veseli, who is current President of the Kosovo Assembly, is seen as the only successor for the post of PDK leader, Thaci denied that the party leadership discussed the matter. Thaci told reporters after the meeting that his party would fully support the coalition agreement with the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) including the point about Thaci’s election as President.
Three witnesses in Enver Hasani trial (Koha)
The paper reports on its front page that three witnesses are expected to testify in the trial of Enver Hasani, former President of the Constitutional Court, who is indicted by the Special Prosecution of Kosovo for fraud and falsifying an official document during his tenure in the Constitutional Court.