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UNMIK Headlines 31 March

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• Commission finds no violation in border delineation with Montenegro (media)
• Mustafa: We have reasons to be proud (Bota Sot)
• Government welcomes international experts’ report on demarcation (dailies)
• Thaci hails findings of border demarcation commission (Telegrafi)
• Ymeri: Demarcation, unacceptable (Lajmi)
• Haradinaj: We do not answer to anyone about our land (Koha)
• Haliti: Political crisis to be resolved soon (Top Channel)
• Molliqaj: We have many differences with AAK (Zeri)
• Zbogar: Liberalization is close (Epoka e Re)

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Headlines – 31.03.2016

Commission finds no violation in border delineation with Montenegro (media)

All media are reporting that the three-member international commission engaged by President Atifete Jahjaga to evaluate the border delineation between Kosovo and Montenegro announced on Wednesday that the demarcation process was in line with international standards and that they found no violations in the process. President Jahjaga said: “the ad-hoc commission of international experts submitted to me the report of their evaluation of the process of the demarcation of the border line between the Republic of Kosovo and republic of Montenegro. From the legal and technical aspects, international experts have not found any violations on the Kosovo-Montenegro demarcation process, and are of the opinion that from this viewpoint, the process has adhered to international standards. At the same time, the commission has evaluated that this demarcation process should have been more transparent, as required by European practice, inclusive of familiarization of the Kosovar public with the border setting process, laws in force, cartographic maps and geodesic findings. I want to underline that experts’ report is an independent evaluation, in accordance with the mandate of the experts and of the commission to ensure an additional assessment of the demarcation process. As you know, this commission, called and selected by myself 2 weeks ago to evaluate this demarcation process, during its work has spoken to a wide spectrum of professionals, citizens and party and institutional leaders. I established the commission after the grievances raised about the state border line between Kosovo and Montenegro, and as a result of talks with the whole political spectrum, as an institutional solution to the addressing of eventual irregularities during this process. I would like to thank Mr. Fletcher Burton, Mr. Herbert Wilmes, Mr. Fred Newton, for their work as well as all their interlocutors in Kosovo for their cooperation with the experts. I call upon the institutions of Kosovo and the political spectrum to reflect and take into consideration these assessments and recommendations”. The full report of the international commission can be found at: http://president-ksgov.net/repository/docs/Final_Report.pdf

Mustafa: We have reasons to be proud (Bota Sot)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Isa Mustafa took to Facebook to hail the work of the ad-hoc commission set up by President Atifete Jahjaga to look at the border demarcation agreement with Montenegro. Mustafa said the commission concluded that the government of Kosovo had signed the border agreement by fully respecting the law and relevant technical procedures. Mustafa also welcomed the election of new members to the Procurement Review Body board saying that the Government has reasons to be proud of its work and that it will now be up to the political will of the EU to recommend visa liberalization for Kosovo.

Government welcomes international experts’ report on demarcation (dailies)

The government of Kosovo has welcomed the report of international experts on border-demarcation with Montenegro. “We are pleased with the fact that the experts of the commission hired by President Atifete Jahjaga found no violation in border-demarcation agreement. So this commission reaffirms that with the demarcation of border between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Montenegro, Kosovo did not lose any land. We appreciate that this is a solid achievement in satisfying a very important condition for visa liberalization and as such will represent a significant step in our journey towards European integration,” reads a press release issued by the government.

Thaci hails findings of border demarcation commission (Telegrafi)

Kosovo’s president-elect Hashim Thaci has hailed the “professional work” of the border demarcation commission made up of international experts saying that its findings give clear answers. “Kosovo will continue to build on good relations with all countries in the region by finalizing the demarcation process between the state of Kosovo and Serbia,” wrote Thaci on social media.

Ymeri: Demarcation, unacceptable (Lajmi)

The leader of the Vetevendosje movement, Visar Ymeri, wrote on his Facebook page that “the conclusions of the pro-government commission were expectable and predictable.” He stressed that the opposition will continue to protest even after the publication report of the international experts. “As a united opposition, we have for months objected to the agreement on border demarcation. Local specialists and professional people from this field joined us,” writes Ymeri adding that tens of thousands of people in the protests also joined them. “When they said that they are establishing a group for evaluating the demarcation, we said that we would not accept it, since no local specialist was involved,” Ymeri continued. He added that the involved internationals were not specialists. “This group worked politically to bring stability to the government of Kosovo. However, the stability of this government is the opposite of the stability of the society… Demarcation in this manner is unacceptable and criminal towards Kosovo,” Ymeri wrote.

Haradinaj: We do not answer to anyone about our land (Koha)

The leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, took to Facebook to comment on the findings of the international commission for the demarcation of the border between Kosovo and Montenegro. “We do not answer to anyone about our land. We respect everyone, but Kosovo is Kosovo, and the border is the border, where it used to be, in Cakor and at Kulla e Zhlepit,” Haradinaj said. “Everyone is welcome to Kosovo, but we set our borders ourselves”. He added that the time when maps were cut by scissors is over. “The truth about the border with Montenegro will be enlightened on the day when those who moved it for several kilometers within Kosovo’s territory are imprisoned,” Haradinaj concluded.

Haliti: Political crisis to be resolved soon (Top Channel)

Kosovo Assembly Deputy Speaker Xhavit Haliti said on Wednesday that dialogue between political parties will help overcome the current political crisis. Haliti said that although discussions currently are taking place in informal meetings, he expects the situation to be resolved very soon. “I believe we will have a solution. I cannot say today what the solution is, but I know that there are efforts from all political parties to end the crisis. I believe a solution will be found soon,” Haliti said.

Molliqaj: We have many differences with AAK (Zeri)

Vetevendosje’s secretary Dardan Molliqaj told the paper on Wednesday that Vetevendosje has many differences with the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK). According to him, if Kosovo goes to early elections, Vetevendosje will make a joint election list with the Initiative for Kosovo (NISMA) and civil society representatives. According to Molliqaj, going to elections together with AAK would be a big mistake. “Besides ideological differences, the other difference is the lack of readiness of the AAK to base decisions on principles and criteria rather than on whims of any participating party,” Molliqaj said. However, he says the opposition continues to remain united. In case of Vetevendosje wins the elections, Molliqaj said the possible candidates for Prime Minister might be Albin Kurti and Visar Ymeri.

Zbogar: Liberalization is close (Epoka e Re)

The European Union Special Representative, Samuel Zbogar, said on Wednesday that visa liberalization for Kosovo is close. He said that Kosovo citizens deserve this and added that Kosovo has made many reforms in this process. Speaking to the students of the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Pristina, Zbogar admitted that the EU has requested a lot from Pristina in this process. “You deserve to move freely in EU. I believe that this day is already close,” Zbogar said adding that the EU has pledged €650 million for Kosovo for the next seven years. Zbogar called on the students of the Faculty of Islamic Studies to become ambassadors in combating extremism and terrorism.

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