Mustafa: Kosovo to review format of talks with Serbia (Epoka e Re)
Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Isa Mustafa, told the Voice of America on Wednesday that Pristina will review the format of talks with Serbia. “We will review the format once again. I believe it is important to have greater inclusion of all responsible institutions of Kosovo, the Office of the President, Parliament but also civil society. We will see the modality of inclusion of the Parliament be it in the preparatory phases or after we return from different phases of dialogue in Brussels, so that Parliament can make decisions that are acceptable for the MPs and the people of Kosovo,” he said. Mustafa criticized Belgrade for failing to respect the commitment that it would not intrude with Pristina’s EU integration path.
Mustafa: Kosovo committed to further Euro-Atlantic integrations (Bota Sot)
In a meeting with representatives of the Quint and the head of the EU Office, Prime Minister Mustafa, spoke about the progress in Kosovo and the priorities of his government relating to economic development and furthering of Euro-Atlantic integrations.
Thaci on demarcation: No time to waste on secondary issues (Kallxo)
Kosovo’s President, Hashim Thaci, said on Wednesday that political parties should come together to work on the European agenda of Kosovo. During a visit to Janjeva, Thaci was asked by reporters about his role on the border demarcation with Montenegro. “I am confident that in the future the whole political spectrum will unite around priorities that are of interest to the state and our European future, and not waste time in secondary or divisive issues […]. There are many issues that unite the political spectrum, but first and foremost, it is the European future that unites us as a society and institutions. This is why everyone will push forward the state agenda that serves our joint interests,” Thaci was quoted as saying.
Haradinaj: Mass protest on Saturday (Zeri)
The leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), Ramush Haradinaj, told the paper on Wednesday that the anti-government protest by the AAK and Initiative for Kosovo (NISMA) scheduled for Saturday will be bigger than the protests of 9 January and 17 February. Haradinaj said he regrets the fact that the pressure started by the former opposition bloc – Vetevendosje, AAK and NISMA – has been stopped but added that the struggle continues separately now. Haradinaj said he is confident that pressure on the government to resign will increase and that early parliamentary elections will be held in autumn this year. He further argued that it would be better to correct mistakes in the border demarcation agreement with Montenegro, “otherwise the agreement will not pass in the Assembly”.
Tahiri: Dialogue will conclude with mutual recognition (Epoka e Re)
Kosovo’s Minister for Dialogue, Edita Tahiri, met on Wednesday with Pieter Feith, former International Representative in Kosovo, who is now working with the European Institute for Peace. Tahiri said that the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade will result in the mutual recognition between the two states. Feith said he was impressed with the positive developments in Kosovo since 2012.
Kosovo still without dial code (Kosova Sot)
The paper reports that more than two months have passed since the delegation of Kosovo in the EU-facilitated talks in Brussels was promised that Kosovo would be issued with an international dial code but this has not yet materialized. Officials from the office of the Minister for Dialogue, Edita Tahiri, reiterated that Austria has applied to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on behalf of Kosovo early 2016 and that the Kosovo side has recently officially addressed the EU regarding the delays in this process. According to Gazmir Raci, advisor to Tahiri, the EU is making outmost efforts on securing the agreement on the dial code is implemented but that the Serbian side is obstructing its implementation. “Kosovo has already fulfilled all its obligations regarding to the telecom agreement and it is up to the European Union to ask the ITU to issue a code for Kosovo”, said Raci.
Thaci: Croats and Montenegrins in the Constitution and Assembly (Koha)
Kosovo’s President, Hashim Thaci, accompanied by the Croatian Ambassador to Kosovo, Marija Kapitanovic, visited Janjeva on Wednesday and promised that the Croatian and Montenegrin communities will be included in the Constitution and the Assembly of Kosovo. “The Croatian community gives meaning to the multiethnic society in Kosovo and at the same time it strengthens the social and state identity. Following constitutional amendments, the Croatian community will be part of the Constitution. Through the process of positive discrimination, the Croatian and Montenegrin communities will be part of the Assembly of Kosovo,” Thaci said.
Murtezaj: Membership of CoE, Kosovo’s next step (Zeri)
Kosovo’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Valon Murtezaj, said on Wednesday that Kosovo’s next step will be membership in the Council of Europe (CoE). “The Council of Europe is a very important institution for Kosovo, considering that it covers aspects of human rights, rule of law and minority rights. Kosovo has made progress in all these areas and membership of the CoE would allow Kosovo to advance further,” Murtezaj said. He also said that the membership bid should be treated with special attention and done in coordination with other institutions in order to be successful.
Hyseni: We will fight cross-border crime (Epoka e Re)
Kosovo’s Minister of Interior, Skender Hyseni, said at the Convention of the Police Cooperation in South-Eastern Europe, which is being held in Vienna, that Kosovo is strongly determined to face and fight cross-border crime. He informed the present ministers that Kosovo has already initiated the procedures to become a member of this Convention with full rights and obligations.
Gashi: I will not join any new alternative (Epoka e Re)
Kosovo’s Assembly MP from the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), Arben Gashi, told the paper that despite his objection to the coalition with the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), he would not join any new political alternative and he will remain member of the LDK. “I am part of LDK, part of a group that thinks differently, but not against LDK,” Gashi said. He added that based on the announcements of the two coalition leaders, the current government will complete the mandate. Gashi said that difficult days await Kosovo, starting from the Special Court, EU pressure to fight corruption, the great need for economic development and possibilities for free movement of Kosovo citizens. “All these developments could have a political impact,” Gashi said.
Politicization of a multi-million U.S. investment (Koha)
In one of its front-page stories, the paper reports that Prime Minister Isa Mustafa will assign Deputy Foreign Minister Petrit Selimi, to lead the Office of the Millennium Challenges in Kosovo. This mechanism will be part of the Office of the Prime Minister and will coordinate projects of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a bilateral United States foreign aid agency established by the U.S. Congress in 2004. Former Kosovo’s President, Atifete Jahjaga, announced in December last year that the MCC had selected Kosovo to develop the so-called “Compact” programme, a wide scope investment program that will last for a few years, that will enable the transformation of certain economic sectors, create new work places, reduce poverty and fight corruption. Citing an unnamed source, the paper reports that Selimi asked Mustafa that he should remain in the post of Deputy Foreign Minister and at the same time be appointed coordinator for the MCC programme. “Mustafa agreed with the request and the decision is ready. Now it only awaits the green light from the Legal Office of the Office of the Prime Minister,” the source said.