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Headlines 25 November

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• Mustafa criticizes own party’s MPs for border demarcation (Telegrafi)
• Kosovo determined to fulfill SAA obligations (Epoka)
• EP endorses amendment for independent investigation on Dehari case (Epoka)
• Prizren inmates stop hunger strike (Koha)
• Political parties not included in forum on election reform (Koha/Zeri)
• Hoxhaj met representatives of over twenty countries (Epoka)
• Selimi rebuts Russia’s Foreign Ministry claims on Kosovo (Telegrafi)
• KSF moving toward NATO standards (Epoka)
• KWN to march in Pristina today against gender-based violence (Koha)
• Vehicles from B&H not allowed entry to Kosovo (RTK)

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Headlines – 25.11.2016

  • Mustafa criticizes own party’s MPs for border demarcation (Telegrafi)
  • Kosovo determined to fulfill SAA obligations (Epoka)
  • EP endorses amendment for independent investigation on Dehari case (Epoka)
  • Prizren inmates stop hunger strike (Koha)
  • Political parties not included in forum on election reform (Koha/Zeri)
  • Hoxhaj met representatives of over twenty countries (Epoka)
  • Selimi rebuts Russia’s Foreign Ministry claims on Kosovo (Telegrafi)
  • KSF moving toward NATO standards (Epoka)
  • KWN to march in Pristina today against gender-based violence (Koha)
  • Vehicles from B&H not allowed entry to Kosovo (RTK)

Mustafa criticizes own party’s MPs for border demarcation (Telegrafi)

Prime Minister of Kosovo, Isa Mustafa, has criticised MPs from his own party, Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), who are opposing the border demarcation agreement with Montenegro, thus jeopardizing visa liberalisation. “Responsibility for no visa liberalisation should also be borne by us in the LDK. Those that are not supporting demarcation are aligning with the opposition’s cause,” Mustafa said.

Kosovo determined to fulfill SAA obligations (Epoka)

The second meeting between the EU Parliamentary Committee for Stabilization Association Agreement and Kosovo concluded on Thursday. After the meeting, heads of the delegations, head of the European Union delegation, Tonino Picula, and head of the parliamentary committee for Stabilization Association Agreement, Xhavit Haliti, held a press conference. Haliti said that just as during the first meeting in Pristina, they endorsed a joint statement with recommendations which are addressed to the institutions of Kosovo and the EU. Haliti said he hopes that these recommendations will be implemented with seriousness by competent authorities, in order for Kosovo to advance in the EU integration process. Pacula said that one of the recommendations of the meeting was for Kosovo to overcome political polarization, lower tensions and normalize work at the Assembly.

EP endorses amendment for independent investigation on Dehari case (Epoka)

During the second meeting between the EU Parliamentary Committee for Stabilization Association Agreement and Kosovo delegation held in Strasbourg, the joint commissions voted in favor of an amendment to the case of Vetëvendosje activist, Astrit Dehari. Amendment 22 expresses condolences to the family and friends of the young activist, Astrit Dehari, who died while in detention under suspicious circumstances and calls on competent authorities to thoroughly investigate all the circumstances of his death, including the claims for exceeded violence by any law enforcement officer, as well as eventual responsibility of state institutions.

Prizren inmates stop hunger strike (Koha)

Citing information provided by the Ministry of Justice and the Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms, the paper reports on page two that inmates at the Prizren Detention Centre have stopped their hunger strike. “The Ministry of Justice, namely the Correctional Service of Kosovo, informs the public that all inmates at the Prizren Detention Centre have stopped their hunger strike. The current situation at the Detention Centre is stable and inmates are in good condition,” a press release issued by the Ministry of Justice said. The paper recalls that several inmates had gone on hunger strike after the acting director and three correctional officers were suspended following, the death of Vetevendosje activist Astrit Dehari in jail.

Political parties not included in forum on election reform (Koha/Zeri)

The paper reports on its front page that Kosovo President Hashim Thaci has set up a sub-working group and has not included any representatives of political parties. The group, which also already held its first meeting, includes representatives of several non-governmental organisations, the Central Election Committee (CEC) and the Election Complaints and Appeals Panel (ECAP), representatives of the legal offices of the President, the Assembly and the Government. The working group will review legal amendments from 2014. The paper claims to have secured a copy of the document that contains these amendments and they are reportedly minor compared to the applicable law. The amendments reportedly do not include election zones, the list of candidates or the election threshold. Zeri meanwhile reports that the election reform initiated by President Thaci is likely to fail because of the opposition’s refusal to take part in the process. According to the opposition, the election reform should be implemented immediately after the early elections. Political analysts and election experts also argue that the election reform cannot be carried out without the contribution of the opposition. President Thaci meanwhile has said that the election reform should be completed by spring of next year.

Hoxhaj met representatives of over twenty countries (Epoka)

The Foreign Minister of Kosovo, Enver Hoxhaj continued with his lobbying for recognition of the independence of Kosovo at the Francophonie Summit in Madagascar. He met with the representatives of over twenty countries that have not recognized Kosovo. “The international recognition is of course a difficult process which goes through different phases, it has its ups and downs. But I am certain that during the next weeks we will have good news for Kosovo,” said Hoxhaj and added that the intention is to reach recognitions of the two thirds of the UN member states, in order to apply for membership at international organizations.

Selimi rebuts Russia’s Foreign Ministry claims on Kosovo (Telegrafi)

Petrit Selimi, former Deputy Foreign Minister and currently National Coordinator for Kosovo’s chapter of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, has reacted to the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson that the statehood of Kosovo is not possible. Selimi tweeted: “Kosovo, by all evidence is safer, less corrupt, less criminal, and more democratic than Russia ever was.”

KSF moving toward NATO standards (Epoka)

On the occasion of the eighth year of the establishment of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF), its Commander, General Rrahman Rama, told the paper that KSF has met all its obligations and is in the process of waiting to be transformed into the Armed Forces. He said that it is in the interest of Kosovo and its citizens thatthis decision would be made as soon as possible. He noted that KSF has made major achievements and has fulfilled its constitutional mission. He added that KSF’s advancing was made always based on NATO standards.

KWN to march in Pristina today against gender-based violence (Koha)

The Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) has organised a march against gender-based violence in Pristina today. The march, with the motto “No Excuse!” will begin at 12:00 in downtown Pristina. “To raise our voice against gender-based violence, the Kosovo Women’s Network has organised the ‘No Excuse!’ march. During the march, participants will be given letters with quotes and data about cases of gender-based violence in Kosovo. The quotes are taken from the studies of the Kosovo Women’s Network. At the end of the march, the quotes will be placed on the fences surrounding the Kosovo Government/Assembly,” a KWN press release said.

Vehicles from B&H not allowed entry to Kosovo (RTK)

Long lines of cars are reported to have been created yesterday at the borderline crossing point in Merdare as a result of Kosovo government’s decision not to allow entry to vehicles with Bosnia and Herzegovina-issued license plates. The cars were not allowed to enter Kosovo under the justification that there is no agreement for the passing of B&H cars into Kosovo.

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