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Headlines 26 January

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Thaci: Dialogue with Serbia has entered the final stage (dailies)
Mustafa: The next meeting in Brussels, in February (RTK)
Serbia considers Kosovo to be its own (Kosova Sot)
NATO calls for restraint and dialogue (Koha Ditore)
TI ranks Kosovo as the most corrupt in the region (Koha Ditore)
Mustafa: Kosovo will become example of war against corruption (Kosova Sot)
Gecaj: Wall demolition not related to Association (Zëri)

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 Headlines – 26.01.2017

  • Thaci: Dialogue with Serbia has entered the final stage (dailies)
  • Mustafa: The next meeting in Brussels, in February (RTK)
  • Serbia considers Kosovo to be its own (Kosova Sot)
  • NATO calls for restraint and dialogue (Koha Ditore)
  • TI ranks Kosovo as the most corrupt in the region (Koha Ditore)
  • Mustafa: Kosovo will become example of war against corruption (Kosova Sot)
  • Gecaj: Wall demolition not related to Association (Zëri) 

Kosovo Media Highlights 

Thaci: Dialogue with Serbia has entered the final stage (dailies)

In a press conference yesterday following return from Brussels, President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci said that dialogue with Serbia has entered the final stage and reaffirmed Kosovo’s commitment to maintain peace. Thaci said dialogue needs to end in a final political agreement. “I think there was an understanding among the parties on the need to decrease tensions and commit to the dialogue process with outmost seriousness. Another agreement among the parties included the readiness for increasing the meetings of a high political level,” Thaci said discussing the latest meeting with the Serbian side under the EU facilitation.

Asked about the Mitrovica North wall, Thaci said Kosovo institutions are obliged to respect in entirety the Assembly Resolution which calls for the demolition of the wall. However, added Thaci, it would be in the interest of those who built the wall to also “eliminate” it. As to his statements that Belgrade is arming the local Serb population in the north and that it is planning to annex the region as per Russia’s Crimea model, Thaci said he didn’t want to repeat himself but that he has raised all these concerns in the meeting with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini.

Mustafa: The next meeting in Brussels, in February (RTK)

The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Isa Mustafa said to RTK that there will be more frequent meetings between Kosovo and Serbia in Brussels. He said that the next meeting would take place in February.  Speaking about Tuesday’s meeting, Mustafa said that after the meeting with the EU High Representative Frederica Mogherini, the joint meeting with the Serbian leaders was very difficult due to the recent situation. He said that the next meetings will show if Serbia is interested for real normalization of the relations, as pledged to the EU High Representative. 

Serbia considers Kosovo to be its own (Kosova Sot)

The President of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolić, rejected accusation of the President of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi that Serbia wants to annex the northern part of Kosovo. Nikolić said that Europe should be concerned about Thaçi’s inducing statements and added that the EU could resolve this matter very easily. “It is absolutely absurd to say that Serbia wants to annex the north of Kosovo. In essence this is impossible, because Kosovo is in Serbia,” Nikolic reportedly said for a Portuguese newspaper. 

NATO calls for restraint and dialogue (Koha Ditore)

In light of recent events in Kosovo, NATO has called on parties to show restraint and maintain stability. Asked to comment on Kosovo President Hashim Thaci’s allegations that Serbia was arming Serbs in the north, an unnamed NATO official said dialogue is crucial in maintaining regional stability.

TI ranks Kosovo as the most corrupt in the region (Koha Ditore)

Kosovo Democratic Institute (KDI) presented in Pristina yesterday the findings of the most recent Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index which ranked Kosovo as the most corrupt state in the region of the Western Balkans. However, compared to last year, Kosovo stands better this time around. This year, it scored 36 points and is positioned at the 95th place in contrast to that of last year when it was on the 103 slot with a score of 33.

Mustafa: Kosovo will become example of war against corruption (Kosova Sot)

The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Isa Mustafa, said that the recent report of the Transparency International and the decision of the Court for Sports Arbitrage are an important proof of progress in Kosovo. He added that Kosovo’s improvement in the ranking of Transparency International ‘is a result of concrete steps that we have undertaken, starting from suspension of each official who faced indictment, structural reforms such as electronic procurement, to the fact that during this mandate, no corruptive affair happened.” Mustafa believes that Kosovo deserves to be ranked dozens of places higher.  “We will increase our engagement further in order to make Kosovo an example of the war against corruption in the region,” Mustafa wrote. 

Gecaj: Wall demolition not related to Association (Zëri)

Bajram Gecaj, adviser to the Prime Minister of Kosovo, told the paper that the exact date of demolishing the wall in Mitrovica is not known. Asked if the possibility of demolishing of the wall as an exchange for establishment of the Association/Community of Serb-majority Municipalities, he said that these two matters are not related at all. “Both the Association and the wall will face law. In both cases we will act based on the law,” he said.

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