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UNMIK Headlines 3 February

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Headlines – 03.02.2017

  • Vucic’s meeting with Serb representatives stirs reactions in Kosovo (media)
  • EU: Pristina and Belgrade should calm rhetoric (Gazeta Metro)
  • NATO Secretary General calls for de-escalation of tensions in Kosovo (Koha)
  • Thaçi: There will be no war, wall will be demolished (RTK)
  • Serbs protesting against wall demolition disperse peacefully (Kosova Sot)
  • Rakic: No agreement yet on Mitrovica wall demolition (Kosova Sot) 

Kosovo Media Highlights 

Vucic’s meeting with Serb representatives stirs reactions in Kosovo (media)

The meeting that Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic had with police and army officials as well as Kosovo Serb representatives yesterday following reports in Serbian media that Kosovo was planning to demolish the wall led to the immediate reaction from Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci. In a statement, Thaci said he was disappointed and concerned with Serbia’s “propagandistic campaign” which “continues to evoke fear and interethnic hatred among the Serb community living in the northern part of Kosovo.” “This propaganda orchestrated by Serbia aims to intimidate the citizens of Kosovo living in the north of the country and to prevent full integration process in the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo,” Thaci said. Thaci called on Serbia to renounce such practices and assured the Serb community in Kosovo that no harm will befall them. At the same time, Thaci urged the EU and NATO to warn Serbia “to refrain from the scenario of promoting a new conflict in Kosovo and the region.”

Kosovo Prime Minister, Isa Mustafa, meanwhile reconfirmed the commitment of the Kosovo government for dialogue. “In the European process of dialogue for normalisation of relations between the Republic of Kosovo and Republic of Serbia, we have demonstrated our maximum dedication and commitment to peace, stability and approach in line with European values,” Mustafa said for Radio Free Europe.

EU: Pristina and Belgrade should calm rhetoric (Gazeta Metro)

The Spokesperson of the European Commission, Maja Kocijancic, said on Thursday that the European Union considers that the progress on normalization of the relations between Belgrade and Pristina is required now more than ever in order to reach peace and stability. She called on both parties to stick to the agreements, calm down the recent rhetoric and continue with their efforts to lower the tensions. “Let us recall that during the yesterday’s meeting of the senior political level, the presidents and the prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo, agreed to refrain from the inducing rhetoric and statements, in order to lower the tensions and focus on further work,” she said. 

NATO Secretary General calls for de-escalation of tensions in Kosovo (Koha)

Ahead of his visit to Kosovo, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said to the paper that political leaders in Kosovo and Serbia need to de-escalate tensions. He said NATO would continue to contribute to stability and security in Kosovo and that no changes to the peacekeeping presence will be made without analyzing the situation on the ground. 

Thaçi: There will be no war, wall will be demolished (RTK)

The President of Kosovo, stated during a debate on Klan Kosova where he was invited together with the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, that there is no need for the citizens to be concerned because there will be no war between Kosovo and Serbia, despite the recent tensions. “I do not believe that there could be a war. There is no need for concern of the citizens, we will respond to Serbia’s calls for war with peace,” Thaçi said. “Kosovo was provoked by train designed in Serbia, and there were many Serbian officials in the train, as well as people from Serbian intelligence and police. Everything resembled Milosevic,” he said. “Who stopped the train? Those who started it. There was no response by force from Kosovo, under no circumstances, except for the force of the law,” he said.  “As far as the wall is concerned, the wall will be demolished, there will be no turbulences, it will be demolished by those who built it. We discussed last night with the European authorities as well, to be honest, those who built it are in a more difficult position,” Thaçi said.

Serbs protesting against wall demolition disperse peacefully (Kosova Sot)

The paper reports that a group of Serbs who gathered yesterday in front of the Mitrovica North wall intending to guard it from reports that it was going to be demolished dispersed peacefully following the conclusion of Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic’s meeting with Kosovo Serb representatives. 

Rakic: No agreement yet on Mitrovica wall demolition (Kosova Sot)

Mitrovica North Mayor Goran Rakic said that there is no agreement as yet on the issue of the wall which his municipality has built in the northern part of the city. “I hope the meeting will resume tomorrow and result in a definite decision on how to resolve the wall issue,” Rakic said.

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