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UNMIK Headlines 23 March

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• Thaci meets U.S. Ambassador, does not change position on army (RTK)
• FM Hoxhaj meets U.S. Secretary Tillerson (Epoka e Re)
• U.S. and NATO discuss Kosovo (Zeri/Bota Sot)
• Simic: Serbian election polls to open on Kosovo territory (Kosova Sot/Zeri)
• O’Connell: I would not vote for a party which supported criminals (Epoka)
• Special prosecution opens investigation against Minister Zharku (Zeri)

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Headlines – 23.03.2017

  • Thaci meets U.S. Ambassador, does not change position on army (RTK)
  • FM Hoxhaj meets U.S. Secretary Tillerson (Epoka e Re)
  • U.S. and NATO discuss Kosovo (Zeri/Bota Sot)
  • Simic: Serbian election polls to open on Kosovo territory (Kosova Sot/Zeri)
  • O’Connell: I would not vote for a party which supported criminals (Epoka)
  • Special prosecution opens investigation against Minister Zharku (Zeri)

Kosovo Media Highlights

Thaci meets U.S. Ambassador, does not change position on army (RTK)

The President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci told RTK that he had a regular meeting on Wednesday with U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo, Greg Delawie. He said that Kosovo’s relations with the U.S. were, are and will be forever excellent. “I feel very well that I am one of those who continuously nurtured these relations during the last two decades, and I have produced arguments for the U.S. to support Kosovo even more,” Thaci said. “Kosovo’s Armed Forces will definitely be created, through constitutional changes or the law. I support the engagement for constitutional changes, but at the same time, I do not allow to remain hostage to Belgrade’s mood, or that of three or four individuals to hold up or impede the creation of Kosovo’s Armed Force,” Thaci said. 

FM Hoxhaj meets U.S. Secretary Tillerson (Epoka e Re)

Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Enver Hoxhaj, is participating at the annual meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the anti-ISIS coalition, which is being held in Washington. During this meeting, Hoxhaj said that Kosovo has undertaken efficient measures to prevent and fight terrorism and religious extremism, as well as to prevent Kosovo citizens joining terrorist organizations. During the meeting, Hoxhaj also met with U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and expressed appreciation for the continuous U.S. support for Kosovo. In meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Cyprus, Poland, Austria, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Norway, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Singapore and many others, Hoxhaj requested support for Kosovo’s acceptance to international organizations as well as diplomatic recognition of Kosovo.

U.S. and NATO discuss Kosovo (Zeri/Bota Sot)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis at the Pentagon to discuss enhancing NATO’s role in the fight against terrorism. The two officials are also reported to have discussed the Alliance’s missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo. 

Simic: Serbian election polls to open on Kosovo territory (Kosova Sot/Zeri)

Kosova Sot carries a report from Radio Free Europe saying that Serbian presidential elections set to take place on 2 April will also be held on the territory of Kosovo,  Serbian List leader Slavko Simic said. Simic said that dual citizenship of Kosovo Serbs makes them entitled to vote for the future president of Serbia. However, former head of the Kosovo Central Election Commission, Mazllum Baraliu, said that according to the Constitution, one country’s elections are not permitted in another one. At the same time, Zeri reports that Serbia’s Republic Electoral Commission has decided to open 21 polling centres in Kosovo.

O’Connell: I would not vote for a party which supported criminals (Epoka)

The Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Kosovo, Ruairi O’Connell, said on Wednesday at the Kosovo Democratic Institute that he would not vote for a party which supported and included criminals in their lists. “How do I vote in Britain? Before the elections I think: philosophy of which party suits mine? Do I believe their promises or do I consider them ridiculous? While holding their positions, did they complete what they promised to do? Do I think that they are ready to do what is requested from them? But the most important thing is that I would never vote for a party which supported criminals or included criminals in their list,” O’Connell said. 

Special prosecution opens investigation against Minister Zharku (Zeri)

Kosovo’s Special Prosecution has launched an investigation against Minister of Infrastructure, Lutfi Zharku, on allegations he was directly involved in a case regarding motorway access permit to a petrol company. Zharku is being investigated along with four other persons.

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