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UNMIK Headlines 10 April

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NATO official hopes Serbia-Kosovo tensions will ease after vote (Zeri)
• Fungo: Unilateral army breaches Kosovo’s relations with NATO (Zeri)
• Vucic says war statements are exaggerated (Kosova Sot)
• Adoption of municipal symbols, prerequisite for Association (Koha)
• OSCE with a special role on drafting Association statute (Kosova Sot)
• Serbian List becomes party, Simic and Jablanovic submit requests (Zeri)

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Headlines – 10 04 2017

NATO official hopes Serbia-Kosovo tensions will ease after vote (Zeri)

Navy Admiral Michelle Howard, who heads NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, told Reuters she hoped “engineered provocations” between Kosovo and Serbia in recent months would calm down now that the election was over. “Now that we’re through the election, perhaps the national leaders will refocus on their own countries and govern. That’s my hope,” Howard, who also commands U.S. naval forces in Europe and Africa, said in an interview late on Saturday after an event hosted by the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance. “Every time I talk to someone who’s from that region, they just remind me that grievances run deep in this part of the world, that the dead get buried but the grievance does not,” Howard said.

Fungo: Unilateral army breaches Kosovo’s relations with NATO (Zeri)

KFOR Commander, Major General Giovanni Fungo, said in an interview for the paper that “If the mandate of the Kosovo Security Force evaluates in the proposed manner, then NATO should reconsider the level of its engagement, especially when the capacity building is concerned.” He added that NATO allies have serious concerns regarding the recent proposals by Kosovo authorities, for transformation of the KSF into armed force, without constitutional changes. “Such steps are not beneficial and the Secretary General has appealed to Kosovo to coordinate every initiative with the international community,” Fungo said.

 Vucic says war statements are exaggerated (Kosova Sot)

Serbian Prime Minister and President-elect, Aleksandar Vucic, said statements by certain Kosovo politicians that there will be war if Ramush Haradinaj is extradited to Serbia, are exaggerated. Serbian media quoted Vucic as saying that Kosovo should return to the Brussels talks so that both parties can resume discussions on pending issues.

Adoption of municipal symbols, prerequisite for Association (Koha)

The paper reports on its front page that the four northern municipalities are concluding their mandate but they have yet to adopt the municipal symbols. The municipalities of Mitrovica North, Leposavic, Zvecan and Zubin Potok continue to function without municipal stamps, and official notes are issued only with signatures by the mayors. This goes in opposition with the Constitution of Kosovo and laws on local self-government. As a result, the Kosovo government has decided that the drafting of the statute of the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities will not begin until the municipalities adopt their symbols. Kosovo’s European Integration Minister, Mimoza Ahmetaj, told the paper last week that in addition to adopting the municipal symbols, the four northern municipalities will also have to provide evidence for the dissolution of parallel structures. Another condition is the full return of the Serbian List to Kosovo’s institutions. “Kosovo has expressed readiness to implement the agreements based on principles of reciprocity and understanding. On the issue of priority for the EU – the Association of Serb-majority municipalities – parties have agreed that work on this matter cannot begin without the return of Serb-elected representatives in the institutions and after Serbia provides evidence that it has disbanded all its parallel structures in Kosovo,” Ahmetaj said.

OSCE with a special role on drafting Association statute (Kosova Sot)

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), was invited to contribute with technical expertise on drafting the statute for the Association for Serb-majority Municipalities. “As you are aware, this process has not started properly yet, but we are ready to offer our help whenever it happens, and we hope that this will be soon,” OSCE officials said. Bajram Gecaj, adviser to PM Mustafa, said that OSCE will have a helping role in this process. “OSCE was foreseen to help ever since the signing of the Agreement in 2015,” Gecaj said.

Serbian List becomes party, Simic and Jablanovic submit requests (Zeri)

The leader of the citizens’ initiative Serbian List, Slavko Simic, has submitted his request at Central Elections Commission (CEC) for registration of the Serbian List as a political party, with signatures of 1.650 citizens, among whom there are Kosovo Assembly MPs, representatives of the government and municipal mayors. The same request was submitted also by Aleksandar Jablanovic, with 570 signatures. Nenad Rikalo, member of CEC from this list, told Serbian media that the request with 1.650 signatures was submitted by Slavko Simic, one of the political leaders of this party. According to him, CEC will consider Jablanovic’s request with 570 names being that “he used different falsifications”. “It would not surprise us if Jablanovic used falsifications once again,” Rikalo said.​

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