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UNMIK Headlines 9 July

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• Collaku: There will be no agreement on amnesty of war crimes (Express)
• Haradinaj: No amnesty for war crimes (Koha)
• Veseli reacts to Vucic’s statement on “secret” reports about Kosovo (Express)
• Ruling coalition supports Thaci’s lead role in dialogue (Epoka)
• Opposition, uncoordinated on dialogue with Serbia (Koha)
• Efforts underway to convince LDK to support dialogue with Serbia (Zeri)
• Dittmann: Germany will not get involved in Pristina-Belgrade dialogue (Zeri)
• President Thaci to attend Erdogan’s inauguration (Epoka)
• London plans to step up presence and engagement in the Balkans (Koha)
• Vucic: We wouldn’t not want Serbs shooting at each other (media)
• Hodzic: No civil registry books handed over to Mitrovica North (Zeri)

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Headlines – 09.07.2018

  • Collaku: There will be no agreement on amnesty of war crimes (Express)
  • Haradinaj: No amnesty for war crimes (Koha)
  • Veseli reacts to Vucic’s statement on “secret” reports about Kosovo (Express)
  • Ruling coalition supports Thaci’s lead role in dialogue (Epoka)
  • Opposition, uncoordinated on dialogue with Serbia (Koha)
  • Efforts underway to convince LDK to support dialogue with Serbia (Zeri)
  • Dittmann: Germany will not get involved in Pristina-Belgrade dialogue (Zeri)
  • President Thaci to attend Erdogan’s inauguration (Epoka)
  • London plans to step up presence and engagement in the Balkans (Koha)
  • Vucic: We wouldn’t not want Serbs shooting at each other (media)
  • Hodzic: No civil registry books handed over to Mitrovica North (Zeri)

Collaku: There will be no agreement on amnesty of war crimes (Express)

Bekim Collaku, chief of staff of Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, said the final agreement between Kosovo and Serbia will not include any amnesty on acts related to war crimes, genocide and acts against humanity. He said there will be an amnesty for the killings, tortures and rapes that happened during the war and that it is regrettable that some people are using the topic for small political and personal gains. “For the sake of explaining to the public, but above all for the sake of truth and respect for all those that lost their most loved ones, those that experiences the most atrocious crimes during the war, allow me to explain something that everyone knows. There will never be an amnesty for those that committed war crimes in Kosovo,” Collaku said. He called on all actors involved in dialogue to be careful when they talk about sensitive topics related to the process. “It is regrettable that over some small political and personal battles, some people go so far with fabrications that they forget they can hurt thousands of people by doing so. Kosovo fully respects international conventions and international law. War crimes are sanctioned by international law. There is no and there will be no amnesty for war crimes”. Collaku also said that there will be full transparency in the final phase of dialogue with Serbia. “Transparency, responsibility and accountability are the three guiding principles during the final phase of dialogue for the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia”.

Haradinaj: No amnesty for war crimes (Koha)

Prime Minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, spoke to KTV from London where he has travelled to take part in the EU-Western Balkans summit and said that he was surprised by the question of whether amnesty for war crimes should be part of dialogue with Serbia. He said if anything, the opposite needs to happen. “We will raise this in the Summit and also with Prime Minister May to have war crimes punished,” Haradinaj said.

Veseli reacts to Vucic’s statement on “secret” reports about Kosovo (Express)

Kosovo Assembly President and PDK leader, Kadri Veseli, reacted to a statement by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic who said on Sunday that he reads 500-600 pages of secret documents on Kosovo on a daily basis. Veseli said: “there is no need to read 500-page reports on Kosovo every day, it is enough to read the Constitution of Kosovo once. It speaks of a concrete reality, an independent and sovereign state that respects human rights and community rights, aims for European integration and supporting democratic civilizations. I believe this would save your time and help you deal with the real problems of Serbs living in Serbia.”

Ruling coalition supports Thaci’s lead role in dialogue (Epoka)

Representatives of the political parties of the governing coalition told the paper that the Constitution of Kosovo gives President Hashim Thaci legitimacy to represent Kosovo in the dialogue. However, according to them, a political consensus in this process is required. “Majority supports Thaci in this process and we are optimistic that President’s representation at the dialogue will not be a challenge for the government, in the contrary, it will strengthen its role,” said Assembly MP from the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Hajdar Beqa.

Opposition, uncoordinated on dialogue with Serbia (Koha)

The paper reports on its front page that even though they agree that the Assembly must say the final word on dialogue with Serbia, opposition parties are lacking coordination. Vetevendosje representatives said they will undertake actions aimed at reaching consensus, although they acknowledge it will be difficult due to the differing positions of Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) officials. Meanwhile, political commentators argue that based on the practice so far, it will be difficult for the parties to achieve consensus before a final eventual agreement is signed with Serbia.

Efforts underway to convince LDK to support dialogue with Serbia (Zeri)

The paper reports on the front page that although President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci’s objective to form a political unity team is likely to fail, ruling coalition parties are making efforts to at least get the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) on board for what they say is the final stage of the dialogue with Serbia. To this end comes the recent meeting between Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj and LDK leader Isa Mustafa. Mustafa did confirm that the topic of the meeting was dialogue with Serbia but LDK chairmanship said it sticks to the position that Kosovo needs first to head to fresh elections and only then tackle the final stage of talks. At the same time, LDK deputy leader Haki Rugova said Haradinaj-Mustafa meeting was spontaneous.

Dittmann: Germany will not get involved in Pristina-Belgrade dialogue (Zeri)

Germany’s outgoing ambassador to Serbia, Axel Dittmann, told a press conference in Belgrade that he hoped a final agreement between Kosovo and Serbia will soon be reached. At the same time, he denied the possibility of Germany getting involved in talks for normalisation of relations. He said the dialogue should continue to be facilitated by the European Union. “There is no reason to put into question the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue being concluded under the EU facilitation and Mogherini’s mediation,” Dittmann said.

President Thaci to attend Erdogan’s inauguration (Epoka)

Citing a report by Turkish news agency Anadolu, the newspaper reports that Kosovo President, Hashim Thaci, will be among 22 state leaders that will participate at the inauguration of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The inauguration will take place today at 18:00 hours at the presidential compound in Ankara. On his first day of the second mandate as president, Erdogan will functionalise his extended competencies, received through referendum a few months ago.

London plans to step up presence and engagement in the Balkans (Koha)

The fifth summit of the Berlin Process will be held on Tuesday in London, the paper reports on page two. The process was initiated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to help the Balkans countries in the infrastructure and the economy, and to assist in resolving disagreements between the countries, reconciliation and regional cooperation. Prime Ministers of countries involved in the process will focus on three topics at the summit: economic development, cooperation and coordination of security-related actions and resolving open issues and reconciliation between countries of the region. Special attention within the third topic will be paid to the issue of missing persons. The paper also notes that Tuesday’s summit is a good opportunity for London to prove that it does not plan to withdraw or lessen its engagement in the Balkans after Brexit.

Vucic: We wouldn’t not want Serbs shooting at each other (media)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has continued his pressure on Serb members of the Kosovo Security Force, several media report. When asked about he withdrawal of some Serbs from the KSF, Vucic said his position is that Serbs should not take part in Kosovo’s affairs. “They say we are applying pressure. If we say that we wouldn’t want a Serb shooting at another Serb, if this is pressure, you can call it whatever you want,” Vucic told reporters in Serbia on Sunday.

Hodzic: No civil registry books handed over to Mitrovica North (Zeri)

Chief of the Kosovo government’s administrative office in Mitrovica North, Adriana Hodzic, said that the civil registry books that Serbian authorities handed over to Pristina have not been in turn passed on to Mitrovica North. Hodzic said that as a result, residents in the north are facing problems in getting issued with personal documents. “Our municipality is the only one that has not received these books,” she said. Hodzic argued for the need of an administrative instruction being adopted that would recognise all marriage and other civil certificates issued by Serb institutions.

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