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UNMIK Headlines 3 January

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• 100-percent tax expected to dominate 8 January meeting in Brussels (Koha)
• Veseli says he plans to run for Prime Minister in next elections (Lajmi)
• Limaj: Time has come for Serbia to recognize Kosovo (media)
• Wieland: Some governments are still not convinced for visa liberalization (Koha)
• Kosovo cannot expect anything from Romanian EU presidency (Koha)
• A special January (Zeri)
• Kosovo might not apply for INTERPOL membership this year (Koha)
• Deputy Minister Stankovic stopped at Merdare, interviewed by BIA (media)
• Detention for suspects in Ivanovic murder extended by another month (Koha)

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Headlines – 03.01.2019

  • 100-percent tax expected to dominate 8 January meeting in Brussels (Koha)
  • Veseli says he plans to run for Prime Minister in next elections (Lajmi)
  • Limaj: Time has come for Serbia to recognize Kosovo (media)
  • Wieland: Some governments are still not convinced for visa liberalization (Koha)
  • Kosovo cannot expect anything from Romanian EU presidency (Koha)
  • A special January (Zeri)
  • Kosovo might not apply for INTERPOL membership this year (Koha)
  • Deputy Minister Stankovic stopped at Merdare, interviewed by BIA (media)
  • Detention for suspects in Ivanovic murder extended by another month (Koha)

100-percent tax expected to dominate 8 January meeting in Brussels (Koha)

The paper reports on its front page that the request to rescind the 100-percent tax on Serbian and Bosnian products is expected to dominate the meeting between the Kosovo state delegation for dialogue and EU officials in Brussels on January 8. Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, told the paper on Wednesday that the EEAS has invited the Dialogue Team from Kosovo for consultations on January 8. The paper notes that the process of dialogue will remain blocked until Kosovo agrees to rescind the 100-percent tariff. Asked if dialogue can resume despite the tariff, Kocijancic said: “On the tariffs, our position remains very clear and it has been reiterated several times”.

Veseli says he plans to run for Prime Minister in next elections (Lajmi)

Kadri Veseli, leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and President of the Kosovo Assembly, said in an interview to the news website that he plans to run for Prime Minister in the next elections. “The Democratic Party of Kosovo decides about this. I must first be reelected as leader of the PDK. I feel privileged to be leader of this party and I plan to run for the post of Prime Minister … I will serve the interests of all citizens. I know exactly what needs to be done so that everyone loves this country,” Veseli was quoted as saying.

Limaj: Time has come for Serbia to recognize Kosovo (media)

Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister Fatmir Limaj told Serbian media on Wednesday that the time has come for Serbia to recognize Kosovo’s independence. Limaj, who will co-chair the Kosovo state delegation in talks with Belgrade, said he expects a final agreement will be reached in the final part of the process and that it would include mutual recognition and Kosovo’s membership in the United Nations and other international organizations. Asked to comment on the 100-percent tariff on goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Limaj said the decision was a response to Serbia’s aggressive behavior toward Kosovo.

Wieland: Some governments are still not convinced for visa liberalization (media)

Rainer Weiland, Vice President of the European Parliament, said on Wednesday that Kosovo should not talk about timelines for the visa liberalization process. “I will support you so that there are no other conditions for Kosovo. Unfortunately, I cannot promise when liberalization will happen because some governments in the EU are still not convinced. I would suggest we don’t mention any specific dates, because there are possible hurdles … At this point, some have mixed feelings,” Weiland said after meeting Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj. Weiland also said he does not support the idea of border correction. “We don’t think it is a good step to change borders in this region because it would have a big impact. I don’t think it’s a good idea,” he said.

Kosovo cannot expect anything from Romanian EU presidency (Koha)

The paper’s Brussels-based correspondent reports that during its EU presidency, Romania is not expected to push forward any decision at the EU Council on visa liberalization for Kosovo. However, if an influential country, such as Germany would push for this then Romania, even though a non-recognizing country, would have to table the issue for discussion and possibly for voting.

A special January (Zeri)

Almost two decades after the end of the war in Kosovo, senior members of the former Kosovo Liberation Army will go to The Hague following summons by the Specialist Chambers, the paper reports in its leading front-page article headlined A special January. Nearly three years after the Kosovo Assembly voted in favor of the formation of the specialist chambers, the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) sent the first summons last December. The first summons were sent to Rrustem Mustafa, Sami Lushtaku, Sokol Dobruna, Nazif Mehmeti, and Remzi Shala. The paper also quotes legal commentators in Pristina as saying that 2019 will be the year when the specialist chambers will become fully active and that summons will be sent to senior state officials too.

Kosovo might not apply for INTERPOL membership this year (Koha)

Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said on Wednesday that his government will conduct an analysis into Kosovo’s bid for membership to INTERPOL this year. “We are going to consult the United States of America and European countries that support us in our objectives,” Haradinaj said. He also said that dialogue with Serbia and a possible agreement would also have an impact in Pristina’s decision to apply for INTERPOL membership this year.

Deputy Minister Stankovic stopped at Merdare, interviewed by BIA (media)

The paper reports that Kosovo’s Deputy Minister for Culture, Youth and Sports, Boban Stankovic, was stopped by Serbian police officers at the Merdare crossing point on Wednesday. Stankovic was interviewed by members of the Serbian Security and Information Agency (BIA). Stankovic is deputy leader of the Serb Liberal Party of Kosovo. His party leader told the media that Stankovic was released after he was interviewed for several hours. Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said the incident was a provocation by Serbia and called on Serbian authorities to stop their pressure on Serbs that want to live in Kosovo. “Kosovo is home to all its citizens and we will not allow our citizens to be intimidated this way,” Haradinaj said.

Detention for suspects in Ivanovic murder extended by another month (Koha)

The Basic Court in Pristina has extended by another month the detention of three people suspected of involvement in the assassination of Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic, the paper reports on page two.

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