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UNMIK Headlines 20 March

By   /  20/03/2019  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Headlines 20 March

• Haradinaj: Discussions on tax and borders “outworn” (dailies)
• Mogherini: Prespa Agreement to serve as inspiration for the region (Bota Sot)
• Russian representative comments on Kosovo-Serbia land swap option (Indeksonline)
• Government approves national programme for SAA implementation (Koha)
• Rugova: Haziri could be next LDK leader (Zeri)
• Kastrati: Tariff to be suspended only if Kosovo benefits from dialogue (Klan)
• Kosnett calls for transparency and accountability of institutions (Epoka)
• EU Ambassadors informed about rule of law developments (Epoka)
• Kosovo Telecom board director resigns (Klan Kosova)
• Status of sexual violence survivors recognised to only 301 individuals (Epoka)

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  • Haradinaj: Discussions on tax and borders “outworn” (dailies)
  • Mogherini: Prespa Agreement to serve as inspiration for the region (Bota Sot)
  • Russian representative comments on Kosovo-Serbia land swap option (Indeksonline)
  • Government approves national programme for SAA implementation (Koha)
  • Rugova: Haziri could be next LDK leader (Zeri)
  • Kastrati: Tariff to be suspended only if Kosovo benefits from dialogue (Klan)
  • Kosnett calls for transparency and accountability of institutions (Epoka)
  • EU Ambassadors informed about rule of law developments (Epoka)
  • Kosovo Telecom board director resigns (Klan Kosova)
  • Status of sexual violence survivors recognised to only 301 individuals (Epoka)

 Kosovo Media Highlights

Haradinaj: Discussions on tax and borders “outworn” (dailies)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj said that the discussions on import tax and border correction topics are “outworn” although he admitted that these have caused Kosovo “pain”. “After the storm we are calculating the pain caused by the discussion topic of territories, borders, tax. I think these are issues of the past and we should look to the future,” Haradinaj told reporters yesterday after the meeting of the government.

He said that it is not good for either of the parties, namely Serbia and Kosovo, to set conditions: “Kosovo faces many challenges and it is not good to be conditioned. We appeal for the dialogue to continue but not be linked to a government decision, in this case the tariff.”

Haradinaj said Kosovo has no time to waste dealing with Serbia’s matters and vice-versa. “Pristina has its own worries, we have no capacity or luxury to influence developments in Serbia, to support its government or opposition. We are being misused there for no reason. The statements that allegedly the Serbian people are being endangered are used for internal consumption in Serbia,” Haradinaj underscored.

Haradinaj was also asked to comment on media reports that people close to his Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) party are being employed in public enterprises to which he responded by saying that the party he leads does not even make one percent of people employed in public companies.

Mogherini: Prespa Agreement to serve as inspiration for the region (Bota Sot)

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said after the meeting of the EU and North Macedonia Stabilisation and Association Council that the agreement between Greece and North Macedonia should serve as a source of inspiration for the region.

“If you are a political leader in a complicated country in a complicated region you can choose to aim high and try to achieve the best for your people and your country or you can simply decide that you navigate through difficult times and you wait for better times to come, knowing that the situation could continue like this forever. They chose the courageous, visionary leadership role that delivered something historic. And I believe this should be an inspiration for all,” Mogherini said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev.

Mogherini said she spoke at the UN Security Council last week about UN-EU cooperation and mentioned the Prespa Agreement as well as the work the EU is doing to facilitate the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina: “I can tell you that in the international community and in the [UN] Security Council there is a full appreciation for the work that has been done by North Macedonia and Greece and full expectation that this can be a source of inspiration for the rest of the region.”

Russian representative comments on Kosovo-Serbia land swap option (Indeksonline)

Russia’s permanent representative to the EU, Vladimir Chizov, in an interview with the Athens-based paper Ekathimerini warned against what he said was Tirana’s ambition to create a “greater Albania”. He said the possible land swap between Kosovo and Serbia could set a precedent for other countries in the region. “I have seen some maps of the greater Albania, where a sizable chunk of Greece is included,” he noted. Chizov said Kosovo is a very complicated issue but “if they agree properly, the land-swap proposal might work out.”

Government approves national programme for SAA implementation (Koha)

The government of Kosovo in its meeting yesterday approved the National Programme for Implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement covering the period between now and 2023. Presenting the document, Minister for European Integration Dhurata Hoxha, said the programme encompasses political, economic, and acquis criteria and they focus on approximating Kosovo legislation with that of the EU and its implementation through a range of reforms. Once the programme gets the approval of the Kosovo Assembly, it will be forwarded to the European Commission for feedback.

Rugova: Haziri could be next LDK leader (Zeri)

In an interview with the paper, Haki Rugova, deputy leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), spoke about upcoming party elections and said that Lutfi Haziri could become the new party leader. Rugova said party elections are expected to conclude in the next two-three months and although Haziri has not made publicly announced his candidacy “he has expressed the readiness to run.” “He is an important figure of the LDK, is one of its deputy leaders and I see him as a potential candidate and very likely a new leader,” Rugova said.

Kastrati: Tariff to be suspended only if Kosovo benefits from dialogue (Klan)

Qendron Kastrati, deputy leader of the Social-Democratic Party, told Klan Kosova that the decision on 100-percent tariff for Serbian products was a right one considering Serbia’s approach towards Kosovo. “In one hand they claim they will recognize us and on the other they do not stop with aggressive campaign against Kosovo,” he said.

“I think that we have to set some conditions and address Serbia in order for them to stop the aggressive campaign against Kosovo and pressure on Serbs who live here,” he said. According to him, tariff is a very important part of factorization of Kosovar party in the dialogue. However, he added that if the tariff becomes means of blocking the dialogue, then it does not make sense.

Kosnett calls for transparency and accountability of institutions (Epoka)

The U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo Philip S. Kosnett participated at the launching of the Anti-Fraud Unit at the Kosovo National Audit Office.

“This unit is a living example of how justice and prosperity are linked—how an effective system of checks on government sets the groundwork for the effective use of Kosovo’s resources to build a foundation for greater prosperity and peace. I’d like to begin by acknowledging the Audit Office’s achievements in faithfully executing financial and performance audits, as authorized by the constitution,” Kosnett said.

“Despite this and other successes, many Kosovo institutions are simply not doing their part by acting on the findings of the Audit Office. I am sorry to say that only one-third of the recommendations have been addressed in recent years.  The problem is that the constitution gives this office the right to audit government agencies, but there are no penalties if those agencies fail to recognize the findings. Even Kosovo’s Assembly, which provides oversight for the Audit Office and is the main user of its reports, is complicit in this negligence,” Kosnett is reported as saying.

“Most of all, I call on Kosovo’s senior officials to ensure that the institutions obey and enforce the law, and do their part to create a culture where corruption and cronyism are a thing of the past.”

EU Ambassadors informed about rule of law developments (Epoka)

Kosovo’s Minister of Justice Abelard Tahiri met on Tuesday with Ambassadors of the EU countries to Kosovo, to discuss the rule of law in Kosovo. Tahiri briefed them about the undertaken legislative reforms, which according to him, were dictated by three basic components: recommendations of the European Commission Country’s Report, fulfilling of the European Reform Agenda and war against corruption and organized crime. He also informed them about the amendments of the new Criminal Code, reform of policy of preventing conflict of interest through the new Law.

Kosovo Telecom board director resigns (Klan Kosova)

Fidel Krasniqi, director of the Kosovo Telecom board, announced he was resigning his post as a “moral obligation” towards his colleagues. He said that unprofessional approach of the majority of the members of the board led him to the decision to step down. “The most humane act the Telecom board could do now is to irrevocably resign. Don’t ruin 2,300 or 2,600 families,” Krasniqi wrote in a Facebook post.

Most recently the media have been reporting of an increasing number of cases where people close to ruling political parties are finding employment with public companies, the Kosovo Telecom in particular.

Status of sexual violence survivors recognised to only 301 individuals (Epoka)

Government commission for recognition and verification of the status of survivors of sexual violence during the conflict in Kosovo, has so far received 968 applications of individuals who claim to be victims of sexual violence.  Officials of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare informed former President of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga that so far 542 cases were analyzed, the status of the victim of sexual violence is recognized to 301 individuals. 64 cases are being considered while 147 applications were rejected.

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