- European Commission spares Serbia, blocks statements against it (Koha)
- Limaj: I don’t understand the opposition! (RTK)
- Kosovo Serb MP Petrovic verbally and physically assaulted in Pristina (media)
- Kosnett: Not the laws but politics is the problem of corruption (Klan)
- Pacolli: Dacic is lying, I did not chase or threaten him (RTK)
- Montenegrin foreign minister visits Pristina (Koha)
- Slovenian FM Cerar dismisses possibility of de-recognising Kosovo (Koha)
- Selimi: Lifting the tariff would turn Kosovo to an even worse position (Epoka)
- Mustafa: No candidacy announced yet for LDK leader (dailies)
- Walker optimistic for a Kosovo – Serbia deal this year (media)
- Bushati: Term “border correction” doesn’t exist in international law (Koha)
- EU allocates funds for Serb returnees (Zeri)
- Djuric: Hands off from Pristina parallel University (RTK)
European Commission spares Serbia, blocks statements against it (Koha)
The paper reports on its front page that the European Commission has blocked a statement that would hold Serbia responsible for violating an agreement for regional representation and cooperation. The Commission reportedly has also not allowed the publication of a statement by the Board of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), after the Serbian Government withdrew from the board a civil society representative, and as a result the meeting which was scheduled to be held in Pristina failed. The paper claims to have seen a correspondence between the Advisory Board and the office of EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn. The paper also claims to have seen a copy of the statement that wasn’t allowed to be published. Board representatives later said the European Commission was interfering in their work. Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister, Enver Hoxhaj, too criticized Brussels for biasedness and for failing to hold Serbia responsible for violating the agreements.
Limaj: I don’t understand the opposition! (RTK)
Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister Fatmir Limaj, in an interview to RTK on Wednesday evening, said he doesn’t understand the opposition because they constantly complained that the Assembly lacks a proper role in the dialogue process “and now that the Assembly has this role, they are disputing it”. “Instead of strengthening the role of the Assembly, they are disputing it,” he said. Limaj said he was surprised by the decision of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) to send to the Constitutional Court the law on the duties, responsibilities and competencies of the state delegation. Limaj also said they have made it clear to “international friends that Kosovo goes to dialogue only for mutual recognition”. Asked to comment on the import tariff on Serbian goods, Limaj said there are different opinions in the ruling coalition and that an intensive dialogue is underway.
Kosovo Serb MP Petrovic verbally and physically assaulted in Pristina (media)
Kosovo Assembly MP and leader of the Independent Liberal Party (SLS) Slobodan Petrovic was a target of a verbal and physical assault by individuals believed to be members of the Serbian List. The incident took place yesterday in Pristina and the police accompanied three persons to be interviewed in connection to the incident.
After the incident, Petrovic said at a press conference held at the Kosovo Assembly that “I was attacked this morning by the former adviser of the former Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development Nenad Rikalo. There is a campaign against my political party recently. The reason is that for 15 years now, I lead a policy of peace and cooperation and this is widely known by now. I wrote last week a letter to Serbia’s President Vucic. He made some untrue insinuations about me,” Petrovic said explaining that Vucic has mentioned him five or six times within a week, criticizing him which he considers to be a threat to him and his family. “Unfortunately, we have a bitter experience not very long time ago when the deceased Oliver Ivanovic was killed due to the very same rhetoric,” Petrovic said.
Media are reporting that the incident took place after a statement issued by the Serbian List accusing Petrovic of working against the interests of Serbia as he voted in favour of the Kosovo’s platform for dialogue with Serbia. Kosovo leaders – President Hashim Thaci, Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, and Assembly Speaker Kadri Veseli – have all condemned the attack.
Kosnett: Not the laws but politics is the problem of corruption (Klan)
Philip Kosnett, U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo, took to Twitter to write that he heard at the Prime Minister’s High-Level Rule of Law meeting, the assurances that Kosovo has the laws and resources it needs to fight corruption and implement equal justice for all citizens, without special treatment for the well-connected. “But the problem is not the law, the problem is politics. Americans speak out because of our commitment to Kosovo’s future. Do Kosovo’s leaders have the political will to turn words to action and stop meddling in hiring and judiciary processes? Do Kosovo’s citizens believe in Kosovo’s democracy enough to demand action? By the way, who’s missing from these photos? Kosovo succeeds when women lead,” Kosnett wrote.
Pacolli: Dacic is lying, I did not chase or threaten him (RTK)
Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli refuted the claims of his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic, that he is being followed by the brothers of the Kosovan Minister.
“Dacic functions based on the principles of his fathers for whom lie is a God, homeland and religion. By mentioning my name, he tries to create news about the truth. The truth is that he creates news by using my name. His claim that he is allegedly being followed by my brothers everywhere he goes, is a lie. Dacic is not interesting to me, let alone to my brothers,” Pacolli said.
“The other case is that I have allegedly threatened him with murder. It is a lie of a paranoid,” Pacolli said citing further the well-known conclusions of Dobrica Cosic known as ‘father of Serbian nation’ on Serbs and lies.
Montenegrin foreign minister visits Pristina (Koha)
Foreign Minister of Montenegro, Srdjan Darmanovic, has arrived in Pristina yesterday on the invitation of Kosovo Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli. Today, Darmanovic will meet Pacolli at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the two ministers will have a joint press conference afterwards.
Slovenian FM Cerar dismisses possibility of de-recognising Kosovo (Koha)
Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miro Cerar, has dismissed the possibility of Slovenia revoking recognition of Kosovo as reported by certain media in Belgrade. “I think there was sufficient basis for recognition of Kosovo as a country,” Cerar said.
Selimi: Lifting the tariff would turn Kosovo to an even worse position (Epoka)
Rexhep Selimi, Kosovo Assembly MP from Vetevendosje Movement said the 100-percent tariff on Serbian products should remain in force. He told the paper that lifting of the tariff would return Kosovo to an even worse position. He said the current government should be brought down, but not due to the tariff.
“One of the reasons why the Kosovo should go for new elections is bad governing to the extent of degradation,” Selimi said.
Speaking about the Law on dialogue with Serbia, Selimi said they expect the Constitutional Court to make a right decision in defense of sovereignty of Kosovo.
Mustafa: No candidacy announced yet for LDK leader (dailies)
Leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Isa Mustafa announced that party elections are expected to begin in the coming days and explained that any candidate receiving 50+1 percent of the overall votes from the LDK general election council is entitled to run for the post of party leader. Mustafa neither confirmed nor denied his own candidacy for the post but did say that so far no one has publicly announced candidacy.
Mustafa also spoke about the idea of border correction as part of the final agreement with Serbia. He said the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia has stalled. “What we will not compromise about is the correction of the Kosovo territory through border changes. We will not allow issues that open Kosovo status be put on the table of discussion and we will not accept an association with executive competencies,” Mustafa said.
Walker optimistic for a Kosovo – Serbia deal this year (media)
Special US envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Walker says that by the end of the year, Kosovo and Serbia may reach a deal which would mend ties between the two countries and that this would depend on the support that the two countries will have.
Former US ambassador to NATO, Walker told VOA that there’s no turning back in the relations between Kosovo and Serbia and that this agreement is important for both of these countries.
“Everything depends on what these two countries will decide [Kosovo and Serbia]. There is a rule according to which borders cannot change arbitrarily, like it happened with Crimea’s annexation by Russia. If the two countries manage to strike a deal, based on the model followed by Slovakia and Czech Republic, we must accept and respect it”, Walker said.
Bushati: Term “border correction” doesn’t exist in international law (Koha)
Ditmir Bushati, former Foreign Minister of Albania, said on Wednesday that the term “border correction” does not exist in international law and that those that use such terms are “charlatans with maps”. “I don’t understand what the term border correction means. I have searched but I haven’t found such a term in international law, because it doesn’t exist. International law mentions the process of delineation,” he added. Bushati also argued that the political scene in Kosovo has never been more divided and that “Tirana cannot repair this situation”.
EU allocates funds for Serb returnees (Zeri)
European Union has continued funding projects encouraging sustainable return of Serbs to Kosovo, the paper reports. Through its most recent undertaking, the EU will enable displaced Serbs wishing to return to Kosovo to benefit from equipment worth €2,500 and six-month training in various fields. The paper highlights that the Municipality of Vushtrri/Vucitrn implemented over a seven-year period a similar project but did not result in sustainable return of displaced Serbs to the municipality.
Djuric: Hands off from Pristina parallel University (RTK)
Marko Djuric, Director of the Office for Kosovo at Serbia’s government, said on Wednesday that Pristina parallel university in Mitrovica was and will be under Serbia’s educational system. He said Pristina parallel university is the pillar of Serb survival in Kosovo. “My message to Pristina: Hands off from our university,” he said. He said any attack on the current status of the parallel university is an attack on the basic rights of Serb population which aims to make difficult their survival in Kosovo.