- Limaj: Mutual recognition, territory is non-negotiable (RTK)
- France has no red lines on Kosovo – Serbia agreement (media)
- Vucic: Delays in dialogue with Kosovo may inflame the region (Reuters/media)
- Montenegrin FM: Kosovo-Serbia dialogue to end in mutual recognition (media)
- Veseli: Kosovo committed to cultivate good neighborly relations (RTK)
- Mustafa criticizes those who left Kosovo isolated (RTK)
- KFOR refutes Drecun: False information cause fear and danger (media)
- EU Office wants investigation into brawl between Serb officials (Express)
- Special Court announces new invitations for interviews (Lajmi)
- “EU is colonizing Kosovo north with Serbs from Bosnia and Croatia” (Express)
Limaj: Mutual recognition, territory is non-negotiable (RTK)
Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister and co-head of the state delegation for talks with Serbia, Fatmir Limaj, said on Thursday that Kosovo’s position in the EU-brokered dialogue is clear: mutual recognition with Serbia. Limaj said this position is clear and that Kosovo’s territory is non-negotiable. He made these remarks during a public debate on Kosovo’s platform for dialogue. “I don’t understand all the noise in Belgrade. They know that Kosovo is an independent state and that it has its own Constitution … We go to Brussels for mutual recognition. Kosovo is inseparable, and its territory cannot be negotiated. There is no sense without mutual recognition,” Limaj added. Koha Ditore covers the public debate under the front-page headline Both Albanians and Serbs are against Kosovo’s partition.
Most news websites report that French Ambassador to Serbia, Frederick Mondoloni, said on Thursday that France does not have red lines for a final settlement between Serbia and Kosovo and that it would support any agreement that the parties reach. “We are neither in favor nor against border changes. If a solution is acceptable for both parties and it brings stability to the region, we will accept it,” Mondoloni said in an interview to TVN1.
Aleksandar Vucic, President of Serbia, told Reuters that every day of delays could create conditions in which one spark could set the region on fire. “The Western countries should know that,” Vucic added.
“Our accession to the European Union depends on the dialogue with Pristina and whether one day we will manage to reach a deal,” Vucic said, adding that he expected Germany, France or the EU to become more active in the negotiating process.
“I think we will see some of their initiatives in the near future,” he said, without elaborating.
Gazeta Express covers Vucic’s remarks under the headline France and Germany with new initiative to unblock Pristina – Belgrade dialogue?
Foreign Minister of Montenegro, Srdjan Darmanovic, said in a visit to Kosovo that his country supports any option that would lead to normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia but that border correction “is not the best idea”.
“We see there are different concepts regarding the outcome, one of them being correction of territories. We do not interfere in internal affairs of two countries, but we have some concerns over the territory correction idea. It is not the best idea but if our neighbours agree to it, we have no problem with it,” Darmanovic said at a joint press conference with his Kosovo host, Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli. He noted that Montenegro wishes the outstanding issues between Kosovo and Serbia to be resolved in the best way possible and achieve mutual recognition at the end of the process.
On the first anniversary of Kosovo ratifying border demarcation agreement with Montenegro, Darmanovic said the problem has been resolved: “We don’t see it as an open issue between the two countries.”
Pacolli on his part said the meeting with his Montenegrin counterpart focused on bilateral cooperation. “We are two countries that know how to approach cooperation and we are in the lead because there is no open issue among us,” he said.
Pacolli hailed Darmanovic’s statement that dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina should end with recognition saying this is also Kosovo’s end-goal. “Almost every country in the region suggests the same outcome and we believe therefore that Serbia will realise that its future without recognition of Kosovo is a dark one,” Pacolli said. “Serbia should not hinder neighbouring countries from following the western course and I reemphasised that Serbia and B&H should fix their broken political compass,” Pacolli added.
In Pristina, Darmanovic also met Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj and Assembly Speaker Kadri Veseli.
Kadri Veseli, Speaker of the Assembly of Kosovo, hosted today a meeting with the Montenegrin Minister of Foreign Affairs, Srdjan Darmanovic. They discussed relations that Kosovo and Montenegro have built as well as possibility for their enhancement in all spheres of cooperation, for the benefit of the citizens of both countries.
Veseli said Kosovo remains committed to cultivation of its policy for good neighborly relations with all countries of the region, including Montenegro, in function of strengthening regional stability and speedy European integration. Darmarovic expressed satisfaction for his visit to Kosovo and stressed the need for further cultivation of the cooperation between Pristina and Podgorica.
He said his visit to Pristina is a message of this cooperation and aims pushing forward advance of these inter-state and inter-parliamentary relations between Kosovo and Montenegro.
Isa Mustafa, leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) has criticized politicians who according to him, left Kosovo citizens without visas. On the first anniversary of the endorsement of the demarcation of the border with Montenegro, he wrote: “all of you should admit that you were only after votes and power. Admit your guilt which prevented the citizens from visa liberalization because of your ego,” Mustafa wrote. He further recalled the teargas at the Assembly, Molotov and stones thrown on the government building, injured police officers, protests, mortar attack on the Assembly of Kosovo, attacks on his escort, etc. “And today? Nothing,” concludes Mustafa.
KFOR spokesman Vincenzo Grasso denied a statement by Milovan Drecun, chair of the Serbian Parliament’s Council for Kosovo, who said that the joint military exercise of Albanian and Kosovo troops is aimed at intimidating the Serb people and that KFOR is keeping silent over this. Grasso said in an interview to Danas that the objective of the military trill was to improve search and rescue capacities in mountainous terrain.
“Spreading false information causes fear among the people and it also poses a threat to create an environment in which even an isolated incident can escalate,” Grasso added.
The European Union Office in Kosovo has requested complete investigation on the case of physical confrontation between Serb politician Slobodan Petrovic and officials of the Serbian List.
“We are aware of the reported incident, which happened yesterday in Pristina. We expect from Kosovo authorities to commence a thorough investigation, to find facts,” is said in a response of the EU Office given to Gazeta Express.
Invitations from the Hague’s Specialized Prosecution continue to arrive in Kosovo, and they are not being made by phone calls any more, but in a written form, reports lajmi.net.
According to accredited lawyers a major number of witnesses has been interviewed so far, and the major number of witnesses comes from Serbia. Many of them did not make their invitations public. The lawyers said their interviews started since 2014.
In a response to this portal, Special Chambers Spokesperson Christopher Bennet said the investigation on the Dick Marty’s report are still ongoing. “Specialist Prosecution Office is continuing with its investigations related to the accusations deriving from Parliamentary Assembly Report of the European Council on “Inhuman treating of people and illegal trafficking of human organs in Kosovo,” was said in Bennet’s reply.
According to him, the Specialist Prosecution has the authority to bring decisions for the start and conclusion of its mandate.
“Among other things, the Prosecution has the authority to request presence and interrogation of the suspects, victims and witnesses, to gather and analyze information and evidence and to make decisions on start, continuance and conclusion of criminal procedures. It seeks to keep individuals responsible for crimes that its mandate covers,” Bennet noted further.
“EU is colonizing Kosovo north with Serbs from Bosnia and Croatia” (Express)
Mitrovica South Mayor Agim Bahtiri took to Facebook on Thursday to criticize the European Union for not taking into account the requests of Albanians to return to their homes in the mainly Serb-inhabited northern part of Kosovo. Bahtiri said around 13,000 Albanians, who were expelled from their homes, have never returned. He also added that “to make matters worse, the EU has started implementing a multi-million project” for the return of Serbs, “but in reality, this will involve the return of Serbs who never lived in Kosovo”.