- Serbia hinders Kosovo’s regional representation (Koha/Zeri)
- Pacolli accuses Serbia of continuing ‘aggression’ against Kosovo (media)
- Lluka: We have notified EU about Belgrade reception (media)
- EU: Any effort that goes against normalisation of relations, unhelpful (Koha)
- Kocijancic: Tax standing in way of dialogue and EU integration (Kosovapress)
- Pacolli: Kosovo to open office in Slovakia (media)
- KP: Attacks against Serbs mainly perpetrated by Serbs (Koha)
Kosovo Media Highlights
Serbia hinders Kosovo’s regional representation (Koha/Zeri)
Koha Ditore reports on the front page that Serbia is making Kosovo’s representation at regional initiatives difficult. In the last couple of days there were two incidents relating to the way Kosovo is represented. During the Western Balkans digital summit in Belgrade, the Kosovo delegation was faced with technical problems when speaking by having their microphones switched off and showing slogans on the screen saying Kosovo is part of Serbia. At the same time, a climate conference for the Western Balkans that was scheduled to take place in Tirana was disrupted after the Kosovo side, led by Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning Fatmir Matoshi boycotted the event as a sign of protest over Kosovo’s representation through UNMIK.
Matoshi said such a manner of Kosovo’s representation was unacceptable; “The conference will now take place more on a technical level while we will use that as an opportunity to meet with donors and discuss their support for our projects.” He added: “I told UN officials that no one can dream of having a clean environment, an efficient war against climate change in the Western Balkans if there are still dreams that a country can be left out of projects and decision-making.”
As a sign of support for the Kosovo, the Albanian delegation followed suit and also boycotted the meeting.
Pacolli accuses Serbia of continuing ‘aggression’ against Kosovo (media)
Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli expressed his concern in a press conference today over, as he said, Serbia’s continued aggression against independence of Kosovo. He said Serbia as host of the Western Balkans digital conference tried in an “organized way” to prevent Kosovo officials from speaking by turning their microphones off and passing the floor on to the audience which made “chauvinist” claims against Kosovo. “This is a fact that shows that the whole event was orchestrated by the hosts, in this case the Republic of Serbia,” Pacolli said.
Lluka: We have notified EU about Belgrade reception (media)
Kosovo’s Minister of Economic Development, Valdrin Lluka, held a press conference following his return from Belgrade where he signed a regional agreement for lowering roaming prices. Lluka said Kosovo participated in the event as an equal party and not through UNMIK and he also spoke about obstructions the delegation faced from the Serbian side, as a host of the summit.
“When a Kosovo minister goes to Belgrade to sign an agreement, the Serbian side sees this as an attack and tries to prevent it. This unfortunately happened with every speech. They took control over the microphones, displayed on the screen that Kosovo is not independent,” Lluka said adding that they have notified the EU officials, Commissioner Johannes Hahn and EU High Representative Federica Mogherini about the reception the Kosovo delegation received in Belgrade.
EU: Any effort that goes against normalisation of relations, unhelpful (Koha)
European Commission spokesperson Maja Kocijancic responded to Koha following Serbian side’s obstruction of Kosovo’s participation at the digital summit in Belgrade. “Any action that goes against the spirit of normalisation, against the agreements reached in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue so far is not helpful in continuous efforts to encourage good neighbourly relations and reach a lasting solution,” Kocijancic said.
Kocijancic: Tax standing in way of dialogue and EU integration (Kosovapress)
European Commission spokesperson Maja Kocijancic told Kosovapress that the EU expects Belgrade and Pristina to engage immediately in dialogue considering the direct link between the full normalisation of relations and the parties’ European integration. “Dialogue for normalisation of relations between Belgrade ans Pristina, facilitated by the EU, is aimed at promoting cooperation and reconciliation between the two sides, help them make progress in European path and improve the lives of people,” Kocijancic said.
She noted that the import tariff introduced by Kosovo authorities on products from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina has not helped in creating a necessary environment for continuation of dialogue. “European Union along with member states and the U.S. call on the government of Kosovo to immediately suspend the tariff in order to allow the swift continuation of dialogue. Status quo is not an option,” she said adding that the tax does not only stand in way of the dialogue but also in the way of Kosovo’s European integration process.
Pacolli: Kosovo to open office in Slovakia (media)
Kosovo’s Foreign Minister, Behgjet Pacolli, met Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum underway in Jordan. In a Facebook post, Pacolli said that despite Slovakia not yet having recognised independence of Kosovo, bilateral cooperation is very good. “In the spirit of cooperation, on my invitation, Lajcak will visit the Republic of Kosovo in June of this year. Furthermore, our office in Slovakia will open soon,” Pacolli wrote.
KP: Attacks against Serbs mainly perpetrated by Serbs (Koha)
Kosovo Police Director, Rashit Qalaj, said at the meeting of the Assembly committee on communities and returns that it was not true that there were 100 attacks on Serb religious and cultural sites. “A total of 87 religious sites were target of attacks. Of these, 56 are Muslim, 21 Orthodox, 6 Catholic, and 4 other,” Qalaj said as a response to a question from a Serbian List representative who asked what the police was doing to shed light on attacks on Serbian sites. He also said that the police have managed to resolve majority of cases where the victims were members of the Serb community and most involved perpetrators from the same ethnicity. He also said that not all crimes involving Serbs are ethnically motivated: “If some kids get into a fight during a game this can hardly be categorized as an ethnic attack.”