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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, July 3, 2024


Albanian Language Media: 

  • Kurti, Osmani and Konjufca to participate today Tirana's farewell ceremony for writer Ismail Kadare (media)

  • Hovenier: The USA is proud of its support for people of Kosovo (RTK)

  • Rohde: Banning 'Miredita-Dobar dan' promotes nationalism (RTK)

  • Haxhiu: “Transitional Strategy” foundation for a fair future (RTK)

  • Szunyog in Gjakova, appreciates Gjini’s efforts to promote inclusiveness and support (Klan)

  • Eyal Waldman appointed Honorary Consul of Kosovo in Israel (ekonomia)

Serbian Language Media: 

  • Vucic: Serbia under aerial surveillance (N1)
  • Petkovic: Pristina killing the dialogue (Kosovo Online)
  • Starovic: No matter how dissatisfied we are, we must not deviate from the negotiations in Brussels (Tanjug, RTS)
  • Dacic: Serbia trying to protect borders, prevent human trafficking (N1, BETA)
  • EU Ambassador says expansion a key priority (N1, BETA)
  • Minister of Justice Haxhiu: Kosovo Constitutional Court opposition to Prime Minister Kurti's government (Danas, Beta)


  • ‘Undressed’ by AI: Serbian Women Defenceless Against Deepfake Porn (Balkan Insight)


Albanian Language Media  


Kurti, Osmani and Konjufca to participate today Tirana's farewell ceremony for writer Ismail Kadare (media)

The leaders of Kosovo, respectively Prime Minister Albin Kurti, President Vjosa Osmani, Speaker of the Assembly Glauk Konjufca, and several MPs have travelled today to Tirana, to participate in the Albanian state farewell ceremony for the writer Ismail Kadare, that will be organised by the Prime Minister's Office.

The colossus of Albanian literature, Ismail Kadare, passed on July 1, and will be buried today at Tufina cemetery in Tirana, after the public tributes at National Theatre of Opera, Ballet and Ensemble, to be followed with a farewell state ceremony at 11:30.

"Sorrow is deep because admiration is high. History (with all the myths), politics (with all the intrigues), language (with all the beauty) with Ismail Kadare's novels and poems became knowledge and awareness for our people. We are so lucky to have had him for so long. His work will live on, not just for us. With longing and gratitude", Kurti is seen to have written, among other things.

In honour of the writer, Albania declared July 2 and 3 days of mourning, while Kosovo declared July 3 a day of mourning, lowering the flags to half-mast.

Hovenier: The USA is proud of its support for people of Kosovo (RTK)

The U.S. Embassy in Kosovo organised a reception last night in honour of the 248th anniversary of the Independence of the USA. American Ambassador Jeff Hovenier has said that American society continues to be guided by the principle of equality and freedom. He said that the U.S. is proud of the support they have given to the people of Kosovo to establish peace and security.

“Today we celebrate 248 years of the United States as a democratic and free state, cherishing the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, principles that have inspired many other countries, including Kosovo. We are proud of our support to the people of Kosovo for a quarter of a century now, helping build your sovereign, independent, and multiethnic nation. Thank you for celebrating with us, happy Independence Day!” Hovenier wrote on the X platform. 

Rohde: Banning 'Miredita-Dobar dan' promotes nationalism (RTK)

The Ambassador of Germany to Kosovo, Jorn Rohde, has reacted to the ban on the tenth edition of "Miredita-Dobar dan" by the Serbian authorities. Through an article on the 'X' platform, Ambassador Rohde announced his meeting with Kushtrim Koliqi from the 'IntegraNGO' organization, partner of the 'Miredita, Dobar Dan' festival.

"I just met with Kushtrim Koliqi from 'IntegraNGO', the partner of the festival 'Miredita, Dobar Dan', organized by brave people from Kosovo and Serbia with a focus on peace and reconciliation. Serbian authorities have now banned its 10th edition. Supporting the ban is promoting nationalism. This has no place in Europe", wrote Rohde on the X platform.

Eyal Waldman appointed Honorary Consul of Kosovo in Israel (ekonomia)

The well-known entrepreneur, Eyal Waldman, has been appointed honorary consul of Kosovo in Israel. The news was announced by the ambassador of Kosovo in the Israeli state, Ines Demiri, through an announcement on the social network X. The ambassador of Israel in Kosovo, Tammy Ziv, also participated in the ceremony.

“Yesterday, at a distinguished Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs ceremony, Mr. Eyal Waldman, Israel Prize recipient, was appointed Honorary Consul of the Republic of Kosovo in Israel. Mr. Waldman’s profound expertise in economic development will significantly strengthen Kosovo-Israel relations,” she wrote.

Haxhiu: “Transitional Strategy” foundation for a fair future (RTK)

Kosovo’s Ministry of Justice is holding a roundtable with donors for the “Strategy of Transitional Justice”, which is being led by the Minister of Justice, Albulena Haxhiu.

Haxhiu said that with the adoption of this strategy, an extremely important framework has been created for Kosovo to deal with massive violations of human rights and war crimes.

According to her, through this strategy, the foundations for a fair, solidary, and equal future are built.

She added that Kosovo is at a key moment in which the challenges and opportunities of the transitional justice process must be addressed, and that therefore this strategy represents an important social and especially institutional moment in collective efforts to protect human rights, to promote social dialogue and to strengthen sustainable peace. “The transitional Strategy outlines ambitious goals from addressing past atrocities and ensuring accountability to supporting victims and strengthening democratic institutions,” Haxhiu said. 

Szunyog in Gjakova, appreciates Gjini’s efforts to promote inclusiveness and support (Klan)

The EU Ambassador to Kosovo Tomas Szunyog visited today the municipality of Gjakova, as part of his contact visits to several municipalities across Kosovo. The meetings started with mayor Ardian Gjini, to discuss local government issues, economic development plans and community support initiatives.

Ambassador Szunyog congratulated mayor Gjini for receiving the “Most friendly Mayor to the Roma community” award for 2022, appreciating the municipality’s efforts to promote inclusiveness and support for non-majority communities. He also praised Gjini’s commitment to gender equality , as seen through the involvement of municipal staff in the EU-funded Gender Equality Instrument project implemented by UN Women.

In addition, he expressed appreciation for the municipality's continuous support to the "Safe House" shelter, which plays a crucial role in helping victims of domestic violence.


Serbian Language Media 


Vucic: Serbia under aerial surveillance (N1, Danas, media)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Wednesday that the country was under aerial surveillance from across its borders.

Speaking after a meeting of the General Staff Collegium, Vucic said that aerial surveillance had been stepped up from every direction. He said that Turkish-made Bayraktar drones were recorded rising from the Kosovo city of Djakovica to an altitude of 5,800 metres on June 5 and 20, adding that they were “scouting the positions of the Army of Serbia (VS)”.

“The increased activities by manned aircraft and drones for scouting Serbia without crossing the border have been stepped up from every direction,” Vucic told reporters.

Danas daily reported Vucic saying  that "also, the Swedish-German planes took pictures not from the territory under the control of the Serbian Army, but from other territories that are not under the control of Serbia, but they make very precise pictures due to the presence of security and military forces in the territory of central Serbia". 

An Instagram post after the meeting said that the president and General Staff “analysed all the shortcomings, everything we need to correct in our work, security threats and the situation in the region”.

The post on the president’s profile said the Serbian military’s equipment and weapons are being modernised and increased. “We have many challenges, great forces are gathered in the region, for various reasons. We have to do harder and better, increase the population in our military and be much clearer in our message of deterring any possible aggression towards our country,” he wrote.

Vucic on how many NATO soldiers there are in Kosovo

"We have many challenges, large forces are gathered in the region for various reasons, from the significant forces of neighbouring countries to the huge number of NATO members in Kosovo and Metohija at the moment, which is 4534. We are counting on good cooperation with KFOR and NATO troops and we believe that it will contribute to the stabilisation of the situation in Kosovo and Metohija. At the moment, you have 1,500 NATO soldiers in BiH as part of the LTA mission, which have been reinforced by something that is new, these are strategic reserves set up by the EU and they are not located in that territory, but in the territory of the neighbouring countries of Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria,'' stated Vucic, reported Danas daily.

He added that he is convinced that in no way will they be used against either the Serbian people or the Republic of Serbia.

Petkovic: Pristina killing the dialogue (Kosovo Online)

Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Petar Petkovic, reacted to the statement of the chief negotiator of Pristina, Besnik Bislimi, after the meeting in Brussels, that Serbia refuses to accept the Basic Agreement as a whole and stated that "Pristina is killing dialogue", reported Kosovo Online. 

On the X social network, Petkovic listed the topics Bislimi did not want to discuss.

''Bislimi in Brussels yesterday: refused to discuss missing persons, called the Official Visits Agreement non-existent, slammed Elektrosever as abnormal, and rejected the EU Draft Statute for CSM— all in front of Lajcak and his team. Pristina is killing the dialogue!'' wrote Petkovic in a post on X.

Starovic: No matter how dissatisfied we are, we must not deviate from the negotiations in Brussels (Tanjug, RTS)

Minister of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs Nemanja Starovic said today, referring to the last round of technical dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, that the parties were given a deadline until 18 July to send their written statements on the proposals presented, reported Tanjug, citing RTS. 

Starovic also told RTS today that the Brussels talks ended without concrete results due to Pristina's refusal to discuss even the European draft of the Community of Serbian Municipalities, but that ''we must not deviate from the negotiating table no matter how dissatisfied we are''.

"No one with common sense can expect Serbia to commit to the implementation of something new that would result from the conclusions from Ohrid, if decisive steps are not taken in the direction of what has been an obligation of Pristina for 11 years, namely the formation of the CSM. I cannot be very optimistic when we talk about the continuation of the negotiation process," Starovic told RTS.

Dacic: Serbia trying to protect borders, prevent human trafficking (N1, BETA)

Internal Affairs Minister Ivica Dacic told Swiss federal official Beat Jans that Serbia is investing effort to protect its borders, prevent illegal migration and human trafficking. A press release said that Dacic and Jans (Federal Councillor for Justice and Police of the Swiss Confederation) discussed continuing cooperation in reforms to strengthen the capacities of the Serbian police, N1 reported.

“They assessed that the cooperation between the two countries in the field of the interior is at a very high level, and the focus is on the fight against organised crime, irregular migration, smuggling and human trafficking”, the press statement said, adding Dacic said that continuing cooperation will significantly contribute to the strengthening of security and reform processes in Serbia.

The statement also said that Jans pointed to the good long-term cooperation with Serbia, which, as he emphasised, is an important partner in the fight against organised crime and other security challenges.

EU Ambassador says expansion a key priority (N1, BETA)

European Union Ambassador Emanuel Giaufret said on Wednesday that expansion is a key priority during Hungary’s EU Presidency. Hungary took over the rotating 6-month EU Presidency on July 1.

Giaufret told reporters in Belgrade that there is a new pace for expansion adding that it is up to both the EU and candidate countries to use the opportunity.

He recalled that the EU approved 1.2 billion Euro in aid for the Western Balkans on Tuesday. He said that Serbia received the first instalment of funds from the Growth Plan to continue reforms.

Minister of Justice Haxhiu: Kosovo Constitutional Court opposition to Prime Minister Kurti's government (Danas, Beta)

The Minister of Justice of Kosovo, Albulena Haxhiu, said last night that Kosovo Constitutional Court was in opposition to the government of Prime Minister Albin Kurti, because, as she said, it was "blocking government reforms".

According to Danas, Haxhiu harshly criticised the Court in the RTV Dukagjini show, after being told by the panellists that Kosovo Constitutional Court had judged ten laws unconstitutional in the four years of Kurti's government. 

"Yes, I am the minister (of justice), and due to the actions and delay in the decisions of the Constitutional Court, I am prevented from implementing the reforms requested by the citizens of Kosovo... The Constitutional Court is the opposition to the Government," said Haxhiu. 

She quoted a statement by Prime Minister Kurti: "I invite the Constitutional Court to compete in the next elections."

Asked if this means that she is attacking the Constitutional Court, Haxhiu replied negatively. 

"No, I'm not attacking it,'' answered Haxhiu, and added that she has the right, like every other citizen, to comment on the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo.

The presenter reminded her that she is the Minister of Justice and that from that position she should not comment on the decisions of the Constitutional Court, reported Danas.




‘Undressed’ by AI: Serbian Women Defenceless Against Deepfake Porn (Balkan Insight)

Tens of thousands of Telegram users in Serbia are sharing images of women ‘undressed’ by artificial intelligence. The law offers victims no means of fighting back.

In 2020, Adrijana Petkovic took an innocent bathroom selfie at her home in the small town of Knjazevac in eastern Serbia. Four years later, the photo reached her husband from a colleague at work, who received it from another colleague. By that point, Petkovic had been ‘undressed’ by AI, and her nightmare was beginning.

“I’m a mother of two young children; I have a family, parents, a stable and peaceful life. This was an enormous shock for us,” Petkovic, 25, told BIRN. “We called everyone we could find who had come into contact with the picture, and the last information we got was that someone had posted it in some Telegram group called ‘Knjazevac - Bor’ and people were downloading it from there and sending it to each other.”

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