Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Kosovo Media Highlights
NATO requests dialogue for the north (Koha Ditore)
Koha Ditore reports that NATO sees a dialogue as the only one way to solve the problem in the north of Kosovo. The Alliance, which liberated the country 13 years ago, said all disputed issues remaining should be solved through the European Union sponsored dialogue. “Without the need to emphasize, KFOR recommends that all problems be solved through the dialogue. We value the importance of the dialogue which is continuing and which is sponsored by the EU”, said the head of the NATO committee, General Knud Bartels. According to him, the KFOR mission is clear, contributing to building stability in the region.
New issues in the dialogue (Zëri)
Maja Kociancic, Spokesperson of the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, said that after the 12 months of the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade, held in Brussels, only energy and telecommunication remain to be resolved. She added that the implementation of the reached agreements remains an important point. “These are issues that have been discussed also in the past, energy and telecom. They have to be resolved, while the other very important point is the implementation of the reached agreements. However, I do not exclude other issues at this moment,” explained Kociancic. Zëri reports that it was impossible to reach the heads of the Kosovo and Serbian teams at these discussions, Edita Tahiri and Borislav Stefanovic, on Tuesday.
Number of recognitions “falls” (Koha Ditore)
The US Embassy in Pristina confirmed that the letter President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni sent to the Deputy Prime Minister Behgjet Pacolli does not in fact constitute recognition. In addition, the US Embassy also doesn’t consider that Nigeria has recognized Kosovo.
“The US is aware that 89 countries have recognized Kosovo. There were reports that Uganda and Nigeria recognized Kosovo. However, the letter we saw sent by the Ugandan President, Museveni, does not represent recognition. The US has not seen a diplomatic note from the Nigerian Government that demonstrates it recognized Kosovo,” reads a statement issued to the paper by the Embassy.
At the same time, Deputy Foreign Minister Petrit Selimi insisted that the number of countries that have recognized the independence of Kosovo is in fact 91.
EC: Recognition of Kosovo was never a condition for Serbia (dailies)
Spokesman of European Commission, Peter Stano, stated in Brussels that “the recognition of Kosovo has not been defined or formulated as a condition for Serbia to become a member of the European Union. However, one of the main priorities is the achievement of continuous improvements in relations with Kosovo and the continuation of the necessary economic and political reforms, according to him, transmits Radio Free Europe.
Cliff calls for dissolution of parallel structures (Zëri)
“MUP structures in northern Kosovo are very dangerous and as such constitute a serious problem for Pristina, therefore, the Serbian Government should dissolve them,” British Ambassador Ian Cliff said on Tuesday after meeting Kosovo’s Local Government Minister Slobodan Petrovic. “I think MUP structures are a very serious problem. The European Council has made it very clear that Serbia must dissolve these structures. The most dangerous are the security structures, Serbia’s security structures. We are waiting for the establishment of the new government in Serbia in order to address this issue. I don’t know if they will hamper the functioning of the administrative office, but regardless these structures are blocking the functioning of the entire north,” Cliff was quoted as saying.
Virtual municipality of the north (Koha Ditore)
The paper reports that on the website with links to the municipalities in Kosovo, there is a link for North Mitrovica which takes you to a recently-launched website by the Kosovo Government with information about the north municipality which in practice has not been established yet. Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuçi did not comment on why the north Mitrovica is being presented as a municipality but said that its establishment is foreseen by the Ahtisaari’s status package.
KLA War Veterans protest over situation in the north (dailies)
Dailies report that around 60 members of the KLA War Veterans Association protested yesterday in Pristina by blocking the road leading to Fushë Kosovë as a sign of opposition to the situation in northern Kosovo. A police spokesman told reporters that the protest, which was unannounced, last around 20 minutes and the protesters then released the road for traffic.
Çitaku admits crime and corruption can affect removal of visas (Koha Ditore)
Minister of European Integration, Vlora Çitaku, said on Tuesday at the Parliamentary Commission for European Integrations, that the need to fight against organized crime and corruption is imperative in order to benefit from visa liberalization and integration in the EU. About this, Çitaku said that the political class should not offer political asylum to corrupted officials. “I am convinced that the political class in Kosovo understands that the fight against organized crime and corruption will be a precondition for further integration. As soon as we treat this problem seriously, the path of Kosovo towards the EU will be much faster and easier”, said Çitaku.
Wiegand: Kosovo is in for a difficult year (Koha Ditore)
In an interview for the paper, Johannes Wiegand, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission for the first review of the stand-by agreement, said it would be a miracle if Kosovo doesn’t get hit by the global crisis this year. Wiegand predicts difficult times for many countries in Europe and the region, including Kosovo. This year and next year, according to Wiegand, will be the most difficult, without salary or pension raises, without a new highway and with huge budget cuts. He added that if this period is overcome successfully, then Kosovo will be able to stand on its feet in 2014. Wiegand also said that Kosovo is currently in a relatively good position but it could be hit by the crisis in European countries where the diaspora is located.
Rocen: Embassy in Kosovo also without the signature of the President (dailies)
Montenegrin Foreign Minister, Milan Rocen, said on Tuesday that the Government of Montenegro can open its embassy in Kosovo, in the level of officer in charge, also without accreditation, which should be signed from the President, Filip Vujanovic. However, Rocen expressed his hope that this will not happen. The President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanovic, said before some time that he will not sign the decree for the placement of the ambassador in Kosovo, and that he will not accept the decree of the Kosovo ambassador in Podgorica, until Kosovo recognizes the Montenegrin national minority.
Vetëvendosje marks seven-year anniversary (Epoka e Re)
In a press conference organized to commemorate the seventh year of the establishment of the Vetëvendosje Movement, leader Albin Kurti said that even after these years, the Movement continues to reaffirm its motto of no negotiations with Serbia because Kosovo leaders are discussing internal issues with authorities in Belgrade. “Kosovo is not a problem that Serbia will solve but Kosovo has a problem with Serbia and UNMIK,” said Kurti.
We have the money for the Pristina-Skopje highway (Express)
Express reports it is very likely that the new highway from Pristina to Skopje will be financed with funds from the Kosovo budget. The paper quotes Kosovo Finance Minister Bedri Hamza as saying that the funds for this project are ready and available. According to the paper, the construction of the first segment of the highway from Pristina to Ferizaj, will begin in January 2013 and will end within the year.
Kosovo Press Headlines
• Number of recognitions drops
• NATO calls for dialogue on the north
• Çitaku: Crime and corruption may impact visa liberalization
• Wiegand: Kosovo is in for a difficult year
• Kosovo blocks Albania’s cement