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US to get involved in talks; Kosovo to have army this year

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Kosovo President Hashim Thaci says US Vice President Mike Pence “promised that the US would get directly involved” in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. “The time has come for direct involvement of the United States in the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia. Vice President Pence confirmed the commitment and engagement of the White House in this significant process,” Thachi told RTK. According to his, this engagement of the United States will give “new significance, dynamism and credibility to a successful conclusion of the talks.” He “explained that he discussed three issues with Pence, the main issue being the formation of the Kosovo army, which will take place this year”. The first issue was, as Thaci said, “a continuation of the dialogue on the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia as the final phase of this process, with a historic agreement on normalization and reconciliation, with the leading role of the EU”. He added that the US administration was “asking from Kosovo to resolve the issue of demarcation with Montenegro as soon as possible”.

“Serb-Albanian relations must be resolved once and for all”

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Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has said that “a difficult compromise” when it comes to Kosovo does not mean that only one side is satisfied. He said that when it comes to Kosovo a compromise was important, “in order to live in peace”. He added that he was “sure that not everyone can be satisfied, but Serbia insists that the agreement cannot be such where one side is satisfied, and the other not”. Vucic stressed that it was “important to resolve the Serb-Albanian relationship once and for all.” When asked if he can guarantee that there will be no armed conflicts in Kosovo, Vucic said: “No one can ever fully guarantee this, but it is a great achievements of the talks that in the last four years no Serb has been killed in ethnic conflicts. The biggest problem is with the expelled, they are not allowed to return. We now must look ourselves in the eyes and we say what is real and what is objective – not to give away something that is ours, what we control”. Asked how much longer the Kosovo dialogue could last, Vucic said that it was a question of months. He also said that Serbia will be “stronger than ever in a few days”, and mentioned Russian MIGs, Russian and Serbian tanks.

Demarcation is a finished process

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Kosovo’s Foreign Minister, Behgjet Pacolli, will visit Montenegro today where he will meet senior government officials to discuss the agreement on the border delineation, the paper reports on its front page. Pacolli is scheduled to meet his Montenegrin counterpart. According to the Koha, Pacolli’s visit is not expected to change Montenegro’s position on the border demarcation agreement. Meanwhile, officials from the Office of Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj did not rule out a visit by Haradinaj to Podgorica in the near future. On other hand the paper recalls an earlier statement by Montenegro’s Foreign Minister, Darmanovic, who said that for Montenegro the border delineation with Kosovo is a finished process.

Kosovo can’t join UN, unless we strike some deal – Vucic

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Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Monday that Kosovo’s possible bid to join the UN would “come to nothing”. “I am almost certain that their attempt to join the UN would come to nothing, unless we reach some agreement – and that cannot be done if somebody thinks Serbia should lose everything, while Albanians gain everything”, Vucic told reporters in Krepoljin, near Zagubica, eastern Serbia. According to him, representatives of Pristina had obtained temporary passes in order to be able to enter the UN building in New York City during the recent UN General Assembly. “Five hundred times so far they have made Kosovo a member of the UN”, he said ironically, and added: “And yet they continue to loiter in corridors and pace around. We will continue to do our job, and I would still not bet on them”. According to Beta’s report, Vucic repeated several times that Kosovo’s membership in the UN would not materialize.

 

ISIS appeal remains, challenge for Kosovo, report warns

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A new report, “The Islamic State Narrative in Kosovo Deconstructed One Story at a Time”, by the Kosovar
Center for Security Studies, KCSS, says Kosovo has much to do if it is to counter Islamic State’s appeal to Kosovo
citizens. Islamic State will remain a challenge for Kosovo until its institutions mount a comprehensive,
multifaceted campaign to combat its message and ‘narrative’. KCSS says blanket claims, ignorance and lack of
critical thinking are among the determining factors that have made the ISIS narrative appealing to Kosovo’s
young.

BiH, Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo missing on the NATO Map

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The prime minister of Albania Edi Rama said at a meeting of the NATO Military Committee said that Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo are still missing from a NATO map. According to the Albanian news agencies ATA, this territories that should be involved more in European area are seen as vulnerable by other political actors. The chairman of the NATO Military Committee general Petr Pavel thanked Albania for its committment in safeguard of security in Afghanistan and Kosovo. Pavel stressed as well the role of Albania in fighting ISIS and keeping peace in the Balcan area.

Serbia’s EU accession depends on relations with Kosovo

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EP rapporteur for Serbia David McAllister says negotiations on Serbia’s EU accession EU require “constant movement towards better relations with Kosovo”. He told the Belgrade-based tabloid Kurir that “this process should gradually lead to the normalization of relations between the two sides, with both being able to exercise their rights and fulfill their responsibilities.” “The normalization of relations should benefit the citizens of Serbia and Kosovo and is essential for preserving peace and stability in the region”, McAllister said, and welcomed Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s initiative to launch a domestic dialogue about this issue. The European Parliament (EP) official from Germany also remarked that that the EU will push neither Belgrade nor Pristina toward taking the initiative, and emphasized that “a sustainable normalization of relations will never be achieved by force, but only by consent of both sides.” McAllister also touched on “the state of the media in Serbia” to say that threats, violence and intimidation of journalists continue to be an issue of concern.

PM Haradinaj: Demarcation to be solved soon

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Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj, has on Saturday received Croatian Ambassador to Kosovo, Marija Kapitanovic, discussing on current political developments and Kosovo’s Euro-Atlantic integration process.
PM Haradinaj said that the open issue of the demarcation with Montenegro will be addressed soon and this will enable freedom of movement for Kosovo citizens into the EU Schengen area. Haradinaj told Kapitanovic that Kosovo is committed to preserving and promoting good neighbourly relations and highly appreciated relations with Montenegro. He also said that the Government is committed to fulfilling all obligations and reach its goal to become member of the EU.

Albinia- Kosovo Govt meeting in Korca

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The first vice prime minister and foreign minister of Kosovo Piccoli paid his first visit to Tirana home Thursday after his appointment in this office and was received in a meeting by this counterpart Ditmir Bushati considering Pacolli’s a clear signal decision of close political and fraternal cooperation between the two governments. The two officials discuss it the need to rationalize forces, human resources in diplomatic and consular representation. First Minister Bushati reconfirmed Albinia’s support to hold the processes that Kosovo is passing through and especially in advancing recognition of memberships in the international forums, cooperation with the NATO and European Union.

Kosovo Serb Minister accused of torturing Albanians during the war

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Residents of the Dardania neighbourhood in Pristina are accusing newly elected Kosovo minister of Agriculture, Nenad Rikalo, that their former neighbour has tortured them during the period of war in 1998-99. Residents remember Rikalo always wearing uniform of Serbian police an carrying a gun. Rikalo did not respond to KTV’s calls for comment on the residents’ charges. Kosovo formed its government last week and the vote of ten Serbian MPs from Srpska List, was crucial for PDK-AAK-Nisma (PAN) coalition to form new institutions.

 

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