Ban: Tensions threaten peace in Kosovo and the region

Ban: Tensions threaten peace in Kosovo and the region
• Ban: Tensions threaten peace in Kosovo and the region (dailies)
• Hoxhaj to brief Security Council on measures in northern Kosovo (Zëri)
• Unconstitutional end of mandate? (Express)
• The roads of smuggling in the north (Koha Ditore)
• Government in search of a coordinator for the north (Koha Ditore)
• Dialogue, after the implementation of agreements (Express)
• Mustafa supports Thaçi (Express)
• Grabovci: We were misunderstood (Epoka e Re)
• Serbs in the north protested against elections results (Koha Ditore)
• Krstic accuses Thaçi (Zëri)
• Serbia wants to destabilize Macedonia (Epoka e Re)
• Investigation faces dilemma over Bukoshi (Zëri)

Kosovo Media Highlights

Ban: Tensions threaten peace in Kosovo and the region (dailies)
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed that unjustified arrests, passivity towards intolerance, war-willing rhetoric, unavoidably lead towards further tensions and violence.

The UN Security Council will discuss on Monday in New York the report on the situation in Kosovo where Secretary-General warns that despite the progress in the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade, tensions threaten the peace and stability in Kosovo and the region. “I hope that the positive flow of the dialogue, progress towards European integration and normalization of the relations between Pristina and Belgrade will continue to strengthen and that tensions and conflicts will reduce gradually,” says Ban Ki-moon in his report that covers the period from 16 January to 15 April of this year.

Hoxhaj to brief Security Council on measures in northern Kosovo (Zëri)
Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj will attend the session of the United Nations Security Council tomorrow which will focus on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s quarterly report on Kosovo. Hoxhaj will brief the Security Council on the progress achieved in Kosovo and the challenges in this phase. He will also talk about the situation in northern Kosovo, the latest developments there and the readiness of the Kosovo Government to cooperate with the international community in establishing law and order. “Hoxhaj will also report on technical dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia and Serbia’s failure to fully implement agreements reached so far,” reads a communiqué issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Unconstitutional end of mandate? (Express)
The paper quotes sources in saying that judges at the Constitutional Court have agreed to classify the Tenth Amendment which deals with the end of mandate of President Atifete Jahjaga as being in conflict with human rights and freedoms. The amendment guarantees the right to elect and be elected but, according to the source, no one can take someone’s mandate if it was won legally and constitutionally. This means that Jahjaga will have to decide herself which way she will leave the president’s post but the Constitution is most likely not going to be make her step down.

Jahjaga however has said that she will respect any agreement between political parties that is in the interest of Kosovo and she also indicated that she will not head the state until 2016 as foreseen by the Constitution.

The roads of smuggling in the north (Koha Ditore)
Koha Ditore reports that over ten roads in the north are being used for smuggling of goods from Serbia. They are used for transporting of oil, cigarettes and food products. Taking control of border gates 1 and 31 in Bërnjak and Jarinje on 27 July last year by international authorities did not stop the smuggling.

The paper has secured sketches and reports of tens of roads drafted from the law enforcement authorities. Regions of Leposavic, Zubin Potok and Zvecan are used for smuggling and organized crime. Kosovo police, EULEX and KFOR know about them, but no serious step has been taken to block those alternative roads. One of them even goes close to the Nothing Hill camp in the vicinity of Zvecan. “Serb parallel structures, in cooperation with different criminal groups, especially with organized groups of smugglers, have used the alternative roads for the Serbia-Kosovo traffic and vice versa”, Kosovo Police concluded in its latest report which has been handed over to Kosovo institutions.

Government in search of a coordinator for the north (Koha Ditore)
The paper reports that the Government of Kosovo is in search of a replacement for Ylber Hysa to the post of coordinator for the north and this has also been confirmed by Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuçi. “I believe the prime minister will seek the best way but he will certainly take a decision that suits the north, someone certainly needs to be appointed in Mr. Hysa’s place,” said Kuçi but mentioned no concrete names of possible candidates to the post.

Opposition LDK said the person to be appointed coordinator should be influential while Vetëvendosje considers there is no need to have a coordinator for the north at all as the issues there should be resolved based on the Constitution of Kosovo.

Dialogue, after the implementation of agreements (Express)
Express reports that Deputy Prime Minister and head of Kosovo delegation in talks with Serbia, Edita Tahiri, announced that the dialogue with Belgrade cannot begin without implementation of earlier-achieved agreements. She called on the EU to put pressure on Serbia to implement achieved conclusions in Brussels.

In a statement for Radio Free Europe, Tahiri says that there should be implementation of agreements first and then talk of other meetings and topics. “As Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi has said, in this phase we are focused on implementing the agreements. We are requesting a decisive engagement of European Union, which is also facilitator and guarantor of this technical dialogue, to put pressure on Serbia for the implementation of the agreements. There cannot be talks on other technical topics without implementation of agreements first”, said Tahiri.

Mustafa supports Thaçi (Express)
The leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Isa Mustafa has supported the requests of the Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi addressed to Brussels for acceleration of the integrating processes for Kosovo. On the 22nd jubilee of LDK, Mustafa requested the EU to be more tolerant towards Kosovo. “Yes, it is true that the European Union should take into consideration the phase that Kosovo has gone through and I consider that it should be more tolerant in the aspect of its integration in European mechanisms,” said Mustafa whilst in Deçan and Istog.

Grabovci: We were misunderstood (Epoka e Re)
Head of PDK parliamentarian group Adem Grabovci told the paper that the PDK has a plan of transforming the issue of missing persons into a European agenda and not remove the conditioning of Kosovo-Serbia dialogue with the issue. He called on the opposition not to try to manipulate the missing persons issue for political gains.

“PDK has had clear stances despite attempts to be misinterpreted by the poor opposition which lacks concept and vision for the future and therefore tries to manipulate the issue of missing persons and gain political points,” said Grabovci. He also said that the PDK will support any solution that is considered right by the families of the missing persons.

Serbs in the north protested against elections results (Koha Ditore)
Koha Ditore reports that Serbs in the north of Kosovo staged a symbolic protest against results of Serb elections of 6 May. Around 50 vehicles with Serbian license plates drove in a sign of protest from Zvecan up to the main bridge over the Iber River in Mitrovica and returned again to Zvecan. Regional Police Spokesman in Mitrovica, Besim Hoti, told Radio Free Europe that the protest passed peacefully and without any incidents.

Krstic accuses Thaçi (Zëri)
Serbian general Ninoslav Krstic said that in light of the recent killings in Skopje, Macedonia was heading to a new war. “We are witnessing aggravated relations following the arrest of radical extremists over the killing of five people. All this is aimed at creating the Albanian state in Macedonia,” Krstic said. He also accused Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi that “he will cause conflicts in northern Kosovo only to remain in power”.

Serbia wants to destabilize Macedonia (Epoka e Re)
Deputy leader of the Macedonian Albanian political party Democratic Union for Integration (BDI) Izet Mexhiti said in an interview for Epoka e Re that his party suspects that Serbia is involved in the recent incidents in Macedonia. “BDI suspects that Serbia is directly involved in these incidents because it has continuously produced destabilizing policies in the region,” stated Mexhiti. He said that Albanians are not terrorists, but on the contrary, guardians of peace and that the future of Macedonia depends on Albanians. Mexhiti considers that despite the recent incidents, Albanians in Macedonia are becoming a relevant factor. He also spoke about the Albanian political factor in Macedonia, stating that they are not united, but that his party is working on this direction.

Investigation faces dilemma over Bukoshi (Zëri)
Zëri reports on the front page that it has been four months that former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, Ilir Tolaj, is being held in detention. Investigators are reportedly faced with the dilemma if it should treat Bujar Bukoshi, current Deputy Prime Minister and former associate of Tolaj, as a suspect in the case or as a witness.

A source inside the investigation told the paper that Bukoshi has expressed readiness to appear as a witness in court, but the prosecution has yet to make a decision on this. “The prosecution has elements to accuse Bujar Bukoshi, who is still a suspect in the Tolaj case, but there is also evidence to summon Bukoshi as a witness,” the source said.

The paper recalls that Tolaj was arrested on January 12th along with the head of procurement, the head of the pharmaceutics department and the head of quality services division at the Ministry of Healthcare. All officials were arrested on charges of corruption, misuse of duty, manipulation with tenders and signing damaging contracts.

Kosovo Press Headlines

Koha Ditore

Front page
• Roads of smuggling in the north
• Ban: Tensions threaten peace in Kosovo and the region
• Daci: We are guilty for the north
• President Jahjaga is reviewing the request for KOMRA

Other headlines
• Kosovo Government searching for a coordinator for the north (2)
• Minister Hoxhaj to attend UN Security Council session tomorrow (3)
• Mustafa calls for Istog’s help to win next parliamentary elections (4)
• Serbs in the north protest against election results (8)
• Fol: Institutions continue their peace with corruption (8)
• Palokaj: Prime Minister Thaçi has started to understand the EU (10)


Front page
• Investigators faced with dilemma over Bukoshi
• Mustafa joins Thaçi in criticism against EU
• Hoxhaj to brief UN Security Council on measures in the north
• Cufaj: Uh! Europe!
• EULEX-Kosovo anti-corruption corps
• PDK’s fashion to undo assembly motions

Other headlines
• Krstic accuses Thaçi for the north (2)
• Without implementation of agreements, no talks (4)
• Northern Serbs support Nikolic (4)

Kosova Sot

Front page
• EU integration, ping pong between EU and Government
• Editorial: The EU is not to blame
• Beqiri: The President spoke
• EULEX “surrenders” in the north
• Fol: Assembly, the most passive institution against corruption

Other headlines
• UN Security Council to discuss on Kosovo today (2)
• Mustafa supports Thaçi, calls for faster visa liberalization (4)
• Tadic: If wrong person is elected state leader, there will be war (4)

Epoka e Re

Front page
• Serbia wants to destabilize Macedonia
• Daci: We are all guilty for the north
• Isa supports Thaçi
• Grabovci: We were misunderstood

Other headlines
• Ban: Conflicts and tensions in Kosovo to reduce gradually (2)
• Serbs in the north protested against the results of elections (2)
• Hoxhaj to participate at the UNSC session (2)
• Brussels to be more sincere (7)
• Martyrs of the nation honored (10)


Front page
• Unconstitutional cut
• They learn from Kosovo
• Concerns of UN Secretary-General

Other headlines
• Daci: Fort the north everybody guilty (5)
• They agree about status quo (5)
• Supporting Thaçi (5)
• Dialogue after the implementation of the agreement (5)
• Many firearms (9)

Bota Sot

Front page
• The heads of PDK municipalities gone to jail, opposition silent
• Isa Mustafa: Kosovo should be led by LDK
• Serbs in the north in protection of the convicted criminal Kolic
• UN Security Council discusses situation in Kosovo

Other headlines
• Serbia does not implement agreements with Kosovo (2)
• Isa Mustafa also criticizes EU (3)
• Charge “Bllaca4” brings behind bars Azem Syla and Ekrem Jashari (4)
• Minister Hoxhaj takes part in the UNSC session (7)
• Before Kosovo had over 1 million tourists, now it has none (9)
• Degraded and polluted environment in Kosovo (11)

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