Kosovo PM Thaci to be investigated on Marty Report allegations

Dick-HashimPRISTINA, Kosovo — Kosovo media widely covered the intention of the European Union (EU) to investigate accusations of the Dick Marty Report. The Council of Europe Ra- pporteur, Senator Dick Marty, in his report from December 2010 claims that members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in the time from 1998 to 2000 were involved in organ trading and organized crime. A special focus is given on the so called Drenica Group of the former KLA commander, current Kosovo Prime Minister and Head of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) Hashim Thaci. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kosovo – EULEX cars set on fire in Prishtina

FirePRISTINA, Kosovo — As to Kosovar media, at 5.oo hrs. in the morning of 7th. June, two official cars of the EU rule-of-law mission in Kosovo (EULEX) burned down in Kosovo’s capital city Prishtina. No one was injured. The cars were parked outside the apartment of an EULEX member, in the city’s district of "Sunny Hill". An EULEX spokesmen believes that there is no evidence for a personal attack targeting the respective EULEX official/s. Nevertheless Kosovo Police is investigating whether the fire happened accidentally or was set intentionally. Reportedly witnesses heard, how the car windows were broken prior to an explosive device thrown into the car. The private broadcaster KTV claims to have been unofficially informed that three people were seen when setting the car on fire. KON / NK

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Serbian Officials encourage Destabilization in Northern Kosovo

BogdanovicPRISTINA, Kosovo — Reportedly several officials from the Serbian Government crossed the border to Kosovo illegally. On Friday 3rd June, Serbia’s Minister for Kosovo, Goran Bogdanovic, entered the mainly Serb populated northern Kosovo territory without permission from the Kosovo Government. In the Serb controlled northern Mitrovica Bogdano- vic then officially presented a Serbian government donation of 350,000 Euro cash for Kosovo-Serb owned enterprises. Already a day before, on 2nd. June – the head of the Serbian delegation for the Dialogue with Kosovo, Broko Stefanovic paid an illegal visit to the same region. Bypassing the official border controls, Stefanovic obviously used the smuggler routes from Serbia to Kosovo.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Kosovo, contradictions of the European presence – Interview with Andrea Capussela

Andrea.CapusselaPRISTINA, Kosovo – Andrea Capussela was the head of the Economic and Financial Affairs Unit of the International Civilian Office (ICO) in Kosovo. He served on this position from Spring 2008 until March 2011. Only three hours before his contract would have ended, Capussela was fired from his post for "disciplinary reasons".  In April 2011 he published an article at the British ‘guardian’, with very critical viewpoints about the EU rule-of-law mission in Kosovo – EULEX – and the ICO. Against this background Francesco Martino now interviewed Capussela, who was ready to give further insights and details on his experiences in Kosovo:

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Kosovo Police leaks, EULEX says

KospolicePRISTINA, Kosovo — As to Kosovo media representatives of the EU rule-of-law mission in Kosovo (EULEX) expressed strong dissatis-faction about close relations of Kosovo Police officers from northern Kosovo with "suspects who are under investigation or prosecution". EULEX Police investigations are said to be repeatedly hampered. Several Police operati- ons seemingly failed due to cooperation of Serb Kosovo police officers with suspects from the mainly Serb populated areas. According to a Kosovo daily, a source within EULEX confirmed that in many cases suspects in the field of organized crime managed to escape before being arrested:

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Fourth Round of Kosovo-Serbia Talks

talksPRISTINA, Kosovo — The fourth round of talks between Kosovo and Serbia will start today. This was officially confirmed on Monday. The EU backed Kosovo-Ser-bia dialogue will take place in Brussels. The two days meeting is said to address technical issues regarding the relation of both countries. In continuation of former meetings both delegations are expected to discuss still open questions regarding civil registers, telecommunication, energy, customs seals, and freedom of movement. Kosovo government officials announced to open in addition the topics ‘cultural inheritance’ and ‘missing people’.

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Europe Day in Kosovo – no reason to celebrate!

KosovoPRISTINA, Kosovo — The Europe Day in Kosovo was "celebrated" on 9th May. However, smiling faces are to find mainly at those who enjoyed the day off. The image of the EU in Kosovo is worse than ever. In particular the EU Rule-of-Law mission in Kosovo (EULEX) lacks results and faces an increasingly damaged reputation.  Inactivity and ignorance are comm-only used attributes to describe EULEX in the Kosovar public opinion over the past weeks. In contradiction to its own objectives as well as to the proclaimed values of most EU member states, which sponsor this mission with 100 m Euro every year, EULEX is obviously not providing ‘Law and Order’ equally allover Kosovo.

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Kosovo Police to fight crimes in Serb populated northern Kosovo

KP1PRISTINA, Kosovo — Reportedly the Kosovo Police Forces are expected to intervene in the predominantly Serb populated  northern Kosovo in the third week of May. As to Kosovo media, the director general of the Kosovo Police, Reshat Maliqi, stated that foreseen activities are based on an operational plan with the aim to hit criminal networks. According to Maliqi, the Kosovo Police launched several changes in its chain of command in order to implement according activities. This process is said to be finished in a few days: "… after Thursday, there will be something" Maliqi said. 

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Kosovo: New Interim EU Representative

Fernando-GentiliniPRISTINA, Kosovo — After the contract of the former EU Special Representative (EUSR) for Kosovo, Pieter Feith, expired in April – the EU now confirmed an interim solution: The 49 years old Italian diplomat Fernando Gentilini will take over the post of the new Kosovo EUSR for the next three months. According to EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, Ambassador Gentilini will give its activities a focus on the preparation "for a strengthened and long-term EU presence in Kosovo, in line with … the European perspective of the whole region".

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Kosovo Minister Rexhepi Demands Exit-Strategy for EU Rule-of-Law Mission

RexhepiPRISTINA, Kosovo — Kosovo’s Minister for Internal Affairs Bajram Rexhepi obviously won’t ‘let go’. In interviews with broadcasting media Rexhepi repeated his skepticism against the EU Rule-of-Law Mission in Kosovo: "…, this mission came to Kosovo upon our request, but we also have a monitoring group which supervises the work of EULEX, and as far as I’m informed, Brussels is also not really satisfied with EULEX’s work, and if they continue like this, they have two options: either increase efficiency or plan an exit strategy from Kosovo. … the ministries in charge for the rule of law … have concrete requests, and we would like these to be implemented in partnership with EULEX.".

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  • Kosovo is not Catalonia, Kosovo's Thaci tells absent Spanish PM Rajoy - EURACTIV 18/05/2018
    EURACTIVKosovo is not Catalonia, Kosovo's Thaci tells absent Spanish PM RajoyEURACTIVPristina 'understands' the decision of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy not to attend the EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia, but “Kosovo is not Catalonia”, Kosovo's President Hashim Thaçi told EURACTIV.com. “Of course, under no circumstances, can ... […]
  • Kosovo jails eight for plotting to attack Israeli soccer team in 2016 - Reuters 18/05/2018
    ReutersKosovo jails eight for plotting to attack Israeli soccer team in 2016ReutersThe prosecution said some of the defendants received orders to carry out an attack from Lavdrim Muhaxheri, a prominent Islamic State member from Kosovo and the self-declared “commander of Albanians in Syria and Iraq”. Muhaxheri was killed in Syria, ...Kosovo sentences 8 for pl […]
  • One woman's drive to rebuild her nation — through the stars - USA TODAY 15/05/2018
    USA TODAYOne woman's drive to rebuild her nation — through the starsUSA TODAYFORT DAVIS, Texas — On a clear night over the Davis Mountains in early May, a woman far from her home in Kosovo climbed a ladder at the annual Texas Star Party to peer into a large telescope. She was hunting for an asteroid named after her. Pranvera ...
  • Interview: Serbia's Vucic insists 'I'm obsessed with Kosovo' - Financial Times 15/05/2018
    Financial TimesInterview: Serbia's Vucic insists 'I'm obsessed with Kosovo'Financial TimesOnce an ultra-nationalist, the president now sees EU membership as a catalyst for reform.New EU focus on Kosovo provides Pristina and Belgrade with historic opportunity – UN officialUN NewsHow Serbia's Chief Changed His Tune on KosovoBalkan Insi […]
  • Elsinore CoE meeting hears Kosovo joining would be "wrong" - B92 - B92 18/05/2018
    B92Elsinore CoE meeting hears Kosovo joining would be "wrong" - B92B92Serbia's first deputy PM and foreign minister spoke on Friday at the ministerial meeting - during which Croatia took over from Denmark the chairmanship of the ...and more »
  • Kosovo's bitter enemies look to heal old wounds - The Guardian 28/04/2018
    The GuardianKosovo's bitter enemies look to heal old woundsThe GuardianĐurić was in Kosovo, which Serbia still officially regards as its province, to tour a microbrewery producing beer named in honour of a medieval battle which is key to Serbia's emotional attachment to Kosovo. He also visited a spa resort, under ...Kosovo, NATO Conduct Training Ex […]
  • Kosovo wins first ICSID award - CDR News Magazine 15/05/2018
    CDR News MagazineKosovo wins first ICSID awardCDR News MagazineThe International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has dismissed an arbitration claim for EUR 380 million against Kosovo, made by a German investor, which alleged that the government had violated a contract by refusing to sell a ...
  • Kosovo sentences 8 men for plotting to attack Israeli soccer team - The Jerusalem Post 18/05/2018
    Kosovo sentences 8 men for plotting to attack Israeli soccer teamThe Jerusalem PostPRISTINA - A court in Kosovo sentenced eight men to jail on Friday on terrorism charges for plotting to attack the Israeli national soccer team in Albania in 2016. The court in the capital sentenced the defendants who are all from Kosovo to a total of ...
  • Kosovo Works on 'Plan B' to Develop Army - Balkan Insight 17/05/2018
    Balkan InsightKosovo Works on 'Plan B' to Develop ArmyBalkan InsightThe daily newspaper Koha Ditore reported on Thursday that Kosovo's government has started working on a “plan B” to transform the current lightly armed Security Force, KSF, into a regular army. According to the newspaper, the plan envisages a 10-year ...Pristina "initiates […]
  • Now is chance for Kosovo deal, says Serbian president – but at what cost? - The Guardian 26/04/2018
    The GuardianNow is chance for Kosovo deal, says Serbian president – but at what cost?The GuardianClaiming to have shed many of his former nationalist views, and brushing off accusations of authoritarianism, he is now seen by the international community as the man who could sign an agreement that would eventually bring reconciliation over Kosovo.EU's Tus […]

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  • Kosovo is not Catalonia, Kosovo's Thaci tells absent Spanish PM Rajoy 18/05/2018
    Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci smiles during a round table meeting at an informal European Union summit with Western Balkans countries at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria, 17 May 2018. On the left is Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
  • EU urges Balkans reform but cool on accepting new members 17/05/2018
    Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, left, speaks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during a round table meeting of EU and Western Balkan heads of state at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria, Thursday, May 17, 2018. less Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, left, speaks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during a round table meeting of […]
  • Crime, Punishment, And Collective Memory In Serbia 16/05/2018
    It barely made the news in Serbia when Sasa Cvjetan was released from custody in late April, having served just over two-thirds of his 20-year prison sentence. Cvjetan had been a member of a notorious Serbian paramilitary unit known as the Scorpions, linked to atrocities committed during the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s.

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