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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Kosovo’s Euro-Atlantic Illusions

John.SewelBRUSSELS / PRISTINA, Kosovo — Poor govern-ance and slow economic growth continue to be major obstacles in the process of the Euro-Atlantic integration of western Balkan countries. This is the outcome of a report, which the British politician John Sewel, in his function of the Rapporteur for the Committee on Economics and Security, recently presented to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly: "The road … is rocky, and only Croatia seems close to achieving the basic qualifications … The others face daunting challenges … These include the debt crisis, problems of governance and corruption … and enlargement fatigue among some EU governments and their publics."  Read the rest of this entry »

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Ashton’s U-Turn – MEP Lunacek won’t be EU Representative in Kosovo

Ashton-LunacekBRUSSELS / PRISTINA, Kosovo — The member of the European Parliament (MEP) and parlia- ment rapporteur for Kosovo, Ulrike Lunacek, was expelled from the application procedure for the position of the EU representative in Kosovo. Prior to this decision, the Austrian  Lunacek was said to be the preferred candidate of EU foreign affairs commissioner Catherine Ashton and EU exten- sion commissioner Stefan Fule. Reportedly Ashton even personally encouraged the Green Party’s member Lunacek to submit her application.  As to Austrian media, the EU foreign affairs administration claims formal reasons for the sudden rejection:  Read the rest of this entry »

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EU High Representative Ashton officially invites Kosovo PM Thaci to Brussels

Thaci-AshtonAPRISTINA, Kosovo — The European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton on Friday finished her Balkans tour in Kosovo. In Prishtina Ashton was welcomed first by Xavier de Marnhac, the Head of the EU rule-of-law mission (EULEX) in Kosovo. Later on she met Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister Edita Tahiri, the head of the Kosovar negotiation team at the EU mediated talks of Kosovo and Serbia in Brussels. Finally she gathered with Prime Minister Hashim Thaci for a working lunch in the southern Kosovar town of Prizren. As to Kosovar media, the meeting lasted one hour longer than scheduled. Diplomatically the visit was a success for the Thaci government.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Dubrava prison massacre

slobodan M [ … the prisoners were told to line up on the sports field … police started firing from the guard tower and the jail walls, using hand grenades, bazookas and automatic weapons … about 20 officers opened fire … total chaos with prisoners falling down all over the place. It all stopped some 20 minutes later, allegedly for the guards to reload ]
PRISTINA, Kosovo — The last Sunday was used by parts of the Kosovo-Albanian population to remember the 12th year of the Dubrava prision massacre in Kosovo. On 22nd. May 1999 reportedly 160 mainly Kosovo-Albanian political prisoners were murdered by Serbian paramilitary forces, police and military. Another 300 prisoners were wounded.

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EU foreign affairs chief Ashton visits Kosovo

ashtonEUPRISTINA, Kosovo — The EU tourism continues. Kosovo dailies report, that  the EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, intends to meet the President of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga, and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in Kosovo’s capital city Prishtina on 27th May – only one week after the visit of European Commission president Barroso. Likewise Barroso, also Ashton is expected to address the EU backed technical dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia in Brussels – as well as to encourage an agreement between the two parties. Prior to Kosovo, Ashton meets Serbia’s official’s a day before in Belgrade.

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Kosovo ICO Head Pieter Feith – “The Rule of Law and the recent past”

Pieter.FeithPRISTINA, Kosovo – Opinion Piece by Pieter Feith. The Rule of Law and the recent past: "In the last couple of months we have witnessed a debate challenging the arrests of former KLA members in the context of war crimes investigation. In some quarters, it was alleged that these arrests would put the legitimacy of the KLA’s liberation war into question. Many claim that the main focus should be on combating corruption and organized crime rather than on alleged war crimes. The process and indeed requirement of coming to terms with the recent past in Kosovo can be difficult and painful.

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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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Kosovo Protests were a Message for Serbia

FlamurPRISTINA, Kosovo — According to Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister Edita Tahiri, the last weeks strong protests in Prishtina concerning the visit of Serbian official Stefanovic should be considered as a message to Serbia: "The reaction of the citizens of Kosovo … was in response to the genocide that Serbia has done here during the war. I think this was a message for Mr. Stefanovic and Serbia, but also to the world that … the people may decide to look ahead, but history is not forgotten" Tahiri was quoted as saying.

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Kosovo reacts on Serbia’s and Bosnia’s refusal to implement CEFTA agreement

Kursari-Lila2PRISTINA / BRUSSELS — Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry Mimoza Kusari-Lila announced in Brussels, that Kosovo soon will implement reciprocal measures addressing Serbia’s and Bosnia’s unwillingness to fulfill contractual duties in terms of the Central European Free Trade Agreement – CEFTA. Both the Republic of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina refuse Kosovar products to be sold on their local markets. In addition both countries blockade the transit of products from Kosovo through their territories. Likewise Serbia and Bosnia, Kosovo is a CEFTA member country.

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