International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Tension in Pristina: Haradinaj calls, Veseli refuses, while key person remains silent

Ramush Haradinaj, who awaits the interpretation of Constitutional Court on his resignation, invited party leaders of the ruling coalition for consultations

July 30, 2019

Kosovo's outgoing Prime Minister had resigned on July 19, 2019, after he was summoned by Special Prosecution from the Hague, as a suspect for the crimes committed by KLA on Kosovo, in the period from 1999 to 2000.

On Monday press conference, Haradinaj denied that this was "politically calculated move", as accused by his coalition partner, Chairman of Kosovo Assembly, Kadri Veseli, but that he did it in order, as he put it, "to save the country".

He had invited the leaders of the political parties of the ruling PAN Coalition to consultations. He added that he invited presidents of Democratic Party of Kosovo (DPK) and of the Initiative for Kosovo (NISME), Kadri Veseli and Fatmir Limaj, to consultations. He confirmed that he filed a request to the Constitutional Court for the interpretation of the Government's status in the situation following his resignation.

In the same time, he said "I've asked President (Hashim Thaci) and political parties to speed up the extraordinary parliamentary elections process”.

He reiterated that his Alliance for the Future of Kosovo supports Assembly's dissolution, but that this was not done, as Kosovo Constitution does not specify what happens in case Prime Minister offers resignation.

On the other hand, Veseli perceives Haradinaj's resignation to be "politically calculated move", requesting Assembly's dissolution and determining the date of elections, considering them to be inevitable.

Veseli added that he will initiate urgent Assembly session in accordance with his constitutional duty, and on that meeting, two-thirds majority should reach the decision on its dissolution, RTK2 reports.

According to him, there are two options for scheduling elections - meeting of all political parties with Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci, or the Assembly should decide on its own dissolution.

"I have invited colleagues from all political parties to get together in the Assembly, so that we could agree on its dissolution, including specifying the date of the elections", Veseli told RTK, after the meeting of the DPK Governing Council.

Referring to the invitation of the outgoing Prime Minister of Interim Institutions, Ramush Haradinaj, to political parties for consultations, Veseli said that he would not respond to that invitation, stating that the resignation was Haradinaj's choice.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=07&dd=30&nav_id=107078

Haradinaj in consultations with Veseli and Limaj, awaits court interpretation

Outgoing Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj awaits for the legal interpretation of Constitutional Court on the government status, after he decided to resign

July 29, 2019

He had invited the leaders of the political parties of the ruling PAN Coalition to consultations on Tuesday.

When asked what will be the topics to discuss, he ironically responded that they will discuss "global warming", Pristina based gazette Express reported.

Haradinaj, who resigned on July 19, said on the press conference that this was not "politically calculated act", but that he did it in order, as he put it, "to save the country".

He added that he invited presidents of Democratic Party of Kosovo (DPK) and of the Initiative for Kosovo (NISME), Kadri Veseli and Fatmir Limaj, to consultations.

He confirmed that he filed a request to the Constitutional Court for the interpretation of the Government's status in the situation following his resignation.

In the same time, he said "I've asked President (Hashim Thaci) and political parties to speed up the extraordinary parliamentary elections process”.

He reiterated that his Alliance for the Future of Kosovo supports Assembly's dissolution, but that this was not done, as Kosovo Constitution does not specify what happens in case Prime Minister offers resignation.

He requested his party to commence consultations with other political parties that support Assembly's dissolution, given that President Thaci hadn't done anything yet in view of the current situation.

He also stated that it is not in his interest to sit in the Government after filing resignation, but that this issue should be resolved by the Constitutional Court, "to be on the safe side of the law", Haradinaj concluded.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=07&dd=29&nav_id=107073

Armored vehicles from Russia exhibited for the first time, Vucic: Thank you, Putin!

10 armored and reconnaissance vehicles of the infantry BRDM 2, obtained from the Russian Federation, were first exposed today in the Mija Stanimirović quarters

July 29, 2019

Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic arrived at Nis military quarters to see the new BRDM 2 (Boyevaya Razvedyvatenaya Dozornaya Mashina - Combat Reconnaissance/Patrol Vehicle) within the presentation of weapons and military equipment of the Serbian Armed Forces.

President Vucic thanked the Russian Federation and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Now it is modern to speak badly about Putin, but I will be old-fashioned and I will say 'Thank you to President Putin'. We did not pay for this, we got it as a gift, it's important that our citizens know that", Vucic pointed out.

President is accompanied by the Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin, the Head of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, General Milan Mojsilovic, and the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Serbia, H.E. Mr. Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko.

Mojsilovic thanked the president for the support he provided to the Serbian Armed Forces and its equipment, and introduced him to the characteristics of the vehicles.

In addition to 10 BRDM2 vehicles from Russia, an old BRDM vehicle of the Serbian Army was added to the parade.

During the presentation, tanks were presented, as well as the possession of the "Norama" position, self-propelled howitzers.

In accordance with the Military-Technical Agreement, signed between Serbian President Alexander Vucic and Russian President Vladimir Putin, 10 armored vehicles BRDM 2 reached Serbia within the agreed deadline and without any transportation obstacles.

Vucic announced that by the end of the year, Serbia will receive additional weapons either bought by Serbia or donated by Russia.

Vucic said that the vehicles in question are significantly improved and repaired vehicles which Serbia got free of charge, which largely contributed to boosting the operational capabilities of the Serbian Armed Forces.

„Many thanks to Putin and Shoygu for their huge support to the land forces of the Serbian Army. This presents a major incentive to our reconnaissance units, strengthening our combat readiness“, he concluded.

He added that four combat Mi-35 helicopters, three Mi-17 helicopters, and additional BRDM-2MS and T-72 tanks will arrive to Serbia by the end of the year.

Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko said that his country is determined to continue military cooperation with Serbia, in order to enable Serbia to preserve its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=07&dd=29&nav_id=107068

Dacic: Central African Republic has withdrawn recognition of Kosovo's independence

The Central African Republic (CAR) has become the 14th country to withdraw recognition of the independence of Kosovo, says Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic

July 27, 2019  

"The Central African Republic became the fourteenth country that clarified its position that it does not recognize the independence of Kosovo,", Dacic said on the RTS. He presented an official note that he received last night from CAR, a country he visited last year and met with its president on that occasion.

Dacic noted that Pristina claims CAR recognized Kosovo, while during his visit to this country, its president expressed surprise over that fact.

"After my request, they had conducted an investigation whether this decision has been made by CAR or not, and concluded that CAR hadn't issued any statement recognizing Kosovo's independence". According to Dacic, the CAR did not accept documents recognizing Kosovo, since the country "cannot take a position contrary to international law". Therefore, "CAR strongly advocates the resumption of dialogue and support basic values and sovereignty of all states, particularly of the Republic of Serbia", Dacic concluded.

"CAR is 14th country presenting such standpoint. Kosovo claimed that it had 116 countries on the list that recognized Kosovo, but I can assure you that this number has fallen below 100. Our goal is to keep it below half of the UN member states", Foreign Affairs Chief stated.

CAR is 14th country to withdraw recognition of Kosovo’s independence, or clarified its position on this issue.

Up till now, the following countries had revoked the recognition of Kosovo's independence: São Tomé and Príncipe, Surinam, Guinea-Bissau, Burundi, Liberia, Papua New Guinea, Lesotho, Commonwealth Dominica, Grenada, Union of Comoros, the Solomon Islands, Madagascar and Palau.

Dacic also announced that there is another country that had decided to withdraw the recognition of Kosovo's independence, but that he had been avoiding disclosing it publicly for a couple of months now, as he didn't want to agitate international community.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=07&dd=27&nav_id=107067

A woman arrested for threatening Aleksandar Vucic's children

Policemen in Sabac arrested A.J.A. (39) suspected of threatening President Vucic's family members on social network Twitter, "Novosti" reported

July 26, 2019

"Members of Hi-Tech Crime Department within the Internal Affairs Ministry, apprehended A. J. A. (39) from Sabac due to grounded suspicion of having committed the crime of endangering safety", Ministry of Interior says in a statement.

She is suspected of addressing threats to the children of Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic via Twitter.

Under the warrant of the Special Department for combating hi-tech crime of the Higher Public Prosecution Office in Belgrade, the suspect will be detained for 48 hours, followed by being brought to the competent prosecutor, along with criminal charges, the statement says.

Outburst of insults and swears reached the official Twitter account of Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic, local media reported.

As TV Prva reported, "while on his official Twitter account, President Vucic boasted of the new Chinese investment amounting to USD 120 million in the Smederevo Steel Plant, some of the supporters of the Alliance for Serbia responded with heavy swearing of President's children, by using most horrible and disgusting language".

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=07&dd=26&nav_id=107064

Moscow Carnegie Center: Serbs ready to sign any deal on Kosovo

Serbia’s leadership is ready to sign whatever it takes for Kosovo if it gets guarantees that it won’t fall from power, wrote Moscow Carnegie Center

July 25, 2019  

Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj’s trip to the Hague, on the other hand, does not promise quick progress in resolving the Kosovo issue. Serbian leadership, having learned from past experience, has skeptically accepted the news and believes that his Hague departure is yet another trick performed by the West to force Belgrade to make fresh concessions, the Carnegie Moscow Center stated.

It is added that Haradinaj’s resignation, particularly if followed by court proceedings, will inevitably affect Pristina’s attitude.

“Serbian leadership is essentially prepared to sign any deal on Kosovo if it gets strong guarantees that it won’t fall from power because of that. If the Specialist Chambers in the Hague can bring the Pristina authorities to the same situation, the Kosovo issue might be successfully solved,” Carnegie said.

It is being concluded in the article that the ease with which the West allowed one of the main participants in the Kosovo negotiations to leave, shows that western mediation in the conflict is now established on completely different principles.

"Washington D.C. as well as European capitals are showing exhaustion and anxiety over the caprices and blackmail coming from Pristina, so they have decided to redesign the whole process. The West now deems that the Kosovo elite, not Serbia‘s, presents the main obstacle in resolving the problem successfully and will act accordingly in future“, it is concluded in the article.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=07&dd=25&nav_id=107060

"Serbia is under pressure, while Pristina is praised. We are running out of patience"

The future of Belgrade-Pristina dialogue is pending, as we don't know in what direction the situation will go, Dacic stated

July 25, 2019

Serbian Foreign Affairs Chief added that we can expect new arrivals of international officials to Serbia at the end of August, offering new initiatives concerning Kosovo issue. Dacic reiterated that USA avoid exerting pressure on Serbia as they are aware that the problem is not in Belgrade, but in Pristina.

''John Bolton, National Security Advisor of the United States' President, shared this with me on a very successful meeting we conducted, which presents major change in US standpoint", Foreign Affairs Minister stated on TV Pink.

He underlined that big powers rarely change their strategic orientation, noticing that so-called "autopilot-guided" policy caused major damage to the US interests in the region.

Dacic had stated that France and its President Emmanuel Macron expressed willingness to take part in the resolve of Kosovo issue, adding that Macron's visit to Serbia was extraordinary.

"Members of his Cabinet hadn't still managed to process their impressions from Serbia's visit, as it overcome all their expactations", Dacic concluded.

While mentioning the issue of Belgrade and Pristina, Dacic stated that Serbia is being pressured to be constructive, to stop lobbying for the withdrawal of Kosovo's independence recognition, and preventing Kosovo from entering into international organizations, while in the same time, Pristina is being praised for establishing diplomatic relations with Antigua and Barbuda.

"We cannot restrain ourselves anymore. We continue on advocating the withdrawal of Kosovo recognition", Dacic said.

He announced that Kosovo is going to apply for membership into the Council of Europe, and Serbia had to be prepared for different scenarios regarding this particular matter.

In this respect, we need to establish correct relations with newly appointed Secretary General of the Council of Europe, former Croatian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marija Pejcinovic Buric. Dacic also expressed his hopes that Croatia would, as EU presiding country, succeeding Finland in that capacity, largely contribute to further quickening of EU integration process of the whole region.

He pointed out that the relations between Serbs and Croats, as well as between Serbs and Albanians are crucially important, given that the members of all three nations reside in several countries.

He said that Serbia's relations with Nigeria are also important, as one of the largest Moslem states, which, as he said, faces with similar problems as Serbia.

"Nigeria hadn't recognized Kosovo's independence, but it supported its INTERPOL membership. So, we need to talk to them, they have to know what are our national interests, the same goes for Nicaragua, which hadn't recognized Kosovo, but was restrained on Interpol vote", Dacic pointed out.

He concluded that Serbia does not prevent Pristina's taking part in various initiatives, in accordance with the reached agreement, meaning as neutral when it comes to its status, not as an independent state.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=07&dd=25&nav_id=107057       

Radio Free Europe on the 'Russian connection' in Kosovo recognition withdrawal

So far, 13 states had decided to revoke Kosovo's independence recognition, claims Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

July 25, 2019

Those are the following countries: São Tomé and Príncipe, Surinam, Guinea-Bissau, Burundi, Liberia, Papua New Guinea, Lesotho, Commonwealth Dominica, Grenada, Union of Comoros, the Solomon Islands, Madagascar and Palau for which the Ministry submitted to the Radio Free Europe (RFE) copies of diplomatic notes in which they inform the Ministry on their decision.

After some of the states addressed the note on revoking Kosovo's recognition, Serbian Government brought decisions on abolishing visas for their citizens, "Radio Free Europe" states.

With the six out of total 13 states, according to RFE findings - Russian Federation also signed bilateral agreements, unlike Serbia, prior to their withdrawal of Kosovo's independence recognition.

Did Russia take part in the Serbian campaign of recognition withdrawal and in what way?

According to the publicly available information on the official webpage of the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Serbian Government had abolished visas for the citizens of Surinam, Burundi, Commonwealth Dominica, Grenada and Palau, while it signed cooperation agreement with Lesotho in the field of agriculture.

The decisions on visas were brought after those countries had revoked Kosovo's recognition. According to RFE findings, with the insight into official documents, Russian Federation had signed agreements on bilateral cooperation with Surinam, Burundi, Commonwealth Dominica, Grenada, Madagascar and Palau prior to their allegedly revoking Kosovo's independence recognition.

In the case of Burundi, for instance, Russia had signed agreement on visa abolishing on February 6, 2018, while 9 days later, on February 15, 2018, Burundi informed Serbian Foreign Affairs Ministry on its decision to withdraw Kosovo's recognition.

RFE had addressed the official institutions of the countries in question asking them what was the basis for their decision to revoke Kosovo recognition, and whether Russian Federation played any role in this process. The only response we got so far was from the President's Office of Commonwealth Dominica. In an email submitted to RFE, it is written that President of Commonwealth Dominica is not entitled to respond to this question.

Vice President of Serbian Government and Foreign Affairs Chief Ivica Dacic denies any role of Russia in the withdrawal of Kosovo recognition. When asked by RFE what role the Russian played in Serbia's campaign for Kosovo recognition withdrawal, Dacic said on July 22, 2019, in addressing journalists, immediately preceding the session of the Main Committee of the Socialist Party of Serbia he chairs:

"I believe that those are just rumors. No one assisted us, we had done it on our own, and we will continue to do so, and if someone helps us along the way, we are grateful. I would like to know who it was".

Out of still 28 European Union member states, five – Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Slovakia – refused to recognise Kosovo as an independent state.

Kosovo declared its independence on February 17, 2008. In the first year since its declaration of independence, Kosovo was recognized by 54 states, while Pristina today claims that 117 countries recognized Kosovo's independence.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=07&dd=25&nav_id=107056

Haradinaj scheduled secret meetings, Hague will open the case of "yellow house"?

After the hearing, outgoing Kosovo's Prime Minister Haradinaj arranged secret meetings with his commanders of former KLA's Operational Zone Pastrik Brigade

July 25, 2019

According to daily "Blic", the prosecutor in the Hague had interrogated Haradinaj for an hour, and he refused to answer to his questions.

"Blic" further states, referring to the EULEX sources, that during the conflicts, everything outside the Albanian border could not have happened without the approval of Haradinaj, as this was the part of the region under his control.

"Now, the commanders of the operational zone Pastrik are due to give their statements. It remains to be seen whether the prosecution will bring charges for organ trafficking right away, or they will gradually build "yellow house" case. Nevertheless, the most important outcome of the hearing and investigation is crimes committed in order to trade in organs and the case of a "yellow house", daily quotes the EULEX source.

According to the newspaper sources, there are witnesses who are kept secret, one of them a former KLA driver, who testified that immediately after the withdrawal of the Serbian army and police, Haradinaj brothers organized the imprisonment of the remaining Serbs back in 1999.

"Blic" also reports that there are nine witnesses, four of whom directly participated in the transport of at least 90 Serbs and other non-Albanians for illegal prisons in central and northern Albania.

Three of them delivered prisoners to a house-clinic south of an Albanian town Burrel, also known as the "yellow house", while two witnesses claim to have participated in the transportation of body parts and organs to the airport "Rinas" near Tirana.

"Blic" says that two other former KLA members had received a call from The Hague on Wednesday. One of them is a former Vice Commander of the 128th Brigade of Pastrik Operational Zone, Avdi Ibrahimi, whose interrogation has been scheduled for October 2.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=07&dd=25&nav_id=107055

"There is no Bosniac language linguistically different from Serbian - Hate outburst"

Attitude of the Committee for Standardization of Serbian Language that there is no Bosniac language different from Serbian linguistically is outburst of hatred

July 24, 2019  

Bosniac National Council considers that the attitude of the Committee for the standardization of Serbian language that there is no Bosniak language, linguistically different from Serbian, presents yet "another chauvinist outburst of hatred and hostility of the part of the academic community in Serbia towards Bosniaks, and Bosnian as their mother tongue".

BNV issued a media statement in which it deemed the letter that the Committee sent to the National Council for high education last week as "discriminative and political" that has "no foundation in linguistics" and in which it was underlined that by "accepting study program of the Bosniac language, University will cause irreparable damage to the Serbian language and Serbian culture".

"We remind the public that the Bosnian language is part of the positive regulations of Serbia, and that its study and use is regulated by international documents ratified by Serbia and introduced into its legal system. Bosnian is the mother tongue of Bosniaks who declared their language in the 2011 census, while Bosnian language classes are attended by almost 20,000 students in Serbia for nearly five years now", Bosniac National Council concludes.

The Council assessed that the opening of the Bosnian language department "is an important step in the full implementation of the Bosnian language in the education system of Serbia" and warned the academic community in Serbia that "building one's own cultural identity by negating the other and believing in the existence of superior culture, language or nation, present the biggest misconceptions a society can nurture".

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/region.php?yyyy=2019&mm=07&dd=24&nav_id=107054         

Haradinaj chose not to answer prosecution's questions: "I'm ready for the elections"

At the Specialist Chambers for War Crimes in the Hague, interrogation of an outgoing Kosovo's Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj ended without him saying a word

July 24, 2019

Radio Free Europe reports that Haradinaj remained silent during the interrogation.

Haradinaj told reporters after coming out of the Specialist Chambers that he was there as a suspect but had been advised by the prosecution not to answer to any questions.

"“I came here as a suspect to meet my legal obligation under a summons from the prosecution. I was advised not to answer any questions. I met my obligation to the court. I have no other obligations,” he said after leaving the Special Chambers.

"I chose not to answer to any questions. The law forbids me to discuss the issues I was asked. I return ready for the elections", Haradinaj concluded, pointing out that he was not informed what was his case about.

According to Pristina's media, when asked whether he will be charged with the indictment, Haradinaj said that he does not expect that to happen, but that he should not speculate on this. He stayed with the prosecution for an hour.

The journalists were not allowed to be present during interrogation, as the investigation is closed for the public.

The crimes he is accused of are not revealed, as the Prosecution refuses to disclose information, stressing that the investigation is not public.

Former Kosovo Parliament Speaker and war-time KLA spokesman and general staff member Jakup Krasniqi was at the Specialist Chambers as well, some 20 minutes prior to Haradinaj, and his interrogation is also over for today, given that the interrogations last for three days as a rule.

Specialist Chambers, led by the US Prosecutor Jack Smith since September 2018, is responsible for investigating war crimes committed on Kosovo and Metohija for the period from 1998 to 2000.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=07&dd=24&nav_id=107051

Haradinaj's ties with "yellow house": Americans obstructed the investigation

Former KLA Commander and Kosovo's Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj is in the Hague for the second time, while the crime he is suspected of remains unrevealed

July 24, 2019

International sources speculate that his responsibility for organ trafficking in the case of ''yellow house'' is now at stake, Blic reports.

The first serious approach to this crime was led by UNMIK which made a report in 2003, the evidence of which were, allegedly, destroyed in the Tribunal for War Crimes for the former Yugoslavia.

UNMIK investigators entered Albania in disguise, gathering evidence and testimonies of the former KLA fighters. According to those testimonies, almost all the people kidnapped by Haradinaj's commanders were sent to the camps in Albania.

Except Haradinaj, the spokesperson of KLA, Jakup Krasniqi, who was the head of Kosovo Assembly briefly, has been mentioned in those testimonies. He was also summoned to the Hague, for questioning.

According to the evidence, main points of contact for transferring the victims from Kosovo to Albania were: Daut Haradinaj, Sami Lushtaku and Jakup Krasniqi, "Blic" writes. UNMIK speaks about the involvement of Naim Maloku, who was summoned to the Hague on June 10, being one of Haradinaj's advisors.

U.S. investigators had largely contributed to this investigation of human organs trafficking, particularly an American with the initials D.L., whom "Blic" contacted.

However, this American was "processed" by Albanian secret service that issued instructions to the local prosecutors not to cooperate in full capacity with him and to obstruct investigation in any way possible.

"Americans revealed four locations with a possible mass graves in Albania. With this past data, and the testimonies of the Albanians, there is also the investigation done on the part of Dick Marty", the source of "Blic" from "EULEX" claims.

Visho Ajazi Lika, former head of Albanian Secret Service, added that he was pressured not to cooperate with the international services in relation with the case of "yellow house" and mass graves in Albania, so he resigned from that position.

""The organ trafficking and the previous kidnapping and transportation of Serbs and Albanians to Albania was not possible without Haradinaj and his superiors. The brother of the former prime minister is also involved. A group of soldiers and officers of the Albanian army were also acquainted with transportation, detaining, torture and burial, because as a military formation they participated in the fighting at the border line in 1998 and 1999, says the source of "Blic".

It is assumed that the organs were sold for the price amounting from DM 25.000 to 100.000.

Haradinaj differed from the other commanders in terms of the number, that is, the territorial extent of the zone he used to hold. When looking at the area that Haradinaj managed, the fact is that he was the one holding the territory towards Albania.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=07&dd=24&nav_id=107048

"Brussels waits, France doubts US obstruction, and US deems Germany favors Haradinaj"

Chief of Serbian Foreign Affairs, Ivica Dacic, stated that Kosovo's Prime Minister in resignation Ramush Haradinaj is not withdrawing, given his recent move

July 23, 2019

"He made this move in order to eliminate (President of Kosovo Hashim) Thaci and the others on the political scene, and to return as a victim of the Court for the so-called KLA", Dacic says for Prva.

"This is a tactical move, we will see whether he will be indicted or convicted", Dacic added.

As for the resumption of Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs claims that it is necessary that international community exerts pressure on Pristina, but states that the West has different perspective on the Kosovo issue.

"Brussels awaits for the new Chief of Foreign Affairs, France is certain that US is obstructing further dialogue, by supporting Haradinaj, while US deems that Germany favors Haradinaj. There are mutual accusations, while the dialogue is on hold as the tariffs had not been lifted", Dacic said.

"This is about constant introduction of unilateral acts, instead of dealing with the crucial issues, such as establishing the Community of Serbian Municipalities", he concluded.

Dacic also pointed out that there is an obvious change in the US Administration stance - "they now try to find solution, while so far they regarded Kosovo issue as resolved and closed".

"I am confident that new negotiation cycle will commence in September, but how successful those talks would be, we shall see", Dacic concluded.

Source:  https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=07&dd=23&nav_id=107042

Haradinaj: There is no indictment, tariffs will not be lifted

Kosovo's Prime Minister who resigned three days ago, says for RSE that the Hague hadn't prepared indictment for him and that he had to resign

July 22, 2019

Ramush Haradinaj resigned, as Radio Free Europe explains, as it was unacceptable for him to show in front of Special court for war crimes' prosecutors in the Hague, which summoned him as suspect, in his Prime Minister capacity.

He added that he will not change his political opinions and standpoints, as well as that 100% tariffs on Serbian goods will remain in effect until the recognition of Kosovo's independence.

According to him, it is also important that Kosovo, as soon as possible, hold elections, in about two months. "I do not believe that there are reasons for delay. It is important, not only because of the vacuum in the rule, but it is important that the people get the chance to decide as soon as possible," Haradinaj concluded.

He also said that the official letters to be addressed to the President of Kosovo and the President of the Assembly are currently in the final stage. "According to the protocol, these are official letters that can be sent today or tomorrow. We are considering the constitutional basis of the resignation, because it is a resignation not based on the mistrust of the government. We are considering how to explain it," Haradinaj said.

He said in an interview that he is giving the mandate back to the people, as he got it from them, and that this is exactly the reason why he is not willing to change his former standpoints. "I had kept a principal stance of the people, not the authorities, in this case, and I hope as we were together when it comes to Trepca and Armed Forces, that we would again show full unity against Kosovo partition and against Dodik Republic in Kosovo, including denying free trade without recognition of independence", said Kosovo's Prime Minister in resignation.

Asked if there were charges against him in the Special Prosecutor's Office in The Hague, which deals with crimes committed against Serbs and other non-Albanians, Haradinaj says there is no indictment against him.

"Kosovo is a young state and we are creating, let's say, our state doctrine. I did not want Kosovo to be attached to this matter at the moment, and then, it's also about my personal honor, the honor of an Albanian fighter. I have proven my innocence twice and that is why I made this decision, "Haradinaj said.

Once again, he reiterated that he is aware of the implications of the decision to introduce tariffs on goods from Serbia. "From the first day, I was fully aware what were dimensions of these implications, but I have no other solution other than that. It is an alternative way of recognizing Kosovo's independence, as partitions and establishment of 'Dodik Republic' in Kosovo is unacceptable", he concluded.

Source:  https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=07&dd=22&nav_id=107040

Haradinaj resigned on Friday, only to resume his PM's duty on Sunday

Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj had resigned on Friday, only to come to his Government Office on Sunday, Koha ditore reports

July 22, 2019

As he explained, he offered his resignation as he was summoned by the Court in the Hague, as war crime suspect. He said that he wants to go there as citizen and former KLA member, not as Prime Minister. But, on Sunday, Haradinaj resumed his PM duties in Orahovac, on the occasion of revealing the monument of Sheik Muhedin Shehu, Koha Ditore writes.

In the report from Kosovo PM's Office regarding this event, Haradinaj's resignation given on Friday is not mentioned at all, while Haradinaj addressed gathered journalists in his PM capacity, Pristina daily reports.

Although, legally speaking, Haradinaj hadn't breached the law, there are some people in Pristina who consider the overall situation with Haradinaj and his resignation political manipulation.

Analyst Beluj Beqaj stated for Koha that Kosovo Prime Minister had used the means of propaganda and manipulation in order to strengthen his position. Still, he mentioned that Haradinaj can continue performing his role of Prime Minister as long as the Parliament acknowledges his resignation.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=07&dd=22&nav_id=107039

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