The US expects Belgrade and Pristina to continue talks despite problems and hopes for normalisation of the relations by the end of the year
Two investigations, mutual finger pointing - current public results. Ivanovic’s murder was topped by other topics ‘of national interest’ on both sides.
North Mitrovica, Pristina, Gracanica, Nis, Krusevac… Graffiti with the image of Oliver Ivanovic appeared
Graffiti with the image of Oliver Ivanovic appeared this morning in Kosovska Mitrovica, Pristina and Gracanica, but also in Serbian cities such as Nis and Krusevac. The print reflects one of the most recognizable photos of Ivanovic from the courtroom during the trial against him. Today it is three months since Ivanovic's murder. The assassinator and the person who ordered his death remain unknown. The party announced the signing of a public petition for the naming of either the pedestrian zone in Kosovska Mitrovica, or Sutjeska Street where Ivanovic was killed - after him.
Marko Djuric did not respect the "obligatory procedure" when he entered North Kosovo on March 26, after which he was also arrested. He sent a request to the authorities in Pristina after 5 pm on Friday, which after office hours. Also the list of people accompanying him was incomplete and for Kosovo Albanians this meant that the procedure was not respected. Such information was delivered to the BETA news agency who quoted unnamed officials at NATO headquarters in Brussels.
Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov, is expected to visit Kosovo on Monday. He will come to Pristina at the invitation of Kosovo President Hashim Thaci. During his visit to Pristina Borissov will meet also Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, and Speaker of Parliament Kadri Veseli.
Dragoljub Rajic of the Business Support Network says that the infrastructural linking of Serbia and Kosovo is important in the long term, because Kosovo is currently a sort of “hole” on the economic map of Europe, which can be used to open another infrastructural corridor to Albania
The Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) offices in Belgrade and Pristina contribute to the debate on improving relations between Serbia and Kosovo and offer new perspectives to this end by launching the project Scenarios for Serbia-Kosovo Relations in 2035. Four scenarios on the state of relations between Serbia and Kosovo in 2035 were developed by multinational Scenario Group from September 2017 till February 2018
Soon it will be five years since the Brussels Agreement was signed, which in essence provided for the dismissal of Serbian-run institutions in Kosovo and integration into the Kosovo system as one, and the creation of the so-called Association/Community of Serb-majority Municipalities on the other side. While these institutions, except health, education and postal services, have been dismissed and integrated, the A/CSM has not yet been created. However, not long ago, the topic has reoccurred in the expectations of the European Union and the U.S. before all, for “Serbia and Kosovo” to enter into a legally binding agreement providing for the “normalization of relations” as soon as possible. All this time the public is being served with contradictory statements in regard to the A/CSM. We remind of the facts about the Association/Community of Serb-majority Municipalities so far.
Stefanovic: Serbian Court-issued Arrest Warrants Sent Back to INTERPOL, Haradinaj and Thaci Exception
All arrest warrants issued by Serbian courts have been returned to INTERPOL, except the ones against Haradinaj and Thaci that have remained in the system, but won’t be visible for some time - it was stated today in Belgrade by Serbian Minister of Interior, Nebojsa Stefanovic. This international organization had removed, at the end of February, from its red warrants list former members of the “Kosovo Liberation Army” that Serbia considers responsible for war crimes.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias will visit Kosovo on Thursday as part of his Balkans tour.
Due to the issuance of false bills, Kosovo’s Tax Administration conducted a raid in Zubin Potok in four locations. The amount of the bills exceeded 4,000,000 € - stated Kosovo Tax Administration. The release adds that the raid was conducted by the Department for Tax Investigation and Intelligence, based on a prosecutor’s order, but there is no further information on locations, persons and “entities” in question, as well as whether there were arrests made.
After talking with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic about the upcoming summit in Sofia, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov talked with Thaci. Borisov talked to Thaci on the phone about the summit, the Kosovo President said.
“Our friend Bojko told me yesterday, and I didn’t even know he was keeping track of all our statements here, that they see and know all of that in Europe, so there was this statement on guns, Greater Albania, and everything else, so Bojko told me, and he won’t get angry about it – says Bojko – I could see you were gritting your teeth, but what came out was good and it was good that you called for peace. So we will try and send such messages out in the future, and thank you for noticing it”, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic continues in the same peaceful spirit during his visit through the region today. This time, after meeting with the Bulgarian PM, Bojko Borisov. I don’t speak of guns as HashimThaci does, conveyed Vucic yesterday from Mostar regarding Thaci’s statement earlier that “threats from Serbia” would get responded to as “they were 19 years ago” – “with guns”. Regional leaders have gathered in Mostar for the 21st International Economic Fair with Serbia as co-organizer.
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci paid tribute to the killed at the Kosare graveyard and participated in the memorial gathering, within the traditional "Days of Eagle" event, in honor of the Kosare Battle.
"In a country almost completely sunken in barbarism, it is viewed as something almost wondrous, and is respected with worship."
Orthodox Christians across the world are today celebrating Orthodox Easter, which this year falls a week after the Catholic and Protestant Easter. All over Kosovo and Metohija worshippers flocked to their local churches and monasteries. Senior Serbian state officials extended their best wishes to the Christian faithful. The Orthodox Church uses the earlier Julian calendar for calculating the dates of festivals such as Easter. The dates on both calendars happen to be the same in some of years, such was the case last year. The Serbian Patriarch Irinej adressed his Pascha Encyclical.
Official Belgrade has gotten hold of an „authentic document” regarding the Association/Community of Serb-majority Municipalities that Priština submitted to the U.S. and EU representatives yesterday morning. According to the document, titled “Working Mechanism for the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities”, Kosovo’s Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj should be in charge of the implementation and creation of the A/CSM. This document is nothing short of making nonsense of previous claims by Kosovo institutions that they would create the A/CSM – says the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Head, Marko Đurić. He showed and read out the document to a press conference in Belgrade, just before his first trip to Kosovo after his arrest in Kosovska Mitrovica, which he claimed was submitted by the Kosovo Government, adding that instead of the creation of the A/CSM, Priština wanted to annul the collective political rights of Serbs in Kosovo. “Serbs will not accept it”, Đurić conveyed.
"If we would have spoken openly on Kosovo’s partition, without its mentors, Pristina would start with its own interests and accept the proposal”, claims Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić. Still, powers that be think there would be a massive relocation of population when partition and delineation are mentioned, since they don’t take into account that the ethnic situation on the ground has been in accordance with the actual proposition for partition, he says, adding that the proposal for Kosovo partition is not being even being considered, since they believe that the issue of Kosovo was closed in 2008 with recognition of independence.