“President Hashim Thaci has admitted that today’s talks with the Serbian side in Brussels were difficult, but said that reaching a final agreement for full normalization of Kosovo-Serbia relations is in the interest of both parties, otherwise they risk being isolated, as the EU will not accept Kosovo and Serbia in its ranks with the existing problems.

He made these comments after meeting with his Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vucic, in Brussels, with the mediation of European diplomacy chief Federica Mogherini.

President Thaçi said that the meeting discussed the achievement of the overall framework of the final agreement that will be acceptable for Kosovo and Serbia.

‘It was a difficult meeting, not easy, but with positive tones to look to the future for the interest of both countries. We have agreed that the process takes on a dynamic and intensified in the coming weeks. We have also come to the conclusion that the achievement of the final agreement for full normalization of Kosovo-Serbia relations is in the interest of both parties and the region, namely the achievement of a winning agreement for both sides. So this solution is the agreement of European standards and criteria for Kosovo and Serbia,’ he said.” (translated from RTK)

“”When Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia a decade ago, the tenderfoot government in Pristina began a staunch duel with Belgrade to be recognized by the world.

With 53 countries recognizing Kosovo’s long-sought statehood in the first year after the 2008 proclamation on statehood, official acknowledgements from around the world dwindled to two in 2017 and just one, Barbados, so far this year.

Serbia has vowed many times it will not recognize Kosovo as an independent state and has actively tried to dissuade — along with powerful friend Russia — other countries from formally doing so.

So there was great glee in Belgrade upon hearing Liberian Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Milton Findley say in Belgrade on June 20 that his country was reversing its decade-old decision to recognize Kosovo. In a further slight, he described it as ‘the province of Kosovo.'” (RFE/RL)

“Eliot Engel, US Congressman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, says Serbia’s fraudulent claims that countries are turning their backs on Kosovo are false.

In a Tweet posted on Saturday, Engel urged Serbia to stop this and get back to normalisation with its neighbour saying that Kosovo’s independence is permanent. “Serbia’s fraudulent claims that countries are turning their backs on Kosovo are false and causing increasing anger around the world. Serbia should stop this and get back to normalization with its neighbour. Kosovo’s independence and sovereignty is permanent,” Engel said.

Kosovo Minister of Foreign Affairs, Behgjet Pacolli, has welcomed the support the US Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs is giving Kosovo and called on Belgrade to stop this cavalier behaviour and stay committed to the dialogue, not by abusing it.” (Gazeta Express)

“U.S.-based power generator ContourGlobal said it has launched a tender to build a 500-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Kosovo, expected to cost around 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion).

It will be the biggest energy investment in nearly three decades in a country struggling with power shortages. Around 90 percent of its electricity is produced in two ailing coal-fired plants, among Europe’s worst polluters.

“The process of selection is a two-stage international competitive tender following applicable World Bank Procurement Guidelines,” ContourGlobal said in a statement e-mailed to Reuters.

“It consists of an initial selection process followed by requests for proposals,” it said, adding the deadline for applications for initial selection is August 2.” (BrinkWire)

” U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo Greg Delawie got the chance to meet with fellow San Diegans during a visit to Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on June 19.

Like Delawie, the California National Guard’s 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team is from San Diego, California. The 79th is the headquarters element for Kosovo Force (KFOR) Multi-National Battle Group – East (MNBG-E), and is on a nine-month peace and security mission in Kosovo.

Delawie visited Camp Bondsteel to meet with the MNBG-E command staff and then spoke to a large group of Soldiers at the camp’s Medal of Honor Hall, where he got the chance to bond with them regarding their mutual hometown and let them know how important their role is to maintaining a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement in Kosovo.” (DVIDS)