Belgrade, July 02, 2012
NIKOLIC: GOVT NEEDED QUICKLY BECAUSE OF KOSOVO
BELGRADE, July 2 (Tanjug) - Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic has stated that it would be good to form the new government of Serbia as soon as possible so as to open a new chapter in the talks on Kosovo Metohija, adding that there will be no talks on Serbia's EU accession until the union's requests in terms of Kosovo Metohija are fulfilled.
Nikolic said for Belgrade TV B92 that he learned from Slovakia's Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak that we should not be too optimistic and expect the talks to kick off in autumn, since "they are well aware of the fact that we cannot fulfill certain preconditions".
When asked whether this refers to the opening of Pristina's office in Belgrade and vice versa, Nikolic said that Lajcak did not insist on the issue much, but that he spoke about parallel institutions, and the necessity to implement all that has been agreed so far.
The Serbian president said that for this reason he insisted on learning about everything that has been agreed, and reiterated that the talks should be taken to a higher level.
"The Constitution reads that this is the level of prime minister, but the Constitution also says that the government can authorize the president of the republic," Nikolic said, adding that he would assume the role if authorized by the government, and that he would offer his help if the government wanted it.
That would in no way mean recognition of Kosovo's independence, he underlined.
He underscored that priority is given to the fight against corruption, and that not even members of the new government will be protected in case they violated the law earlier.
Nikolic said that if members of the future government had been involved in crime and corruption, they would be under investigation and have the right to defend against the charges.
Answering the question about U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Mary Warlick, Nikolic said that Clinton congratulated him on the win two days after the elections, and that he conferred with Warlick on the future cooperation between the U.S. and the Serbian government.
The Serbian president said that Clinton also expressed congratulations on the democratic elections, while the talk focused on the Kosovo Metohija issue.
Nikolic added that at the UN Summit in Rio de Janeiro, which was also attended by Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, he told Clinton that he will never recognize Kosovo's independence.
DACIC: NO ONE IN BALKANS THREATENED BY SERBIA
BELGRADE, June 30 (Tanjug) - Serbia's incoming prime minister Ivica Dacic said on Saturday the goal of Serbia's new government would be for the country to be a factor of peace and stability in the region, adding that everyone should understand that no one in the Balkans was in any danger from Serbia.
The Serbian people do not wish for tension in the least, and they would prefer it if no conflicts and wars happened in the future, because of all the casualties they have suffered in the past, he noted.
"I will not let the Serbian people suffer pointless casualties for goals that cannot be accomplished," Dacic told reporters, adding that negotiations should be used to protect national interest.
"There should be no fear of the next government stopping the talks regarding Kosovo. On the contrary, the dialogue will continue based on what the current government has agreed to," said Dacic, who is negotiating to form a government with the Serbian Progressive Party and the United Regions of Serbia.
He called for a resumption of the talks between Belgrade and Pristina facilitated by the EU, with the desire to find "at least the bare minimum of common ground that will serve both our EU integration and national interest and, of course, peace and stability in the entire region."
"No one in the Balkans is in danger from Serbia, the Serbian people, in fact quite the opposite, it is our interest for the ties between the region's countries to be as strong as possible," he remarked.
Dacic said that as interior minister he had established excellent cooperation with his colleagues in the region and stated a number of times the countries of the Balkans should work together more closely.
He thinks it is necessary because the Balkan countries have common interests and can serve their individual interests better through cooperation.
MAAS EXPECTS MORE PROGRESS IN EU INTEGRATION
BELGRADE , June 30 (Tanjug) - Serbia has come closer to the EU, but the work is not done yet, German Ambassador to Serbia said at his farewell reception on Friday, adding that he was optimistic about Belgrade's future progress in EU integration.
The reception was attended by highranking officials of the diplomatic corps. Maas stated that he had come to Belgrade with the clear mission to bring Serbia closer to the EU. There has been a lot of progress there, he continued, adding that the ties between Serbia and Germany were fantastic and very strong.
He stressed that he succeeded in bringing Serbia closer to the EU, but the work was not done yet, adding that ambassadors should be the eyes and ears of their governments, but also their voice.
Maas said Germany and Serbia cooperated well during his mandate, adding that German investments went up by 50 percent in 2011, and that the economic cooperation had constantly been on the rise in previous years.
Serbia's Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said Maas was one of the most skilled diplomats and successful in bringing Serbia closer to the EU. "We have not always agreed, but the German ambassador expressed his regret because of it in an honest way," Jeremic noted, adding that Serbia had never been closer to the EU and the world thanks to Maas' diplomatic efforts.
The reception was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic, Serbian Progressive Party leader Aleksandar Vucic, head of the Belgrade team for the talks with Pristina Borislav Stefanovic, U.S. Ambassador Mary Warlick, Russian Ambassador Alexander Konuzin, wife of assassinated prime minister Zoran Djindjic Ruzica Djindjic and many other guests.
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
KONUZIN: PRISTINA VIOLATES INTERNATIONAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS
GRACANICA, June 28 (Tanjug) - Russian Ambassador to Belgrade Alexander Konuzin said on Thursday that by banning certain Serbian government officials from entering Kosovo, Pristina violated international and basic human rights, as well as tradition.
The recent ban on Serbian Minister for Kosovo Metohija Goran Bogdanovic's visit to Kosovo Metohija does not strengthen the authority of the Kosovo institutions, Konuzin said.
As regards the Kosovo issue, I take the same stand as the Serbs, Konuzin said
When you Serbs decide how you will resolve the Kosovo issue, you can be sure that we will back you, the Russian ambassador said following the Vidovdan liturgy in the Gracanica monastery.
OSCE SEEKS INVESTIGATION INTO INCIDENTS IN KOSOVO
PRISTINA, June 29 (Tanjug) - The Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Ambassador Werner Almhofer, condemned Friday violent incidents that occurred throughout the day on 28 June and called for a thorough investigation of the incidents and allegations of excessive use of force by some police officers.
"The reported attacks on the police and people travelling on buses are unacceptable and I strongly condemn them," said Almhofer.
"I am concerned about reports of excessive use of force by some police officers, and I call on the Kosovo Police Inspectorate to investigate any police misconduct", he said.
During the celebration of St. Vitus Thursday in Kosovo dozens of citizens were injured, some of them seriously. Among the injured were children and members of the Kosovo police.
The OSCE Mission is mandated with human right protection and promotion, democratization, and public safety sector development.
AUSTRIAN FM: KOSOVO TO GET FULL SOVEREIGNTY IN FALL
BELGRADE, July 2 (Tanjug) - Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger announced ahead of Monday's meeting of the International Steering Group (ISG) for Kosovo that Kosovo will get full sovereignty in fall, and stressed that the unresolved situation in north Kosovo still requires presence of the international forces.
Spindelegger said that he expects that the ISG meeting will yield a decision which would be of importance for the future of Kosovo.
The international community will decide to stop its monitoring process for Kosovo. This is a clear sign of the confidence that is being placed in Kosovo. It is now mature enough to stand on its own feet and to take over full responsibility for the future of all its citizens, the minister said in an interview for German news agency DPA, as reported by Viennabased daily Wiener Zeitung.
He explained that the decision came just now as it was in less than five years that the Kosovo government fulfilled the goals of the Ahtisaari Plan, which envisages creation of a stable, democratic and multiethnic Kosovo that could contribute to the regional stability.
FEITH: KOSOVO'S MONITORED INDEPENDENCE ENDS IN SEPTEMBER
BELGRADE, July 1 (Tanjug) - International Civilian Representative in Kosovo Pieter Feith said on Sunday the International Civilian Office (ICO) will be closed in September, when the period of Kosovo's monitored independence will end. Feith told B92 the Kosovo institutions had strengthened enough.
Serbia's State Secretary for Kosovo Oliver Ivanovic said the disappearance of the ICO would not mean much for the Serb community.
According to Ivanovic, Feith headed an institution that was meant to implement Martti Ahtisaari's plan, which Serbia had rejected.
Ivanovic also pointed out the danger of the international mission's departure. "It is dangerous when one international mission leaves. It means more danger for Serbia," he told B92.
Ivanovic believes EULEX cannot replace the ICO. "The ICO had the task of replacing UNMIK, and EULEX is a technical mission. And it is reducing its numbers right now. It can only concern us, because it leaves less space for us to trust those institutions," he stressed.
The International Steering Group (ISG) for Kosovo will review in Vienna on Monday the proposition to end Kosovo's monitored independence, ICO spokesperson Christian Palme said, adding that the ISG's mandate will end in September.
The ISG will analyse progress and review the proposal to end Kosovo's monitored independence, he told Tanjug.
HODZAJ: DACIC'S WORDS CAUSE CONCERN IN REGION
PRISTINA, July 1 (Tanjug) - Kosovo's Foreign Minister Enver Hodzaj thinks the statement by Serbia's incoming prime minister Ivica Dacic about making efforts to return Serbian security forces to Kosovo are causing concern in the region.
Hodzaj also said that the latest developments in Serbia were a return to the situation from the 90s and a direction that does not lead to EU integration.
The international community needs to apply pressure so the illegal institutions in northern Kosovo would disappear, he told the Voice of America, adding that there would be no continuation of the talks between Belgrade and Pristina until the agreements already reached were implemented.
Tomislav Nikolic's election for president of Serbia and Ivica Dacic becoming prime ministerdesignate has caused a disturbance in the Balkans, he noted.
Commenting on the agreements made so far in the talks between Belgrade and Pristina, Hodzaj stated that Pristina was determined not to continue the talks if the existing agreements were not implemented.
He pointed to Dacic, who served as interior minister in the previous government, as the man to blame for not implementing the agreement on integrated border management and freedom of movement.